Friday, September 12, 2008

Of Iron Snakes and other sundry matters

Pausing only to mention how much I am looking forward to seeing all of you (and when I say 'all', you all know who you are) at the extraordinary suprafabulatory wonderama of awesome sauce that is Games Day UK this coming Sunday (I'll be there all day, try the veal), and to comment in a passing, throw-away fashion how much fun I had in NY, I hereby hand over the controls of this blog entry to John Roberts.

To explain, John emailed me a little while back to ask if there was anything written up on the organisation and structure of the Iron Snakes, and I had to admit that there wasn't as far as I knew, and that I hadn't formalised it myself. I suggested that if he had the time and inclination, he was welcome to take a pass at it, and if he sent the results to me, I'd post it here for all to enjoy. Or, as I suspect, discuss at great length.

Anyway, he emailed me back with the following, and a jolly lovely job he's done IMHO. I've reproduced his entire email for the sake of clarity:

"Hi Dan,

To be honest, I think you have a perfectly good organization as it is given the nature of the chapter. With specialist squads I can imagine the following scene:

Seydon: Petrok, can you double check the chips again? We really need at least 2 assault squads for this undertaking and I only see Squad Alexios in here.....

So, keep them all tactical. As far as vehicles, keep them as you have. Rhinos and Drop pods to get to the fighting, landspeeders for speed, and Dreadnoughts for heavy weapon platforms.

So we have:
99 Tactical squads comprised of: Sgt, apothecary, weapons specialist, 7 brother marines
1 Terminator Squad comprised of: Sgt, Apothecary, weapon specialist, 7 brother marines
Drop Pods

This makes the Iron Snakes extremely nimble as they don't have to wait for much in the way of armor, which is ideal given what seems to be their two most common roles: Chasing down Dark Eldar and Rapid Strikes against Chaos.

So, not very creative on my part. You did all of the heavy lifting and I did a little codification. As soon as I have the latest Space Marine Codex I'll draft an army list. Actually, I'll probably draft 2: one where I try to minimize the homegrown rules to make it more palatable for strangers, and the other where I pretty much give myself free reign. I'd be more than happy to shoot you a copy of each if you'd like. Also, I've included as a postscript a write up I did to help me form up my thoughts of your Iron Snakes. If you like that sort of thing, it's there. If not, stop reading at my signature. I can imagine the type of mail you must get.

Anyway, I also want to mention how much I appreciate the response to my query. I seriously would have been satisfied with a link to a blog article I might have missed or some such.

Thanks again!
John Roberts

The Iron Snakes


The Iron Snakes are a codex divergent Space Marine Chapter. They do maintain a 1000 Marine strong presence broken down to 100 squads of ten marines per squad (referred to overall as the Phratry). 99 of the squads are organized primarily as tactical squads with several variations: 1) The squad members maintain a greater number of close combat weaponry on their person (in the form of a short sword and a throwing/jabbing spear, in addition to a small, round shield). 2) Each squad is accompanied by an apothecary (which creates a rather sizeable apothecarium of about 100+ members, including the unattached apothecaries responsible for the augmentation of new recruits). 3) Each squad maintains only a single weapon specialist, usually equipped either with a flamer, plasma gun or melta gun. There is only one squad that isn’t organized as a tactical squad and it is also the only squad in the entire chapter armored in tactical dreadnought suits.

The squads themselves aren’t organized on any greater level, other than the chapter entire. There aren’t any companies to speak of. All task forces are assembled ad hoc from the available squads with squad leaders designating themselves as ready for the mission, or undertaking, as the chapter refers to it. A squad leader does so by depositing a marker with their squad symbol into a large drinking vessel known as a kylix. Squads are also designated not by the name of their current leader but by the name of the original leader at the founding of the chapter. The current squad leader also maintains some sort of talisman from the original leader, sometimes either utilitarian or symbolic in nature (i.e. a lightning claw, bolter, helmet, etc…). The squads maintain their own history, foster rivalries (although very rarely to the point of violent contention), and ultimately are formed around a core of “Notables,” which would be the rough equivalent of a codex chapter’s elite, comprised of 5 squads (one of which happens to be the terminator unit). The squad membership is for life, unless a member is promoted to become sergeant of a reformed squad or, in the case of an unfortunate apothecary, the rest of the squad is wiped out. Promotion to captain or, if the individual is so inclined, librarian might also free a squad member from inclusion into the squad, but there are captains who have been promoted who stayed with their original squad. The squads replenish losses from a body of petitioners, as they are referred to, who are tested to ensure they would be worthy additions to the Phratry. The petitioners only take to the battlefield once they are full marines; the Iron snakes maintain no scout organization.

The leadership of the Iron Snakes is currently under Chapter Master Seydon. Members of the standing librarium, the chaplainry, and also those captains that are unattached to individual squads assist him in his role. The entire officer corps, which includes the above mentioned and those officers attached to squads (both sergeants and captains), weighs matters of the greatest import. The main purpose of the Chapter Master is to ensure that the chapter as a whole is prepared. He answers requests for aid and decides on the actual number of squads that will be required for the undertaking. He then selects the squads based solely on which squad leaders have consented to the undertaking by indicating their readiness and that of their squads.

Support for the entire organization is limited mainly to rhino or drop pods for transportation, landspeeders for reconnaissance, and dreadnoughts, which act as heavy weapon platforms in addition to tactical advisors. The chapter comports itself on the battlefield as a fluid, mainly infantry army, utilizing it’s fleet assets to redeploy when necessary. The entirety of the Forge is dedicated to these tasks and maintains a large number of chapter serfs to assist with these varied tasks."

I'd like to thank John for all his efforts, and invite (creative and constructive, not toxic) comments from anyone who feels like it. I think, at the very least, a big and hearty 'Go, John!' is required from all of us.

That's it for now, except to say "go and see Tropic Thunder with your chums if you want to laugh like a goon". Sunday beckons (which is odd, because as far as I know, days don't have fingers)...


Liam said...

Zing etc etc

Dan, looks like i'll have to make a last minute diving save to save you from the Terror that is Xhalax

the-seventh-son said...

curse you liam i was so close...

and i have a bloody cold

the-seventh-son said...

now for a proper post, i like the background

mayber should add the dreadnoughts are venerable and bloody funny, just finished reading Brothers of the Snake myself (one of those i missed, thought i would nab it before Titanicus comes out) and i thought it was brilliant, i love the ended, so once again i have to hand it to you Mr Abnett your the best 40k writer i've read, (which is a lot)

wish i could go sunday, but duty calls, by duty i mean preparing to go to uni...

Capitola Family said...

Hi Dan, just want to let you know, I have been busy with modeling some of your Iron Snakes and their slave boys, have a look

we have been getting lots of feedback on this project and we found out many or our readers have not read the book. Shame on them.

Xhalax said...

Ah, sibling sicken it is.

And I hope GD is as full as awesome sauce as I hope it'll be....if not, I'll not be pleased.

Two days to go.

El Yay!

Xhalax said...

Make that 'as full OF awesome sauce'

I sneezed half way through that sentence and forgot what the hell I was saying.

Damn cold! Though it must be an evening cold, since it only seems to effect me through the evening......very odd.

Anonymous said...

You sneezed causing temporal memory loss?

