Saturday, March 22, 2008

The Saturday Blog

It was a dark and stormy night. Well it WAS. You should see it out there.

Graham and I would like to thank everybody who turned up at Forbidden Planet last Saturday (or Forbidden Plant as Nik just typed). We had a good time, I hope you did too. It’s Good Friday today, and Nik and I spent a few hours wondering up and down Rochester High Street. We discovered the Rochester Armoury, and I bought a pilum. That’s not a sentence you often get to say. For anybody who doesn’t already know, I collect weapons as part of my research for the novels. It’s useful to know how a weapon feels in the hand, what the weight and balance are like etc. A pilum is a Roman javelin. It’s a wonderful piece of military technology (don’t take my word for it, go and look it up on Wikipedia), but not something I’d ever thought to buy. I’d like to thank Dave at the Rochester Armoury for drawing my attention to it, and being an all round good bloke (I urge you to visit the Armoury and engage Dave in such subjects as hunting boar... with a bow... in France).

Oh, and the Armoury has a website too. Google Rochester Armoury.

Anyway, it was only after I made my purchase and was lugging a first century piece of military hardware back to my car, that I realised that a Roman spear was possibly the least appropriate thing to buy on a Good Friday. I console myself with the thought that the centurion did it out of pity. I was chatting to Andy Lanning later on, and told him of my purchase. Andy said, as a sign off, “Well good luck with the rest of your blasphemy.”

I bought a buckler too, so I could swash it. How sad am I?

Anyway, to business:

I love zoids. Grant Morrison’s first comic book work was on zoids (little known fact), and I’m sure I gave Nik the ones she had on her desk at college.

I refuse to get drawn into the whole primarch kneeling thing. Several posters have already articulated interesting points of view (thanks, Sredni). 30K, just like 40K, is all about interpretation, and we’re all working from a mass of disjointed, revised, contradictory and all together mythic material that has been established in the last quarter century. Everyone’s entitled to their own take on ‘how it should be’. No one is wrong. Go with the version that feels right to you and own that one. That’s the point of a hobby. However, I feel I must point out that Alan Merrett is no newbie and he’s been around since the Age of Strife.

Pack-master - Hark’s ‘superior bulk’ certainly counts as ablative armour.

Jack - I remember Gilgamesh, so we’re best pals forever.

nhz - Titanicus is going fine, thank you. As you might expect, it is big and ponderous, and difficult to control.

James - Yes, I also want to know what happens next.

James Ferguson - We still have something for you, and haven’t received your address yet. Please advise.

Childofnurgle - Yes you are Varl. Look after yourself and feel better soon.

Rob - Yes, you’re Varl, too. Varl-ness is not exclusive to a single poster.

Brother Chaudeux - Welcome to the fun and games of the Dan Abnett blog. Excellent posts, so far. I hope to hear more from you.

Ross - No...

I’m Alpharius.

Jack - Gotta love that Wikipedia.

The-seventh-son - Konrad Curze sounds like a good idea.

Ross - Simon Spurrier is a great writer and I recommend you seek out all of his material.

One day gingers will rule the Earth - Thank you for the compliment. Much appreciated.

Rory - I did paintball once. I shot Andy Lanning in the face. Huzzah!

Lofty - 1) No, when I introduce a character into the Gaunt series, I do not, necessarily, have in mind their ultimate fates.

I studied Anglo-Saxon at university (well, I studied English, and AS was part of the course). I studied it under Bruce Mitchell, who is pretty the world authority. He used to go and teach it to the Japanese. He is Australian, and a previous alumnus of my college, Terry Jones (of Monty Python) used him as the inspiration for the classic Monty Python “Bruce” sketch. I have a feeling therefore that Bruce Mitchell was entirely responsible (via Monty Python) for the cliche that all Australians are called Bruce. He is a fantastic bloke. He wrote the standard Anglo-Saxon primer. His study was at the top of a slender and winding staircase in the front quad. At the end of every tutorial, he’d say, (and use an Australian accent for this) “don’t fall down the stairs until you get a first”. So, to answer your question... Anglo-Saxon. A (very very) little bit. And then, made up shit.

Bog - Glad you’re enjoying Ravenor. I knew you would.

Garrett - Thanks for joining in. I’m sorry you have been affected by the deaths of several characters. So was I. That was the point.

