Black Library Live! 2016 - it's back!

Black Library Live Coming Soon – Warhammer 40,000

The first seminar of Black Library Live 2016 was all about what’s coming up in the next year or so from Black Library. Featuring Nick Kyme and Laurie Goulding, it saw our two intrepid editors running through a load of upcoming titles from various settings, and providing a little bit of background to most of them. I got the distinct impression that this may not be all of the new releases for next year, as I think they’re keen to keep some things back as surprises, but they covered a good number of titles.

I’ve listed out all of the titles that were mentioned in the first seminar, with as much detail as I have about each. There were so many new releases that I’ve split things out into multiple posts, beginning in this one with the new Warhammer 40,000 titles. It’s worth pointing out that these are in no particular order as release dates were not provided, that I’m not including anything that’s currently (at the time of writing) displayed in the Coming Soon section on the Black Library website, and that some of these covers are going to change before publication.

There are lots of new 40k books in the pipeline, from a whole range of authors. I didn’t get a lot of detail for many of these, so for quite a few I only have the name and a bit of speculation, but where I have more information I’ve included it. A few of them have since shown up online in the book trade, and I’ve included the synopsis when this is the case.

Farsight: Crisis of Faith by Phil Kelly
Phil’s already written a novella called Farsight, as well as the Blades of Damocles novel in which he featured heavily. It should be interesting to see where he takes this character next.

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The Eye of Medusa by David Guymer
This features Kardan Stronos, the de facto Chapter Master of the Iron Hands. Thanks to Alex Walker (aka Lord of the Night) who had a chat to David Guymer, this will “…depict Stronos as a sergeant and described him as a “nice Iron Hand”, especially in comparison to guys like Arven Rauth and Naim Morvox.” Judging by the cover this is going to be Stronos and the Iron Hands taking on the Adeptus Mechanicus!

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EDIT: some additional information from David: “The trilogy is really about exploring Iron Hands philosophy and the influence that their close ties with the Adeptus Mechanicus has had on that over 10,000 years. So the novels follow Kardan Stronos as a newly promoted sergeant, firmly of the Iron Creed as it’s practised in early M41, albeit with some private doubts, and coming to question those doctrines as events progress.

Those events begin in Eye of Medusa with an unexplained skitarii uprising on a Mechanicus base within the Medusan sector, connected somehow to some Eldar technology taken from an Imperial world prior to its destruction by one particularly terrifying Iron Father…”

Lucius: The Faultless Blade by Ian St Martin
Information is scarce on this one at the moment, with just the cover available to glean details from. It’s a great cover too, showing Lucius taking on a load of dark eldar Wyches…and looking pretty comfortable doing so. What we do know is that decent sales permitting, this is due to be the first book in a trilogy.

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Cult of the Warmason by CL Werner
A new Genestealer Cults novel – not the first ever novel about this faction as was originally stated (someone forgot about Peter Fehervari’s excellent new novel), but a novel focusing on them nonetheless. Werner has a good reputation for dealing with dark characters, so this sounds very exciting indeed. No real detail was provided sadly, so we’ll have to wait to find out more about this one.

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Calgar’s Fury by Paul Kearney
Another novel featuring the Ultramarines’ Chapter Master, after Kearney’s excellent Space Marine Battles novel Calgar’s Siege. Once again there wasn’t a lot of detail provided, other than to confirm that Calgar will be front and centre, and that this will cover what Calgar’s about, and why he’s the Ultramarines’ Chapter Master. According to the Warhammer Community website this is going to feature an iconic moment in the 40k timeline…

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Scythes of the Emperor: Daedalus by LJ Goulding
An audio drama to accompany the Slaughter at Giants Coffin novel, this will focus on assault Marines taking on aerial tyranids, and will shed some light on the Scythes’ habit of naming hive ships. The titular Daedalus is the name of a hive ship…

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Mephiston: Blood of Sanguinius by Darius Hinks
This is going to be one of Hinks’ first forays into writing 40k (after the novella Sanctus, from Architect of Fate), so they’ve given him an easy one to start with! Nothing much was discussed about the specifics of this one, so again we’ll have to wait to find out more.

