Black Library Weekly – W/C 08/05/17

Hello and welcome to another instalment of Black Library Weekly, my regular look at what’s been happening in the world of Black Library. It’s been an interesting week, with only two new titles – both pretty exciting titles (for me, at least) but perhaps not the highest profile. Let’s take a look…

Monday
Apologies if I sound like a broken record, but I’m ALWAYS happy to see a new Blood Bowl story appear on a Monday morning. This time it was Foul Play, Andy Hall’s second Blood Bowl short story, available as always as a digital only short story for £2.49. Focusing more on the ref than the players, it’s a fun story that does a good job of keeping things feeling fresh – although it’s perhaps not as polished as you might expect. Still, any new Blood Bowl is good by me!

Midweek
Last week saw August’s new releases show up on the Black Library website; the week after new titles are announced there tends not to be much in the way of midweek news, and this was no different. The one newsworthy item came on Wednesday with the induction of William King’s Space Wolf into the Black Library Hall of Fame, as nominated by Graeme Lyon. It’s hard to argue with that one – the Ragnar series was a lot of fans’ first introduction to Black Library, and while King’s depiction of the Space Wolves might not chime entirely with the more modern, Horus Heresy-influenced approach, a lot of people have a lot of love for those books. It’s been ages since I read any of them…so that’s another classic added to the list of things to reread!

If you fancy taking a look at the Hall of Fame, the link is below – for some reason it’s never visible for long on Black Library’s website.

http://www.blacklibrary.com/hall-of-fame.html

Weekend
If you haven’t worked it out by now, whenever a new book has a swanky limited edition as well as a standard hardback release, the limited edition goes up for sale on the Friday while the other formats appear on the Saturday. Following that pattern, Gav Thorpe’s second Phoenix Lords novel went up for sale this weekend – Jain Zar: The Storm of Silence. First up was the £40 limited edition hardback on Friday, which I’ve got to say is one of – if not the – most beautiful they’ve released yet. Following that, Saturday saw the standard formats go up for sale – hardback (£18), ebook (£9.99) and MP3 (£29.99). I’m really looking forward to getting my hands on this; if you haven’t already read the first book in the series – Asurmen: Hand of Asuryan – then you REALLY want to think about getting hold of it first. For me it’s probably my favourite of Gav’s books, and is pretty much essential reading.

That was it for the weekend. Well, for English speakers at least. I don’t tend to cover French and German translations, but I figure I might as well this time; Saturday also saw French versions of three new-ish releases appear – Dante, Eye of Terra, and Cult of the Warmason. Actually, I’ve got to say the French and German titles for Cult of the Warmason are pretty cool – it’s Le Culte du Maçon de Guerre in French, and Das Vermächtnis des Vadok Singh in German, both of which sound pretty cool. Don’t get me wrong, Cult of the Warmason is a great title…but I also rather like The Legacy of Vadok Singh too!

Vadok Singh.jpg


Thoughts on the week
I’m certainly not going to complain about this week’s two new releases. I’ve already said (many times) how much I love new Blood Bowl stories, and if Jain Zar is anything like as good as Asurmen was it’s going to be a FANTASTIC read. I only have one (very minor) gripe, and that’s with the limited edition of Jain Zar. I’m not going to complain about the price, as I’ve happily spent £40 on Black Library books before. No, the problem is that Black Library have chosen to go with the lovely new format for it, to match recent limited editions of books like Dante and Warlord. Don’t get me wrong, it’s beautiful – but it doesn’t match my copy of Asurmen!

To be fair, I didn’t buy the limited edition version of Asurmen, as I was a bit of a late convert to that book. I’m pretty sure that all it really had was a swanky dust jacket or something similar though. Either way, I’ve got the standard hardback on my shelf, and the standard hardback of Jain Zar looks like it’s going to nicely match up. That’s great, as it appeals to the collector in me – I like things that match. I also like beautiful books…but however beautiful the Jain Zar limited edition is, it doesn’t match – which just seems a bit odd to me. I guess, unlike The Talon of Horus which had a really nice limited edition which was worth replicating with Black Legion, Black Library didn’t think it was worth putting out a limited edition to match the old Asurmen one…which is fair enough. For me though, I think I’m going to stick to the standard hardback this time. It’s a painful decision, and I’m MIGHTILY tempted…but I’m going to stay strong.

Anyway, minor gripes aside it’s been a relatively quiet week other than those two new titles. As I suggested in the intro, they’re arguably a little niche – Blood Bowl and Eldar are probably not the biggest sellers, compared to the Horus Heresy or the big Space Marine chapters and characters. That’s certainly not a bad thing, but I wonder if some people might be looking at this week and thinking it’s not been very exciting.

Coming up…
Like last week, I’m not going to try and predict what the next Digital Monday short story is going to be. I would LOVE it to be another Blood Bowl story…or another Horusian Wars short story…but I guess I’ll just look forward to finding out! As for the weekend, it looks like David Guymer’s Eye of Medusa is the major release – Iron Hands rejoice! If you haven’t checked it out already, you might want to have a listen to The Calculus of Battle to get yourself in the mood for it.

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!

3 comments

  1. Boooo Blood Bowl! Okay to be fair I’ve never read any of them, but I don’t understand why this was ever a thing by GW anyway, let alone bringing it back; I just don’t see the appeal of ‘Warhammer does American Football’.

    Eldar though, I’m really pleased to see more fiction that isn’t from the Imperium point of view, as from the looks of Black Library’s back catalogue, there isn’t a lot that is! Some Eldar, the Dark Eldar trilogy, few Tau (oh and plus the recent Cult of the Warmason), but that seems to be about it. Okay there is Chaos, which I like to see, but I think of this as (ex-)Imperium anyway. From what I can tell there is little to nothing else, say from Ork, Necron or Tyranid point of view; it might be harder to write, but they’re a talented bunch of authors! Considering their ability to make you see things from the ‘bad guys’ POV, I’d love to see more xenos stuff coming out.

    1. Have you never played Blood Bowl? For me, it’s still the best game GW ever made – it’s such a blast to play! The whole American Football thing is just the surface…it’s not really very much like American football. The sense of humour and fun is just something different to everything else GW does, and I love it for being a breath of fresh air. I get that it won’t be for everyone, mind.

      I’m not sure about books from xenos perspectives, other than Eldar and Tau. I can think of one Necron short story (Lords of Borsis), and that was really cool, but for the most part I’m not sure those races really lend themselves to being viewpoint characters. Although if you fancy a bit of Warhammer fiction, Guy Haley did a wonderful job of portraying greenskins in his novel Skarsnik…

  2. Nope I’m afraid I only ever played 2nd edition 40K and Necromunda!

    Thanks for the tip re: WHFB orcs, if I ever catch up with 40K (!) I might check that out; I imagine orcs would be a lot of fun to read about! 🙂

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