Hello and welcome back to another instalment of Black Library Weekly, where I’m taking a look through this week’s Black Library news and releases. Last week picked up after a couple of quiet ones, and while there wasn’t a huge number of new releases this week it turned out pretty well too. It culminated in the 2017 Horus Heresy Weekender, which was a little less Black Library-focused than usual, but still fun. As usual, let’s start at the beginning of the week…
Just the one Digital Monday short story this week – David Annandale’s Deathwatch story The Vorago Fastness (£2.49 in ebook). As has often been the case recently this one is pulled from a previous anthology – Xenos Hunters, which was originally only available as a print on demand title (remember those?!) back in 2012 before it got a wider ebook release in 2014. It’s a great little story, that’s set apart from the usual Deathwatch tales by two main things – firstly the makeup of the kill team, with each Marine being pulled from what you might call unstable chapters; and secondly the fact that the kill team’s controlling Inquisitor leans heavily to the radical side of the spectrum. It’s a really enjoyable story, with lots of familiar elements but a slightly unusual overall approach…it’s great.
Two points of interest for the middle of the week, starting with the introduction of Audio Month on the Black Library website and the Black Library Audio App. This pretty much does what it says on the tin – for the month of February, Black Library are offering one audiobook or audio drama each month at a reduced price, beginning with the Horus Heresy combo of The Dark King and The Lightning Tower, from Dan Abnett and Graham McNeill. Reduced to £4.99 as an MP3 download, if you don’t already have this set then now’s an ideal chance to rectify that…but get it quickly!
In addition to the weekly discounted audio, there’s also now a free audio sampler available, perfect if you’re not sure about audios and want to test the water. As you might expect it contains excerpts of five audios, but you also get the entire audio of Nick Kyme’s Salamanders story Vulkan’s Shield…completely free (normally £2.99). Definitely worth a look, I’d say.
I mentioned last week that the Coming Soon section of Black Library’s website was due to be updated, and what do you know? It was! This time around it was updated a little more than usual, with not just May’s titles added but also a couple of additional titles added to March and April. Here’s a list of the new titles coming in May, first:
- Vaults of Terra: The Carrion Throne by Chris Wraight (Inquisition; including LE hardback)
- Jain Zar: The Storm of Silence by Gav Thorpe (Eldar; including LE hardback)
- The Eye of Medusa by David Guymer (Iron Hands)
- Echoes of Revelation by Dan Abnett, Gav Thorpe and Chris Wraight (Heresy audio)
In addition we’ve now got this one coming in April:
- Cult of the Warmason by CL Werner (Genestealer Cults and Sisters of Battle)
And also this one coming in March:
- The Eye of Ezekiel by Christian Dunn (Space Marine Battles; Dark Angels)
The train of great looking new Black Library stories is just going on and on with these new releases, and you can now pre-order March’s titles as well! Personally I’m particularly looking forward to Dante by Guy Haley in March, as it’s looking like providing the best insight yet into a character who’s incredibly famous for 40k fans but strangely hasn’t really been covered much in terms of characterisation and history. Yet. As for the brand new titles, I’d say all three of the new books are looking VERY interesting…
There was just the one new Black Library release over the weekend, and that was the hardback of James Swallow’s Horus Heresy book Garro. This one is book 42 in the numbered series, and in case you’ve been living in a cave for the past couple of months it’s a bind up of all of the previous Garro stories in prose (most of them were audios, previously) with an additional 20,000 words added in to expand upon and link together these stories into a single narrative. Sounds good. That’s priced at the usual £20 for a Horus Heresy hardback.
Fans of 40k as a game are really getting treated at the moment, with this weekend bringing the second of the Gathering Storm campaign books up for pre-order. Entitled Fracture of Biel-Tan this brings the Eldar into play, and is priced similarly to Fall of Cadia – hardback (£30), enhanced ebook (£29.99), and tablet edition (£21.99). You can pre-order it right now, and the ebooks should be available to download next weekend.
The last release I could find was the concluding part of the first Inquisitor: Martyr novella – Above and Beyond (Episode 4) by Aron Nemeth. As with the previous instalments you can download this for free from the Black Library website, although as I write this there isn’t a link anywhere to it (I spotted it in an email from Black Library). You can find all four instalments here, however do remember that it isn’t actually published by Black Library.
The last thing to mention about the weekend is that it saw the fifth Horus Heresy Weekender take place at the Belfry hotel in Nottingham. I’ll post something soon with a bit of an overview of the whole event, but the quick summary is that while the focus was much more on Forge World than Black Library, there were still a few interesting things to come out of it. A few new covers were revealed and some new titles confirmed, so keep an eye out for those in the coming months!
Thoughts on the week
You could look at this week in two ways, I guess. From a pure release perspective it’s been pretty quiet really, with just one (well, sort of two) short story and one novel actually available to buy, as well as the new Games Workshop campaign book. If you’d been waiting with bated breath for brand new stories to read, you might have been a bit disappointed…which would be fair enough, really.
On the other hand though, there was quite a lot of interesting news this week, from the goings-on at the Weekender to the exciting new titles in the Coming Soon section. I personally think that it’s always exciting to see new titles get announced, and I’m really looking forward to getting hold of some of these new books.
So a bit of a mixed bag I suppose, overall. Not the most exciting of weeks, but certainly not the quietest and least interesting either.
Interestingly the next items on the Coming Soon page – Slaughter at Giant’s Coffin by LJ Goulding and Gav Thorpe’s Asurmen: The Darker Road audio drama – are both currently listed as being downloadable from 18th February, which would mean there’s nothing down for next weekend. That could arguably mean that there’s a surprise coming next weekend, but my gut feeling is that one of those download dates is a mistake, and we’ll probably see one of them released next weekend. Only time will tell, though!
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!