God help us if you fart

Liam said...

cack, my previous comment didn't put my name on it.

anyway Dan, just a quick question, did you make the decision to release your novels primarily in hardback?

JPW said...

Well done John! May your balls be heavy and your days be fruitful! Thank god your Orks don't play as well as you write! :)

Sotirios said...

Well done John! Very nice work. Actually I sent to Dan some ideas about the Iron Snakes a while back and a lot of cool greek names (I say cool because I am Greek too :) ) If you want any help ,I 'd be more than glad to help. I am looking forward to your army list when the codex goes out.

sredni vashtar said...

oh, all RIGHT, i'll come to Games Day I suppose. since it's sunday instead of today (which was when i'd thought it was) i won't even have to tell any poorly-fabricated lies to get there.

I will bring a pork pie, though. it's sheer foolishness to leave the house without one.

sredni vashtar said...

PS. I'd love to see John's work in an Iron Snakes article in White Dwarf. just a suggestion, in case any WD people are reading. I mean, far be it from me to tell you guys how to do your job or how to edit your magazine ... but I wonder if we couldn't all somehow manage to survive for one month with merely another interesting article instead of, you know, another couple of double-page ad spreads. just an idea. no pressure.

Rory said...

Go John!

big said...

Bloody hell cant belive im missing games day absolutely gutted...........shit!

i think john done well very characterfull well done!i think they would still maintain the heavy stuff though just in case called upon...
"better to have and not need it,
than to need it and not have it!"

im missing games day,im missing meeting u all,i missing Titanicus
im missing the annual roasting i give Dan about Space Wolves(altough this year it would be a hug!)...well more like a manly bear hug.

boo hoo

im missing games day

big said...

Im going to sell my kids to medical science ,i missed G.D. and i missed my special ed G.G. special ed G.D. release.

Any one pick up a spare copy,
How did the realease of Titanicus go?i bet they flew of the B.L. stand.

Balls i missed gamesday

Lordy said...

What happened Big? We were looking for you (well, more like glancing around with a vague idea of spotting you).

sredni vashtar said...

big: it's a little late to sell your kids to medical science now ... but don't let me stop you, if it'll make you feel better.

if it's any consolation, the limited edition Ghosts release was sold out long before I got there, so I don't have one either :(

on the other hand, I do have a brand new copy of Titanicus signed by Mr Abnett sitting next to me right now. I'm trying not to look at it because it's definitely giving me the eye ... in fact, I can hear it whispering to me. it's telling me I don't need to go to bed and get a decent night's sleep in time for work tomorrow ... no, I should stay up all night reading instead ... resistance ... crumbling ... nnnngghhhh must ... not ... lift cover ...



robertsjf said...

7th son, nothing would prevent the dreads from being upgrades, I just tend to shy away from them as dreads themselves are pretty spectacular in and of themselves, venerables should be a step above (like someone who was alive during the Heresy type step above).

Capitola, those are some nice looking figs

Sotirios, i'd love the help

big, I'm not so sure about the heavy stuff. it's not unprecedented for a chapter to have very little or none at all (4th ed sm codex's flesh over steel trait comes to mind). also, there's no mention of armor in any of the writings. Now, most of the missions they were on probably didn't warrant it, but the one against the orks screams "WHIRLWIND" and all that's described are infantry battles. also, they seem to rely on the fleet for all of their bombarment needs.

Pack_master said...

Tha's really nice background on my account here. Like it a lot.

Xhalax said...

Sorry Big.....I picked up 4 copies as I was in Hall One by about 10:05....but all are accounted for (despite the fact one is only there because I'm not a scumbag who forgets birthdays...but that's besides the point).

Had I known, I would have got you a copy and hugged Mr. Abnett for you....though I doubt it would have been the manily hug you would have given him, simply because I'm not a man.

I'm up to page 14 of Iron Star (started reading it before bed but I got too tired)....and all I can say is 'WTF!'

Weird, very very weird.....though I'd wondering if it's because I was reading it while tired.

I guess we'll see.

Also, I can't remember who I was standing talking to from the blog yesterday...I'm terrible with names and I feel awful forgetting the name.

Who was I talking to yesterday?
Tell me please?
Pretty please?
Pretty please with the sugar on top?

I had such a good conversation with you that the guilt level for forgetting your name is at an all-time high!

Xhalax said...

Nik - I checked out your artwork too.

I particularly like the photos of the shadows....they're very atmospheric, to say the least.

The overlays of the room are pretty trippy too, though in a good way, as one of the comments said, it's very dreamlike and I think it looks very delicate too.

My favourite has to be the glasses though. So simple and yet so elegant.

Bugger....makes me feel like i should finish the drawing I started about a month ago, and get on with the stuff I wanted to do for other people (I usually give my drawings away online to people I roleplay with for their characters as it's their characters that I've drawn, so it only seems fair).

No rest for the wicked.

sredni vashtar said...

big: there's some on ebay already, inevitably

still time to sell your kids after all, it seems ...

Hurrah for the Hussar said...

Wheee I've got Titanicus in the bag by my side!

I've packed a lunch for the 1st time in years and am going to eat my lunch in my car while reading it in secluded silence :) (smiley face doesn't do it justice)

Better than Wetherspoons Beer & Burger meal anyday!

Xhalax said...


Oh my god!

I'm shocked....and not in a good way.

Ross said...

Titanicus = Awesome (the God-Machines are walking!)

Iron Star = Mega double humungously massively awesome. I won't impart spoilers, but this bodes very well indeed for Blood Pact...

What is even more awesome is that I wasn't at Games Day at all - I just have an incredible friend who bought them for me as well as a copy of Cain's Last Stand, which he managed to get signed by Sandy Mitchell (Alex Stewart?). I know he won't read this, but Dee? Thank you so much mate - you really are a great, great person.


Nik said...

The Emperor bless his honesty, one of the noble fans, who, like many others, queued for hours, actually told Dan he intended to put a copy on e-bay. I'm not going to stand in judgement.

Big - and, I'm afraid, only Big, don't buy it. I'll find you a copy and send it to you as soon as I can. You owe me your kids ;-)

Nik said...

Xhalax - thanks, it's always nice to get feedback on my efforts.

big said...

Ahhh guys im gutted i really am i missed u all but in my defense Nurgle (Thrice curse his name) visited my house wee hours of Saturday morning and left some sick children in his wake .
i've basically bee awake since then and thats nothing compared to their mum who is a mighty champion in every sense of the word!
so sorry again guys but next time i promise to do "The Dance" and meet u all.

Nik Dan i was so looking forward to the release of Titanicus i hope it went amazing !. I know the boundless energy u put into the signings u have so it must have gone well!
Nik u have made my day ,just when im feeling "All back of the Bus"
there is light:)

Forever your Standard Bearer Big

Xhalax said...

Though the question now is.....Nik, what are you going to do with Big's kids?

sredni vashtar said...

xhalax: £15.65?

Oh my god!

haha, no shit. some of them were over £20 when I looked, and I guarantee that there are people who'll keep bidding. ebay is truly an amazing pseudo-social phenomenon.

incidentally if anyone is still despairing of getting hold of one without pawning any limbs or organs, I have it on (reasonably) good authority that the few remaining copies will be up for sale on the BL web store soon enough. and they won't be £20.