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Dante by Guy Haley
Another Blood Angels book, which will apparently include some of Dante’s origin story, and what he did before becoming Chapter Master.

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Synopsis: “The untold origin story of Chapter Master Dante of the Blood Angels, one of the Imperium’s greatest heroes.

Dante is Chapter Master of one of the noblest but most troubled Chapters of Space Marines in the Imperium: the Blood Angels. From the time of his birth in the rad-scarred wastes of Baal Secundus, he was destined for glory and strife. From his apotheosis to Scout, to the hive cities of Armageddon and the alien menace of the Cryptas system, Dante has waged war against all the enemies of the Imperium. He has witnessed the divine, and struggled against the darkness within all sons of Sanguinius. Longer lived than any other Chapter Master, this is his chronicle, his great and storied legend. “

The Eye of Ezekiel by CZ Dunn
A Space Marine Battles novel, unsurprisingly looking at the Dark Angels Grand Master of Librarians, Ezekiel. Not necessarily an origin story but a look at his early career, and how he got his bionic eye.

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Synopsis: “Ezekiel, Grand Master of the Librarians, must lead the Dark Angels to victory against a massive ork army.

In the grim future of the 41st millennium, the Imperium is beset by alien races that wish nothing more than to defeat, enslave or devour humankind. Most numerous among these foes are the orks, inhuman brutes that cannot be underestimated. When the Adeptus Mechanicus invokes an ancient pact with the Dark Angels, Ezekiel, Grand Master of the Librarians, must lead the 5th Company to liberate the planet of Honoria from a vast ork army. Even reinforced by the regiments of the Astra Militarum, the Dark Angels face a tremendous challenge, and the Adeptus Mechanicus appear to have their own reasons for becoming involved in this conflict…”

Black Legion by ADB
The long awaited and much anticipated follow-up to Talon of Horus, which Nick Kyme seemed fairly confident will be handed in on time for a 2017 publication. No real details were provided about the plot, other than that there will be links in The Master of Mankind to events in Talon of Horus and this. In Aaron’s Q&A session later on however, he revealed a little extra information…

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Aaron: “[the Talon of Horus books] are supposed to be a long running series, like Gaunt’s Ghosts. There’s so much to cover. I thought the second one was going to be the formation of the Black Legion, the start of the Black Crusade, and the finding of Drach’nyen, but I’m halfway through it now and almost none of that’s happened…”

Synopsis: “Abaddon returns from exile and raises the dreaded Black Legion.

The Sons of Horus may be no more, but rising from their ashes come the Black Legion. Returning after his long self-imposed exile, Abaddon offers the disparate Chaos Space Marine warbands within the Eye of Terror a simple choice – join him or die. As his newborn war host emerges from the Eye of Terror to ravage the galaxy, none can stand in Abaddon’s path, not even the Black Templars Chapter – sworn to stand guard at the storm’s edge –  nor the Emperor’s Champion himself. “

Watchers of the Throne: The Emperor’s Legion by a Chris Wraight
Nick was very cagey about this one, only going as far as to say that there are Custodes on the cover…which as yet isn’t final (and certainly won’t be, as it currently uses the artwork from The Imperial Truth). A question was asked as to whether it will be set in the 41st millennium, and the hesitation from Nick and Laurie in answering suggests that it may not be!

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Synopsis: “The Emperor’s most trusted guardians fight beside his elite witch-hunters to defend the Golden Throne.

The Custodian Guard have stood watch over the Emperor’s Palace on Terra since the foundation of the Imperium. Charged with protecting the Master of Mankind from all threats, within and without, their fearsome resolve is renowned throughout the galaxy, and their golden armour is the last thing that a would-be assassin or saboteur will ever see. Alongside the Null-maidens of the Sisters of Silence, who are anathema to psykers and sorcerers alike, there is no threat to the Golden Throne that they alone cannot vanquish… until now.”

