What’s 6 Months Amongst Friends?

Six Months of Updates!!!

So… it’s been the mere matter of 6 months since my last update. I could offer up all manner of excuses for this, but to be honest the simple answer is that it’s not good enough! So my friends, I am back… I can’t guarantee when my next post will appear, but I can honestly tell you I do have the intention to write more frequently!

To ease back into the blog, I thought it worth recapping what’s happened since my last update. In January, I reviewed Betrayer by Aaron Dembski-Bowden, the 24th novel in the Horus Heresy series. Since then, we’ve apparently not had much new content – just one full title, the Mark of Calth anthology. But of course, this doesn’t paint the full picture – there are reasons we haven’t seen as much of the traditional storyline content, and there have been a lot of other formats released. So let’s talk about this in more detail.

A Change of Format

With the release of Angel Exterminatus in October 2012, Black Library moved to a different publishing schedule for each of the novels.

  • Each novel is now available initially as a hardback ‘Collector’s Edition’ format exclusively from GW stores or the Black Library website.
  • Three months after the release of the hardback format, the standard ‘Trade’ format will be released – this is a standard publishing industry paperback size.
  • Six months after the trade paperback, the ‘Legacy’ paperback edition will be released.

For anyone who wants to collect the original, or legacy, format books, this has meant a significant wait. In fact, it’s only recently that Angel Exterminatus has come out in this format, and it will still be a little time before Betrayer is available. Whilst this isn’t great, the consolation is that it’s a one off pushback of the release schedule, and from now on there will be a regular release of new titles. For those who want to keep up with latest stories as soon as they are released, but are concerned to have matching versions of the earlier books with the newer releases, the older books are being gradually re-released in the Collector’s Edition format.

I don’t fully understand the change of formats – I believe it’s something to do with matching the Black Library formats with the industry standards so that it’s easier to sell to book retailers. I am however a fan of the hardback format, even if the price of £20 per book is a little off-putting, mainly because the books look superb on my book shelf. I’m not going to mention the condition of some of my earlier paperbacks, other than to say they don’t always stand up well to bath time reading!

For anyone who prefers reading in different formats, Black Library continues to offer eBook and Unabridged Audio versions of the new Horus Heresy novels and all of the rereleased Collector’s Editions. For the new, forthcoming novels, these should be available alongside the release of the hardback – so even if you don’t want to move over to the hardback format there is no need to wait 9 months to catch up on the latest novels. This is part of a wider Black Library plan to provide all of the Horus Heresy written material in all three formats. As it was explained to the audience at the Horus Heresy Weekender;

‘Everything, in every format, eventually’ – Laurie Goulding, Black Library editor

Betrayer, in every format, now!

Betrayer bundle

So, only one book? Really?

My earlier pronouncement of only one book being released in the last 6 months was a bit of a red herring. Whilst it’s true that the only novel within the full series to be released is Mark of Calth, the release of the next full novel, Vulkan Lives is due in the very near future. I’m in a fortunate position, living close enough to Warhammer World to travel over there, and have managed to get my hands on a signed copy of Vulkan Lives already. I don’t want to spoil anything for you, dear readers, but I will say that I really enjoyed the novel. I’m also happy to report, that after a little personal scepticism over the book’s title, upon reading the novel I don’t think there could be a more fitting title.

There have also been a couple of limited edition releases; The Imperial Truth, which is an event exclusive anthology featuring some excellent short stories from the great and good of the Horus Heresy authors, and Corax: Soulforge which is the first in a trilogy of limited edition Raven Guard novellas by Gav Thorpe.

 The Imperial Truth cover art

The Imperial Truth

We’ve also had several new audio dramas; The Sigillite by Chris Wraight, Honour to the Dead by Gav Thorpe, and Wolf Hunt by Graham McNeill. I really like the audio drama format – these are stories that are specifically written for audio, and are acted by a cast rather than narrated by a single narrator. The sound effects in the dramas add an extra dimension, and I would suggest anyone interested in Titan legions should give Honour to the Dead a try.

