Friday, October 05, 2007

Methods of jam defence.

It’s about time I answered the questions Tempest posted. And don’t think I’ve forgotten about the casting questions. Eliza Dushku as Criid is particularly good.

And so, to the questions.

“Will there be novel(s) where the Isstavaan V dropsite massacre and the Battle of Terra is described in full detail? Because right now, the books are skirting the main plot.”

Dan: We’re not skirting the main plot. We’re building the scheme of the Heresy. It’ll take quite a long time, because it is an epic event, and we don’t want to short change you. The massacre will be covered in detail, and the Battle of Terra will be written in full, once Graham and I have fought each other with knives for the honour.

“What novel are you most proud of, or do you think has had the most impact on GW fiction.

Dan: Horus Rising (and Legion) will have the most impact, and I’m proud of them both. However, there are other books that I’m proud of. Necropolis, because it was the book where I finally felt I was getting it right. Honour Guard, because it’s so neat in its symmetry. Traitor General for breaking the mold. The Armour of Contempt for the writing. Only in Death, because it’s a proper Ghost story. And Riders of the Dead, because it’s the best thing I’ve ever written. OK, all of them.

“How far do you plan on taking the Gaunt’s Ghosts series? Are we going to see the final battle of the Sabbat Worlds Crusade with the Ghosts?”

Dan: In my mind, I’m planning on at least another couple of story arcs with the Ghosts. I’d like to have them see out the campaign. I’m just not entirely sure they’ll survive that long. I do have an idea for the last Ghost story. One day, maybe...

“Any more plans to put out some full novels or short stories on Inquisitor Eisenhorn and his further adventures?”

Dan: Eisenhorn was always going to be a trilogy. Ravenor was intended to be a series, but after Ravenor Rogue, I realised that it should be a trilogy too. There will be more novels set in that “inquisitor family” series, and I might lift a character out of the Ravenor books for a trilogy, in the same way that I lifted Ravenor out of Eisenhorn. The Nayl trilogy, perhaps, or the Kyss trilogy, maybe. Before I get to that, there will be a book of Inquisitor short stories, exploring various moments in the lives of Eisenhorn, Ravenor, and their various henchmen. I’m writing that now, so Xhalax will be pleased, I hope.

“What is your next planned Horus Heresy novel?”

Dan: Well, Legion, obviously. After that, Graham and I are discussing how to handle Prospero.

“Can we expect to see any of your more in depth characters added to Warhammer 40K. It would be nice to actually see the Ghost characters put back into play. Eisenhorn and Ravenor maybe?”

Dan: As far as I’m concerned, all my characters are 40K. They’re part of the game universe, so they’re part of the game. It would be nice to see miniatures of some of the characters, but I’ll leave that up to the inventive scratch-building modellers out there.

“What are your future writing plans? Anything in the works for a new series?”

Dan: I’m about to start work on Titanicus, which will be an epic scale, or should I say Apocalypse scale, novel about Titans. At some point, I will get around to writing the second book in the Double Eagle series, and in 08, I will be writing a novel for Solaris.

“Are you a 40K player? If so, what is your preferred army?”

Dan: A-Duh. Imperial Guard.

“Will we ever see Brin Milo and Agun Soric again?”

Dan: Yes. I will not be drawn further on this topic.

“Here on we have several budding authors who frequently write short stories and even long series based on the 40K universe. Do you have any tips for the future writers of BL fiction, and budding sci-fi/fantasy writers in general?”

Dan: Read and write. Build up your writing muscles, because writing a novel is a long haul. Get feedback from people around you, and develop a thick skin. If they don’t like it, it’s your fault, not their’s. Try again and be better, and listen to what they’re saying.

“Which one of your many, varied characters has most in common with you?”

Dan: All of them, and none of them. But at a push, Zweil.

“In a similar vein, if you could be in the 40K universe, who (or what) would you be?”

Dan: A Necron. Or Orfeo Culzean.

“With Only in Death closing on its public release, and your plan to take a break, are you planning to revisit the Sabbat Worlds in other books? Or will Double Eagle II be the last for the forseeable future.”

Dan: I’ll be back with Gaunt in a year or so. From my perspective, I’ve already had a year’s break from Gaunt and the Sabbat Worlds campaign.

“Of the non-Warhammer stuff you have done, which is your favourite?”

Dan: My Torchwood novel was fun to do, and well received, and the comic work I do all the time is fantastic fun, partly because of my collaboration with Andy Lanning. I’ve recently enjoyed writing Superman for DC.

“Of the comic stuff you have co-created (rather than just written for) which makes you most proud?”

Dan: The answer has got to be Sinister/Dexter, which I created myself and have written every episode of (in 2000AD). I’m also very proud of the 2000AD strip, Kingdom. I’ve worked closely with Andy Lanning for 20 years now, and it’s fantastic that our run on Nova for Marvel is blasting out of the shops and earning us enormous praise.

“What’s it like to see your characters made into Citadel miniatures? Are they as you imagined them?”

Dan: It’s fabulous to see Eisenhorn and Gaunt brought to life. I want more!

“Do you have an Iron Snakes army?”

Dan: I wish.

“What is it like being Lord of the Universe?”

Dan: It’s fine, but the throne is a little hard on my backside.

“Who is your favourite character to write about, and why?”

Dan: Rawne, because he’s Rawne. See also Orfeo Culzean.

“If you could make a movie out of any one of your novels, what novel would it be, and who would you like to see acting in your movie?”

Dan: The casting details are still under discussion, here on this blog.

“You seem to have a very good working knowledge of a military fighting force and its organisation in the Gaunt’s Ghosts series. Do you have a military background? If not, what sources do you use?”

Dan: I have never served in the military, but I am flattered by the number of people who assume that I have. I read a lot, and study hard. Given the world we live in, there’s plenty to study.

For all of those waiting for pictures from GamesDay UK, they will appear, I promise. We're all wrestling with new computers at the moment, and haven't quite got them sorted out yet. Watch this space.


