Monday, January 09, 2012

Year Out, Year In

Happy New Zing!

I hope Santa found you all on the right side of the Naughty/Nice event horizon. Any interesting resolutions out there?

All of us here at the haunted Fortress of Abnett had a good time, thanks for asking, but Nik and I are now plunging headlong back into work. I'll blog about what I'm doing in coming days. But yes, Duke Leto, Matthew et al, it does include Pariah.

Today, I mainly wanted to do a quick update of the competition, which is still running... so hurry and enter! More of that in a second. First, matters arising from the last post:

I've tried Tortoise - not bad at all. The Field's working out for me very nicely, as is Autechre, and Trent Reznor's soundtrack to the new Fincher 'Dragon Tattoo' movie. Thanks for all the suggestions for work soundtracks posted, or mailed to the site. Much apprecated. I'm open to others.

azizibnsaud asked if I could show a shot of the plush Inquisitorial rosette. The answer is - of course. That's mine, and Jim's. The pictures are courtesy of Vivian Lee and Triska Tsang, who got in touch after the last post to tell me their names (and submit them for future redshirt use in books). Triska is also, I'm told by Vivian, too shy to tell me she is a big Sinister Dexter fan too. Thank you again, both.

Shadowheim - Jerusalem is set in Pewsey. Very cool. This is actually the very VERY last week of the London run. It's undoubtedly sold out, but I'm so tempted to get a stand-by and see it again, it was that good.

Two pieces of fun I'd like to share that have popped up in the last couple of weeks:

Some fun fan-art.

And this, which is frankly insane/genius.

I'll be at the SFX Weekender early next month, so maybe see you there.

In the meantime, let's run over that competition again. Some good entries so far, but you've got until the end of the month.

What's the prize, Dan? I've said this once, imaginary narrator, but I'll say it again. The prize is my Games Day 2011 goodie bag.

Dan's 2011 Games Day Goodie Bag, as seen prevously.

When you go to Games Day, you get a goodie bag. Well, the prize is mine. The one I was given this year, with my name badge and parking permit and everything else in it. Including my miniatures, a tee-shirt, my (unsullied) digestive biscuits and polo mints! This isn't just A goodie bag, it's MY goodie bag. I will send it to the competition winner to do with as he or she sees fit.

To make it actually, you know, WORTH something, I'll throw in a signed book, and the following:

It might not look like much, but I found it when I was moving offices. It's the actual, original sketched map (with notes on the reverse) made by me, in my fair hand, of Vervunhive. I used this when I was writing Necropolis and the map in the book was based on it. Little bit of awesome Gaunt's Ghosts history for you to own and keep on owning.

How do I win it? HOW DO I WIN IT!?!?

Calm down, imaginary narrator! You can't even enter the competition, because you're... well... imaginary. But other, real people can enter like this: when I sign books, I like to have a stock phrase or two that works for the book in question, like "The Emperor Protects" or "Remember Tanith" for the Gaunt books, or "Repent, heretic" for Inquisitor novels, or "Blood For The Blood God" for Darkblade. My new book Embedded came out from Angry Robot this year. The winner of the comp will be the person who comes up with the best 'signing tag phrase' for use in Embedded.

You've got until the end of January. My decision will be final. Post your entries here on the comments section, AND email them (with your name and postal address) to the website email AS WELL (and that address is: If I don't have an email with a name and address, I won't award the prize, no matter how good the entry. You can submit as many entries as you like. Atomic thinking caps to power, honorary clones.

Can I really not enter? Shhhh, imaginary narrator.


Dju said...

Interesting resolutions for this year ? Find Santa. And ask him : if you're done with the list of young ladies that were really really bad, can I please have it ?

No, just write some stuff, really. Couple of short stories underway :)

Dju said...

About my entry for the competition : I know signing sessions can be straining, I know you need something short, that won't take ages to write. And I first thought of "Have a freeking© good read !"
But I figured maybe you'd like to take more time when signing a copy of Embedded, which is maybe something a bit special and different than your 40K books. I'd rather submit to your fair judgement (choose me ! choose me !) :

"This freeking© good read is brought to you by NoCal Cola and

Ebony Phoenix said...

Since the freeking angle has been freeking taken already. How about "The greatest stories ever told, should be seen through the eyes of another" or "Welcome to the hard place." emailing now :). any news on more signings so I can come and get my copy of Embedded signed to put along since Salvations Reach and Thorn and Talon?

Jon said...

I know this novel is 98.3% awesome, but please don't use MY signature to purchase anymore sauce.


Shadowheim said...

Yes, Dan, I've heard excellent things about it.

If you need more music, try some Carbon Based Lifeforms, for a more ambient feel, or Bon Iver maybe as the deadline approaches; should help you keep calm and carry on.

Jonathan Green said...

Jerusalem is set in Pewsey?!?

(We own a house very near there.)

Adam said...