Finally, there have also been several e-shorts released. Most of these have been featured in another format previously (or subsequent to their e-short release), but in some instances in might be more cost effective or convenient to just buy the e-short to complete your collection. These are;

  • The Gates of Terra – originally released in French in the 2012 Games Day France chapbook
  • Angron – an anthology of short stories containing After Desh’ea (from the Tales of Heresy anthology), Lord of the Red Sands (subsequently included in The Imperial Truth anthology) and Butcher’s Nails (a prose version of the previously released audio drama)
  • Dark Heart – subsequently released in the Mark of Calth anthology

Only this week, we have also had released (at the time of writing) three short stories that featured in previous event exclusive anthologies; Death of a Silver Smith (originally released in the Games Day 2011 anthology, and subsequently included in the Shadows of Treachery anthology), Distant Echoes of Old Night (originally released in the Games Day 2012 anthology) and Lost Sons (originally released in the Black Library Weekender 2012 anthology). I have no certainty on this, but I also expect to see the release of The Divine Word (also from the Black Library Weekender 2012 anthology).

 

Lost Sons cover artLost Sons

Personally I am disappointed with the release of these short stories in electronic format. Not because they are now available to the wider audience, but because had I realised the 2012 short stories would be out so soon, I would have preferred to wait to get them individually (I have little interest in the stories set in the 40K or Warhammer universes). It would certainly make me think twice before buying another event anthology… although I suppose that depends on how big they make the Horus Heresy logo!!

Feedback

Well that’s a relief – a blog post written and completed. If you have any comments about anything I’ve written, please drop me a message on here or on twitter @Marcoos14

All the best,
Marcus

Whispers from the Warp

Whispers from the Warp

Firstly, I’d like to thank everyone for the positive response to my last blog post.  Whilst writing it I worried that I was alone in my fascination for the subject, but it appears that I was wrong.  Special thanks to Angel of Blood, who posted up additional information around the discoveries of Lorgar and the Lion.  There’s more information than I had collated, and this might lead to a reappraisal of my discovery order.

This is a quick blog to bring you up to speed with some of the rumours of what is happening in the world of the Horus Heresy, information that has been made available through mostly unofficial channels, hence the title of the blog.

It would be remiss of me not to start with the special Black Library announcement due tomorrow (or today depending on when this is published and you read it!).  Sat here waiting, it would be easy for me to say nothing, but I’m going to hazard a guess that this is the announcement of the Horus Heresy audio script book.  This was mentioned at the Black Library Weekender and is due out around Christmas, so the timing fits.  The script book will contain the following audio books;

  • Raven’s Flight by Gav Thorpe
  • Butcher’s Nails by Aaron Dembski-Bowden
  • Dark King by Graham McNeill
  • The Lightening Tower by Dan Abnett
  • Garro: Oath of Moment by James Swallow
  • Garro: Legion of One by James Swallow

To hedge my bets, it could also be an announcement of some new 10 minute audio dramas, which I believe will be available on download only.  These were discussed at the Black Library Weekender, but I’m afraid in amongst all the hectic scribbling I may possibly have made an error with the titles.  I certainly believe one will be called Warmaster, written by John French (of The Crimson Fist fame), and it goes without saying will feature Horus quite heavily!  The other two will focus on the ‘shattered legions’, although I don’t believe this will be the title of either.  These will be penned by Guy Haley and David Annandale, both Horus Heresy newcomers, and it will be interesting to see some new creative input into the series.

The ‘shattered legions’ denomination refers to the three Loyalist Legions that were ambushed at the Dropsite Massacre on Istvaan V, namely the Iron Hands, Salamanders and Raven Guard, so expect one or more of these legions to feature heavily.  Of the three, I’m expecting to see the Iron Hands and Salamanders, partially because the Raven Guard have already received a lot of coverage in their own novels, but mostly because this was strongly hinted at by CZ Dunn (Author and Black Library Editor whose credits include the Age of Darkness anthology) on twitter.  He also confirmed the recording of 4 new Horus Heresy audio dramas, which means a 4th one that I have no idea about (possibly one of the 2013 released included in my Black Library Weekender day 1 update here.