Pack_master said...

Iron Star = the GG/BP Short story? Just asking what a humble german fan is painfully missing... ;)

Fantomex said...

Hi Dan, hope Games Day was as good as the rest of the world makes certainly sure to tell me!

I know this is a silly idea before I even ask it, but...
Are there any copies of the chapbook left?!
Did you manage to secrete away a few ebay-able copies to ensure a healthy fund to put your grandchildren through college? (I would have..)

Unfortunately I was unable to attend, despite a hardcore willingness to trek all the way from sunny London..

Silver lining to every cloud though, I got to spend a day being prodded, poked and bent out of shape during a rousing and somewhat hilarious session of physiotherapy!
I asked, just for the crack, but bionic knees aren't available on the NHS. Holy Terran Administratum indeed..

Anyway, I'm probably just typing to fill a need for something to do right now, may go read Brothers Of The Snake again, after I check ebay of course..

*goes to read Brothers Of The Snake*

Xhalax said...

Lindsey Priestley says that The Iron Star is on sale NOW on the Black Library website.

Get them while they're fresh kiddies!

Rob said...


Nicely done. I haven't read the books but from your description I can imagine the Iron Snakes cruising through space with eyes painted on the prows of their ships. (Actually, 40k ships have the trireme prows, don't they? Can anyone tell me if they have eyes painted on them in the book? That would be nifty.)


After talking about the upside of Portland, behold! Portland made a strong showing in the "America's Favorite Cities" poll.

Unfortunately, it's competing with my adopted city, Austin, for first-round elimination. I gotta say, I'm kinda worried- that's a lot of 1st places Portland took... cleanliness, safety, access to the outdoors... sounds like a nice little township you got there.

Hurrah for the Hussar said...


That’s the linguistic description of the sound and general clenching (and then releasing) that I made resisting buying the Gaunt’s Ghosts chapbook on EBay. Btw its £20 +3squid packaging and I’ve not bought it, so the option is there people.

I’m rather proud of myself really, however I am having a staring contest with the website….

We’ll all have to face this someday, there will be some areas of Dan’s work that we just wont be able to see…such as any articles in the Dwarf, or 3000AD stuff we’re just gonna miss.

Back to the EBay thing there’s really 2 sides to the story I suppose…

I don’t really feel obliged to pay money to someone that turns up to Games Day, doesn’t bother to meet the author, buys an armful of limited edition books and then strolls straight the nearest internet cafĂ© and gleefully cackles as he laces the internet with his overpriced wares, punching kittens and puppies as he minces along (dramatic license maybe)

However this then ruins the fact that this could be an avid fan who buys extra copies for colleagues/store staff who then no longer want the books, who then gladly distributes these online for a slightly bitter fee.

EBay has ruined the magic for me unfortunately-so I’ll just have to continue staring….

HHnnnnnnnnggggnnnnnnn….*moves mouse slowly….*

sredni vashtar said...

well, I was gonna go see if I could grab a few for the deprived folks here, but they're all gone from the BL store already :(((

so, expect to see many more listed on ebay for £20+ within the next 3 1/2 seconds or so!

oh, delicious cynicism. it tastes just like bitter black coffee.

Turain said...

John- Great job on the Iron Snakes =) very detailed

I had an idea, perhaps it's just a fool's dream, about the whole Sabbat Worlds Crusade. The idea was, to bring a colossal ending to it, with everybody involved in it.

The Tanith Ghosts, the Phantine Air Force, the Iron Snakes and the Titan Legion from Titanicus (which I think I read somewhere they were also participating in the Crusade).

So instead of ending it all in the last Gaunt's Ghost book, one could gather everybody for a massively incredible "goodbye" book, giving every character perhaps a bit of glory, and finally ending the Crusade with the fall of the Archon and his special forces (may they be Blood Pact or Sons of Sek)

As I said, it's perhaps a fool's dream, an idea without logical value, or something just not quite what is wanted.

But a man can dream, right?...

Anonymous said...

i like the way john went....P.S.

Xhalax said...


Back to earth with a giant KASPLOOSH! now I'm back at work.

Games Day seems like it was forever ago already.


the-seventh-son said...

i managed to get a copy from Black Library cant believe they've sold out already tis awful

cant wait for Blood Pact or my copy of titanicus

Xhalax said...

I have to admit, what my brother told me about what Dan told him about what may have possible ramifications (possibly not the best chosen of words....but it's the best I have on offer at the moment) of Blood Pact as me a little confused.

Guess we'll have to see when I scam his copy off him to read since I'll have to wait for the omnibus version of it before I owe a copy of it myself. Much like with The all the books, don't own any of them (two of them were ones that I bought as gifts for people but read them first before giving them to their rightful owners).

'tis not what you know....but who you know!

one day gingers will rule the earth said...

Very impressive army list John! I hadn't even considered the make-up of the IS, but it makes sense to me.

Dan: awesome to meet you and Nik on Sunday. You must have both been knackered!!! Thanks again for signing my books. I was really chuffed and will keep them safe from the depradations of the unclean, which naturally will include myself ;)

Also, if you see the gentlemanly Graham McNeill; Sandy Mitchell, (or whatever the international man of mystery's REAL name is!) the charming Mike Lee, or the happy elf-killer Nathan Long,(tell him I want royalties if he decides to write 'Gotrek slayer'. Come on, what ELSE can kill the guy?) then tell them that I rely too much on parenthesis and that it was a singular honour to meet them.


Fantomex said...

Oh. My. God.
Iron Star is £35 on ebay, on buy now..
Oh Xhalax, if only you'd posted 17 mins earlier, I'd have grabbed one from the black library!

So does this mean, if they're all sold out on the BL site, there are none left for the american games days?
Poor guys over there if so..
Nonetheless, I still feel bitter, and somewhat inadequate.. :D

HiWayRobry said...

Sorry to hear you were under the weather and missed GD. I feel for you, brother.

So if Austin is your adopted city, where do you hail from? And are you one of those AICN crazies by any chance?
And for all my complaining, Portland is a wonderful place to live. It's sort of a big city with a small town feel if you can imagine that. I just wish we had a (American) football team. We're the 26th largest American city and only have 1 professional sports team! Depressing.

sredni vashtar said...

fantomex: I really doubt they'd have sold off stock earmarked for the US games day. that would be disgraceful.

Lordy said...

@Xhalax: You were talking to me around 3.30 on Sunday, am I the one you forgot? *feels forgettable*

Incidently, if you think Iron Star's gone up in price, Amazon is selling the 'Sabbat Worlds Crusade' thing that Dan wrote for £350. And I've got a signed copy, so I just sit and smile at people who weren't able to buy it.

big said...

is that what the storys caled
The iron star

big said...

What no write up on Games Day!

sredni vashtar said...

big: I can do a write-up if you like. I spent a great deal of time in some fantastic queues!

big said...

Sredni- ur are the King of one liners,that tickled me

Xhalax said...

Lordy - I had a feeling that it was you, I guess I worded my response a little poorly, but in my gut, I had a feeling it was definitely you.

And you're not forgettable, more along the lines of 'I'm deaf and stupid.'

Will have to talk more next year!

And GD report (simply cut and pasted from the BL forums, which is why it make sound a little odd).......IN FULL!

