Sunday, March 30, 2008

A Squeaky Gate

It turns out that our ghost has migrated. It must be the spring, or something. Tired of standing in the upper hallway as a dim and distant silhouette, he has gone out into the garden. It happened like this. I was in the kitchen on a Sunday afternoon, loading the dishwasher (oh, how middle class!) and I kept hearing the squeak of the gate outside and footsteps. So that you can understand, our back door from the kitchen opens into a concrete courtyard (Nik calls it the lanai or patio [pronounced 'pay-show'. Oh, how middle class!]), which has its own gate onto the garden, up a flight of five stone steps. The gate is heavy, iron and old, and very rusted in its hinges, so that every time someone opens it, you can hear it in the rest of the house. It cannot swing on its own and it would take a typhoon to move it. That Sunday afternoon was very still.

So, as I said, I was loading the dishwasher and I heard the gate squeak several times and lots of footsteps. At first, I thought it must be Jessica out in the garden for some reason (probably collecting herbs. Oh, how middle class). Then I thought it might be Nik, or Lily. But Jess was staying at a friend's house, Lily was up on the fourth floor revising and Nik was in our bedroom editing Titanicus. So I supposed it might be the boys next door, hopping over the stile that divides our properties (oh, how middle class) to retrieve their lovely little dog. BTW the dog is small enough to go through the gate without swinging it open.

So, I looked up, out of the kitchen window. There was nobody there. The garden was empty. As I watched, the gate deliberately swung open, stayed open, and closed again. As before, I heard footsteps outside.

The hussar has gone outside to enjoy the spring. It bodes well...

I told Lily about it as we were cooking dinner together and she immediately went outside and hooked the gate up to stop it 'blowing around in the wind' (which it hadn't). Half an hour later it was opening and closing again, all by itself.

So whatever... Blackpool!

Go Back to Back! Yay!

Lily was competing in the 8 couple formation dance competition at the Tower Ballroom, Blackpool. Inevitably, since this was her first outing to Blackpool, Nik and I escorted her and stayed in a hotel nearby while she strutted her stuff. Blackpool is a very strange place. It's like England's answer to Las Vegas, but if it's England's answer to Las Vegas, Las Vegas is a bloody silly question. Lily's team reached the semi-final, the first time her dance school has done that in years, so we were all very proud, and shouted a lot.

Because we were up there, we arranged to put in an appearance at the nearest GW store (Preston) and a very fine reception we had. Many thanks to James, Alex, Chris, Paul, Gareth, Ben and... and... I'm really bad with names, but we had a lovely time and I hope Preston GW enjoyed it as much as we did. James, we'll be back same time next year, if you want us. I have a feeling Lily will be dancing then, too. Oh, and Sarah, I'm really sorry for making you wait while I blathered on. I didn't realise you were waiting for your books to be signed. Thanks for coming.

GW Blackpool - Pete, I'm really sorry we didn't get to see you too, we did try... promise.

And now to other business...

Rory - I have been invited to Scotland, I'll tell you when.

Allandaros - I wish I had a blog clone too. Nik is getting very tired.


Bigwill - Ravenor isn't half-eldar, but the fluff is (that I imagined) he was involved with the eldar for quite a long time in his early years, hence his use of wraithbone. I think it's mentioned in the books.

And no, you're not Omegon. I'm Omegon. Everyone else is Alpharius. Except the ones who are Omegon. On reflection, that might be you, so forget what I said previously.

Ross - Thank you for the kind comments on the Solaris story. Last weekend, it was reviewed, favourably, in the Guardian, and my tale was picked out as one of the highlights. Go me! Reviewed favourably in the Guardian!

Big - You are still the master of the Blood Pact. Apocalypse Blood Pact... you just wait for the next Gaunt.

Rob - I don't know where I'm signing this summer, apart from Games Day, obviously.

Per - Eisenhorn did it inwardly, of course. It was a character thing, not a muscular reaction.

Cor - Thanks a lot for the nice words.

Anonymous - I'm glad you appreciated the twist.

Okay everybody, sleeping in is so win, so I'm going to try for it.

Xhalax - I think you might be Kara Swole after all.

Oops... the gate's squeaking again. I must go and attend to my hussar. See you all next time on the funny place.


Xhalax said...

Mr. Abnett.....I'm intrigue. I may be Kara after all?

How so?

Rory said...


Please excuse my extreme excitement, ive just started my 2 week spring holiday, and i cant wait till you come to scotland,

You said you'll tell me.. does that mean you know?! :O =D

Also, Gratz on the awsome review, you deserve it! =D

big said...

See now i've just come in from work 'i think to myself i'll check the blogg,and every things gone mad!
Xhalax has stolen first post
weve finaly found the name of that Zoid..(its gone out me head now,i just lost it,i bloody hate that when that happens ...and its on the tip of my tounge..bollocks)
And Dan tells a ghost story as i am about to go to bed !

I'm freaked out now..

I'm taking my toys an goin home!

