Hello and welcome to another instalment of Black Library Weekly, my regular look at what’s been happening in the world of Black Library. It’s been something of an odd week to be honest, with a new Horus Heresy novel and a couple of reprinted short stories, then nothing much else ‘official’…plus some very interesting news from the grapevine so to speak. Let’s crack on and take a look…
In an unexpected change from normal service, Digital Monday brought with it not one but two short stories, as well as a digital-only collection of novels, short stories and audio dramas. Of the two short stories (each £2.49 in ebook), both are reprints – Mortarion’s Heart by LJ Goulding was originally a Space Marine Battles audio drama, while Guy Haley’s Horus Heresy story The Laurel of Defiance was published first in the limited edition Sedition’s Gate anthology and subsequently in War Without End.
I’m yet to read the prose version of Mortarion’s Heart, but you can check out my 2015 review of the audio drama here. While it does tie in to the recent Death Guard releases from Games Workshop, it’s important to be aware that this is very much a Grey Knights story, not a Death Guard one. The Laurel of Defiance on the other hand is an Ultramarines story which follows on from the wider Calth arc and leads into Pharos, while setting things up in the background for the Novamarines chapter. You can read my review of that here.
On top of those two, Monday also included a Horus Heresy ebundle just named Imperium Secundus (and priced at £56.99), which – in the words of Black Library – is “the entire tale of Guilliman’s Imperium Secundus, from the first germ of the idea to its brutal dissolution.” That means it contains four novels:
- The Unremembered Empire by Dan Abnett
- Pharos by Guy Haley
- Deathfire by Nick Kyme
- Angels of Caliban by Gav Thorpe
Plus three audio dramas:
- Khârn: The Eightfold Path by Anthony Reynolds
- The Heart of the Pharos by LJ Goulding
- Red-Marked by Nick Kyme
Plus eleven short stories and prose versions of audios, which I won’t list here but which include stories by Aaron Dembski-Bowden, Guy Haley, Nick Kyme, Graham McNeill, Andy Smillie and Gav Thorpe.
I’m slightly surprised that it doesn’t include Ruinstorm by David Annandale (although it would have needed to be released a week later) – I know that’s going to deal with what happens after the end of Imperium Secundus, but it feels like the aftermath is still an important aspect to include…but hey, once I’ve read Ruinstorm perhaps I’ll see why it wasn’t included.
From a price perspective, I’ve said this loads before but I’m never quite sure how many people have the money to drop nearly £60 in one go – and how many of those people will have not read any of these stories? Still, if you take that question out of the equation it’s clear that this is actually a damn good deal. The four novels are currently £9.99 each on ebook, and the three audios come to about £20 in MP3, so that’s a £3 saving even before you come to the short stories. Eleven shorts of varying lengths probably come to about £25 or so in total, so that’s a fairly hefty saving overall…so if you are one of those people who a) hasn’t read any of the Imperium Secundus arc and b) have some spare cash, this is probably worth getting hold of!
When it came to Wednesday, I could only find one ‘official’ update via the Black Library website, and that was a little bit of extra info about the Weekender. No new books this time, but it looks like there’s going to be some new merchandise available to buy, including a 40k notebook and one of those ‘100 postcards’ sets (like these) for Black Library book covers. Not world-shatteringly exciting, but cool nonetheless.
I did, however, find something interesting almost by accident when I stumbled across a photo on Twitter, advertising a book signing at Warhammer World. Here’s a better version of that, from the Warhammer World Facebook page:
If you look closely you’ll see that Andy Clark is going to be signing a book called Crusade + Other Stories while Josh Reynolds is signing his new Primarchs novel Fulgrim: The Palatine Phoenix but also an Age of Sigmar book called Hammerhal + Other Stories. So what are these two books, then?
Well…I’m slightly bending my own rules here because this happened on Sunday and Monday, and not ‘midweek’, but I recently did a bit of online sleuthing and managed to find info on a tranche of upcoming Black Library books. Not all of the books I found had covers – including Crusade and Hammerhal – while others had temporary covers, but there’s a ton of new (sometimes actually new and other times re-released) stuff coming our way. In fact those two books clearly do have covers, as you can see from the photo, but they’re not yet available online.
Instead of listing all of these new titles here, I’ve put together a separate article which pulls in all of the upcoming titles I can find, which aren’t already confirmed on the Black Library website. Take a look and see what you think:
Just the one new release at the weekend, although as it’s book 46 (!) of the Horus Heresy it’s a pretty big release – Ruinstorm by David Annandale. As usual it’s available in hardback (£20) as the first physical format – keep an eye out in a few months for the first paperback edition – but if you’d prefer to read or listen to it digitally you can pick up the ebook (£9.99) or MP3 audio (£29.99) right now. The benefit to the digital versions is that you can read or listen to it straight away, while the hardback won’t be in shops until next Saturday, and presumably will be dispatched sometime this week if you order it online.
In fact, as I’m writing this I’ve just checked the Black Library website and right now the hardback edition doesn’t appear to be available – whatever link I click I get taken to a page listing just the ebook and MP3. Hopefully that’s just a glitch, but do keep an eye on that…
EDIT: It looks like the Ruinstorm hardback is now available to order, although it’s showing this message: “This is a pre-order title, shipping from 21 Oct 2017.”
Thoughts on the week
In terms of ‘official’ Black Library news and info it’s been a fairly quiet week overall, I’d say. The two short stories are cool, but as neither of them are new – nor were they difficult to get hold of previously – I wouldn’t necessarily say that they set the world alight with interest. That shouldn’t come across as negative, as they’re both interesting and enjoyable stories, but reprints are never going to quite garner as much enthusiasm as brand new stories.
Ruinstorm is obviously pretty cool – a new Heresy novel is always something to enjoy! If you haven’t already, you can read my Rapid Fire interview with David here, in which he talk a bit about what we can expect from the novel. Keep an eye out for a review on here once I get hold of a copy!
The big news, in my opinion, is definitely the huge chunk of new titles that appeared online at the end of last week/start of this week. If you haven’t taken a look yet, do check out my article about upcoming titles, and let me know what you’re most excited about.
In terms of what else I’ve been up to this week, there’s just been one new review so far, for Lorgar: Bearer of the Wordclick here to take a look by Gav Thorpe. Click that link to have a read, or at the Rapid Fire interview I did with Gav a little while ago!
Next week is looking pretty impressive, with two new novels coming out. First up is the limited edition hardback of the sixth Primarchs novel – Josh Reynolds’ Fulgrim: The Palatine Phoenix, which looks like it’s going to come out on Friday. Saturday will then see the release of Rise of the Ynnari: Ghost Warrior by Gav Thorpe. Keep your eyes peeled for some more Rapid Fire interviews coming up…!