Black Library Weekly W/C 10/07/17

Hello and welcome to another instalment of Black Library Weekly, my regular look at what’s been happening in the world of Black Library. This week has been relatively quiet in terms of releases, with ‘just’ a couple of re-releases in new formats, but there’s also been some excellent news towards the end of the week that’s definitely worth talking about. As always, I’ll start at the top of the week…

Monday
This week’s Digital Monday short story continued the Inquisition theme over from last week, with Fearful Symmetries by Rob Sanders (£2.49 in ebook). Like many of the Monday short story releases this had been previously available in an anthology – Deathwatch: Xenos Hunters in this case – but is now available as a standalone ebook as well. Unlike a lot of other similar releases, I suspect this story hasn’t been consumed all that widely before, as the anthology started off life as a Print on Demand title and was then made available as a digital-only release. As such, it’s cool to see another of its stories see a wider release!

Midweek
It was another one of those very quiet midweek periods, with no upcoming releases to be featured, or exciting limited editions released. It brought a single piece of news, which was the a digital-only bundle – the Hall of Fame: Year One bundle featuring the twelve titles nominated for inclusion in the Hall of Fame over the last twelve months. You can pick this up now, for £79.99 – which feels like a lot of money, although it averages out as under £7 per title.

If you haven’t been keeping up with the Hall of Fame you can take a look at (most of) the titles and the thoughts of the authors who nominated them here, or if you just want to see the list of what’s included in the bundle then you can take a look below:

  • Double Eagle by Dan Abnett
  • Know No Fear by Dan Abnett
  • Riders of the Dead by Dan Abnett
  • Soul Hunter by Aaron Dembski-Bowden
  • Headtaker by David Guymer
  • Death of Integrity by Guy Haley
  • Space Wolf by William King
  • The Ambassador by Graham McNeill
  • Path of the Warrior by Gav Thorpe
  • The Siege of Castellax by CL Werner
  • Parting of the Ways by Chris Wraight (MP3 audio drama)
  • The Emperor’s Will (art book)

Weekend
Last week I suggested that, while the Black Library website was showing both The Horusian Wars: Resurrection and Shroud of Night as being released on the 22nd, it seemed likely that one of them would get bumped forward to this weekend. That didn’t happen – instead we got a surprise release…Glory Imperialis, an Astra Militarum omnibus available in paperback (£15) or ebook (£14.99).

Not to be confused with the existing Honour Imperialis (2014, featuring stories by Aaron Dembski-Bowden, Steve Lyons and Rob Sanders) this features three novels and three short stories:

  • Iron Guard by Mark Clapham
  • The Siege of Fellguard by Mark Clapham (short story)
  • The Hour of Hell by Mark Clapham (short story)
  • Monolith by Chris Dows (short story)
  • Commissar by Andy Hoare
  • Imperial Glory by Richard Williams

I’ve read a grand total of two of those stories, so can’t comment too much on the standard of the omnibus as a whole, but as always the £15 price tag looks like pretty good value. For me it seemed a little strange to include Chris Dows’ Monolith in there, until I realised that his previous Elysian Drop Droops story – The Mouth of Chaos – is still included in the Honour Imperialis omnibus…so that makes a bit more sense.

That’s it for releases, just that omnibus this weekend. Now you’re wondering what the ‘excellent news’ is that I mentioned earlier, right? Well…

Photo courtesy Peter Ray Allison

That’s right – veteran Black Library author Gav Thorpe has won the Legend Award for his Age of Sigmar novel Warbeast at the 2017 Gemmell Awards! Not only that, but artist Alessandro Baldasseroni’s beautiful cover art for Josh Reynolds’ Age of Sigmar novel Black Rift also won the Ravenheart Award…so that’s two for two on the night for Black Library!

Massive congratulations to Gav and Alessandro for the awards – great achievements for both of them! For Gav in particular, I feel like this is a fitting way to recognise his twenty (!) years of writing for Black Library. I finished reading Warbeast the night before the awards, so keep an eye out for a review of that coming soon…

Thoughts on the week
I would say that this week has been fairly quiet, but solid nonetheless. There hasn’t been anything too exciting in terms of releases – although everything that has come out is certainly worth having – although the two wins in the Gemmell Awards are just brilliant. It’s a clear reminder of the power that the Black Library fan base has!