The dummys out of the pram an all!

im goin to finish of Ravenor now to take my mind off the ghost.
And for those who want info on the next G.G. theres gonna be lots of Blood Pact,its gonna be called Blood Pact and theirs going to be lots of piss taking about gaunts eyes.
OH yeh thanks for confirming my Blood Pact status (i'll give that money i owe u later!)

Thats if my house doesnt go all Exorcist or something.

(ha ha )

big said...

see now its already started some ghost just moved my bed in front of my bloody kneecap on purpose!
i swear furniture was invented by women for the specific purpose of making men stubb toes ,smash kneecaps ,bang ur hips on the corners just so they can fall around pissing themselves with laughter at ur agony(man pain)
bloody bed ...
bloody ghosts..

Blade4hire said...

@BIg: Your house has tank tread tires and a pipe organ that fires ordinance when played????


Logarithm said...

First of I am not Alpharius or Omegron.
Now that that is out of the way, I would like to say thank you for getting me into the 40K hobby with your awesome innovation, the Blood Pact. After reading about them in WD I knew what army I would be playing if I ever got into 40K. A couple of years ago, I had a spare few hundred dollars (by the Gaur this hobby is expensive) laying around and finally bought into the game. I have been slowly amassing my forces ever since. I hope they do your creation justice.
Not Quite Finished
Painted (Sort of)
Yes, I now know that the Loxatl's flechette blaster should be shorter, but I made him before I read the book. Hopefully I have not bored you to much with my ramblings.

Dan Cottle said...

G'day, Mr Abnett. I finished Legion the other day, and I have to say I absolutely loved it. I've never been remotely interested in the Alpha Legion before, but all that's changed. Also loved the Geno Chiliad, and hope they appear again in some guise. I'd be interested to see what happens to them with reference to the Council of Nikea and its serious restrictions on the banning of most battlefield psykers. Do you have any plans in that direction?

sredni vashtar said...

I gotta point out that formation dancing sounds pretty middle-class, too.

logarithm: Omegroin?

those are some angry-looking blood pact. what's with the kroot in the tank though?

big: I had the gorilla zoid, the snail one, and the big red one with the flappy wings. I'm pretty sure i had some other ones too but i can't remember them specifically.

Pack_master said...

@ logarithm: sweet, someone in your loxatl-topic linked the lexicanum. My work here is done :)

Xhalax said...

Big - I got the first post because, like the huge bruises on both of my knees, I am made of awesome!

Dom said...

Hmmm a Ghost Hussar eh? are you sure its not one of the Tanith Ghosts spying on you to make sure you tell their tale right?? haha,

I finaly got Legion and i cant wait to read it! got a novel that i already started sooo gotz to finish it before starting a new book : P I have to say though finding it at the Borders over here was quite a mystery, I didnt find it with all the Warhammer books when i looked, but just as soon as i wished they has Legion, there it was sitting with all the new paperbacks away from the sci fi section! it baffled me cause i swore it wasnt there the first time. Oh and as for your kind words in my signed Brothers of The Snake "Let the Galaxy burn" i've been burning alot of it recently with my Chaos Marines and Traitor Guard, Death the the False Emperor!

Allandaros said...

I just finished Legion. So twisty!

Turain said...

Ghosts... Too bad we can't have one from Tanith.

In the city where I live in Portugal, there's mountains around us and in one of them there's a formation of rocks that look like a castle. The Moors got themselves hold up there when we conquered the land and tried to make a resistance, but were found, and has all things medieval, slashed and hacked to bits; and there are tales of their ghosts still around their area.

Just got my Ravenor and Double Eagle, gonna start reading them ASAP.

We're are all Alpharius? Then who is the first?

Oh, and happy April Fools =)

barb michelen said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
thebigandyt said...

Just finished 'Only in death' last night. Wifey didn't appreciate the light on for so long, but i had to finish it. Excellent stuff. Loved the Soric bit, always wondered what happened to him, I was completely wrong.

p.s what happened to milo, i forget?

McKennsy said...

Hi, just a quick question. A while back I purchased a copy of Horus Rising from Forbidden Planet because it was signed.

I was planning on buy signed versions of all future HH books.

When my signed copy of Legion arrived yesterday the paraniod andriod inside me decided to compare the two signatures. Unfortunately, there are some differences. They look similar, but different enough to make me wonder.

Is there anywhere online I can see an actual Dan Abnett signature?. (Stupid Question I know ).


paul said...

Aah dammit!
The first time i leave it more than a week to check your blog and i find out that you did the signing in preston!

Not a happy bunny :(

*Crosses fingers that there will be a repeat sometime soon*

paul said...

Aah dammit!
The first time i leave it more than a week to check your blog and i find out that you did the signing in preston!

Not a happy bunny :(

*Crosses fingers that there will be a repeat sometime soon*

paul said...

Aah dammit!
The first time i leave it more than a week to check your blog and i find out that you did the signing in preston!

Not a happy bunny :(

*Crosses fingers that there will be a repeat sometime soon*

Matt said...

I just finished up up Ravenor Rogue. I felt very bad for Patience. Well done.

