Tag Archives: Forgotten Texts

Forgotten Texts: Birth of a Legend by Gav Thorpe

“A small gift hardly compares to the life of a Dwarf King, now does it?”

Gav Thorpe’s first ever Black Library story, first published twenty years ago, Birth of a Legend is an old-school Warhammer story featuring an early incarnation of one of the setting’s greatest characters. When King Kurgan and his retainers are captured by the Orc warlord Vagraz Head-Stomper, things look bleak for the Dwarfs. That is, until the local human huntsmen arrive to investigate the intrusion into their territory, led by a young man with a powerful destiny. Determined to drive them off and free the Dwarf captives, he leads his men into battle against the Orcs…and the rest is history.

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Forgotten Texts: Space Marine by Ian Watson

“What shelter could there be from an insanity which existed only a membrane away from the ordinary world?”

Originally published in 1993, before Black Library even existed as a publishing house, Ian Watson’s Space Marine was his second 40k novel and went on to be something of a seminal work, influencing countless stories to follow. These days it’s really not ‘canon’ (more on this later) but there’s no doubt about its story credentials. The tale of three Necromundan youths raised to become Imperial Fists from wildly differing backgrounds, it follows Biff, Lexandro and Yeremi as they progress through the trials required to become a Space Marine, and then various missions as first Scouts and then full battle brothers.

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Forgotten Texts: James Wallis on The Dead Among Us

For an earlier Forgotten Texts article I looked at the short story The Dead Among Us by James Wallis, an old-school Warhammer story set in the city of Middenheim, which might be familiar to fans of the classic Warhammer book Hammers of Ulric. If you haven’t checked out that article, you can find it here. James has generously agreed to answer a few questions about writing this story, and his thoughts on the Warhammer setting today. Without further ado, let’s go straight onto the interview…

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Forgotten Texts: Know Thine Enemy by Gav Thorpe

“Though we live for battle, a war is fought with wits as well as weapons.”

An eighteen-year-old Black Library story finally given the ebook treatment, Gav Thorpe’s Know Thine Enemy is a rare foray into the Salamanders for an author much better known for his Dark Angels stories. On the Imperial world of Slato, an Eldar artefact has been uncovered by the newly-arrived colonists. Sent to defend the colony while the artefact is studied, Chaplain Ramesis and his battle brothers must fight through Eldar ambushes to reach the embattled Imperial defenders. Guided by their hatred of the xenos, the Salamanders zealously discharge their duty…but are the Eldar the real enemy?

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Forgotten Texts: The Raven’s Claw by Jonathan Curran

“I see ravens wheeling, but beyond the shadows there is only darkness.”

The Raven’s Claw is the first of Jonathan Curran’s two Black Library stories, a tale of betrayal and absolution. On a war-torn Imperial world, the planetary Governor watches from the relative safety of his palace while the city around him burns in the fire of rebellion. His personal psyker, a telepath tasked with identifying threats before they take place, finds his vision clouded and uncertain, his gift strangely dampened. Meanwhile a man wakes in the darkness of a penal legion dropship, with no memory of his name or who he is, and is thrown into the grind of war.

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Forgotten Texts: Mark Brendan on Tenebrae

One of my earlier Forgotten Texts articles featured the short story Tenebrae by Mark Brendan, a bleak, gripping, psychological story that’s quite unusual for Black Library. If you haven’t checked out that article, you can find it here. Mark has kindly agreed to answer some short questions about writing Tenebrae, and what he’s been up to since. Without further ado, here’s the interview…

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Forgotten Texts: The Falls of Marakross – Steve Parker

“Behind the greatest zeal, do we not often hide our secret shame?”

Steve Parker’s first story for Black Library, The Falls of Marakross is set in the Pyrus Reach, the setting for Sabretooth Games’ long out of print Dark Millennium card game. On the Imperial world of Cordassa, under siege by forces of Chaos, the arrival of a Dark Angels force led by Interrogator Chaplain Artemius raises the embattled defenders’ hopes. Inquisitor Heiron, however, is doubtful of the Angels’ objective – are they there to support the defenders, or for shadowy purposes of their own?

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Forgotten Texts: Dan Abnett on Ghostmaker

Regular readers will have seen my recent interview with Dan Abnett, and may also be aware of my Forgotten Texts series, where I look back at stories from the earlier days of Black Library. I recently covered Dan’s short story Ghostmaker for Forgotten Texts – you can find that article here – and while I was chatting to Dan for the main interview I asked a few questions related to that short story to use as an accompanying interview.

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Forgotten Texts: Orphans of the Kraken by Richard Williams

“For now, any action where no brother is lost must be victory enough…”

The first, and for a long time only, Black Library story focused on the Scythes of the Emperor, Orphans of the Kraken by Richard Williams takes place many years after the loss of Sotha and the Scythes’ near destruction at the hands of the Tyranids. Sergeant Tiresias, commanding the 21st Salvation Team, leads a handful of inexperienced, mismatched neophytes into the depths of a dead hive ship in search of long-lost brothers, or failing that, salvage. Unsurprisingly, things are not all they seem, and their mission takes an unexpected, dangerous turn.

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Forgotten Texts: Ghostmaker by Dan Abnett

“You’re Imperial Guard, servants of the Emperor first and nothing else second.”

His second Black Library short story, Dan Abnett’s Ghostmaker introduced the world to Colonel-Commissar Ibram Gaunt and the proud soldiers of Tanith, who would become Gaunt’s Ghosts. Given the command of three freshly-raised regiments, Gaunt barely has time to reach Tanith before a Chaos splinter fleet forces him to gather whatever fragmentary resources he can and escape to Imperial lines. Haunted by the loss of their world, the Tanith are resentful of not being allowed to stand and fight, but Gaunt is determined to begin the process of putting their unique skills to use on the battlefields of the Sabbat Worlds.

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