Sunday, December 21, 2008

Christmas with a Tanith accent

I won’t begin this blog entry with predictable apologies for not having blogged much recently, or any excuses about how busy I’ve been, except to say I’m sorry I haven’t blogged much recently, but I’ve been really busy.

Before I forget, can I remind you all to visit the all-new, all-singing, all-dancing Black Library website, where you can enjoy BL’s blog, and catch up with all sorts of inside information. I think the Black Library website will become increasingly interactive and participatory, although you will all need to interact and participate.

May I also, while I remember (and while Clone 16 has got the web address written down) suggest you check out to watch the “War of Kings” trailer. This little piece of marketing is advertising the cosmic event that Andy Lanning and I are orchestrating for Marvel. It spins out of the two (highly acclaimed, if I may say so) books we are writing, “Guardians of the Galaxy” and “Nova”, and is going to be an epic clash between the Inhumans, commanding the Kree Empire, and the Shi’ar Imperium. With origins going back to “Secret Invasion”, Marvel’s most recent company-wide event, this is going to be pretty huge. Andy and I are very excited about the way it’s shaping up, and we’re very pleased with the story we’ve managed to put together. The art, principally by Paul Pelletier, is fantastic. Although Andy and I have worked for Marvel and DC for nearly twenty years, this last year or so, working on Marvel’s cosmic books, has been an absolute blast, and this is where everything steps up a gear.

Early in the New Year, I’ll publish a list of the various signings that are coming up in 09, but it’s worth mentioning that they will include a mini signing tour in Paris and another one in Scotland.

I’ve enjoying the wild and varied posting that has been going on since the last blog, and, of course, I’m delighted to see you all on Facebook. The subject of accents is an interesting one that I probably shouldn’t get drawn into, as my personal theory is that it should be up to the readers to decide what works best for them. This is certainly my policy when it comes to pronunciation of names (Nik and I even argue about how certain character names ought to be pronounced, and you wouldn’t believe how many variations there are for Ravenor, for example. My policy is that the correct way to pronounce it is the way you pronounce it). Having said all that, I thought I’d volunteer the following: I have always imagined the Tanith to be, essentially, a Celtic regiment. In my head, that places them more Welsh or Irish, but there’s just as much justification for them being a little Scottish or even Cornish, or something more exotically Celtic. To me, the Verghast have a very strong Russian or Polish vibe going on: Vervunhive was a very Stalingrad city in my mind and there was an awful lot of mining and smelting. Gol Kolea is a great big bear of a miner. The Belladon, I don’t know about. There’s something quite dashing about them in a French way. The Belladon have a very particular personality in my head, but it doesn’t translate ethnically in the way that, say, the Tanith do. I would have to cast an actor in the role of a Belladon, rather than a national type. Wes Maggs, for instance, is Hugh Jackman playing Wolverine. Interestingly, as I’ve just been discussing with Nik, I’ve realised that I have no idea what Baskevyl looks like, or who I would cast in his role. He’s become such an important character and he has an extremely strong personality that comes through whenever I think of him, but I have no idea at all what colour his hair is. I mention this as an oddity because other characters have left indelible visual impressions in my mind: Gaunt, obviously, Rawne, Larkin, Corbec, Tona Criid, Varl, Ban Daur, Hark etc. Several of you were spot on when you suggested that the Roane Deepers are ANZACs, and the Vitrians are, indeed, black. As for the Narmenians, I did rather imagine them to be Russian too, and the Volpone were just very aristocratic and haughty, so they could have been French or German, or English. They had that old regimental tradition thing going on.

The aforementioned Black Library website has indeed announced that my next Horus Heresy novel will be called “Prospero Burns”. As far as I know, to answer the question that many of you have asked on the blog, or by e-mail, I believe I will be handling the Space Wolves side of the action, with Graham focusing on the Thousand Sons in his follow-up companion piece. We are, of course, talking about novels here, and they are big, complicated, unwieldy and sometimes uncooperative animals, so the end result is likely to be less clear-cut than that. All I can promise for definite is that Prospero will burn.

Anyway, let me get to the main purpose of this blog, which is to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and a healthy and successful New Year. I hope Santa brings you everything you want.
As we say in our house:
“It’s gonna be,
Chrimbly bimbly be!
What’s it gonna be?

I thank you.


Anonymous said...

First Post . Zing!!!

(I always wanted one of these ).


Anonymous said...

Hi Dan. Let me know when you know about the Scotland trip.

I'm still aiming for March/April for my shop opening but this "credit crunch" might make that slip...

I'll let you know if anything drastic changes.

Merry Santa to you and yours.



Anonymous said...

Prospero will Burn hehehehehe!

