Monthly Archives: November 2010

Black Library Live – Get your tickets!

For those of you who are interested in meeting and chatting with those involved in BL Publishing, or just wanting to get a chance to see the authors whose books you read daily, this is your chance.

Just shy of 160 tickets are left for Black Library Live! 2011, set to take place on Saturday, March 5th at Warhammer World in Nottingham.  Tickets are selling for 12GBP, so make sure you get yours!  There are still tickets left!

http://www.blacklibrary.com/Exclusive-Products/black-library-live-2011-ticket.html

This year you have your choice an advanced copy of either Caledor or Victories of the Space Marines.

CP

The Bloody Handed – Available for Preorder

Black Library has made their new limited edition volume, The Bloody Handed, available for preorder.  Written by Gav Thorpe, it’s a rousing tale featuring the High Elves, and the Dark Elves of the Warhammer Old World.  Out in A5 and hardback.

“Life as a princess in the colony of Athel Toralien is a constant struggle for recognition and purpose. When Hellebron, daughter of the city’s ruler, is snubbed by Queen Morathi, she vows to make a name for herself and claim her rightful place in the court at the capital, Anlec. Her ambition takes her into a life of battles against foul creatures, sectarian war, betrayal and gruesome sacrifice in a dangerous grab for power, as Hellebron seeks to become high priestess of the cult of Khaine, the Lord of Murder, The Bloody-handed God.” (from BL)

Find it here at BlackLibrary.com

CP

LotN Reviews: Firedrake by Nick Kyme

Lord of the Night reviews Firedrake by Nick Kyme.
“A low-born, one of the earth, shall walk through the gate of fire. He will be our doom or salvation.”
The Salamanders are back and doom is in the air as the second novel Firedrake kicks the series into overdrive. The end has begun, and prophecy will collide with the endurance of the Sons of Vulkan. The anvil beckons, and not all will survive being re-forged against its heat, or against the hammer’s blow. And for those of you wondering, that is Tsu’gan on the cover. Cool isn’t he?, though I pictured long flowing black hair.
The Salamander’s uncovering of ancient prophecy on the hell-blasted world of Scoria has started the beginning of the end. The Forgefather has returned and will unlock the secrets hidden beneath Mount Deathfire that will guide the way, but in order to do the key must be found, and the key’s guardian Chaplain Elysius must be saved from his Dark Eldar captors. The Firedrakes are mobilized but will the sturdy 1st Company be able to save their brother from the hellish realm that is the Volgorrah Reef.
The characterization is very well done. The returning characters are all taken further, through Elysius’s trials, Tsu’gan’s doubts and Dak’ir’s training, each is given much more depth and we learn more about each of them, be it what drives him, what is slowing devouring him, or what he is becoming. Many others appear and are taken further such as the dependable Ba’ken who serves as faithfully as ever in his new role, the devious Iagon who’s ambitions know no bounds and will likely be his undoing, and the wise Pyriel who becomes a mentor to Dak’ir and the bond between them becomes strong.
New characters make their appearances such as Forgefather Vulkan He’stan who serves as an inspiration to Tsu’gan and leads the Firedrakes to rescue Elysius, and is shown that beneath the myth there lies a Salamander who wishes for nothing more then the bonds of brotherhood. Or the ferocious Zartath who is a dubious ally to the Salamanders at first, but soon proves himself despite his growing madness, and his very body, being sources of discomfort for the Sons of Vulkan. Kyme has created great new additions to the series and I hope to see both of them in the next novel.
The action in the story is breathtaking. The development of the characters allows for very different types of fighting, from Tsu’gan and the Firedrake’s brutal styles of combat and vicious Salamander warfare, or Dak’ir’s newly found psyker powers which manifest into devastating flaming drakes and oceans of flame. Kyme does them all well and creates some very memorable moments, my particular favourite is the Forgefather as he tears through the Dark Eldar with the might of Vulkan and the legendary artefacts of the Nine, and of course new character Zartath was very cool to picture in combat.
The pacing was well done and I never felt rushed during the story, Kyme knew when to speed things up and when to slow them down for flair. My attention was always kept either in combat, plot building or character growth, and every so-often a revelation of the story.
The book ends on a bitter but very anticipating note, the end is approaching fast and the only one who can stop it, may just be the one who will cause it. Looking very forward to Nocturne, the final book in the Tome of Fire trilogy but thankfully likely not the last Salamander novel.
I give Firedrake a 9/10, an excellent addition to the series, it could have been a perfect 10 but it lacked an utterly epic moment, the kind of part that pushes the score to a ten, it doesn’t just earn the 10/10, it takes it by force. But from what this novel has set-up, I have confidence that Nocturne will have many of those moments.
Should you buy this book?. If your a Salamanders fan then you don’t need me telling you the answer to this. If you haven’t read them yet then ill give you the answer, yes. The Salamanders series is likely the best loyalist Astartes series out there, and is a must-read for fans of the Space Marines.

