News & Reviews

August 8, 2022 – NEWS – Tickets for Writers in the Field 2022 now on sale.

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You’ll never write about wearing armor the same way once you’ve actually worn armor at Writers in the Field.

Tickets for Writers in the Field are now available. This year’s event will be October 8 & 9 in the Dallas area.

Check back for a proper post on the main page soon. For now, here’s what you need to know. It’s writers. In the field. Learning how to actually do all the cool stuff we write about. My coverage of the 2019 event gives you a pretty good idea of what you’re in for.

August 1, 2022 – NEWS – My Schedule for ArmadilloCon

I have my official participant schedule for ArmadilloCon 2022. All events Saturday, August 6 (I’m going to have a very busy Saturday!). I hope to see some of you there (anyone? anyone!).

  • 10 a.m. – kaffeeklatch with Jon Black
  • 2 p.m. – Cross-Genre Capers (panelist)
  • 3 p.m. – Signing Session
  • 5 p.m. – It was the Best of Times, It was the Worst of Times: Fantasy Movies of the 1980s (panelist)
  • 6 p.m. – The Use of Cultural Myths in SFF (panelist)
  • 7 p.m. – Religion & Nationalism in SFF (panelist)

As with previous Con appearances, my goal is to turn each of the panels into a blog post – so check my main page soon!

Thanks to ArmadilloCon for the awesome promo!

July 26, 2022 – NEWS – Working with Writers in the Field

WitF logoAfter several years off due to the pandemic, Writers in the Field (WitF), a distinctive outdoor “hands-on” event for writers is back for 2022. I’m excited to again be working with the events’ organizers, WORD (Writers’ Organizations ‘Round Dallas), as a Central Texas Promoter for the event and headhunter for potential subject-matter experts to present at WitF.

(WitF) is a two-day event dedicated to giving us the hands-on, personal experience authors need to bring these things we often have no personal experience experience with vividly and credibly to life on the printed page. This includes presentations on distinct niches of the modern world, the lifestyle of cops, convicts, hackers, or aviators. Then there are experiences hard to be had under circumstances in 2022: black powder weapons, Renaissance etiquette, or gathering food from nature.

To get a general feel for the event, feel free to check out my coverage of WitF 2019.

Writers in the Field 2022 will be October 8-9. 

For more information, check them out on FB, Instagram, and Twitter.

July 20, 2022 – NEWS – Paradoxes & Possibilities TTRPG at ArmadilloCon 2022

paradoxes-and-possibilities-animatedIf a fun, fast-paced, and flexible time travel TTRPG is in your wheelhouse, I will be bringing copies of the new Paradoxes & Possibilities system with me to my signing session at ArmadilloCon.

While I did not work on the P&P system or rulebook, I authored a mini-campaign, Ghost Stories, for the system, on the stretch goals of its highly successful Kickstarter. Ghost Stories takes time travelers to 1816 Lake Geneva, into the eccentric and inspired literary company of Lord Byron, Mary Shelley, Percy Shelley, John Polidori, and Claire Clairmont. PCs must stop a rouge time traveler of nefarious intent who has inserted himself into the famous ghost story competition which spawned both Frankenstein and the modern vampire, determined to knock the entire horror genre off its foundations from the very beginning.

Read more about Paradoxes & Possibilities.

Copies of P&P will be available for $15 and I will, of course, be happy to answer questions about the game.

July 5, 2022 – NEWS – Jon Black’s Books now at Recycled Books & Records

recycled bookThis might not be the kind of thing I’d normally do a news item for but, when it’s my hometown indie bookstore, how can I resist?

From early adolescence through the end of undergrad, Recycled Books & Records (Denton, TX, USA) is where I went to find the erudite, the unusual, or the outré in fiction or non-fiction. The are now carrying Bel Nemeton, Caledfwlch, and Gabriel’s Trumpet, I can’t tell you how happy it makes me to have my titles included among their offerings (and 15 year-old me would have been over the friggin’ moon).

April 5, 2022 – NEWS – Jon Black at ArmadilloCon 2022

I am pleased to announce I will again be a guest at ArmadilloCon. Now in its 44th year, Austin’s ArmadilloCon is a literary SFF convention drawing talent from Texas, the southwest, and beyond. This will be my third appearance at the convention and I’m very excited to be back.

Stay tune for updates regarding my panels, signing sessions, readings, etc.

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March 29, 2022 – NEWS – The Cadavre Exquis Project is live

exquisite-corpse-momaThe “Exquisite Corpse” revival, a collaborative writing exercise I participated with authors  Renee Cronley, Sharmon Gazaway, Polly Alice McCann, and A.A. Rubin is now live on A.A. Rubin’s website.