The coach trip was fairly intolerable for the most part due to being an hour late setting off and it being ridiculously small, cramped and generally uncomfortable for the most part......although I wasn't suffering as much as some due the my short stature, being surrounded by tall guys means that you do usually feel pretty constricted....but the coach did it's job and despite the fact we set out an hour later than planned, we still got there by 9am.

Nipped into the Golden Demon queue and was in by 10.

There was a bit of a wait to get into Hall one from the Pavillion......and the rugby scrum when it did as people were desperate to get to the Forge World stands first to nab themselves some of the limited edition stuff, but my first port of call was, of course the BL stand!

So three copies of Cain's Last Stand, four copies of Iron Star (only one of each was for me, the others were for.....well other people) and a copy of Red Fury later and I'm off to the authorium that they'd set up for BL this year so that the authors could be free range this year.

Narry was on the door so I said 'Hi' and got a big hug in return. Had a little chat with him (no BL quiz though *sniffs*), Lindsey popped up and said hello too while I was at the door with Narry......she asked me where my frog. But Kermit was having a well deserved break and Captian Jack Sparrow had stepped up to the plate instead.....and of course, everyone said that I was more blonde than I was last year too, though in a good way, I hope!

Then in was into the jaws of The Black Library.

First port of call was the irrepressible Mr. him to sign my copy of Assualt on Black Reach and my T-shirt o' DOOM! Had a chat with him about the book and how scummy some of the characters were and which ones I liked and asked him if we may see more of the Second Company.....personally, I wouldn't say no since it's good to have Space Marines that aren't so goodie-goodie. We only touched upon Salamanders as a comparison to the snotty attitude that some Space Marines have upon normal humans (I had to mention the Space Wolves too) and spoke on the Heresy and particular characters within the Heresy in other aspects.

Really looking forward to Tales from the Heresy now.....there's going to be some cracking stories in there!

And there was always AngryRon SMASH!

During the conversation with Nick, Nik Vincent popped up to say 'hi' and I gave her the black sheep I'd knitted for her.

So with people starting to pour into the BL author pit, I said my fairwells to Nick as people were gathered to get his attention and stood for a moment to take into my surrounds.

By this time the queue for Mr. Abnett was already huge, the one for Mr. McNeill was big and everyone else was settling down and chatting and signing. So I thought it'd be best to get the long queues out of the way first, then that'd give me more time to see everyone the first port of call was Mr. McNeill, simply because he's queue of directly in front of me.

FINALLY got Warriors of Ultramar signed, asked him about what's in store for Honsou (lots of nastiness, as it should be from the character I LOVE to HATE), there was a fair amount of arm waving, gesticulating and even one or two bits of fist shaking from me.

Next, after meeting up with my older sibling was the Dan Abnett queue, which I ended up stepping out of to get Red Fury signed by Mr. Swallow.....who didn't recognise me until I said who I was.....all I can say is that my frog has a lot to answer for!

Talked about Blood Angels and the Heresy (no surprise there!) and certain characters that pop up along the course of certain books.....don't want to say too much on said characters so as to not spoil it for people, like I did my brother.

However, I always get really carried away when talking to Mr. Swallow, and I don't think I've managed anything other than a long conversation with him as I just get so carried away talking about Space Marines with him, that a rather long line was forming behind me that I didn't even after a quick 'yikes!' and a fair heap of guilt, I bid my farewell to Mr. just sucks I never got a chance to go back and chat some more to him......might have to try and catch him if he does any more signing sessions.

As penance, it was to the very back of the Mr. Abnett queue, which I didn't mind at all since I felt I deserved to wait even longer for make others wait to speak to Mr. Swallow.

Had a great conversation with the guy in front of me in the queue while we waited to see much so that I changed my name to Thaddeus Stick by the time we got towards the end.

Spoke to Nik Vincent again while in the queue. An utter delight, as always!

Got stuff signed for people and of course Ravenor Rerturned, The Malus Darkblade chronicles and my copy of Iron Star. Though I don't think I asked him anything about the novels though as my stock question will be answered in time, when the Eisenhorn/Ravenor short stories come out.

Next port of call was out of the BL section to go indisposed and then floated around for a while as the authors went on lunch til I went to go see Ragnar (Narry told me more or less where he was, and my time at GD was interspersed talking to him) , since as far as I was concerned (and could remember) he was the only member of the BL team I hadn't actually met. But as it turned out, he'd served me the year before last and I hadn't realised it was him. So, fist in mouth....literally, I felt like a complete and utter burke, but at least I'd finally met him and known who he was.

In the lunch time, we (my older sibling and me) did the whole Forge World thing and generally just milled out, he went off to get some Space Marine Scout bikes while I parked myself in the queue to go back in to get all the rest of my books signed.

First stop on the second run was Mr. Mitchell to get Cain's Last Stand signed and I feel exceptionally honoured that he remembered me and overjoyed by the fact that there's going to be more Cain (3 more books YAY!)......even though I don't know how Cain's Last Stand will end (page 110 so far). But the wonderful thing about Cain is that it isn't linear.

Next it was over to the next table to sing 'Happy birthday' to Mr. Roberts, which was fun. He got a flashing 'birthday boy' badge and cake! Then it was back to business with Mr. Counter.

One of these days I'll convince him that I really do like and enjoy his books. I will succeed and he makes it very easy for me to do that since, with the exception of Crimson Tears, I've enjoyed every one of his other books, and Battle for the Abyss, which is the book I got signed, is no exception and after Chapter War (see, I remembered this time!), I'm really looking forward to Hellforged, and going back to finish Daemon World won't seem like a chore either, not that reading it felt that way at all.

Then we went to our right and spoke to Mr. Roberts, wished him a happy birthday, got an insight into how long it takes and how much work goes into each piece and looked at his glorious artwork. Got Battle for the Abyss signed too. I have to say that I do lament at not having enough space on my walls for posters of his artwork as it is immense! The themes, colours, textures are all wonderful and exactly right for the subject matter......and there's so much that doesn't get shown on the book covers, it's a little bit sad....but I guess that's why BL are kind enough to do the posters so that we get to see all of his work.

And personally, I still love one of the Mechanicum pictures with the Adept standing alone in the orange, dusty and very empty landscape. Very atmospheric, and despite the fact that Mars is supposed to be up to its eyes in Forges and such, I still see it as dusty and utterly empty....much like it is on that picture.

All I can say is: Watch out Mr. Langely!

Next port of call was Mr. Thorpe. Got the Last Chancers omnibus signed, along with my T-shirt since his signature was missing. Asked about Malekith and the trilogy, asked if he was going to be part of the Heresy.....though he has written a short of the Tales for the Heresy, he didn't really say that he was going to be a part of it any time soon....which is a shame, but I think Malekith and the other two books are going to be earth shaking, and no doubt I'll feel up to my waist in mud while reading it due to me complete lack of knowledge of Warhammer Fantasy but ultimately I'll enjoy the book (much like with Sigmar and Nagash.....not the easiest books I've ever read but enjoying and insightful all the same and I can't wait for the rest of those books either!).

Plus I loved the T-shirt that Mr. Thorpe was wearing too.

Then it was on Mr. Sullivan to speak about the Time of Legends artwork, which is wonderful stuff! I really think he's captured the character in his artwork and the depth to it all only adds to it too, since the books are so rich in their information and background too. Definitely looking forward to seeing more of his work.

