Sunday, March 01, 2009

The Joy of Seks

Okay, first of all... further to the strand on this blog regarding Sek (“Name or Rank?”), I thought I’d import a little additional chat on the subject from my Facebook wall. I’m sure neither Xhalax nor Matt will mind (you don’t mind, do you guys?).

Anyway, Xhalax asked:

“In a vain effort to quell my raging curiosity the quickest (I posted this on your blog too for the others....namely Big since he's Mr. Blood Pact....despite the fact this technically has nothing to do with the Blood Pact)....I'm asking this question here too since it's bugging the hell out of me.

Is 'Sek' some sort of given title? Just with Anakwanar and Isidor both having it, and yet being two separate people, it made me wonder.

I'm starting to suspect 'Incarnate' has a very very LARGE part to play in this by being used as/instead of 'proxy'.”

To which I replied:

“I hadn’t quite thought it through like that. Isidor holds the rank 'Sek Incarnate' because he is Sek's man on Gereon, and there may be other holders of the rank. But is Sek itself a rank or a name? Hmmmmm...

Well, the other big dude like Sek is Urlock Gaur, of course, and his followers include people who hold ranks like 'etogaur' and 'demogaur', so I'm pretty sure Gaur is a rank.... ie Orlock Gaur means something like "Orlock who is the great warmaster". But Anakwaner Sek always felt like a name to me.... Sek is a gaur himself, or holds a rank just below gaur if gaur is the over all big bad warmaster.

Now, I'm not so sure. As a reader, which appeals more to you?”

Then she said:

“Personally, I think I like 'Sek' being just a name rather than any sort of rank. Reading Traitor General and having all manner of names and their meanings is making my head spin a little (Chaos never sits easy on my Imperial mindset, so to speak)

So in that respect the word 'Incarnate' is the one that becomes the word that denotes position (rather than rank since Isidor isn't an military man, and position seems to fit better than rank for non-military).....the name before it (ie. Sek i this case) just denotes pretty much who they belong to/who they save.

And on that basis, I'd imagine,maybe Urlock Gaur.....may a 'Urlock Incarnate' to denote anyone who may be 'ruling' in his name while he's out plundering the galaxy.

Oh, maybe 'Incarnate' is the equivalently of 'Governor'

I think I need to go play some computer games.......too over stimulated with wordage.”

Then she went on to mention the additional issues of “Anarch” and “Archon”. Meanwhile, Matt Farrer (always a pleasure to hear from him) chipped in all the way from the other side of the world with this:

“Hi Dan, hope you don't mind if I get in on this discussion. Like Xhalax, I rather like the idea that Sek is a name rather than a rank. Given that the growing tension between Urlock and Sek seems to be a developing story point in the series, it's an interesting way of driving home the differences between them. If "Gaur" is a rank title, then when Urlock's forces take it on they're behaving like a regular armed force, including the Imperial ones: they're accepting that they're part of an organisation that's bigger than themselves, subordinating themselves to its laws and structures. Even their supreme commander takes the title according to the system of titles, following the laws and traditions that all the Blood Pact obey.

I think I ran out of characters. Continuing in a moment.”

A brief pause later, he added:

“Right. If Sek is part of Anakwanar's name, then when his subordinates take names like the Sons of Sek or Sek Incarnate they're not pledging themselves to an army, they're declaring a highly personal loyalty to an individual commander, making themselves an extension of his person and his will. There's quite a profound difference between a military corps that even the leader makes himself a part of, and a personality cult exclusively defined by its leader's quirks and desires, and it hints at what sorts of equally profound differences there might be between Sek and Gaur as people, and how those differences might shape their leadership and their rivalry.

I hope this is making sense, I'm doing my internetting in the small hours again.”

I thought it made a lot of sense. I also thought that reproducing these bits and bobs here might be interesting to other readers. I’d add that some of these subjects get further explored in the pages of Blood Pact.

