Ask... PETER FEHERVARI

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Re: Ask... PETER FEHERVARI

Postby O'Seishin » Sat Jul 20, 2013 12:34 am

LOTN, thanks for the vote of confidence, particularly over the writing style.

Out of curiosity, if I were to write a non-40k novel - probably self-published through Kindle - would it still be of interest to you? It would undoubtedly be something based in the sf/horror genre, probably with a strong action element, but set in an original world where I'd be free to go darker and deeper - and indeed more destructive of my setting! - than is possible or appropriate within a well-loved, established IP.

As I say, just curious at this stage, but your gut instinct - and indeed that of anyone who enjoyed FC - would be appreciated.

Cheers!

PF
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Re: Ask... PETER FEHERVARI

Postby Lord of the Night » Sat Jul 20, 2013 8:21 am

Well while I don't normally read ebooks, don't care for them, I would definitely be interested in reading an original novel or series from you, even as an ebook, particularly if it's as dark as FC. :D


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Re: Ask... PETER FEHERVARI

Postby Captain of Chickens » Thu Jul 25, 2013 11:24 am

One of the things I most enjoyed about the book was the character of the regiment of Imperial Guard itself.

What about the American Civil War inspired you to model your Imperial Guard regiment from that war?
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Re: Ask... PETER FEHERVARI

Postby O'Seishin » Tue Jul 30, 2013 12:25 am

Greetings Captain of Chickens,

I've always been fascinated by that particular period of American history and the Civil War in particular, which was such a turbulent and agonising trauma for the country. It wasn't the clear-cut conflict you might first imagine it to be, which makes it a rich source of stories. And of course the military history and imagery are also striking, so I was interested in translating that to a 40k setting. Some readers felt I was too literal here (there is a particularly vitriolic review on Amazon.com to that effect) and in hindsight perhaps I should have reined it back a little, but I still feel it's worth it for the authentic flavour it gives the Arkan.

I admit I also wanted to see what would happen if I threw Civil War era soldiers into Vietnam. With monsters.

PF

PS - Is it a company of avians you command or a company of Guardsmen with exceptionally poor morale?
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Re: Ask... PETER FEHERVARI

Postby O'Seishin » Tue Jul 30, 2013 12:40 am

Lord of the Night wrote:Well while I don't normally read ebooks, don't care for them, I would definitely be interested in reading an original novel or series from you, even as an ebook, particularly if it's as dark as FC. :D
LotN


Thanks LOTN. I share your view regarding e-books - they don't feel real to me - but as an aspiring writer I can't dismiss them if I want to write something 'independent', which I increasingly feel the compulsion to do.

Trust me, anything I write will be dark.

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Re: Ask... PETER FEHERVARI

Postby Captain of Chickens » Tue Jul 30, 2013 10:25 pm

O'Seishin wrote:Greetings Captain of Chickens,

I've always been fascinated by that particular period of American history and the Civil War in particular, which was such a turbulent and agonising trauma for the country. It wasn't the clear-cut conflict you might first imagine it to be, which makes it a rich source of stories. And of course the military history and imagery are also striking, so I was interested in translating that to a 40k setting. Some readers felt I was too literal here (there is a particularly vitriolic review on Amazon.com to that effect) and in hindsight perhaps I should have reined it back a little, but I still feel it's worth it for the authentic flavour it gives the Arkan.

I admit I also wanted to see what would happen if I threw Civil War era soldiers into Vietnam. With monsters.

PF

PS - Is it a company of avians you command or a company of Guardsmen with exceptionally poor morale?


As someone who is fascinated by the American Civil War, indeed someone who grew up surrounded by the battlefields of that war, I loved seeing it utilised in your writing.

Will I be seeing more of that influence in future writings?

As regards my captaincy of chickens, why can't I be in command of avian Guardsmen with exceptionally poor morale?
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Re: Ask... PETER FEHERVARI

Postby WarlordGuymer » Fri Aug 16, 2013 8:14 pm

O'Seishin wrote:
Lord of the Night wrote:Well while I don't normally read ebooks, don't care for them, I would definitely be interested in reading an original novel or series from you, even as an ebook, particularly if it's as dark as FC. :D
LotN


Thanks LOTN. I share your view regarding e-books - they don't feel real to me - but as an aspiring writer I can't dismiss them if I want to write something 'independent', which I increasingly feel the compulsion to do.

Trust me, anything I write will be dark.

PF


I've just taken the plunge and gotten myself an e-reader. Purely for work purposes I swear!
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Re: Ask... PETER FEHERVARI

Postby Liliedhe » Wed Sep 25, 2013 6:58 pm

I read Crown of Thorns today. :) The title made me think of Johnny Cash and his awesome cover of "Hurt".

"I wear this crown of Thorns upon my liar's chair..."

It remained very fitting when I read the story. It was dark and bitter and nihilistic. About the ephemarility of belief - how strong a force it is, but how unimportant the actual content of the faith. That's a very uncomfortable message.

Of course, the other message I found in the story is kinda worse - even a monster can be right.

Spoiler: Listening to the narrator, you can't help but agree... and that doesn't change once he shows his true colors. I guess the conclusion is that they are all wrong. All wrong, all evil, all tainted. All beyond redemption, because you cannot be redeemed from if your penance is wronger than your crime.



Poor broken things.

