Black Library Weekender II

Considering Black Library books, products and events.

Re: Black Library Weekender II

Postby Athelassan » Mon Nov 04, 2013 4:01 pm

To be honest it just looks like shrewd business practice to me. And I don't think anyone's actually getting short-changed out of it. I don't really understand what's silly or a problem.

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Re: Black Library Weekender II

Postby Shaggy » Mon Nov 04, 2013 4:32 pm

revelation wrote:Shaggy, thanks for the posts and keeping those of us that weren't able to attend informed.

De nada... might as well make some use of myself! :lol:

Did you get some cool stuff?

Nothing unique (no signed stuff or one-off prints) - but couldn't resist the second Forge World book "Massacre", and picked up 6 novellas (The Imperial Truth, the Weekender anthology, Angels Of Death, Yarrick: Chains Of Golgotha, Aurelian & Promethean Sun). So I went over my intended budget, but that's not really a surprise. Didn't pick up either "Macragge's Honour" or "Visions Of Heresy" simply because they are IMO absolutely and disgustingly over-priced. Which won't be a popular attitude with anyone from BL who reads this, but hey ho - that's what I think. I would love to get both... but £85 for the former and £150 (yes, one hundred and fifty freakin' pounds!!!) for the latter - that's way OTT. They can talk about special covers and limited editions and whatever all they like... but when I saw those prices I suddenly thought we were all walking round with tear-off tags saying "Rip Off Here". It's especially annoying since I have the old paperback Visions Of Heresy books anyway, so I'd be paying about a tenth of my monthly income on some extra artwork (very nice, granted) and I think some extra content... but otherwise more of the same. Not a chance.

Major Rawne wrote:Did someone say hungover?

Shaggy has done a rather commendable job of taking notes. I on the other hand... um well lets forget last nights entertainment.

But at least you were socialising... something I am horribly bad at. Hence I chatted a bit with a few people <waves to schaferwhat and narratavium> but generally stood around looking out of place and then went home (my fault, nobody else's). So doing notes gave me a bit of purpose.

shadowhawk2008 wrote:I'm going to agree that the "statement" that there aren't going to be any significant earlier stories from the HH is completely ridiculous. They cover Istvaan 3 and 5 in so few words and then they want to cover everything else in multiple books? How's that fair exactly?

I can see both sides of this one.
Yes, I'd love to see more of some of the events already covered (in fact I asked a question on that about whether we'd get some more of the Dropsite Massacre from the traitor legions' POV)... but at the same time, they have a point about wanting to keep the momentum going. Hence possibly/probably 'filling in' with novellas. Not an ideal situation, but what in life ever is? Remember... when the HH started, it wasn't quite as 'planned' as it is now (even though they stress that even now it's not all laid out in advance)... and I for one get the feeling that they weren't sure it would take off as well as it did. Hence the initial trilogy, then mooching around a bit with books covering individual legions, spreading out a bit all over the place. Now it's really got to be a success, and I don't think they want to risk diluting that. (Just my thoughts, this isn't what anyone at BL has said).

shadowhawk2008 wrote:Considering that there's an HH Weekender already, having multiple HH seminars at other events is just silly.

As much as I am unashamedly a Heresy nut, you have a partial point there, I think. As much as I liked it (and you'll notice from the notes I took that I attended as many of the HH seminars as I could) it possibly was a little too focused on HH. However... as has been said, it is their flagship product right now, it's the most coherent single section of their output, the most easily-identifiable brand, and they'd be fools business-wise not to work on that. I don't think that there is any 'right' answer here...

Rob P wrote:I do know if the marketing of the 40k stuff mirrors the 40k mini sales (i.e. 40k sells better than WHF) or whether WHF just doesn't sit as comfortable in the fantasy market as 40k does in the sci fi market, but I feel that WHF is very special character and event focussed. There are not many (or any?) WHF books of late that just go somewhere that is not expressly in a rulebook.

It occurs to me that 40K (and, by association, HH) has one massive advantage over WHF.
Uniqueness.
Yes, there are other SF franchises out there (Star Wars, Star Trek, Dredd, Dr Who etc) but there is nothing quite like 40K. Space Marines in power armour, etc etc. Yes, there are some with a few similarities... but none that come close.
Compare and contrast with WHF... elves, dwarves, orcs, goblins, dragons, trolls (*cough* Tolkien *cough*)... they're everywhere! Quite frankly, WHF is far more limited in scope than 40K... both in territory (one world vs an entire galaxy) and in time (a few thousand years vs 10,000+). Which point was made at the Weekender (I think it was in the kaffeeklatsch discussion with Messrs Abnett & Annandale, but I can't remember).