Dan im not one for spooky stories
but hows that ghost of yours gettin on!
Priceless tanith background there folks and i for one am lovin it
Now u come to mention it ,the Verghast guys an gals of course should be Stalingraders what was i thinking,and of course the history of their women being deadly snipers!
I suppose i see some of myself in Gol Kolea (even down to the traumatic head wound!) so when reading, a London acccent was heard in my mind! The Narmenians to i again misstook them for another regiment (another 100 laps for me) God im missing the Ghosts already!
Any future or past for the Lucifer Blacks ,i could stand to hear some more about them.
Oh by the everything seems big...
which is perfect for me dont u

Pack_master said...

Ziing! You make my heart bleed with joy, Dan. I'm a Wolf in spirit and soul. :)

Happy holidays t'you all!

Odsox said...

I love working out how the Ghosts and their allies should look/sound. A friend and I once had an hour long discussion on what the Tanith would sound like; he argued that the feel of the regiment and the stories and characters reminded him of Sharpe's Irish lads, whereas I argued that the mention of a slightly lilting, sing-song accent brought Welsh to my mind. Then we had to stop for a moment after I gave 'For Tanith, for the Emperor!' a go in a camp Welsh accent. Give it a try, it's dead funny.

Happy Hogswatch!

Hurrah for the Hussar said...

A Happy Christmas to one and All!

To add to the accents debate I can't imagine Gaunt inspiring his accent in anything but a loud roar, I like to imagine that has no accent being a Scholarium child.

I normally hear the Tanith as an unspecific accent and listen to the empasis on the action over the accent. Glad its a book so interpretation gives rise to these great debates.

Personal note to add but the moment Larkin says 'to be sure, to be sure' in a Irish lilt I'll implode or /wrists

I'm not even sure if Dan himself was aware but here is a link to the man who originally was credited with the now famous 'Do you want to live forever!?' cry

Anonymous said...

Happy Christmas everyone!

I always imagined Baskevyl as having a ginger beard, but since it's Christmas why don't we give him a great big white one?

Ho ho ho.

Unknown said...

Hey Dan, first time poster long time reader!

Glad to hear that you and Graham will be handling the battle of Prospero. I cant wait for this and the new Ghosts book!

I got back into marvel comics because I heard that you were writing Nova. I picked up Nova right around the time it was announced Guardians was being released(I read that too). Then I got tied up in the whole secret invasion stuff and now I am full on back into comics.

Now you have my money for your books and your comics!

*shakes fist*

I am also really looking forward to War of Kings and I have to tell you Nova is one of the best books on the stand. Though what is happening between worldmind and Nova is saddening me but is turning into a really good story.

Oh and please make Rocket Raccoon the hero of War Of Kings.

Dukeleto said...

Happy holidays everyone, in a strictly secular, 31st Millennium fashion!

Thanx for the confirmations about the various regiments, Dan. Very interesting to know what you were thinking, and how well it fits with readers ideas! I'm still enjoying the idea of Vervun primary being essentially rust-belt!

Very good news that you're tackling the battle of Prospero. Always been my fav bit of Heresy background, I find myself firmly on the side of the Sons! Can't wait to see how you handle it.

All the best for 2009 guys.

Anonymous said...

I'm American and have no idea what the difference is between all these European accents everyone is talking about. To me the Tanith sound like United States Marines...a la R. Lee Ermey (Drill Instructor from Full Metal Jacket)

Dju said...

@Hussar :
Thanks for the insight on Dan Daly and his famous warcry ; so, the sentence was first shouted on a French battlefield, sweet !

Dan, we're waiting for you in Paris with wide open arms and bottles of wine waiting to be opened.

Merry Christmas to you all. Peace on Earth, good will to men, war everywhere else in the galaxy.

Anonymous said...

it's generally referred to as 'Pissmas' in our house, for reasons I'm sure I don't need to explain

Pack_master said...

@Anonymous: Gunny Hartman? No way. American accents are... well, american, US endlish is, sorry to say, too violated to get the feeling.

the-seventh-son said...

@ Hussar: the things you know - i'm reading Ravenr Trilogy and i thought that was high appropriate...

Brandon Black said...

I have to agree. Being an American, I hear most of the accents in either an American accent, or occasionally in a sort of stereotypical British accent... I dunno if that makes any sense...

Rob Rath said...

Happy Holidays to all of you, wherever you are and whatever you do this winter.

Lots of luck for the New Year.

Verghastites as Russians- it makes sense.

But in my defense, Detroit looks more like Stalingrad every year.


When I was in Marine Corps JROTC in high school, we had to learn Dan Daly's famous quote for promotion tests, along with other famous Marine Corps quotes. My favorite was always an officer on Guadalcanal who said: "Goddamn it, you'll never get the Purple Heart hiding in a foxhole! Follow me!"

