Friday, April 20, 2007

Random box of horns

Previously on Dan’s blog...

I found out today that issue one of Nova has sold out. Andy and I are jolly pleased and so, I imagine, is Marvel. Thanks to all who bought it. I hope you liked it. It’s great to get a new series off to a healthy and robust start.

Spent the day at the Black Library today, discussing ideas for my next Horus book with Primarch Alan Merrett. No, I can’t tell you what we talked about and what we decided, but I will express my delight and slight disbelief about what BL/GW is going to let me do. Talk about being given the keys to the executive wash room (creatively speaking). This book is going to elicit gasps. I’ll go as far as to say it’s going to be the Marmite Horus Heresy book - people are either going to love it or hate it. And I haven’t even written it yet. I just hope I can pull it off.

While I was there, I got my cloned hands on a copy of Brothers Of The Snake for the first time. It’s a lovely thing (wonderful Clint Langley cover) and I think you’re going to like it. Hell, it’s a Space Marines book. And it might, just might, have orks in it too.

I (and when I say I, I mean we - me, Nik and the girls, along with Graham McNeill and his girlfriend Rebecca) attended Games Day in Paris last weekend. The response was amazing, almost overwhelming, and we had a fantastic time. We met Sigmar, for a start. On behalf of us all, I’d like to thank everyone who came along to ask a question or get something signed, and thank our host, Matt, and our translators (who were doing in person what they usually do to our books) Dju and Nathalie.

Nik and Lily took lots of snaps, so as soon as I can, I’ll post up a little pictorial of the highlights: Sigmar, crowds, looks of destiny, and a random box of horns. You’ll see.

I see you’ve been posting comments about Miss Kys. Well, she isn’t very likeable, I suppose, though that was part of the point. She’s always been very polite to me. That said, she still won’t let me call her ‘Patti’.


lordy said...

I don't suppose you can give us a estimated releash time for your next Heresy book? I'm eagerly awaiting Fulgrim, and (though not nearly as much) the Blood Angels (I think) one which follows.

What I really want to know though, is whether any more Darkblade books are planned after Lord of Ruin.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you had a lot of fun, but how do you cope with the masses of people and some of the slightly crazed fans that you meet?

Soapy said...

Can't believe what they are going to let you do? Your not gonna fill in one of the missing legions are you!?

Yes I can't wait to read it, Coming next spring, read the adventures of those you never thought you'd see:

The legion of the Dan!

Congratulations on Nova and glad you had a 'Bon' day in gay Paris. Looking forward to LotS.

Oh and if you're not busy Saturday pop along to Excel in docklands and see what a proper wargames show is like. Visit Salute 2007 (if you drop by at the Gripping Beast stand we'll sort you out a cuppa).

Stay lucky,

Soapy said...

Oh poo not LotS. I meant BotS.

Which posibly isn't the greatest acronym ever....

Anyway, I've taken far to much of your time, I'll see myself out.


Jesse said...

Well done selling out of Nova. The only thing I've ever sold out was my soul to the army! General Enrohk seemed pretty pleased with the deal though. I wonder why he was smiling. . .

On the subject of Space Marines, I feel I must insert a story. This one, you may be pleased to note, does NOT involve 'G.'

A few years ago I went on a ski trip to Utah; one of those all-inclusive package deals. There is a splendid resort in the Utah Rockies known as Deer Valley. It was there, among the quiet peaks and lightly falling snow that for the first and (thus far) only time in my life, I withstood an assault by the Adeptus Astartes.

I had spent the morning warming up on green and blue runs and decided to move on to something more challenging. I selected a black diamond run with some ridiculously dangerous-sounding name (Probably something like "Cake or death?") and began my gondola ride to the summit. In serenely gazing at the valley below me, I must have missed the drop-pod landings, but I emerged from the gondola into a milling throng of Space Wolves.

Evidently one of the children's ski-instructors was a 40K fan because he had lovingly stencilled the Space Wolf shoulder crest on the reflective vests worn by his class. 'Cute' was my first thought. 'Emperor's teeth!' was my second.

These kids, evidently anxious to hit the slopes, simply grabbed their skis and bashed their way out of the gondola lodge through whoever was unfortunate enough to be in front of them. I found myself rather glad to be heading to a run far too dangerous to be in their company.