Right.. apologies, got some stuff to do now... but will write up the second half of my notes later this evening.
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Re: Black Library Weekender II

Postby Athelassan » Mon Nov 04, 2013 4:55 pm

Shaggy wrote:It occurs to me that 40K (and, by association, HH) has one massive advantage over WHF.
Uniqueness.
Yes, there are other SF franchises out there (Star Wars, Star Trek, Dredd, Dr Who etc) but there is nothing quite like 40K. Space Marines in power armour, etc etc. Yes, there are some with a few similarities... but none that come close.
Compare and contrast with WHF... elves, dwarves, orcs, goblins, dragons, trolls (*cough* Tolkien *cough*)... they're everywhere! Quite frankly, WHF is far more limited in scope than 40K... both in territory (one world vs an entire galaxy) and in time (a few thousand years vs 10,000+). Which point was made at the Weekender (I think it was in the kaffeeklatsch discussion with Messrs Abnett & Annandale, but I can't remember).

This is an argument I've heard a few times, and while I can see where it's coming from I'm not actually convinced. When you get into it, WHF has just as much setting it apart from other fantasy franchises as 40K does from sci-fi ones (or future fantasy, rather). Moreover, for all that there's more scope for expansion and exploration in 40K, the counterpoint to that is that I think it's easier to tell good, personal, affecting stories in WHF. I think there has been some discussion in the blog interviews about this, as it happens.

The principal difference, I suppose, is that WHF is operating in a much more saturated marketplace. While it's absolutely not your cookie-cutter medieval Tolkien-lite fantasy world (of course, it takes some inspiration from Tolkien, because the whole fantasy genre does, but it's moved quite a way from its roots) there are still lots of fantasy worlds catering to all tastes, while there aren't so many future fantasy ones. (Warcraft, the shameless ripoff, being the most notable fantasy rival). I think that will change; in fact, I think that is already changing. Games like Warmachine are eating into 40K's margins, and things like the Star Wars revival will probably spawn imitators much as Lord of the Rings (and Harry Potter, to an extent) a few years ago pumped some energy back into fantasy settings.

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Re: Black Library Weekender II

Postby Vivia » Mon Nov 04, 2013 7:25 pm

WH40k doesn't have snowflake uniqueness status. If anyone followed the Space Marine debate they know that nothing is new. GW has drawn plenty from well-known sources such as H.P Lovecraft (my fav) and among many, many others.
Btw, Lovecraft's stories are older than Tolkien's.
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Re: Black Library Weekender II

Postby schaferwhat‽ » Mon Nov 04, 2013 11:03 pm

Well Shaggy did a great job, I didn't make many notes, trusting for the fact that I remember stuff. So here goes a rough guide of things of note. (There may well be an expanded narrative driven account of my entire adventure. But that'll turn up on the bloghole next week if at all on the grounds that I am busy this week).

Golden Ticket Shenanigans on the Friday:
Were pretty cool. They did a writers workshop thing that was interesting and useful, then the dinner with BL editors and authors in the evening which was very cool. They say cool things and know awesome stuff and there was allot of genuinely enthusiastic interest and suggestions in relation to the stories we were producing and what not.

Saturday
Breakfasting with geeks, nice chat with both Christian (who made me Queen Jasper) and Laurie who both had to rush so they could help man the sales stand at the start of the event but ended up just milling about doing nothing like they did the year before!

Then Gotrek and Felix panel.
Josh wasn't there because of personal reasons. We had both Nik Vincent and Laurie Goulding took his place at various points in the panel. Quite interesting, they're continuing with the lost tales but they are plans afoot to go back to the main storyline with the nounslayer books and are planning that but no firm plan if that will be one or multiple authors. All up in the air, but yes they are looking at developing it and the other characters such as Snorri, Max and Thanquol in either spin offs or in other books featuring the main duo. (There was some very forceful almost angry calls for the main series continuing from the baying crowd of twenty to thirty people).

Also had some Heresy questions in the panel so that was nice. We really don't get to hear much about the heresy and these sorts of events.

Then it was the Loyalists in Heresy panel. Interesting stuff, a clear move is being made to make it so that it is less "bad guys and good guys" and more "bad guys and guys who are also quite bad" in allot of cases. Allot made that whilst the traitor legions had a purge of any elements in their legions who would dissent the loyalist legions may not be quite as coherent bodies, until the heresy forces them to be through the prospect of a common enemy. The panel were also pretty unforgiving with regards spoilers. Especially with Vulkan Lives and Unremembered Empire where they'd say spoiler warning, then some detail despite the fact that there wasn't really the ability for us to leave quickly once seated to avoid it. I'm not that worried, I didn't pay attention and by the time I get to the books when they are in the better format I'll merely remember being told about that thing once I've read it to jog the memory. But still it seemed a bit off.

