Hello and welcome back to Black Library Weekly for the first full week of 2017. As always I’ll be taking a look at all the Black Library news and releases from the week just gone, from the conclusion of the 12 Days of Christmas campaign to the announcement of some exciting new titles. I’m going back to the usual structure after a few weeks of doing things differently, so without further ado let’s start at the beginning of the week…
Last week I wondered whether Digital Mondays (i.e. a new short story in ebook each Monday) was going to come back for 2017, and I’m pleased to report that it did – with A Trick of the Light by Josh Reynolds. Josh’s second story to feature Lukas the Trickster, it’s a very different story to the audio drama The Art of Provocation but it’s well worth the £2.49 asking price whether you’re a Space Wolves fan or not. After a short story and an audio drama the assumption is now that the next step is a full Lukas the Trickster novel, which would be a very good thing!
There was more than just a new story happening on Monday though – Day nine of the 12 Days of Christmas campaign saw two Horus Heresy digital collections go up for sale, each focusing on the primarchs. Entitled Nine Loyal Primarchs (priced at £44) and (funnily enough) Nine Traitor Primarchs (£40) they collected together a range of novels, novellas and short stories with one for each of the primarchs. Both of them offered pretty hefty savings, and they’re both still available – so if you’ve not already got these stories and you don’t mind reading things a little out of order…check them out!
The final three days of the 12 Days… campaign brought with them a discounted bundle of ten Realmgate Wars Exclusive Editions (£150), an eleven-strong collection of Tech Priest stories (five novels and eleven short stories for just under £25) and a massive bundle of twelve gallery art prints (half price – £165). Three more good offers, although two of the three still carried hefty price tags despite the discounts. I’ve done a quick write-up of the overall campaign, which you can find here if you fancy a look.
Wednesday saw the expected update of the Coming Soon section on Black Library’s website, with April’s new releases all showing up now. Here’s a rundown of what’s coming up in April:
- Horus Heresy Book 43: Shattered Legions (£20).
- Perturabo: Hammer of Olympia by Guy Haley – Limited Edition – £40.
- Warlord: Fury of the God-Machine by David Annandale – standard hardback – £18.
- Warlord: Fury of the God-Machine by David Annandale – Limited Edition – £40.
- Scythes of the Emperor: Daedalus by LJ Goulding – audio drama – £12.
- Magnus the Red: Master of Prospero by Graham McNeill – standard hardback – £12.99.
The Shattered Legions book is going to contain all of the stories that were in the Meduson anthology, along with Graham McNeill’s novella The Seventh Serpent. That’s going to annoy a lot of people – reprinting stories in anthologies always does – but it fits with Black Library’s policy of making sure everything’s available as part of a title in the numbered series.
The Perturabo book is the fourth novel in the Horus Heresy – The Primarchs series and gets the usual luxurious Limited Edition treatment, while the Magnus book (third in the series) gets its standard hardback release three months after the LE, which comes out later this month.
That Limited Edition of Warlord: Fury of the God-Machine looks beautiful, much as the LEs for Dante and Titanicus (both coming out in March) do, but my wallet is going to HATE me if I buy all of them. So very tempted though, especially as the standard of the Fabius Bile: Primogenitor and Warden of the Blade LEs has been so high.
Usually when the Coming Soon section is updated with a new month, a previous month’s releases go up for pre-order. This week was no different – February’s (four) new releases can all now be ordered ready for dispatch/download as soon as they’re officially released. After its digital exclusive release on Christmas Day, Garro is back up to order, while the other three releases are Andy Clark’s Kingsblade (Imperial Knights), LJ Goulding’s Slaughter at Giant’s Coffin (Space Marine Battles – Scythes of the Emperor) and Gav Thorpe’s audio drama Asurmen: The Darker Road.