Right. I poled my way over to the lip of a cliff that delineated the start of the run only to find the Space Wolves horde had beaten me there and were already lining up for their attack. 'Hell with this!' I thought, and polled into the drop. I had superior mass and skill on my side. I knew I could make it to the bottom before they did.

There are moments that make my blood run cold. I had several in Iraq, but by far the most terrifying was about a nanosecond after I dropped into the run when the instructor shouted: "Ready, Wolf Pups? CHARGE!" One would think that a wolf howl bursting in a clear soprano from the pre-pubescent throats of some thirty-odd grammar school children would be adorable, perhaps even comical. Nothing could be further from the truth.

In typical Space Wolf fashion; eschewing tactics, cohesion and anything resembling regard for personal safety, those kids launched themselves down the run. They had no poles, and indeed needed none for not one of them even attempted to slalom or traverse. They simply rocketed off straight down the hill allowing gravity to convert their bodies into brightly-colored projectiles.

I was foolish to have thought that I could outrun them. I was large and required to obey the laws set forth by Sir Isaac Newton. They were small and suffered no such restrictions.

I clearly remember two or three of them hurtling past me before I was blown off my skis by a small, orange-vested meteor which clipped my left leg and sent me ass-over-teakettle into the treeline.

The rest of the day was pretty much a blur of painkillers and swearing to myself that I would dust off my Dark Angels and wreak bloody vengeance on the table-top.

Ultimately, I claim victory. I survived. Despite their best attempts to kill me, I lived to write this.

OK, my son is crying for a bottle so I will close this novella. I can't WAIT to read Brothers of the Snake and I very much look forward to your next Horus Heresy installment.

Rob Rath said...

"...looks of destiny?"

That's a textbook eyeball kick. Or maybe just a textbook eyeball evasion. I have no idea what that could mean... I'm intrigued.

I think I met someone with "looks of destiny" once... her body language and demeanor could be summed up in the phrase, "Don't touch, I'm expensive."

Maybe I'm going to the wrong nightclubs.

Anonymous said...

Jesse, it painfully hurts me to read such things (but, as a met-loving Space Wolves fanatic, I... ah well, skip that..), but my chest's still hurting from laughing.

You should try the short story competition, running at BL right now. Your're really good at writing!

Anonymous said...

I agree man, Jesse's posts have made me laugh.

Boom said...

You have to look out for those Blood Claws Jesse. They're too short in the tooth to know any better.

Dan, reading about your talk with BL got me giddy with excitement. The keys to the executive wash room...oh the possibilities. Man! There are so many that I can only think to myself "no...there's no way they'd let him do that". Oh well. Can't wait to here about it.

BTW, lordy what is this BA HH book you speak of?

Jackwraith said...

Well, let me latterly chime in with a positive note: Patience is by far my favorite character in the Ravenor stories, if only because she's complex and there still seems to be a lot to discover about her. The fact that she's a mildly sadistic telekine is only a further improvement/enticement, IMO.

And 'what BL is going to let you get away with'? Alpharius and his progeny were the spoiled, youngest children. They got away with EVERYTHING, according to the rest of the Primarchs...

lordy said...


'Horus Heresy : Descent of Angels', written by Mitchel Scanlon, and intended to be released Oct 07 in Britain.

Anonymous said...


Heh..Legion of the Dan

Hang on.

Legion of the Damned,

Legion of the Dan.

That's it! The Legion of the Damned is just a spelling error by the Administratum. They're actually the Dan Clones in Space Marine form. The Legion of the Dan.

it explains so much! Not quite sure what yet, but it does explain it.

Soapy, you're a genius for making this realisation arrive in my head.

Oh, and I still like Patience, partly because she's not a nice girl...

perhaps that means I'm slightly screwed in the head when it comes to women. hmmm.

Boom said...

OMG Luther FTW!!!

Thanks lordy. I just check amazon and they have something up on it. Though it would seem that it is about the DA not BA. Hopefully it'll be just as good if not better than Angels of Darkness. Man the HH series just keeps getting better and better.

Unknown said...

Patience is one of my favourite chaacters out of all Dan's books. Interesting, has style, and bloody deadly!