Xhalax - Hello!

Jack - Thank you.

Rory - Ezrah is pretty cool. He has a life of his own.

Arianwen - I’m sorry I made you cry. I suffer when my characters meet their ends, too.

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

Big - Loving the fact that you’re now calling yourself ‘Big’ on this site.

I’d like to leave you all with the following pict that was sent to me by my brother-in-arms, James Swallow. Thanks, Jim! It is rather funny or rather portentous, depending on your pov (point of view). Enjoy.


Anonymous said...

Big - I can only apologise; no one intended to call you 'Bog' on the blog. My bad. In my defence, I can only say that it was very late, I'd had a couple of glasses of the good stuff, and Dan dictates very fast. Anyone else type over 80 words a minute?!

Anonymous said...

The man remembers Gilgamesh II. I was fairly certain only my best friend and myself had actually read that, since no one else I knew who reads comics had heard of it. All this Starlin talk has caused me to rebuild my Starlin collection (a lot of my old comics were destroyed by a leaky roof and poor placement of comics filled boxes) and I'm currently re-buying Dreadstar. Thank heavens for eBay.

And you're welcome.

Now to return to reading Straight Silver, which I set aside to read Legion. In keeping with the comment in the last post, I'm finding even more things to like in it as I re-read it. And I'm really, really re-learning to dislike Cuu. The fether.

Incidentally, that picture reminds me of the oddity that happens at local bookstores with 40K books in general and yours in particular. Generally they wind up with the rest of the 40K books at the end of the SF section, but on occasion some of the books wind up under their author name. Curiously it almost always seems to be the Ravenor books in your case. Odd.

I type 75 words a minute, but I only use my thumbs and both index fingers, despite learning how to touch type. How very odd.

Anonymous said...

Jack - I learned to touch type, aged 8, during a bout of chicken pox. How is it that in an age when we all use keyboards, few of us ever learn to type properly? Strange. Also strange that we continue to use the QWERTY keyboard, designed to slow down the typist so that the mechanical keys were less likely to jam. How adaptive we are.

Xhalax said...

Greetings and saultations Mr. Abnett.

Soapy said...

So Dan, was it a Republican or Imperial Roman Pilum? As a man fond of his weapons you'll know the difference...

I must say I had an incling that you'd know your gladius from your spatha by reading your books. I liked the use of the Falx in Legion, a weapon historically noted for making Trajan up armour his legions.

Loving your work, as ever.

Stay lucky,

Bren said...

Hello Dan!
Have been reading your blog for a while, but never posted. Once i accidently read a major spoiler for "Armour of Contempt" in the comments section and vowed never to look in here again......

Well so much for that.
Thought it was time to say im a huge fan of your work ("Necropilis" being my favourite novel in the history of anything anyone ever wrote). Mainly the Black Library stuff though, however once in my wealthier days i picked up a Sinister Dexter graphic novel. The pedal car chase in "Murder 101" is classic!
So far ive brow beaten a total of four other people into reading your novels, though i'm not yet satisfied with such a miserly figure.
Also i think its great you take the time to communicate with your fans here, not many would.

Well, all this sycophancy has made me hungry, have agreat Easter Dan, Nik, Bloggers.

Allandaros said...

I Googled "Rochester Armory" and got a bunch of sports-arena related results. Checking back here (did I misspell the name?) I groaned to find out it was the "u" in "Armoury." Ah, you wacky Britons!

(I'm definitely going to try and pay the Armoury a visit if I ever head over to England. Of course, then I'll have to figure out how to bring the cool pointy things back across to the US...this could be a problem.)

However, I regret to inform you that one does not swashbuckle with a buckler shield. Instead, one must find swashes and BUCKLE them. :D

Xhalax said...

Just thought I'd stop by and wish everyone a Merry Easter and a Happy New Egg.

I wanted a knitable sheep this year, but I find myself thwarted.


Rory said...

Nik - 80 words a minute! i had to do that once for a teacher at school, my hands almost fell off.

Paintball is excellent. SHooting someone in the face is very saticefying (sp?) i managed to knock my friend over by hitting him in the face :)

Im reading OiD again, slowly this time so i can bask in its Awsomeness.

