Hello and welcome to the first 2018 instalment of Black Library Weekly, my regular look at what’s been happening in the world of Black Library. Happy New Year, and all that! Now that all the Advent excitement has well and truly died down, we’re back to business as usual – the first week of which has brought with it two short stories and a novel, as well as confirmation of another month’s new releases. Plenty to look at, so let’s jump straight in…
Black Library’s Digital Monday continues into 2018, kicking off with not one but two short stories – one brand new tale, and one older story given its first standalone release. Both are, as you might expect, available for £2.49 each in ebook only. First up was Light of a Crystal Sun by Josh Reynolds, the third Fabius Bile short story to get a full release and another tale fleshing out what Fabius is getting up to outside of the novels. It’s set between Primogenitor and Clonelord, and while you don’t need to read it to enjoy the novels, it’s a nice little extra. Here’s my review if you fancy a bit more information about it.
Secondly, and making it very much a day of Reynolds, was The Infinite Tableau by Anthony Reynolds, which was first published back in 2012 in the Deathwatch: Xenos Hunters anthology. You’ve now got plenty of options to get hold of it, including this standalone e-short release or as part of Deathwatch: The Omnibus. While it starts off like a standard Deathwatch story it’s actually slightly sharper and darker than what you might expect, and is well worth a read. You can check out my review here.
As the first week of January, the big news during the midweek period was the usual announcement of another month’s worth of upcoming releases. This time we looked ahead to April’s titles, with two new novels (including a LE hardback) and a new audio drama, as well as the standard edition of a Primarchs novel and two paperback omnibus editions. Here’s the rundown:
Imperator: Wrath of the Omnissiah by Gav Thorpe
The second book in what’s looking like a loose, multi-author series (after David Annandale’s Warlord: Fury of the God-Machine), this one’s going to be available in standard and limited edition hardbacks. If you need more than the cover and synopsis to tempt you, how about this – Gav described it to me as “The Hunt for Red October with an Imperator Titan”…which sounds awesome!
Legacy of Dorn by Mike Lee
It feels like AGES since the last time Black Library published a Mike Lee novel – in fact I think his Space Marine Battles novella Traitor’s Gorge might be his previous BL book, from back in 2013. It’s good to see him back, and tackling the Crimson Fists once again in a novel which – surprisingly – isn’t a Dark Imperium-era tale but rather a story set at the same time as Steve Parker’s Rynn’s World. Should be interesting!
Agent of the Throne: Truth and Dreams by John French
John’s previous audio drama Blood and Lies was one of my audio highlight of 2017, so it’s exciting to see the next instalment coming soon. If you’re a fan of the Inquisition but you haven’t yet listened to Blood and Lies, I would wholeheartedly recommend picking it up between now and April, and I’ve got high hopes that Truth and Dreams will continue in the same excellent vein!
Ferrus Manus: Gorgon of Medusa (standard edition) by David Guymer
The limited edition of this, the seventh Primarchs novel, isn’t out on general release until later in January, but if you can’t or won’t stretch to the £40 edition then it’s only another three months to wait until the standard edition comes out. It’s going to be the first time Ferrus has got the attention of an actual novel to himself, so I’m very much looking forward to seeing what this one is like!
Gaunt’s Ghosts: The Lost by Dan Abnett
The third Gaunt’s Ghosts omnibus, this one includes the four novels making up this arc: Traitor General, His Last Command, The Armour of Contempt and Only in Death. It looks like being an excellent way to pick these titles up if you don’t yet have them, and to prepare yourself for the as-yet-still-ongoing fourth arc The Victory. There’s a lot to enjoy here, so it seems well worth picking up either if you haven’t read these four books, or if you fancy having them collected together in one place.
Warhammer Chronicles: Champions of Chaos by Sarah Cawkwell, Ben Counter and Darius Hinks
The latest Warhammer Chronicles omnibus, this one collects together Valkia the Bloody by Sarah Cawkwell, Van Horstmann by Ben Counter, and Sigvald by Darius Hinks, along with another four short stories by Cawkwell. Unlike some of the other omnibuses the novels here aren’t connected, other than by virtue of each focusing on a famous Chaos character. If you fancy a hit of old-school Warhammer Chaos fun, this might just be the collection for you.