Next up, we have the customary Black Library advent calendar.  This year, we’re being treated to a new short story each day. These stories are going to be set in all of the various worlds and timelines that Black Library cover, so as well as the Horus Heresy we will also get regular 40K, Warhammer and Time of Legends.  Given the massive coverage of 40K novels, I would expect half of the 24 stories to be in that setting, so at best I hope to see 4 Horus Heresy shorts.  As yet, we haven’t had one, but it can’t be long now.  Another Black Library Editor, Graeme Lyon, tweeted that, “the Horus Heresy stories will be something a bit different and interesting…” and, “all the Heresy stories share a common link. They all deal with the consequences of a certain massacre”.  The obvious guess would be Istvaan V, but there are numerous other possibilities (apparently there’s an abundance of massacres during the Horus Heresy).  At £0.79 each, I’m sure these short stories will be popular!  You can find them here.

It’s been a busy week on twitter! Whilst the Black Library website has remained tight lipped on when we can expect the next full length Horus Heresy novel, Betrayer by Aaron Dembski-Bowden, their twitter feed has confirmed it will be available for pre-order (in Hardback format) on the 7th December.  I’ve already waxed lyrical (or at least, as lyrically as I can manage) about ADB’s previous Horus Heresy work, so it should come as no surprise to say I really am excited about this one!  Betrayer follows on from Butcher’s Nails, and even has links to Battle for the Abyss, and is set running almost parallel to Know No Fear.  We’re going to see Angron, Lorgar and their Legions destroying several (many?) of the worlds of Ultramar, the homeworld system controlled by the Ultramarines Legion.  40K fans should really like this one too as it will heavily feature Kharn, a senior captain of the World Eaters Legion, and no doubt explain why he became known as ‘the Betrayer’.

So that’s all of the Whispers from the Warp for this time.  I’m sure I’ll be returning to this at some point in the future though!

Competitions and Book Share

The competition to win a signed copy of Dan Abnett’s Horus Rising Audio Book are now closed.  I’ll be drawing the winner of this competition with Ben Curry later this week, so listen into the Bad Dice Daily podcast to find out if you’ve won.  Lupercal!

I’d also like to plug something new I’ve started, the ‘Horus Heresy book share’.  As I upgrade my collection of novels to the new hardback format, I will be giving the paperback versions to anyone who wants to read the series, provided they promise to hand it on once read.  I’ve already started with False Gods, which will be heading to Ian Brown as soon as I find a suitable envelope. Next up I’ve got a copy of Galaxy in Flames that needs a new home, and this is available to send me a direct message on twitter with their address to post it to.

Feedback

Well, that’s all from me folks.  As ever, if you have any comments about anything I’ve written, please drop me a message on here or on twitter @Marcoos14

All the best,

Marcus

 

Reflections on the Black Library Weekender 2012

Reflections on the Black Library Weekender 2012

It’s been two days since the end of the Black Library Weekender 2012, and I am still buzzing from the whole event. I want to take this opportunity to share my experiences over the weekend, and cover some of the highlights.

Going into the event – my first ever book conference – I was really unsure what to expect. To be honest, I was very nervous that it would be a waste of time, and that meeting the authors would not live up to my expectations. I needn’t have worried however. The event was superb, and the authors and event staff could not have been more welcoming.

The Weekender was held in the Nottingham Belfry hotel, and effectively Black Library had commandeered the whole of the ground floor for the two days. The hotel foyer contained a sales stand selling all the new releases, and a huge range of the Black Library back catalogue. I couldn’t confirm the extent of the 40K and WFB range, but certainly every single Horus Heresy novel was on sale. I don’t know if we’ll ever find out how much was taken over the 2 days, but I suspect it paid a few bills!

There were four separate function rooms, set up to host the various events planned for the weekend. This ranged from author signings, to specific author Q&As, focused seminars and various product reviews. As well as this, the rest of the ground floor was bedecked in artwork from the Black Library, which had the effect of giving the whole event a real ambience. Of all the artwork on display in the hotel, this painting (yes, it really is a painting, not a photo) really stood out.