This classic Surrealist exercise of Exquisite Corpse/Cadavre Exquis involves the collaborative creation of a work of writing or visual art with each participant having only minimal awareness of what other participants have contributed.

Avant-Garde art (including not only Surrealism by also Dada, Cubism, Fauvism, and several other artistic movements) is a longstanding enthusiasm of mine. My contribution is a tongue in cheek nod to the very first, and eponymous, Exquisite Corpse exercise, which generated the phrase “The exquisite corpse shall drink the wine.”

Check out my interview with A.A. Rubin, who created and spearheaded the project.

March 15, 2022 – NEWS – The Return of SxSW Music 


Gravedancer, weaver of rural-gothic tales.

After two years off due to the pandemic, the South by Southwest music festival is back, and I’m living the nocturnal lifestyle this week and spending my nights out on the streets and in the club, joining nearly 1,000 bands in 60 venues around downtown for seven nights of music. Among the things I’m especially excited about this year are British punk revivalists Yard Act, old school country storyteller Gravedancer, performance artist Medusa, and puppet emo band Fragile Rock.

While I have no specific plans to engage in musical journalism/reviews at the year’s festival (after two years off, I really wanted to give myself the freedom to just enjoy music for music’s sake) we’ll see what happens. It will also be interesting to see if and how this year’s shows manifest in my fiction at some later date.

February 3, 2022 – NEWS – Jon Black to Participate in the Cadavre Exquis (“Exquisite Corpse”) project

exquisite-corpse-momaJon Black has been selected to participate in the upcoming Cadavre Exquis project of author A.A. Rubin. This classic Surrealist exercise involves the collaborative creation of a work of writing or visual art with each participant having only minimal awareness of what other participants have contributed.

Avant-Garde art (including not only Surrealism by also Dada, Cubism, Fauvism, and several other artistic movements) is a longstanding enthusiasm of Jon’s. To see that passion channeled into his writing, check out “The Green Muse,” a tale of Mythos, murder, and mayhem among the Cubist set of 1910s Montmartre.

January 21, 2022 – AWARD – “Pioneer House” Wins Critters Annual Readers Poll 

2021shortstorysfI’m very excited to announce that “Pioneer House,” my loose love letter to H.P. Lovecraft’s “Strange House High in the Mist” set in the 1980s Texas Hill Country has been named Best Sci-Fi & Fantasy Short Story of 2021 in the Critters Annual Readers Poll.

Thank you to all the readers who turned out show their love and, of course, to 18th Wall productions for their enthusiastic support and promo work.

I invite you to read my discussion of “Pioneer House.”

May 18, 2021 – INTERVIEW – The Sci-Fi & Fantasy Reviewer

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No, authors shouldn’t play favorites, but I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t always special pleasure to be reviewed by Adam, better known as The Sci-Fi & Fantasy Reviewer. This time, I’ve been upgraded from review to interview, as Adam picks my brain about everything from my bio to my writing process to the Bel Nemeton series and what I’ve got cooking for the future.

” …one of the most talented and impressive authors I’ve had the privilege to come to know through the years of running this book review blog.”

Check out the Sci-Fi and Fantasy Reviewer’s takes on Bel Nemeton, Caledfwlch, Gabriel’s Trumpet, “A Scandal in Hollywood,” “Totmann’s Curve,” and “The Green Muse.”

April 7, 2021 – REVIEW – Caledfwlch on The Sci-Fi & Fantasy Reviewer 

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Who wouldn’t love a review that begins with reviewer including the author in a list of accomplished authors cited as “would pick up and read automatically”?” I always appreciate Adam’s insightful takes, looking beyond the who, what, where of a story to get to the how and why. I appreciate his attention to Caledfwlch’s prologue as setting the tone for the rest of the novel, how much I busted my ass to develop a summary of the first book that felt fresh and organic, and my passion for bringing the world of the 6th century to life (with a few little additions, like magic, of course).

Caledfwlch is an absolute triumph for Jon Black and 18thWall Productions – an intelligent, lighting-fast and immensely entertaining globetrotting thriller, one that skilfully blends together a fast-paced modern-day treasure hunt with a brilliant Arthurian adventure…

…managing to educate as much as it entertains. That’s something I’ve also never come across before in any genre…

Check out the Sci-Fi and Fantasy Reviewer’s takes on Bel Nemeton, Gabriel’s Trumpet, “A Scandal in Hollywood,” “Totmann’s Curve,” and “The Green Muse.”