I ate extra breakfast so I could skip the not at all competitively priced lunch offerings and progressed straight to Horus Heresy art work (I mean I milled about at the bar I didn't travel in time and skip an hour of existence). Which was really interesting. First we had a look at the interior art for the upcoming collectors edition of Scars and Chris read some bits related to the art (though some weren't directly and he skipped one as he didn't want to say anything that could be a spoiler). Looked beautiful, I think Scars may be my first (and maybe only) hardback Heresy purchase. Then we went through the process for the drawing of the cover of Vengeful Spirit. Laurie read his emails to Neil Roberts out, whilst Neil paraphrased his response. It was an interesting step by step and the cover looks amazing. (I didn't take a photo loads of people did, google it you fools).

That was followed by the traitors of the heresy panel which was less spoilerific, a bit more mundane in the questioning (which Primarch would you want to turn, etc, etc). Aaron wants to do the Night Lords but hasn't pitched it in any meeting yet because other things come up but everyone knows he wants it so he may well do it. Shaggy covers this really well. Everybody appears in Vengeful Spirit. Literally everyone who had a question about "will we see x soon" appears. Either that book is full of people and things or Graham is a man who will say anything to sell a book.

Then we had Elves which had the special unannounced super guest star Bill King joining the panel. It was great one of the best of the weekend. The panel naturally defered to Bill as he wrote the High Elf army book that one time and to be fair none of Chris, Darius or Nik naturally like to assert that they know best in defining anything with those ideas. The interplay between them as they realised they had similar takes and explored the ideas around the culture and nature of the Elves was fantastic. Chris did an impression of a dragon to justify why he decided that they'd have a telepathic link with elves. There was nice discussions over how the Elves live for a long time and yet the Wood Elves change their leader every single year. Really good interesting stuff, Graeme also let slip that the war of vengeance ToL series was cutting down to 4 books. Which led to interesting talk in the next panel that was Time of Legends but you may have to wait for me to post about that as I am tired now.
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Re: Black Library Weekender II

Postby Shaggy » Mon Nov 04, 2013 11:39 pm

Athelassan wrote:Games like Warmachine are eating into 40K's margins, and things like the Star Wars revival will probably spawn imitators much as Lord of the Rings (and Harry Potter, to an extent) a few years ago pumped some energy back into fantasy settings.

Not disagreeing overly much with your various points, Ath... but thought I'd make one point - Warmachine may be making inroads into 40k's territory on the gaming front... but on the published fiction side of things, they can't hold a candle to BL. Are there even any Warmachine novels/novellas/anthologies? Overall, 40K has a much wider and more solidly rooted support base, and I think that will enable it to continue to dominate.

Vivia wrote:WH40k doesn't have snowflake uniqueness status. If anyone followed the Space Marine debate they know that nothing is new. GW has drawn plenty from well-known sources such as H.P Lovecraft (my fav) and among many, many others.
Btw, Lovecraft's stories are older than Tolkien's.

Oh, absolutely... but when I said "uniqueness", I meant the franchise/concept taken as a whole - not just this part of it or that (sorry, should have made myself clearer). Let's face it... if you look closely at just about anything these days, you can see parallels or sources from which it has been derived or stolen. Eg: Star Wars - the princess held captive in the tower by an evil magician and rescued by a young prince who has been living humbly and isn't aware of his origins.
Lots of concepts taken from literature, hostorical events, etc etc.
But nothing has been put together in quite the same way as 40K, and that's what makes it stand out, I think. That's at least partly why I think it both holds such an attraction and has got the resilience to fight off competitors.
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Re: Black Library Weekender II

Postby revelation » Mon Nov 04, 2013 11:53 pm

Shaggy wrote:But nothing has been put together in quite the same way as 40K, and that's what makes it stand out, I think.


Exactly.
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Re: Black Library Weekender II

Postby narrativium » Tue Nov 05, 2013 12:26 am

Ath: that's not the inference I drew (re: forward-moving HH novels/lack of 'past' scenes).

Take, for example: Fear to Tread, A Thousand Sons, Prospero Burns, Betrayer - and yes, The First Heretic. A not-insignificant section of each of these takes place before the Heresy, but that informs or directly leads to events which take place during the Heresy.

As opposed to, say, Descent of Angels, which finishes half a century earlier than the Heresy, and which when released cut deep into the momentum that had been built up over the prior five novels.

There'll be less of that kind of novel. Pre-Heresy events are interesting, but BL won't be devoting whole novels to that any more.
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Re: Black Library Weekender II

Postby Xisor » Tue Nov 05, 2013 12:29 am

I still don't know. With the Empire, with the Dwarfs and, reading Master of Dragons, even with the variety of Elves... I think there's merit in saying that GW is criminally underselling their agonisingly distinctive brand of what's-easy-to-mistake-as cookie-cutter Fantasy. Even after a brief skim it's got astonishing, vigorous depth.