I have a lot of friends who are serving in the Corps, know a lot of retired Marines, and have done oral history projects with guys who fought in the Mid-Pacific Theater during World War II and have come to this conclusion: Marine combat troops have a form of madness so unique that it's never been properly diagnosed. I'm totally in awe of them, but have never ruled out that it might be something in the chow.

Anonymous said...

Brandon u make more sense than what the other fella said!
Obviously he forgot he's speaking English and only has to listen to the different languages of America
to hear Spanish ,French,Italian,Portuagese
being spoken all the time,after all the Statue of Liberty is French...
Happy Christmass to one and all folks,peace and good will to all men!

Xhalax said...

Happy Candlemass

HiWayRobry said...

Being an American I have never heard any of the GG characters speaking in an 'American' accent. Except maybe the cock-sure Phantine, arrogant pilots and all. But from Dan's blog I don't think he's envisioned any of his characters as being American. (Except maybe some of the Chaos baddies!)

Anonymous said...

dunno, now I think about it I realize I did imagine Uexkull (Traitor General) as having a somewhat guttural, hard-edged accent, something like swedish or finnish (probably because of the name).

the Blood Pact, on the other hand, all sound like the Serbian POWs I oversaw back in ancient history (apologies to any Serbs in the room; it's not a deliberate association, my brain just does these things on its own).

Anonymous said...

Heyyyy just got "The Lighting Tower" under the tree ,its in Audio
Dan in audio ,yeh baby!
Happy Chrimbo

narrativium said...

I bought First & Only when it first came out over nine years ago.

When Gaunt asks his men "Do you want to live forever?", it is narrated that the words of the response couldn't be articulated, but that he knew what they'd said.

I still don't know what they said.

Was it "Yes!"? Was it "No!"? Was it "We're kinda busy shooting the enemy over here, would you feth off and shoot some of them and we'll handle the philosophical questions over a cup of sacra once we're done?"?

I've stopped letting it keep me up at night, but it'd be nice to one day have an answer. In volume 17, or something.

Pack_master said...

That meant only that they roared an answer... you're not quite familiar with stilistic elements, eh? ;)

Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas to you and yours Dan...and to everyone else who has posted or will post here.


Will Wright said...

First Off Merry Christmas Dan.
I cannot wait for Blood Pact.
Is the games day short story going to be part of an Omnibus someday or should I buy one off E-bay?
I cannot wait to see how you tackle the Wolves of Fenris.

What is your favorite Legion?

I hope you enjoy the competion over at Great Crusade,I just wish I was a writer as well as an artist.

Forgotmytea said...

Merry Christmas to you too! I'm hanging on your every word for the signing dates, still can't believe I missed you last time you were in Aberystwyth(!).

Ripper said...

Lord Abnett, I would like to thank you for posting this information. Not only for my own edification, but also because it helped me deal with a curious problem that I found myself with this morning.

When I woke up and checked my e-mail, I had a particularly un-informed message from someone who had seen a drawing of mine.

Their problem with it, in summary, was that I drew my Sister of Battle with dark skin...his argument was that there was no precedent for dark skinned characters in the 40k universe.

I'm not sure if he saw the image on my blog or gallery on deviant art, or the Dark Heresy forums, but regardless, I drafted a fairly lengthy response. I included a snippet of this blog post by yourself, and I thank you for providing me with easily accessible ammunition for my "Shut up, Racist" flamer.

If anyone cares, the image, as well as the correspondence can be found here:

To all a Happy New Year, filled with happiness and racial diversity in your chosen fictional background.

Anonymous said...

ripper: it's possible to overthink such things on both sides. the 40K mythos draws on such a broad range of cultural and historical influences that the actual colour of its inhabitants' skins isn't a significant aspect. in most cases it could be (almost literally) anything, and fans always tend to relate their favourite characters to themselves as much as possible anyway.

that said, I suspect the main reason why light-skinned european types tend to predominate in the artwork and background material originates in the unavoidable fact that it's easier (or at least more straightforward) to paint convincing pale skin on a tiny metal model than dark skin.

Xhalax said...

Ripper: Whoever this person was that said that there is no president for dark skinned characters in 40K has obviously never ever come across the Salamanders....who all have practically black skinned.

Plus, to me, it sounds like whoever said it should be ignored as it sounds a little racist to me. After all, why should all fictional characters be light/white skinned.

Hurrah for the Hussar said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hurrah for the Hussar said...

Ripper-the writer of the poorly informed article (written in Crayon no doubt) has probably only chewed Black Library books and yes does sound like a feckless racist simpleton.

There are hundreds of references to dark skinned Salamanders, red skinned Primarchs, albino Afriel strain supersoldiers and an entire dark-skinned Vitrian planet. Therefore there are plenty of precedent's for different skin-colours, we call them Codexes/Novels/White Dwarf articles-get him to read some, or have his mother read some to him.

In other words just send him this picture of a GW artists drawing of a Salamander and ask him when playgroup starts...the cretin

Hurrah for the Hussar said...