LotN Reviews: The First Heretic by Aaron Dembski-Bowden

Lord of the Night reviews the epic new Horus Heresy novel The First Heretic by Aaron Dembski-Bowden
“THE. TRUTH. IS. CHAOS!. A true masterpiece, age old questions and legends are explored and new myths rise to take their place. An outstanding novel in an outstanding series.”
The Horus Heresy returns with the triumphant laughter of thirsting gods and oceans of bloodied carnage in this latest instalment by Aaron Dembski-Bowden. I will say this now. The First Heretic is without any doubt in my mind, my number one favourite novel.
Chastised and rebuked by the Emperor, forced to kneel before their brothers in shame, made to be observed by outsiders like disobedient children, and told that all they have ever achieved is worthless before He who they are pledged to serve, the Word Bearers are at their darkest hour in all of their history. In the ashes of Monarchia, a city destroyed for the crime of faith, the XVII Legion undergoes a quest for truth that will carry them to the edges of the galaxy, the edge of sanity, and the edge of reality itself to a dead empire where a god was born. To keep their faith in an uncaring universe, the Word Bearers must sell their very souls in pursuit of the truth.
ADB has created an all-star cast for his first HH novel. The first protagonist is Argel Tal, captain of the 7th Assault Company and Subcommander of the Serrated Sun Chapter is very ‘human’ for an Astartes. He is able to converse and even joke with the Imperial Army personnel he interacts with, and shows us the Word Bearers through a warrior’s eyes rather then a priest’s. Through the novel he is the voice of reason and shows a side that most Astartes could never, kindness.
The second protagonist is Lorgar himself. The Aurelian, Urizen and the one son of the Emperor, who did not want to be a soldier. Lorgar’s faith is strong but is shattered early in the novel, and through the novel we see his desire for truth and fundamental belief that faith will unite humanity take the Seventeenth Son and his own Sons of Lorgar across the galaxy to the precipice, and to the place where gods and mortals meet. Lorgar may have seemed distance, perfect and almost beyond human in his few previous appearances but now that is stripped away and the true machinations of the Golden One are revealed. His desire to enlighten and save humanity from the darkness of a godless existence will change the face of the galaxy forever.
Other major characters include Xaphen the 7th Company’s Chaplain who preaches the word of Lorgar both for the Emperor and for the Primordial Truth, Aquillon the Occuli Imperator, or Eyes of the Emperor, a Custodes warrior who becomes a brother to Argel Tal, one who he must eventually betray, and Cyrene the Blessed Lady who is the one survivor of the destroyed city Monarchia and serves as a confessor to the XVII Legion and a friend to Argel Tal, and in a strange irony, the only one who can hear the sins of the 7th Captain and forgive him.
The action in the story is remarkable. As Argel Tal grows throughout the novel the combat changes, from that of typical Astartes warfare to something else entirely, and ADB has done it fantastically and created a true standard for the Possessed Chaos Space Marines, both in personality, actions and their combat styles.
The novel also answers many mysteries. Hints are given towards a mystery that can never be revealed, so speak the Lords of Black Library, and finally answers one age-old mystery in a way that nobody could have ever seen coming. But more are created or resurface, but none are left alone and we now have many more answers as to the Heresy, the Primarchs both found and missing, and the nature of the Emperor, but many more questions too.
The pacing is quite good. At no point did I feel rushed or slowed by what was happening, something always had my attention either combat, plot developments or a monumental moment not just for the novel but for 30k in a whole. The pace always reflected the moment of the novel, and was timed and moved appropriately.
The novel ends on a prelude to the future, a battle that is known to all Heresy fans and that hopefully is not too far away in the future. I do hope that we will see Argel Tal again, and that ADB is not done with him yet.
I have no reservations about giving The First Heretic a 10/10, if I had too I would take back my 10/10 score for A Thousand Sons because even that incredible tale falls before this quest for truth, for its fantastic story, exceptional characters, revelations that will shatter the minds of those who read them, my own sanity has been damaged by these somewhat, and for taking a Legion that although many feared would be undone by a new author and made them his own. Anthony Reynolds may have written the Word Bearers in the 41st millennium, but in the dark times of the Horus Heresy, they belong to Aaron Dembski-Bowden.
Should you buy this book?… if you don’t have this book on pre-order or in your collection already then the glory of Chaos has driven you insane. This is a must have even for those who have not read the Heresy yet. Enjoy this book, all those who read it. I know I have and will again in the future when I re-read it.

