I’m told that Black Gate issue #15 is now in press. The cover is on Black Gate‘s website, and, well … I’m not surprised that it’s pretty awesome. One of the many things I love about this magazine is the extraordinary artwork it features both outside and in.
This issue features my latest piece of fiction to hit the stands: “Purging Cocytus,” which combines a look at cryogenics through the lens of Canto 34 of Dante’s Inferno.
Reminding folks about this new release seems like a great time to let you know that back-issues of Black Gate are currently on sale. Supplies are limited, but if you order now you might yet get your hands on issue #9, which features my retelling of Beowulf, “The Hand That Binds.” Sherwood Smith, reviewing it for Tangent Online, had this to say about it:
“The Hand That Binds” by Michael Livingston is my favorite story of the issue. The general outline of Beowulf’s tale is known; what we see here is a taken from the point of view of an outlander bard named Widsith. Beowulf is not quite as irresistible as is the Matter of Britain for writers over the past several centuries to try their hand at. It’s a remove more distant for us to comprehend, and too frequently modern retellings are stiff, self-conscious, or disagreeably modern in tone, barnacled with nuggets of scholarship (or error). I am no early English scholar, but I found this tale convincing, beautifully told, and moving. To my eye, Livingston found that balance between being comprehensible yet avoiding anachronism, and although the Geats’ and Danes’ customs seem almost alien, the emotions still rang true.
And James Enge (himself a wonderful author), opined:
The story makes a nice complement to the original Beowulf and also to John Gardner’s Grendel.
Go get ’em!