Roman Pilum? We learned about them in school. They Threw them and the ends bent when they his people, or the ground so they couldnt be thrown back. i think, And since you own weapons.. does that mean you have a Replica Boltpistol? or a Lasgun? :D

Oh, and any news on your Endevour to the Land of the scots :D

Dukeleto said...

Damn there was no armoury (or armory) in Rochester when I lived there, if there had been, uni might have been a lot more interesting!

The Spear of Longinus isn't a pilum, since it's leaf bladed rather than having a conical, armour piercing point, perhaps it was some Auxilla weapon?

On the subject of obscure Roman things, have any of you read Romanitas by Sophie McDougall? It's a bit clumsy, but an interesting premise and contains a fascinating alt-hist timeline, a bit like The Years of Rice and Salt.

Turain said...

Greetings Mr Abnett. I am happy to say that I am a fan of your work, since in a year I have read every Gaunt's Ghosts book available, plus Eisenhorn and the Brothers of the Snake, and I just finished reading all five Tales of Malus Darkblade. I am anxious to continue to read about the Tanith First and Only battles and Malus Darkblade's hunt. I am only unhappy that I found this blog just a few days ago, but hopefully I'll come by more often. A Great Easter for everybody!! (I'm late, but it's the intention that counts right?)

Anonymous said...

if y'all must celebrate the vernal equinox, at least do it properly. there are literally thousands of obese children out there ready to be butchered and barbequed to give thanks for the end of winter.

HusbyFan said...

Hey Dan, i just finished The Saint omnibus* and I'm wondering, will it be long before we see The Lost omnibus?

Also, can we expect 3 characters on the front-page of the next book? just to keep the rhythm :). I Hope we will get to see Rawne and someone else that might project the "lost"/gloomy feeling**.

Anyway, i feel like I'm writing a Terry Pratchett novel here(poor guy, hope you are watching your grey matter).

*=(Cuu wasn't as bad this time around as the first time, but still its good to imagine him die. Also, who is the second guy on the front page? I would have guessed Bragg, but I might be wrong. In that case, can we expect more dying characters on the front-page of The Lost?)

**=(Personally i think it would be cool with a bit of a Larkin on the front page, I want to see his face(and rifle)... I think it might be the face that I personally have most trouble getting a picture of, so it would be good to have an example. also, mkvenner would work if you are going for the "honor the dead/departed" front-page)

Anonymous said...

Nik-what's really weird is that cell phones now have QWERTY keyboards. Such a strange breed we are.

My mom taught me how to type on a good old fashioned typewriter when I was around 13 or so; she's stumped at how I manage to type so fast in such a strange way.

And a belated laugh at the purchase of a Roman spear on Good Friday, Dan. That one went right over my head yesterday.

Toymachine said...

I wouldn't consider buying a spear on good friday blasphemy... i mean it could have been worse right??

I think thats an excellent idea though Dan: weilding the weapon before you right about it. It sounds very interesting anyway!!

Anonymous said...

Dont worry Nik i've been called worse.Why only this weekend i told a very educated young man he had to leave my club ,and on his way out he called me "a seething mass of syphallitic afterbirth".
I was shocked he could come out with something like that so quik. It was so random i was lost for words ,and he didnt even swear!
Wow i wish i could insult people like that.
As for Big its an apt nick name you guys gave me so im double happy with it ,Claire on the other hand wont be blogging under "Big Claire for obvious reasons"ha ha .
Anyway, apologies to Xhalax, Bans a great Character an i was only teasing.

next subject Ravenor!
now bear with me becuse this might be somewhat random.
What does Ravennors chair look like ?i know its black and it floats ,but is he fully enclosed in it or is he like Captain Pike from Star trek? is it long an sleek like a stealth chair,or upright like a dalek type thing?i'm only half way through so i dont know yet if u describe it in more detail like ,but i'd like to build up a mental image.
Is their any pictures around?

Allandaros said...

@Duke, I thought that was Corbec on the cover. I, too, await the Lost omnibus, since it looks like that's the only way I'll be able to get my hands on a copy of Traitor General, which I still haven't read (grr), though I've read everything after that.

@Big, I pictured Ravenor's chair as something pretty egg-shaped, but glossy black (like HAL from 2001). Definitely a stealth chair. I mean, c'mon, this is the Inquisition we're talking about here. They usually shell out enough cash that their Inquisitors can afford to go up stairs.