Billy Aguiar said...

1.) Is the Titanicus novel also set in the Sabbat World Crusade?

2.) Are you open to other authors writing within the Sabbat World's Crusade setting of 40k? (Not the Ghosts, but perhaps 50th Volpone or perhaps the Dark Tusks)

3.) You feel free to create new weapons, armies and vehicles for the 40K setting, such as the Stalker Tanks, loxatl and wyrdwolves. Is there any one particular 'creation' that you are especially proud of, or would like to see incorporated into the 40K game?

Anonymous said...

Eliza mmmmmmmmmm.....

cant wait for the new GG and will be starting on the Heresey books soon.

i hope soric comes back and explodes Harks head.



Tempest said...

thanks for answering the questions!

you just got some good karma!

Sotirios said...

Just a crazy idea, not so relative to the subject but I can't help asking it. Is Alpharius the Primarch whose geneseed is in the bodies of the Iron Snakes :) ?

b.p.steve said...

Apoc read Only in Death mate questions will be answered!

Sotirios Alpharius is the Primarch of the Alpha Legion who apparantly died in a duel with his brother, the dull witted Roboute Guilliman.


i still claim it was a fake and a ploy. Roboute was led to belive what he wanted to belive...?

whos Alpharius Alpharius
Remember thye best lies are always 90% true.

Dan a necron ??? sure as sure

b.p.steve said...

Apoc read Only in Death mate questions will be answered!

Sotirios Alpharius is the Primarch of the Alpha Legion who apparantly died in a duel with his brother, the dull witted Roboute Guilliman.


i still claim it was a fake and a ploy. Roboute was led to belive what he wanted to belive...?

whos Alpharius Alpharius
Remember thye best lies are always 90% true.

Dan a necron ??? sure as sure

Pack_master said...

Well, your military stuff's scary alright, 'nuff said. But I still have nightmares about the 50th Gudrunite Rifles, a single regiment 500,000 strong... ;)

I want a recording of your coming duel with Graham, by the way...

And not only Xhalax's pleased, I am too. Very pleased. Whew, Nathun!

Anonymous said...

I'm intrigued about Titanicus, and I can't wait for Legion. I need to get hold of the Saint omnibus though.

I'm definitely enjoying the Heresy series so far, and the Razing of Prospero will be something to see, all right!

As for that 500,000 strong regiment; I'm tempted to label it as a "Crusade" type regiment (contrasted to an infantry type regiment, mechanised, etc), where sheer manpower is needed to take a planet where there is no PDF force to back up the main Guard's attacks, but this is pure speculation besides the name, which I found in the 1997 Guard codex.

I wonder whether Titanicus' titans will follow the scale ~14m (at rest) Warhound -> ~20/25m Reaver, ~25/30m Warlord, 43m Imperator that is suggested in the current materials...

Anonymous said...

I cant wait to get OID, even more now b.p.steve ;o)

now i just need a the next george martin book and ill be in reding heaven for a couple of days ;oD

Apoc said...

I cant wait to get OID, even more now b.p.steve ;o)

now i just need a the next george martin book and ill be in reding heaven for a couple of days ;oD

Pack_master said...

George Martin?

Heh, that's funny. Reverse that, and it's my name :D

Apoc said...

wow, you name is Nitram Egroeg?

Pack_master said...

I should simplify my next statements, I think...

Tis one of the problems when english is not your first language ;) The correct word would have been "switch" (hopefully correct now ;))

Xhalax said...

And here was me thinking nothing could be better than a 26" widescreen LCD HD TV....and I was wrong.


Now my new, big-ass TV doesn't seem as classy as it did five minutes ago. I feel robbed and cheated by Currys.

Damn them!

NHZ said...

the 50th Gudrunite Rifles, a single regiment 500,000 strong...

Dear god! Someone should write a series about them. If you tried to develop a proportionate amount of characters to Gaunt's Ghosts...the books would be 1000 pages long and there'd be maybe 600 commissioned officers! Now that would be a real case of straining to keep track of who's alive and who's dead. And good luck coming with original names for everyone...

"I can't believe we lost Captain Maxwell.

"We didn't. We lost Captain McVell."

"I thought he died three books ago?"

"That was Macksell."

etc, etc, etc.

"Gudrunite blood is like an alcohol binge on the emperor's lips!"

(for those wondering, NHZ=Saberrox)

Rory said...

I preorderd the new GG book! =D

Assuming from the amount of character suggestions for the ghosts.. im guessing, that that will be the first movie on the cards? Necropolis in movie form.... Wow.

Apoc said...

that was not poor English Pack_Master, it was poor humor on my part ;)

If you get the chance pick up his book "a game of thrones", he takes Mr.Abnett's skill of killing someone you love reading about and killing them to new levels.

I can beleive some of you have OID already :'o( was it pre-release at gamesday? i knew i should have gone and not spent my 25th birthday with my wife and kids! ;o)



Kampfhamster said...

@ apoc: Jup I've finished OiD a week or so ago. It was pre-release at the GD UK. Descent of Angels too, I think but I had to make priorities. Ah yeah, I had a good laugh over your joke.

b.p.steve said...

Sorry guys completely not feeling A.O.D. For me its a great Dark Angel book but has completely lost the H.H tempo that other writers at B.L. have set so far .Half the book so far has been completly set in another time zone.Although i have to read ths second half i dont feel that theirs going to be enough pages in the book left to fill out what we need to know about the Dark angels role in the contempory H.H. series thier magnificent battles ,triumphs(really second only to Horus!)and eventual betrayal.Whats happend!
A great D.A. book but not much of a H.H. book ....sorry
lets hope the second half can "flip the script and kick ass"

ps never usually comment on a book till i have finished it just let down bad so far as its one of my fav Chapters

B.P.STEVE said...

Dan Vs Graham with knives huh
its a Kirk Vs Spock moment
i can even hear the music

Lordy said...

BP - I agree completely. Setting it mainly during Old Night and only just touching upon the Crusade made no sense to me.

