Ask... JOHN FRENCH

A place for you to ask questions of some of the Black Library authors themselves.

Ask... JOHN FRENCH

Postby shadowhawk2008 » Wed Jan 04, 2012 10:05 am

Address all your questions to John French here.

PLEASE AVOID ANSWERING A QUESTION UNLESS THE AUTHOR HAS HAD A CHANCE TO DO IT FIRST!

Also, please note these are not general discussion threads. The clue's in the name.

Thanks.

John French's official Black Library page can be found here.
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Re: Ask... JOHN FRENCH

Postby Liliedhe » Wed Jan 04, 2012 10:10 am

Oh, hi there. :) Welcome to the Bolthole.

I have one rather tongue-in-cheek question, and a serious one.

The first concerns The Last Rememberancer: Doesn't it make you feel bad to be so mean to a character? :P Poor, poor Rogal, this story made him into a perfect woobie. I wanted to hug him, wrap him in a soft blanket and cook hot cocoa for him...

On a less girly note, I recently finished Fateweaver and there is one thing that confused me:

Spoiler: It seems the message Cyrus received contained a warning about Colophon. Why, if he knew it had to happen that way, did Cyrus include this warning? Doesn't he risk unravelling the time loop that way?

"You were a warleader, a fighter, when did you gain such illuminating insight into the minds of others?"
"I learned such things as you and your brothers applied brand to my flesh and parted skin with rasp and knife," snarled Astelan. "When your witches tried to prise open my mind they opened me for an instant and I stared back."
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Re: Ask... JOHN FRENCH

Postby shadowhawk2008 » Thu Jan 05, 2012 1:52 pm

Just wanted to ask how a couple of your projects are going and if you could tell us a little more about them:

- HH novella Crimson Fist? Have to say that I am somewhat disappointed that the Advent artwork wasn't for your novella. My hopes have been mercilessly dashed by the powers that be!

- HH audio drama with Cerberus?
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Re: Ask... JOHN FRENCH

Postby John French » Thu Jan 05, 2012 8:37 pm

Hey Liliedhe,

I had sleepless nights and attacks of guilt for weeks after deciding how mean I was going to be to Dorn. Only joking.

But in all honesty Dorn's tragedy is the tragedy of the Imperium. Before I wrote the Last Remembrancer I re-read and listened to his appearances across the series in timeline order: The Dark King, Horus Rising, Flight of the Eisenstein, Mechanicum, The Lightning Tower and Nemesis. His character development is powerful stuff and Last Remembrancer seemed like the next logical step. He is an idealist, a believer if you like. That's just not going to end well once Horus turns traitor is it?

Fateweaver:

Spoiler: Good question on Cyrus' message. You see in my head there is a causal loop in there - the message will arrive distorted and broken because it has to, and already has. He cannot add in information to break the loop because if he had, he already would have. The message will always be received in broken phrases and everything has to play out as it did because it already has. He is his own cause and his own effect a circle it time, the snake that eats its own tail and all that. There are some interesting side issues about free will and determinism but I must admit I gleefully skip passed those while grinning.

Also, in my head the message is not a warning, or a summons, it was a confession of what he has done and why - a chunk of which is in the quote at the start. I actually wrote out the whole confession/message and then broke it into bits so that I was being consistent. The broken fragments of it are just interpreted by Cyrus as a summons or warning.



No idea if that helps, but that was what I was thinking anyway.
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Re: Ask... JOHN FRENCH

Postby Pyroriffic » Thu Jan 05, 2012 9:15 pm

Hi John.

Do you think we should have gone with the hotdogs?
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Re: Ask... JOHN FRENCH

Postby Liliedhe » Thu Jan 05, 2012 10:53 pm

@John: Thanks for answering my questions :).

As far as Cyrus is concerned, yeah, that clarifies a lot. But there can always be wild cards...
"You were a warleader, a fighter, when did you gain such illuminating insight into the minds of others?"
"I learned such things as you and your brothers applied brand to my flesh and parted skin with rasp and knife," snarled Astelan. "When your witches tried to prise open my mind they opened me for an instant and I stared back."
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Re: Ask... JOHN FRENCH

Postby John French » Sun Jan 08, 2012 4:34 pm

@Shadowhawk: For now I think I am going to have to gracefully dodge those questions.
See how graceful that was... Yeah, I know not graceful at all.

