Friday, February 29, 2008

I don't get hand dryers...

...or hamadryads, but they’re another thing entirely. It seems that an awful lot of you experience the same kinds of problems with automatic doors, automatic taps, automatic blowy devices and automatic automatics. We’d all be pretty crap on the Starship Enterprise, wouldn’t we? yes, wait... that was meant to be rhetorical. Why am I expressing my ignoramity out loud. What a loser.

Soapy- I too have stopped peeing in public loos. I now pee in public. It’s just part of my thing. Performance art.

Cor - yes, I have sold my soul to the devil.
Too bad - the sequel to Double Eagle is called Interceptor City and will be with you in a year or so. What books of mine should you definitely read? Eisenhorn, Riders of the Dead , and Fell Cargo.

Xhalax - Do it! Thank YOU for coming along to the signing, it was lovely to see you.

Big - Dancing? In Cambridge? Next weekend? We are so going to capture that!

Toymachine - Yes I am a psyker.

Rory - Seems I might be coming to Edinburgh soon, and Games Day Germany, which might please several of my regular posters.

Jack - I’m the whole silver-skinned, purple afro Magus. I didn’t grow up on Starlin comics without bonding them into my DnA. Trolls? I don’t know anything about trolls.

Dom - Welcome Dom, to this blog. Rooney too.

Big - Thanks for the listing.

Ross - Oskar Viltry is a truly lost hero. Thanks for remembering him.

Kelticemt - Thanks for reading. Beltayn is a wonderful person to be.

One day gingers will rule the earth - Yes, your wife is having an affair. With an insurance salesman.

Xhalax - Do it! is the overall command of the Alpha Legion. You’ll find it in several places.

My local, independent art shop is closing down. I have been frequenting the shop for its entire 19 year tenure, first buying supplies for my mother, the artist, Emma Abnett, and latterly for my wife, Nik, whom you all know.

Lots of stuff in the shop is on sale, and I had my eye on a skeletal wooden hand that I had been admiring for nigh on ten years. Picture the following scenario, bearing in mind that the proprietor’s name is David.

Nik - It’s the fist of Horus.

David - Horus... as in Warhammer?

Dan - Yes.

David - I’m not into the game, but I read a lot of sci-fi and I’ve just been reading a big volume of some of the collected novels.

Dan - That’s my job.

David - ...What’s you’re name.

Dan - Dan Abnett.

David - You’re kidding me!

The rest of the conversation went pretty much as you’d expect. Anyhow, the following day, I popped into the shop with a copy of Legion and duly signed it for him. I still can’t believe, after all these years, that we didn’t know each others’ names.

If you’re there David, say Hi to everyone.

Typed, but not dictated by young Lily. Whoopdy frikkin do!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Life and opinions

I would like to be Adam Warlock, but I fear I am Agun Soric.

I’m playing Big’s game of “Pick which character you’d like to be, but then admit which one you actually are.” Adam Warlock, who wouldn’t want to be him? The hair? The teeth? The pecs? The lightning flash? Being written by Jim Starlin wouldn’t hurt either.

Sadly, I think I am a chained psychic toiling in the mechanisms of the 40K universe.

So, moving on from that dull note, I can confirm to Curis that “The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy” is one of my all time favourite books, very much like “The Canterbury Tale” is one of my all time favourite films. I have no apathy towards 18th century literature or Steve Coogan. Thanks for the recommendation, “A Cock and Bull Story” is up there with “Adaptation” and “Stranger than Fiction”.

I’d like to thank everybody who turned up at the Plaza today, especially Xhalax. Double thanks to her for sticking around for a chat, it was a long way to come and she was charming company, as always. Next Saturday I’m going to be at Waterstones in York from 6 o’clock. Be there, or be somewhere else.

Xhalax - you’re Ban-ness rating is the best piece of inter-textual review my books have ever received. Just you wait, I believe Ban is going to be the star of “Blood Pact”.

For general consumption. Nik is definitely Alizebeth Bequin. Except she’s not a ho. I want to make that perfectly clear. You can base a character on a person without all the extraneous stuff. She is beautiful, wise and serious.