Besides, we all know Johnson's the one who turned to Chaos, with loyal Luther the one who ended up saving the Imperium.

Kampfhamster said...

lordy... now my eyelid is twitching. Never say such things in open, it could disturb someones mind... like mine. XD

lordy said...


After much deep thought and concentration, I've decided my eyelid doesn't twitch. How do you do it?

Pack_master said...

Oooooooh... li'l Dark Angel's sobbing? Why why, that couldn't happen to strong Space Wolves... :D

b.p.steve said...

i am a space wolf fanatic
but still something must be said for a primarch who can survive a punch up with Leman and then have the smarts to bide his time an sucker punch the big fella!

In a fight to the death though my money is still on LEEEEEEMMAANN
RUSS RUSS RUSS .Who (because of the Canis Helix and its weird side effects)is genetically the strongest most fierce primarch of all,i mean magnus was bigger an Russ physically broke him in half!

Robert said...


I had a good laugh at your idea of getting Matt K back by killing a character named after him.

I do sort of the same thing. I've been writing a historical mystery for awhile now, and whenever my friends do me favors and insist that I dedicate a future novel to them, I always tell them I'll name a murder victim after them some day. The problem is that I write about English history, and a lot of my friends are Japanese.

I also regularly hijack the last names of authors who have written books I used for research, as part of a small tribute to how their work made the project richer.

A character in a 40k novel. Cool. I've got the same name as a Sly Stallone character.

Kampfhamster said...

packi, About the Wolfes I just say: "Wolf of Fenris" strike cruiser and Huron blackheart. :D Whatever, this feud will never find an end, I think. *snigger*

How do I do what? I wasn't able to stop my eyelid from twitching yet, if you mean that. Ok, maybe that has another reason, because I saw today an accident happen in front of me AGAIN.

lordy said...

I reckon some of the Chaos Primarchs would still take Russ down though bp. Angron - because that's what he does, Horus - because he beat the Emperor, only to be distracted and hit from behind, Fulgrim - because beating up loyalist Primarchs is his speciality.

I won't deny Russ is cool though.

b.p.steve said...

lordy ,Brother please u have got to be joking right!

Horus at the height of his chaos fuelled power he took on the Emperor so yeh
im a khornate player (hence the BP)
Angron is far to stupid .Even though Angron to is a berserker, Leman is just a absolute force of nature.

Fulgrim is perfection.But theirin lies his weakness he aint even ready for the low down dirty cunning of the wolf.i reckon the beast would tear of one of those pretty little legs of his,chew on it for a while an then beat him with the soggy end dude!

What we must remember is natural (or unnatural)defence against chaos that is the Canis Helix!The more pumped on chaos juice they are the more the wulfen gene is brought to the fore hence the wolves get stronger,faster more furry an smelly.Did i say mad as well.Even the Emperor uses them (and one other!) as terror troops.
When the Emperor went to first meet Russ he wore his own artcifer Terminator armour but
Disguised himself as a traveller.He then proceded to lose all the challenges set before him(how many times did that happen).He then unveiled his disguise and had subdue his son with the Emperors own annointed powerfist!

The other i refer to is Konrad Curze ,s chapter The Night Lords.
Im sure he gave Rogal Dorn a good hiding!

b.p.steve said...

Kampf, i read that story to but what i read said something about renegade wolves to!

im seeing khornate wolves in my mind uuueeerrrr (i do my best homer s. impression)

Allandaros said...

Hi Dan,

New reader to your blog. Big fan of (what else) the Ghost books. Unfortunately, my friendly local bookstore doesn't have the Horus Heresy books in stock, else I'd grab those.

Looking back a few posts, I saw your mentioning the song "Brothers in Arms" as an appropriate song for the Ghosts.

I don't know if it would quite fit the Ghosts, but I know that the Iron Maiden song "These Colors Don't Run" always puts me in mind of the Imperial Guard. Thought I'd recommend it.

Also, a question - do you anticipate writing anything for either the Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay or 40K RPG game lines?

Chris said...

Just a quick one to say happy birthday for the 12th Dan and can't wait to get my hands on OiD. Have spent the last two weeks re-reading all the Ghosts stories to get myself ready for it.

Chris also said...

p.s. I've always linked Christy Moore's version of "Viva La Quinta Brigade" with the ghosts - it's on his 2006 Live at the Point albumn - if you don't own it I highly recommend :)

Pack_master said...

Hum, I only know the Dubliners' version...

lordy said...

BP - it might be wise to point out that the challenges consisted of eating and drinking contests. Not exactly the things great heroes are made for.

As far as I see it, Fulgrim beat Ferrus Manus, Fulgrim beat Roberto Gulliman (whose name I can't spell), and Roberto beat Alpharius. How many primarchs did Russ beat? Only the Sorceror, who - while a giant - wasn't exactly the most combat oriantated of the bunch.

Anonymous said...

Hi Dan, as you briefly mentioned Torchwood, please can you confirm your new novel Everyone Says Hello is going to be a real book (with pages and everything) and not some exclusive audio only recording?
Regards Kevin ukkly

b.p.steve said...

Lordy to be fair mate thats exactly the way the Emperor saw it!
Eating and drinking was no way for a primarch to be spending his time hence they fought, Leman lost.
But i think i u read into it more the way the the other Primarchs talk about him is as if he is in a differrent league and more than truly capable!
As a character and a close combat beast i think he is truly unstopable.

Leman does have his weaknesses though .i wouldent have said his was the best tactician of the bunch hes hotheaded,arrogant (though mixed with a big heart)boastful and egotistical an most of his victories through the crusade come via the Lion D.A.Although reading some of the latest fluff their trying to seperate the brothers more.Roboute G. Rogal dorn,Ferruss manus are all great Primarchs but i dont think they can hold a candle to the likes of The Wolf,The Angel,The Lion,an The Khan!which is probably why they get hammered.In the original version Horus lowerd the shields on his B.B. to finish it quikly because the wolf an lion were on their way says something dun it!

