Look! Look what arrived in the post the other day!
Yup, that's my first advance comp of the new Gaunt novel that is, which is due out very soon. God, I'm proud of this book, and if it doesn't delight Gaunt's Ghosts readers out there, I'll sulk, or eat my hat, or... what the funt... both. There's a LOT of character stuff in it, plus the usual shooty death kill in space, plus ACTUAL shooty death kill IN SPACE (ship to ship action). Out soon. I said that, right?
Also out around about now is this:
Legion Lost is a hardback collection of a Legion of Superheroes run Andy and I did a while back, collected for the first time. It features the first major US work of artist and genius Olivier Coipel. I'm delighted to report that not only has this series inspired the name of the new Legion book being released this September as part of DC's new universe, it also got into the New York Times Best sellers list. Go us!
Also out now and recommended (by me at least, but then, I would, wouldn't I?) is the first trade compilation of Heroes For Hire:
Many worlds away from the cosmic craziness prevailing in our other books, Andy and I get down to street level in H4H for some old-school vigilante superhero fun. I like this series a lot, and other people seem to like it too. Are you for hire. hero?
Can I also remind US readers that the 2000AD series I did with Richard Elson - Kingdom - is now available in the States in handy trade form? Richard's a great artist, so that's reason enough to buy it, but it also rocks in a post-apocalyptic way. Get whet with Kingdom: The Promised Land.... and click here for the promo.
Finally, would you like to know what the opening of Propsero Burns looks like in Maltese? You would? Well, thanks to Mark-Anthony Fenech, you can!
"I am translating the first chapter of Prospero Burns into Maltese for my MA thesis. It's a joy to translate :) Of all the 40K books I chose, this will be the most challenging by far, but the translation is going on well. I had to make certain changes: for instance "The cutting of threads" can't be literally translated, so I tweaked it to "Taħsad l-għeruq" (The reaping of roots).
Death had them surrounded.
It had come to cut threads, and today, it wore four faces.
A burning death for those too hurt or too afraid to flee the settlement as the firestorm swept through it. A freezing death for those who ran away up the scarp to escape the murder-make: even in spring, the wind came in off the ice flats with a death-edge that sucked an exposed man’s life-heat out through his lungs, and rotted his hands and feet into black twigs, and left him as a stiff, stone-hard bundle covered in rime.
For others, a drowning death, if they attempted to flee across the blue-ice around the spit. Spring’s touch was already working the sea ice loose against the shore, like a tooth in a gum. The ice would no longer take a man’s weight, not reliably. If the ice broke under you, down you went: fast and straight if you plunged through, slow and screaming if an ice plate tipped and slid you in. Either way, the water was oil black, and so cold it would freeze the thoughts in your brain before your lungs were even empty.
For the rest, for those who had remained to fight, a bloody death, the death of the murder-make. This was the death that knocked you down hard onto the ice with an axe or a maul, so you felt nothing except the cold burn of the ice, and the hot burn of your own blood, and the pain-scream of your crippling wound. This was the death that stood over you and knocked you again, and again, and as many times as necessary until you would not rise again, or until you were so disfigured that death could no longer bear to look at you, and moved off in disgust to find another soul to knock.
Any of those four faces would cut your thread as soon as look at you. And those were the faces the Balt were wearing.
"Il-mewt kienet daret magħhom dawra mejt.
Kienet ġiet biex taħsad l-għeruq, u llum kienet xhieda ta’ erbgħa uċuħ.
Mewta ta’ ħruq għal dawk wisq midruba jew wisq beżgħana biex jaħarbu l-villaġġ hekk kif it-tempesta tan-nar kinset kull ma sabet. Mewta ta’ kesħa kbira għal dawk li ħarbu lejn l-għaram lil hinn mill-Qatla. Anke fir-rebbiegħa, ir-riħ kien jiġi minn fuq l-uċuħ tas-silġ b’xafra li kienet terdgħa s-sħana ta’ bniedem espost minn ġol-pulmun, u timmufalu jdejh u ssaqajh, iġġibhomlu bħal zkuk suwed, u tħallih bħala gozz iebes ġebla miksi kisja silġ.
Għall-oħrajn, mewt permezz t’għarqa, li kieku ppruvaw jaħarbu tul is-silġ kaħlani madwar il-peniżola. Ir-rebbiegħa kienet diġa qed tħoll is-silġa tal-baħar, tħaddmu u tagħġnu bil-mod max-xatt, bħal sinna fil-ħanek. Is-silġ ma jkunx jiflaħ il-piż ta’ xi ħadd fuqu. Jekk tkun fuq is-silġ u jċedi bik, l-isfel kont tinżel: dritt u ħesrem jekk kont taqa mal-ewwel, bil-mod u tgħajjat u tnewwaħ jekk xi biċċa silġa kienet tirbula u kont tiżżerżaq. Jiġri x’jiġri, l-ilma kien iswed żift, u tant kiesaħ, li ħsibijietek jinġazzaw saħansitra qabel mal-pulmun ikun żvojta min-nifs.
Għall-bqija, għal dawk li jkunu baqgħu lura biex jiġġieldu, mewta mdemmija, il-mewt tal-Qatla. Din kienet il-mewta li kienet issabtek għal tulek fuq is-silġ b’mannara jew mazza, għalhekk ma kont tħoss xejn ħlief il-ħarqa kiesħa tas-silġ, u l-ħarqa sħuna ta’ demmek stess, and l-uġigħ mwerżaq tal-ferita tiegħek. Din kienet il-mewt li kienet toqgħod fuqek u terġa ssabtek, u terġa, għal kemm il-darba hemm bżonn sakemm ma tqumx aktar, jew sakemm tant tkun sfigurat li l-mewt ma tkunx tiflaħ tħares lejn il-bixra tiegħek, u mqalla, kienet tfittex lil xi ħadd ieħor biex ittih tisbita.
Kull wieħed minn dawn l-uċuħ kien jaħsdulek għeruqek hekk kif jilmħuk. U dawn kienu l-uċuħ li l-Balt kien jixhdu."
See? Now you know. Thanks, Mark! That's a little bit awesome.