In the second of three posts covering the new titles announced at Black Library Live 2016, I’m taking a look here at the upcoming Horus Heresy releases (including the Primarchs series). I’ve included comments from series editor Laurie Goulding alongside some of the titles, to give a little extra detail.
As with the previous post (on the upcoming Warhammer 40,000 titles) it’s worth remembering that these are not necessarily listed in publication order – no release dates were given. Once again I’ve not included anything that (at the time of writing) is showing up in the Coming Soon section of the Black Library website.
2016 has been the Year of the Heresy with a lot of new releases, but 2017 is looking pretty good as well! I’ve split these releases up into a few different sections just to keep things clear…
Heart of the Pharos/Children of Sicarus by LJ Goulding and Anthony Reynolds
We’ve already seen both of these released individually as MP3s but they’re soon going to be available in a nice combo package on CD. This was available at the event – it looks lovely, with the artwork from Children of Sicarus on the cover.
The Binary Succession by David Annandale
This is the one with the awesome cover featuring an Imperator titan scaring the living daylights out of a rooftop full of functionaries and Custodes. It was described as being a political story but with lots of action, influenced by the style from The Beast Arises.
Laurie: “…covers the founding of the Adeptus Titanicus. There is a lot of political posturing on Terra as the crisis of the war puts more pressure on the High Lords, and they are trying to send the Titan Legions to Beta-Garmon against their will, to defend from the approaching traitors. David and I joked while he was writing it that this is “Brexit with Titans”…
Beta-Garmon is one of the final milestones on the road to Terra. It is from the old-old background – like Paramar, a huge nexus for Great Crusade forces in decades past, and a vital route into the Segmentum Solar. Horus has to roll on through there if he wants to take Terra.”
Echoes of Revelation featuring Gav Thorpe, Chris Wraight and Dan Abnett
A collection of short audios, in a similar vein to Echoes of Ruin and Echoes of Imperium. None of these audios have been released yet. The cover for this is amazing – a sort of Iron Maiden-esque shot of Eidolon and a couple more Emperor’s Children, complete with gross melting armour and bonkers noise weapons.
Laurie: “an audio compilation, featuring three stories from Advent 2016. Gav Thorpe’s contribution is ‘Valerius’, following the Therions sent by Corax to die at the Great Slaughter of Beta-Garmon. Chris Wraight’s story is called ‘The Soul, Severed’ and features on the cover, with Eidolon and Kakophoni/Noise Marines being all warped and melty, fighting against other more wholesome looking Emperor’s Children. Dan Abnett brings us the third and final story, title and content not yet revealed.”
Dark Compliance by John French
This one doesn’t have a cover yet, which suggests that it might be a later release than the others. The term ‘dark compliance’ was described as having come out of the Forge World Heresy books. As war expands and Horus pushes towards Terra, sometimes he has to go back and find ways to make previously-compliant worlds resubmit and swear fealty to him specifically, instead of the Imperium.
Laurie: “It shows that Horus himself doesn’t necessarily need to do anything to a planet in order to crush his opponents. It follows on from ‘Warmaster’ but also directly from ‘Vengeful Spirit’.”
The Crimson King by Graham McNeil
The subtitle of this is ‘A soul divided’, which sounds cool. Laurie’s description is as good as anything I had, although there was a wry mention of ‘I wonder if anyone has any schemes, to stop things changing…’.
Laurie: “It follows the concept of Magnus’ psychic shards, from when he was broken by Russ. Many of those shards are being destroyed, or breaking down further. The primarch is losing his memories, and his powers. He’s basically dying. The Thousand Sons have some idea that they can halt this slow change…”
Ruinstorm by David Annandale
This doesn’t have a cover yet either. It covers the final death twitches of the Imperium Secundus arc and shows what’s next for the legions on wrong side of the galaxy now they realise that they have to get to Terra.
Laurie: “Now that Imperium Secundus has been proven to be a folly, Sanguinius, Guilliman and the Lion are trying to find a path through the storms to Terra. Curze is also involved, but not his Legion.”
Old Earth by Nick Kyme
Another one without a cover as yet. It’s the third book in the Vulkan arc that Nick’s been working on, and the culmination of Vulkan’s journey through the Heresy. Barthusa Narek is going to feature, and some of the Iron Hands coming to the end of their story. It was also mentioned that we’ll find out what’s happening with the Perpetuals!