Did i just say that most of Lemans victories in the crusade come via the the Lion man i will never live that down!

an i still say Alpharius let Roboute belive he was fighting him

Sure as sure

Pack_master said...

Uhm... you know that Russ has written a bunch of books about tactics and should be considered one of the greatest tacticians ever lived? His work "Meditations on Imperial Command" consists of at least 21 volumes...

Pack_master said...

Oh, hey Dan! BL has practically copied this Blog! The new news rants header's " 'I am Alpharius!' " :D

B.P.STEVE said...

Pack master all Primarchs are Tactical geniuses just some better than others.For instance Russ has been known (when his ego has been bruised) to do rash things in the heat of battle i think its a case of do as i say not as i do .Which as far as im concernd makes him even more of a character!

Lordy u still out there .Primarchs one of my fav subjects in 40K.
anyone else read O.I.D.?

Rossy said...

Just reading the thingummy about the Gudrun 50th, I actually wrote some fan-fic about them (indeed I still am). It was a later founding (725.M41) and the regiment was smaller (90'000), and I killed most of them in one action but its certainly been interesting trying to find interesting characters to flesh the unit out. I found focussing on one company was the easiest thing to do as it gives you lots of scope to delve further into characters who would often just be a name on a register somewhere.

Also, retrospective apologies to Dan for nicking his regiment. You are Alpharius!

marco said...

Allandaros asked; Also, a question - do you anticipate writing anything for either the Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay or 40K RPG game lines?

Check the Dark Heresy rulebook: there are major contributions from Dan (and Ben Counter) in the sections on the overall 40K background and the Calixis Sector where the game is set.

-- marco @ BL

lordy said...

Still here BP.

I'm not dening that Russ is one of the hardest primarchs - just that some of the others were better. Before they became daemon princes of course - because afterwards even Russ would stand no chance.

And while Space Puppies are controlled by their emotions more than the other loyalists, on sheer aggression they were never a match for the World Eaters. If it's a force of nature you're talking about, Angron all the way.

sredni vashtar said...

don't forget that Fulgrim was possessed. physical prowess aside, he wasn't psychologically capable of killing another Primarch himself, even when his own life was directly threatened.

whereas Russ was happy enough to go after Magnus on the basis of little more than personal animosity. what a bounder!

Xhalax said...

Only In Death BP Steve? it weeks ago

B.p.steve said...

Lordy , Angron....? Angron...?
a we talking about the primarch who lost his homeworld to mere men ?
who lost his army an friends!
whose lip even now still quibbles
at the thought!
no Angron is just a is just a butcher of men not primarchs
and even then he needed pyscho surgery.His hordes lost against Logan Grimnar and he lost to some grey knights.Where as Leman still leads the Wulfen in the eye hunting down deamon prince Primarchs!(probably wishful thinking but still).Even as a good guy Leman is a bastard and the the only Primarch who also has animal d.n.a. which for me is the punch the others dont have .

But i dont think im gonna convince u Lordy am i? Bro who is ur fav Primarch an why .
That question goes out to everyone else to!
Dan i expect urs is Alpharius?

Sredni - your the man

Xhalax-what did u think of Harks big moment?

Lordy-cant belive u whent their with the Space Puppies thing.Next u will be telling me they sniff an clean themselves as wolves do!

Pack_master said...

I'm not dening that Russ is one of the hardest primarchs - just that some of the others were better. Before they became daemon princes of course - because afterwards even Russ would stand no chance.

Magnus was already transformed by Tzeentch when Russ broke him nearly in half. Magnus only hat to look on even the meanest Long Fang to kill them on sight, and Russ beat him halfway to death... ;)

Ferrus wa skilled by the still-human (as long as you could say soemthing like that considering the primarchs, but you get the meanig) Fulgrim; Robby Gee was nearly killed by the transformed Fulgrim, and Leman Russ, by all rights, devastated the transformed Magnus in one blow.

And never forget - he not only survived a blow from the emperor's Power Fist, but he was completely conscious again after one hour!

IMHO, Russ is the hardest Primarch of all when confronted in battle. Angron may be a simple and mindless killing machine, but I doubt he would have stand a chance again Leman's skills with Mjalnar.

So... Dan, the moment you have Graham lying in the dust at your feet after your knife duel, begin writing the SPace Wolves part, yes? :) I can't wait since I read the stories about the battle for Prospero in the Collcected Visions.

lordy said...

BP - I had to get one shot in at the Wolves, and puppies is the time honoured classic. My favourite Primarch used to be Fulgrim - or at least, he was until I read the end of 'Fulgrim' and found out what happens to him.

Now I'm still making my mind up. Night Haunter has always been one of my favs. Shame he's dead though.

sredni vashtar said...

lordy - I agree. I don't feel that, overall, having Fulgrim possessed really adds anything to the HH story. while it's a good tragic subplot and all, it seems to somewhat trivialize the whole fall-from-grace thing by saying "...but it was actually a daemon what done it, cos Fulgrim was a weak-willed drip."

I know Chaos was a largely unknown quantity even to the Primarchs at the time, and they were all, to some degree, personally flawed from their creation, but I still can't help feeling like it should have taken greater (and sicker) events to subvert a Primarch's honor and humanity than just picking up a possessed weapon.

I DO think Graham McNeill did a superb job writing the story, however. I have very few criticisms of the actual novel itself.

Xhalax said...

BP Steve.

I just generally love Hark and all that he does, he can do no wrong in my book, despite being a Commissar.

Plus I love how hardcore he is without being so gung-ho about it (the arm, the burn, the crash etc). Loved Rawne's comment about him in Armour of Contempt while watching him practicing with Gaunt....and so so true.

Plus putting the journal entries in by him and Ludd (he's like a little Andrex puppy, I just want to hug the life right out of him) was a brilliant idea....spelling errors especially!