Elf

When planning which sessions to attend, Black Library handily provided an event schedule up front. As a rule, I will read anything that’s put in front of me, but there are only a few authors or series that I go out of my way to follow. In Black Library terms, this means I purposefully find and read everything Horus Heresy related, but only pay limited attention to the other 40K and WFB novels. For the Weekender, this made my choice of seminars relatively straight forward: anything titled ‘Horus Heresy’ was immediately circled! Effectively, this picked 6 out of the 10 available one hour sessions for me in advance

So, the first session I attended was the Horus Heresy Audio. I have already covered the planned releases on Saturday night’s blog so I won’t go into more detail here. However, aside from the new releases, Black Library has confirmed that starting with Angel Exterminatus (released last month), every single Horus Heresy novel will be accompanied with full unabridged audio books. In addition, they will be going back through the previously released issues and doing full unabridged audio books for them too. This will start at book IV, The Flight of the Eisenstein, because books I – III already have abridged audio versions. Don’t despair if it’s books I – III that you are after though, as once the full series has been caught up, these three will also be getting a full unabridged version. Great news for anyone who doesn’t have time to sit down and read! There were a few other audio teasers which I will be covering in a future blog.

The second Horus Heresy session I attended was the Art of the Horus Heresy. This session consisted of Neil Roberts, the artist responsible for all of the Horus Heresy cover art, talking through the covers to his work. This was a brilliant session, and gave us a number of previews into forthcoming novel covers… and therefore the forthcoming titles! The artwork to Unremembered Empire was particularly special, and I will be talking about this novel in the future (probably at some length!). He also showed this reworked masterpiece:

Visions of Heresy

I also attended two Horus Heresy author sessions, the first with Graham McNeill, John French, Chris Wraight, Gav Thorpe and Christian Dunn, and the second with Dan Abnett, Jim Swallow, Aaron Dembski-Bowden and Laurie Goulding. These were great sessions where the audience was able to ask about any of the authors’ Horus Heresy back catalogues or about their upcoming work. The authors were brilliantly frank about their work, and gave a number of teasers on forthcoming projects, most of which I have already detailed.

One of the best pieces of information, was that the authors really do take fan feedback into account. There was a lot of discussion around progressing the story. It’s not something that has ever worried more – for me the 30K galaxy is such a big place that there cannot be one continuous story line – but the official view now is that the stories will demonstrate progress towards the ultimate ending of the Horus Heresy in the Siege of Terra.

The other heresy related session I attended was the Upcoming Horus Heresy, which really did give a huge amount of information, certainly more than I expected, and which filled the majority of Saturday’s blog post. However, whether by mistaken tiredness or machiavellian design, I did keep a couple of teasers back.

Firstly, before Christmas, we can expect to see a Horus Heresy Scriptbook. This will be the written down scripts of the earliest Horus Heresy audio books, in their final pre-recorded version. This means we will get a version that differs slightly from the audio book in two ways; (1) the recorded version might contain some on the spot editorial changes, and (2) the scripts often produced audio tracks that were too long once recorded, so the scriptbook will include additional passages. This is to be released in a similar format to the new hardback novels, and personally I can’t wait to get it.

The other release is something that I’m sure will go down very well. It is a rerelease of the Collected Visions artbook, titled Visions of Heresy, which will contain updated text from Alan Merrett (effectively the font of knowledge for the Horus Heresy) as well as a lot of the new Neil Roberts artwork. You can see the cover for this above – the picture of the Emperor and Horus duelling aboard Horus’ ship.

To round out the weekend, I went to the Dan Abnett signing and took in a couple of author Q&A sessions. Graham McNeill was excellent generally, but especially so on the heresy, and Andy Smillie was fascinatingly frank on what interests him and motivates his writing. I’m still confused about Dan’s signing of my two copies of Horus Rising!

Two Horus Risings!

So to conclude this blog, I’ll leave you with my 5 highlights of the weekend:

  • 5. Upcoming Horus Heresy – finding out about all the great stuff that’s coming in the future. There isn’t a single thing I’m not looking forward to.
  • 4. Laurie Goulding – not only an editor and author for Black Library, Laurie is the shrine of knowledge for all things Horus Heresy related. I had the chance to speak with him about a couple of things I will definitely be blogging about at some point.
  • 3. Seeing the authors interacting – watching how these guys all interacted and clearly wanted to work together to make the Horus Heresy series as successful as it could be was inspiring.
  • 2. The Art of the Horus Heresy – some of the older art work is stunning, and some of the newer artwork makes the older images look dated! In particular, Unremembered Empire is a great piece, really showing a story as well as capturing the differing feelings of the various participants perfectly.
  • 1. Dan Abnett – before this weekend, I kind of got it. Dan is a great author, and he is rightly held in high regard by his fans. But I hadn’t understood just how much he gets the Horus Heresy. Every time I saw him participate in a session, he owned it. Whilst this guy is involved, the Horus Heresy is only going to get better. I can only say how pleased I am that he is writing Unremembered Empire, which I think will be the most pivotal book in the series since Horus Rising.

