Black Library Weekly W/C 25/09/17

Hello and welcome to another instalment of Black Library Weekly, my regular look at what’s been happening in the world of Black Library. This week there’s been lots to talk about as usual, although a quiet midweek period and a news-heavy Saturday means I’m going to skip the usual midweek section and just talk about the Weekender instead. Let’s get straight to it…

Monday
Last week I predicted that, after the release of Justin D. Hill’s Cadia Stands and the ebook release of Lost Hope, this week’s Digital Monday story would be the third and final Ursarkar E. Creed short story…and I was right! A rather longer story than the other two, The Battle of Tyrok Fields (still £2.49 on ebook) completes the set of short stories and is an impressive tale in its own right. You can read my review here – I still wish Justin had been able to write a full novel-length depiction of these momentous events, but Cadia Stands will hopefully go some way towards making up for that!


Black Library Weekender News

The one newsworthy item I spotted on Wednesday was a Warhammer Community article talking a bit about the Black Library Weekender – clearly it was laying the groundwork for the weekend’s burst of related news! You can read that article here if you fancy it, but suffice to say it contained the sort of information that’s probably quite handy for someone who hasn’t been to one of these events before, but less useful for anyone who’s a regular event-goer.

One line of the article did jump out, however, when discussing the books that will be available to buy – “…even some novels we haven’t announced anywhere yet.” That in itself is a valuable piece of information, confirming that while we’ve seen a good few books already confirmed to be available on the weekend, there are still going to be more! Call me greedy if you will, but I love it when there’s a LOAD of pre-release titles available at events. It just seems like an easy way of rewarding the people who attend events, without costing Black Library anything…

Come Saturday, the front page of the Black Library website was plastered with banners proclaiming two things – that there are fewer than 100 tickets left for the Weekender, and that the full schedule is available to view! If you haven’t already seen it, you should go and check that out right away. Here’s the link:

http://www.blacklibrary.com/Downloads/Product/PDF/Weekender-IV-Programme.pdf

There’s a LOT to take in, with almost thirty seminars split across the two days, but there are a couple of obvious talking points:

  • Crusade – a Warhammer 40,000 primer novel, with Andy Clark. Quite what a ‘primer’ novel refers to in this instance is unclear, but this sounds immediately interesting. I wonder if it’s just a pithy way to refer to a book which is expected to cover the immediate beginning of the Dark Imperium timeline, for example, or whether it’s actually been written specifically as a gateway for new fans to the setting. Intriguing!
  • Wolf against Wolf – Guy Haley discusses his new Horus Heresy novel. I think we can now safely say that the much-discussed (in ignorance) ‘Wolf Cull’ event is likely to be covered here. If you’ve not come across that term, it refers to the point in the Heresy where Leman Russ leads the Vlka Fenryka directly against Horus…and comes off worse for wear. Hence Wolf (Space Wolf) against Wolf (Lunar Wolf, as was). Guy’s also confirmed via Twitter that this is a full novel in the numbered series!
  • There’s no less than four audio-related seminars, two of which feature voice actor Toby Longworth.
  • Lots of writing seminars for anyone keen to become a future Black Library author, including two with new submissions editor Charlotte Llewelyn-Wells…be nice to her!
  • Neither Gav Thorpe, George Mann nor Josh Reynolds have been added to the confirmed list of authors on the main Weekender page, but they’re both listed against seminars on the schedule – so I suspect we’ll see official confirmation of their attendance fairly soon.

I don’t know about you, but even after a fairly cursory glance I can already see a lot of clashes, where two (or even three) seminars that I really want to see are taking place at the same time. There’s going to be some tough choices to make, I think!

Between the schedule, the list of authors and the confirmed titles, this is looking like being an AMAZING event. I’ve said before that we’ll only be able to say for sure when we’re actually there, but I’ve got high hopes that this is going to be a return to the really, really great events of a few years ago. Can’t wait!

Weekend
In all the excitement of the Weekender news it was almost possible to forget that Saturday did actually bring with it some new releases as well! Or at least, one new(ish) release that had only been available in expensive limited edition format previously, a couple of paperback releases, and an MP3 audiobook.