What’s next? Rob’s very funny story about Barnes and Noble reminded me that there is a fairly broad range to the work I do. Indeed, I find that I often meet fans of a particular thing I do who have no idea at all that I also do something else. The best example of this that I can think of was at a convention recently, where I found myself having a simultaneous and very friendly chat with three ‘fans’. One was a major Warhammer reader, the second was a 2000AD regular, and the third was a major Marvel US fanboy. None of them had any real interest in, or knowledge of, the subjects of the others’ enthusiasms. To them, I was three different people, and I essentially found myself speaking three different ‘languages’, and translating certain comments so that the 2K guy picked up the Marvel Universe reference, and the 40K guy understood the SinDex comment etc etc. It was, on the whole, a pretty peculiar experience.

So... I’ve always imagined that the majority of people who read this blog, and who post their comments, are Warhammer oriented. I’ve always assumed that they account for the bulk of the traffic here, so I thought I’d widen things out a little (and blow my own trumpet into the bargain). Here’s what I do when I’m not in Black Library mode:

First off, other novels. There’s a Torchwood (“Border Princes”), a Doctor Who (“The Story of Martha”) and a Primeval (“Extinction Event”) out there already, not to mention various original audio books, including Torchwood: Everyone Says Hello (read by Burn Gorman) and Doctor Who: The Forever Trap (read by Catherine Tate). As Rob mentioned, there’s also a fine body of Wallace and Gromit work. Then there’s 2000AD. I’ve written for Tharg for over fifteen years now, on all sorts of strips, but the big one would be Sinister Dexter, which I created and which I’ve written every episode of. There are a number of trade paperback collections available to help get you up to speed, and a new one (“Eurocrash”) is going to be published soon. Sinister Dexter is probably my favourite thing. I am immensely fond of it.

If you check out the Judge Dredd Megazine at the moment, you can read Insurrection, which is me staging an all out space war in the Dredd universe with the help of the great Colin MacNeil. Read it for the art alone. I wrote the VCs for 2000AD for quite a while, and the entire run is also about to be collected in a trade. There’s also Kingdom, the strip I created with the very talented Richard Elson. The first two stories are collected in a trade, and we’re just starting work on the third. Kingdom is... well, I don’t know. It’s got a particular quality. Every time I read it, I go ‘wow, did we do that?’ I’m very very proud of it, and Richard’s art’s gorgeous. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, go and get the trade.

Speaking of trades, I hear the first nine or so issues of the Knights of Pendragon, an eco-superhero-Arthurian comic from the early nineties, is also about to be collected. Co-created with John Tomlinson, Steve White and Gary Erskine, and co-written by me and John, it remains a high water mark in my output, and is one of the first major things I did. People still ask me about the series.

Then there’s the US. Working as DnA with Andy Lanning, I write The Authority for DC/Wildstorm, which is their heavyweight super hero team book. We’ve been writing it since it relaunched about ten issues ago, and is worth reading because of the interesting setting: this is post-apocalypse superheroes. Wildstorm took the very bold step of destroying their Universe a little while ago... properly, not temporarily. It’s an interesting place to work.

Finally, Marvel. Andy and I are the cosmic boys at Marvel. We write the regular monthly books Nova (a solo space cop superhero title) and Guardians of the Galaxy (a cosmic super team), which are interrelated. To read either or both regularly, you need to get them from your friendly neighbourhood comic shop, but there are lots of trade collections to get you up to speed (Nova’s been running longer), and you can buy those in a high street bookshop. I saw the Guardians hardback trade in my local Waterstones the other day. Andy and I have been writing for Marvel for a long time, but we’ve never had critical acclaim like we’ve had on these books. I love working on both. Nova’s an old school superhero series. Guardians... well, I think Guardians is one of my all time favourite things too. Given that a lot of you Warhammer readers seem to particularly dig my character-driven stuff, I can’t believe you wouldn’t like these books. I can’t believe, for instance, that Xhalax wouldn’t love Guardians.