February 21, 2021 – NEWS – Paradoxes & Possibilities Hits $4K Stretch Goal, Time for Me to Get to Work

The Paradoxes & Possibilities Kickstarter campaign has hit the $4,000 mark unlocking a new stretch goal: a campaign written by me. Stay tune for details, but I’m thinking about taking characters of campy romp back to Lake Geneva, 1816.

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February 12, 2021 – NEWS – Paradoxes & Possibilities Meets Kickstarter Goal in Two Hours

Time travel TTRPG Paradoxes & Possibilities has met its Kickstarter funding goals in less than two hours. Given the strength of the concept and the reputations of creators Sophie Iles and James Bojaciuk in the community, I’m not really surprised – but I am very happy for them. Keep your eyes on the Kickstarter as it goes forward because, at $4K, backers get a P&P adventure written by yours truly!

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February 9, 2021 – NEWS – I’m Promoting New TTRPG Paradoxes & Possibilities

Whatever metaphorical weight I have, I’m throwing it behind Paradoxes & Possibilities, the new Time Travel RPG from Sophie Iles and James Bojaciuk. Not only are co-creators friends and colleagues, I am in love with the concept and the system they’ve designed. Here’s why I’m so in love with P&P.

In addition to doing what I can to boost the signal on their upcoming Kickstarter Campaign, I’ve put my TTRPG cred to use by signing on as one of their stretch goals. For those of you who are fans of my work with Steve Jackson Games and elsewhere, just $4K worth of funding unlocks an original P&P adventure from Jon Black.

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January 25, 2021 – REVIEW/INTERVIEW – Caledfwlch on Art’s Reviews Podcast

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It’s always a pleasure to sit down (virtually speaking, Art’s in the Chicago area) with Art Sippo. Somehow, we have a habit of talking about almost everything except my work but, eventually, we did get down to discussing Caledfwlch and everything else I’ve got going on. I always appreciate Art’s talent for finding deep-dives into material that most reviewers miss!

 There is a bit of history, mythology, sword lore, and plenty of action. If anything this book is more fun than Volume 1 (Bel Nemeton)which was a blast.

Check out our previous conversation about Bel Nemeton.

October 1, 2020 – NEWS – Q&A Series with War of the Worlds Content Creators

war-of-the-worlds-blu-rayWith 18th Wall gearing up for publication of Total War, an anthology of stories set against the backdrop of H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds (including my novella-length feature “The Clash at Crush,” the story of a Wild West caper rudely interrupted by the appearance of Martian tripods), I’m launching a series of interviews with creators of content utilizing Wells’ classic tale. Already confirmed are authors C.A. Powell and H.E. Wilburson as well as musical comedian (comedic musician?) Edy Hurst.

Depending on time frame and interest (mine and readers’), Q&A’s with additional creators may appear.

September 29, 2020 – REVIEW – Gabriel’s Trumpet on Dark Mysteries podcast

Gabriel's Trumpet 1Reviewer Madeleine D’ Este does an excellent review of Gabriel’s Trumpet, my  jazz-infused supernatural mystery set in the 1920s against the backdrop of the rivalry between the era’s two great paranormal research organizations.
Together, the reviewer and soundtrack transform the review into a pleasing chill-wave work of art in its own right.

July 2, 2020 – NEWS – Zoom Readings of Gabriel’s Trumpet Conclude. Also, I get a cool new tagline.
Gabriel's Trumpet 1Well, it only took ten weekly installments but we got through Gabriel’s Trumpet. Thanks to all the friends, readers, and strangers who turned out. Special thanks to Leonard Balsera for collaborating with me on this journey and lending his dynamism and vocal talent to Gabriel’s Trumpet’s colorful cast of characters.
For me, the highlight of this who process was Leonard describing my writing style as “historical fan service.” I plan on including that phrase on everything from now on.
May 10, 2020 – NEWS/EVENT – Zoom Reading of “Rock ‘n’ Roll Eats its Children” 
Horror USA CaliforniaSaturday night Zoom readings of my titles in Sotiera Press’s Horror USA series will conclude on the 16th with a reading of “Rock ‘n’ Roll Eats Its Children.” A deep, and occasionally tongue-in-cheek, dive into my own experiences as a music journalist, it is the story of an LA-based music journalist who digs a little too deeply into the dark side of California’s music history in pursuit of his big break. Check my social media for links and details.
Since there’s no sign of this thing ending (the pandemic, not my Zoom readings), I’m considering considering continuing the Saturday night series with readings of other short stories (requests and suggestions for material are welcome).