But still....needed more Ban.

lordy said...

sredni vashtar - trouble is, it's in the offical HH story, long before Grahem McNeill wrote 'Fulgrim'. I didn't realise it at the time, but it's actually in the Collected Visions storyline (can't remember which book though). So it had to happen.

Grant said...

*Blinks, looks around in wonder*

How is that I never knew Dan Abnett had a blog! At least now I have something interesting to read while I travel the interwebs.

*Waves to Dan*


sredni vashtar said...

lordy: yeah, I realize that, which is why I think Graham did so well with what he'd got to work with. he managed to write it so that it didn't detract from the novel itself, even though I'm not so keen on possessed-Fulgrim in the broader/long-term sense.

B.P.STEVE said...

Xhalax- the relationship bewtween Ludd an Hark was definatly the comical side of the book .The slaps he endured and the note certainly gave me a giggle,

i just hope all the Primarchs an their legions get their own books and legends told, as far as im concerned they had a bit of a bump with D.O.A. but i am sure they will get back into the fray shortly. Glad Legions on its way ,i literally only know whats written about them in their chapter background which is cool because Dan will have virtually a blank page to start with.
Fulgrim is definately a top Primarch an i think Graham M. done him justice(considering he,s a massive Ultra fan!)but he also really earthed him out making everthing plausible(as much as u can in 40k)an flow really well.

so untill the Ultramarines and the forces of Maccrage wage civil war on the corrupt imperium and restore it to its former glory (i know the wolves would back em)

NHZ said...

I just generally love Hark and all that he does, he can do no wrong in my book, despite being a Commissar.

"Commissar Hark," Hark announced, routinely. "This is the end. Expect no mercy and resign yourselves to a life of misery."

Hark is great, and scary as hell.

C C K P said...

Dear Dan,

I was very interested to see your response to the 'What novel are you most proud of?' question - one I have wanted to ask you myself for a long time.

For me the 40k milieu is at its most powerful when touching on theological themes, so I would have to rate 'Sabbat Martyr' as my favourite of your novels by far. The last scene of chapter four, 'Magnificat', where Gaunt meets the Saint, is the best I have read.

Many thanks for your efforts. I am starting to write myself now.



Xhalax said...

BP Steve

Yeah, those slaps were brillaint. I giggled like a mad woman (yeah, i know that's practically a given for me anyway....but still!) when that happened, though it was swiftly followed by an 'awwwww!' for Ludd.

But I love the dynamics between the two of them, it's exceptionally refreshing, especially since they're two characters are aren't originals and aren't Tanith or Verghastite or Belladon. Plus it's great to see the 'other side' too.


Totally agree with you on that one. I'd definitely be marching into the very fires of hell rather than turning and running on Hark.

Gotta love the hardcoreness!

Allandaros said...

Check the Dark Heresy rulebook: there are major contributions from Dan (and Ben Counter) in the sections on the overall 40K background and the Calixis Sector where the game is set.

-- marco @ BL

Ah, if only I could check the Dark Heresy rulebook. Any chance you can pre-emptively send me a copy? :D

(Also, now you've gone and sold me on the book. You didn't really need to do that, now. I was already planning on buying a copy...)

Also, I will join in the general appreciation for Hark's awesomeness. He has a plasma pistol. Plasma pistols always lead to awesome.

My only grumble is his telling infantry to charge a Baneblade. :)

Jesse said...

I wouldn't want to face a baneblade. Ever. But whatever his motivation, Hark had the right idea. If you are infantry, then being close to a tank is a lot better than being farther away.

If you can get below the maximum declination of its main weapon, you are a huge threat. Cook off a grenade in the barrel or use one to knock off a track or the engine cowling. Molotov a viewport or the commander's cupola. Pipebomb the shell magazine.

Even in a humvee, my main concern isn't the guy with the RPG. If I can see him, I can kill him. As long as I have stand-off from the vehicle, I have a thousand linked rounds of hurt to put in his direction. My nightmare is the guy who wants to blow himself up right next to me.

Now if I could just get the Army to issue me a plasma pistol. . .

Nik said...

Jesse - are you telling me they haven't already... How remiss of them! We must all petition GWB to get you the right kit asap.

Xhalax said...

I hate plasma weapons....they always go 'Pop!' on me...well more like 'ffftzzzt.'

Never had any real success with them...except on that last Sister as she ran for her life....but that's besides the point.

Gimme a melta any day of the week instead!

Rory said...

If i was orderd to take on a baneblade by hark? id do it in a second. that guy would scare the hell out of me.

And i'd Rather be at the front of a bane blade. Have you seen the size of the Heavy Bolter on the sides? its alittle crazy..


b.p.steve said...

Now thats one weapon thats sure to work.Even in reality they have micro wave weapons as a "none lethal" alternative.Never got my hands on a flame thrower though,even in in Advanced infantry.
Flame has a way making sure people put aside the political views ,as we saw in Glasgow.Even the most hardcore bombers will address their would be victims/ targets with a certain amount of respect hollering the words "HELP ME PLEASE IM ON FIRE."
Yes i am a proper fire bug.
When joining the Junior leaders(Military Academy in the British sense)my father took me to my interviews (by force).As a proud Scotsmen whos family has a great military tradition he expected me to be thoughraly enthusiastic .So when asked by the recruitment officer "why do u want to join the Army" all the other prospects talked, careers an opputunities i replied (full of rebellion) "to fucking kill people" thinking i would be led out of the room. Instead a Colour Sgt. stepped forward and said "u should be proud sir.Can u belive the fucking enthusiasim in this kid" ........ My fate was sealed!

Nik said...

BP - I do hope that story's true. It made me laugh!

Pack_master said...

Hehe, these are the reasons wha I wanna be a scotsman... they have nice things to drink there, and they have my kind of humor...

Heh, already been mistaken for a scotsman once - by a scotsman.
Well, I've nice red hair, but it doesn't speak for my language skills, though...

b.p.steve said...

