When is a Primarchs story not a primarchs story? How about when it focuses on Malcador the Sigillite, as in LJ Goulding’s audio drama First Lord of the Imperium. It might not directly feature any primarchs, but if anyone knows their secrets it’s Malcador, and when he’s called to the bedside of an old friend to witness her final moments he comforts her with talk of the primarchs’ purpose and the grand plan he and the Emperor hold for mankind. Even under these circumstances, however, is it possible to sift Malcador’s words for the actual truth?
step on his road to world domination instalment in his ongoing Scythes of the Emperor arc, LJ Goulding’s audio drama Daedalus is a tense, breathless hour of aerial Space Marine action. Named for a particular Tyranid Hive Ship, its sees an under-strength assault squad embark on a dangerous mission to rescue a stranded apothecary and, more importantly, the geneseed he’s protecting. Still reeling from their losses at Sotha and Miral, the Scythes’ highest priority is to protect their precious stocks of remaining geneseed, but with so few brothers remaining they can only spare a handful for this risky mission.
Another instalment in LJ Goulding’s growing body of Scythes of the Emperor stories, Terminal Velocity is a micro-short story that tells an unusual tale. Told from the first person perspective of an unnamed Scythe, it’s a dizzying depiction of a Space Marine’s absolute dedication as our nameless protagonist survives the destruction of his transport ship only to freefall from fourteen thousand metres. To say too much more would spoil the fun, but suffice to say his options are limited, without a functioning jump pack or any way of calling for support from his embattled brothers.
In my latest interview with ex-Black Library editor Laurie Goulding we talked about what happened when Black Library was merged into the wider Publications department in Games Workshop, and how it eventually came back out the other side. If you’ve read the first part of this interview then I’m sure you’ll agree that it was a fascinating insight, but I hope you’ll also agree that despite some challenging times Black Library seems to be moving from strength to strength once more.
Slaughter at Giant’s Coffin is LJ Goulding’s first full Black Library novel, and it’s also the first ever novel focusing on the Scythes of the Emperor. As the title suggests, and its nature as a Space Marine Battles book, this focuses on a single action…the Scythes’ defence of the Giant’s Coffin bastion, on Miral Prime. Having lost their homeworld of Sotha to Hive Fleet Kraken, the battered remnants of the Scythes regroup in the Miral system, where the returning Chapter Master Thorcyra plans to rebuild the chapter. The shadow of the Kraken looms large however, and things look very bleak.
If you’ve been following Black Library for a couple of years or more, it probably hasn’t escaped your notice that there have been some ups and downs in terms of the volume and style of releases. You might remember 2015 as a year where only a single main-series Horus Heresy novel was released, or look at a fair few of the relatively recent books and see unusually close links to what’s been coming out of Games Workshop – the Warhammer End Times books for example, or the early Age of Sigmar stories and the War Zone Fenris releases.
Previously only available in the limited edition Visions of War: The Art of Space Marine Battles, the Scythes of the Emperor short story Heloth sees LJ Goulding continue to lay the groundwork for his novel Slaughter at Giant’s Coffin. We join the action partway through a mission, the remaining Scythes of 2nd Company falling back under the devastating assault of the tyranids disgorged by a crashed hive ship – the titular Heloth. With their captain dying and little hope remaining, things are looking bleak for 2nd Company…and the entire Chapter, in fact.
Day seventeen of Black Library’s 2016 Advent Calendar gives us The Aegidan Oath by LJ Goulding, a 40k short story…well, sort of. Set on Sotha at the turn of M32 it sees a pair of Ultramarines venture to Mount Pharos in search of Captain Oberdeii, the last of the Aegida Company. Almost a thousand years after the end of the Horus Heresy Oberdeii still holds to the oath he swore to his primarch, but times are changing in the rest of the galaxy. It’s time for the Ultramarines to finally remove the last reminder of Imperium Secundus.
Earlier in the week I posted the first part of a wide-ranging interview with Black Library Commissioning Editor Laurie Goulding, which included loads of fascinating details about Laurie’s work chronicling the Scythes of the Emperor chapter of Space Marines (which he writes under the name LJ Goulding). In this second part of the interview we talk about the other side of Laurie’s work for Black Library, as the man responsible for editing the Horus Heresy series!
I recently had the chance to sit down with and pose some questions to Laurie Goulding, Arch-Heretic and Herald of Pedantry, the man responsible for shepherding the colossal Horus Heresy series for Black Library. It’s not all Heresy though as Laurie also writes under the name LJ Goulding, and has his first full Black Library novel due for release early in 2017 – the Space Marine Battles book Slaughter at Giant’s Coffin.
Over a pretty wide-ranging interview we discuss his route through the hobby, how he wound up responsible for editing and commissioning the Horus Heresy, why he chose the Scythes of the Emperor as the subject of his first novel, and much more. In fact we covered so much ground that I’ve split the interview into two parts – in this first part we talk about Laurie’s background and how he found himself working for Black Library, and take a look at his work as a Black Library author, including the upcoming Scythes of the Emperor novel.
Without further ado, let’s get straight on with the interview…