Perhaps we don't talk about the Skaven enough?

Well, as I say: 40k is accessible. There's a vast plateau to it all, but in terms of coherency and integrity, I think it lacks something that Fantasy near-enough consistently nails.

Bill King spoke about it at BLL12, I think, in terms of 'what makes Fantasy so potent?'. Imagery. Whilst most other authors in such venues will be doing a huge portion of the creative legwork themselves, GW already has a vast array of visceral miniatures and artistic, aesthetic themes. It gives a pool of resources and tools to work with that makes for delicious literature, as it can often free the author to do 'more interesting things' than bare-bones creation.

With 40k, that potent imagery is, in many cases, still over-sized pauldrons and on-the-nose symbolism (Wolfy McWolfson...).

As per the discussion on saturation though, it's a bit of a shame: 40k's iconic look is still a bit more potent than a lot of the few-note sci-fi realms out there. 40k gets, perhaps, more bang for its buck in the market. But when it comes to a more objective sense of merit... well, we tend to disregard the market as much as possible (perhaps in a disservice).

---

Surprise Bill King? Magical! Only four books in the War of Vengeance?! HUMBUG.

Sounds like a grand weekend. If there's one positive note to the HH-hyperfocus, it's that the other smaller, events sound much more deeply engaging. For all that I could chat HH for hours and hours on end, none of the HH stuff at events I'd attended has even begun to compare to, say, the sheer quality of the Xenos seminar with Andy Chambers and Rob Sanders at BLL11. Really, astonishingly decent.

(Well, and favoured authors buying you a pint, revealing totally top-secret novellas; y'know, those old chestnuts.)

---

Narry: That's rather how it sounds to me like it'd have been conveyed too. More 'glimpses' of pre-Heresy, less 'dedicated' pre-Heresy.
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Re: Black Library Weekender II

Postby Shaggy » Tue Nov 05, 2013 12:34 am

Okeley dokely... back to the grindstone! Part II, here we come.

And now, ladies and germs, notes from... <drum roll>...

'An Audience With Sir Dan Of Abnett':-
(and boy oh boy, can he talk! :lol: )

Earlier in the day, DA had held up various signs at amusingly appropriate moments... "Spoiler" being a favourite, but also "I Am Alpharius"... and a couple of others that I forget. But he spotted one in the audience that tickled him - "Where Is The Interceptor City" (proposed sequel to "Double Eagle"). Naturally he said that he still wants to do it (I get the feeling that he wants to do EVERYTHING! :D ) - but guessing at 12-18 months down the line (assuming nothing else pushes in back down the schedule... which is quite likely, actually). Mentioned that it could possibly be done as a serial? Speculation.

QFA - a sequel or at least some follow-on to "Titanicus"? - YES. (no date). May incorporate it into "Warmaster" (Gaunt's Ghosts) or into a Space Marine Battles book in that setting. Or maybe a full novel sequel - no decision yet.

Discussion about the brotherly love (no sniggering at the back there!) between Russ and Magnus... shown by Russ showing Magnus mercy in "Prospero Burns" before the invasion... offering Magnus a way out. DA says that it is both admirable on Russ' part that he offers such mercy and very scary that he decides to go ahead and deliver the ultimate sanction anyway. As was touched on in other discussions, DA sees the Space Wolves (or "The Rout", which is the name I personally prefer!) as having the starkest and most complete moral code of any of the legions.

Yes, someone mentioned The Unmentionable again! (missing II/XI legions) - discussion got onto the implication that the Rout sanctioned them. This was written before the total moratorium imposed by the editorial staff on talking about the two legions. In DA's words (talking about sanctioning the Thousand Sons)- "In my mind they have done it at least twice before".

And then another unmentionable - Squats! Much hilarity. Dan said "Let's have a squat-fest", which was immediately recognised as sounding just so very very wrong!

Talk drifted onto Gaunts Ghosts... I didn't make many notes here, but there was mention of how he likes the Vitrian regiment, and that in "Warmaster" we'll be meeting the Urdeshi regiments again. Undecided on recurring characters (and who gets killed off, of course!).

QFA - would he like to do an updated Sabbat Worlds sourcebook - absolutely yes, but it's up to the editorial staff (I think there were boos aimed at Laurie Golding at this point! :lol: ). Possibly a digital edition? Would definitely like to see a digital Sabbat Worlds Crusade map, so could be interactive etc.

QFA about bringing Loken back from the dead. DA didn't want him dead to start with, looks like he always had it in mind bringing him back somehow... definitely wants to do more with him later on, has a story to tell.

