Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Textbook eyeball kick

...is a phrase used recently by my friend Matt Farrer, along with ‘high octane idea catnip’. I feel both should be officially introduced into the language. The former refers to a passage in a work of fiction that delivers a stunning descriptive effect, the latter to anything that gets the creative juices flowing with concept overload.

Thanks, Matt - I hope you don’t mind if I use them freely.

BTW - here’s a question: does anyone know if the 1969 Hammer SF movie Moon Zero Two is available on DVD? I saw it when I was a kid, and remember it fondly, but I don’t seem to be able to track it down. Any clues, anyone?

Back to the Ghosts. OiD is almost finished...


Anonymous said...

OiD almost finished? Aaah, bringing warm feelings to my heart... :)

Even ebay doesn't have a clue about Moon Zero Two, only avaible as book, it seems...

Anonymous said...

Fire away :)

I should mention that "eyeball kick" is not original to me - it's from Rudy Rucker via the Turkey City Lexicon.

Boom said...

I googled "Moon Zero Two dvd" and in their Froogle section it actually had dvds of it. I couldn't tell you which one is the one you want but that may be a good place to start looking.

Also, when I think of textbook eyeball kick I think of falling asleep while studying for an exam only to hit your head(or eye) on the book and have it hurt alot. Then after you hit your head you curse the book to hell and back.

Toymachine said...

Great news about OiD. Theres always that worry of whos next to kick the bucket, though, and you have promised us many heroic, shocking, accidental and surprising deaths.

(nail bitting)

P.s congrats on almost 10 years of ghosts! (i wouldn't have thought it was that long untill you put it that way) You must posess mighty patience.

Oh, and please dont kill Varl. Or shoggy. Anyone but them.

Bodjo said...

In addition to agreeing with toymachine's no kill list, I'll say once again that Gaunt's actual death would send me spiraling in PGD - Post-Gaunt Disorder - during which I'll be forced to deny ever reading OiD. You've been warned, Dan.

Toymachine said...

What? Gaunt dies in this book?

(laughs... cries... repeat)

Jesse said...

To those of you in fear for the good Colonel/Commissar's life, as a professional Psychological Operations soldier, let me guide you through an objective think session.

Please consider the following:

1. Dan has stated in previous posts that 'Only in Death' is not necessarily the last Ghost book, merely the close of a story arc.

2. If there are to be more Ghost books, Gaunt MUST survive. Nobody would buy copies of 'Rawne's Ghosts.'

3. Even the best authors (and I DO number Dan among those authors) are servants of their audience. To sell books in the future, authors must keep their present fan-base satisfied to keep them recruiting new readers.

To that end, Gaunt must either survive to see justice done to the Ghosts, OR Gaunt must die in such a heroic fashion as to not disappoint those who have spent the better part of a decade getting to know him.

My point: Most likely Gaunt will survive 'OiD.'Just a little 'out of the box' thinking on my part. I could be way off. . .

And to those of you who fear for the lives of the secondary and tertiary characters who have grown through the storyline to become major players: War is hell. Sorry.

Toymachine said...

I thought Dan himself had disclosed the bad news on white dwarf and this very blogsite?

Ah, Ive been wrong before. I thought Nik was a dude (sigh).

Awful thought! The arch enemy may not kill Gaunt at all! Perhaps Rawne will finally do the dirty deed. And should the beloved colonel commisar leave us, how will Surgeon Cruth handle it? I was sure they'd end up together during Traitor general (I bet money on it).


I did a little jig when "she" came into his bed. But it stopped just as fast. It had to be Sabbatine Cirk, didn't it?

Bodjo said...

@ Toymachine

Yes, he had said that Gaunt would die, but now he appears to be flip-flopping. Which is just fiiiiine with me! If it's all right with Dan, I'd prefer Gaunt be one of those Tragic Heroes that survives anyway.

Then again, I was a big fan of Sergeant Elias in 'Platoon' as well, and that certainly didn't prevent his fate from occuring.

Anonymous said...

To be honest if Gaunt was to die Dan WOULD NOT freely admit it now would he? A big plot spoiler like that, dont be stupid! The man isnt exactly a simpleton, no I think he's just trying to keep us fans guessing and debating amongst ourselves.
Which leads to another question...*SPOILER*

Did Caff actually die in AoC? We are just left to presume he did what with Zweil blessing him with his last rites and Tona giving Dalin the cap badge, but there wasn't a sentence that stated that he had bought the farm.
Makes you think!

lordy said...