@Sarah: Yeah we should totally have gone with the hotdogs. And the mustard, let’s not forget the mustard.
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Re: Ask... JOHN FRENCH

Postby shadowhawk2008 » Sun Jan 08, 2012 5:36 pm

John French wrote:@Shadowhawk: For now I think I am going to have to gracefully dodge those questions.
See how graceful that was... Yeah, I know not graceful at all.

@Sarah: Yeah we should totally have gone with the hotdogs. And the mustard, let’s not forget the mustard.


John, must you torment me as endlessly as Jim and Sarah do? No fair!
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Re: Ask... JOHN FRENCH

Postby schaferwhat‽ » Tue Mar 06, 2012 4:18 pm

Jumping on talk from BLL! There seems to be a culture clash at the heart of the Imperium between Dorn and the Siligite as to how things get done, obviously Dorn falls into line with Guilliman's vision after the Heresy so the question is why does nobody pay Dorn any heed in your opinion?
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Re: Ask... JOHN FRENCH

Postby Shadow Walker » Wed Mar 07, 2012 7:34 pm

Hi John
I just wanted to say that your brilliant short story from Age of Darkness is the only reason why I even keep that book in my collection. I hope that in short time you get to write full HH novel [Death Guard one would be sweet].
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Re: Ask... JOHN FRENCH

Postby John French » Fri Mar 09, 2012 5:24 pm

@Shadowhawk: So with some of the stuff announced at BLL and on the website, you might have gathered the cover of Shadows of Treachery is (kind of) the cover of Crimson Fist, and my novella is in that anthology. That’s Alexis Polux front and centre, punching an Iron Warrior in the chest, with the Battle of Phall spinning away in the background. Sigismund, Dorn, and Perturabo also make significant appearances, but not all in the same place...

@ schaferwhat‽: Good question, and one that I think is going to be interesting to see play out. I don’t think it’s a case of people playing no heed to Dorn’s idealism; the tragedy is that he has to embrace the compromise of necessity. He helps break down the things that supported the idealism of the Great Crusade, possibly with the idea of putting it back together after the war is done. Dorn is on a dark arc in the story; the idealist seneschal has to become the black clad crusader after all. Of course it does end but by then it is too late; the Heresy means that they cannot go back to the old ways. Too much has changed, been wounded, or broken. In that way Voss is dead right.

@Shadow Walker: Thank you, glad you liked it. I would love to do a HH Novel – one day, maybe. I am doing a couple of other Heresy things at the moment though...
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Re: Ask... JOHN FRENCH

Postby shadowhawk2008 » Fri Mar 09, 2012 5:35 pm

John, oddly enough, I was contemplating it yesterday and figured that the character in the foreground was Alexis Polux. It felt logical!

Anyways, glad to know those little tidbits.
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Re: Ask... JOHN FRENCH

Postby Liliedhe » Tue Jul 24, 2012 10:31 pm

I just finished Crimson Fist... *sad Panda is sad* ;)

Image

Spoiler: Polux surprised me. I mean, the Crimson Fists are those guys whose hat is never, ever giving up... And here we have their prototype, and the first thing he does in his story, is give up. It is interesting how that serves as a rallying point for him, something that now makes him fight on in the memory of the consequences of it, but it was a surprise.

And even more of a surprise was Sigismund's revelation. :shock: Bastard. How could he do that? And another thing robbed from Rogal Dorn - you really have to be mean to him all the time, right? :P Now I'm more than ever convinced he commits suicide in the end.



All in all, a very nice story, even if the Fist casualties were cringeworthy. Again. A lot.

Spoiler: And what is the deal with Navarra at the end? I know he is a character introduced in the Card Game and that has him alive at the Siege of Terra... But... Well, it is difficult to think of a situation less likely to ever get out alive from... Will we see more about him?

Last edited by Liliedhe on Wed Jul 25, 2012 10:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"You were a warleader, a fighter, when did you gain such illuminating insight into the minds of others?"
"I learned such things as you and your brothers applied brand to my flesh and parted skin with rasp and knife," snarled Astelan. "When your witches tried to prise open my mind they opened me for an instant and I stared back."
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Re: Ask... JOHN FRENCH

Postby John French » Wed Jul 25, 2012 7:42 pm

Hey, Thank you for the kind words.
My apologies to all all pandas made sad in the production of this story...