Interesting description of "The Unremembered Empire" - sort of 'Hamlet' meets 'Avengers Assemble'... discussion about characters like superheroes and chases over rooftops etc. DA said he had an intentional superhero vibe to it all, but when someone suggested Tarasha Euten was an 'Aunt May' character, it sort of took DA by surprise - hadn't thought of it that way - but didn't really disagree. A couple of jokes about Guilliman as Spiderman...

Discussion about the characters and status of primarchs... DA sees the primarchs as being 'more human' than the Astartes, despite them physically being even further away from normal human - puts it down to the fact that the primarchs have to be more than just warriors, have to interact with humans.
Then we had to have mention of the two missing primarchs (which DA named Tammy and Fiona - the only two female primarchs! - shot me a bit of a amused/dirty look when I suggested they were on maternity leave) - someone then asked why couldn't there be female primarchs... firmly said that it just wouldn't work in 40k.
The missing primarchs briefly mentioned in "Scars"? (I may have mis-heard that).

QFA - asked if DA consulted with Nick Kyme when writing "The Unremembered Empire" - yes.

Eisenhorn shorts suggested... maybe in audio format? Possibly.
Eisenhorn trilogy on his wish list to do as audio - DA said he'd like to read it (and then started to do a squeaky voice for Eisenstein, much laughter)

"Dreadwing" (next HH novel) - there are apparently 6 specialist divisions of Dark Angels, not just Deathwing & Ravenwing. Apparently (and this is Alan Blight's idea, not DA's) the Dark Angels, being the 1st Legion, were on their own for a while before any others came along... had to be good at pretty much everything and not specialise as heavily as the later legions. Dreadwing were apparently the 1st Legion's "dirty tricks department" with all sorts of secret and very nasty gear that they really shouldn't have (DA saying that they use it, people start saying "what the f***!") - really shocking stuff.

QFA - why do we never see Alpha Legion scouts? DA - because they're Alpha Legion scouts! :lol: Then says "because he's dressed as an Ultramarine"!. I think it was at this point (may have been one of the other seminars) where DA (impersonating an Astartes) mimes pulling off a face mask saying "aha! I am really Alpha Legion!" at which point his opponent does exactly the same! Joking speculation that all of the legions kill each other off, and that when they get to Terra, all that's left is a bunch of Alpha Legion disguised as other legions, all shooting at each other because they don't know the others are all disguised. Laughter.

Comment from audience about the term "heresy" being used when it has religious overtones and the Emperor has squashed all of that... Laurie Golding interjects with the statement that the word "heresy" actually means "free thought", that a heretic is actually a free thinker (my Concise Oxford defines heretic as "holder of an unorthodox opinion" which is close enough - derived from Greek word meaning "able to choose" - but I'm sure LG has done more in-depth research into the etymology). Question - have the authors wrongly used the word in 30K? (because the whole period has been known as the Horus Heresy for years, and it's all ingrained in their minds) - DA says it's very possible.

Confirmed that "Penitent" is the sequel to "Pariah"

QFA - was it an accident that the XXth primarch turned out to be twins? DA doesn't think it's actually been formally decided, but he doesn't believe that any of it was an accident - twins, Sangy's wings, losing them and having them scattered to various planets, etc etc. Doesn't think it'll ever be bluntly stated either way, thinks it'll be left to people's imagination (best not to codify every last detail, could spoil the whole experience, leave some things vague).

DA wants to do more with the Space Wolves featured in "The Unremembered Empire" - likes them as characters and a unit.

Would like to do more Honsou, but isn't sure if his story is complete or not - undecided. Would definitely like to do more with some of the Space Wolves characters from "Prospero Burns" (would like to do more Hawser, but doesn't think it's really possible).

DA has apparently always wanted to write White Scars.

Mentioned how it's so easy to dislike Guilliman because he's just so damned good at everything - nobody likes a smartarse.

Plans for more graphics like "Macragge's Honour"? - would definitely like to.

QFA - will there be a 3rd book in the Inquisitor comic book series - don't know, possibly if there was enough demand for it (and time).
*NOTE - I really get the feeling that DA wants to do absolutely everything, and may even mean it when he says it each time! - but time constraints are going to severely limit him - my personal opinion only*

QFA - will he revisit the Lone Wolves comic in the light of doing "Prospero Burns" - and with all of the changes he made to the legion/chapter, should it be re-done? DA doesn't think a re-do is needed, thinks it holds up quite well. There had apparently been a sequel underway, but it never got finished - as ever, answer is... maybe.

DA reads a lot of classic literature and non-fiction... lots of magazines and newspapers, is apparently always taking clippings of interesting stuff. Has a degree in English Literature, apparently!

The End.
<and breathe...>


EDITED TO ADD : Sorry guys & gals, but it's a bit late and I'm knackered... typing all that lot out took a while! I'll do some/all of the rest of the notes tomorrow evening (I hope).
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Re: Black Library Weekender II

Postby revelation » Tue Nov 05, 2013 2:44 am

Thanks again Shaggy.