IT technician and cant even link a file properly-oh dear

Delete spaces as appropriate (or just go to Lexicanum Salamanders page)

Dukeleto said...

It worked the 1st time, Hussar :p

Ripper I always get stupid comments on my 40K work on DA, tho none quite as ignorant as that guy! I've ranted about it a couple of times in my DA journal, never ceases to get to me.

Just how narrow do your cultural horizons have to be, to assume that a human race consisting of a million populated worlds, has but one culture and skin colour? as Hussar said, he can't even have read that widely WITHIN the 40K background, let alone outside it.

I finished Titanicus, really enjoyed it, altho I found the ending a bit convenient, a Deus ex machina, if you'll forgive the pun ;)

The Mechanicus imagery was spot on tho, more than that, I think it's redefined them somewhat, in my mind at least. Cheers Dan!

Anonymous said...

dukeleto: the fact that they wrote to Ripper with that specious assertion in the first place indicates to me that the main priority of the person in question was sociopolitical axe-grinding (rather than any genuine interest in 40K literature or artwork).

when dealing with ideological nutjobs you gotta try to identify their angle of approach before you can figure out what the fuck they're actually trying to say. in my experience, it's rarely worth the effort, because usually (as in this case) it boils down to dismally obvious personal insecurity / identity crisis issues.

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

Ooh, so the New doctor has been announced.
you can see him....

Here ->

What do you guys think of him?

And Dan, what do you think, since your most likely going to have to write about him?

I think he could be good, but also he looks alittle creepy? with the deep set eyes and all. Should be good!

Anonymous said...

well, apart from the fact that he's clearly high as a kite in that video ... I think I'll reserve judgement for the time being :P

Rory said...

Im sure you would be the same if you were a young actor and had just been given one of the most intresting tv roles there is.

Anonymous said...

nah, I kicked all my drugs habits at the end of last year; I am now officially a Boring Old Fart.

oh, well, except caffeine - but then without that I'd probably be unemployable in any case ...

Benny Boy said...

what up everyone.
here is something to think about.
who whould win in a straight fist fight? no swords, bolters, or whatever. Gaunt or Hark. well lets look at this in a clinical way. Gaunt, I believe is much older. Gaunt has been beaten down, shot, stabbed, chainsworded "not a word". But, he is one relentless son of a B. he can bang with the best of'em, even traitor marines in Traitor General. He will have augmentic eyes now, which might be an advantage. Hark is more of a brawler in my opinion. look at his skills in the armour of comtempt. he smoked those guys who tried to jump him with ease. he has a piston like punch with his fake arm, which is pretty much instant death to anyone that gets hit. well.....i hate to say it, Hark might stomp Gaunt in a fair fight with now weapons. but, any other circumstance, Gaunt would out class Hark. Anyone got any ideas. oh and i think Hark has an American sound to him, like an early 50's clint eastwood. If you read all of this-Thanks

Anonymous said...

Gaunt would just guilt-trip Hark into submission with his inflexible code of honour.

Benny Boy said...

haha, thats true. Or, Gaunt could use Curth to distract Hark "hmmm why would that work". Then, "crack" sucker punch to the chin. if you cant beat'em.....use Curth.

Anonymous said...

Stil lovin the fact that your gonna do the Space Wolf side of things Dan,just go for it!
Also i drove home the other night and listend to the "Lighting Tower"
For me personally it was one of the best stories of yours i have read/listend to.
Doin the things i do i ask that Question often
"What are u afraid of....
What are u really afraid"
im in danger of getting deep herebut it was great i would love to here a follow up.
it even gave me a deeper apreciation for Rogal Dorn
they say ur never a true champion untill u have faced what u are most afraid of!
this one got me dont email u often i might do about this one.
Were in your heart did this one come from.....lets hope its not a trade secret!

Pack_master said...

Aye, Dan's doing it from the Wolves' point of view. The right point of view.

Well, finally got something back from the artificiers. Cost an bit o'money, but it's worth it. Take a look:

Does it look good? :)

Anonymous said...

it looks like a ... bookcase?

or have I missed the point again?

Pack_master said...

Heh, well, no, meant the poster... was frigging expensive to put it on an wooden panel. But it's simply awesome. :)

Anonymous said...

I've always seen Larks as Steve Buschemi... But that's just Me.


The gentleman soldier said...

You are my favorite writer Dan. Superb stuff, especially GG, i've read every one (now re-reading the founding ombnibus in waiting for Blood Pact). I was wondering if i could send you a some of my own amatuer writing to get a bit of proffessional critism (i'm only 15 so it will be nowhere near as good as your stuff).

Nash said...

Heyyyy just got "The Lighting Tower" under the tree ,its in Audio Dan in audio ,yeh baby! Schwing Happy Chrimbo