I'm greatly looking forward to Brothers of a Snake, and this Heresy book sounds interesting. I'm yet to dip into that series but I've heard a lot of good, and it's certainly one of the most eventful and intriguing periods in 40K (well, 30K) Universe.

As for what Dan plans to get away with? Maybe we'll learn more about the identity of "Emperor Abnett"?

Unknown said...

..That should be Brothers of the Snake. Ahem.

While I'm making this post - Could anyone recommend me any other Warhammer/40K novels or series'? I've obviously got most of Dan's work, but I'd really like to get my hands on some equally well written 40K fiction. I've got a few books by William King (the Space Wolf novels and some G&F), but I can't say it connected with me too well.. Any gooduns I'm missing?

Anonymous said...

First things first.

Lordy...Descent of Angels is DEFINITELY about the Dark Angels, NOT the Blood Angels.

Patience just irrates me with her general unlikableness. Its not that I just don't like unlikable characters (coz I do like some of them.
Take Honsou for instance. Totally unlikable, bad and nasty character = Great!).

Brothers of the Snake....I'll read the extract of it when I get the the end of Chapter War (which is suprisingly quite good) and then make a decision. Though I promise nothing.

Next HH book. Well I'll wait on tenderhooks for it coz its HH, but if there's not Leman Russ or Sanguinius and their affiliates, I'll not be as impressed as if they were there.

Now I'm going to bed coz I'm cold and ill.
And any chance of an Inshabel short story while you're at it Dan?

Soapy said...

The Ciaphas Cain novels are good. Flashman in space. With orks.

Warrior brood was quality. Much shooty-ness and bug killing.

Didn't like 15 hours but any guard stuff stacked against the Ghosts is gonna be weak.

Other than the hot throbbing Dan penned action and the 40k books that predate even the Black Library that's all I've read.

Oh and the Dark Angel one which was also cool.

Stay Lucky and Fear the Legion of the Dan,

Anonymous said...

Hi Tim, I would recommend McNeil's Ultramarine/Iron Warriors series (Storm of Iron especially) and the rest of the Heresy books to date (they mostly take their cue from Mr Abnett's great Horus Rising). McNeil's Ambassador series is great too.
In terms of 40k,if you can pick Gordon Rennie's Execution Hour and Shadow Point up for a semi-reasonable e-bay price, go for it, likewise Angels of Darkness by Gav Thorpe is worth hunting for.
I'm not keen on the Soul Drinkers or Blood Angel books but they have their fans and Lord of the Night and isnt without merit.

Hope this helps

ps. I hope Mr Abnett does return to Naggaroth one day (darkblade or otherwise), possibly with the High and Dark Elves going at it, or maybe with the Druchii repelling a Chaos or even an Imperial invasion and (in the process) forming the usal unsteady, oportunistic and downright trecherous alliances. All good fun eh?

James from Wales

Anonymous said...


Hey guys! You're supposed to recommend Dan's work here. You know, say nothing about nice things when he reads what we say and that....and make him think he's king of the universe and stuff.

Just kidding!

I'm sure Mr. Abnett wouldn't mind, and would enjoy us giving our opinion and recommendations to other avid readers, even those not penned by him.

But there's little left to add. As all the good stuff has already been mentioned.

Personally, Storm of Iron is a must. Excellent novel. Loved it to bits and shook my fist squarely at the end.

Boom said...

All the recommendations are good ones and heres some more.

I'm going to throw a curve ball and say the Necromunda books. I haven't been disappointed with any of them so far. And the nice thing is that with the exception of the Kal Jericho series they're all their own contained stories. I'd love to see Dan take on the most notorious hive in the galaxy but some thing tells me it'll never happen:(

As for other recommendations Let the Galaxy Burn is a great book of shorts, Warrior Coven is a good follow up to Brood(its good to see alittle more of the Dark Eldar), Death World is one of my fav non-Ghost IG books(plus it has Sly Marbo in it!). I suggest looking at the cover. If it grabs you then check it out. That's what I do with most books that I don't know alot about.

Unknown said...

Thanks for the recommendations guys. I think I'll go for the Horus Heresy series next, and if I like the parts by McNeil, I'll take a look into some more of his stuff.

Oh and don't worry Xhalax, Dan's still my favourite author.. Out of everything I've read. And that's a lot! I just love 40K fiction!