Happy new year! First comment on your blog. I would reccomend Explosions in the Sky for music to work to, they are in the same sort of genre as Tortoise.

The other soundtrack by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross - The Social Network, is very good too :).

Anonymous said...

Mr.abnett my husband is crazy for your warhammer 40k books and I've been looking for weeks for a signed copy alas I am failing and we are stationed in the US with the a deployment gift for is fifth tour overseas I am dying to get a signed copy of any of these books for him. Please help me surprise him before he deploys again!

Uncle Truth said...

"Resale on ebay will be punished by death!!!"

(Love and best wishes, Dan)

I'll send it to the site email.


Uncle Truth said...

Or how about:

"Dear fan, sorry for writing all over your kindle, but you should buy proper books.

Love, Dan"

infilTRAITOR said...

Ah Embedded was cool! It was hard to get into as I squeezed it in while I was supposed to be doing uni work but kept me on the edge of my seat!

I'm thinking you should go with simply; "Remember to question every freeking© thing."

But you need to make the freeking© sound off key and have a beer-effect drink to hand.

Graeme Baldwin said...

"We don't need no freeking brooches"


Mark Grudgings said...

A spontaneous music recommendation post? Count me in, well I assume you have all the niche music supplied by my fellow bloggers so go mainstream! The naked and famous are horse-um, coldplays live and studio stuff is always more uplifting than they themselves would admit. Barring that fall back to Editors or a bit of new Blink 182.

Another entry for the comp (that I may not email you as I have probably overplayed the surreallist angle a bit much)

Enjoy freHELP ME HE'S DYINGeking out!

Anonymous said...

mine is 'best war story ever told by a dead man'

Jordan Lloyd said...

Well, guess I'll have to go out and buy Embedded first, but in the mean time - seconding Adam regarding the Trent Reznor 'Girl' soundtrack. My all time favourite hands down is Hans Zimmer's 'Inception' soundtrack. I could imagine it brilliant for writing.

Caution: not brilliant for domestic housework. My girlfriend complains that it's 'over dramatic' for something as mundane washing up.

Sample here:

Rob said...

"EMBED this!"

Dilute with an appropriately placed 'freeking©' to taste if required.

fetalblooddemon said...

Living vicariously, posthumously....Dan Abnett

Big said...

In buying Embeded this weekend and i shall be finishing Giliead soon...hey you gotta be in it to win it!

Matthew Churchill said...

Pariah! Huzzah!

Ryan Buck said...

"Freek the Future!" What more needs be said?

Ryan Buck said...

"Freek your head, the doormouse said." Maybe this?

Jordan Lloyd said...

For speed
"Stay wealthy!" or "Stay freeking® wealthy!"
"Into the Hard Place!"
"Enjoy the freeking® A Game"

If you have time
"ProFood Booster Rooster® Chicken-effect: Now with flavour!"
"Translated from Russian by Dan Abnett via ling patch."
"Written in a Jung tank (beta)"
" :D <---- Berry Happy Smile® "

If you have a Spinal Tap moment where no one turns up to the signing and you have some measure of drawing skills
- Draw a Rooster in a space suit.
- Or a colossal cock in a suit.

brendenc said...

"Get chipped!" is what you should sign your books with. Simple, easy to remember and easy to write (saves your wrist and fingers some pain).

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

“Help, I am trapped in Dan Abnett's head!!!”

Henry said...

I've got a few ideas for you your signature line ...
Greetings from the inside;
Ingrained and deadly;
Bury 'em deep (or Buried deep);
Plunge your mind;
Stuck Inside;

or for the Schwartzennegar fan ...
Recall's for Wimps - Embed yourself

Duke_leto said...

The lowdown on PARIAH is now on the BL website - whooot! That means you are working to a deadline Mr Abnett (sorry if I sound so full of glee at the idea of you sweating away at the keyboard).

Competition entry = "Do you want chips with that"

Good luck to the eventual winner.

Big said...


Unknown said...

"Here's looking at you"

Unknown said...

"Here's looking at you"

Unknown said...

"Here's looking at you"

Alex said...

Cheesy, but short and easy to write:
Get your freek on!

Bogend said...

How about

Whose's in your head?

or my son suggested

Are you sure thats your own body?

Great book by the way really enjoyed it

Rachel Who said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rachel Who said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rachel Who said...

"From Within"

"Staying in Control"

"No Longer Standing Histories Way"

Email (s) have been sent

Bryce said...

I like "Welcome to the Hard Place" for the tagline.
I suspect it may have been suggested already though.
"Freek the System!" Maybe? Cause it panders so wonderfully to the system while claiming to be against it.

I dunno. I'm only entering because, well, Mr. Abnett is fucking awesome and I'd love to win the Necropolis map.
Cheers! :)

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Dan Abnett said...

Wow, "Mini Opera" - spammed by an early Genesis lyric! I am impressed and offended in equal measure!