So it goes without saying really, but here goes anyway. I would highly recommend either the Black Library Weekender 2013, or if you can’t make that, the Black Library Live event instead. The Live event is a one dayer that takes place at Warhammer World, and I believe is planned for early March next year. The Weekender will no doubt be another 2 day on campus event, and believe me tickets will go quickly – so if you do want to get one, watch this space (or even better, bookmark www.blacklibrary.co.uk).

Lastly, as Ben blogged on Sunday night, I’m delighted to say we have a special copy of the abridged audiobook of Horus Rising to give away. This has been signed by the author, Dan Abnett, himself and is a great story to listen to. To be entered into a random prize draw to win this all you have to do is this:

1. Follow @Marcoos14 on twitter
2. Go to the the Snake Eyes section of the forums and find Black Library Weekender contest thread.
3. Post your twitter name into that thread and send me a tweet containing the secret word

The prize itself:

Black Library Weekender

The lucky winner will be drawn live on the Bad Dice podcast in December. Good luck!

Feedback

If you have any comments about anything I’ve written, please drop me a message on here or on twitter @Marcoos14

All the best,
Marcus

Daily 119 – Black Library Weekender and Listener Questions

Black Library Weekender and Listener Questions

In this episode I talk about the Black Library Weekender that is happening in Nottingham this weekend.  I will be going along with Marcus our resident Horus Heresy expert and trying to grab some interviews with the authors over the weekend.

You can find full details for the event and still have time to get some tickets if you go to www.blacklibrary.com

If there are any seminars you would like me to attend then report on please do let me know by leaving a comment below.

Listener Questions.

  • Chris Bailey writes in and asks, What is meant by Successfully cast?  He says that his gaming group is having a dispute about the matter and would like to get it cleared up. My answer is that on Pg 36, 1st paragraph it says  “If the eney had failed his dispel attempt (or not even attempted one!), the spell is cast successfully”  This seems to clear things up.
  • Chad Graham – After a unit has crumbled in combat, what are the remaining units options?  Can it perform a reform and if so, when?  To that I would say “Reforming From Victory” on page 55 explicitly states that a unit can reform at the end of a combat round if (1) the enemy did not flee or (2) the combat was a draw. If the enemy unit crumbles away, it did not flee. Option (1) is satisfied and a reform is allowed.
  • Simon Burdett asks How do Magic rings work?  My answer to this is that you can follow the Bound Spell rules on page 37 and all will be explained.

Feedback

Thats all I had time to cover on this episode but I have a load of questions that I can address so will certainly be covering it again in the future.  If you have a question that you want answering leave a comment below of email me at BenCurry@BadDice.co.uk

 

A Background to the Horus Heresy, Where It Started.

Thanks for the really positive feedback I’ve received since I posted my first blog post, Horus Heresy Rising on Sunday.  One of the comments that most interested me was from Ol Knesebeck, who asked for an introduction to the heresy for beginners or even a background to the Horus Heresy. It was only then that I considered my audience for the first time, and realised it is unlikely to consist of hardened Horus Heresy veterans! I honestly can’t explain why I had originally thought that, it seems foolish with hindsight.

Never one to look a gift horse in the mouth, this seemed the perfect opportunity for me to kill two birds with one stone. Firstly, a fairly (okay… extremely) self-indulgent reminiscence of what first interested me in the Horus Heresy. Secondly, and a more direct answer to Ol’s question, I’ve included a brief synopsis of the background to the Horus Heresy.

