Getting Started with Black Library – Warhammer 40,000

Someone asked me on Twitter recently if I’d written anything about where to get started with reading Black Library books, for someone just getting into Warhammer 40,000. That’s actually a really interesting question which I thought deserved more of an answer than I could give on Twitter, so here I’m going to have a go at answering it in a bit more detail.
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Eye of Night – Gav Thorpe

The first of two audio dramas by Gav Thorpe to be released over Black Library’s Audio Week 2017 campaign, Eye of Night is also the first 40k story to be set in the wake of the Gathering Storm. It features Inquisitor Kataryna Greyfax as, on the orders of the primarch Roboute Guilliman, she searches for a powerful artefact – the titular Eye of Night. Accompanied by a single squad of Grey Knights she journeys first to the Gothic Sector and then on to the Eye of Terror, and is forced to bargain with unexpected allies in order to achieve her mission.

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QUICK REVIEW: Scrape to Victory – Gav Thorpe

The eighth new Blood Bowl story to come out of Black Library in recent months, Gav Thorpe’s Scrape to Victory follows aspiring lineman (linerat?) Kikkit of the lower-tier Crookback Cretins in his quest to escape a life of grinding monotony and danger for the opportunity to play for the Skavenblight Scramblers. All he needs to do is earn one more confirmed injury as a result of a foul, to claim the all-time record and his place in the big league – easy-easy, surely? Maybe not, with his debts suddenly being called in and only a single match left in the season!

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Black Library Weekly – W/C 17/04/17

Hello and welcome to another instalment of Black Library Weekly, my regular look at what’s been happening in the world of Black Library. The sixteenth week of 2017 started with a bang, kicking off a week that was topped and tailed by surprise releases. Oh, and the small matter of confirmation that 8th edition of 40k is coming soon – I’m not going to focus on that until there’s cool new Black Library fiction released to accompany it, but it’s interesting news for sure! Anyway, let’s start where we usually do…
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Interview with Dan Abnett (April 2017) – Part One

A prolific author of comics and novels, Dan Abnett has been writing in one medium or another since the late ‘80s for publishers including Black Library, Marvel, DC Comics and 2000AD. Since his early work for Inferno! magazine, he has become one of most loved of Black Library’s authors, with the fourteenth novel in his Gaunt’s Ghosts series due to be published later in 2017. That’s not to mention the countless other novels, short stories, audio dramas, comics and so on…

I recently had the chance to chat to Dan and ask some questions about his work over the years. Given that Track of Words is primarily a website dedicated to books (and largely Black Library books) I wanted to focus on that aspect of his writing, but I was keen to talk about his career as a whole and to delve into the craft of writing as he sees it. I didn’t want to focus too much on any one book or series, so while we did chat about things like Eisenhorn, Gaunt’s Ghosts and the Horus Heresy, we covered a wide range of topics that I hope are a little different to the usual interview questions.

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Forgotten Texts: Ghostmaker by Dan Abnett

“You’re Imperial Guard, servants of the Emperor first and nothing else second.”

His second Black Library short story, Dan Abnett’s Ghostmaker introduced the world to Colonel-Commissar Ibram Gaunt and the proud soldiers of Tanith, who would become Gaunt’s Ghosts. Given the command of three freshly-raised regiments, Gaunt barely has time to reach Tanith before a Chaos splinter fleet forces him to gather whatever fragmentary resources he can and escape to Imperial lines. Haunted by the loss of their world, the Tanith are resentful of not being allowed to stand and fight, but Gaunt is determined to begin the process of putting their unique skills to use on the battlefields of the Sabbat Worlds.

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Warhammer 40,000 Legends Issue Six – Crossfire by Matthew Farrer

The sixth book of Hachette/Black Library’s Warhammer 40,000 Legends Collection is Matthew Farrer’s Crossfire, his first novel for Black Library and the opening book in the Shira Calpurnia trilogy. Similarly to Dan Abnett’s Eisenhorn series, this book and the others in its trilogy take a look at life in the Imperium away from the big battlefields, this time exploring what it’s like being a member of the Adeptus Arbites. The 40k universe is a big place, with plenty of conflict on the street level, as Shira finds shortly after landing on a new world right at the beginning of this book.

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Black Library Audio Week 2017 with Gav Thorpe

It’s Audio Week 2017 on the Black Library website – two brand new audio dramas serialised over five days beginning Monday 17th April. This would be cause for celebration on its own, but when you add in the fact that these two stories are the very first to be set in the post-Gathering Storm 40k universe…it’s very exciting indeed!

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Cult of the Warmason – CL Werner

Set on the Imperial shrine world of Lubentina, CL Werner’s Cult of the Warmason is all about the clash of fanatics. With militia patrols going missing, Sister Superior Trishala of the Order of the Sombre Vow learns that the growing unrest is not caused by rioting workers but an infestation of genestealers. Despite her warnings, Lubentina’s government refuses to react accordingly…until it’s too late. When the insidious Cult of the Apocalypse rises up, the city’s defenders find themselves beset on all sides while their leaders bicker and procrastinate, risking the safety of the Warmason Vadok Singh’s priceless relics.

Just to be clear – that’s the guy who designed the Imperial Palace alongside Rogal Dorn! The Cult of the Warmason refers to the Imperials…sneaky title, there…

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Black Library Weekly – W/C 10/04/17

Hello and welcome to another instalment of Black Library Weekly, my regular look at what’s been happening in the world of Black Library. We’re already on week fifteen of 2017 if you can believe it, and this week brought with it a pair of seconds – the second full (i.e. numbered) Horus Heresy book of the year, and the second Horus Heresy: The Primarchs book of the year. As always let’s start at the beginning…

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QUICK REVIEW: The Skeleton Key – David Annandale

Another Blood Bowl story from Black Library, The Skeleton Key is David Annandale’s first contribution to this growing collection of highly entertaining tales. This time the story is told from the perspective of mummy Ramtut the Third, as his Champions of Death undead team take on the honest-to-a-fault Bright Crusaders in the Dungeonbowl. Unlike a standard Blood Bowl game this involves a search for both the ball and the end zones, along with traps, teleporting skeletons, interfering goblins, and even a little cross-dimensional travel. It’s a clash of heroes against monsters even while Ramtut despairs at how far he’s fallen.

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