Spoiler: Its not a good time for the Imperial Fists on any level. In a lot of ways its the moment that starts to remake them into the Legion that goes into the Iron Cage, and then produces two chapters as different as the Black Templars and the Crimson Fists. What they have to go through in the Heresy changes them. From the moment Garro tells Dorn about Horus' betrayal they start to change. They are reforged in suffering if you like. To me that's one of the things I love about the Imperial Fists; they will bear what others cannot, but that stone like strength has a price.

But yes, poor Dorn. He is my favourite Primarch, and I love where he is going in the Heresy, but can't see it getting much brighter for him for a while.



Spoiler: Ah yes, Navarra. I can't say too much, but his fate is going to be resolved... soon . He might not make it to Terra though...

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Re: Ask... JOHN FRENCH

Postby Liliedhe » Wed Jul 25, 2012 7:49 pm

Thanks for the answers :).

How could I ever assume anything IF related will ever have a happy end? :P

Spoiler: Poor Navarra.

"You were a warleader, a fighter, when did you gain such illuminating insight into the minds of others?"
"I learned such things as you and your brothers applied brand to my flesh and parted skin with rasp and knife," snarled Astelan. "When your witches tried to prise open my mind they opened me for an instant and I stared back."
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Re: Ask... JOHN FRENCH

Postby teessider » Fri Jul 27, 2012 8:52 pm

Just finished reading Crimson Fist, awesome story by the way, really enjoyed it! The ending got me wondering though, where Polux ends up, is it Ultramar, Istvaan or somewhere that hasnt been mentioned yet? And will you be visiting him again in the future?
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Re: Ask... JOHN FRENCH

Postby John French » Sat Jul 28, 2012 12:30 pm

teessider wrote:Just finished reading Crimson Fist, awesome story by the way, really enjoyed it! The ending got me wondering though, where Polux ends up, is it Ultramar, Istvaan or somewhere that hasnt been mentioned yet? And will you be visiting him again in the future?


Thank you!
Yes... where does Polux turn up? Well, all I can say is that when you reach the end of Fear to Tread you will probably have a good idea. The ending(s) link into big 'things that are yet to come'. Honestly, I have been jumping up and down with repressed excitement about where we are going in the Age of Darkness, and its cool to see the first hints of the future coming through.

I would love to do more with Polux, but you are likely to see him in the hands of another writer next...
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Re: Ask... JOHN FRENCH

Postby Lord of the Night » Tue Jul 31, 2012 2:52 pm

Finished The Crimson Fist yesterday, a fantastic story and one I really enjoyed.

One thing though,

Spoiler: You are a cruel man sir, the ending of the story was the final knife in the chest. They would have won.... They. Would. Have. Won. :(

The Fists have taken yet another blow, and they don't even realise how close they came.




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Re: Ask... JOHN FRENCH

Postby John French » Wed Aug 15, 2012 8:14 pm

Sorry for the delayed reply. Been busy with... things, and... stuff.

Yes, I do seem to be rather mean to both Legion and Primarch, but its not because I like to kick them; it's just because of the path they are on in the story. I love them though, they are a legion which is both stubborn to the point of suicidal self sacrifice, and the embodiment of focused fury. To be honest they are almost my favourite Legion even though (ironically, given the stories in Shadows of Treachery) I have a Night Lords army army and have been a devoted fan of the VIIIth for the last 18 years...
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Re: Ask... JOHN FRENCH

Postby Lord of the Night » Wed Aug 15, 2012 8:19 pm

John French wrote:Sorry for the delayed reply. Been busy with... things, and... stuff.

Yes, I do seem to be rather mean to both Legion and Primarch, but its not because I like to kick them; it's just because of the path they are on in the story. I love them though, they are a legion which is both stubborn to the point of suicidal self sacrifice, and the embodiment of focused fury. To be honest they are almost my favourite Legion even though (ironically, given the stories in Shadows of Treachery) I have a Night Lords army army and have been a devoted fan of the VIIIth for the last 18 years...

Hehe I can't claim that many years of fandom but i've been a fan of the Night Lords since I read their Lexicanum article when I first got into Warhammer 3-4 years ago. And i'll be a fan of them forever. :)

If anyone writes the Iron Cage though I hope its you, you would do that battle the justice it deserves for how tragic it was for the Fists and the giant up-yours that Perturabo desired to give Dorn since the beginnig.

And by "things, and... stuff" do you mean Black Library related things, and... stuff?


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