Belive it not its true!.But in reality my old man went ape shit an i got a clip round the ear .In fact i still talk to my O.C. an still call him sir,bit of respect u know. with out goin on to much my younger life was very hard and my escape was reading everthing i could 2000ad,marvel,L.O.R.,Warhammer,D&D,Dragonlance all Fantasy u know.The good thing is i came out of it with a great imagination, which is something they can never take away
from u. so keep the books comin guys bein able to capture someones imagination is a priceless gift!

im getting all nostalgic now so im signing of..... sure as sure

NHZ said...

My only grumble is his telling infantry to charge a Baneblade.

That scene made me giggle. Gaunt says something like: "It's a Baneblade, you moron. I'm running too."

john said...

Oh sweet dancin' moses. BP that story made me damn near die laughing. I've been in a state of lightheadedness and exaustion the past 10 days or so and when something hits me right, I can't stop laughing.

That's the second thing today, the first being when a friend told me about a Texas kid getting arrested for having what was presumed to be a rifle at school, but it turned out to be like a 4 foot burrito wrapped in a towel.

Jesse said...

I've honestly never fought a Baneblade or its equivalent. I can say from experience what even the near-passing of a 120mm sabot round does to soft tissue, and it's the polar opposite of pretty. Even if the tank (in this instance, the M1A2 Abrams MBT) doesn't deign to engage you with it's main weapon, there are still the co-axle and loader-fired 7.62mm machine guns. Oh! And let's not forget the ubiquitous 'Ma Deuce,' the commander's M2 .50 caliber heavy machine gun. I would rather be anywhere but in front of that machine.

The problem with modern tanks is that they really don't address the issue of side and/or rear threats. Nowadays that is the real danger-area. The bad guys know where the armor is thinnest. I've seen what those antichrist-inspired EFP's can do to an M1, or even what a simple RPG can do when it hits the right place. I think modern tank designers could do worse than re-introduce the side-sponson.

Just my two cents.

b.p.steve said...

Pack Master just re read one of ur posts were u call Roboute guilliman Robby Gee
bloody hillarious!
u can just imagine him as one of Take That standing 9 foot high
singing Relight my Fire
God help me i have that image in my head now!

Relight my Fire

Rossy said...

Primarch-style singing contests anyone? My money is on Sanguinius, pretty boy seems like a singer to me. Or Fulgrim, though that may be painful. Very painful.

I'm gonna stand wih Mortarian actually, spoken word poetry and moaning dirges. Death Guard all the way!

Pack_master said...

@ BP Steve

In my german forums, Robby Gee's somekind of the "official nickname" of Roboute Gulliman - because in german, his name's even worse: Gulliaume. Why they always want to make it french? Sigh.

Allandaros said...


I understand what you're saying about closing in with the tank to avoid its primary weapons fire, but the impression I've always had of the Baneblade (in the Honor Guard scene) is that a) it was essentially so tough as to be impervious to infantry weapons, even at close range, and b) the heavy bolters in side sponsons would cut the Ghosts apart.

b.p. said...

yeh u can imagine Sanguinius singing Frank sinatra at the defence of the gates of Terra

"And now the end is near ........But much more,much more than this, i did it myyyyy wayyyy"

b.p. said...

wow 75 posts on this blog !

Pack_master said...

Ho, I just thought of Fulgrim, in the fight against Ferrus starting singing "Do you really want to hurt me.." ;D

NHZ said...

If Sanguinus was a Sinatra fan, I wonder if the reason for his killing at the hands of Horus was that he told the Warmaster to "go blow on some other guy's dice." :D

b.p. said...

Dan about Riders of the dead & Fell cargo are we going to see any more in these series

Pack_master said...

Oh man... what about a big musical abut the Heresy... taking Sanguinius on the gates, Fulgrim with "Do you really want tohurt me", and when Luther get's arrested by Jonsons's fellow marines, singing "In the jungle, the mighty jungle, the lion sleeps tonight..."

Oh man! ;D

nik said...

All - I couldn't resist being number 80. You lot are pretty impressive.

Dan apologises for the hiatus. He will blog again when he has recovered. Dan's cooties are very, very nasty - the ultimate, perhaps, in germ warfare.

You will all get extra credit if you hit the century before he blogs again.

Pack_master said...

Come on, guys'n'gals, we gonna get it!

Xhalax said...

Pack Master....I take it you want us to get there by proper posts rather than one word per post so that about twenty posts makes one sentence?

Well you'll have to do it on your own without and my whiplash are off to London Baby!

lordy said...

I agree nik. We are very impressive.

And now have an overinflated view of ourselves, thanks to you.

Rossy - Fulgrim would easily win any singing contest - everyone nearby would end up with their ears bleeding, and brain dribbling through the eye sockets. Sonic weaponry for the win.

(post 83 I think, keep it coming)

b.p said...

I dont know i think Leman Russ an the Howlers would go far they cant sing cant act ,definatly the naxt winners of the x factor/pop idol

NHZ said...

If the Howling Griffons were an original Legion and not just an offshoot chapter, I'd say their primarch would win a singing contest. I mean, seriously, who could sing louder than a Howling Griffon?

That said, man did the Howling Griffons make me mad in the latest Soul Drinker book. They should NOT have been allowed to kill my favorite character...

b.p said...

Fulgrim as Boy George....

NHZ said...

Oh, and after scanning the questions on this blog post again, I have to say, no more Ravenor books? He'd better make a cameo in the Harlon Nayl trilogy.


Allandaros said...

Cooties? Germ warfare? Arrrgh, curse you, foul Nurgle! You and your pestilence!

(Remember - kill the apothecaries, they spread the taint.)

Hmm. I'm sure this is a bad idea, but I would definitely pay money for a metal opera version of the Horus Heresy. As long as the Dark Angels get some awesome riffs, all is well.

lordy said...

I just saw the 'The Chronicles of Malus Darkblade Vol 1' on the BL website, coming out Aug 08. I was just wondering if this was all five books in one, or only two/three books.

And if it's all five books, does that mean we will be getting Darkblade Book 2 in novel form as well?

*holds breath*

b.p.steve said...