Anonymous said...

Big - Dan has a particular way with insults. One Christmas at Bluewater a bloke on a mobile was causing untold problems. He turned suddenly and came face to face with Dan, who simply said, "Slick look, dick break." I have no idea what it means, but the poor bloke nearly dropped his phone. "Spanner barb" and "git finger" are old favourites, and Lily once called her grandfather "easel arse". Feel free to use any and all of the above. My father is pretty nifty with words, too. When I was a teenager and he thought I was wearing too much make-up, he would tell me that my face looked like "a chicken's behind in the moonlight", something to remember for when the girls get older.

Give me a moment to come up with a moniker for Claire, names usually come easily to me, and they often stick.

On the subject of Ravenor's chair, by the time you get to the end of the series you will know more. There is, however, still considerable conjecture, and I'm not sure even Dan is entirely certain what it looks like. If he is, he isn't telling. I think of it as somewhere between a black box flight recorder, which, oddly enough are yellow, and a modified Dalek.

Everyone - Let us know what you think Ravenor's chair looks like, or quote the book back at us, in case we've forgotten something critical. Remember, Big is at the start of the trilogy, so heads-up on any spoilers.

Anonymous said...

Big - Dan just put his head around the door and he says Bond Bug, which has caused a bit of a conflab, because if it has to be a three wheeler it ought to be the mescherschmit. Still, he's the boss.

Dukeleto said...

@Big - I pictured =I= Ravs chair as being sleek, certainly, he has a history with the Eldar, so perhaps that influenced how I saw it.
Ovoid, glossy black and apparently featureless, tho also bulky with hidden subsystems blisters, like a HinD gunship. Not much larger than an electric wheelchair, with no obvious canopy.
I did try to draw it once, but it didn't come out well. A bit like drawing Culture drones/ships, there are just no features for an illustrator to work with!

Rory said...

Girls wearing toomuch Makeup? i was at a gig, (seeing the Cribs for those who care) and some girl walked passed with about 3 foot of makeup on her face, And my uncle whistles and goes, "Damn, Makeup gun set to Whore!" i thought it was hilarious xD

Uncle Truth said...

Don't worry too much about the whole 'buying a spear on good Friday' thing D. Your Karma should be fine as long as you weren't wearing a tee-shirt saying 'Dear Christians: I think Longinus is really, really great'.

(Please note that my tee-shirt slogan making ability has been severely impaired due to a mild case of pneumonia.A result of being thrown out of our highland accomodation during a mild snowstorm in nothing but my briefs this weekend during my stag do).

Does the purchase of a Pilum portend the release of a sequel to brothers of the snake, perchance?

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

Big - Everyone always teases me.

Allandaros said...

@Gingers - a successor chapter with Roman motifs, perhaps? Hey, wait. There's one chapter we know of with Roman motifs...oh no.

Dan! Please, please don't write an Ultramarines story! Please!

Anonymous said...

I tend to see Ravenor's chair as about the size and shape of a washing machine, only black and with a slanted top.

Wanted to say I am reading Horus Rising and enjoying it very much. Whose idea was it to have Remembrancers in the storyline? Do the different authors collaborate or plot out the overarching plot together? I love the idea, and it really helps to humanize the otherwise epic story and characters.

Mkendrick (the cat) has been pulling my hardcover Gaunt's Ghosts books off the bookshelf. He knows his daddy!

Anonymous said...

Greetings Dan,

Re-reading Horus Rising the otherday I was struck by the similarities between iterator Sinermann and Colonel Dubois from Starship Troopers. Was this intentional? I must admit I enjoy the descriptions of the philosophies and the guiding ideas behind the characters actions almost more than the actual action sequences. I often wonder if you are limited in your ideas by the intended audience - I wonder if it is possible to write a truly "adult" 40k novel.

Oh and by the way, being born in Feodosiya, I always chuckle at all the borrowed namings.

Keep up the good work

Anonymous said...

Dan thanks for Legion finised it the other day what a book, loved the revelations about the alpha legion and there motives for sideing with Horus. The book ahad me confused till the very en, oh and my new favourite Heresy character is John Grammaticus brilliant character

Anonymous said...

Hi, I'm a huge fan of Legion and Horus Rising, both among my favourite HH novels.