Well, of course Gaunt will die. But it doesn't mean he'll stay dead - afterall, he's already died in Criid's dreams, and if I remember the White Dwarf article, it said OiD starts with Gaunt's death. Doesn't mean it's an actual, physical death though.


He's taken a bolt-round to the chest before and lived, something which would spit most people. And yes, there may have been a rose involved, but still - Gaunt's just cool.

End Spoilers

I prefer Rawne though - he's cool.

Anonymous said...

@ Andy M: To quote Band of Brothers "If they're aren't no body then he ain't frickin' dead!"

Bodjo said...

In the category of 'characters I lost track of,' I thought Haller was dead for some reason. I realize that I was thinking about Fols.

Anonymous said...

I reckon Caff is dead; I mean, you don't just dish out the last rights to just anyone now do you...

Shame really, nice bloke and all.

I hope Dan doesn't kill of Beltayn, I like him, reminds me of myself.

Toymachine said...

Spoilers be here!!!

I Beleive Caff is dead. And I think we can expect many more "main" characters to fall very soon. I was very depressed when I thought Kolea died in Guns of Tanith, but even worse when he was alive in Straight silver. I got up and danced when he regained his memory. I love little moments like that where you have to but down the book and celebrate in someway.

Anonymous said...

All I shall say Mr. Abnett is:

So, what happened to Nathn Inshabel on his trip to Elvara Cardinal?

And all further comments may finish that way. I've not decided. But we'll see.

After all, this sort of thing worked of Andy Dufresne....despite the fact it took him years. And he wrote a letter a week.

Oh well.

Anonymous said...

Ooh! Moon Zero Two... That was on the telly a couple of years ago.

Anyway, as far as DVD versions of the film go I managed to find this but it doesn't say whether it's DVD or VHS, or whether it's a UK version.

Jesse said...

Dan, my buddy "G" came out to San Diego for his Spring break this past week, during which time he burned through not only Armor of Contempt, but most of the latest Horus Heresy book as well. I've never met anyone who can read as fast and retain as much as he can.


He was again bitter at the loss of Caffran, but refrained from throwing the book at my head this time because I bought the hardcover and we were in a moving vehicle.

I also think that our year+ at war together hardened him to loss. I know that Caffran was a favorite character of his, but he didn't have any nightmares this time.

"G" also approved of Cirk's demise. I will not post his exact remarks here as children may read this blog, but suffice it to say that he considered her an 'aunt' with a capital 'C.'

As to Gaunt's death, I didn't say you wouldn't or couldn't or even shouldn't. I simply addressed the fact that title characters are hard to bump off. Doyle's fans wouldn't sit still for the death of Sherlock Holmes. Fleming's fans wouldn't allow James Bond to slip quietly into eternity. I believe your fans will take the death of Ibram Gaunt just as hard. But then again, maybe that's the point. . .

Bodjo said...

Point, schmoint! The man is an Imperial hero! Abnett books tend to be very realistic in that they don't spare heroic people from death, but let's make an exception here!

Toymachine said...

Imperial hero... or Imortal demigod?


The Commisar has survived:

-A chain-saw across his chest
-Assassination atempts from numerous possessed men
-Some ticked off BlueBloods
-a bolt round to the heart (though there was a metal flower involved, or something)
-The oncoming hoarde of "pilgrams"
-Hark's execution threat
-A chaos dreadnaught
-Etrodai, Life ward to the Magister
-Cuu's Las round to the back
-Confused Nightwalkers
-Two wire-wolves
-A space marine with a powerfist
-Strums Life-ward
-4 training drones, blades free, unable to be shut down
-"The Beast Tank"
-Rawne, for several books now

Bodjo said...

Oh, well, if he dies and then comes back as a saint/demigod or something, I can live with that. The metal flower was some award given to him by House _____ in Necropolis, I think. Don't have the book handy...

Toymachine said...

Chass, I think...

Anonymous said...

It was Chass indeed.

I'd hate to see Gaunt go in anything short of a heroic sacrifice and thus marking the end of GG (but I'm not ready for them to end yet!)

Though if this were the end, I wouldn't mind a book or something go back in the day. Either a book that would fit in some where before Necropolis or even back on Tanith, ending with the founding or something.

I'd love to get to know some of the smaller characters too, like !!NECROPOLIS SPOILERS!!

Mikial Dorden (if that's how you spell it.) So a trip back in time would be nice I think.

Bodjo said...






I don't even remember Dorden's son off the top of my head...hmm...

House Chass it was! All I could think of was liberal...dissenter...makes too much sense for politics...guy who died in the final scene...