Mr. Lee was off, out and about signing things for people who were waiting to get in to get things signed so we went on to Mr. Long.

As always, I always feel terrible because of my lack of Warhammer based reading, despite the fact I fulfilled my promise to him and read and enjoyed the first of the Blackhearts trilogy and just trying to make time to read the rest due to the fact that I laughed out loud at the gleeful romp through the Old World that was Valnir's Bane. Though my brother had a good natter with him over Felix and Gotrek, what's happening, where it's going, what was it like to take up such a weighty mantle and how well my brother thought Mr. Long bore that mantle and had breathed new life into two well loved characters. We also touched upon other stuff that Mr. Long is doing outside of BL and about the infamous BL Karaoke.

There needs to be more hours in the day so I can read more of Mr. Long's books!

At this point, again I believe we (my older sibling and myself) stopped and had a chat with Nik Vincent about editing books before we departed in one direction and she in the other so that she could go and talk to Mr. Long.

And last, but by no means least was Mr. Lee. He was off working the queues and getting lots of stuff signed. But since my brother had to go and he wanted to borrow my copy of Nagash, we went over and interrupted him to get my books signed. So I got Nagash and Malus Darkblade signed and got a hug from Mr. Lee and he told me I should post more on the forums.

I passed over Nagash and said goodbye to my older sibling, bumped into one of the blogger on Mr. Abnett's blog. Had a good chat with him before going back to speak to Mr. Lee properly.

Since things were wrapping up, I asked Narry (who gave me aero bubbles) if I could go in to see Mr. Lee, he let me so I doff my hat you to for your greatness and generosity....that and I now know your real name!
Muahahahahahahahaha! don't happen to be a daemon, do you?

Anyhoo.........had a great chat with him, Mr. Lee, you are super! Talked about Nagash, about what I thought, the odd question I had about certain bits and pieces and how much of a scumbag he is (I just hate him, rather than loving to hate him), didn't touch all that much on Darkblade since I hadn't read it. Remember to get him to sign my t-shirt o' doom. We touch upon the heresy too......and since I spent ages chatting to him, I made him miss his chance to say bye to Mr. Abnett, which made me feel kinda bad....I just hope he got his chance later on, or I'll feel even worse.

But when it was time to go, I got another hug from him and once again he told me I should post more, so I shall try, just for you Mr. Lee!

And so I made my way over to the arena area to meet up with the people from my coach and got a free Dawn of War 2 t-shirt in the process....I just wish it wasn't XL because I love the artwork on the back of the t-shirt (a space marine kneeling in prayer)....but I'll wear it all the same for bed.

So there it is. GD 08 from the Xhalax perspective.....and quite simply, it ROCKED!

Can't wait til next year now!

And also, a HUGE thanks for Dan and Nik for EVERYTHING on Sunday. I sent you both a more specific email via the email linky on the website....but a I thought a general thanks was needed too.


big said...

Now thats what i call a write up!

1,Ultramarines that are scummy?

2,Gav Thorpe actually spoke to people!?!...wonder how much their payin him!

3, Does MR Long really look like jim carrey in Lemeny snickits a sries of unfortunate events (becuse his black and white photo do's) just one of those things i was really looking forward to finding out!

Rob said...


I have the sudden urge to give a standing ovation. Easily the closest I'll come to UK Games Day without actually being there. (And I swear this in front of witnesses: I'll get there one day. In fact, I'll take about any excuse to go to England.)


I'm originally from Honolulu, so I understand the sadness that comes from lacking a pro sports team. Hawai'i has no pro sports whatsoever, so we just follow college football and volleyball as if the teams were professional.

I've always thought the advantage that came with that is that unlike much of the country, I got to pick my favorite pro teams. It's much better than being stuck with a depressing local team like, say, the Cubs- though I've always felt that being a fan of a team that's thrashed regularly is character-building. (I learned this during the late '90s, a rough time for the Univ. of Hawai'i.)

AICN crazies? No idea what that is, so I'm guessing no. (Ain't it Cool News?)

Jack Burton said...

I should have posted this in the New York entry but I haven't had the time to place a comment until now. Dan did you ever make it down to Midtown Comics? I went there and hung around for a couple hours and left about 4:30. I know it wasn't an official signing so I expected you may not show especially with the lovely British weather you brought along with you on your trip.

Ephraim Gabriel Tiberius Jones said...

xhalax wouldn't remember my name at all considering I kept changing it every two seconds! I think we decided on Ephraim Gabriel Tiberius Jones. Still, glad to have found the blog and now I have more stuff to read instead of working! Thank you, Mr. Abnett, for such wonderful words, and to you all on the Blog for making me smile this evening.

Here's to further random streams of consciousness

Xhalax said...

Big: I aim to please.

1. Read Assault on Black Reach and all will be somewhat revealed.

2. Yes, Mr. Thorpe spoke, and he spoke to us (my older sibling and me) at great length and with a great deal of enthusiasm of the Malekith trilogy....and I late found out that he did recognise me from a few years ago and that he wants a knitted sheep, which I'm gladly making for him (it's going to be ORANGE).

3. I have no idea having never seen the film.

Rob: If a standing ovation must be given, it should be to the authors and BL staff for all their hard work and making Games Day so full of win.

Eferaim: Good to see you old bean. I've changed my name too. I am know know as Thaddeus P. Stick.

On a different note, 'tis wonderful to hear from you (I love it when random people I talk to reappear...makes me feel all dead happy) and I'm glad I've managed to plunge you in the deepest, darkest, black hole of craziness that is the Dan Abnett blog.


*tackles everyone*

HiWayRobry said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful time at GD. I'm completely jealous! Mr. Abnett, I hope you had just as much fun as Xhalax.

I was a Montreal Expos fan (and have grudgingly adopted the Nationals as my team of choice) and have been a Minnesota Vikings fan for more years than I'd like to admit (4 Super Bowl losses? Seen 'em all), so I have plenty of character now :)

HiWayRobry said...

And, yes, I meant the Ain't it Cool News bunch. They are based out of Austin.

Ross said...

(Tackles Xhalax right back, with a stirring soundtrack to back up the epicness of the combat - Think Starship Troopers)

Xhalax said...

hiwayrobry - I had a SUPER time at Games Day, though I can't speak for everyone else.....however, based on observations of all the authors, they all seemed just as spritely at the end of the day as they did at the end.

So hopefully that was true across the board for all concerned.

And everyone should come to one Games Day, if for nothing more than the experience.

Rob - Epic soundtrack, you say?
Now I wouldn't mind one of them in my life!

nemesis749 said...

i will be forever envious of xhalax and her sibling for all of the fun they have over there. being that i live in virginia (usa) i will most likely never get to experience gamesday or meet mr and mrs abnett so i hope she is having a blast enough for two people! someone is going to have to tell me what iron star is about anxiously awaiting a space wolves heresy novel..._josh

sredni vashtar said...

it's gone quiet in here again. so who managed to beat the odds and secure themselves a copy of The Iron Star (hint: ME)? has everyone heard the new Motorhead album yet? and hasn't the weather been lovely?

*cracks whip*

Xhalax said...