A question if I may, I don't know if it's been asked before. Was it your idea to include the Primarch zodiac aspect or was that something that Alan Merritt wanted to include? Also, what zodiac does it employ, there's not many out there which have exactly 20 signs.

Anonymous said...

+I am Gideon Ravenor Inquisitor, Ordo Xenos+
It was worth it just to see the look on his K's face.

yeh baby ,i was in the room with them i swear i saw the look on his face too.
Thats when i started making obscene hand jestures at the ministry guys from behind Ravs chair .Comfertable that i am on the chairs side!

the-seventh-son said...

Gideons chair is quite obviously a grand armchair with a big ordo xenos pendant swinging beneath to hit any heretics in the face...

that would look cool, but ultimately out of place

i always get the impression i looks like the kind of the chair that the ship commanders in Starship Troopers have, but encased in a solid black metal

Brandon Black said...

Speaking of weapons and research...

How exactly do you go about researching for your books? Being a military historian myself (I'll have my doctorate quite soon) I've always wondered what your method was like.

Rob Rath said...

I learned to type at age 11 during my single year of Catholic school. I can't remember the name of the Sister who taught computer science and keyboarding, but she was an absolute pedigree specimen of the ancient, imperious nun. I was the slowest kid in the class, and remember still doing my assignments 20 minutes after everyone else had finished and moved on to playing Oregon Trail. If I wasn't done by the end of class, I had to stay after school and crush cans in the recycling center.

Fun Fact: the spray from crushing a quarter-full can of Hawaiian Punch never washes out of a white uniform shirt.

Long story short, I type 75 WPM now.

As for the Varl thing, I really only brought it up so I could use the phrases Varlness, Mantle of Varl, and Varl-Off. Frankly, I think Varl is cool enough that he needs to be a verb.

to Varl-

verb (used with object)
1. To mock someone during a stressful and/or potentially deadly situation. e.g. Don't Varl the troopers during a night attack.
2. To cheat wantonly while smiling at your opponent in a friendly manner.

1. A person who is popular despite the fact that no one likes them. e.g. That guy is such a Varl.

None of the above definitions are reflections of ChildofNurgle, by the way, just a description of the character.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunatly Rob, As Big, ET and Leto will attest all of those comments are particularly apt when describing me.

Damnit! Who told you? Have we met........?

Don`t forget - To speak softly whilest cradling a large piece of offensive weaponry.

A personal favourite of mine!

Anonymous said...

speaking of antique weaponry, you know what's sad?

while i was reading Fell Cargo, with all the obscure renaissance weapons popping up in every battle, i realized with a sinking feeling (tee hee) that i owned at least one example (replica and/or genuine) of damn near every last one.

and i wonder why i never seem to save any money ...

Anonymous said...

My impression of Ravenor's chair is that it's the only piece of technology in the Imperium not adorned with purity seals and massive amounts of intricately worked trim; completely black, sleek, and unlike anything that's in the Imperium. I always saw the chair as being something that, in design, would be singularly unsettling to the average person in the Imperium, who has come to expect technology to look a certain way. We'd think it looked cool, but Joe 40K would be thinking "what is that thing, it's so strange."

Working my way through various things Abnett, as happens when a new book comes out, and I've had a couple of thoughts that I'd like to share with the blog at large:

1. Am I the only one who would love to see a Balhaut novel? Or failing that, for there to be another battle of such scope in the Sabbat Crusade depicted?

If you haven't read "The Lightning Tower", skip the next bit:

2. After reading "The Lightning Tower", how many people who have read it want Dan to write the final Heresy novel (assuming one ever comes that depicts the very end)? Seriously, I re-read the last part of the story pretty regularly just for the description of the Traitor Legions attacking the palace and try to imagine what a novel length version of that would be like.

Anonymous said...

Jack - The plan has always been for Dan and Graham to start the Horus series and to end it. So there's a good chance that Dan will write the last book in the series, whenever than might be. He might have to fight Graham for it, of course.

Anonymous said...


Clash of the authors, like a celebrity deathmatch! Hmmmmm.......

Dan would win though, he`d cheat by bringing myself and Big along......

Dukeleto said...

