Hello and welcome to another instalment of Black Library Weekly, my regular look at what’s been happening in the world of Black Library. Plenty to talk about as usual this week, with some interesting new releases and a couple of bits of unexpected news…
First up, as usual, was Digital Monday – this week’s short story was Lost Hope by Justin D. Hill (£2.49 in ebook as always), one of three Usarkar E. Creed short stories by Justin. Alongside Last Step Backwards and The Battle of Tyrok Fields this was originally only available in the Legends of the Dark Millennium: Astra Militarum anthology, and it’s definitely best read as part of the full arc if possible. You can check out my review of this short story here, but suffice to say it’s a really enjoyable, smaller-scale story that nicely complements the bigger set-pieces in the other two Creed short stories.
There’s always a week or two where nothing much happens during the middle period of the week, and from the perspective of cool new releases or massive news, you might think that this week was one of them. That’s not quite the case, though – there were two interesting bits of news which popped up during the week, beginning with something unexpected…the long-awaited availability of Black Library audiobooks on Audible!
If you don’t know what Audible is, it’s the digital audiobook arm of Amazon. While that might not sound particularly interesting, it’s worth noting that although you can download audiobooks via Audible in the normal fashion, you can also pay a monthly subscription which gives you a free audiobook each month as well as discounted for any subsequent audiobooks you buy. What that means for Black Library fans is that the cost of buying BL books on audio has just been considerably reduced.
At the moment it looks like there’s a selection of Black Library titles available, but not everything, and they’re currently available to pre-order with (in the UK at least) a release date of the 27th September. I won’t list every single title that’s currently available, but it looks like they include the full The Beast Arises series, all three Eisenhorn books, a few recent books like Dante, The Carrion Throne and The Horusian Wars: Resurrection as well as a mix of other titles. At the moment it’s all 40k – no Heresy or Age of Sigmar. As yet I’ve not seen any comments from Black Library about this, so keep an eye out for a post on the Warhammer Community site sometime soon, I reckon!
The second bit of news did get a feature on the Warhammer Community site, and for good reason – on Wednesday, a group of Black Library authors and editors met up in Nottingham for the final Horus Heresy planning meeting! All the names you’d expect were there – Abnett, McNeill, Dembski-Bowden, Thorpe, Swallow, Haley, French, Kyme, Wraight, Goulding. Along with the article, a bunch of the authors spent the day occasionally tweeting about the meeting, including a comment from Guy Haley saying it was the best meeting he’d ever attended! The specifics of what was discussed remain secret, of course, but the assumption is that everything up to and including the Siege of Terra has now been planned and allocated out…
That’s exciting, right? For a while I’ve been hearing authors talk about how the Heresy is going to be coming to an end sooner rather than later, and it certainly looks like we’re into the final stages now. Considering how many authors were in that room I’d say there’s still a fair few stories left to tell, so I’d expect the series to carry on for a couple more years and a good few books still…but it’ll soon be finished! Personally I’ve got mixed feelings about that – I don’t subscribe to the idea that every book ought to be moving the overall narrative forward – but I’m certainly looking forward to seeing what happens next.
One last thing to mention is that a quick scan of the Black Library website shows that you can now download and read extracts of all but one of October’s new releases – Lorgar: Bearer of the Word, Ruinstorm, and also Rise of the Ynnari: Ghost Warrior. If you fancy a sneak peak at any of those, go fill your boots!
Two new releases this weekend, and both of them are looking very interesting indeed! First up we’ve got Cadia Stands by Justin D. Hill, the latest post-Gathering Storm 40k novel. Available in hardback (£18) and ebook (£9.99) formats, on the surface it looks like this is going to be the novelisation of the events that took place in the Fall of Cadia background book. Judging by the Rapid Fire interview I did with Justin, however, it looks as though this is much more than a simple retelling, and I’m certainly really excited to read it! If you haven’t already then I would definitely suggest you check out Justin’s three Creed short stories as a nice way to prepare for this novel!
The other new release was Blackshields: The False War by Josh Reynolds, the latest Horus Heresy audio drama and Josh’s first contribution to this series. As usual you can pick it up in CD (£12) or MP3 (£9.99) formats, or indeed through the Black Library Audio App. I don’t know about you, but the idea of a bunch of former World Eaters renouncing their legion and just battling to survive, written by Josh, sounds incredible! This one is high up on my list, can’t wait to check it out…
Thoughts on the week
Great short story? Check. Exciting, hype-filled news? Check. Cool new novel? Check. Horus Heresy release? Check. Digital, physical and audio releases? Check.
Honestly, looking back on the week I’m slightly surprised at how good it’s been! I was all set to write this article and talk about how this was one of those in-between weeks where nothing much happened, but I can happily say that wasn’t the case – I think you’ll agree, there’s been plenty of interesting things taking place. To be honest, when I first found out that BL audiobooks were going onto Audible I was a bit nonplussed, surprised at how excited people were getting. It wasn’t until I really looked into the details of how Audible works that I started to understand – if you’re a heavy audiobook user then this really is great news!
The big Heresy meeting is obviously big news – I’m sure I’m not the only person who would have LOVED to have been a fly on the wall in that room! Whatever your opinion about the direction of the Heresy, it’s hard not to be excited about the thought of what’s coming up next…and of course plenty of people are speculating about what’s going to happen once the series is finished. Personally I hope the Heresy remains as a setting for Black Library authors to tell stories in, as it feels like there’s plenty of scope for different types of story. As to whether there will be a headline series to replace the Heresy, and what that might be…actually I’m content to wait and see.
One last note in this section – in case you didn’t spot it on Wednesday, I published my latest full author interview, this time with author and editor Nick Kyme. The focus of the interview was his new Blood Bowl comic – More Guts, More Glory – which is a bit of a departure for Track of Words, but I hope it’s of interest nonetheless. You can check that out here.
With Cadia Stands now released, and two of Justin’s three Creed short stories available as standalone e-shorts, I won’t be at all surprised if Monday’s short story is The Battle of Tyrok Fields. I’d certainly expect that to come out soon! As for the weekend, it looks like we should be getting the standard edition of Gav Thorpe’s The Primarchs novel Lorgar: Bearer of the Word, which I’m really looking forward to!