 

Blood Pact Giveaway! – Secret Weapon Miniatures

I’ve partnered with Secret Weapon Miniatures this time to host another stellar giveaway!  Head on over to the Secret Weapon Minature’s Blog to find out what you need to do to enter.

Secret Weapon Miniatures is my favorite place to find all manner of miniature accessories, stunning bases, and top quality scenics for all of my modeling applications. Anything you need, you can find it at Secret Weapon Miniatures.

LotN Reviews: Storm Front (The Dresden Files) by Jim Butcher

Lord of the Night reviews Storm Front, first book of the Dresden Files, by Jim Butcher.

Magic. It can get a guy killed.

The very first book of the urban fantasy Dresden Files series is my latest finished book, and it was worth every penny. Only two days to finish this book, and thats not a comment on length, its a comment on quality. I couldn’t put it down.
Harry Dresden is Chicago’s only professional wizard, and he’s in the yellow pages too, under Wizards… a lot of are you serious calls are inevitable but every so often Harry gets a serious job, which along with his consulting job for the Chicago police just barely pays his rent a month late. But when a murder takes place and magic is the only suspect Harry is pulled into a conspiracy with the police, mobsters, a vampire and a mysterious Shadowman who seeks Harry’s violent death. Not only must he stay alive but in addition to dodging death he has to find a missing husband, avoid his council-appointed watchdog with a grudge, and be prepared to defend his very life before the White Council in only two days time.
Butcher has created quite a cast for the first novel. The protagonist Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden is the only professional wizard currently publicly active, not to say there aren’t more but Harry is the only one who goes public with his powers, and is quite well-written. Wisecracking at times yet serious when he needs to be, Harry is a well-rounded character who is very easy to like.
Other main characters include Mister, a cat that dwarfs some dogs and likely considers himself Harry’s owner and isn’t thrilled about it. “Bob”, an air spirit of intellect who resides in Harry’s basement and within a skull, “Bob” provides information from his vast stores of knowledge to Harry but unfortunately is completely aware of his own value and never takes Dresden’s threats to dump him down a well seriously. And police lieutenant Karrin Murphy who runs the Special Investigations department of the Chicago Police, Murphy is semi-aware of the magical world and though she has a like-hate relationship with Harry she does show that she is his friend and is willing to help him, to a point.
The action scenes in the novel are quite interesting. Harry’s command of magic is brutish and focuses more on sheer power than refinement, thus large firebolts and wind storms are no problem for Harry, no more so then others, but Harry is also a decent shot and carries a .38 revolver in his trademark duster for situations when magic is overkill. He is also a good brawler and with his tall height and physical prowess can overpower opponents, which helps a lot since most expect wizards to rely on magic and magic alone.
The pacing is quite good and at no point did I feel rushed or slowed, rather the book always had my attention with something good, be it action scenes or some very funny moments with Harry and “Bob”.
The novel ends with Harry explaining his world view and what he would like to make happen, and reminding the reader that if they ever need help, he’s in the book.
I give Storm Front an 8/10, its a great start to the series and I thoroughly enjoyed it, its a nice break from 40k and Fantasy which although are great I can’t read about them book after book after book. Now onto Fool Moon, the second Dresden Files book.
Should you buy this book?, if your a fan of magic and detective stories then yeah I would advise buying it. Its a good book and hopefully a prelude to greater novels to come in the Dresden Files series.