@Nik - re. fighting Graham for the last HH book, we shouldn't worry, we all know that Dan's armed to the teeth now! (even without Big and CoN helping)

@Jack - The Chair is certainly VERY swish by the standards of Imperial technology, which is notoriously clunky, conservative and shrouded in mysticism. However it's wrong to think of Imperial tech as all muchness. Worlds like Cadia have a much more practical, everyday understanding of machinery, and the Glavians have a very different take on the cult of the Ommnisiah than the average cloaked Tech-priest. The products of worlds like these are going to display a little more design flair, and more practical finish.

Steiney said...

Hi Dan, everybody.

I just wanted to post my opening salvo to this blog. I have had a passing interest in the 40K universe for 8 years or so, however, my recent stint of unemployment has left me with ample time to read. I started with Horus Rising, then consumed all through Fulgrim, which I just recently acquired. I chewed through the Eisenhorn Omibus in a little over a week and the Ravenor Trilogy in another week or so. I just finished First and Only, and can't wait to finish the founding omnibus. Point is, I've become a huge fan in about a month or so, it's crazy. The charachters you create are so easily identifiable in my mind, and the mannerisms you develop for them bring them to life. I also thought you might like to know that in my area of the United States (Indiana), your books fly off the shelves at stores like Borders and Barnes & Noble, and the Public Library's selection is often checked out, but they keep almost your entire catalogue stocked. Legion still hasn't arrived on our shelves yet, but I'm eagerly awaiting it!

Now that I've introduced myself, of course, I have some questions that I've been dying to ask you.

First, Will we see continued tales of the Inquisitors Eisenhorn and Ravenor? you conveniently left me hanging at the end of Hereticus and Ravenor Rogue, and I know you didn't kill them. Alizabeth Bequin's story isn't complete either...don't think I didn't notice :)

Second, Flight of the Eisenstein left a great story plot hanging regarding the possible tales of the beginnings of the Inquisiton, any plans for that?

Finally-You built the charachter of Garivel Lokien so well, then others added, then killed him. Is this meant to convey the Hope of the Young Imperium fading away into the hopelessness of the 41st Millenium?, or is that just my interpretation?

Anyways, thanks from the Midwest USA, you've helped me through the worst of the winter, and taught me new words that we don't use here, like brackish, sinewey, fething (which I am unconsciously using now--thanks!), and choler.

PS. I have envisioned Ravenor's chair as dark, matte grey and thicker than a regular wheel chair, due to his entire body being encased in it. I just can't fathom the gravimetric hoop that rotates, is it rotating around the base of the chair, or in a eliptical pattern like those G-force training things people strap into to induce vomiting?


Pack_master said...

Ha, the Varl explanations made me nearly choke^^

MSLaird said...

Mr. Abnett,

I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude for the many hours of imaginative journeying throughout the various places in your written works. They have all provided me with a necessary respite and creative stimulus to overcome the sometimes tedious study of history. I have enjoyed your writing style and am continually amazed by your ability to weave a tail and develop plots and characters. In the Ghosts novels I especially enjoy seeing how each novel is a continual wearing down of the characters as they proceed from one battle to the next, living constantly at the “broken end of a bottle.” Again, thank you.

Bodjo said...


1. I can type eighty words per minute, but not well or often. Typing fast is exhilarating. The trick is not to think at all.

2. I hope Dan gets the last book. Mr. McNeill is a fine writer who isn't in the same league as Dan, IMO.


Thanks for the response, Dan. Hope you titanic effort pays off (horrible pun. I'm sorry. It's my Dad's fault).

I commend whoever said they were reading Pratchett. I love his books. All of my favorite authors are/were across the pond.

I am Alpharius, and Queen's Boulevard. I ate all the jam. Peace.

Hastatus said...

I've been reading your blog for a while, but haven't got around to posting.
I love your BL work, and think your the best author there at the moment.
I have read all of Gaunts Ghosts, and bought OiD at GD UK last year, where you signed it for me and told me there'd be a new series, which I'm really looking forward to.
I also thought legion was a very good book, probably the best Horus Heresy book so far. The Alpha Legion suddenly became one of my fav Legions.
However, the most recent of your works that I have read is Double Eagle, and I think this almost your best book ever. The way Marquall goes at the end, and the history lesson style finish is incredibly sad and so simple, which really emphazises it. When's the sequel due?

And you also seem to be the only author I know of that lives anywhere near me!

