For the fifth instalment of the ongoing Horus Heresy-set The Primarchs series, Gav Thorpe takes a look at the primarch of the Word Bearers in Lorgar: Bearer of the Word. When disgraced preacher Kor Phaeron finds a strange infant – clearly touched by the gods – in the company of a band of ragged nomads travelling the arid lands of Colchis, he instantly recognises the potential for his own gain represented by Lorgar. We watch as he exerts his influence upon the impressionable Lorgar, and how their relationship develops as Lorgar himself changes.
Welcome to this instalment of Rapid Fire, my ongoing series of quick interviews with Black Library authors talking about their releases. These are short and sweet interviews, with the idea being that each author will answer (more or less) the same questions – by the end of each interview I hope you will have a good idea of what the new book (or audio drama) is about, what inspired it and why you might want to read it.
In this instalment I asked Gav Thorpe about his new Primarchs novel Lorgar: Bearer of the Word, which was first released a few months ago in limited edition format, and is now available to order in standard edition. Without further ado, over to Gav.
In the first part of my interview with games developer, Black Library author and all round top guy Gav Thorpe we talked about his early career with Games Workshop and Black Library, and his first couple of stories in Inferno! magazine. In this second part we talk more about his ongoing work with Black Library, as well as a little bit about what he’s got coming up, and the realities of life as a freelance author.
From games design and White Dwarf to freelance Black Library author, Gav Thorpe has had a huge impact on Games Workshop and its intellectual properties over the years. September 2017 marks the twenty year anniversary of Gav’s first Black Library short story – Birth of a Legend – while 2017 has also seen Gav receive a prestigious Gemmell Award for his Age of Sigmar novel Warbeast.
With both of those milestones firmly in mind, I spoke to Gav about his twenty-year career as a Black Library author and how that fitted in with his time at Games Workshop, along the way discussing his first two Black Library stories, his work in the audio medium, and loads more.
“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.
Day Three of 2017’s Black Library Summer of Reading campaign
Labelled as part of the Rise of the Ynnari series, Gav Thorpe’s short story Shadows of Heaven takes the character of Aradryan from the novel Path of the Outcast and brings him up to date in the new 40k setting. Now a Guardian of Alaitoc, he takes his place in the craftworld’s armies as they defend an Imperial world against a common enemy – the Black Legion. Troubled by memories of his previous paths and his fear of the eldar afterlife, he hopes to find clarity of purpose in the fires of battle.
Collecting together stories about the boys in blue from five different authors, Legends of the Dark Millennium: Ultramarines features two novellas, prose versions of two audio dramas, and five further short stories. The emphasis is on named characters, with such Ultramarines luminaries as Marneus Calgar, Chaplain Cassius, Cato Sicarius, Torias Telion and Varro Tigurius shared out across four stories by Graham McNeill, two by Nick Kyme, and one each from Steve Lyons, Josh Reynolds and Gav Thorpe. Lyons’ novella Knight of Talassar is exclusive to this collection, while the remaining stories are available elsewhere as well.
For issue nine of Hachette’s Warhammer 40,000 Legends Collection, Black Library legend Gav Thorpe gets his first inclusion with Angels of Darkness. First published way back in 2003, this is one of the seminal 40k novels, widely credited with nailing down much of the Dark Angels’ backstory and regularly referenced as one of the best books from that period of Black Library’s output. Typically, I somehow missed it first time around – it was just one of those books that I always meant to read, but never did. Happily, its inclusion in this collection gave me the perfect opportunity to remedy that situation!
Available as a standalone e-short or within the Path of the Eldar omnibus, Gav Thorpe’s short story Dark Son takes an interesting look at whether a warrior of Commorragh might be able to find peace and redemption through the Craftworlders’ concept of the Path. Dark Eldar incubus Kolidaran has spent his entire life fighting – to survive, to find the incubi shrine, to keep his soul safe from She Who Thirsts – but is there another option for survival, one that the Commorraghans have never considered? After joining a raid on an Alaitocii eldar ship, he has the chance to find out.
One of the classic Warhammer 40,000 novels, Gav Thorpe’s Angels of Darkness was probably the first Black Library novel to really look at the Dark Angels in detail. The story of Interrogator Chaplain Boreas and Fallen Dark Angel Astelan, it cuts to the heart of this most secretive of chapters and shows how their ongoing hunt for the Fallen has come to consume them. Told across two strands, one sees Astelan captured and interrogated by Boreas in a clash of ironclad wills, while the other sees Boreas on the hunt for further Fallen in and around the Piscina system.