Niteblade opened its literary doors in 2007, just about the time I started writing seriously, as in submitting-work-serious. There have been many markets that have come and gone since then, and I have tried my luck with many of them, but Niteblade is still with us and still going strong. I'm proud to say that Niteblade was one of my very first sales! And if you've been following the blog train so far (I'm stop #18, I think), you'll realize that this theme reoccurs - Niteblade is a good place for authors starting out (and also returning authors - I'll get there again, someday!). The story that Rhonda Parrish, editor and publisher, picked up, Behind Blue Eyes, appeared in Issue #8, Of Warmth, Of Dragons, with wonderful illustrations by Marge Simon, including the one for Behind Blue Eyes.
BBE was one of those rare things - a story formulated and written in a burst of inspiration I got while editing a scientific paper about ants. That's right. Ants have always been great fodder for horror movies, and I couldn't resist making them a part of the second SF story I ever wrote. The idea (but not the ants) later morphed into a 'future event' for what has now become my first SF novel, Gravity's Gift (still in revision). In other words, I wanted to write a novel that would lead to the situation described in the story.
But the short story - a flash piece - was dark and nasty and not my usual type of story. So I didn't know where to place it. Then I found Niteblade, a cozy (but not safe, never safe!) home for dark fantasy and science fiction. I also have to say, it felt like being part of a family, as Rhonda has always included all her authors, past and present in her announcements and connections. I appreciate that, and I'm glad to be associated with the magazine and to help Rhonda celebrate her fifth year, 20 issues strong and verging on 21.
Twenty-one is a great number. It's the product of two prime numbers, three and seven, both of mystical quality. In Celtic mythology, three is everywhere, triple-headed goddesses, triple horns, curses that always come in threes. Seven abounds in many religions and myths. There are seven wonders, seven hills in Rome, and seven deadly sins. Combine those two numbers in a multiplicative way, and you get 21. It's a Fibonacci number - and it's got a lot of other names as well. That's right, 21 has street cred. It's a legal drinking age in many countries and the 'coming of age' age in many others. So if 5 years and 21 issues means that the magazine has 'come of age' then that's a great reason to celebrate. But I believe that genuinely good magazines continue to grow and evolve - rather than ripen - and Niteblade is definitely one of them.
We're getting close to the back of the blog train, and we're having a great time. We found that case of champagne they hid in the back of the closet, the fake blood, and the monster masks. Don't mind us at all. At least we're not dancing in the aisles. Not yet. You may have just hopped on from the previous carriage, Mark Rigney. Tomorrow we'll be leaping to the next one back at Dark Fantasy and Horror Central itself with a guest post from Sandy Leibowitz.
Here, take this bottle with you, it's still mostly full, and pass it around.