Jack - If the Nova run is up there with Ed Brubaker’s Cap then that’s fine praise indeed.

Big - You are indeed the personification of Gol Kolea. I know everyone wants to be Mkoll.

Kampfhamster - We all miss Gutes.

Anon - Thanks for the recipe. I will recite the litany of refrigeration.

Xhalax - As Nik suggested, let’s not have big breasts come between us. I think you mean Seena. Actually, it’s quite possible that you’re Commissar-General Victoria Balshin.

Rob - Yes, you ARE Varl.

Rory - Cuu scares the living shit out of everyone. And, yes, I‘d love to come to Scotland, and I’ve suggested it to BL, so watch this space.

Nemesis749 - It is, indeed, a long, ugly war, and I do love putting your faves into the shooty shooty.

Cor - I love Firefly too, one of the best shows EVER.

Blade4hire - Welcome aboard, and thanks for the kind words.

Xhalax - Congrats on the hundredth post. Summer Glau! PhwwAU!

Sredni - I’m so, so sorry.

Dear Sleepless in Strathclyde. One day gingers will rule the earth - Sir, I’m a sci-fi author and not a marriage guidance counselor. However, I suggest the following. Take the garden gate off its hinges. Oil it thoroughly with WD40 and then hide the gate somewhere, such as the back of the garden shed or the bottom of a deep, deep well. Then wait in bed for your dearest and see what creaks. I suggest packing a deuce-deuce over-and-under las pistol, or a 40watt, 700megathule plasma cannon, perhaps snuggled under your pillows. If the bedroom door opens, and it’s Ana Curth or Kara Swole then hurray you. Otherwise, lock and load. Hey, I think I’m getting the hang of this agony aunt thing

Packaj - Of course I read everything you (write here). I don’t have people to do that for me. I don’t have people to do anything for me. I don’t think Gaunt would be Gaunt if he accepted a promotion, either.

Big - Apparently you’re dancing. What I wouldn’t give to see that!

Lordy - Gaunt vs Rawne? Gaunt would win for the reasons given, but Rawne is a sneaky bastard and I’m a sneaky writer.

Cor - Karkasy was a favourite of mine and Loken was too, but my favourite Horus Heresy character has got to be John Grammaticus. Or Hurtado Bronzi. Or Peto Soneka.

That’s enough for tonight. I appear to be suffering from a strange condition whereby automated taps and hand dryers don’t respond to me. I understand that this is very strange and minor, but can anyone help?

Saturday, February 16, 2008

It’s Friday, so I must blog (as Stan Lee never said). It seems that synchronicity and coincidence, my fairweather friends, are haunting me again this week. Just about everyone I saw on my walk into town for Friday lunch with Nik then congregated at Maidstone railway station at 4 o’clock. It was weird. It was as if my life was a film and I got to see all the extras heading home after work.

Also, four black cats crossed my path. I think that’s supposed to be lucky. I think that thinking that makes me a slightly strange person. At least I didn’t run any of them over (although the first one, the very fluffy one, came awfully close to my bumper).

OK, the main points of this week. Roy Scheider died. As Nik remarked, that was ‘one of those slightly unsettling things’. As far as I’m concerned, Roy was a screen god and a bastion of 70s cinema. Roy Scheider, by his own estimation, made three great films: Jaws, The French Connection and All That Jazz. I, however, will always remember him as Dustin Hoffman’s big brother in Marathon Man. He was 75, but I can’t believe he’s dead.

Steve Gerber also died this week. A mainstay of Marvel in the 70s and the mind behind Howard the Duck, Gerber was a genius. Pure and simple. The comic industry has lost a genuine talent.

In other news, Raquel Welch is 67. She looks f**king fantastic. So, there you go.

Now on to this weeks responses.

Jack - Cosmo will be being in the new Guardians of the Galaxy comic. Woof!

Big - Yes it was a mega-blog. You can tell me about the fistycuffs when I see you in Cambridge.

Rory - I haven’t yet written Spiderman, but it’s probably on the horizon.

Xhalax - You’re a trooper. How much Daur was there in OiD? How much? Lots of Daur!

Brandon - Happy Birthday! Everyone wish Brandon a Happy Birthday.

