Hello and welcome to another instalment of Black Library Weekly, my regular look at what’s been happening in the world of Black Library. After last week’s Summer of Reading campaign we’re back to normal service now, so I’ve gone back to the usual structure for this article. Let’s kick things off in the usual way, beginning with the start of the week.
Just a single short story this week for Digital Monday, and it’s an Age of Sigmar story which was previously released as part of the Fyreslayers anthology – Guy Haley’s The Volturung Road. Priced at the usual £2.49 in ebook only, it’s an unusually long short story (in Black Library terms, at least) which makes it rather better value than usual. Structurally it’s almost two linked short stories, so it’s nice to see that Black Library kept it as a single release rather than splitting it up. You can find my review here, but suffice to say if you liked Dwarfs in the old Warhammer world, you’re going to enjoy this story.
As is often the case in the final week of a month, there wasn’t really any news during the midweek period. The one thing I was able to spot was that an extract for Justin D. Hill’s upcoming novel Cadia Stands became available on the Black Library website, so if you fancy getting a feel for that book before it comes out you can download that and check it out.
That was it in terms of Black Library news, as far as I could see. Don’t worry though – next week should bring with it the list of December’s upcoming titles, so there’s plenty to look forward to there!
It’s not directrly Black Library-related, but if you’ve read and been as impressed by Justin D. Hill’s Black Library stories as I have, you might be interested to check out my review of one of his non-Black Library books. Viking Fire pretty much does what it says on the tin, and while it’s essentially a historical novel dealing with a novelised version of the historical facts, it feels very much like a fantasy adventure-style book. I really enjoyed it, and I suspect a lot of other Black Library fans would as well – check out the review here, and let me know what you think!
The last thing to mention in this section is a bit of Track of Words news. I sat down with Black Library editor and author Nick Kyme to talk about something a little different – his Blood Bowl comic More Guts, More Glory. If you haven’t yet checked out the new range of comics from Titan Comics based on Games Workshop properties then maybe this interview will give you some encouragement. Keep an eye on Track of Words over the next week or so for that!
Saturday saw the release of a pretty highly-anticipated new novel – Eight Lamentations: Spear of Shadows by Josh Reynolds, available in hardback (£18) and ebook (£9.99) formats. The first in a new series for Age of Sigmar, this looks like being a really fun story with a wide-ranging cast of characters, that shows us another different side to Age of Sigmar. To get a sense of what that’s going to be like you could first check out Josh’s short stories The Road of Blades and Auction of Blood (click on the titles to see my reviews). A lot of people have been critical of Black Library’s Age of Sigmar fiction so far, but I have a feeling this book might go some way towards demonstrating that Age of Sigmar fiction can be just as good as we all remember Old World Warhammer fiction to be.
That was the only new release for the weekend, but fear not – if you fancy something else to read you could always check out my latest two posts. First up was a Forgotten Texts review of Birth of a Legend, Gav Thorpe’s first ever Black Library short story – if you’ve not read any of my Forgotten Texts posts before, the idea is that I take a look at classic Black Library stories and talk about how they feel compared to more modern works, and whether they still feel appropriate to the setting. This particular story is a great example of the type of thing I talk about!
Secondly, and in a similar vein, I posted the first part of an interview with Gav himself to celebrate twenty years of being a Black Library author! In this first part we talked about the early days of his writing career, his first couple of stories and the book that has recently won him a prestigious Gemmell Award – Warbeast. Check back soon for the second part where we talk more about his career looking ahead, including a bit about what he’s working on at the moment.
Thoughts on the week
Overall it’s been a relatively quiet week in terms of Black Library news and releases, although after the previous week’s Summer of Reading campaign that’s perhaps no bad thing. As usual, both releases this week were really interesting – The Volturung Road not just as a good story but also as an intriguing reflection of old-school Warhammer in the Age of Sigmar Setting, and Spear of Shadows as what will hopefully be the start of a fresh, new series.
Fans of 40k and the Heresy might be wondering what’s going to be of interest to them, although five out of the seven of last week’s short stories were either 40k or Heresy so there’s been plenty of cool new stuff coming out recently. Personally I like all Games Workshop settings, so I never mind if there’s a week or two which are all about one particular setting – it’s always interesting to dig into one thing for a while, and there’s always going to be more from the other settings sooner or later!
For me, perhaps selfishly, I’ve been most excited this week about getting to share the first part of my interview with Gav with everyone else. It was an absolute pleasure talking to Gav, and I could have happily spent a lot longer listening to what he’s got to say. As it is the interview was easily long enough to need splitting up into two sections, and if we’d talked for any longer I would probably still be transcribing it now! I really hope you enjoy reading it, and I’m looking forward to hearing what you think – so do let me know. Also, how cool is that banner image? Courtesy of my good friend Jordan Lloyd…
From what I can see next weekend is unlikely to bring us any brand new titles, barring any surprises Black Library have hidden up their sleeves, so I suspect we’ll see some more paperbacks coming our way. My guess would be that Saturday will bring with it the Sisters of Battle Omnibus by James Swallow, and perhaps the paperback of Darius Hinks’ Mephiston: Blood of Sanguinius. Of course it’s the first full week of September next week, so as I mentioned earlier we should see December’s new releases confirmed during the week as well!
As always, if you’ve got any thoughts or comments on the week’s news and releases please do get in touch via the comments section below or on Facebook or Twitter.