Anyway, Nova and Guardians lead us into the War of Kings, the next big ‘event’, which Andy and I are in charge of: a six issue mini series that crosses over with both books and showcases a stupendous interstellar war between the Inhumans and the Shi’Ar Empire. This starts in about a month (though there’s a one shot prologue out there already) and it’s going to be huge. Andy and I firmly believe that stuff should happen in event books. You don’t just play and then put all the toys back in the box. And this event also links the Marvel Cosmos up: The Shi’Ar are very much X-Men continuity, and the X-Office is letting us play with them. Though the Marvel Universe is one big fictional space, it’s a rare privilege to get to connect up the various editorial fiefdoms.

As a post script... and I said I was going to blow my own trumpet... BL informs me that Legion got to the number eight spot on the top 5000 Science Fiction and Fantasy books for 2008. There are several of my books on the list, but number eight? That’s amazing, especially for a tie-in. The top of the list goes Pratchett, Tolkien, Rowling, Iain M Banks, and I’m down below them between Raymond Feist and another Pratchett. I mean, come on!

Okay, my trumpet’s blown. I’ll shut up now.


Hrothgar said...

Just want you to know, I read this regularly and I am unbelievably excited about War of Kings. I read Guardians of the Galaxy and I just might have to get Nova added to my pull list.

So, yes, you do have mostly Warhammer fanboys (and girls) that read this, but this one loves your Marvel stuff too. Its hard to find your 2000AD stuff here in the States.

Anonymous said...

Just wow ! 8th congratulations mate ,i mean you know we love your work but its nice to know your apprciated by others...8th you go mate!
yeh Being "The Gaur" is a Pact poisition he is the warmaster in his relevent system ,theirs also a cult significance to the name,
A.Sek is is a warlord in part of the Gaurs alliance ,and i agree that his personal force and his reprsentatives would and should bare his name!.In convetional terms i see the Sons of Sek as a well disciplined Guards regiment
if they took on the Pact in open war they would come unstuck......
But skullduggery might be a different story

Anonymous said...

Mind u saying that Urlock didnt get to his position by being stupid he may be giving A.Sek enough rope to hang himself .
Another Question might be
Were do these Characters stand i the wider 40k universe? how powerfull is Sek or the Gaur?
for instance whenever i play a Pact fleet in BFG i always add ships from Abaddons fleet to make sure the Gaur remains an allie and doesnt become an enemy!
Chaos politics is just that chaotic

Sin Dex is also a personal fav of mine but being a singleminded male i like the novels and cant wait each week for the next instalment,but i for one am certainly going to expand on your list of works especially into the Marvel realm, and Dr Who audios!
like i said before i loved the
Lighting Tower in audio if u havent listend to it i suggest u do so!

Dukeleto said...

zi... Oh COME ON!

Yeah that's a wide variety of stuff you do, and have done. Can't believe you didn't mention The Real Ghostbusters though! And I once heard a rumour about Care Bears..?

Seems like the consensus re. Sek/Gaur etc. is pretty close to the way I read it. The Blood Pact are a very organised paramilitary force, keen on ranks and the like, whereas most Chaos forces rely more on patronage and various strata of warlord.

That's pretty awesome regarding sales of Legion. You're in very good company there, I reckon you're up there with Fiest and Banks, anyway! Congratulations.

the-seventh-son said...

I am going to have to warn, there are potential spoilers here, from Traitor General onwards

wow that was a big big post there, my eyes hurt now

i would like to say i agree with the Sek/Guar debate, as we know the Sons (who are fething awesome) were created to be a direct competitor to Urlock's Blood Pact, and i personally think that their name gives a lot of insight to this, the fact that they are called the Sons of Sek means that i think that Sek must be a name rather than a rank...

the otherside of that is it could be that they well always be the sons of the Sek because the Sek can never die (if it was rank he would be replaced) but i dont like this idea i dont think that it has as much feeling towards the sheer loyality

Also if the Sons of Sek are completely to take on the Blood Pact at some stage they are going to be largely out-numbered and so im sure that Sek would need them to be as loyal as possible.

just a thought, i wonder in good ole' Mabbon Etoguar pops up again, i would love to hear from him and Landerson again, maybe Ven and Landerson will pop up to warn the Ghosts of Seks new plan or something... that would be good

yes i believe Ven is still alive, he is way to bad ass for anything to ever kill him, Cuu woulda been the only one with a chance, in a word 'bitchin'

i am really looking forward to Blood Pact now, just wondering how many more of these books are going to be... i hope theres at least a few more, say the same again?