There’s not much else to say really, other than watch out 2018 Gemmell Awards – it’s been a few years since a Black Library author last won one (sadly David Guymer’s worthy nominations didn’t scoop the awards in previous years), but hopefully there will be another Black Library entrant in the list next year. I’m thinking Josh Reynolds, maybe?!

Coming up…
With the surprise release of Glory Imperialis this week, it looks like next week is going to be a bumper one for new releases. First off, it appears that the Warhammer Community team have got a little over-enthusiastic with their posts, as they’ve already announced tomorrow’s Digital Monday short story – Signal to Noise by CZ Dunn. Oops.

As for the weekend’s new releases, it looks like we should be getting The Horusian Wars: Resurrection by John French and Shroud of Night by Andy Clark. We’re being spoiled! I’ve also got a couple of treats lined up for you guys, so check back during the week to see what’s coming…

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!

6 comments

  1. Also pleased to see Fulgrim’s Limited Edition be updated in ‘Coming Soon’ to show the purple foil in description, rather than gold prototype of initial photo; much better!

    What’s your view on Gav Thorpe’s work then, as you seem to be extremely well read when it comes to Black Library! I finished ‘Deliverance Lost’ last week and must admit that IMHO I found the writing to be noticeably much weaker than any of the other Horus Heresy volumes up to that point; to me it felt poorly written, the twists were either clear telegraphed or ultimately spun on their head in a way that made what went before make no sense and was not explained, and I didn’t really feel I was given a real sense of who the Raven Guard are / a clear characterisation of what makes an individual legionary identifiable as a member of XIX Legion; in contrast to a lot of the other legions focused on in preceding volumes. I’ve read somewhere (possibly on your site!) that some people don’t rate his human coverage but that he’s a lot better at Eldar. Would love to hear what someone who’s had a lot more experience of his work thinks 🙂

  2. Hi Skylerboodie. I would definitely recommend the following books by Gav –

    – Path of the Eldar trilogy – very different from the run of the mill 40K novels, a great exploration of Eldar culture from someone who really knows the lore and some really imaginative and evocative dialogue.

    – The Sundering Trilogy ( Warhammer Time of Legends ) – Really epic fantasy , spanning thousands of years of Elven history – great battles, politics, lore.

    – The Doom of Dragonback ( Warhammer Time of Legends ) – I think ( although could be wrong ! ) that this was Gav’s last book for the old Warhammer setting and it felt like something of a tribute to the old setting – for me at least. Dwarfs vs Orcs and Goblins with all manner of great background from the last 20+ years. Loved this one.

    cheers

  3. I’m a fan of Gav’s work – personally I think he gets a lot of undeserved criticism. I haven’t actually read that much of his eldar work, although his first Phoenix Lords novel – Asurmen: Hand of Asuryan – was excellent, and if you’re after an insight into the eldar before the Fall, that’s where I’d suggest you start.

    David’s provided some great suggestions, and while I haven’t read all of those books, they look like good choices all round – thanks David 🙂

    As for Gav writing humans, I just don’t agree with that. His first book in The Beast Arises (The Emperor Expects) was about the Imperial Navy, and was one of the highlights of the series for me, while his early work with things like the Last Chancers series is great. If you haven’t read any of the Last Chancers stories, I’d definitely suggest checking them out, they’re really good fun. You might also check out his Heresy audio drama Honour to the Dead, which is great – I’ve regularly seen Aaron Dembski-Bowden reference that as one of his favourite Heresy stories…

    Ultimately it’s all about personal preference, obviously, but personally I’d suggest not worrying too much about what other people say (including me, you might totally disagree about some of the books I’ve suggested!) and just check out a variety of his work. If you can track down some of the early 40k and Warhammer anthologies you should be able to find some of his short stories which might help you get an idea of whether you’re going to like certain characters or series.

    Hope that helps!

  4. Thanks David & Michael, I do hope to try out his Eldar work at some point – also good to know the Last Chancers are recommended too; the latter I’ll look to read earlier in fact, as I intend to read my 40K chronologically (release date) when I get there (it’s currently in the planning phase!). The only other Gav Thorpe works I’ve read so far are the Heresy’s ‘Call of the Lion’, ‘Raven’s Flight’, and ‘The Face of Treachery’, all of which I was happy with, so I’m certainly not writing him off completely 🙂

    1. Cool, I do hope you enjoy some of those! Let me know what you think once you get to Honour to the Dead…I’ll be interested to hear your thoughts.

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