It was a dark and stormy night. Well it WAS. You should see it out there.
Graham and I would like to thank everybody who turned up at Forbidden Planet last Saturday (or Forbidden Plant as Nik just typed). We had a good time, I hope you did too. It’s Good Friday today, and Nik and I spent a few hours wondering up and down Rochester High Street. We discovered the Rochester Armoury, and I bought a pilum. That’s not a sentence you often get to say. For anybody who doesn’t already know, I collect weapons as part of my research for the novels. It’s useful to know how a weapon feels in the hand, what the weight and balance are like etc. A pilum is a Roman javelin. It’s a wonderful piece of military technology (don’t take my word for it, go and look it up on Wikipedia), but not something I’d ever thought to buy. I’d like to thank Dave at the Rochester Armoury for drawing my attention to it, and being an all round good bloke (I urge you to visit the Armoury and engage Dave in such subjects as hunting boar... with a bow... in France).
Oh, and the Armoury has a website too. Google Rochester Armoury.
Anyway, it was only after I made my purchase and was lugging a first century piece of military hardware back to my car, that I realised that a Roman spear was possibly the least appropriate thing to buy on a Good Friday. I console myself with the thought that the centurion did it out of pity. I was chatting to Andy Lanning later on, and told him of my purchase. Andy said, as a sign off, “Well good luck with the rest of your blasphemy.”
I bought a buckler too, so I could swash it. How sad am I?
Anyway, to business:
I love zoids. Grant Morrison’s first comic book work was on zoids (little known fact), and I’m sure I gave Nik the ones she had on her desk at college.
I refuse to get drawn into the whole primarch kneeling thing. Several posters have already articulated interesting points of view (thanks, Sredni). 30K, just like 40K, is all about interpretation, and we’re all working from a mass of disjointed, revised, contradictory and all together mythic material that has been established in the last quarter century. Everyone’s entitled to their own take on ‘how it should be’. No one is wrong. Go with the version that feels right to you and own that one. That’s the point of a hobby. However, I feel I must point out that Alan Merrett is no newbie and he’s been around since the Age of Strife.
Pack-master - Hark’s ‘superior bulk’ certainly counts as ablative armour.
Jack - I remember Gilgamesh, so we’re best pals forever.
nhz - Titanicus is going fine, thank you. As you might expect, it is big and ponderous, and difficult to control.
James - Yes, I also want to know what happens next.
James Ferguson - We still have something for you, and haven’t received your address yet. Please advise.
Childofnurgle - Yes you are Varl. Look after yourself and feel better soon.
Rob - Yes, you’re Varl, too. Varl-ness is not exclusive to a single poster.
Brother Chaudeux - Welcome to the fun and games of the Dan Abnett blog. Excellent posts, so far. I hope to hear more from you.
Ross - No...
Jack - Gotta love that Wikipedia.
The-seventh-son - Konrad Curze sounds like a good idea.
Ross - Simon Spurrier is a great writer and I recommend you seek out all of his material.
One day gingers will rule the Earth - Thank you for the compliment. Much appreciated.
Rory - I did paintball once. I shot Andy Lanning in the face. Huzzah!
Lofty - 1) No, when I introduce a character into the Gaunt series, I do not, necessarily, have in mind their ultimate fates.
I studied Anglo-Saxon at university (well, I studied English, and AS was part of the course). I studied it under Bruce Mitchell, who is pretty the world authority. He used to go and teach it to the Japanese. He is Australian, and a previous alumnus of my college, Terry Jones (of Monty Python) used him as the inspiration for the classic Monty Python “Bruce” sketch. I have a feeling therefore that Bruce Mitchell was entirely responsible (via Monty Python) for the cliche that all Australians are called Bruce. He is a fantastic bloke. He wrote the standard Anglo-Saxon primer. His study was at the top of a slender and winding staircase in the front quad. At the end of every tutorial, he’d say, (and use an Australian accent for this) “don’t fall down the stairs until you get a first”. So, to answer your question... Anglo-Saxon. A (very very) little bit. And then, made up shit.
Bog - Glad you’re enjoying Ravenor. I knew you would.
Garrett - Thanks for joining in. I’m sorry you have been affected by the deaths of several characters. So was I. That was the point.
Xhalax - Hello!
Jack - Thank you.
Rory - Ezrah is pretty cool. He has a life of his own.
Arianwen - I’m sorry I made you cry. I suffer when my characters meet their ends, too.
Elaes - Welcome aboard, and thanks for the kind words.
Big - Loving the fact that you’re now calling yourself ‘Big’ on this site.
I’d like to leave you all with the following pict that was sent to me by my brother-in-arms, James Swallow. Thanks, Jim! It is rather funny or rather portentous, depending on your pov (point of view). Enjoy.