Anonymous said...

Nik-so it could come down to Dan vs. Graham McNeil, one fall to a finish, for the last Heresy book?

I guess I can't really lose that one, since my 40K author rankings are Dan, then Graham. But how would the battle be waged? Bolt pistols at ten paces? Or, given we're talking about the Heresy, Iterator battle! It'd be great!

Dukeleto-yes, I had forgotten the simple practicality of the Cadians when I made that comment. Good call.

Anonymous said...

Jack - I'm rather hoping for some 'Remembrancer's Tales' before the end of the series, so maybe they could duke it out with words. A book of shorts of the tales as told by the remembrancers, I mean, perhaps with remembrancer art, music and poetry. it would make rather a lovely addition to the set, perhaps as a special hardback...

Or they could just employ banjos at dawn in deliverence country.

Anonymous said...

Roses's are red
Violets are blue
I'm a schizophrenic
and so am i

another random post Xhalax!
CofN how are u brother ?
DukeL what new Dune film mate?

The chair......does it come with cup holders and a mini bar.Do u reckon Ravs would make u think u were a monkey if u left ur coffee cups on the lid.

I am still in therapy over Legion can u tell.

All work an no play makes Big a dull boy

Anonymous said...

Just as long as Dan gets the invasion of Prospero ,cause as u know Dan writes the Wolves the best.
Graham on the other hand when told, by me, the Ultramarines are abit soft says "Theres nothing soft or more scary than a 7 foot killing machine Steve" i replied
"I'm a Space Wolf player ,their 8 foot tall a turn into Werewolves Graham"
"Well " he said "Ahh see what u mean"

C. Conflict Ally Pally 2007

Anonymous said...

Dan, I just finished reading Legion and I thought it was great. Another fine addition to the HH books. There are my favorite series of books and look forward to more installments.

Thanks for th great read!


Anonymous said...

Nik-I quite like the idea of Remembrancer tales. Something a bit removed from the blood and thunder of the 40K type fiction would be a great change of pace. Plus I could hope for more from Ignance Karkasy...maybe someone could take a shot at writing his poetry?

Big-Graham's already written part of the invasion of Prospero in one of the Horus Heresy artbooks, so I figure he'd deserve the first shot at it. Of course, we can't have Dan and Graham write ALL of them, can we?

Bren said...

For my two cents worth on Rav's chair, i always saw it as being the shape of a an egg cut into quarters with the pointy end facing forward and the bottom and back being flat (because its the top, front bit of a quartered egg). Its glossy and black, with little shapes cut into it (kinda like the fuel flap of a car) which things pop out of when required.
My old man says he sees something like Davros's chair, but taller and no head poking out, and also more sleek.
Hope that makes some sense???

Also, The Varlisms, were awesome!

Anonymous said...

Jack - yes we can ! and i've read the stuff in the art book and as much as i like G.McNeil when it comes to the wolves he's no Bill King or Dan Abnett.
He's Scottish like me and he needs to let loose his inner Viking and get f**king nuts.

Jennifer Burdoo-I'm sure theirs a light hearted song or poem about the Northmen coming to Scotland and liking it so much they stayed!?

Anonymous said...

That was me Big by the way!
Also the Horus Heresy has been written about so many times its unreal,and those art books really deviate from the mainstay of the stories,especially the Wolves part in it all and the Dark Angels!

Anonymous said...

That was me Big by the way!
Also the Horus Heresy has been written about so many times its unreal,and those art books really deviate from the mainstay of the stories,especially the Wolves part in it all and the Dark Angels!

Anonymous said...

Big-I dunno, man. Graham might not be in touch with his inner Viking, but Leman Russ tossing down a tower with his bare hands was suitably epic for my tastes. I personally think that sometimes people overdo it when writing the Wolves as Vikings in Space-not King, but definitely his replacements on the series-a little less is more sometimes. I think Graham could write a decent Space Wolves novel, especially a Heresy one.

Lofty said...

Xhalax - what the smeg did you want a knitable sheep for?

Dan- how much did the Pilim cost and do you have to have a certificate for it, also if you're ever back in the north east of England, visit Segedunum (sp) if you haven't already for more Roman goodness (if that's you're thing).