So those are April’s new releases, but a couple of other interesting things popped up during the week. Firstly, a few dates when Josh Reynolds will be out and about signing copies of his books – the first was yesterday (6th Jan), but the next two are still to come, so if you’re in these locations then maybe head down and have a chat to Josh (he’s a lovely guy, go say hello!):
- 13th January: Waterstones Leeds at midday
- 14th January: Games Workshop Sheffield at midday
Finally…you’ve checked out the Malign Portents website, right? If not – go and have a look right now! Why am I mentioning this? Well, besides being super cool and evocative, all this Malign Portents excitement brings with it new fiction – nothing (yet) published by Black Library, but so far there have been two short stories published in this month’s White Dwarf, the first of which is available to read for free on the Malign Portents website. It’s not clear how long this is going to last, but there will apparently be two new stories released each week – so lots to enjoy!
Just the one new release this weekend – Castellan by David Annandale, which is available in hardback (£18) and ebook (£9.99) formats. It’s the second in the Castellan Crowe series, after Warden of the Blade, and continues the story on into the Dark Imperium timeline. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens to Crowe and his brothers next – the first book was super dark, and I’m not expecting things to get any easier this time around! As usual I’ve got a quick interview with the author as part of my Rapid Fire series, so click on the banner below to have a read of that.
While that was it for new releases, it’s worth briefly mentioning that this weekend saw the Warhammer World New Year’s Open Day – most of the excitement was around the new Custodes that were announced, but there were some cool Black Library pre-releases available to buy on the day. I picked up Castellan by David Annandale as well as really early copies of Agent of the Throne: Truth and Dreams by John French and Titans’ Bane by Chris Dows, so I can’t wait to listen to both of those! Also available were early copies of Ferrus Manus: Gorgon of Medusa by David Guymer (the limited edition) and Andy Hoare’s Rogue Trader: The Omnibus. I managed a very quick chat with David Guymer, and a longer chat with some of the lovely Black Library team (hi Kate, Kelly and Lottie!), along with all the usual event fun.
If you haven’t been to one of these events, I can definitely recommend them – they’re very different to something like a Weekender, but they’re really relaxed and give you a great opportunity to meet and talk to loads of other people about the hobby. It looks like the next events are going to be the Warhammer Age of Sigmar Open Day on the 3rd of March (at Warhammer World), Warhammer Fest UK on the 12th and 13th May (at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry) and Black Library Live on the 16th June (back at Warhammer World) – I’ll hopefully be at a couple of those, so let me know if you’re going to be around!
Thoughts on the week
I’d say it’s been a pretty good start to 2018 – I’ve seen weeks with more releases, but I think it was probably a good idea not to start with an absolutely jam-packed week. Otherwise, there’s a risk of it feeling like downhill from there! As it was we got a few cool releases, quite a bit of exciting news, and plenty to get us talking about. It tickled me to see Monday’s day of Reynolds, but I’d be very happy to see more of those if we got more stories of that kind of quality!
As for April’s new releases, I’ve seen a few people talking about the absence of a ‘new’ Horus Heresy release. That’s a fair point, in that while January and March are each bringing new Primarchs novels and February will include The Burden of Loyalty in the main Heresy range, April ‘only’ includes the standard edition of a Primarchs novel. Personally I’m happy with that, as I’m already looking forward to David’s Ferrus book, but there’s always a lot of Heresy excitement and many fans are desperate for the next novel. After the Weekender’s confirmation of both Wolfsbane and Slaves to Darkness, I can see why there was an expectation that we might see Wolfsbane in April. Hopefully we’ll still see that soon, but I’m certainly happy to wait another month or so for it – there’s plenty more cool stuff coming in April that I’ll be happy to read!
As usual, here’s a quick rundown of what I’ve posted so far this week:
- QUICK REVIEW: Light of a Crystal Sun by Josh Reynolds
- QUICK REVIEW: The Infinite Tableau by Anthony Reynolds
- 2017 In Summary
- RAPID FIRE: David Annandale Talks Castellan
It looks like next week’s main release is going to be Andy Hoare’s Rogue Trader: The Omnibus, which in case you’re not familiar is a collection of three fairly old novels – Rogue Star, Star of Damocles and Savage Scars. I don’t always pick up the omnibuses, but I’ve only got one of those three in paperback so I might well get hold of a copy for a nice bit of nostalgia!