...thanks to Alex, who came to the Cambridge GW signing this afternoon. Apparently, at the last Cambridge shop signing, I had told him that if he brought chocolate cake, I would be prepared to sign his entire back catalogue of books. Alex duly brought chocolate cake and a very heavy bag. Twenty minutes and a repetitive strain injury later, I had upheld my side of the bargain. The Cambridge signing was great, and my thanks go to Andy, the store manager who organised it and mediated the entire event. It was great to see people like Big, and also new faces like Gregg, Martin, Lars and Paul (welcome to the bloggage and thanks so much for showing me your fantastic sketch books). Thanks to everyone else who attended, it was great to see you.
Over lunch, at the Fucking Stupid Large Burger Joint across the street (buffalo! Who knew buffalo could be so good?) Big told a story about a group of variously deaf and blind people who had turned up in his club the other night. Big is a doorman, and runs security and general behaviour, just so you know. He’s also big, ex-army and, you know, big. He has a way with words. The deaf/blind group came to his club for a night out and got a bit carried away with the haha juice. What happened then was something out of the ‘Keystone Cops’. I can’t begin to repeat it here, or do it justice, but if you encounter Big Steve at a Games Day or similar event, implore him to tell you the story, because it is the fething funniest thing I have ever heard. I almost choked on buffalo. I think it was the moment where Steve said, ‘Mind the step,’ to the blind guy and the blind guy fell down the step and the deaf guy, who hadn’t heard Steve, started to attack him for pushing his blind friend down the step. The entire story is much longer and much more involved and much funnier than I’m presenting here. Get it from Big himself, and when you have, ask for the other stories: the luminous shards of wood in his arse, for example, and the wolf man on the roof of his building when he was a kid. Laugh? I nearly went to Ethiopia; second class of course.
It was great fun to hang out in a shop with the living embodiment of Gol Kolea (Big Steve, or is he Corbec? Or Bragg?), MkVenner (Gregg, I hope you don’t mind me comparing you to the character, but you were so quiet and serious), and Varl (Andy, you are Varl, and if you’re not, you’re Brostin, take your pick). I write them here and they come out there, in person, to meet me, and they are always much better than the characters I have fashioned in my head.
Let us now attend to the day’s business. I’m sorry if these recent blogs have come across as a bit of a Q&A, but it seems the fastest and most efficient way of getting things done.
Lordy - I’ll be at Forbidden Planet in London next Saturday with Graham. Is that any good?
Allandaros - Very few things in the entire universe beat the coolness of the Starship Enterprise. It just IS. But I am a devoted fan of both Firefly and Babylon 5. However, in terms of doors, I wish life worked the way it did in Space 1999, when you can point a comlock at a door and make it open. I have a fabulous replica comlock sitting on a shelf above my desk. Sometimes, when a novel is going slowly, I pretend I am John Koenig (or actually, Alan Carter) and point my comlock at various doors. Non ever open, but (see previous post) I’m hardly surprised.
Jack - Me and a Jerry Cornelius, Michael Morcock story in the same book? How chuffed am I? I’m glad you enjoyed ‘Point of Contact’, and if Dreadstar is as wired into your makeup as it is mine, we’ll be friends forever.
Xhalax - You are not a minion, but you are a servant of the Legion and one of the few who gets to hear the command, “Do it.”
Big - I’m delighted you enjoyed my most recent Warhammer 30K novel, Legion, and your expressions of delight were duly noted here at Abnett Towers. Good luck with the therapy.
Toobad and Sredni - Ravenor Rouge will now become a short story in the forthcoming Ravenor/Eisenhorn collection. It will be about Maxilla.
Rory - I will come to Scotland and, indeed, Edinburgh as soon as the Black Library organises it (late summer, we hope).
One day gingers will rule the earth - Delighted as I am to be playing tennis with the multiple personas you are lobbing at me over the net, I feel, at this time, I should say, “Good luck with that.” Paper towels are, of course, always an option.
Shawn - This is how it worked. Mike Lee was cloned from my genetic material into 15 bodies and then ran wild and free with creative energy to turn the Darkblade graphic novels I had produced into proper prose. He now needs to have a long, restful lie down.
Jimmi magnus - The Emperor was worshipped right from the minute he sent his forces out from Terra. They didn’t actually understand him as a god, but they realised he was fething heavy duty.
Anonymous - The Patrick O’Brian novels are, indeed, fantastic, and I would recommend them to anybody. The film’s pretty good too. I wish I was half as good as Mr O’Brian.
Kromvolt - I am so glad I put the E in epic. I may have put the c and i into epic as well. I’ve nearly got the whole word covered.
Nemesis749 - No one in the known world can actually explain the colour code at the top of the Horus Heresy novels. It’s just a fact. Accept it and get on with your life. I have. If it’s any consolation, we meet regularly and discuss the over all structure of the Horus books and none of us understand the colour coding either.
Ross - Yes, you did get mentioned in a Dan Abnett blog post. Oh my fething god, you got mentioned again.
The-seventh-son - Thank you for your kind words, and welcome to the blog. May you post regularly.
Brandon - The death of Gary Gygax was, indeed, a terrible blow. Without D&D, AD&D, Traveler and Call of Cthulhu, I would not be doing what I do today, and neither would my wife. We were RPGers in the 80s and we were proud to be so. The death of Mr Gygax made me think of iron spikes (always useful), the original Games Workshop pale blue cover edition of D&D, which I treasure to this day, and the fifth form at school (year 11 or 9th grade to you lot). My friend, Julian Styles had the original 3 volume D&D and introduced me to role playing. Everything I do and write now is based on the campaigns I mastered back then.
Chris - Thanks for your fond remarks. Gravier’s storyline never really came to an end.
nhz - The wounds that Gaunt has received during his career defy cataloguing. Just be thankful he’s still alive.
mob - Guardians of the Galaxy, like Nova, is going to be a blast. Hold tight and prepare for action.
Jennifer Burdo - If it was me, I’d call my cat Ludd, which is like purr, backwards, except it isn’t. I’d also be tempted to call it Mkvenner, except that it would go out and never come back again.
sorl kennedy - Namatjira is empowered with the authority of Horus, which equals the Emperor. He is the commander of a branch of the crusade. Of course fething primarchs kneel to him. He’s the proxy of the fething Emperor. By the way, congratulations for being the first Legion nay-sayer so far.
Paul - As I said somewhere at the start of this rambling monologue, welcome to the blog. Your sketches were really fantastic and you should post them here for others to enjoy.
Thus concludes the business of the day. Tune in next week to hear Nurse Janice say...