I find it interesting that Dan intentionally made UE a bit comic bookie, "hamlet meets avengers". That kind of puts the style of the novel into perspective. Not that that makes it more likable from my perspective (wish it was more hamlet than avengers), it just contextualizes his approach for that particular book.

I'm glad this came up because I mentioned this earlier in this thread somewhere...concerning the term "heresy" being used in 30k. I think Laurie Goulding did a bit of a save there by clarifying the use by defining the term. The clarification makes the use of the term more sensible, but I wouldn't be surprised if Dan's acknowledgement that the writers might have just fallen back on the terminology because of it's prominence in the 40k universe is what actually happened. Either way, I can live with it given the formal definition of the word.

I'd love to see Dan write the White Scars. I could see him doing a lot of justice to Chris's rendition of them and perhaps even spicing them up a tad bit. Dan is good at that.

Yeah, Dan went to Oxford. He's a smart / learned one as are most of the BL authors I'm sure. ADB studied English at university as well I believe, though I'm not sure where he attended.
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Re: Black Library Weekender II

Postby schaferwhat‽ » Tue Nov 05, 2013 3:07 pm

To pick off where I left off when tiredness overcame me last night.

Time of Legends.

Again missing Josh so the first half/two thirds of the discussion were pretty much entirely war of vengeance. Nick seemed surprised that the decrease in books wasn't out there already (I used the term leak, but supposedly it wasn't a secret, it was just one of those signs that BL isn't really communicating with it's fanbase as well as perhaps it once did). Chris was very introspective about it, the decision came after he finished Master of Dragons and he seems happy that whilst he may have done more, or seeded a few more things that as the two books that the book he wrote with foreknowledge wouldn't be much different as it did the job of setting everything up as they would like. There was much talk that the time line for the War of the Beard is balanced so that all the exciting things bookend the war with centuries of attritional fighting in between. Whilst they had thoughts about how to expand on this, and fill it in they weren't on such sure footed territory and by compressing the off piste expansion of the timeline and the initially planned aftermath heavy book at the end whilst expanding the word counts of the next two books to be half the size again as the first two, we are only losing a novel worth of words and that novel may have been of plots not strictly relevant to the main story. They are very aware of various fall out of the War of Vengeance such as the formation of the Wood Elves because they don't leave the old world when ordered to like the others and they know that needs to be seeded if not gone into in explicit detail. Also talking to Chris the next day when I finally got around to looking at the new, bigger and improved map, he was sad that Tol Alessi wasn't in it and that Nick will explain the Hornhold in the next book.

Other than that, Chris really wants to do the great war against Chaos, though Nick is happy that he has done the one legend that he'd kill or die for the chance to do already. There was further talk about how there is allot of baggage from the Elves "saving the world" after the first Chaos incursion whereas the Dwarfs went and hid under the mountains which sort of explains their various outlooks.

Nick got really involved in explaining his view of the meta-narrative of Warhammer which boils down to the conflict against Chaos which is why Lizardmen don't get much love because they're that bit removed from what most stories will boil down to. I can't say I agree with everything he was saying there but it had some weight.

The Evenings entertainment was fun and a bit more thought out than the previous year, though Narry made some good comments when he compared it to the Heresy Weekender's pub quiz in that the audience were much more passive. That said Andy Smilie did a fantastic visual pun and it was a laugh. Pitch factor happened again with everyone taking it very seriously on the whole. My pitch had no negative feedback so I'm doing something right.

Sunday morning was a bit of a haze, the coffee thing with the writers was sort of nice, but I think everyone just sat with two authors and stuck with those two. Jim Swallow and David Guymer have tales to tell and it was kind of relaxed. I guess it was useful for those who hadn't stayed up until the wee hours drinking (either author or fan) to get to converse naturally about stuff that wasn't necessarily about the books. I missed the Macragge's Honour talk as I was on a mission to not spend £85 on the book so instead got to talk to Chris at his signing and then John French at the bar which was class.

Then there was the writing for Black Library panel. Nothing amazingly new there. They will be doing a variety of windows going forward, some only announced at events so that it'll be up to the event people to decide if they leak details or not, others openly announced for longer. They'll always give at least a couple of weeks notice before a window opens and give a month or more for the window as they want good stories and expecting brilliant stories to be written within a 24 hour window at no notice wouldn't produce that. They haven't decided upon any windows yet though Graeme did mention "aliens themed anthology" as an example earlier in the weekend, they will be having a meeting soon where all the editors will discuss the various ideas for anthologies they have and decide which will be suitable for a submissions call.