May 3, 2020 – NEWS/EVENT – Zoom Reading of “Rapture of the Birdman”
Horror USA WashingtonAfter the success of last night’s reading of “Darker than Black” have requests to continue the readings from my titles in the Horror USA series. This Saturday, I will be reading “Rapture of the Birdman,” my Twin Peaks meets How Stella Got Her Groove Back (but probably more murdery than the former and definitely more murdery than later) tale explore the weird side of Washington State’s folklore and legends (including the fate of parachuting hijacker D.B. Cooper).
Check my social media for links and details.

May 1, 2020 – NEWS/EVENT – Zoom Reading of “Darker than Black”
Horror USA TexasApparently we’re all still bored, not only have my Zoom readings of Gabriel’s Trumpet been enormously popular, I’ve received requests for more readings. This is admittedly last minute, but tomorrow night I will doing a reading of “Darker than Black,” my Mythos-flavored tale of desolation and desperation in the oil fields Depression Era West Texas. As a note, this time I will be flying solo, with out the talent and enthusiasm that Leonard Balsera is bringing to the Gabriel’s Trumpet readings.
Check my social media for links and details.

April 24, 2020 – NEWS/EVENT – Zoom Reading of Gabriel’s Trumpet
Gabriel's Trumpet 1So, it’s a pandemic and we’re all inside, bored, and looking for something to do. Doing my part, I am pleased to announce I’ll be doing public readings of my 1920s supernatural mystery Gabriel’s Trumpet via Zoom. I am even more pleased to announce I will not be alone, I will be joined (virtually speaking, of course) in reading by game designer and general personality Leonard Balsera.
Readings will begin on April 30 and continue each Thursday at 7:00 p.m. central for … as long as it takes us to get through this beast. Check my social media for links and additional details.

February 12, 2020 – REVIEW – Gabriel’s Trumpet on Kara Dennison’s blog

kara dennison logoAuthor Kara Dennison provides Gabriel’s Trumpet the kind of review that only another offer could give. Looking beyond narrative into structure, Kara’s review is full of insights that might escape a reader who has never at down at the keyboard to bang out a story: the decisions we make about plotting, pacing, and character; choices about to show, what to hint, and what to leave out.
Gabriel’s Trumpet benefits from the reader being in the same seat of curiosity as its protagonist, Dr. Marcus Roads.
… you can’t follow [Gabriel] Gibbs without becoming a part of his story.

January 12, 2020 – INTERVIEW – Write Through the Roof podcast
This delightful interview with Madeleine D’Este hits all the essential notes for getting a feel for a writer and their work, but also detours into into some fun and quirky yet relevant territory: those embarrassing plotter-vs-pantser conversations, whether particular authors naturally gravitate toward certain word-count in storytelling, the importance of bringing all five senses into storytelling, and my doubts about whether I could write without my 24-hour coffeehouse. I also appreciated the opportunity to talk about my work with tabletop roleplaying and how writing for TTRPGs influences my fiction, topics that I only rarely have the opportunity to explore in interviews.

December 20, 2019 – INTERVIEW – With Ginger Nuts of Horror 
Okay, that was much quicker than I expected. It was fabulous to have the opportunity to “sit down” with an outlet like Ginger Nuts of Horror. While every author enjoys talking about themselves and their work, what really made this interview special was GNOH’s probing questions on my thoughts on horror as a genre and an art form.
Also, check out GNOH’s giveaway of three signed copies of Gabriel’s Trumpet!

December 19, 2019 – NEWS – Partnering with Ginger Nuts of Horror on Gabriel’s Trumpet Promotion
I am not merely excited but thrilled to have joined forces with horror site Ginger Nuts of Horror in a promotion for my new supernatural mystery, Gabriel’s Trumpet. Three readers will have the opportunity to win a signed copy of the novel. You can find details, along with excerpts from Gabriel’s Trumpet, here.
Keep an eye out for my interview with GNOH coming soon!
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November 25, 2019 – REVIEW/INTERVIEW – Gabriel’s Trumpet on Art’s Reviews podcast
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It’s a delightful return to Art’s Reviews as Art Sippo and I engage in a sometimes rambling but always interesting conversation about Gabriel’s Trumpet and a multitude of other topics (most of which relate to Gabriel’s Trumpet).
This is one of the best novels I have read this year.
I was engrossed with this story from the very beginning and marveled at the amount of research and storycraft that went into it.

November 5, 2019 – REVIEW – Gabriel’s Trumpet on the Sci-Fi and Fantasy Reviewer

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The joy of the Sci-Fi and Fantasy reviewer is that Adam doesn’t reviews so much as analysis. I always appreciate his thoughtful, and thought provoking, takes and his review of Gabriel’s Trumpet is no exception. He giving special note to the emphasis on power of place and ever-present musical elements in the story.   While sometimes explicit and other times explicit, the social, economic, and racial realities of America in the 1920s are a constant presence in Gabriel’s Trumpet and I appreciate the reviewer’s attention to that aspect of the story.