Well it looks like I'll get Titanicus stated today, since I only have 9 pages of Cain's Last Stand to ready....and Sandy has finally received his first 'DAMN YOU!' and fist shaking.

On another commenting might get few and far between since, for some unknown reason, my modem has decided that it doesn't like blogger, and I can't get on to comment on the blogs. It sometime lets me, but not very often anymore....and getting online sneakily at work is not easy either.

So all in all....this morning can be summed up very easily in one word.


sredni vashtar said...

I assume you've already tried hitting it, yes?

... I know, but you'd be amazed how many people do actually forget or overlook this elementary first step in electronics maintenance.

Ross said...

Sredni? Iron Star rules doesn't it?!

sredni vashtar said...

now now ross, let's don't be tormenting the downtrodden, starveling masses by flaunting our limited edition Ghosts stories, no matter how awesome they are nor how terribly, terribly satisfying it is to own one.

Xhalax said...

sredni vashtar: Yes. I have hit it, I have kicked it, I have sworn at it, I have begged it, I have pleased with it, I have tried to bride it, I have threatened it, I have asked it nicely, I have whined at it and many other thing as well.

Though typically, me putting out the word that I may not be around as much due to scumbag electronics has done its usual job....making a complete and total liar out of me due to the fact the bloody thing is now working properly.

So not impressed.

And I have to admit, despite the fact I worked out what was happening in The Iron Star (except for what the Iron Star represented)....there was still quite a large case of 'WTF?' about it all....even through a lack-of-sleep addled mind.

And I'm currently on page 29 of Titanicus.

the-seventh-son said...

i loved the Iron Star short, have to say that it almost made me cry, well it did a little bit. i'm on page 29 of titanicus but because of my fresher's week it has been put on hold

gotta love it

sredni vashtar said...

'put on hold'?? good grief. friend, I think you really need to get your priorities right there.

I've nearly finished Titanicus. I'm now seriously considering whether I want to be a skitarius when I grow up (rather than a balrog, which has been my career plan so far)

Ross said...

I managed to finish Titanicus on the monday morning after Games Day, I had received it at 9pm the previous evening.

Does that make me dedicated or just sad?

sredni vashtar said...

why, both, of course

the-seventh-son said...

your right i have been sinning, i'm sure the inquisition shall be knocking on my door at any moment...

Rob said...


You have my sympathies. I had to stop right in the middle of Ravenor Rogue for three weeks of hardcore GRE prep.

Now that it's over, my nose (though markedly shorter from its encounter with the grindstone) is back in Ravenor again. Haven't finished the book yet because it's competing with my post-GRE treat-Star Wars: The Force Unleashed.

sredni vashtar said...

exams?? more like exSCAMS!!

right? right?


oh man i'm gonna need to write that one down, i just kill myself sometimes

Anonymous said...

Andy says....

you tried to bride your modem? really tried everything didn't you!

Xhalax said...

the-seventh-son - Yeah, I got a little bit tearful at certain things that happened in The Iron Star too.

big said...

at last Titanicus has landed now im off to read

Xhalax said...

I'm 180-odd pages into Titanicus at present (which is speed reading for me since I only started it on Monday).....and I have to say that I'm exhausted.

Reading it is such an emotional rollercoaster that I feel that whe I have to put the book down, no matter if its just reading 2 pages while I wait for the kettle to boil at work, or the 40 minutes I have on the bus journey to or from work, or the hour for lunch, I feel like I have to have a lie down because I feel like I've been put throught the wringer in terms of the ups and downs I have emotionally with the multitude of characters.

Tiring stuff....but in a good way.

Hurrah for the Hussar said...

Do what I did Xhalax, rush to the finish! It means you can read it again next time eeeeven faster!I managed to buy the book on Saturday and finish it on the Monday

Worked out im reading about 75 pages an hour, so 4-5 sessions and I'm done and gasping for more.

So to combat the boredom till Mechanicus is out I'm plugging away at Warhammer Online, as a Witch Hunter called Kys, following the path of Inquisition and burning all the chaos-loving-grox-sniffing-snotling-fondling destuction players that try and mess up my hair!

big said...

Inload........Bloody hell this is really good,im not sounding suprised just over the moon!The Mechanicum world is really different and it has been explainded really well .The visual imagery i have in my mind is way more than i had before = more hobby enrichment which is always a good thing,got to go wasting reading time.....Exload

Ross said...

Expand: Titanicus is muchos coolio. All those who miss out will be very much error shunt aborted.

Additional: No sequestered material has been will be released by me here - just watch out for the references...

exload ended >>>

Xhalax said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Xhalax said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Xhalax said...

< All noospheric transmissions on the current data being inloaded by this adept has been sequestered until such a time when the Analyticae has reviewed and authenticated its contenet >

Nik - Sheep babies.....coolio!

sredni vashtar said...

Additional: I cannot help but observe that the Princeps of this engine has not blogged in over 330 hours. I want somebody to go up to the command deck and manually check the vital signs readout on his casket. volunteers?

Jack said...

Proof that your family knows you well; though my birthday is in October, I've already been given Titanicus by my mom as an early present. The scene where the concept of pissing off Warmaster Macaroth was discussed, in varying formats was hilarious (I'm so using "error shunt abort" at work to cover up being mad at someone) and Sonne is right, there IS a certain phlegmatic power to "pissed off."

Off to read more, because I've been waiting to see some engine to engine combat since this book was announced.

Jack said...

Oh, almost forgot to mention it. The new Nova. Dr. Necker working on the Minion project. Referencing Death's Head II. Awesome.

Xhalax said...

< sredni vashtar..I am sure that the Princeps is currently working on his execution logs will all the dilegence he usually displays.....all we have to do is await for him to release it onto the Manifold. >

And on another note...Mr. Abnett, I have to admit, that I find the vast majority of your books pretty heart-rending....and Titanicus was no exception.

Nik said...

Xhalax - I now have the better part of two little sheep. However, I need their big brother, and the pattern I bought produces sheelplets of about half the size of the gift you bestowed. So, the question is, who makes the pattern for your sheep? I need it. I need it now, if not sooner.

Please advise,


Xhalax said...

Nik - The set I got for making the Shaun the Sheep kit is by Patons (they provide the wool for the kit). My mum got the kit for me from John Lewis for easter.

However, providing my modem works when I turn it on this evening (it's been turned off for nearly 30 hours now in an effort to get it working again...or so the technical advise people said on the phone), I could easily scan the pattern and email it to you when I get home.

sredni vashtar said...

... so clearly your modem actually works perfectly ... as long as you're not silly enough to actually turn it on and try to use it.

sometimes I wonder if all these apparently ineffectual tech support goons are, in reality, incredibly talented social satirists who never found their niche in the entertainment industry.

Xhalax said...

Oddly enough sredni vashtar, there are times when turning it off and leaving it actually makes our modem work.

big said...

< Incant>
< Magos Biggus declares Ancient
Archives open to Princeps Abnett. Unrestricted access given.
Nothing is ever deleted.>

< The Manifold awaits!>

Nik said...

Xhalax - if it's manageable that'd be fab! I'll post photos of the final outcomes on Flickr, but be prepared to be baffled/appalled!

sredni vashtar said...


(knock yourselves out)

Lordy said...