That new-ish release was, of course, Gav Thorpe’s Lorgar: Bearer of the Word, the fifth instalment in the Primarchs series. There are actually still some £40 limited edition copies available if you fancy the really posh version, but for the rest of us we can now enjoy the book in standard ebook (£9.99), hardback (£12.99) and MP3 (19.99) formats. If you fancy a little insight into what the book is about, check out my RAPID FIRE interview with Gav here.

There were two new paperbacks released as well, beginning with Paul Kearney’s Calgar’s Fury, available for £8.99 in what I suppose you’d call the ‘standard’ Black Library paperback format (I’d call it a QP, or quality paperback, from my bookseller days). If you haven’t read this, or Paul’s previous novel Calgar’s Siege, you can check out my review of it here. Also released was the trade paperback (or premium paperback as it’s amusingly called sometimes) of Shattered Legions, book 43 in the Horus Heresy series. Check out my review of this collection here.

The last release was a bit unexpected, but welcome indeed – the MP3 audiobook of Ravenor by Dan Abnett (£29.99 as usual), which is apparently the first time this book has been available in audio. Narrated by Toby Longworth, as per the Eisenhorn trilogy, this is a very welcome addition to Black Library’s audio catalogue – especially in light of Black Library’s upcoming availability on Audible.

As you may know, on the first Wednesday of the month Black Library usually announce a new month’s worth of upcoming releases – so in this case we should hopefully see January’s titles show up next Wednesday. In what I can only assume is a bit of a marketing blunder (I feel like it’s happened before, as well), Saturday’s email promoting the new releases also included a bit of advance information about January’s titles, along with a link which – unsurprisingly – just leads to the main Coming Soon page. In case you didn’t get that email, or didn’t spot what I’m talking about, here’s a screenshot:

My guess would be that the three pieces of cover art refer to the sequel to David Annandale’s Warden of the Blade, an Alpha Legion/Inquisition novel by Rob Sanders (based on his short story Unearthed) and David Guymer’s Primarchs novel Ferrus Manus: The Gorgon of Medusa. I’m looking forward to seeing if I’ve got those right on Wednesday, as well as finding out if anything else is due in January as well!

Thoughts on the week
Well, there’s certainly ended up being a lot to talk about this week! I guess Monday’s story was somewhat inevitable, but I’m still pleased that I guessed right! As for the midweek period it was definitely quite quiet, perhaps as expected, but I’m expecting next week to be busier with the usual set of new releases as mentioned above.

I can’t really overstate this, but the Weekender is looking AMAZING! I’m feeling really hopeful about this one, and I’ve got a feeling it’s going to be really great…but there’s definitely going to be some hard choices to make over which seminars to attend. That’s always been the case, but this year more than perhaps any before there are looking like being a lot of potential clashes! With so many great guests attending as well…and new books to splash the cash on…I think it’s going to be a great, albeit expensive, weekend!

It’s always exciting to get a new Primarchs novel on standard release. Part of me wishes I’d committed to buying the limited editions – basically because I’m impatient and want to read them as soon as possible – but the rest of me is just excited to get to read them when I do. After Gav’s quick interview I’m even more excited to read this, as well.

I’ve said this loads – paperbacks are always great to see, as well. If you haven’t read any of Paul Kearney’s work you REALLY SHOULD check him out, and Calgar’s Fury is as good a place to start as any – you don’t necessarily need to start with the first book as they’re not directly linked. As for Ravenor on audio…it’s been a long time since I read those books, and I’m now really tempted to reread them by the magic of audio!

Coming up…
As far as I can tell there’s nothing confirmed for next week yet, but I’m expecting to see a few titles coming out in October and I imagine one or more will be out next week. I’m thinking we should see the full release of Hand of Darkness, Gav Thorpe’s second post-Gathering Storm audio drama, plus both Baneblade and Shadowsword by Guy Haley in paperback, and also The Silent War (Horus Heresy book 37) in mass market paperback. Whether any of those are released next week remains to be seen, but I’ll report back next week!

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.

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