…the first thing that struck me upon opening up Gabriel’s Trumpet is Mr Black’s inherent ability to create an atmosphere contemporary to the period he’s writing about;  you instantly feel like you’re in 1920’s New York…

Black has a real knack for writing and portraying music, giving it a presence and solidity that I don’t know I’ve come across before in any fiction I’ve read…

Check out the Sci-Fi and Fantasy Reviewer’s takes on Bel Nemeton, Caledfwlch, “A Scandal in Hollywood,” “Totmann’s Curve,” and “The Green Muse.”

October 31, 2019 – NEWS – BoucherCon 

What better place to spend Halloween than BoucherCon? The global convention of mystery, detective, and crime fiction is in downtown Dallas this year, so I made the drive north to see what it’s all about. While not the core of what I do, some of my writing definitely touches on BoucherCon’s specialities.  My recently released  novel, Gabriel’s Trumpet, is a 1920s supernatural mystery and my short story “A Scandal in Hollywood” sees actor Basil Rathbone step into the shoes of his most famous role, Sherlock Holmes, as he tries to unravel a mystery and stop an existential threat to booming 1940s Tinsel Town.

I’m looking forward to panels on writing historical mystery and detective fiction, PIs, plot twists, and writing villains your readers will love to hate, poison, and many other lovey bits of mayhem.

I have only one complaint, Dallas has many neighborhoods that are historic, beautiful, or trendy. Unfortunately, downtown is none of them (at least the breakfast buffet is good).

September 23, 2019 – NEWS – Promoting Writers in the Field 

WitF logoThis fall I’ve been doing Central Texas promotion for a unique outdoor event in the Dallas area. Writers in the Field. As writers, our craft constantly takes us to parts of the human experience we, personally, know little about. Writers in the Field (WitF) is a two-day event dedicated to giving us the hands-on, personal experience we need to bring these things vividly and credibly to life on the printed page.

Check out my Q&A with WitF co-organizer Arianne “Tex” Thompson.

April 29, 2019 – REVIEW – The Chromatic Court/The Green Muse in The Sci-Fi & Fantasy Reviewer

The Sci-Fi & Fantasy Reviewer delivers the first major review of The Chromatic Court, the new anthology of art-driven Mythos tales from 18th Wall. My story, “The Green Muse” seems to have made a favorable impression. I appreciate the reviewer’s noting that the human darkness in “Green Muse” is at least as ominous as the eldritch terrors. Likewise, I am always glad when someone appreciates the effort I put into making historical settings pop in all five senses for readers.

…a detailed and fascinating look at pre-1914 Paris, with Black deftly bringing to life a city of duality; a snobbish and charming exterior that has a chaotic underworld, one full of artists, pimps, anarchists and a thousand other types.

It’s intensely atmospheric writing, and makes the weird, unsettling nature of the murders feel somehow integral both to the nature of the Cubist artists, and the city’s anarchistic culture at that time.

March 30, 2019 – REVIEW – Video Review of Defending Earth by George Sheard

Vlogger George Sheard does a lovely overview of Defending Earth: The Adventures of Sarah Jane Smith – An Unofficial Charity Collection. Commentary on individual stories within the anthology is colorful but brief. Indeed, I am including it on my news are reviews page because, in that short description, it offers up what has become my favorite statement regarding “Swinging Londons” thus far (and seems to confirm, in spirit at least, it is at home among the great tales of the Whoniverse.

Jon Black’s “Swinging Londons” swinging Londons features a grown up Sarah Jane Smith with the Third Doctor trying to save the city of London before a space-time event almost fractures the whole universe. So that’s a lot of fun.”

March 13, 2019 – NEWS – Now Available: “The Green Muse” in The Chromatic Court.

The Chromatic Court, an anthology of art-driven Mythos tales, edited by Peter Rawlik and published by 18th Wall productions, is now available on Amazon as well as through 18th Wall. Set in 1910s Paris, my contribution, “The Green Muse,” is a story of death, rivalry, revenge, and artistic obsession so all-consuming that excellence becomes indistinguishable from oblivion.

“The Green Muse” is my first explicitly Mythos story, and I’m very proud of making my mark, no matter how tiny, on that vast body of work. Likewise, it was wonderful to channel my interest in the Parisian avant-garde into a story and bring so many of colorful characters to life on in its pages.

March 11, 2019 – INTERVIEW – Defending Earth Editor M.H. Norris on The Dr. Who Companion

Editor/Curator Mary Helen Norris talks in depth with The Doctor Who Companion about what Sarah Jane Smith means to here, the origins of the idea for Defending Earth, and how it all came together.

