Welcome back to Black Library Weekly, a look at the Black Library-related news that filters through to us each week – announcements, pre-orders and new releases.
It’s been an interesting week, with a pretty massive announcement mid-week and quite a lot of releases, but not a lot in terms of genuinely brand new material available to read right here, right now. Read on for more details…
No surprises here – following on from The Skulls of Salandraxis the previous week, this time we got Court of Daemons, the long-awaited final instalment of Chris Dows’ The Red Path. Another £2.49 e-short, it finishes off that particular story after eight instalments, which means the full thing can now be read as a single book, as opposed to eight short stories…more on which later.
That’s usually it for Monday, but this time we also got Tales from the Black Crusades, a nice ebook collection gathering together eleven stories (six novels and five short stories) featuring or otherwise linked to one of the previous Black Crusades. At £42.24 it’s decent value – even at a conservative average of £6.99 per novel and £1.99 per short story that’s a bit of a saving, but bearing in mind this includes Aaron Dembski-Bowden’s Talon of Horus and Ragnar Blackmane (£14.99 each) I’d say it’s a saving of well over £20. There’s also a couple of nice old short stories in the shape of Phobos Worked in Adamant (Robey Jenkins, from the Planetkill anthology) and Honour Among Fiends (Dylan Owen, from the Heroes of the Space Marines anthology), so it’s a pretty good mix of stories. If you’re interested, I’d suggest you get this asap – it’s listed as being available for one month only!
On to the rest of the week, and the massive news was the brand new Reading, Listening and Gaming sections of the Black Library website! Woo, yeah, awesome!
In fact, the big news of the week was the announcement that not only will fan-favourite Aaron Dembski-Bowden be making an appearance at November’s Black Library Live! 2016 event, but his brand new Horus Heresy novel The Master of Mankind will also be available to buy! Now this has been on most Heresy fans’ radars for some time now, so it’s fantastic to see it coming up for sale at long last. Also, here’s the cover – oooh, shiny…!
To be fair, that’s a pretty awesome cover – as we’ve come to expect from the talented Neil Roberts.
Once again to nobody’s surprise, Chris Dows’ serialised novel The Red Path finally got a full release, in the (now) usual ebook and hardback formats – £9.99 in ebook and £15 in hardback. It’s a bit of a shame that it reuses the cover art from the Traitor’s Hate campaign supplement, but at least it’s pretty cool artwork. Full credit to Black Library as well for making it abundantly clear online that this was previously serialised – it’s the sort of thing that they haven’t always done in the past, and it’s a sign that there’s a sense of respecting their customers. Good work, BL.
That wasn’t the only weekend release, oh no – it wouldn’t be a complete month in 2016 without a new Horus Heresy release, with September’s new title being Echoes of Imperium, a CD/MP3 collection of four audio dramas with another beautiful Neil Roberts cover. It’s priced at £12 for the CD and £9.99 as an MP3, and the four tales included are:
– The Herald of Sanguinius by Andy Smillie
– Strategem by Nick Kyme
– The Watcher by CZ Dunn
– The Shadowmasters by Gav Thorpe
Now, I said ‘new’ releases – as with recent physical anthologies in the Heresy series, all of these have been previously released, so there’s no new content as such. Essentially this is the continuation of Black Library’s commitment to ‘everything in every format’ for the Horus Heresy series, and while some people are bound to be disappointed that there’s nothing brand new here, it’s at least nice for anyone who hasn’t previously discovered these particular audio dramas, as well as all of us completists.
Speaking of ‘everything in all formats’, that wasn’t the only Heresy release – book number 22, Shadows of Treachery, got the Collector’s Edition hardback treatment, for the usual £20. I believe that’s the last of the hardback re-releases, which means every single Horus Heresy book in the numbered series is now available in hardback – that’s a lot of hardbacks, but I bet it looks amazing on the bookshelf! If anyone’s got all 39 (so far) of them, send me a photo…!
Last but not least, it feels like I’ve been talking about George Mann’s Shrike for weeks now, but it’s finally available to download, which presumably means that anyone who ordered a physical copy (for £40, blimey!) has now hopefully received it. I’m pleased to say that the website is now showing a ‘fewer than 750 copies remaining’ notice, which suggests that it’s still selling, albeit slowly.
Thoughts on the week’s releases
Unlike the last couple of weeks it feels like there’s been quite a lot to talk about this time around…yet nothing’s really been that exciting, at least in terms of actual releases. Of course the confirmation of The Master of Mankind was pretty big news, as was the beautiful cover art – unsurprisingly the remaining tickets for Black Library Live appeared to sell out in short order once that announcement was made! Interestingly, the latest iteration of the Black Library Live page on the website suggests that Guy Haley, Nick Kyme and Gav Thorpe are going to have (presumably) new books available as well – barring any surprises none of those are likely to have such an impact as Aaron’s new novel, but I’m looking forward to seeing what they’re going to be! We know that Gav’s got Corax due out soon (I’m expecting October), featuring the previous Raven Guard novellas along with a brand new one, and that Guy has written The Beheading, the twelfth and final instalment in The Beast Arises. Perhaps those will be two of the three new titles, or maybe we’ll get something else. Who knows?!
As for the actual new releases…if you’ve been holding off reading The Red Path or listening to the Heresy audio dramas, or if you’re collecting the Heresy hardbacks, then it was probably quite an exciting week. If not…it’s nice to see these releases made available, but there wasn’t really anything to set the pulse racing.
What about upcoming releases, then? It looks like Genestealer Cults are getting a new 40k codex which means there’s a good chance we’ll see something from Black Library to tie in with that, so that could be fun. We’ll have to see whether Monday’s Quick Read is something standalone or the start of another serialised story – for me, the serialised stuff has been interesting without being exciting, so I think I’d rather see individual short stories. That’s just my preference, mind.
If this prompts any thoughts, comments, questions or suggestions, just let me know. Otherwise come back next Monday!