The final point of interest to come from midweek is Legends of the Age of Sigmar: City of Secrets by Nick Horth, an upcoming AoS novel that appeared out of the blue on the Black Library website and then quickly disappeared again. It was up long enough for me to take a good look at the cover and the synopsis, and download an extract – I wrote a blog post about it and what I think it means for Age of Sigmar, the short version being that I reckon we’re going to get loads of cool new AoS books over the coming months and years. Also the extract was pretty good fun, focusing as it did on mortals as opposed to the usual Stormcast or Khorne warriors.
To nobody’s surprise the main Black Library release at the weekend was the hardback of Carcharadons: Red Tithe by Robbie MacNiven (£18), which had seen an advance ebook release last week. That should be getting dispatched soon to anyone who’s ordered it, and it seems to be getting good reviews so far – it’s had nine ratings so far on Goodreads and stands at 4.67 out of 5! I won’t witter on about loss of hype from being on pre-order for ages – if you’ve read a few of these posts before you’ll know my feelings on that already!
The bigger news across the hobby as a whole was The Gathering Storm: Fall of Cadia, the latest Games Workshop campaign book. It all sounds pretty ominous, albeit quite exciting – it’s up for pre-order now and due for release next weekend, in the usual plethora of formats. You can pick it up in hardback (£30), enhanced ebook (£29.99), standard ebook (£24.99) and tablet edition (£21.99), although I’ve still not got the foggiest what the difference is between the three different ebook versions!
The final release of the weekend was another free story – the second of the Inquisitor Martyr tie-in stories, Above and Beyond (episode 2) by Aron Nemeth. If you didn’t spot the last one, these are short stories that aren’t actually written/published by Black Library, but are being released as part of the promotional campaign for the upcoming 40k computer game.
Thoughts on the week
For the first full week of 2017 it’s been pretty good, starting off with another cracking Josh Reynolds story. That man is on fire! How does he have time to sleep? I’m fully expecting that Digital Mondays will do the usual thing of switching between genuinely new stories and ebook editions of stories that have previously only been available in anthologies etc. (i.e. stuff that I’ve already got, usually) but that was a great start!
The confirmation of April’s new releases was good to see, with quite a range of stories on offer. The Perturabo LE looks beautiful as usual, but for me the £40 price tag is a bit steep so I’ve not bought into the posh hardbacks for this series. Luckily, the standard hardbacks all seem to be coming out a mere three months later, so if you’re thinking you can’t quite manage £40 for this month’s Magnus book you’ve not got long to wait. I’ve mentioned already about the debate that Shattered Legions is bound to prompt – whatever you think about putting out anthologies in the main range, there are some brilliant stories included in that book!
The last thing I want to talk about in this section is a few articles I wrote about Black Library’s approach to paperbacks. If you didn’t read them, feel free to take a look – the first article is here, and there are links in each one to the next. I’ve written plenty in those articles so I won’t spend long on it here, only to say that while it might seem like I’m being picky, I genuinely don’t understand why Black Library wouldn’t advertise a new edition of a book. In today’s internet age where advertising is so much cheaper than ever before, it seems mad not to talk about a new release, even if it’s already been out in hardback before. Thankfully, it looks like maybe Black Library agree with me after all!
Next week’s main release looks like being the standard hardback of Chris Wraight’s Leman Russ: The Great Wolf, the second of the Primarchs books. I’m certainly looking forward to that one, both because of its subject matter (hint: the Dark Angels are involved too) and because I tend to think Chris’ books are always great! As usual you can already order this if you’re so inclined, but it won’t be available to download or start dispatching until the 14th January.
A couple of short stories made very brief appearances online last week, so it looks like two of the upcoming Digital Monday releases are likely to be Graham McNeill’s The Corpse Road (Honsou) and John French’s King of Ashes (Ahriman). Both of those were first published in Renegades of the Dark Millennium, which was available to buy at the 2014 Black Library Live event. As far as I can tell only one of the stories from that anthology is available to buy individually so far (Abaddon: Chosen of Chaos) so perhaps we’ll see more of them pop up on Mondays during the year.
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!