Big Will - I’d really like to write a book called ‘Ven’. How cool would that be?

Ianifiel - New Zealand sounds very New Zealandish. Just find somebody to invite me.

Sam - Chin up. Every thing’s all right.

Packmaster and Xhalax - Nathun Inshabel on Elvira Cardinal. Tough job. I’m working on it.

Sredni - The map’s been published, Mr Vashtar. I worked long and hard on it.

Rob - You’re spot on, but it’s an ursid, not a bear. The riff should have gone, ‘The ursid exploded through the undergrowth, snapping at everything in sight. Ven eviscerated it with his silver dagger. He was nine years old. The nalwoods closed around him. In the time it took for the ursid to die, Ven had wiped his knife, cleaned and dressed the kill and carried it home on a split log.’ That’s the way we do it in Ghost country.

Steve - Are you suggesting that all BL novels are pulp? Or are you proposing that you’d rather have decent RPGs instead of the novels that BL publishes, which might be considered pulpish? Either way, I’m probably offended. Any company needs to make money and you can double that if it’s a publicly owned company. If I didn’t write for a living, I’d write anyway. Thankfully, BL pays my mortgage, so I don’t have to do two jobs. If you want to discuss this stuff, you’re probably talking to the wrong man.

Mista25 (Patrick) - Greetings to Denmark. Sorry you didn’t like Armour of Contempt. Maybe I will try to get Gaunt that promotion you’re talking about.

Patrick (2) - I had honestly forgotten about the smoking thing in Only in Death, but I feel that Sredni’s explanation is spot on. Who the feth would smoke when it was that dry?

Big Steve - Three shredded wheat?!

Rob - Skulls = ashtrays. Good solution.

Nemesis 749 - Hello to you too. You’re welcome to join in with us.

Rob - ‘Stranger than Fiction’ is a damned good movie, but it’s not half as good as... that one about the orchid thief... you know, the one with Meryl Streep... it’s really late and my brain won’t work.

Thank you for making this another hundred post blog.

Rob - ‘Adaptation’ Gaaah! That was the movie. If you haven’t seen it already, it’s worth renting.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Oh look, he's here again.

Yeah, I know. Far too slow with the old bloggage. My apologies.

Let’s review the minutes of the last meeting. Someone... I think it might have been Xhalax... was asking about signings, so pay attention because here’s the skinny:

The signing season begins on Saturday the 23rd of February at the Games Workshop store in the Oxford Street Plaza, London, from 11 ’til 12.

The following Saturday, March 1st, I’ll be at Waterstones in York at 6pm for a special event.

The following Saturday, March 8th, I’ll be at GW Cambridge from 2 o’clock onwards, and I hope it’s another wonderful chat and comment session like the last one.

The following Saturday March 15th, the mighty Graham McNeil and I will be at Forbidden Planet in Shaftsbury Avenue for a two-hander, in which I will, as ever, play the part of the straight man to Graham’s Eric Morecombe. We’ll sing, we’ll dance, and I’ll be the one with the short, fat, hairy legs.

On Sunday April 20th, I will be attending Games Day, Paris, one of the highlights of the BL calendar, not least because of the creme brulee. I believe Graham will be their too.

On the evening of Friday May the 2nd, I’ll be doing a talk at a library in London. Details to follow.

I expect to see all of you there, at every event.

Now on to any other business. Thanks for all your New Year’s resolutions. It strikes me that there are a lot of armies out there waiting to be painted. I have a man who does that for me.

Jack - I’m glad you like Cosmo. He’s become a favourite of mine and will be taking a labrador shaped role in the new Guardians of the Galaxy book.

NHZ and Toymachine - I just can’t get enough of the Cant jokes. Can’t I? No, I can’t, can I, Cant? Trooper Cant is destined for great things in the next Gaunt installment, which has now been formally titled ‘Blood Pact’. Watch this space.

Rob - I’m glad that OiD occupied your attention so much that only your sister’s wedding could derail your attention. Shoggy is, of course, still with us. And no, Gaunt’s new augmetic eyes will not be able to shoot lasers. That would just be silly. And a little unfair on the archenemy.

