Day one of Black Library’s 2016/17 12 Days of Christmas campaign brings us a free 40k micro-short story in the shape of Graeme Lyon’s The Librarian’s Acolyte. In the Ultramarines’ Librarium within the Fortress of Hera, Acolyte Loraeus is welcomed into the Librarius by Chief Librarian Tigurius himself. With his training due to start soon Loraeus is given a fairly straightforward first task, but events quickly spiral out of control and he’s forced to rely on his wits as well as his newfound power to deal with the escalating situation.
A simple, self-contained story, as befits a micro-short, this uses a single set piece to tell an enjoyable tale while also gently playing with the very concept of the Librarius. There’s not really any room for character development as it’s so short, but assuming you’re familiar enough with Space Marines to understand the implications, it’s an interesting look at what new Librarians go through. There’s also an entertaining undercurrent of humour, which adds an extra dimension to what might otherwise have been a touch dour. It’s not what you’d call essential reading, but it’s a fun little read that’s worth it for the Librarian joke if nothing else.