01001001 00100000 01100100 01101111 01110101 01100010 01110100 00100000 01101000 01100101 00100000 01110010 01100101 01100001 01101100 01101100 01111001 00100000 01100011 01100001 01110010 01100101 01110011 00100000 01100001 01100010 01101111 01110101 01110100 00100000 01110111 01101000 01100101 01110100 01101000 01100101 01110010 00100000 01101000 01101001 01110011 00100000 01100010 01101001 01101110 01100001 01110010 01111001 00100000 01110111 01100001 01110011 00100000 01100110 01101100 01110101 01101001 01100100 00100000 01101111 01110010 00100000 01101110 01101111 01110100 00101100 00100000 01101000 01100101 00100000 01100111 01101111 01110100 00100000 01110100 01101000 01100101 00100000 01101101 01100101 01110011 01110011 01100001 01100111 01100101 00100000 01100001 01100011 01110010 01101111 01110011 01110011 00100000 01110111 01101000 01101001 01100011 01101000 00100000 01101001 01110011 00100000 01110111 01101000 01100001 01110100 00100000 01101101 01100001 01110100 01110100 01100101 01110010 01110011 00101110

Or if you prefer...
49 20 64 6f 75 62 74 20 68 65 20 72 65 61 6c 6c 79 20 63 61 72 65 73 20 61 62 6f 75 74 20 77 68 65 74 68 65 72 20 68 69 73 20 62 69 6e 61 72 79 20 77 61 73 20 66 6c 75 69 64 20 6f 72 20 6e 6f 74 2c 20 68 65 20 67 6f 74 20 74 68 65 20 6d 65 73 73 61 67 65 20 61 63 72 6f 73 73 20 77 68 69 63 68 20 69 73 20 77 68 61 74 20 6d 61 74 74 65 72 73 2e

Can we talk English again now? :P

big said...

< Exload >
< Vocal >

we have really started something here even Lordys doin it!

Jack said...

Just finished Titanicus, and it's going to be one of those books that gets what I actually call the Double Eagle treatment, so named because when I first read Double Eagle, I finished it and then immediately started to read it again. Short version, I loved it. Spoilers below, for those who haven't read it yet:

The Titans were, of course, my chief interest (I love giant robots beating the daylights out of each other) but there was so much more to the book to love. The Mechanicus subplots, the entire technical aspect to how they communicate and see the world, Varco's crew and their struggle to survive, the actual source of the title of the book (I loved Cally, by the way), Gearheart and his memories of who he had served with, including a familiar princeps and Titan...the sequence that made me think "Oh, cool, a survivor of Tanith...oops, never mind"...I could go on all day. And that last bit at the halt, with the writing on the wall...the only thing you've written, Dan, that I like better than that was Wilder giving his last command in, well, His Last Command. Gave me goosebumps.

A great book, and much like when I finished Double Eagle and wanted to see more of the Phantine, I could definitely get behind seeing the engines of Invicta walk again in another novel.

Xhalax said...

Well the modem at home is officially not happy nor impressed, especially when I had a fair few questions I wanted to ask about Titanicus....but since I don't have my book with me and I'm at work....I can't ask them.

So so not good.

Nik - One set of instructions is currently winging its way to you via cyber space.

Ok....question questions on Titanicus.


What was the name of the Princeps Cally and Activated Twenty-eight(?) found?

What happened to the Moderati from Nichomach Ignix? Did he ever recover?

Did Golla and Iconish get together in the end?

I take it everyone from what was left of the tank company snuffed it?

Ok, I'll leave the nit-picky questions at that for now.

I hate not having free internet use.

sredni vashtar said...

wheeee 100th post!! take THAT, the-seventh-son!

I've actually hunted out and dusted off my old Chaos Titans from like 15-20 years ago ... not that I have anyone to play AT or Titan Legions with anymore :( even so, they're back on my shelf glaring at me malevolently. if I had a proper camera I'd take a photo of Sanies Belua, who once kicked the rearward plating of an Imperator in close assault (albeit with the aid of a couple of Subjugators) ... looking rather sorry for itself now though, I'm afraid.

Xhalax said...

I'm currently reading Malus Darkblade....and if I reading it right.....what is happening between Malus and his siblings.......EEEEEEEEEWWWWWWWWW!

sredni vashtar said...

oh, those wacky dark elves! is there anything they WON'T torture to death and/or perform inappropriate x-rated acts upon?!

seriously, Mike Lee has gotta be one of the most under-appreciated authors writing for BL. I look forward immensely to anything with his name on the cover.

big said...

Yeh i definately agree with that,
and yeh its eeeewwwww.

HiWayRobry said...

Ok, I just finished the Ravenor trilogy and all I have to say is WOW!
Mr. Abnett, you are the master and I am just a lowly plebe. I'm not sure you know how to write a happy ending and I must say I love you for that. :)

Xhalax said...

sredni vashtar said - I agree with that.

Big - I DOUBLE agree with that!

Hurrah for the Hussar said...

We Walk!

I agree hiwayrobry, happy endings aren't an Abnett feature but then who wants a happy ending , end a story with the end of the protagonist I say.

However if any more Ghosts die I'll have to exload a strongly worded noospheric communicae Dan

I also did a hiccup when reading the DOUBLE Gaunts Ghost reference in Titanicus, Jack got one, who knows the other one?

Ross said...

< Exload

=+= Data Transfer - - -

"Sacra - ten or twelve years?"

- - - Transfer Complete =+=

Finish Exload >

sredni vashtar said...

there was also a set of nalwood doors, in case you missed those.

Xhalax said... know what, for once, just once....I wouldn't say no to a happy ending.

True, it'd probably be awful...but I won't say no.

Ross said...

Alas, it's a dark, dark universe.

Mind you, there has been at least one happy ending I can think of, in Double Eagle - Oskar Viltry and Beqa Meyer anyone?

Xhalax said...

Exactly Ross...that's why any happy evening wouldn't be good.

Also, on a completely different and much older note...I think i've finally found the Dan Abnett character I most like.

I'm so definitely Adept Lunos....I believe she's called.

Xhalax said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ross said...

I'd like to think that I'm closest to Ban Daur. However, there's a little bit of Rawne's ruthlessness in me, plus a little bit of Hark too.

< Titanic Spoiler Alert! >

Hekate was a hard plugged princeps, Dictatio doesn't have a Amniotic tank, yet every Invicta engine of Warlord pattern utilises just such a capsule. Was Hekate Invicta? Or was he a part of another legio? Or, Throne forbid, is Imperius Dictatio no longer in service?
I ask this because Gearhart was his famulous and he is amniotic-bound - yet Hekate wasn't.

Oh, and because I'm sad.

Thoughts anyone? I like to think that Hekate and Dictatio were some of the last of the hard-plugged princeps/engines - some of the last of the really old Martian Warlords.

Jack said...

I would hate to think that Imperius Dictatio was out of service, because out of service for a Titan generally means destroyed. I'm assuming that either Dictatio was a different pattern Warlord than the rest of Invicta or Gearheart transferred in from another Legio after serving with Hekate, leaning towards the latter.

Hekate being dead and gone, I can imagine. The notion that Imperius Dictatio isn't still walking, not so much for some reason.

Jack said...

