It’s hard to deny that 2015 was something of a dry year for Black Library fans, at least in comparison with previous years, but thankfully things have really picked up in 2016. In fact, as a new week begins I’m looking back at last week’s releases and thinking…what a week!
I still hear people talking about Black Library’s releases being slow, or not being happy with the sort of books that are being published, but (in my opinion) that’s crazy talk! Last week is a perfect example, so let’s take a look at what we got.
First the novels, and let’s start with the big one – Praetorian of Dorn by John French. Book XXXIX (that’s 39 to you and me) in the Horus Heresy series, it’s got Rogal Dorn and (maybe?) Alpharius having a scrap on the cover, it’s dealing with the defence of the Sol system, and it’s John French’s first full-length Heresy novel. Ok, I’m a bit biased – I’m a huge John French fan – but this is a serious release. It’s also the seventh numbered Heresy book released this year! Sure, Pharos came out as an ebook in 2015 (just) and three of those books were anthologies, but still…can’t complain we’re not getting enough Horus Heresy!
It wasn’t just the Heresy last week either – we also got Deathwatch by Ian St. Martin, a full-length novel dealing with (whisper it) Captain Artemis of the Mortifactors. After his much-loved 54mm miniature for the Inquisitor game back in 2001, he finally got a 28mm miniature earlier this month, and now a whole novel – Artemis is back, and he’s getting some love.
As always, a new Horus Heresy novel means a new audio version as well – this time it’s just under 13 hours of Heresy goodness with the audio version of Praetorian of Dorn. There’s also a brand new Deathwatch audio drama from CZ Dunn, the hour-long Deathwatch: The Last Guardian.
Most weeks Black Library release a Quick Read each Monday – an ebook-only short story, often tying in with a wider release or more recently part of a serialised novel. Last week though we got not just one but seven short stories! Two Heresy stories and five 40k tales, they formed the 2016 Summer of Reading campaign and included stories from (among others) Chris Wraight, John French and Dan Abnett! Have a read of this blog post for the lowdown on these stories and some thoughts on what they might be foreshadowing – there’s some exciting things in the pipeline I reckon.
So in a single week we got two brand new novels (one of which is available as an audio book), an audio drama and seven short stories. That’s not to mention the releases from the previous weekend (ok I’m stretching it a little, but bear with me) which included the paperback releases of Gav Thorpe’s excellent novel Asurmen: Hand of Asuryan, Guy Haley’s Black Templars anthology Crusaders of Dorn and the first (Age of Sigmar) Realmgate Wars book War Storm, as well as the ninth book in the Beast Arises series – David Annandale’s Watchers in Death.
As for this week, the Quick Read is Rob Sanders’ Horus Heresy short story The Harrowing, which was originally available as part of the Sedition’s Gate anthology. More Heresy, clearly aimed at tying in with Praetorian of Dorn.
Anyone still think Black Library’s release schedule is too slow? My only worry is that I (and my wallet) can’t keep up with this pace if it continues!
Let me know if you’ve got any thoughts, otherwise happy reading!