Allandaros said...

Wait, you're writing the Authority? I've got to start getting into comics! ARRGGH.

Congratulations on the top 5000 placing! Palling around with Iiaiaian M. Banks and Terry Pratchett is a good place to be. :)

Allandaros said...

(That's right, Iaiaiaiain M. Banks. The name just sort of writes itself.)

Xhalax said...

Well I'm going up to Newcastle this morning to get big's BLL! ticket, so I can pop in travelling man and have a look for this Guardians of the Galaxy. As for Sek/Gaur, I'll comment more on that when I have a keyboard rather than a PS3 controller.

HiWayRobry said...

Grats on the 8th position! You really deserve to be 1st but we'll take what we can get, eh?
Hrothgar is correct, I've been trying to score some of your 2000AD stuff for a good while now and there's nothing to be had here in the good ol' U S of A. It saddens me.
And Xhalax would definitely dig on your GotG stuff. A strong female figure like Mantis and lots of military symbolism and jargon. What more could you ask for X?

Pack_master said...

Damn, seems I need to take a look at Facebook finally...

Xhalax said...

HiWayRobry - The answer to your question is, quite simply....A LOT!

Anyhoo....all I can is that things like Kitkats, dry pasta and wet paper have a stronger level of resistance that I do...because yesterday I bought Guardians of the Galaxy: Legacy.

I've only read the first few pages and already it makes me smile....and damn Mr. Abnett to hades and back. Plus it gets me to blow dust of my usual axiom of 'But Dan Abnett made me do it.'

I'll reserve judgement until I've read the whole lot...but I lament on where I'm going to put siad book as my shelves are....well full.

As for Blood Pact, now that it's been said that things will be expanded upon in terms of rank/names/whatever Chaos decides it calls itself....I'm even more ajitter at the concept of Blood Pact now. Can't wait to read it....especially since I'm knee deep in mud and fire as the Stumble Guns have just appeared in compartment three.

Loving His Last Command.

Also, if I ever find out who did the picture of the Sons of Sek in the Sabbat Worlds Crusade book, I may have to poke them in the eye for it. I'm busy drawing that drawing (yup, I'm a copier) and he's pretty much done, with the exception of shading and BLOODY SCROLL WORK!


Stupid stupid Chaos and stupid stupid letters that don't make any sense and are all fancy. Damn them, DAMN THEM ALL.

Anyhoo....I have to go away now, I suspect people are scared.

Anonymous said...

Stumble Guns

Anonymous said...

Im going to write a book.Its called

"I'd love to be a Space Wolf
but im really just an Ork"

By Big

Ere we Go,Ere we go,Ere we go....

havent got anything else just yet ,but im gonna get Nik to be Editor.

Anonymous said...

HiWayRobry - 2000AD have made their comics available for download here: . Insurrection started in Judge Dredd Megazine Issue 279 and it's been pretty epic so far!

I know most people on here don't watch Primeval but I can definitely recommend Extinction Event. Dan's take on the Baba Yaga myth was particularly inspired...


P.S. Packmaster - if you join Facebook you can see a piccy of me dressed as Judge Dredd on Dan's wall. I do so like dressing up.

Anonymous said...

Matt you look every bit the judge
i plead guilty!

Anonymous said...

Dan, you should definetly talk about your 2000AD stuff here more often.

I'm a bigger fan of that than your GG stuf, and I'm a big GG fan!!


HiWayRobry said...