Anonymous said...

jesse - good points well made, but sadly not irrefutable:

1. Only in Death is not the last Gaunt's Ghost book. Fair enough. Having said that, Taggart is still called Taggart (for the UK folks). ER never ends despite having almost none of its original characters. Granted, it wasn't called 'Dr. Mark Green', or 'Doug Ross does Emergency', but you take my point.

2. Rawne's Ghosts: Gaunt's Ghosts will remain Gaunt's Ghosts even if Gaunt dies. Gaunt founded the Tanith regiment, so his name could stay, regardless. (ref point 1. for the UK). You don't just rename a thing because the person after whom it was named dies. We'd be changing the names of half the world's airports every few years if that was the case!

3. Dan, a servant of the audience! I wouldn't say that to his face if I was you :-) But seriously, as your servant, when has he ever let you down? And would killing Gaunt be a let down? Stop... wait... think about it... New characters have come in, as well drawn and rounded as ever, and have been readily adopted, included and loved by all. The Ghosts have accepted the Verghasts and the Belladons. And what is one regiment going to do with 2, go on count them, 2 Commissars? not to mention my latest favourite recruit, Ludd, also Commissariat.

All I'm saying is, I think Dan might have some wiggle room on this...

...But of course, he doesn't tell me anything.

Soapy said...

*Spoilers possible*

Without Gaunt the Ghosts became the 81st/1st(r) (very cool name BTW)and lost all their groovy specialness. The Ghosts shrunk to twelve men and women and it wasn't until they came back that we heard from the other couple of thousand lads and lasses. Gaunt bought them back together and made them Ghosts again.

Without Gaunt the Ghosts get absorbed back into the line and wasted (as they have so nearly been a few times without Gaunt's intervention) or amalgamated into non exsistance.

Hark and Ludd have both become great characters but they both arrived as guard-dogs to keep an eye on Gaunt. Without him they are 'just' commissars with their interests shrunk to keeping the men fighting. It's Gaunt's releationships with the higher echelons that create the special interest in the Ghosts. The REMFs don't want to see the Ghosts dead, they want Gaunt dead. Van Voytz isn't saving the Ghosts, he's saving Gaunt. Without him there are no Ghosts.

Of course Dan can make things just so by writing it that way but without Gaunt there are no Ghosts. It's happened once why not again.

Nik's points:
1: Taggart continued, yes, but then any old monkey could be promoted to Inspector everyone else gets a title bump and the stories go on. With the Ghosts I can't see Hark getting Colonel-commissar after Gaunt bites the big-'un. It's the friction caused by the dual rank that causes half the problems. ER is more about a place at a time and the folks who pass through. I think the Ghosts is about the folks and the places and times they pass through.

2: I refer you to the afore mentioned 81st/1st(r).

3: We could bump off Ravenor too. It's everyone else who does all the work he just sits there and thinks a bit. (This is a very catty response and I'm sorry. When I'm trying to make a point [and here I do it quite poorly]I tend to get over lippy.)

I love the books, love the characters (love hating them in some instances)and look forward to more. Even if Gaunt does die Dan can always do what Bernard Cornwell did when Sharpe was put out to seed and go back and slip new books into the gaps. Then again maybe that was more about the money than the character...

Loving your work.

Anonymous said...

I just want to know what happened to Agun Soric.

I hated him being taken away (in the sense that I was attached to the character not that I disliked the storyline) and wish we could find out what happened to him.

Toymachine said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Toymachine said...

Nik and "Soaps" (hehe... soaps) both make valid points, food for thought and juicy teasers to chew on. (great... now im hungry)

I agree with Nik and think Ludd will become a big character soon and has been included for a very special reason... we all remember vamberfield: he leaps into a ruined chimera with Gaunt (the first time we see him), then 200 pages later he saves the Beati's remains, Hagia and the Ghosts. And is riddled nine times. Will Ludd have his moment to shine / become a human pin-cushion / both?

Ah, mabye he's there to take up space.

And as for Rawne's Ghosts... who's to say that the major will live past OiD also?

Bodjo said...

I think the introduction of Ludd as a character was an excellent step. The junior Commissar has not only given the reader a more innocent perspective on the Ghosts, he has also been a vehicle through which Hark has become a fully three-dimensional character. I'm kind of betting against Ludd getting riddled in OiD, and actually I feel the same way about Hark; he dodged death in Sabbat Martyr, so I think he'll be around for a while.

I guess I just like the Commissars as characters or something. I thought Novobazky from the eighty-first first was cool too. Kowle in Necropolis was one of those awful person/excellent characters.

Need I mention that Oktar seemed awesome as well?