Laurie: “This is the final chapter for Vulkan in the Horus Heresy, looking at the destiny hinted at by the Eldar but also what his actual purpose was within the Imperium. He’s going to be the “guardian of the gate” on Terra, but he’s also got another much darker purpose – one that only he could possibly carry out, given his unique traits… and that’s not necessarily a duty he wants. It also picks up the Shattered Legions arc, and the vendetta between Shadrak Meduson and Tybalt Marr.”
Laurie also added a few other comments that might be worth seeing:
“Horus knows he can’t just destroy Terra, or he won’t have a throne for his new Imperium. He has to take it, symbolically, and slay his father. He’s going to make a big deal out of this, because it’s a vital part of him being painted as a rightful liberator in the future history of mankind…
Alpharius is definitely, absolutely, no takesies-backsies DEAD. No, that doesn’t change a damn thing about the timeline of Warhammer 40,000, and the “historical facts” about these times are all exactly the same. Consider instead WHY they say what they say about Alpharius, and what the repercussions might be for Rogal Dorn.
In 2012 I said there were going to be “about 50” books in the series, with ‘Mark of Calth’ being about halfway through the timeline. That number went up a LOT when Games Workshop absorbed BL into the Studio, because of the perceived success of the series. The number has since come down again, now that BL is an independent part of the business once more.
We BL editors know exactly how many books remain before the Siege of Terra, and who is writing them. There are three new stories LEFT TO WRITE (including the Doom of the Death Guard, obviously) but a good few more already done.”
So with some new books confirmed, here’s what we know is coming up in the numbered series:
Book 41: The Master of Mankind by Aaron Dembski-Bowden
Book 42: Garro by James Swallow
Book 43: TBC
Book 44: The Crimson King by Graham McNeill
Book 45: Ruinstorm by David Annandale
Book 46: TBC
Book 47: Old Earth by Nick Kyme
Books 43 and 46 were asked about, with Laurie unwilling to give any details – primarily it seemed because it hasn’t yet been decided which order in which they’re going to go.
The Primarchs series
Perturabo: Hammer of Olympia by Guy Haley
This deals in part with Perturabo’s upbringing on Olympia, plus his return to take his home world to task. There have been different depictions in the past, which are all true, and all in this book. He appears to different people in different ways depending on how they deal with him, and whether they annoy him! There will be links to Angel Exterminatus and The Crimson Fist.
Laurie: “…follows on DIRECTLY from the scene in ‘Angel Exterminatus’ where the young primarch is found on the cliffs. The story also cuts back and forth with the campaign to exterminate the hrud migrations, mentioned in FW’s books and also in Barabas Dantioch’s backstory – the reasons why he appears so old and infirm are explained in grisly detail. Perturabo is presented as both the tortured, arrogant genius who gets no recognition, and as the “grumpy space Stalin” who punches his own warriors to death for failing him. The decimation (literally) of Olympia is covered in this book, obviously.”
Lorgar: Bearer of the Word by Gav Thorpe
With a lot of political and religious upheaval on Colchis during Lorgar’s youth, this will start to show us the beginnings of his zealotry and mania. Lorgar needs to believe in something – the Emperor, the chaos gods…at some point he needed to believe in Kor Phaeron. Not really a great role model.
Laurie: “…ties in with ‘The First Heretic’ very closely, and describes some more of the Second Purge that was hinted at in ‘The Purge’. The Word Bearers are preparing to cleanse their ranks, and this brings up parallels with the original Purge on Colchis, before the coming of the Emperor. We get a real origins story for Lorgar, as a prodigious messiah under the wing of Kor Phaeron, who is very much like an abusive father. Then, by the end of the book and the planning of what will come next, he realises that Lorgar is tapping into something he can never hope to understand, and his own days are probably numbered.”
The Primarchs books by all accounts are an opportunity to look at why the Primarchs are the way they are, therefore why the legions are the way they are, and thus why the Heresy went down the way it did. It provides the opportunity for lots of fundamental truths about the legions to be explored through the characters of their Primarchs. This series is definitely Horus Heresy content, hence being labelled as The Horus Heresy: Primarchs.
So that’s the Heresy content that was discussed at Black Library Live, and it’s looking pretty nice. Personally I can’t wait for Dark Compliance, but everything here is looking great – and that’s on top of Sons of the Forge, The Master of Mankind, Leman Russ: The Great Wolf, Magnus The Red: Master of Prospero and Garro all to come as well.