Anonymous said...

I love your work Mr. Abnett, and am eagerly anticipating "Know No Fear". I've only been able to read a summary of "Embedded", but for now, maybe:
"A little too close" (to the action)
"Twist/Slant THIS story"
"The pen is mightier" (than the space-future assault rifle)/"Proving the pen mightier"
I know they're a bit cliche but I thought something short and classic might be best.

The Mullan-Jensens said...

Hi Dan & friends,

Awesome competition, thanks so much for thinking of it!

A few suggestions for the "Embedded" tag line:

"I'm in your head - don't freek out!"
"Golden greetings from Eighty-Six - wish you were in here"
"SO warning: This book comes with added excitement-effect"
"Don't be a blurd: Join the SOMD today"
"Also try the Embed-Burger at Rooster Booster, it's out of this world!"

Cheers and thanks again,


trabant said...

Dan, you rock....and if shameless flattery fails to win me a goody bag, then how about:

"Enjoy the Freeking Chicken Effect Parmigiana!"

Roberto said...

It's all in your head.

Welcome to the freekshow®!

Matty Davies said...

for gaunt's ghosts books you could write "THIS - IS - TANITH" - people who watched your vlogs should remember that :)

Anonymous said...

Hey Dan,

"Keep your cool.. Don't be a Freek-tard"!

"Eighty six, where ALL is wealthy and golden"

Funniest moment for me was waiting for my lunch by the pool while on Vacationing in Hawaii... At the Hyatt Regency... I'm still Freeking waiting!

Thanks for a great read mate.

The Mullan-Jensens said...

I couldn't resist thinking of a few more taglines...

"Hard round, hard beam, hard place"

"Fighting over rocks in the infinite universe"

"Giving the A-game a new alphabet"

or... (I had a lot of fun with this)

"The Pulitzer protects"



Eroldren said...

Well I finally actually finished 'Embedded' yesterday and it was a pleasure reading some fresh fiction outside after being in that long enclosed mindset in reading 40K titles primarily. I needed to breakout of that. Plus it was my unplanned first new book for 2012!

Phrase Ideas:
- "Stay wealthy. Stay golden."
- "Stay wealthy, ______. Be golden." (If you want to make any 'Embedded' autographs a tad more personal fan keepsake at book signings.)
- "Guaranteed hot pocket."
- "Embed at the Hard Place.”
- "No circling along. Stay Grav."
- "No ling patchwork!"
- "You’ll freeking® love it!"
- "Un-freeking-believable."
- "This is no overdue chicken-effect." / "Not a overdue (or late) chicken-effect."

aa.logan said...

'Stay Wealthy' was going to be my entry, but I was beaten to it.

That should win, though.

For the sake of entering, I'd suggest a variation upon the pre-combat prayer.

Not having my copy to hand, a more accurate version of 'enjoy in the name of the non-specific God of your choice' would be my second-choice entry...

sniper12 said...

My entry for the competition, hope it's no too late. "We've got to show them our freeking© A-game!"

Ian said...

"Pen is mightier than the sword? Yeah... I used to believe that" thats my effort :)

Tim said...

Here is my entry for the competition:

What the Freek® is on 86?

I have just finished reading Salvation Reach and am looking forward to the continuation of the story of the Chaos spaceship that is following the Ghosts.

Tim said...

Here's another entry. Short and sweet:

Keep wealthy!

Will Wright said...

Just cracked into "Know No Fear"
I really like the form you are using for this one.
Timestamps are a nice touch,completely hooked by the first chapter.

One question, what is a super-orbital plate?

M Bartlett said...

Hello there,

My entries are:

' Honestly, I'm Dan Abnett! '

' >>Next Chapter>> '

' Now Playing: 'Dan Abnett' '

Thank you and good night!

Reddwarf said...

Stay wealthy. Is my entry to the comp

Will Wright said...

So they have been around since before the Crusade.
Stuff of Legend

Mark Grudgings said...

Well the suspense is killing us...

The winner is?

Will Wright said...

Dan Know no Fear was freaking epic.
You have totally earned another of my novel minis.
I will work on it,after my Merican Lancers Tank Company.
I think you need a champion

antdude said...

I know it's a bit late to be asking this question, but when you were sketching out the map of Vervunhive, were you using anything as a sort of guide on which to base the layout of the place? Or maybe a philosophy of how an Imperial city should be laid out?

I envisioned multi-tiered, open plazas, surrounded by teeming high-rises; vast, open stretches between city landmarks connected by mass transit, and areas devoted to veneration of past battles and heroes. But how does it all fit together, what does an Imperial city planner use as a template, if such a thing exists?

I know this is getting into the weeds, but I love maps, and I'm curious about the thought process going into this. Did the story determine how and where things were going to be or did the city and its past history determined events in 'Necropolis'?

That's my obsessive-compuslive question of the month.

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