MC, thanks for the heads up. I'm a Luddite at heart so I don't know if I can bring myself to 'download' a comic. It just wouldn't feel right. But I'll see if I can manage to convince myself to do it. Wish me luck!

big, the next line would have to be:

"Oooh, humies wit' shinies!" *charges*

HiWayRobry said...

Oh, and since nobody has commented on it yet I have to say, the title of Dan's latest blog entry was pure genius. Made me laugh out loud. "The Joy of Seks". Brilliant :)

Anonymous said...

HiyWay - i thought the title was the nuts to !

Bodjo said...

the-seventh-son: Cuu would not have a chance. MkVenner's the only thing in the galaxy more deadly than Mkoll.

Dan, did I already tell you I loved Titanicus? It's currently borrowed by a friend who desperately wanted to read it....after another friend borrowed it because he desperately wanted to read it...

Can't wait for Blood Pact. Bodjo = NHZ, by the way. switched blogger names.

Bodjo said...

PS: isn't my icon swell?

Mark Roberts said...

Knights of Pendragon finally getting a trade? That's great news. Through Panini I assume?

I really genuinely loved the first incarnation of KoP. It was a clever take on a popular myth in a modern (For the late 80s) setting. The idea of Adam Crown, this every day East London chancer , was to effectively become the new Arthur - with weaponry drawn from scrap metal - always appealed to me.

It's been a while since I read that first run. It'll be interesting to see it again.

Anonymous said...

That sounds cool im gonna look into that K.O.P..Im an old romantic
im Still waiting for Arthur to

Xhalax said...

So nearly cried at the ending of His Last Command.....and probably would have if I hadn't been on public trasport at the time.

YAY for Only in Death.

Just need the right opportunity to use 'Dry skulls in a dusty valley, with all the tops sawn off' so that it fits.

It'll happen. One day, it'll happen.

Roderick H said...

Many congratulations Dan on the top 5000 books list! It's about time the rest of the world caught up with the enlightened denizens of this blog. I'd love to keep hearing about all the other projects you've been done outside BL, although I think the sheer density of 40K joy will keep me babbling about it for a while.

Hey all you lovely Americans, am I just being thick or would this help?

The Marketplaces seem quite well stocked. Amazon, bane of my life.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, I need to re-read His Last Command again, then Legion, then everything else I have.

I also agree on the whole Sek/Gaur thing, and it's nice that the 'feel' of the two different factions is already apparent.
The fact that Sek needed Sturm to create the Sons of Sek, and the very alien-ness of the enemies Sturm encounters makes me think of a Daemon-world population, like in Ian Watson's Inquisitor series. Certainly that would tally with them being more feudal and old-school Chaos, needing an Imperial traitor to bring their fighting forces up to Blood Pact/Imperial Guard level. Which is interesting, because that shows an impressive level of adaptability, and is a compliment to the warriors of the Sabbat Worlds Crusade. Also makes me wonder how the Blood Pact got to be that way? Maybe there'll be a bit in the Blood Pact. Just maybe.

It's wonderful to think about just how deadly Mkoll is. I'd like to put together a list, but as far as I can get is
Chaos Dreadnought
Las-shielded Chaos Lord in power armour

and then I leave the room to re-read Guns of Tanith.

Rob Rath said...

Congratulations on the 8-spot Dan, well deserved.


You beat me to declaring this the "Best Blog Title to Date," curse you!

Roderick H-

Yeah I saw Sinister Dexter on Amazon. When I eventually get to picking it up that's where I'll go, but only because I've never seen it in a store. I have this aversion to shopping for books online. I always think that part of the fun is going into a bookshop and physically looking for what I want, feeling the weight, flipping the pages, having a short chat with the people at the register, browsing the shelves when it isn't where I thought it would be, etc. I suppose it's the same reason that many people don't like to buy clothes online- trying them on is part of the process.

Besides, there aren't any cute checkout clerks to smile at on Amazon, nor girls shopping in the same book aisle to chat up. You never run in to anyone you know there- where's the fun in that?