The only person I specifically asked for something was Jon Black. I knew the book would be incomplete without him handling a Third Doctor-era UNIT story.

Jon Black brought his extensive knowledge of history – to say nothing of his love of playing with it in historical fiction.

Defending Earth: The Adventures of Sarah Jane Smith – An Unofficial Charity Collection is now available from Adventures on Earth Productions

March 8, 2019 – NEWS – “The Green Muse” to be Illustrated. 

“The Green Muse” my tale of Mythos and murder among the avant-garde artists of 1910s Montmartre, to be included in the upcoming anthology The Chromatic Court from 18th Wall Productions, will be accompanied original artwork by Johannes Chazot (see left). Already contracted to create cover art, two of the anthologies stories sufficiently inspired Johannes to create illustrations. In addition to my “Green Muse,” Johannes has illustrated Simon Bucher-Jones “The Blues of the Endless Skies.”

The Chromatic Court, edited by Peter Rawlik, explores the nexus between art, color, and the terrible entities of the Cthulhu Mythos. Stay tuned for release date and purchasing info.

February 27, 2019 – REVIEW – “Swinging Londons” in The Time Lord Archive

I’ve got to hand to the Time Walker Author writing for The Time Lord Archives. They had their work cut of for them, at 42,500 words “Swinging Londons” technically qualifies as a very short novel, (despite being part of Defending Earth: The Adventures of Sarah Jane Smith – An Unofficial Charity Collection) but the review rises to the occasion – I think I’ve written short stories that were shorter to this. I am impressed with its smooth yet thorough encapsulation of the story (warning, it doesn’t pull back from spoilers). I was also deeply appreciative of the review’s examination of “Swinging Londons” in the broader context of the Whoniverse … from classic TV episodes to later novelizations and radio dramas. In this capacity, the reviewer’s knowledge clearly exceeds mine — never before have I learned so much from a review of my own work!

This was my first stab at writing in someone else’s world, with someone else’s property. I found it oddly enjoyable, like having a flexible but not infinite writing prompt. In the Time Lord Archives’ eyes, I seem to have passed the test.

This story alone will make the anthology worth a look (though not to discredit the other stories, of course). It’s a fun, fast-moving, fast-shifting, self-aware story that features a great cast, sometimes in unexpected roles and places.

This story alone will make the anthology worth a look (though not to discredit the other stories, of course). It’s a fun, fast-moving, fast-shifting, self-aware story that features a great cast, sometimes in unexpected roles and places.

It is with (grudging) respect that I acknowledge the reviewer caught a conceptual error in “Swinging Londons.”

…with a description of his white hair and clothing, it’s clearly indicated to be the Third Doctor. However, his behavior throughout the story, as well as his speech, is much more like the Fourth Doctor.

Damn it, they’re right!

Read more about “Swinging Londons.”

February 17, 2019 – NEWS – Defending Earth Now For Sale. 

Defending Earth CoverI’m happy to announce that Defending Earth: The Adventures of Sarah Jane Smith – An Unofficial Charity Collection is now available from Adventures on Earth Productions and, courtesy of the amazing artwork of Sophie Iles, it’s beautiful (see below).

I know I’ve said this before, but Dr. Who has been such a major influence on me from adolescence onward, that it was a really incredible opportunity to be able to contribute to that rick and compelling world in some small way – especially for such a worthy cause.

Read more about my contribution to the collection, “Swinging Londons.”

[UPDATE: With all the copies of the limited print run sold, Defending Earth is no longer available through the Adventures on Earth site. Check Amazon and similar sites for used copies]

January 2, 2019 – NEWS – Advance Piece for Defending Earth appears on We Are Cult

Geek Culture website We Are Cult has run an advance-piece promoting the upcoming Dr. Who Defending Earth: The Adventures of Sarah-Jane Smith – An Unofficial Charity Collection raising money for cancer research in honor of the late Elisabeth Sladen (a.k.a. Sarah Jane Smith). The collection will include my novel-length Third Doctor-Era story “Swinging Londons.” Admittedly, the piece has nothing to do with “Swinging Londons” in particular, it’s just cool to see my name on such a high-profile website.

June 23, 2018 – BIG NEWS – Cleared to use The Brigadier for Upcoming Dr. Who Charity Anthology

Nicholas Courtney as Doctor Who Companion The BrigadierHaisman Literary Estate has granted permission to Adventures on Earth Productions for me to use Brigadier Alister Lethbridge-Stewart in my story for the upcoming anthology, Defending Earth: The Adventures of Sarah-Jane Smith – An Unofficial Charity Collection raising money for cancer research in honor of the late Elisabeth Sladen a.k.a. Sarah Jane Smith.