Back in Ancient History

Unlike many of things I am truly passionate about, I can trace my love for the Horus Heresy back to a single point in time. White Dwarf issue 161 featured a short story by William (then Bill) King. In fact, it featured two. But the one that got me hooked was The Assault on Earth. This is a fantastic piece of fiction, which portrays the epic scale of the heresy, mentioning huge battles across the entire 30K universe, and culminating in the brutal battle for the Imperial Palace and the climax of heresy as the Emperor teleports himself onto Horus’s battle barge. I rate this as one the seminal pieces of Games Workshop fiction, and I encourage anyone interested in the Horus Heresy to give it a read. You can find both The Assault on Earth and the second short story, Aboard Horus’ Battle Barge, here.

If the Bill King stories got me hooked, then it was another series of White Dwarf articles that reeled (groan!) me completely into the Horus Heresy. In issue 254, White Dwarf introduced the Index Astartes First Founding series. These articles were ostensibly a means to provide customised rules for specific Space Marine Chapters for use in games of Warhammer 40K, but they created a wealth of background information to each of the 18 known first founding legions.

This is purely conjecture on my part, but I believe the success of these articles must have influenced Black Library’s decision to launch the Horus Heresy series. Whether that’s true or not, it was only a few years after the final Index Astartes First Founding articles that the first Horus Heresy novel, Horus Rising, was released.

A full list of the White Dwarf issue numbers for each of the Legions.

background to the Horus Heresy.

Before Horus Rising

Whilst for me, the Horus Heresy really started with Bill King’s short stories, it has existed in Games Workshop lore for many years prior to their publication. In fact, the Horus Heresy is referenced in Rogue Trader (the first edition of Warhammer 40,000), and was used as the setting for the Adeptus Titanicus game, the precursor to today’s Epic Armageddon.

Set around 10,000 years in the distant past of the Warhammer 40K universe (hence 30K)…

The Emperor of Mankind has reunited the warring factions of Terra, formed an alliance with the tech priests of Mars, and embarked on his Great Crusade. The Great Crusade was a huge undertaking to reconquer the galaxy, reunite many lost human civilisations and recover forgotten technologies.

At the forefront of the Great Crusade were the Emperor’s Legiones Astartes – the Space Marines. Genetically engineered post-humans the Astartes are peerless warriors who provide the razor sharp cutting edge to the massed Imperial armies. Each Legion has been shaped in the image of their genetic father, their Primarch, to perform in specific ways on the battlefield.

Sources within the lore vary as to the cause, but whether by intervention of the Chaos Gods, or by design of the Emperor, the Primarchs were scattered as infants throughout the galaxy. Each rose to adulthood, and power, on the world’s they landed on (typically referred to as their homeworld), before being reunited with the Emperor and his crusading armies.

The Great Crusade lasted for approximately 200 years, culminating in the great campaign on Ullanor. At the close of this campaign, the Emperor announced his intention to return to Terra to focus his attention on governing the Imperium (actually to work on an undisclosed project). To continue the Great Crusade, the Emperor named Horus, first amongst equals of the Primarchs and the Emperor’s most trusted son, as his Warmaster. Henceforth Horus would have overall strategic command of all military operations and the entirety of the Imperium’s armed forces.

The series of Black Library novels, starting with Horus Rising, is set at this point, and progresses the story from here. Certainly the first 3 novels provide a linear introduction to the start of the heresy. However, there are a number of novels that are set at earlier times of the Great Crusade to provide background context to the heresy, or flashback to specific events. Additionally, as you might imagine, set across an entire galaxy, there are a number of events that run concurrently, with the series moving backwards and forwards across the timeline as the writers cover the key events.

So that’s all from me for now. I hope this blog has helped answer a few questions and given an insight into why I enjoy the Horus Heresy so much. If you have any feedback on this post, or anything else you would like to see covered, then you can get me on twitter @marcoos14

Cheers,
Marcus

Marcoos’s Horus Heresy Blog

Hi, my name is Marcus Pitt. Back in October 2011, I was fortunate enough to be offered an advance copy of the Horus Heresy novel, Deliverance Lost. The only stipulation was that I had to come onto the next episode of the Bad Dice podcast to review the novel. It turns out I enjoyed talking about the Horus Heresy almost as much as I enjoy reading about it. Over time, I started posting more and more on twitter; generally snippets of news or updates on the latest novel I was reading.