As a sidenote, thanks for showing not all psykers in the Imperium are shuffling bald men in tattered robes with wires and do-wots sticking out of their heads.


barb michelen said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Hello Dan!

Just here to say Legion was great, just like all of your other books that i have read...

i feel i have to ask just one queston though... more of a point really...

what about the necrons and tyranids? did the cabal figure the necrons could be handled by the eldar? the tyranids held back by the orks?

lots of interesting questions.

too many... my head hurts.

good day all.

Logarithm said...

@sredni vashtar
The Kroot is there because I had him laying around after the Loxatl conversion. Also I plan on Pacting some mercenary Kroot into the service of the Gaur.
@anonymous (the one above)
The Eldar could have finished the C'tans servants while they slept by destroying the tomb worlds. Instead they decided it would be a better idea to wank about, so much so that they created the fourth great Chaos power. I think the Canbals motives in getting the Alphas to turn had more to do with jealousy over the success of humanity than anything else.

Nik said...

Mckennsy - On the subject of signtures, do not fear. At a big signing, Dan might sign hundreds of books, and then another huge pile in a stockroom at the back of the shop. It's not surprising that the last signature of the day is a little adrift from the first. Lots of writing and handshaking accounts for most of the discrepancies. FP generally has signed copies, so I don't believe for a moment that you've got a duffer. If you're still in doubt, sit and write 500 signatures and see how much they vary.

Jack said...

I am pretty certain that I am not Alpharius.

or am I?

(After all, wouldn't the person denying he was Alpharius be most likely to actually be him? Or maybe not,, thinking like the Alpha Legion makes my head hurt.)

McKennsy said...

@Nik. Thanks for the reply. I sign lots of stuff at work and signatures do change, but I was just annoyed that somebody might be faking signatures.

If you say that the FP books are OK, then thats fine by me.

Nik said...

mckennsy - you're welcome.

Lordy said...

@ mckennsy

I just took a look at some of my signed books by Dan - Darkblade 1 & 2, as they were the closest - and compared the signitures. I'm fairly certain they were both signed on the same day even, but still there's a pretty big variation between them. I wouldn't worry about it.

Ross said...

We are all Alpharius (Appleus Hairius Nastyus - don't ask), or Omegon.

But if we're all Alpharius - or Omegon - who is Alpharius - or Omegon?

What if no-one is Alpharius? What if no-one is Omegon? If no-one is either, then how can we be any of them?

Does claiming to be Alpharius - or Omegon - make you Alpharius (or Omegon)? Because if no-one owns up to the fact that they are Alpharius (or Omegon) then how can we possibly ascertain who is?

Is being Alpharius (or Omegon) a state of mind? A feeling? Do you wake up one day and just think 'I am Aplharius (or Omegon)'?

Is it selective? Can you only be one? Or are you both?

I pose these questions to answer the definitive question that is greater in significance to The Answer (to which we already have an answer, though it is highly contentious, many would contend that 57 is the true answer and that there was a cover up...).

... Who is Alpharius!?

Or Omegon.

Or both.

I'm going to lie down...

goose said...

Dan, thanks for Gaunt's Ghosts, you're a winner.
does constant praise wear thin over time? or do you still appreciate it as much as the first compliment you ever got for it?

i figure Only in Death was the end of that story arc, when/will we be expecting the next story or arc and can you drop a name for it?

Ross said...

The next book in the series is called Blood Pact.

Ripper said...

Well the omniscience of Google strikes again! I do love it when reader recommends blogs to me!

I have to say, I am a huge fan of your work, and I hungrily devour everything of yours that I get my hands on. I am thrilled that Titanicus will be longer than usual, as I tend to annihilate most of them in a day or so, and then find myself pining for more.
I also have to say that I wish a production company would come along and read one of your books and say "Holy crap! How awesome would THIS be on screen?"
The world at large needs some Gaunt in it's collective life.
This could be because I work as a film peon, and am sick of working on stupid movies.

In any event, thank you for all of our spectacular work, and now that I have you on my reader, you will never escape!

Ripper said...

Oh, and for the record:
I long to be Mkvenner, but probably fall closer to Merrt.

Nik said...

Ripper - plan A: always have a copy of your favourite Gaunt with you to idly drop on a director' or producer's chair. Get friendly with the assistant producer and get him reading the books.

plan B: Film sets are full of idle time for scads of people. Give them ALL copies of Dan's books.

If you want to be a mover and shaker in the film industry you have to be pushy. You're on set, make use of the fact. It might get YOU noticed as well as Dan.

Bren said...

Hmmm, didnt Kristine Kochansky make a noise like a rusty gate on certain occasions? Maybe your ghost is related somehow? Even if Kristine Kochansky was/is a fictional character from an old but humourus comedy set millions of years in the future, i think it bears consideration. Or does it....

No it doesnt. Ill get me coat....

Ross said...

Warhammer Red Dwarf 3'000'000?

And an idea is born...

goose said...

i see i'm a bit slow
thanks ross