The Emperor to Horus
"you,ve lost that lovin feelin"
Sanguinius to Horus singing
"Take my breath awayyy"

Horus to Emperor?

b.p.steve said...

Dan Alpharius ?
i think at the Moment Dan is Mortarion!

b.p.claire said...

Nik - Stephen suffers from man flu badly so dont listen to him

Rory said...

Ultimate in germ warfare eh?

I think you could make alot of Money selling that suff ;) im sure the french will buy it or somthing!

Oh! speaking of Germ warfare did any of you Hear about the "Gay Bomb" the americans tried to develop?

It had somthing in it,Afrodisiac...(excuse my terrible spelling) that made comrades love eachother, rather than fighting they would be too busy Engaging themselves with each other.


Pack_master said...

@ Xhalax

Sure my dear, quality's always ahead of quantity.

@ Allandaros: a metal opera of 40k/HH? Heh, like the sound of that.
I just thought of the Wolves tearing Prospero down to "When Gjallerhorn Will Sound.." by Falkenbach... *joyous*

Tim said...

Sorry to hear of Dan's unwell-ness. I myself was layed low for a several days last week, reduced to curling up in a ball in bed and moaning ocassionally. Maybe this will teach the BL to go easy on him in future (accursed deadlines)!

I'm itching to get my hands on Only in Death now. It seems everyone but me was at Games Day.. Ah well, I have more than enough bookage to keep me occupied until then.

I'm liking the sound (haha) of a sing-off between the primarchs. Angron would probably be a bit too angsty for my liking, and Guilliman too middle of the road. Now Alpharius, his musical tastes would be interesting..

NHZ said...

I am Alpharius! And by the way, I'm eating the jam right now! Muahahahahaha! Pwaaaaahahaha! Bwaaaaahahaha! Gaaaaahahahahaha!

b.p.steve said...

Well were nearly at 100 posts.This has realy been a blogathon.
I think, Dan as Alpharius should write out the lyrics to a song that he would sing .Come on Dan for all to hear!
But whos Gonna get the top blog!
Dan,Nik,Xhalax.Pack master,lordy,Matt.c.(were are u my slanneshi friend),Jesse,Apoc,Tempest,Kampf,John,sredni,robert,rory,nhz....i just realized the list is goin on, and if i forget anyone i am going to feel like a right tit! so i am going to stop there.

Nik said...

Claire - I was suspitious of the man flu, until he started bleeding internally! Imagine how I felt after that? I don't think I'll ever dare think such a thing again... on the other hand... the larger they are...

Just make sure Steve's at the business end when it counts... and you must be counting down by now?

Best with everything.


(no 98)

Allandaros said...

In a primarch singing contest, you know Jonson is going to bring the awesome. The Dark Angels have got that nice mix of righteousness and...well, darkness...that'll send the Lion straight to the top.

Also xhalax, if you come across any plasma weaponry you don't want, PLEASE send it my way. I'd be happy to take it off your hands...

(Hmm. Plasma weaponry...)

Wonder who gets post 100?

lordy said...

Johnson? You really think the Dark Angels innate emoness is enough to win them a singing contest?

Actually, scratch that - they can be fairly cool. The Fallen that is a least. Everyone loves Cypher.

Oh, and *sound of triple didgets shattering*

Allandaros said...

Oh yeah. Cypher gets oodles of points.

I'm afraid I never saw the Dark Angels as emo. That was the Doom Eagles, what with their "everyone's already dead, life sucks" mantra.

I always pictured the DA as being more like anti-heroes; the Elrics to the paladins of the Ultramarines. Hmm, Elric's a whiny wuss. Maybe that's not a good analogy. Maybe something like The Man With No Name as opposed to the Lone Rangers of the Ultramarines.

b.p. said...

Nik -that sounds quite serious send our love an get well soon mate!

Fitz said...

Ahh excellent why haven't I stumbled upon this sooner. I've been a long time fan of Mr. Abnett's writing the ghost novels in particular being a guard player.

If you don't mind me asking, I've always wondered how much (if at all) were you influenced by Bernard Cornwell's Sharpe's series when you were first developing the Ghost novels?

Jesse said...

Damn! I was so hoping for that hundredth post slot! Damned field exercises!

Dan: Get well soon (read: NOW-ish!). My whole company has the "Barracks Funk." I'm up to my ears in sick friends. I need to know at least one of them is on the road to recovery!

Nik: My wife wishes that I submit her condolences to you. She nursed me back to health from the pneumonia I contracted at Basic Training and thus has deep sympathies for the spouses of sick husbands. (Sick as in physically unwell. Just clarifying).

Fitz: Welcome!

Graham: You are a monkey. Period. Don't ask for an explanation. Just accept it.

Matt Keefe: Oh, and even as I mourn my own death, you still write a hell of a book! Kudos, bro.

Graham again: After further consideration, your status has been upgraded to Adeptus Chimpanzee. Again, don't ask.

Jesse said...

Oh, and Lordy and Allandaros: Hell yes! Lion El'Jonson would put adamantium-sheathed foot to ass at any Imperial karaoke competition! Without even breaking a sweat!

I, for one, picture him as a buttery-voiced, Elvis-esque crooner.

"I'm caught in a trap. . ."

"I won't walk out. . ."

"Because I'm stubborn too much, baby. . ."

The Dark Angels are my heroes. I have played them for more than a decade now. They are, IMHO, simply the best Space Marine army on the tabletop. They have the aggression of U.S. Marines, the tenacity of the Mujahideen, and a guilt-complex that would have my uber-Catholic grandmother doing yoga in her grave! Besides, in what other army could I get away with using the Smite Fairy?

Pack_master said...

Smite Fairy? Sorry, as not-native-english-speaker, even als english-loving as be (as books are in original alsways better than translations - simply nod if you've read the german violation of the ghost novels), this particular description is nothing I can give a picture to... can someone gimme a hint? ;)

Robert said...

Man, I go out of state for a wedding and look what you guys do... over one-hundred posts.

