A Quick Word About Niteblade…

I announced Niteblade would be closing next year (after releasing issue #33) to all our contributors before I shared that information publicly. When I did, I invited anyone who wanted to, to write a guest blog about Niteblade to share here. The idea is not to be maudlin, but to celebrate that Niteblade existed and that while it did, it accomplished some things. The first person to take me up on that offer is John Bruni.

I think this will make you smile.

I know I did, and not just because he says nice things about me 😉


A Quick Piece on Niteblade

by John Bruni

When I was editing and publishing my genre magazine, TABARD INN: TALES OF QUESTIONABLE TASTE, I used to get submissions from a writer by the name of Rhonda Parrish. She always sent very well-written stories, but they were never right for TABARD INN. While she wasn’t the writer I rejected the most, she was up there, and I felt bad about it. Every time I received a story from her, I wanted it to be The One because she just kept at it, over and over again.

Sadly, I never got the chance to publish her work. Back when I ran a mini-workshop on MySpace, I posted one of her stories for my fellow writers to offer advice, but she never made it into TABARD INN. Fast forward two years(ish), and I saw the submission guidelines for one of NITEBLADE’s anthologies, this one called LOST INNOCENCE. I had a story called “Outside Her Window, It Waits,” and it seemed to fit what Rhonda was looking for. What the hell? Why not give her a chance to reject me for a change?

I actually put that in the cover letter, by the way. A few months later, she got back to me: “As much as I would have liked the opportunity to pass on one of your stories as ‘revenge’ I just can’t bring myself to do it.” And she included my story in LOST INNOCENCE, which is an excellent anthology. If you haven’t read it, you should do so.

Rhonda is a hell of a great sport, and I’m glad to know her. It’s a shame that NITEBLADE is closing its doors. It’s a great publication (which, by the way, has lived longer than TABARD INN by far), and it will be missed. It will still live on through its 33 issues and various anthologies. Instead of mourning our loss, why not celebrate the very existence of NITEBLADE by picking up some back issues? You won’t regret it.

One more thing: she wrote a PS at the end of that acceptance letter. “I’m joking about the revenge thing . . . mostly ;)” I get a kick out of that every time I think about it.


One of my favourite things about this post is that there are people who submit to Niteblade again and again, and though their stories are good I pass on them, again and again, because they just aren’t right for us. And to those people I want to say — I’ve been in your chair. I know it’s not fun, but don’t give up 🙂

And for the record, I didn’t ask John to include that suggestion about picking up some back issues… but really, it’s a good one 😉

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