It was confirmed that the forthcoming Prospero Burns and Thousand Sons have been scheduled for release within a month of each other and that Dan Abnett (Prospero) & Graham McNeill (Sons) are going to collaborate with each other to ensure that the stories mesh together. However even though each of these novels are flip sides of the same coin they will stand alone and it won’t be necessary to read one before the other.
Speaking to Dan Abnett during the book signing I asked “Are we going to see the final battle between the Emperor and Horus?” He answered with “Yes, definitely” and also said that the whole series is geared to getting towards the final battle.
With this being the answer I pushed a little further and asked him if he would be the one writing the final battle. At this point Dan and Graham McNeill (sat next to Dan) shot each other a glance and Dan replied “We’ve not decided that yet, it might end up with a knife fight in the car park to decide who gets it! (smiling)”.
Dan also said that he would like to take the series further after the actual Heresy series has been completed and look forwarding the stories of the likes of Loken and Garro into the aftermath of the Defeat of Horus.
Looking at the future of the series we were told that there is no set number of books to complete the series and it would take as many books as needed to do the story justice.
Dan Abnett’s Bloodpact Reading & Gaunts Q&A
Dan Abnett gave a reading of Blood Pact, the latest forthcoming instalment in the Gaunts Ghosts series. The book has been set on a world far from the front lines with the Ghosts enjoying some R&R, however due to the distances involved in the 40K universe this break from the front is a period of several years. Gaunt is developing a paunch as a result of this easy life both he and the Ghosts are getting bored. The first chapter centered on Ibram Gaunt socialising with some of his comrades in an officer’s mess, the second was about Ban Daur visiting a gambling den in an attempt to obtain some desperately needed funds for an undetermined reason.
The material is a bit of a departure from the usual Ghosts tales and Dan said that this was intentional as he had not previously spent a lot of time concentrating on the Ghosts in peace time. As usual it was quality stuff and whilst the first chapter was a bit lacklustre the second really hit the mark.
During his signing my friend asked him a few questions regarding the future of the Ghosts and Dan said that Blood Pact was the first of a 4 book series with the others being called Warmaster, The Victory and the final instalment being called Anarch.
Graham McNeill’s Courage & Honour Reading & Q&A
Graham McNeill gave a reading of his newly released Ultramarines book. This is the second in a trilogy, the first being the newly released paperback (free on the day) Killing Ground.
Graham said that this trilogy was intended to progressive, concentrating on the 2 main characters in the first book, then the company in the second and in the final book the focus being chapter/legion wide with the action being on a galactic scale on multiple fronts.
Black Library Future Releases & News
The big news of the event appeared to be the planned introduction of ‘Print on Demand’ books which is scheduled for a Jan 2010 launch. This is as it sounds; BL will start to make books available as people want to order them and when a customer makes an order the chosen book will be printed specifically for that customer. This effectively means that books placed in this option will not go out of print. The BL plans to add a book a month to this option although no confirmation was made over what would be the first ‘Print on Demand’ book.
Next was the news that the BL is going to continue with its plans to release audio books. The next one due out is February and will be another Horus Heresy audio novel written by Gav Thorpe.
Heroes of the Space Marines is getting a sequel which will be called Legends of the Space Marines. This will be another collection of short stories about both loyalist and renegade marines and confirmed stories for this include one on the Salamanders Chapter and also a short story about Ragnar Blackmane’s ascension to being a wolf lord. It was also confirmed that there is going to be a Space Marine Battles book that will include a story based on the Badab war as well as the possibility of stories based on the Ravenguard & White scars Chapters.
The Arbites are also getting some attention with the current Arbites trilogy getting an omnibus and also some additional material has also been commissioned for this. Away from the human/marine perspective it was confirmed that an Eldar based series is in the planning stage.
Warhammer Fantasy Novels
The adventures of Skaven Grey Seer Thanquol from the Gotrek and Felix series is going to get his own series and there will also be other spin offs from the G&F series with other characters getting their own series of books.
Finally (and this caused a bit of a stir) it was confirmed that there will be a second ‘Darkblade’ series, however this was confirmed by accident during a general conversation about the future of BL, with much of the talk focussing on BL dropping pretty much everything apart from novels for the foreseeable future (so no further plans for books like the imperial guard uplifting primer and other source/art books).
~For us Horus Heresy fans, that Loken post-heresy comment is a bit of a hint woundn’t you say… The bit about no further art-books is also a bit of a shock.