If a musical is to be made of 40k, I can't wait for Horus's show-stopping rendition of "Let the Galaxy Burn."

The heartbreaking saga will end as the Emperor sings his last, sad song as he ascends the Golden Throne: "Do Not Resuscitate." ("Please send me on death's journey/ Where's Russ? He has Power of Attorney...")

b.p. said...

its definately a sing off between
Fulgrim and Sanguinius the Glam rockers of the bunch, backed up by a well girded Robby Gee an the Ultras.Talking of D.A. as rockers they were the Chapter on the Cover art of G.W.s D.Rok album which is about 20 years old.Old enough for them to have been in their original black armour ,which was later shaded to dark green.the faces and poses were based on Al,pacinos scarface.

b.p.steve said...

Nik- i have seen the worst injuries possible even had to clean up dead friends.But go the buisness end ... that would frighten even me !i would probably pass out.When claire posted that i suffer from man flu and not to listen to me, it made me think do all men really suffer from man flu?,are women able to cope with more pain than men?do men ever go to the Doctors?
Claires due on the 27th so fingers crossed.

Nik said...

Big - My first labour was 37 hours of 3 minute contractions. Show me the man that can do that, and then embark on a career as a full time mother, without stopping for a nap, and I'll shake his hand.

Nik said...

Claire - Ooh, Scorpio, I've got one of those. One day, she's going to rule the world, and we'll all have to begin again with an Empress.

Pack_master said...

As far as I know women are missing the genom that makes it possible to die through pain, therefore women ar eable to give birth to children. Me would die at this pain, as far as I recall the notes.

Pack_master said...

MEN would die at this pain. Sorry, this important letter was missing :D

Robert said...

It's ok pack_master, me would die at this pain too.

Strangely, that sentence actually made sense.

My response whenever girls give me grief about how men don't have to go into labor, my response is always:

"No, we don't bear the pain of childbirth-- but YOU don't get drafted into wars."

Robert said...

Aw, balls.

Of course I tease p_m about a typo and make one myself.

hamster said...

B.P. Steve
All the best for the 27th (and for the 21st, try not to eat too many doughnuts).
I'm sure the real reason Russ was late getting back to the Emperor was a bit of 'man flu'....

b.p.steve said...

Hamster welcome to the Dan abnett blogathon u Dark Angel nut u.

NHZ said...

Just curious, how many of y'all ordered "The Inquisition"? I just got it earlier today, and it's very impressive. I love the combination of the background of all the characters listed and the great artwork. My sister is no WH40K fan--something I've probably mentioned at some point on here ("Wait, the phone died?" "AN ASTROPATH IS NOT A PHONE!!")--just an artsy person, and she loves the illustrations. Great stuff.

Plus the intro written by Dan calls me, the reader, an Inquisitor. I like that. If I was anything in the WH40k universe, that'd be my chosen profession. :D

Allandaros said...

@nhz: Heh. I often play a little game of "How would I survive in the 40K universe?"

It usually winds up with me getting executed by the Imperium or eaten by a 'nid.

@pack_master - where did you hear about the "not dying from pain" genome? I don't recall ever hearing of such a thing, and it sounds kinda dodgy to me.

Apoc said...

If i was in the 40k universe i'd end up a latrine servitor for a grossly obese lower hive lord with the constant runs! i'd be a squat bot ;o)

Rory said...

Hah, if i was in the 40k universe? id Probably WANT to be a ghost. but end up being somthing crappy, like a street rat. or kitchen staff, or somthing.

Pack_master said...

@ nhz:

Plus the intro written by Dan calls me, the reader, an Inquisitor. I like that. If I was anything in the WH40k universe, that'd be my chosen profession. :D

Heh. haven't read Eisenhorn?
Please type in your authority cearence. >**********


Thank you, Inquisitor. You may proceed.

Its the introduction that made me buy Xenos in the first. I always had been an Inquisition fan, but there hasn't been much information to it that time. Well, I knew there were these three books Xenos, malleus, Hereticus, and I knew these were the three major orders. So.. the introduction made me do it.
I still think of the Eisenhorn Trilogy as the best books I ever read, not only 40k - mainly because it's written in 1st person and therefor you get this one point of view. The detective style of Eisenhorn is... whew. Dan, love you for that.

And in the Introduction to the Omnibus you called it a pain in the ass to write in 1st person - but for me, this is what makes the Trilogy worthwhile.

NHZ said...

Yes, I read the Eisenhorn trilogy and loved it. I think it deserves the full Peter Jackson treatment someday.

I meant, "I like being called an inquisitor again..."

At this rate, maybe I'll get elevated to Lord Inquisitor. Who wants to sponsor me? Lord Inquisitor NHZ for a better tomorrow! :P

Allandaros said...

You can only be granted the rank of Inquisitor after facing a few questions, Citizen NHZ. First: Cake or death?

NHZ said...


wrathchild said...

hey b.p. steve, just wondering the blood pact pictures is your army right?

if so was wondering if you had any more i could see

doing my own blood pact force, spent about 2 days painting up my Baneblade, which i've named the Sound of Distruction, must put some pictures up of my army at some point...



wrathchild said...

oh and to all your crazy guys how love that badass Hark, the best bit with him as gotta be when i gets shot by the Loxatl and still has the balls to plug one

my favourite ghost characters are Larkin and Brostin, i love how Brostin throws Larks outta the plane in Traitor General, classic!

Damian Leach said...

I note with approval and anticipation that you're writing an Inquisitorial anthology.

Any chance of some Midas Betancore tales in there amongst the other good stuff? I always felt a little cheated that we only got one book of him, then he was offed in a subscript. Especially given how pivotal avenging his death became to the Eisenhorn trilogy.

So if you're able, more Midas!

FethingFlaherty said...

B.P. Steve.. regarding your comment earlier about the Russ in a fight. I would side with angron and lordy. A full sized wall fell on him and then he jumped up and killed people. Im sorry I think that tops snapping a person in half.