Continuing the Black Library theme, I think I'll enter the short story contest.. I've not written much before, but I shall do as the primary clone suggests and write as much as I can.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I know.

Mr. Abnett takes up one of the largest portions of my book case too.

Which is unsurprising since he's written more BL books thn everyone else!


lordy said...


How do you know that? I mean - the BA were at Istavann, while the DA managed to sit around picking their noses during the Heresy.

Mainly because Johnson was actually a heretical traitor, and would have joined Horus had it not been for Luthor. But they can't really confirm this (ever).

Anonymous said...

The nice people at BL told us. And 'tis written by Mitchel Scanlon

Anonymous said...

"I’ll go as far as to say it’s going to be the Marmite Horus Heresy book"

Well, the lost Legions would be a Nonplusultra (well actually only topped by the real story of the Emperor before becoming the Emperor).

Alas I doubt they would EVER reveal that, so I'll bet it's the exhaustive story of the Siege of the Imperial Palace! Anyone in on this? ;)

Anonymous said...

@ boom: you sure about liking Warrior Brood/Coven? I've not read that much from C.S.Got, but I don't like what he does with Space Marines, and 40k in general.

Please don't ake this too rough, but in germany the workings of Goto aren't appreciated - because they ignore nearly everything ever been said about anything in 40k. Don't consider his workings when you want to learn anything about 40k weapons and 40k background.

Anonymous said...

I'm saying nothing about Dan's next HH book... but I LOVE marmite!

lordy said...


In that case, I will accept that as offical wording. I don't think they'll be writing Johnson in as a traitor though, so I'm not sure how they're going to do it.

Don't suppose you know what's happening in it?

@Inquisitor S.

From what I recall, the reason two of the legions are 'all records destroyed' is because the people who invented the chapters, and owned the copyright to them, lef the company. GW were unable to use them anymore, so instead 'deleted' all records of them. I don't think they could put them in HH.

Anonymous said...

Nope Lordy....I can't tell you what its about. Still very hush hush....not that I blame them.

But I doubt that it'll give away too much about whether or not Johnson was a wrong 'un either. It's cause too many problems and break too many myths.

Plus, with the DA codex out and it all being very cloak and dagger with this official fluff, I don't hold out a lot of hopes for ground breaking secrets revealled.

Hell, I'd just be happy to know what the DA's were up to when this was going on...coz information on them in general at that time is pretty few and far between.

Anonymous said...

"From what I recall, the reason two of the legions are 'all records destroyed' is because the people who invented the chapters, and owned the copyright to them, lef the company. GW were unable to use them anymore, so instead 'deleted' all records of them."

I have researched every material available to me and at the moment I regard that as an "Urban Legend". I doubt that at the time when the "20 Legions" stuff was created anybody at GW HQ would have granted IP to a single person.

Unknown said...

Yeah, that sounds a bit iffy to me. As far as I know it all becomes the IP of GW as a whole, not an individual?

Jackwraith said...

After Dan, the #1 book in all of BL's repertoire that I can recommend is Lord of the Night. It was really excellent, especially if you're interested in perspective on the Heresy. But I'll also second the Ciaphas Cain books. Great fun.

Anonymous said...

For a bit of backstory to the Dark Angels, check out 'Angels of Darkness' by Gav Thorpe, fantastic book and very good at keeping you intrigued,

As far as Lion El'Johnson being a traitor... well, lets just say that the Dark Angels didn't do much in the Heresy, because Johnson was... waiting to see who won? Yeah that says it all.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Maybe it will be the Armagedon. The Armagedon for the 40k universe. The cataclysmatic battle consuming the whole universe. Imperium of Man defeated... Last stand on Terra... Incredible sacrifice of hundrets of bilions of souls giving energy to the greates event in human history, the Rebirth of the Emperor. The New God is closing the Eye of Terror in a battle of proportions which can not be understand by a simple human mind... Primarchs are returning, The Great Devourer is teared apart... Orcs are hidding, there will be no more Waaagh, the last survivors of the Eldar race are destroying the city of Commorragh wipping out the memory of their dark brethern.. The C`tan awakening beneath the Mars is no more, his cold armies are defeated... The Tau are hidding before the Storm which is changing the face of Galaxy forever... (Yes, I know... but this would be a big surprise if published, not? :) )