Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Maidstone signing

Just wanted to post a quick note to announce that I'll be signing at Waterstones (Fremlin Walk) in Maidstone on Saturday 10th November, from 3.30 tp 4.30. Please come along if you can and say hi.

Further to the question 'how many Space Marines does it take to change a light bulb?', I think it's worth remembering that any change is heresy and must be stamped out for the good of the Imperium (answer sanctioned by the ordos of the Imperial Inquisition).

Or... an entire chapter. One Space Marine to hold the lightbulb, and the rest of the chapter to unscrew the hive in the opposite direction.

Compare also: a Dark Eldar joke. "How many mon-keighs does it take to tile a bathroom?" Ans: "It depends how thinly you slice them."

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Nurgle's Rot

So it would appear that I've been horribly ill. These things happen. According to my doctor, I had a virus that was "severe" and "unusual". Go me. I'll spare you the gory details, but apart from the delirium and the fever and the general aches and pains, the worst part was the simulated severe arthritis it brought on in most of my joints, especially my right shoulder. I have never been so sick, nor have I ever experienced such chronic pain. I'm pretty much all better now, except for my right shoulder, which is making typing difficult. My osteopath is on danger money.

Anyway, what did I miss? My daughter's birthday, my birthday, and, most importantly, the breaking of the 100 post barrier on the last blog entry. Well done to all those concerned for a whole hearted effort. I'm just going to go through it now and answer any dangling questions or pick up on any particular comments. Oh and welcome to all the newbies who joined in the marathon posting session.

Billy Aguiar: Titanicus will be a 40K novel. I think it's Games Workshop's call if any other authors write within the Sabbat Worlds Crusade setting. As for things I've created, I'd have to say that my proudest moment is probably the vox-caster.

Sotirios: I don't think we've yet decided whose geneseed is in the bodies of the Iron Snakes. I'm open to sensible suggestions.

Anon: I would say your label of "Crusade" for the 500,000 strong regiment is a good one. We have to remember the sheer scale of the Imperial Guard in 40K. Manpower alone dictates that regiments would be much bigger, generally speaking, than real world equivalents. I do intend for the Titans in Titanicus to follow the recognised scale.

Allandaros: I hope to be writing a War Hammer novel before too long, and as Marco was kind enough to point out, my creative handiwork can be found in the 40K RPG.

Anon: I'm afraid to say that my new Torchwood story is indeed going to be exclusive to audio. Bern Gorman (Owen) is going to read it.

Xhalax/NL/Jam Bunny: I especially put a whole Ban Daur bit in OiD to give him a moment of glory, and still you want more?

Grant: *Waves back* Hello!

Everyone listen to Jesse. His advice re tank fighting is bound to come in useful.

BP Steve: Your story about your dad taking you to interview was fantastic.
I'd certainly like to write some more Riders of the Dead and Fell Cargo stories, but a rather different War Hammer book is in the offing first.

Lordy: I think the Chronicles of Malus Darkblade Vol I is going to be the first three books. However, Darkblade book 2 may well become a reality.

Fitz: Welcome. When I first started writing the Ghosts' stories there was a throw away idea that they were the Sharpe in Space novels. That notion has long since got lost under the layers of continuity.

Dan is worn out and needs to retire gracefully, feeling very unfunny. He does however believe that Alpharius could do worse than sing "My Way."

Suggestions please, for answers to the question, "How many Space Marines does it take to change a light bulb?"

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.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

In brief...

Thanks for all the comments, suggestions, and the positive remarks about OiD. I'll get back to covering them all (and the questions), and the casting ideas, when I've had a little lie down, because... I'm Alpharius, and I'm finished.

Legion is now in the hands of the Black Library. I like it, and I hope you will too.

Next up, Titanicus...