To be honest, I had not expected this. Such permission is … uncommon … and, while I felt in my heart that any UNIT story without The Brig would be incomplete, I had resigned myself to it. Being able to use Lethbridge-Stewart opens up some amazing possibilities  in the story I’ve been crafting. The Brigadier has always been my favorite non-Doctor character from Whoverse and being able to make him my own, even if just for a few pages, makes me happier than I can express.

May 18, 2018 – NEWS – I’m Co-Editing an Anthology!

All The Petty Myths coverIt is with a blend of trepidation and excitement that I announce I am taking a step into the world of editing. Upcoming anthology from 18th Wall Productions, Overdue will be a shared-universe anthology bringing together the world of Bel Nemeton with Mary Helen Norris’s All the Petty Myths. Stories will revolve around the quest for books and manuscripts lost to or forgotten by history. I will be co-editing the anthology with Mary Helen (but, let’s be honest, given both that this is my first foray into editing the world of others and her extensive experience in that regard, I expect my role be very much that of journeyman or even apprentice).

I encourage interested authors to consult the submission guidelines. Submissions are due September 15th. Don’t be, erhm, overdue.

April 20, 2018 – Recruited for Upcoming Dr. Who Charity Anthology

330px-Elisabeth_Sladen_(cropped_to_shoulders)I’m thrilled to have been recruited as a contributor to Defending Earth: The Adventures of Sarah Jane Smith – An Unofficial Charity Collection. Curated by M.H. Norris through Adventures on Earth Productions, the proceeds of Defending Earth will go the Cancer Research Institute to support their work against the disease which claimed the life of SJS actress Elisabeth Sladen.

Doctor Who has been a profound upon my since first discovering the program in my teen years (back then, I had to stay up late Saturday nights to catch it on my local PBS affiliate). My favorite companion has always been Sarah Jane and my favorite Doctors, perhaps not coincidently, are the ones she traveled with. So this is a truly special opportunity for me.

M.H. has specifically requested a UNIT story from Sarah Jane’s time with the Third or Fourth Doctor…as if I was considering doing anything else. 😉

January 4, 2018 – NEWS – Featured in Upcoming Mythos Anthology The Chromatic Court

My short story “The Green Muse” will appear in the upcoming anthology The Chromatic Court to be released by 18th Wall Productions and edited by veteran Mythos author and editor Peter Rawlik. Stories in The Chromatic Court explore the intersection of Mythos and artistic endeavor.

My contribution “The Green Muse” begins with an art reporter investigating the mysterious and obligatorily gruesome death of several Cubist painters in 1910s Paris. Because it’s in a Mythos anthology, you may safely assume things get worse from there. Look for historical cameos ranging from the famous (Pablo Picasso) to the obscure (theoretical mathematician Henri Poincare).

Stay tuned for release and purchasing details.

November 2, 2017 – NEWS – World Fantasy Con 

World Fantasy Con is in San Antonio this year. So, of course, I’m there. So many great writing craft, business of writing, academic and fandom panels and events. What am I especially excited about? History: Secret, Hidden, or Otherwise; Keeping Texas Weird, New Twists on Traditional Myths & Archetypes, The Role of the City in Fantasy Settings, and The Other in Fantasy when Everyone is an Other. And, of course, there are some amazing guests that leave me trying to keep hero worship and imposter syndrome at bay. I look forward to writing it all up as blog post when I get back to Austin.

For better or for worse, the Con Suite at WFC probably has me spoiled for life! Among other things, actual BBQ from Coopers, one of the best pits in the state!

December 28, 2016 – AWARD – After Avalon Nominated for Best Anthology

The post-Arthurian anthology After Avalon, containing Jon Black’s short story “Bel Nemeton” has been nominated for Best Anthology of 2016 in the annual Preditors & Editors Readers Poll. After Avalon is published by 18th Wall Productions.

web-banner-changed-title2-1“’After Avalon’ contains so many wonderful stories,” Jon says. “The transcendently beautiful language of Collin Fisher’s ‘The May Hawk’s Daughter’, the highly original concept and remarkable delivery of Amy Wolf’s ‘The Hour of Their Need,’ Leigh Ann Cowan’s attention to classical literary forms in ‘Sir Gawain and the Quest for Merlin’s Tree,’ the humorous and creative portrayal of Bleys in Thomas Olivieri’s ‘Paste-Bones and Ragdolls,’ and many more. It’s an honor to have ‘Bel Nemeton’ included among these tales and I hope my story played its small part in securing this nomination for the anthology.”