Xhalax - Yes, you might see some more from the Lone Wolves. By the way, my name is Abnett, not Abentt, though many might think that was more fitting.

Matt - Good luck with the new job.

John - I don’t think I ever said what the Belladon colours were. Maybe I missed something I forgot. Any suggestions? Nik suggests midnight blue and white with a hint of gangrene.

Rory - I’d encourage you to keep reading Horus Rising, but I see Nik’s already done that, and I’m coming far too late to this blog, because, you’ve already finished it. I hope my words of encouragement might have been successful, if they’d appeared at the right time.

Bigwill - Thankyou very much. Why are you reading at work?

Xhalax (part II) - Bugging the crap out of people is indeed a tried and tested method. I’m just now writing a story for the Ravenor/Eisenhorn collection entitled ‘Nathun Inshabel on Elvira Cardinal’ just for you. I believe it’s even dedicated to you. You see what bugging the crap out of people leads to? You won’t be happy. I put more Ban Daur in OiD just for you and did I get any thanks? Did I bo**ocks.

Big - Stop encouraging Xhalax to be a Fenrisian. She’s fierce enough as it is and has the beard to prove it.

Rory (again) - Nik says that I am the best reader she’s ever encountered (yes, I know you meant writer). Thank you for saying so.

Big (once more) - I believe Xhalax IS strong enough to pull four Fenrisian longships and wrestle a Kraken single-handed. You met her, right? She made me write ‘Nathun Inshabel on Elvira Cardinal’ by remote control. The girl is scary.

NHZ (the sequel) - Larkin and Rawne drinking Ghost-Bragge sacra brought a tear to my eye too. Sometimes I wonder if you realise how emotional an author can get about his characters. Then again, I might just be a wuss. Toymachine - There was plenty of Daur! I refer you back to the Xhalax comment above.

John (encore) - Mkoll and Ezrah teaming up was, for me, the perfect buddy, buddy moment. Is there anything those two couldn’t do, on their own, let alone together? I’m afraid Ven is never going to make it to the party. He’s playing Robin Hood on Gereon. Maybe that should be a novel? What d’ya say?

Kosh - Good luck with that. As I deal with message boards more and more, I realise that anonymity does bring out the worst in people. Yes, and sometimes the best.

John (part III) - I wonder why Novabasky’s speech resonates so thoroughly with the readership. I’m glad it does, it’s just strange to me that what was, effectively, a throw-away ends up having deep significance.

Big (I’m losing count) - Legion IS the nuts. I know. I wrote it. It’s the best thing I’ve ever written, apart from Titanicus. And Necropolis. And the Riders of the Dead. And Honour Guard... oh I’ll shut up.

Leo - My story, ‘Point of Contact’, in the Solaris book of science fiction vol II, is a small piece that I hope you enjoy. And yes, it does mark the beginning of more non-GW stuff from me. NHZ - your final use of the word ‘mostly’ reminded me of Newt in Aliens.

Big (yet again) - It’s awful that Heath Ledger is dead, and what’s worse is the speculation. Let us console ourselves with Brokeback Mountain, Ten things I Hate about You and, of course, A Knight’s Tale.

John, Packmaster - I do work very hard at the names of my characters, and we authors worked closely to construct the Heresy books, especially me and Graham. The Heresy events were detailed long before we came to them, but many of the characters and incidents are of our own invention. With Alan Merrit’s express permission.

Rory - Oan Mkoll was named after Ewan Mkoll, father of Kirsty, a great folk musician and a friend of my parents. Ewan had the best singing voice I’ve ever heard. Which, of course, has nothing to do with Oan.

Everyone - Bell of Lost Souls’s Horus codex is fantastic and I encourage every one of you to order a copy.

Anonymous - As far as I know, all Black Industries stuff has been canned. That’s the way it goes. If it didn’t sell, it wasn’t worth doing. You can’t argue with that. GW is making cuts across the board, and I am especially pained to see the loss of my good friend and BL publisher Marc Gascoigne. I will miss him, enormously.

As Lily would have it, ‘Land of Leather’.

That concludes the reading of the minutes. Any other business?

See you next time.