I also find Amazon generally gets books to me a week late. Even pre-ordered ones. (Two weeks for Sabbat Martyr. Some idiot gave away the end before it arrived.) All in all, if it's going to take that long I'd rather order from a local small business.

Anonymous said...


I have an aversion to shopping in bookstores.

I prefer popping down to my local abbey and getting an abomination* of Cistercian monks to illuminate each of Dan’s work’s for me, filigreeing each word with gold leaf on the finest quality vellum. After Vespers, a chapter of Gaunt’s Ghosts is read to me in Latin whilst a dozen eunuchs sing Sinister Dexter in Gregorian chant.

Besides, there aren’t any cute nuns to wink at in bookstores, nor fresh-faced Sisters of Charity kneeling down for Evening Mass to chat up. Where’s the fun in that?


* Apparently that is the collective noun!

Rob Rath said...

Matt Churchill-

Oh my dear man, no no no- I was part of the whole Western Monasticism scene in the late nineties and I'm afraid the whole process has become a debased self-parody. The last time I commissioned a book from the Cistercians I saw a professor from Johns Hopkins there... I mean really, do they let in everyone nowadays? Besides, vellum is rather crass. A few years from now you'll flip though your collection and wonder what you were thinking. The Yale library system won't even take them as donations anymore.

The real books are to be found in Tibet. I'll refer you to a Vajrayana monastery I've frequented, they'll set you right. There they only use silk spun from the finest-bred worms- if you ask the lineage of a specific insect, a novice will gladly chant five hundred years of its ancestry, and note which pieces of art each generation contributed to. Blind men then take the silk to the monastery's stupa, where spinners who have never exited the room, form it into scrolls. The blind men then carry it to the Thangka painters, who sit in six hours of meditation for each hour spent putting paint to the silk. The blind messenger (who is blind so he cannot become jealous of the scroll and filch it) then delivers the scroll to you in an elaborate ceremony, where you are encouraged to beat him if the work is unsatisfactory. It's never necessary, but I usually give him a polite clouting anyway, just so he isn't disappointed.

It has its downsides, of course. It's a nuisance taking an expedition up the North Slope of the Himalayas. Use the West Slope Sherpa, they eat less and have stronger spines. I went cut-rate and got North Slope Sherpa last time, and they jolted my palanquin so much I nearly spilled my martini going through the Nathula Pass. Dreadful. Of course there aren't any girls there, it being a monastery, so you'll have to bring your own. Try to limit yourself to three of four though, travel visas get tricky with any more than that. My only other advice is not to take your whole liquor cabinet, only a few well-chosen bottles. We lost three Sherpa trying to get mine across the Cho Minh Gorge, and it really was a bother. The guides insisted we stop for a funeral, and we lost an hour of daylight as the rest of the trail hires made the most ghastly wailing. Thankfully one of them saved the Glenlivet, but I had to finish the trip without champagne. Oh well, I suppose there is a certain joy in "roughing it."


Yes, I'm a pretentious ass sometimes. Don't know why I said the bookshop thing at all, really, it was just on my mind. There's nothing wrong with buying books online, its usually cheaper and I certainly didn't mean to cast aspersions on it. The comment does seem pretty conceited in retrospect. Not my intention, I just really like bookshops and have a bad habit of not knowing when to shut up.

"Abomination" is really the collective noun? That's hella cool. I wonder how it evolved into the meaning we all know and love today? An anecdote waiting to happen, right there.

Anonymous said...

Tibetan Monks? Small beer indeed.

When I really want to enjoy one of Dan’s books, I ease my languid form into a crushed-velvet smoking jacket and saunter to the elevator of my London garret. Idly caressing the cast iron curves of the elevator’s pleasing Art Nouveau design, I spend the few minutes of my downward journey designing an Emperor class battleship in the crenellated cathedrals of my mind*.