The final winner will be selected from among the nominees based upon online voting.

After Avalon also received two other nominations. Best Artwork, for Barbara Sobczynska’s dreamlike and hauntingly symbolist cover art. The anthology’s curator/edit, Nicole Petit, has been nominated for Best Editor.

Those interested in casting votes for After Avalon (or, of course, the other nominees) can do so a the following links:

Best Anthology

Best Artwork

Best Editor

“This nomination underscores why any reader with an interest in Arthuriana or historical fantasy will enjoy After Avalon,” Black says. “After all, if you don’t like my story, you’ve got ten others to justify its modest price.”

Dec. 22, 2016 – NEWS – Jon Black to Author Regular Feature for 18th Wall Productions

author-photoPublisher 18th Wall Productions has tapped Jon to author a regular feature for the publisher’s website, The features will focus on Arthuriana, sourcing accurate historical fiction and historical fantasy, aspects of the series he writes for 18th Wall, and similar topics.

“We’re very pleased to give Jon Black a platform to write about research and history,” says James Bojaciuk, 18th Wall’s CEO duobus. “He exemplifies our belief of what historical fiction should be–who else would write an adventure series whose first entry depends on archeology, old documents, and linguistics as much as two-fisted action?”

“This is an exciting opportunity to explore aspects of writing that fascinate me, especially those pertaining to my current work with 18th Wall,” Jon says. “I appreciate their continued emphasis on offering unusual, well-crafted stories to thoughtful readers.”

Jon’s features will appear twice monthly, with the first installment slated for early in the New Year.

Dec 5, 2016: Bel Nemeton Referenced on GreyDogTales

grey-dog-talesJon’s upcoming series, Bel Nemeton, blending Arthurian historical fiction with progressive pulp, received a mention on GreyDogTales,  a site devoted to “weird fiction, weird art and even weirder lurchers.”

The series was referenced by Nicole Petit, award-winning curator with 18th Wall Productions. The full interview with Nicole, about the anthology After Avalon, Arthuriana, and her current projects, as well the reference to Bel Nemeton, can be read here.

Nov 3, 2016 – NEWS – Jon Black at Texas Authors Summit

Jon Black signs the authors' poster at the 2016 Texas Authors' Summit.

Jon Black signs the authors’ poster at the 2016 Texas Authors’ Summit.

AUSTIN – Writer Jon Black was an invited participant at the Texas Author’s Summit, held in conjunction with the 2016 Texas Book Festival. The summit, hosted by the Texas State Library & Archives, featured panel discussions with Texas authors from a variety of genres as well as a behind-the-scenes tour of the archives to better familiarize authors with its holdings. “It is an honor to be among the Texas authors invited to participate in the summit,” Black says. “As someone who extensively weaves history into his fiction, awareness of the resources available through repositories like the Texas State Library & Archives in invaluable.”

“Also,” he added, “having the event catered by Cooper’s BBQ didn’t hurt my interest level, either.”

October 30th, 2016 – NEWS – Jon Black Attends Séance, Research for Current Project

'Tis the Season.

‘Tis the Season.

AUSTIN – Researching his upcoming novel, Gabriel’s Trumpet, Jon Black participated in a séance Sunday evening. The gathering was hosted by Austin Séance and held in the Pony Shed at Austin’s Vortex Theatre. The séance was conducted by journalist Jake Cordero and sociologist A. Lucio. “I have nothing but the highest praise for Misters Cordero and Lucio,” Black said. “Not only did they do an amazing job recreating the classic séance environment, but I deeply appreciate the academic and historical discussion which preceded the event.” While not discuss specifics of the séance, Black describes the sitting as “emotionally charged” and “intense.”

Gabriel’s Trumpet, a 1920s mystery with strong supernatural overtones, is set against a backdrop of spiritualism, speakeasies, and the golden age of jazz. It is scheduled for publication in 2017 by 18th Wall Productions.

September 20, 2016 – REVIEW/INTERVIEW – TVCU Reviews “Bel Nemeton,” Discusses Upcoming Novel


Podcast Television Crossover Universe reviewed Jon Black’s short story “Bel Nemeton” in a recent episode while also discussing the story’s upcoming novel-length treatment. The episode features author and award-winning curator Nicole Petit being interviewed by M.H. Norris and James Bojaciuk.

Calling Bel Nemeton “A fun idea” and “A very intellectual ‘Tomb Raider,’” they comment “You need to pick up the book and read this story” and “I’m curious to see what’s next.”

Listen to the podcast here. Discusson of Bel Nemeton occurs from 18:05 to 22:00.

c. 2022 Jon Black

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