There was much talk about how this is good because there are allot of good stories that they turned down because it was either too similar to something they have in development (or have done already) or is too far removed from where their current focus is lying. So giving the theme will stop people from producing great work that won't be picked up for minor issues like that because there is a clearer brief. There is also a move away from how BL was earlier with the creation of new characters and regiments/chapters to tell stories in the setting with to being more supportive of the miniature line and current products of GW. Example of Josh Reynolds doing an old Chaos codex character and that only getting by because it also featured a current Space Marine codex character as the main focus. If it was purely about the old character it wouldn't have worked because that character no longer has a model. Also pointing at the short story releases that are tying in with new releases for the games. If you are pitching commercially like that it may be useful because it will take out a whole bunch of things they consider at their end that will lead to rejection.

The Horus Heresy mega panel was a bit of a damp squib. There was no new announcements or revelations. The size of the panel seemed a bit unwieldy because there were an awful lot of people who could say stuff. Ultimately there was cool jokes and asides but I think having had five panels themed around the Heresy in different ways earlier in the event kind of contributed to the quality and quantity of questions put forward which wasn't great.

The event petered out, much chatting happened, then me, Malky, Karaskin and Rawne went into Nottingham proper for an adventure. We ended up drinking in the haunted Snug of Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem and making up porn parody spoof titles for the entire Horus Heresy line released to date, which I then tweeted in a fit of drunken madness, one highlight being that Gav Thorpe tweeted the suggestion Deliverance Lust when we were struggling with it.
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Re: Black Library Weekender II

Postby Athelassan » Tue Nov 05, 2013 4:59 pm

schaferwhat‽ wrote:Whilst they had thoughts about how to expand on this, and fill it in they weren't on such sure footed territory and by compressing the off piste expansion of the timeline and the initially planned aftermath heavy book at the end whilst expanding the word counts of the next two books to be half the size again as the first two, we are only losing a novel worth of words and that novel may have been of plots not strictly relevant to the main story.

This is what makes me sad about the novel reduction. Nick Kyme is - as far as the Dwarfs go at least - a really good worldbuilder, and Chris Wraight is an excellent writer. Between them they could have done something great with that gap in the chronology. As it is it will remain a bit of an artificial "oh yeah and the war carried on for a while" bit which is rather disappointing. We're losing the stuff we didn't know about and getting a retelling of stuff we do. Admittedly, I very much like the way it's been told so far, but I want new information, not just rehashing of the old.
They are very aware of various fall out of the War of Vengeance such as the formation of the Wood Elves because they don't leave the old world when ordered to like the others and they know that needs to be seeded if not gone into in explicit detail.

I don't know how far you've got with the series yet, but this is definitely being done.
Also talking to Chris the next day when I finally got around to looking at the new, bigger and improved map, he was sad that Tol Alessi wasn't in it and that Nick will explain the Hornhold in the next book.

The new map has been corrected, which is good. However, annoyingly, it's still based on the old (wrong) map which shows Tor Alessi in the wrong place, and only really shows the modern Empire and Kislev, not Bretonnia. I'd rather have a larger map showing Tor Alessi, but in the absence of that I'd prefer a correct but incomplete map.

Incidentally, did they mention anything about future ToLs? It seems like there was no new information about releases at the BLW? Which, coupled with the absence of the "coming soon" page on the BL website, suggests they've either become pointlessly cagey about forthcoming releases like GW or are flying by the seat of their pants. I don't mind too much either way (see the arguments from earlier this year about the publication of release calendars), but it would be nice to know that they know what they're doing, even if we don't.

There is also a move away from how BL was earlier with the creation of new characters and regiments/chapters to tell stories in the setting with to being more supportive of the miniature line and current products of GW. Example of Josh Reynolds doing an old Chaos codex character and that only getting by because it also featured a current Space Marine codex character as the main focus. If it was purely about the old character it wouldn't have worked because that character no longer has a model. Also pointing at the short story releases that are tying in with new releases for the games.

This is annoying, from a reader perspective rather than/as well as a pitching one. It's not even that long since they released Van Horstmann, either. *sulk*

In any case, thank you for such a detailed write-up. Maybe next year I'll actually attend a BL event again. Maybe not. Who knows?

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Re: Black Library Weekender II

Postby schaferwhat‽ » Tue Nov 05, 2013 5:25 pm

Essentially as the current ToL series haven't finished yet there seems to be no firm plans for the next wave. Questioners did ask what they wanted to do, and for specific legendary things.

I haven't read Master of Dragons yet, it is in my weekender haul. But Chris was talking about naming forests and working out Elven linguistics which aren't as nailed down as the Dwarfs. (Also some talk about how all conversations between Elves and Dwarfs happen in Elvish, is it because the Elves refuse to learn Khazalid or the Dwarfs refuse to teach them?)