In the cellar I keep a deformed homunculus, retrieved from the sewers of Victorian London by the Grand Lodge of Freemasons and handed down to me by a moustachioed benefactor who always smelled faintly of parma violet sweets. The depraved chimera is the finest prognosticator in all Christendom, and through his spirit guides has the knowledge of all Dan’s books that have been written and all that will ever be written. However, his form is displeasing to my eye and his voice grates like asbestos on cheesewire so I employ a medium to translate his ramblings.

This diaphanous beauty is a direct descendant of Gypsy Rose Lee and Rudolf Valentino, and for our evening recitals I usually bedeck her in an azure blue robe of sumptuous opulence, inlaid with emerald dragonflies and purple orchids. I may listen to her melodic voice reading from Ravenor XII: Ravenor Regurgitated, or Gaunt’s Ghosts XXXIV: The Helmet of Disdain.

When I tire of this, I press the big red button on my ormolu chaise longue and the lost city of Atlantis rises from the deep, whereupon a thousand mermaids sing the Story of Martha to me as a lullaby, having reworked the original prose into a villanelle with seven-part harmonies and a big bass drum.

You can’t beat the Churchill when it comes to pretension!

(Have you ever seen the Four Yorkshiremen sketch? This is getting like that in reverse)


* All battleships in 40k are crenellated cathedrals. This is a fact.

Rob Rath said...

Matthew Churchill-

Psssh. Atlantis, you're still enraptured by that rat trap? There's a reason it sunk in the first place Churchill- the good set doesn't go there anymore. You might as well gaze in wonder at Coney Island.

I was once a servant to baubles and sensation as you are, but it was not to last. So keep your augers, velvet smoking jackets and Art Nouveau elevator- because they aren't worth a bent nickel. They're all very nice, but I've gone beyond them.

Yes Churchill, I have achieved transcendence.

Floating here in the ionosphere, the whole of Earth curves away beneath me, revealing all that was, is or ever will be. You can take it if you want- I have no need of it anymore. It's just taking up space.

I have a few worshippers now, just a handful, really, nothing to brag about. They have control of a few small countries and are looking to expand into Southeast Asia. Even so, I'm unsure if I want to make a career out of being a deity. I'll just string them along for awhile and see where it leads.

You may take a puerile delight in hearing your chambermaid recite stories that have not yet been written, but those are nothing compared to the books Dan never wrote, and never will write.

Oh Churchill, there are hundreds of books Dan never wrote, and they are wonderful. Most of them are just a seed of an idea, but here those ideas grow just the same as if they would have if he spent years writing them. After all, why waste a perfectly good idea just because no one bothered to write it? There is one particular book that stands above the rest.

When Dan was fresh out of college, he had an idea that was so devilishly clever that he knew that he had to write it immediately, write until his pen ran out of ink, until his notebook was full... but as he reached for his notebook, a woman named Nik walked into the room.

Woosh, went the idea. So long, Knighthood. Wave goodbye to the Pulitzer and the film adaptation.

Which is a shame, really, because it's quite delectable. Dan has no complaints, of course, but the rest of humanity really missed out. Most of us have read it several times now, Ernie Hemingway is particularly fond of it, and Chaucer was very complimentary. Willie Shakes says it's rubbish, but you know how jealous he gets. Gene Siskel adored the movie that was never made. In fact, I think that recent anomalous happenings at Dan's house can be chalked up to Mary Shelley taking her fandom a little too far. Slipping room keys to celebrities, I mean really, who does that?

So while you play with your elevator, I will be browsing the eternal bookshop of the Pure Land, paging through the Complete Unwritten Works of Raymond Chandler and chatting up the pretty girls in the aisles...

I have to be more careful with that, actually. Here's a tip: if you ever wind up dating Dorothy Parker, NEVER dump her by text message. (Well what was I to do? When Helen of Troy screams up to you in an astrally projected Ferrari, raises her Ray Bans and winks, there's really only one thing to do.)

No I haven't seen the Four Yorkshiremen sketch, but if it's the opposite of this, I think I've lived it over Thanksgiving dinner.

It says something that I had to up the ante to "transcendental demigod" in order to top you, doesn't it?