Recently podcasting superstar Ben Curry asked if I’d be interested in blogging about the heresy. I’m not sure whether this is just to shut me up on twitter, or out of genuine interest in my thoughts on the heresy. But in either case, with a certain amount of trepidation, here goes the first in what I hope will be an entertaining series of blog posts on all that’s happening in the world of the Horus Heresy.

So without any further ado…

Horus Heresy Rising…

It’s a fantastic time for anyone interested in the Horus Heresy. Not only have we had the recent release of both Fear to Tread (the first sighting of the Blood Angels since Horus Rising) and Shadows of Treachery (a short story compilation containing two cracking new stories), but we’ve had a couple of unexpected treats with a short story in the Gamesday 2012 Anthology and a new audio drama, in the Garro series, Burden of Duty. I plan on covering all of these in more detail in future blog posts, but for HH fans I would highly recommend both novels and the audio drama. On the other hand, the Heresy story in the Gamesday Anthology could effectively be just another generic 40K story. That’s not say it isn’t well written, but it just didn’t take me to the 30K era.

Shadows of Treachery – a recent anthology containing 2 superb new short stories
Shadows of Treachery

Now I’ll admit it upfront. I’m a huge fan (fanboy?!?) of all things Horus Heresy related. As John Walters of twitter fame (although I forget his twitter name) put it, “All GW need to do is put ‘Horus Heresy’ on a product and you just can’t help yourself, can you?”. Guilty as charged… but even accepting this as fact, I genuinely believe the next few months are going to be even more special!

Firstly, Black Library have just closed the ‘for a limited time only’ release window for their latest limited edition novella, Brotherhood of the Storm. After the frustration suffered by many people trying to order the previous two limited edition novellas (Promethean Sun and Aurelian) with crashing websites and consequently being unable to get hold of the novellas, the limited release concept is a great idea as far as I’m concerned. In short, there was a window of 7 days to order this novella and the print run is being set by the demand. This has to be a good thing as it means that anyone who wants the book, and is willing to pay for it, can own a copy. Whether it lessens the financial value having more copies in circulation remains to be seen, but quite frankly I’d rather more people owned the book than having it worth a few extra quid to me!

From a fan’s perspective, Brotherhood of the Storm finally sees the introduction of the White Scars into the series (barring half of an uneventful chapter towards the end of Descent of Angels). More importantly, this will be the first involvement of Jaghatai Khan in the heresy series. As the subtitle to the novella puts it so eloquently, The Khan Rides to War!

The eagerly anticipated Brotherhood of the Storm
Brotherhood of the Storm

Secondly, Black Library have announced the introduction of hardback collectors editions to the heresy series, starting with the forthcoming Graham McNeill novel Angel Exterminatus. As a proud owner of the initial hardback release of Horus Rising (and someone who consistently destroys paperbacks in the bath) I’m happy with this move. I’m less happy with the plans to rerelease the entire previous Horus Heresy series as collectors editions, but mostly because I can see me buying them all eventually!!

New collectors edition hardback Angel Exterminatus

Angel Exterminatus

Last, but certainly not least, is the much heralded introduction of the Forgeworld Horus Heresy era range of models and supporting information. Whilst I don’t play 40K, I still admire the stunning models being released, none more so than the first of the Primarch models, Angron. But the announcement I am most looking forward to is the new Forgeworld Supplement, ‘Betrayal’. Focusing on the events leading up to the events on Istvaan III and the purging of the loyalists from the traitor legions, Sons of Horus, World Eaters, Emperor’s Children and Death Guard, the supplement should contain enough background material to satisfy readers of the novels (like myself) as well as hardcore 40K gamers. Having said that, at £70 (plus p&p for those of us not fortunate enough to live near Nottingham) this isn’t for the feint hearted! I’ve fortunately just received my copy – unfortunately I only had hold of it for 15 minutes before it was taken from me to be wrapped up for Christmas. Gutted!

Well that’s enough waffle for now from me. Thanks for taking the time to read this. If you’ve liked it and want to read more, I will be posting up here again in the not too distant future. if you have any feedback, or any topics you would like to see covered, please post it up here. Alternatively catch me on twitter on @marcoos14

All the best,
Marcus