Oh, there are three references to Tanith; the Tanith longshoreman, the sacra, and the nalwood doors on the Lord Governor's office. At least those are the ones I spotted, and that's assuming that nalwood only came from Tanith (Corbec seemed to think so in Sabbat Martyr at any rate.)

sredni vashtar said...

it may simply be that most Legio forges now lack the advanced Dark Age technology to maintain hard-plugged interfaces for Warlord principes. hence they have to fall back on icky, over-involved technology like the amniosis system. it's not an uncommon pattern of decay in the Mechanicus or the Imperium as a whole, after all.

Ross said...


I have a feeling that Dictatio is still walking somewhere :)

Maybe into a guest appearance in a Horus Heresy novel...

Liam - herald of Xhalax said...

Just thought i'd share this with you and the rest of the bloggers.

Xhalax was speaking to one of her work colleagues yesterday and during the conversation, she was very surprised to discover that you Dan were in Pearl Harbour!! Confused? let me explain.

They were talking about Pearl Harbour and the guy said something about Ben Affleck, however it came out as Dan Affleck, then somehow to Dan Abnett!!

Well done dan for being in a poor film, where the only good thing is Tom Sizemore trying to take out fast moving Zero's with a Shotgun.

------end anecdote------

big said...

Finished Titanicus ....That was the best book ,for me that took me back to the first time i read Gaunt or Eisenhorn and because of the subject matter was the best.
Now i dont just say that because my names in the cover,the Mechanicus has been laid out before us.Hopefully you and Graham have consulted and there will be collaberation in the way the Mechanicus is presented in future.
For sci fi fans theres a little something of everything we have come to know in modern sci fi and milatary genre deliverd in an explosive way though remaining clever.It really was like sitting down to watch a film.
It certanly is my Fav D.Abnett book
and that includes some of the other big names.I mean Legion was good and had great revalations in it but this ,well i hope there is another on its way.
Not to say i cant pick faults (which i will talk to u about Dan)
but for now bask in the glory that is Titanicus..

Fav conversation pge.290
fav new words Noosphere,Cant,Psychicstigmata

so there u have it new fav book and if u havent got it..go get it!

Nik said...

Liam - laugh? I nearly cried! I can just see Xhalax's face: confusion, hysteria, horror, rapture!

Liam - herald of Xhalax said...

Nik - She said to me she actually managed to keep a straight face, whilst she was busting inside, i wish i had been there, i would have disappeared behind the cabinets and wet myself laughing, despite the fact it was in the shop

liam - herald of xhalax said...

big - sad as this may seem i'm gonna wait for the softback version (or nick it from xhalax), but i've heard absolutely nothing bad about it, so can't wait)

Xhalax said...

Laugh?! I nearly got the drinks in!

To be honest the super-high level of WTFness of the conversation (I was eaves dropping rather than taking part) made me miss the beat to begin the gale of mocking laughter.

I have to admit, that despite the fact I loved Titanicus, the Eisenhorn trilogy is still my favourite Mr. Abnett novels....simply because of its linear storyline....I'm not such a big fan of the jumpy nature of some of the Ghost novels and Titanicus....simpy because there are so many characters to cover.

And Liam....I'll bring Titanicus down with me if Mr. McNeill does a Mechanicum signing.

Big said...

Liam- definately borrow it if u can
its a real rollercoaster ride of a book!
Im old skool when it comes to 40k/fantasy been in it for about 22 years now and so have have alot of my pals,so when Dan said he was gonna write a novel about titans lots of unbelivers reared their ugly heads and said he would'nt/could'nt pull it off,After all their giant walking warmachines right........ well they said that about Transformers ,then they made the film and i was like "Shit that was fething good movie" now those sane friends of mine are on the phone saying it was a fething fantastic book!
If G.W. dont release the Titan game again on the back of this book ,then someone needs bolt round to the face!

Xhalax said...

Big - My argument against those people would have been 'Yeah, they are but there's controlled by PEOPLE!'

The facepalm as an after statement would be purely optional, of course.

big said...

Exactly what i think! the whole way the interaction between the crew members and anyone else linked to them was brilliant,it had a real "Submarine" feel to it with plenty of 40k flavour.
I was hoping for 40k war on a Big scale ...What we got was Massive!
And Dan i took full note of the stuff we disscused an im glad it made it into the book!
i have not to long finished Ravenor
so i was hoping for full on war book but we got the intrigue as well!
Big big fan of this one!

do u think i liked it!?!

Ross said...

It is a distinct possibility...

Xhalax said...

Big - As much as I like Ban and Nathun?

Rob said...

I probably won't get to Titanicus for a few months, did finally finish Ravenor Rogue. Once again, pure top-shelf Abnett. Liked the ending quite a bit, which was one of my only quibbles with Eisenhorn. (Eisenhorn remains my favorite series though.) The difference seems to me to be this: the big E's story ended without tying everything up so he could be used in a game, while Ravenor's arc ended with loose ends and a hint of anticlimax to tie in with the novel's theme: when you commit yourself fully, there's no such thing as closure.

Anyway, loved the stuff with the door (is it just me or did they jump into R'leyh for moment?) and I'm looking forward to the Bequin trilogy. Thanks for once again slaying a 6 hour plane flight.

Xhalax said...

And on a completely different note.

Yay for new modems and wireless internet connection.

And BOO to the next Dark Elf codex for nearly giving away what happened to Malus at the end of the Darkblade books so far (if it ends where I think it'll end)....just managed to catch myself when reading 'On the eve of his doom...'

And as much as I like sentences with the word 'DOOM' in them....I was much miffed that I nearly spoiled the books for myself.

Not good.

Frank Sidebottom said...

Hi Dan,

This is my first time commenting here, but i am a long time fan.
I just want to say that i have just finished Brothers Of The Snake and absolutely loved it.
The biggest compliment that i can give is that i sell on all of the books that i read so that i can buy more; the only books i will NEVER sell are all of the Gaunts Ghosts, Eisenhorn and now BOTS.
I am just starting Titanicus and am hoping i will be adding that to the do-not-sell pile.

On a side note, i read David Gemmells Troy trilogy before reading BOTS. It was a great transition reading those two tales one after the other. Such a similar feel to them both.

Keep up the fantastic work.

Thilen said...

Titanicus was Awesome !

well anything with walking robots would be ! esp if its written by Mr Abnett !
Only thing though, i thought when I saw the cover they were goign to be salamanders in the book, went abt 3 quarter way through and realised someone made a boo boo on the cover or i miss saw the cover ? anyone can clear that up

big said...

Thilen- i'm sure the cover art was done for an edition of Epic! although not specificly done for the book, it does do it justice as it lets u know the sheer scale of the Engines compared to a mighty Space Marine.Space Marines might be the Angels of Death but Titans are the Gods of War...

sredni vashtar said...

meh, I was pretty miffed about the cover actually. you'd think they could have gotten some new artwork done for such a kickass novel, rather than just recycle the cover of Epic Armageddon (and yeah, plus there are no space marines in the book ...)

Pack_master said...

A couple of pages into Titanicus now.

What were your intentions with all those german names, Dan? ;)

Christopher Meyer said...

Just curious, I know, a little late in coming: Scouts. What about Scout squads? or are those just a given?

Anonymous said...

just read the iron snakes book...please tell me you're going to do another one sometime! :) fantastic