The Horusian Wars: Resurrection by John French
The first of two new Inquisition novels, in this case focusing on Inquisitor Covenant along with other characters from the old Inquisitor game, including Preacher Josef and Duke von Castellan. Apparently this is the story that John has always wanted to write, and will hopefully be the start of a brand new trilogy. Note that The Horusian Wars is definitely not a rebranding of the Horus Heresy!

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Synopsis: “Inquisitor Covenant and his warband go on the hunt for a traitor within their holy order.

War rages in the Caradryad Sector. Worlds are falling to madness and rebellion, and the great war machine of the Imperium is moving to counter the threat. Amongst its agents is Inquisitor Covenant. Puritan, psyker, expert swordsman, he reserves an especial hatred for those of his order who would seek to harness the power of Ruin as a weapon. Summoned to an inquisitorial conclave, Covenant believes he has uncovered such a misguided agent and prepares to denounce the heretic Talicto before his fellows. But when the gathering is attacked and many left dead in its wake, Covenant vows to hunt down Talicto and discover the truth behind the mysterious cult apparently at the heart of the massacre. In the murky plot into which he is drawn, Covenant knows only one thing for certain: trust no one.”

Vaults of Terra: The Carrion Throne by Chris Wraight
The second of the new Inquisition novels. This one features a brand new Inquisitor character, and is set entirely on Terra. It’s said to have the feel of a detective novel, with a few shades of Eisenhorn but essentially being something different to what we’ve seen before. Terra will apparently come across as a character in itself.

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Synopsis: “Inquisitor Erasmus and his acolyte Spinoza root out a shadowy conspiracy on Holy Terra itself, the capital world of the Imperium.

In the hellish sprawl of Imperial Terra, Ordo Hereticus Inquisitor Erasmus serves as a stalwart and vigilant protector, for even the Throneworld is not immune to the predations of its enemies. In the course of his Emperor-sworn duty, Erasmus becomes embroiled in a dark conspiracy, one that leads all the way to the halls of the Imperial Palace. As he plunges deeper in the shadowy underbelly of the many palace districts, his investigation attracts the attention of hidden forces, and soon Erasmus and his acolyte Spinoza are being hunted – by heretics, xenos, servants of the Dark Powers, or perhaps even rival elements of the Inquisition itself. They eventually discover a terrible truth, one that if allowed to get out could undermine the very fabric of the Imperium itself.”

According to Nick, these two Inquisition books will really get down to the nitty gritty of what the 40k universe is about. It’s considered that Black Library have been guilty in the past of only skimming the surface, but no longer…

Jain Zar: The Storm of Silence by Gav Thorpe
The second book in the Phoenix Lords series after Gav’s Asurmen. This was apparently one of the very few books to get through the editorial process without copious changes, with the feedback from Lindsey Priestley (editor) essentially just “this is awesome.” It will have a similar structure to Asurmen, with the different time periods.

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The Last Hunt by Robbie MacNiven
Another book that doesn’t have a cover yet, but it was confirmed to be a new White Scars story. We haven’t seen much of the White Scars in 40k lately, so this is going to rectify that. No more details than that.

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So that’s a fair few interesting new 40k books coming out way! Bear in mind that this is excluding all of the releases showing up on the Coming Soon section of the Black Library website, as well as a few other titles like David Annandale’s Warlord: Fury of the God Machine  and David Guymer’s Iron Hands audio drama Battle Calculus. Oh, and all the upcoming omnibuses and new versions of existing books!

What are you most interested in out of these new releases? For me I’m really excited by Jain Zar after the phenomenally good Asurmen: Hand of Asuryan, and the two Inquisition novels. Can’t wait for those…

Keep an eye out for more upcoming titles from the Horus Heresy and Age of Sigmar series.

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