Anonymous said...

In the beginning was the Word.

And I've read it.

Beat that.


Rob Rath said...

In the beginning there was the Word.

And I wrote it.


Anonymous said...

You were copying over my shoulder.


Rob Rath said...

I'm a transcendental being now, I see everything.

By the way, there's a new freckle on your left wrist. Probably nothing, but best to get it tested anyway.

Rob Rath said...

Alright, seriously, I'm going to have to leave and eat dinner. It's been fun.

Just remember whose name is on the Universe's lease-mine. I just let the rest of you stay here because I'm cool.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, your transcendental omnipotence. I was hoping to eat my supper too before we unravelled the nature of causality.


P.S. I actually checked my wrist!

Anonymous said...

Well u guys made my evening last night,that literary feast was fantastic.What great and interesting people we get on this blog.Just go's to Show abnett fans are best!

Dave Williams said...

That's some potentially awesome Knights of Pendragon news. Big fan of volume one, I've had all 18 issues of vol 1 bound into a hardcover. Keep hoping to catch you at a UK con so that I can add your signature next to Gary Erskine's!

A book that was way way ahead of its time.

Anonymous said...

Dan - Got hold of issue 282 of the Megazine today. I was pleased to see from the letters page how many of us are enjoying Insurrection. Dredd hasn't been this explosive since the Apocalypse War. I want me a CATT!


P.S. Glad we made you chuckle last night, Big Steve.

Anonymous said...

oh who's on facebook then? I recently broke down under social pressure and made an account, and so far I've just been using it to play scrabble and pirate games.

Anonymous said...

Matt -Rob i was gonna sign my post

From God

to give u guys a chuckle,but then i thought nah im

And on the 8th day God created Big
And he spake
"WOW i have really Excelledeth Myself"

He He He

Allandaros said...

Rob and Matt: Kudos! Well done the both of you.

*applauds madly*

Rob Rath said...

Thanks Big and Allandaros, I'm glad someone else liked the Most-Self-Indulgent-Blog-Comment Chain to date. I hope it was half as fun to read as it was to write.

I still feel bad about making Nik the cause of Dan forgetting his Best Idea Ever, but "Love at First Sight etc." was the only device short of a comic head injury that would make someone forget an idea that good, and it's impolite to do violence to a man on his own blog. Gentleman's rules and all that. Even so, sorry Nik, no hard feelings.

Matt and Dan-

Would you mind if I copy/paste these exchanges for an entry on my own blog? I've been neglecting it lately in favor of other projects and this would make an easy post.

Oh, and Matt- I checked out the Four Yorkshiremen Sketch and had to stop the video at "eat a handful of hot gravel" because I was laughing too hard. I've always been a Python fan and don't know how I've managed to miss this one. Anyone with Depression-era relatives can relate...

Anonymous said...

Rob - you got it spot on, except Dan wasn't fresh out of college... we were still in High School! I always hope that I've been more muse than distraction :-)

Xhalax said...


Finished rereading The Lost last night and I find myself being quite bitter at having to wait til June for Blood Pact, simply because The Lost was just so so good.

Plus I just miss the Ghosts themselves.

Rob Rath said...


In High School? I'm genuinely impressed, good for you both. That's a difficult thing to do, meet in high school and stay together. Not my experience at all. (I keep telling people I can't wait until the release of High School Musical 5: This Long Distance Thing Isn't Really Working, Is It?)

Anonymous said...

Rob - I think it's only right and proper that the Most-Self-Indulgent-Blog-Comment chain ever is copied and pasted. I was thinking of getting it engraved on my ivory... No! Must... stop... being... pretentious!

Xhalax - Maybe if we're lucky there'll be pre-release copies of Blood Pact at the Black Library Open Day? Looking forward to meeting people from the blog.


Xhalax said...

I doubt it.

Rik Cooper did say which books would be available for us to buy while we're there....and Blood Pact ain't one of them.

Thankfully, I have an understanding with my older sibling so I'll get to read his copy.