Hello and welcome to the latest instalment of Black Library Weekly, my regular look at what’s been happening in the world of Black Library. This week there’s been something of a Horus Heresy focus, along with some exciting news for fans of Dan Abnett and the Inquisition. Let’s dive straight in and take a look.
It was another existing story for this week’s Digital Monday tale, this time Blood Games by Dan Abnett (£2.49 in ebook). If you weren’t already aware, this was originally released in the Tales of Heresy anthology, and I’m pretty sure it was the first ever Horus Heresy short story (as in it was the first story in that book) after nine previous novels. It was also the story that got me hooked on the Heresy – and it’s a damn fine short story! Until this was released the Custodes really hadn’t been seen much, so this was a real eye-opener when it first came out. Even now, if you’re not that familiar with these characters then it’s got the power to surprise you.
You can find my review here – suffice to say it’s a really great story as you’d expect from Dan, and it’s also nicely timed to coincide with all the cool new Adeptus Custodes models coming out from Games Workshop.
The rest of the week was pretty quiet all told – as expected there was no news about future BL titles, so look for that next week. The information we did get was relevant to Black Library fans, but sort of tangentially – if you haven’t already seen it, check out this Warhammer Community post about the Black Library Celebration happening on the 24th February. Interestingly, this appeared on Monday, which isn’t the usual day that we get BL news on the Community site…so I suspect that’s because as well as actual Black Library information it also confirmed the release of a brand new Gregor Eisenhorn miniature!
Even if you’re more of a reader than a hobbyist – like me – this is probably quite interesting news, assuming you’ve read Dan Abnett’s Eisenhorn trilogy…and if you haven’t, then what are you waiting for? Go out and buy it right now – I promise you won’t regret it! For anyone who has read those books, it’s pretty damn cool to see this new miniature…especially if you’ve been around the hobby long enough to remember the Inquisitor game and the original large-scale Eisenhorn model! Look out for that in Games Workshop/Warhammer stores on the 24th February.
Anyway, enough about models. The 24th Feb isn’t just the day that a new model comes out, it’s the date of the official Black Library Celebration, and the release date for both the new Eisenhorn book The Magos from Dan Abnett and Lukas the Trickster from Josh Reynolds. To celebrate 20 years of Black Library, as well as these new releases there is apparently going to be a whole range of things going on in stores, including new merchandise to buy (I’m assuming this will be the postcards and notebooks seen at recent events) as well as free gifts and – although I’m not sure if these will be in stores or not – the print on demand classic novels that we voted for last year. If you’ve forgotten about those, the final choices were Drachenfels by Jack Yeovil and Brothers of the Snake by Dan Abnett. Another Abnett release!
I don’t know about you, but I am SUPER excited to read a new Eisenhorn novel. Can’t wait! It’ll also be cool to see what’s happening with those re-released classic books. I’m hoping to get down to my local Games Workshop store on the 24th to see what else is going on – should be interesting.
Just the one release this weekend – book 48 in the Horus Heresy series, The Burden of Loyalty. You can pick this up in hardback (£20), ebook (£9.99) or MP3 audio (£29.99) formats as usual. If you’re not familiar with this one, it’s an anthology collecting together previously-released short stories and novellas into one volume – it’s the first time any of the short stories have been made available in physical format, which will please anyone who’s still resisting audios or ebooks, and it’s worth pointing out that four of the six short stories were originally audio dramas.
This is actually the final Heresy anthology to be edited by previous series editor Laurie Goulding – I spoke to Laurie for one of my quick Rapid Fire interviews, which you can read here. I’ve also reviewed most of the stories included in the anthology (in their original formats), so here are the links to those:
- Perpetual by Dan Abnett
- The Binary Succession by David Annandale
- Into Exile by Aaron Dembski-Bowden
- Ordo Sinister by John French
- The Heart of the Pharos by LJ Goulding
- Cybernetica by Rob Sanders
- Wolf King by Chris Wraight
It might also be of interest to mention that this weekend is/was the Horus Heresy & Necromunda Weekender in Nottingham, the annual Forge World-led event which has for the last five years been just the Horus Heresy Weekender but this year has also included Necromunda. I won’t talk much about the event overall, but it’s probably worth talking about the pre-release Horus Heresy titles which have been available at the event. Here’s a quick run down:
- Wolfsbane by Guy Haley – book 49 in the Horus Heresy series. This time we’re going to see Leman Russ working out how he can take the fight to Horus…sounds fun!
- Sons of the Emperor – an event-only (possibly Warhammer World as well) hardback anthology of Primarchs short stories, featuring eight new stories from John French, Aaron Demsbki-Bowden, Nick Kyme, Gav Thorpe, Guy Haley, LJ Goulding, Graham McNeill and Dan Abnett.
- Blackshields: The Red Fief by Josh Reynolds – the second Blackshields audio drama, after The False War, once again featuring Endryd Haar and his band of unhappy Space Marines.
- Jaghatai Khan: Warhawk of Chogoris by Chris Wraight – the LE hardback of this is up on the BL site already, in advance of its March release, but it was a surprise inclusion among the pre-release titles as well.
I might do a slightly more in-depth look at the Weekender if I have time, but at least that gives you an idea of the sneaky pre-release titles that were available.
Thoughts on the week
On a purely new release basis, it’s been a pretty quiet week – one re-released solo short story and an anthology of existing short stories/novellas, and that’s about it. Obviously the Weekender has provided me and a relative handful of other people with a few new books, but for everyone else it’s probably felt a touch light in terms of new things to get hold of. I guess it’s inevitable that there will be quiet weeks on that front, and at least the stories included in this week’s releases are largely really damn good.
In terms of news, while there wasn’t a lot of information in the Community article it’s at least quite interesting to know that the 24th February is going to be a day focused on Black Library. I briefly spoke to some of the BL team at the Weekender and they urged me to get along to a GW store – hopefully it should be a fun day. Even if there’s nothing much other than what we know about (and I’m certainly keen to get hold of the Eisenhorn model) it’s just cool to see Black Library getting this sort of attention. If you’ve got hold of the latest White Dwarf you’ll see a bit more coverage for BL than usual within the pages as well.
Like I said earlier, I’ll see if I can write up some more thoughts on the Black Library side of the Weekender – I’m actually writing this post in my hotel room at the Belfry with about an hour before the Sunday seminars start, so I may have more news later on!
Lastly, here’s the usual roundup of this week’s posts so far:
- Survival Instinct by Andy Chambers
- QUICK REVIEW: Blood Games by Dan Abnett
- Warhammer 40,000 Legends Issue Twelve – Architect of Fate
- QUICK REVIEW: Son of Sorrows by John French
- RAPID FIRE: Laurie Goulding Talks The Burden of Loyalty
- Monthly Highlights – January 2018
From what I can see there are no brand new releases due next weekend, although we should be seeing the release of the latest Warhammer Chronicles omnibus – this time The Sundering by Gav Thorpe. Not only that, but we should see May’s new releases show up on Wednesday, so plenty to look forward to.