Upcoming Black Library Events

Some of the upcoming events that Black Library will be attending. I will be attending the Adepticon event as well as Games Day US, so stay tuned, nearer the dates, for information on how you can find me and get to share a few words with me. -CP

BL Live – Nottingham, UK – March 5

Adepticon – Lombard, IL – April 1-3
Book Expo America – New York, NY – May 23-26
Games Day US – Chicago, IL – July 30
UK Games Day – Birmingham, UK – Late September
Australian Games Day – Fall 2011

New Stormraven model photo leaked

Because i’m a hobbyist as well as a writer, and fan of 40k. I keep track of new things that are floating around the interwebs (even when they shouldn’t be).  A friend pointed me in the direction of this new Stormraven model for the Space Marines. As far as i’m aware, a photo hasn’t shown up officially yet, but this is the ‘Eavy Metal stuff right here.  Enjoy. CP

click on the picture for a larger image.

NaNoWriMo Month is here. Don’t be lame, participate!

November marks the start of National Novel Writing Month, worldwide!  I’ll be participating this year with a target goal of 90,000 words. That breaks down to 3000 words a day needing to be written.  Have a look, i’ve got some information on what NaNoWriMo month is all about and how you can get involved.

CP

National Novel Writing Month is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to novel writing. Participants begin writing November 1. The goal is to write a 175-page (50,000-word) novel by midnight, November 30.

Valuing enthusiasm and perseverance over painstaking craft, NaNoWriMo is a novel-writing program for everyone who has thought fleetingly about writing a novel but has been scared away by the time and effort involved.

Because of the limited writing window, the ONLY thing that matters in NaNoWriMo is output. It’s all about quantity, not quality. The kamikaze approach forces you to lower your expectations, take risks, and write on the fly.

Make no mistake: You will be writing a lot of crap. And that’s a good thing. By forcing yourself to write so intensely, you are giving yourself permission to make mistakes. To forgo the endless tweaking and editing and just create. To build without tearing down.

As you spend November writing, you can draw comfort from the fact that, all around the world, other National Novel Writing Month participants are going through the same joys and sorrows of producing the Great Frantic Novel. Wrimos meet throughout the month to offer encouragement, commiseration, and—when the thing is done—the kind of raucous celebrations that tend to frighten animals and small children.

In 2009, we had over 165,000 participants. More than 30,000 of them crossed the 50K finish line by the midnight deadline, entering into the annals of NaNoWriMo superstardom forever. They started the month as auto mechanics, out-of-work actors, and middle school English teachers. They walked away novelists.

So, to recap:
What: Writing one 50,000-word novel from scratch in a month’s time.

Who: You! We can’t do this unless we have some other people trying it as well. Let’s write laughably awful yet lengthy prose together.

Why: The reasons are endless! To actively participate in one of our era’s most enchanting art forms! To write without having to obsess over quality. To be able to make obscure references to passages from our novels at parties. To be able to mock real novelists who dawdle on and on, taking far longer than 30 days to produce their work.

When: You can sign up anytime to add your name to the roster and browse the forums. Writing begins November 1. To be added to the official list of winners, you must reach the 50,000-word mark by November 30 at midnight. Once your novel has been verified by our web-based team of robotic word counters, the partying begins.

And that’s pretty much it! Head on over to the NaNoWriMo website and sign up for an account. Mine is user: “david.ploss” if you care to follow my progress. I will do periodic updates here for you all to read regarding my word count and issues i’ve run into.

To find out more about NaNoWriMo Month and to see how you can get involved, head on over to www.nanowrimo.org and poke around.

Commissar Ploss

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