Also in the category of characters I irrationally love was Kexie. The RIP scenes are on of the few parts of the GG books that I've read to anyone in my family (four sisters. argh.) and they've thought was cool.

Anonymous said...

Rawne's a tough bastard in every sense of the word. The moment Rawne dies is a real bad one, because it means there's something that can beat the shit out of nearly anything.

I like Ludd, but sometimes methinks he is a substitute for Milo. Doesn't suit me, Milo is a main character. Kind of quote of AoC: "A Piper? If you can get Brin Milo out of nowhere, otherwise we're fine."

Anonymous said...

Gee, not AoC, of course it was HLC.

Bodjo said...

@ Martin

I'm not sure I'd call Ludd a replacement for Milo, as he hangs out with Hark just as much as Gaunt.

Now that I think about it in-depth, if Ludd survives he could be in Abnett books for a long time. Gaunt&Hark:Ludd::Oktar:Gaunt? Could we see a later series called Ludd's Lionhearts? xD

Toymachine said...

Come now, Martin... Its a weird, weird universe. I'm surprised any of the ghosts, including Rawne, are still around after almost 10 books and 10 years. After losing Corbec in Sabbat Martyr, I've gained the sad feeling anyone is expendable. Rawne CAN die. Tough as he is, he's still human.

Anonymous said...

Ludd's Lionhearts... now THAT's for nightmares.

Anonymous said...

I have just finished reading OiD...

...sacred... feth...

Soapy said...

"Nik said...

I have just finished reading OiD...

...sacred... feth... "

You tease. How I envy you.

Anonymous said...

Soapy: Hell, I envy me!

Anonymous said...

It is done then.

All that is left is another 6 months of speculation.

And tantalising teasing from those who've been priveleged enough to read it.

*knowing wink to Nik*


Toymachine said...

@ Nik,

"...sacred... feth..."

Oh, that can't men anything good. I have a bad, bad feeling about this. I shouldnt read only in death. No one should! but we all will anyway.


Anonymous said...

I remember a comment of Lucien Wilder that seems to fit here.

"Call the commissars over. And tell them to bring sharp, pointy sticks!"

I really really don't know how to read your comment, Nik. It coukd be very good, or the most worse ever. But i have a very bad feeling about this...

Dan, my my, what have you done?

Bodjo said...

Well, one thing's for sure; as a relative latecomer to the Gaunt's Ghosts series, Only in Death is going to be by far my most anticipated read in the series. The Armour of Contempt is the only one I really had to wait for.

"Sacred feth" with an elipses, eh? I admit it irks me to know I have to wait so much longer to read the book, but I really doubt anything anyone says that isn't an out-an-out spoiler could pigue my interest more.

Anonymous said...

I find myself unsurprised by the comment on OiD.

It's not got much of a tough act to follow in AoC. Shame really coz I really enjoyed Traitor General (despite the amount of Gaunt in it) and His Last Command (Wilder rocks, and Ludd was a welcome editions).

But lets hope that if they're planning on the lucky people at GD to get a copy early, that us lucky GD people actually can....rather than an apology....despite the fact that Dan does them so nicely.

Bodjo said...

I take it you didn't like AoC? I admit I'm a little surprised by the relatively negative reactions I've seen towards the latest book in the series; I thought that--even though half the story isn't Gaunt--it was very well written. The baptism of Criid was appropriately frantic and spooky, and the action concerning the Ghosts themselves showed the political hand of Gaunt's superiors.

I do wish that it had bene about 500 pages, but I wish the same about every GG book. It's why I'm going to practically melt with glee when I go home and break and find the Eisenhorn omnibus waiting for me. Yum. With all the great things I've heard about the Eisenhorn books, coupled with my love for Abnett writing and my somewhat self-imposed wait to read Eisenhorn, I imagine the experience'll be a good one. 746 pages. Yay!

Anonymous said...

Well, I thought it a bit short. There has been too much focus on Dalin, without real tanith action. Wasn't a real GG novel, methinks.

Anonymous said...

saberrox: You've got a huge treat in store - enjoy!

Toymachine said...

"Textbook eyeball kick."

It gets funnier everytime you stop and think about it.


Bodjo said...

@ Martin

Yeah, I agree twas too short. However, I thought it did an excellent job with fleshing out more of the characters - Hark, Ludd, Welt - and also continuing the neverending battle between Gaunt and his superiors. Was short on a climactic battle, but I think the Tank bit was cool. I imagine it set us up a lot for OiD.

@ nik

Yes, so everyone tells me. I really can't wait, but if I started reading now I'd fail out of school. :P