It’s time for another look back at goings-on in the world of Black Library – each week I’m putting together a quick summary of news, releases and pre-orders so you can keep up with what’s been happening.
In the week gone by the big news was the release of The Last Son of Dorn by David Guymer, book ten in The Beast Arises series. Other than that it was a bit quiet (even more so than the last couple of weeks) in terms of big releases, but read on for a look back.
With Khârn the Betrayer the focus of the latest Warhammer 40,000 campaign supplement, no prizes for guessing what the week’s Quick Read was – yep, the next (and penultimate) instalment in Chris Dows’ serialised novel The Red Path. The Skulls of Salandraxis, a £2.49 e-short, is part seven in the novel/series (depending on how you’re looking at it) which saw part one released back in March. The only oddity really is that we’re only up to part seven – you might have assumed the completed novel would have been ready for release to tie in with the campaign supplement. Presumably it’s coming soon, mind…
That was it for Monday’s releases, so on to the rest of the week…
No further releases during the week but there were a couple of interesting snippets nonetheless, starting with the official launts of the Warhammer 40,000 Legends partwork collection, in conjunction with Hachette. Keep an eye on the blog for more details about this series, but in short it’s a set of 80 hardback novels being released one a fortnight that will build into an impressive collection complete with brand new spine art. If you haven’t already, check out my post about the #my40klegend competition that I’m running, to win yourself a subscription and get hold of all 80 books! If you don’t manage to blag a subscription by winning the competition, you can get hold of the books each fortnight for £9.99 either in newsagents or as a subscription.
A little less exciting perhaps, but there was also the third instalment in Black Library’s Hall of Fame – this time Josh Reynolds put forward CL Werner’s novel The Siege of Castellax from the Space Marine Battles series. If you’ve not come across the Hall of Fame, each month Black Library are asking one of their authors to suggest a book that they think deserves recognition, and explain why. There’s nothing new – no new editions or anything like that – but it’s interesting to see which books are picked out by the authors themselves. Check it out on the Black Library website at http://www.blacklibrary.com/hall-of-fame.html.
Week commencing 29th September saw George Mann’s new (short) novel Shrike available to order – it’s not due for download until the 17th September and shipping until the 19th, but it’s been on sale for a little over a week now. There are clear signs that the bubble has burst for the expensive Limited Edition releases, as the Black Library website is still displaying the Fewer than 1,000 copies left notice, which hasn’t changed since a couple of days after release. I’m making assumptions here, but it feels safe to say that Shrike has sold somewhere between 500 and 750 copies – any more and we’d be seeing Fewer than 750 copies instead. That’s a shame for George Mann, but perhaps a sign that Black Library might want to rethink the cost of these editions – £40 is a lot for a 50,000 word book, after all.
First up, the one really big story was The Beast Arises book ten – The Last Son of Dorn. Released in the usual hardback, ebook and audiobook formats for the usual prices (£13.99, £9.99 and £19.99 respectively), it’s David Guymer’s second and final contribution and brings us to within two months of the series finale. Exciting times! It’s also got a picture of an angry Imperial Fist terminator on the cover, presumably Koorland/Slaughter himself…which is pretty cool!
The only other Black Library release I could find was an omnibus of Gav Thorpe’s latest Dark Angels books. Entitled Legacy of Caliban it collects together the novels Ravenwing, Master of Sanctity and The Unforgiven and the anthology Lords of Caliban, which in turn features the short stories Honour of the Third, A Hunt in the Dark, Battle-Brothers, Accept No Failure, Holder of the Keys and All Must End. At £15 in paperback it’s pretty good value, given that the books bought individually would cost almost £40 for the physical copies. It’s £14.99 in ebook, which (at only 1p cheaper than the paperback) seems a bit steep at first, but as the individual books in ebook format would cost over £30 it’s still pretty good value.
Moving away from Black Library and over to Games Workshop, Saturday saw the 40k campaign book Traitor’s Hate go on general sale in both hardback and electronic formats – £30 in hardback, £29.99 for the electronic ‘enhanced edition’ and £24.99 for the tablet edition. As if that wasn’t enough for 40k fans, the second part of the 13th Black Crusade campaign is already available for pre-order in the shape of Angel’s Blade. Unlike the previous campaign supplements which have all been two-part campaigns, here we get the same events covered from the other perspective – Traitor’s Hate is from the Chaos perspective while Angel’s Blade shows things from the Blood Angels’ point of view. That’s pretty cool, and at £30 (or less) each they’re a little cheaper than previous supplements – not everyone will have wanted the new rules for both sides in, say, The Curse of the Wulfen, so it’s nice to have the choice to buy just one if that’s all you want.
Thoughts on the week’s releases
There wasn’t anything particularly surprising this time round – The Beast Arises novels are being released like clockwork, and it’s pretty obvious that The Red Path needs to finish up pretty soon. Gav’s Dark Angels omnibus is a nice extra release for those (like me, in fact) who haven’t started that particular series yet. Overall though, it felt like another pretty light week in terms of releases. It may well be that the standard release schedule is going to stick at one short story and one new novel per week, with the occasional week containing more of a flurry, but somehow it just felt a touch underwhelming overall. That being said, I’m excited to get my next fix of The Beast Arises, and fans of 40k on the tabletop are probably going to be quite pleased by the amount of new rules content being released.
Looking ahead there’s another Horus Heresy release due – the Echoes of Imperium audio collection if I’m not mistaken, along with the eighth and final instalment of The Red Path. Hopefully there will be a surprise or two in store for us as well, just to add a little variety! Fingers crossed, anyway.
As always, let me know if you’ve got any comments, suggestions or questions!