My biggest bugbear about the entire enterprise was that so little was being said about upcoming releases. (I missed Rob Saunders as he was a flying visitor, but seemingly he has two novels and other things written but he can't talk about any of them until BL announces them). Nick seemed to not realise that it wasn't public knowledge that the war of vengeance was being cut down and I checked with a fair few people at the event and no one knew before hand and I'd have figured the people going to the weekender were the sort to keep abreast of such information. It seems like hard work to be an enthused fan nowadays.

I will probably do a (largely fictionalise) larger write up of my experience when I finish pottering about with my golden ticker short story submission.
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Re: Black Library Weekender II

Postby Athelassan » Tue Nov 05, 2013 5:56 pm

schaferwhat‽ wrote:I haven't read Master of Dragons yet, it is in my weekender haul. But Chris was talking about naming forests and working out Elven linguistics which aren't as nailed down as the Dwarfs. (Also some talk about how all conversations between Elves and Dwarfs happen in Elvish, is it because the Elves refuse to learn Khazalid or the Dwarfs refuse to teach them?)

An interesting question. Malekith and Imladrik each learn Khazalid, so it must be possible for elves to do so; it jsut seems to take each of them a long time and I guess most of them can't be bothered, especially if the Dwarfs are a bit reticent about teaching them. For some reason I also imagine Khazalid being a much more taxing language to learn than Elvish.

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Re: Black Library Weekender II

Postby shadowhawk2008 » Tue Nov 05, 2013 6:21 pm

War of Vengeance is being cut down? Ok... So instead of 6 books in all, we are going to get... 4?
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Re: Black Library Weekender II

Postby schaferwhat‽ » Tue Nov 05, 2013 6:24 pm

Well the dwarfs are naturally secretive and the Elves are naturally dismissive of the work of "lesser races" so you can see the fault lying on both sides. It seemed interesting that Malekith and Imladrik were both probably the best Elves of their respective generations and that the next Dwarf Friend to get taught any language or be treated so kindly of a different race was Sigmar. Which probably says allot about the standards you have to live up to for the Dwarfs to tell you their secrets. Personally I'd say the time it takes to learn is probably less of an issue as Elves are functionally immortal in many regards, it would be because the language isn't aesthetically pleasing enough to be worth the time.

But this is getting a bit off topic, to the worlds of warhammer board?


Yes SH. 4 books not 6, the next two books will have higher word counts than the first two to compensate a bit. The next two will be called Elfdoom and then The Phoenix Crown.
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Re: Black Library Weekender II

Postby shadowhawk2008 » Tue Nov 05, 2013 6:44 pm

Interesting. Didn't see that coming... Now I'm a little disappointed... but I suppose it makes sense since this was going to be a massive double trilogy stretching for 6 years...

As long as there's proper closure I'm fine with that I think. Will be reading Master of Dragons hopefully soon.
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Re: Black Library Weekender II

Postby schaferwhat‽ » Tue Nov 05, 2013 6:51 pm

shadowhawk2008 wrote:Interesting. Didn't see that coming... Now I'm a little disappointed... but I suppose it makes sense since this was going to be a massive double trilogy stretching for 6 years...

As long as there's proper closure I'm fine with that I think. Will be reading Master of Dragons hopefully soon.


It was a schedule thing. Seemingly Heresy and 40k sells so much better they'd rather have both of them write an extra heresy or 40k book each in the time. Than deal with that. Which makes some sense but is a bit of a shame as like Ath I was really excited for how those two combined to do some really decent world building there.

Think about the Age of Darkness in the Heresy. 7 years when "stuff happens" but all is either forgotten or not important enough to note by history so the team has a blank page. Yes Chris and Nick had less books and more years to play with but fleshing it out in an interesting manner could've been cool to see.

The next novels will be longer so we'll see some of it no doubt and they're happy that they can end it well, and it just means the series won't necessarily risk sagging in the middle. I very much doubt they'd have had a saggy middle, they're pretty good are Chris and Nick.
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Re: Black Library Weekender II

Postby Athelassan » Tue Nov 05, 2013 7:01 pm

schaferwhat‽ wrote:It was a schedule thing. Seemingly Heresy and 40k sells so much better they'd rather have both of them write an extra heresy or 40k book each in the time. Than deal with that.

Sigh. On the one hand, I know fantasy doesn't sell as well, so it doesn't make sense for BL to put out as many fantasy releases, but there's gotta be a cause and effect thing going on here too. If GW/BL aren't showing any faith in their own product by supporting it properly, they can't expect anyone else to.

The War of the Beard really deserves more than four books; it's sad. There should be so many stories to tell, but we're just going to get the big players. For that matter, Nagash really deserved more than three, certainly the way Mike Lee chose to tell his story.

I'm trying not to be the aggrieved fanboy here. But it's hard.

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