I suppose your fascination for weapons shone through in the Ravenor books when describing the many weapons Harlon (Hard As) Nayl has.

having discuss this with Nikki, i have come to the conculsion that Honour Guard is the best of the Ghost books for the simple reason that is has a proper tank battle in it (which is sorely lacking from other 40K novels)

Anonymous said...

Yeh that was kinda suitable wasnt it!
when you talk about the series i take it u mean bills wolf series ,if so i started to read the new guys one .....and well u know it wasnt the same
Graham did an absoloutly fantastic job with Fulgrim and the other H.H. titles and also Storm of Iron featuring Honsou was the nuts.I couldnt see him pulling of Fulgrim but he did ,he even made Noise marines sound plausible which for me was fantastic.
But still if it came down to it personally i feel Dans got the edge on McNeil on the subject of Wolfeness.Lone wolves being a fine example ,an just the way he writes one liners about Russ and the Wolves in general.

I can say this though ,if anyone else gets that story line other than Dan or Big Mac i'm sending bup a couple of gun sharks i know to deal with the problem!

Probably my vision is slightly clouded on this issue also because the Wolves mean so much to me an the books released lately didnt live up to expectations.
I just want the best for the best
u know!

sayin that Fulgrim an Storm of Iron were the Bollocks !

Anonymous said...

Big-yeah, I was talking about the Lee Lightner Space Wolf books. They're not really bad books, but I liked King's a heck of a lot better, and the Viking element flowed more naturally in King's books. And yeah, I'd like to see Dan take a crack at Prospero, I just think Graham's up to the task too.

Anonymous said...

Oh come on!

"Not bad books"? No-one seems to have noticed that the PDF Commander was a fallen Dark Angel!

Picture the scene; "Blimey you`re very tall aren`t you general?" "No i`m not"

"Upon a rudimentary bio scan, you appear to have 2 hearts, 3 lungs and some kind of black carapace General." "No I haven`t"

And don`t even get me started on the Night Lords description at the beginning........bloody inhuman laughter!

Unknown said...

Hi Dan, Nik (funny, that's my nickname since my real name is Niklas) and everyone else on here. I've been reading this blog for a while now but never posted before. After just finishing the Eisenhorn trilogy I just wanted to say thank you to Mr.Abnett for his fantastic work.

I've actually read the first two Eisenhorn books before but got distracted and didn't get the third. Now that I had it I wanted to re-read the first two just to have everything fresh in my mind. This means that you Sir have the (dubious)honor of being the only author besides Tolkien I've ever re-read a book from. :)

Keep up the amazing work, I'm off to delve in to Ravenor!

- Niklas 'Swede' Johansson

HusbyFan said...

@ Allandaros:

my second guess would have been that it was Corbec. then again i thought the gun seemed like a good identifier in the direction of Bragg, since we know how much he liked his big guns.

@ those discussing how Ravenor's chair might look like, i always figured he would look something like this:


very quick sketch though, i dunno if he would follow the spirit of 40k and add a ton of blingbling all over it. Personally i like the idea of something monolithic with clean lines and a dark marble-like look to it.

Pack_master said...

Well, nice on,e but he was described not like that. The psy-Cannocs were in the base of the chair, and I don't think it really looks like a chair you want to sit in, too - you are really invited to si on the top of that thing, when you see it. I think it's more like a box. Sleek, but not so that you think it's a real chair. Yours looks like a fat and angular wheel-chair (no offense meant).

HusbyFan said...

None taken, we all have different images in our minds. I would be surprised if everyone thought this was the true answer(you know what they say about opinions/posteriors, everyone's got one but you prefer your own :P).

Anyway, its something like that i've imagined him when i've read the books. its been a while since i read the descriptions of his chair though so i probably missed some minor details.

I think that short-story where Eisenhorn and Ravenor got together was my inspiration in putting the psycannon into a sort of weapon-pod/arm lean. No idea why, but i vaguely remember something about him blasting antagonists with it :p

Anonymous said...

Hi Mr Abnett

I have just finished reading the Eisnehorn trilogy and was amazed at the names that you gave you characters. I myself am a high school student who enjoys writing but i find it increadible hard to think of cool sounding names.

I was hoping that you share with me any techniques that you use for naming characters that you might have or what your inspiration is for creating cool names like Eisenhorn.

If you could reply to me at it would be a great help.

Thank you