Black Library Weekly – W/C 06/03/17

Hello and welcome to this instalment of Black Library Weekly, my weekly look through what’s been happening in the world of Black Library. This week has only seen two new Black Library releases, but it’s also seen some new titles confirmed as coming up in – which is always a treat. As usual, let’s start at the beginning and work our way through the week…

Monday
Last week I talked about how surprised I was to see a new Blood Bowl story followed by a Heresy story featuring an awesome Psi-Titan…and that I thought it was going to be hard to top that! I wouldn’t say that this week quite managed to top last week, but Black Library made a pretty good attempt by releasing a shiny new Adeptus Titanicus short story! Gav Thorpe’s Vengeance of the Immortal, available as an e-short for the usual £2.49, is a fun story that takes an interesting look at Titans in action and is well worth it for fans of the big guys.

Strangely enough though, the synopsis on the Black Library website is WAY off what the story’s actually about – I was really surprised as I was reading the story, given that it was nothing like what I was expecting! It looks like the synopsis was based on Gav’s first draft…which is an odd choice for Black Library – but don’t let that take away from the story. It’s cool, despite the mad synopsis.

Midweek
As expected, given that last week saw June’s new titles announced on the Wednesday – this week was pretty quiet during the week. The one bit of official news was the latest title inducted into the Black Library Hall of Fame – Aaron Dembski-Bowden’s Soul Hunter, the first of the Night Lords trilogy, nominated by Ian St. Martin. Can’t argue with that really, given that it’s the first volume in easily one of the best and most-loved Black Library series.

That was it in terms of news direct from Black Library, although the keen eyed Black Librarium on Twitter did spot a number of new titles via Amazon (you can find these on Amazon.com, although not yet on .co.uk). Only one is a brand new novel, with the other two both being omnibuses, and none of them seem to have confirmed covers as yet – they’re all showing the little ‘Cover to follow’ message.

  • The Devastation of Baal by Guy Haley
    • Due out in November 2017 in paperback

Devastation of Baal

The popular Space Marine Battles series is relaunched with an epic novel that sees the whole Blood Angels Chapter in action, fighting a desperate rearguard battle to defend their home world from the predations of the tyranid hive fleet Leviathan.

After a brutal campaign in the Cryptus System fighting the alien tyranids, Lord Dante returns to Baal to marshal the entire Blood Angels Chapter and their Successors against Hive Fleet Leviathan. Thus begins the greatest conflict in the history of the sons of Sanguinius. Despite a valiant battle in the void around Baal, the Blood Angels are unable to stop the tyranids drawing ever closer, but their petitions for reinforcements are met with dread news. The Cadian Gate, the Imperium’s most stalwart bastion against Chaos, has fallen. In their darkest hour, no help will reach the beleaguered Dante and his warriors. Is this truly then the Time of Ending?

This sounds interesting for all sorts of reasons, starting with the unusual statement of the Space Marine Battles series being ‘relaunched’ and ending with the question ‘Is this truly then the Time of Ending?’ It certainly looks like the Blood Angels are moving through a specific arc that began with the Shield of Baal campaign and seems to be hinting at some big things to come – we’ve already had recent books about Dante and Mephiston! Given an expected paperback release date of November, I’d imagine we’ll be seeing this in hardback no later than August, and possibly even sooner.

  • Deathwatch: The Omnibus by Steve Parker, Ian St. Martin & Justin D. Hill
    • Due out November 2017 in paperback

Deathwatch omnibus

This looks to contain the novels Deathwatch by Steve Parker, Legends of the Dark Millennium: Deathwatch by Ian St. Martin, and Storm of Damocles by Justin D. Hill, as well as no less than a dozen short stories. It’s going to be interesting to see if the first two books are going to be included as Deathwatch, given that they’ve got the same title!

  • Gaunt’s Ghosts: The Founding by Dan Abnett (omnibus)
    • Due out December 2017 in paperback

The Founding

It doesn’t look like this contains anything new, so it’s likely to be a repackaging of the previous omnibus with the same name – containing First and Only, Ghostmaker and Necropolis. Not the most exciting release, but I imagine it will tie in with the hardback of The Warmaster so it makes a certain amount of sense.

Note: as you can see from the comment at the bottom of this post, it looks like two other titles hit Amazon as well – Phil Kelly’s Farsight novel Crisis of Faith and Josh Reynolds’ Primarchs novel Fulgrim: The Palatine Phoenix. I’ll leave the links in the comment if you fancy taking a look – thanks Eugene!

Weekend
As I’d expected, the main release at the weekend was the standard hardback (£12.99) and ebook (£9.99) release of Space Marine Legends: Shrike by George Mann. It’s not had a lot of fanfare, but should please Raven Guard fans who didn’t fancy shelling out £40 for the Limited Edition version. That being said, if you do still fancy the posh version then you can still pick it up, although there are apparently less than 100 copies remaining – so be quick!

That was the only brand new title, but it was accompanied by Forges of Mars by Graham McNeill, an omnibus collecting together the three …of Mars novels along with the short story Zero Day Exploit. It’s available in paperback (£15) and ebook (£14.99) formats, and is a great opportunity to pick this series up – it’s one that I never got round to reading, so I know I’m tempted! After that it was just a handful of Gallery prints – the posh £95 version of Neil Roberts’ excelled cover for Praetorian of Dorn, limited to 50 copies and signed by Neil, along with standard £30 versions of the Shrike and Ragnar Blackmane covers.

There was however one more item of note – the new Gathering Storm background book from Games Workshop, The Rise of the Primarch, is now available to read, either in physical or electronic format. If you’re anything like me you’ve been looking forward to finding out just how Guilliman was brought back, and what he’s going to make of the Imperium 10,000 years after the Heresy!

Thoughts on the week
Not the most exciting of weeks, although that’s perhaps to be expected considering the gap in the Coming Soon schedule, but it still contained a few interesting releases. In terms of the Digital Monday release, that’s now three weeks in a row that we’ve had brand new stories as opposed to tales previously included in anthologies, so that was certainly a good start to the week! Oh, and Titans are always fun to read about.

The rest of the week was a little quiet, weekend included, although The Devastation of Baal has got me intrigued – I’ve not yet read Guy Haley’s Dante, but I’m now even more interested to see what happens in that! The biggest news really is Rise of the Primarch, however, as we can now start speculating on what’s coming next for 40k! It promises to be an interesting time!

Well…that, and the second part of my interview with Laurie Goulding. Apologies to anyone who’s been waiting for this – I hope you enjoy it!

Coming up…
The next two titles in the Coming Soon schedule are CZ Dunn’s Space Marine Battles novel The Eye of Ezekiel (no prizes for guessing who that’s about) and the hardback/ebook reprint of Dan Abnett’s classic graphic novel Titan. Once again I’m not going to speculate on the next short story, but if it’s anything like the standard of the last three weeks then it should be a lot of fun!

As always, if you’ve got any thoughts on the week’s news and releases please do give me a shout to let me know!

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