Black Library Live! 2012 – Preview 2 – Seminars and others [EJ Davies]

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EJ Davies gives us his thoughts on the eve of Black Library Live! 2012 – the first of Black Library’s major events this year.


Almost a year ago I attended the first Black Library Live! to be held in Warhammer World, and my second overall.  The first year I didn’t know what to expect and last year I was dealing with something of a personal issue – so wasn’t in the best frame of mind.  This year I’m greatly looking forward to the event.  Not only is it a chance to catch up with some friends, chat to some authors, but also to kick back and relax with a large number of like minded nerds people.

The first of my big positives of the day is this: Seminars!

When I was a lowly Chemistry Undergraduate seminars was just a massive pain in the arse that used up an hour of my life when I could have been in the pub.  Seminars for Black Library Live! are brilliant.  You get a chance to talk with the authors in a little more detail, hear some wonderful news and previews, and get to ask some questions.  This year, Black Library have outdone themselves.  Seminars run an hour with a 15 minute break in between.  The first one is at 10am.

The first ruck are in the prime seminar location (otherwise known as the canteen at Warhammer World) and are free to everyone:

  • Space Marines (with Gav, Sarah, Rob, and Andy [Smilie]) – I’ve seen Gav and Sarah rock a seminar before and they’re both funny and affable, not to mention very informative.
  • Warhammer (with Josh, William, Gav, and Sarah) – nice to have William King at a BLL, and his experience with Tyrion and Teclin, AND the Gotrek and Felix series should prove informative.
  • William King Open Q&A – could be interesting, could be very very interesting.
  • Graham McNeill Open Q&A – Graham is wonderful and charming and will talk about ANYTHING you ask that doesn’t get *deleted by the Inquisition*
  • Horus Heresy (with Christian [Dunn], Gav, Nick, Graham, and Rob) – this could be entertaining and no doubt there will be many people asking about up coming HH releases, forthcoming audio dramas, and recurring/retiring characters.
  • New Stuff! (with Nick, Christian, and Laurie [Golding]) – this is my favourite to attend.  If you haven’t seen them online already, there’ll be announcements for new novels, audio dramas, and the like.  Hammer & Bolter, the Tyrion and Teclis series were announced here.  As was the Space Marine Battles series.  And A Thousand Sons, and Prospero Burns were announced here too.

The second ruck are by ticket only, which you have to pick up on entry.  Two years back these were small groups chatting with an author of your choice (maximum of two) in the High Lords of Terra suite.  Last year, these were some awesome seminars on a wide range of things.  This year, it looks like BL are gearing themselves towards the informative conversation.

  • Writing for Black Library (with Christian, Laurie, John, and Josh) – a must for any prospective author.
  • Aaron Dembski-Bowden Open Q&A – Despite not attending in person Aaron will be calling in via Skype.  He’s always entertaining and usually lets slip a few things that BL would prefer him not to say, so that’ll be thrilling.
  • Black Library Audio (with Christian, Andy, and Gav) – this is a new one on me, so I’ll be attending just for the experience.
  • Xenos (with Andy [Chambers, this time] and Rob) – get into the mindset of the alien.  Again, one for asking a lot of questions.
  • The Art of Black Library (with Neil Roberts and Karl Richardson) – Neil is a great conversationalist, and a wonderfully informative guy.  Karl I’ve not met yet.  So if you’re a budding artist, be here.
  • Hammer and Bolter (with John, Andy, Sarah, and Josh) – again, get there to be informed.

Secondly, there is another reason I enjoy Black Library.  Pre-release novels.  The first year I clicked off over a hundred pounds, last year a little less, and this year (thanks to this gig) I doubt I’ll be spending quite so much.  But most (if not all) of the currently in print novels will be on sale, along with CD copies of the audio dramas, and the following pre-release novels.

I’m very much looking forward to The Primarchs, but Eye of Vengeance is on my list to look for too.  There may also be a surprise or two.  No, I don’t have a rumour, or a confirmation; but last year without announcement Black Library released a limited number of Chris Wraight’s Battle of the Fang – he only knew when someone showed up with a copy for him to sign.

There will also be a limited run of Aaron Dembski-Bowden’s truly magnificent Aurelian on sale too; and a limited number of art prints that will only be available by turning up on the day.

Finally, the reason I enjoy most for Black Library is catching up with faces I only ever see at events.

So, either I’ll see you in a seminar, or at Bugman’s, or at some point in the day tweeting on either the #BLLive2012 or #BLL-TFF hashtags.  And if not, check back here tomorrow for some first thoughts and again on Sunday for a full round up of the event itself.

Peace, out!



EJ Davies

EJ Davies: reader, reviewer, writer; and an avid lover of Black LIbrary products since the release of the seminal Horus Rising. EJ is currently working through the massive back catalogue of Black Library titles, and plugging away at his own fiction-based efforts in the vain hope of cracking his way into the author pool.

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