It makes the Iron Hands look positively healthy in comparison.
"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... PETER FEHERVARI

Postby Words_of_Truth » Thu Sep 26, 2013 3:04 pm

I really enjoyed Crown of Thorns, I'd be very interested in reading more about the Angels Penitent.

The idea behind it kind of reminds me of several older films like Sean Connery's The Name of the Rose (probably better examples) where an interpretation of religion has been forced upon a monastery/convent but there are brothers who still stay true to themselves albeit in secrecy until the time when they can throw off their shackles. I hope you write more about the chapter.
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Re: Ask... PETER FEHERVARI

Postby O'Seishin » Fri Sep 27, 2013 2:18 am

Lil, thanks for your characteristically thoughtful response to the Penitents.

I wanted to try a different twist on the traditional fall from grace, with Chaos out of the equation.
One thing virtually all Space Marine chapters seem to have in common is pride,
so I wondered what would happen if I killed that completely. As you say, nothing very happy...

Words-of-Truth - The Name of the Rose was indeed an inspiration for the mood of this story.
I wanted to create a world of shabby, restless skeletons-in-closets and twisted half-truths, all wrapped up in a malaise of misery and tarnished dreams.

Believe it or not, my Rainbow Warriors pitch was darker. Now they were really screwed up.

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Re: Ask... PETER FEHERVARI

Postby Words_of_Truth » Fri Sep 27, 2013 7:29 pm

Rainbow Warriors? I know a friend who'd love to read about them, hell he was just happy that they'd be finally put back into the standard codex. :)
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Re: Ask... PETER FEHERVARI

Postby Lord of the Night » Fri Oct 31, 2014 8:58 pm

Hey Peter,

It's been quite some time since we've heard or seen anything from you. I don't suppose you could give us some hints as to what future projects we can hope to see from you??


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Re: Ask... PETER FEHERVARI

Postby O'Seishin » Thu Nov 06, 2014 4:18 am

Hi LOTN,

I hope you're well?

I try to check in on here every couple of weeks to see what's going on, even if I'm not really in the loop. The day job is too busy and the writing commissions too sparse, but I've not given up entirely just yet.

As it happens, I'm working on an outline for a short at the moment, but it's in the early stages and I've been expressly forbidden to mention the faction so I'm not sure what I can say :(

Other than that there's not a whole lot to report I'm afraid. My tau/Inquisition novella, which was loosely tied into Fire Caste's themes and involved a major character was accepted earlier this year, but there's no release date that I know of. It's a very dark and eccentric story that probably doesn't fit in with the direction BL are going at the moment, especially with the tau. It's a pity, but I guess that's the nature of writing in a such treasured world.

I've enquired about picking up Jhi'kaara's thread (along with a couple of others from Fire Caste) or revisiting the Angels Penitent (so much more to say there...), but there's not been any interest. I guess it's all too peripheral to the IP. As to my mad dream of tackling the Rainbow Warriors...

Anyway, thanks for asking - and once again for the support you gave Fire Caste.

I'll post here if the story is accepted!

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Re: Ask... PETER FEHERVARI

Postby Lord of the Night » Sun Oct 23, 2016 5:30 pm

Finished Genestealer Cults yesterday and in that time I have a bit of discourse with Peter over it, he asked if I could post the theories I came up with here so they can be dicussed openly. 'Ere we go:

Lord of the Night wrote:The Coil:
The Coil that Talasca seems to serve, or venerate, was interesting. I assumed that the Dolorosa Coil was a geographic aspect of Phaedra, twisted and wrong, but focused solely on Phaedra. Yet the Coil seems to be part of this character who clearly has never been to Phaedra (on account of actually him being alive). Could it be that the Coil is something metaphysical, that connects multiple worlds in this "Koronatus Ring" that I would hazard a guess Phaedra is located in as well, as well as Sarastus (I haven't had the chance to read Walker in Fire yet), both of which seem to be worlds where reality appears to be superseded by a powerful enough will,->

Spoiler: as Talasca showed when he and the Paladins somehow crossed the wastes of Redemption in minutes rather than the hours that Tarcante* said it would.



->I think that the Coil is something beyond the physical world, a series of tunnels for want of a better descriptive phrase, that allows one to traverse the Ring, and perhaps beyond, similar to the stable travel-hub nature Webway, yet with more akin to the capricious tides of the Warp.

*Side note: I quite liked Tarcante as a character, even though he had few words his actions in the final chapters showed more about him than conversation and exposition could. I found myself comparing him to Magos Caul, where Caul was selfish and would never have bothered to help the Arkhan Confederates had they been in the same situation, Tarcante put himself at risk to establish a defence against the Spiral Dawn and provided leadership to the Black Flags when they were lost. I might be reading a bit too much into it, but he came across as a Enginseer who actually cares about the men he serves with.

Captain "Cross"

Spoiler: The return of Templeton was quite a shock. I assumed that he had become part of the, let's call it The Growth, on Phaedra as befell Admiral Karjalen's daughter Natassja after Gurdijev was done with her. Yet it seems to have sent him across the galaxy, a gateway to other worlds. I got the feeling that Talasca and Karolus stumbled across another of those gates in the bottom of the Spiral Dawn's temple, and that they are somewhere else now, another voyager among the Coil like Templeton and Gurdjieff**. I never actually saw it coming, Cross was so different from the bookish and rhyming Arkhan Captain Templeton, the glasses comment should have tipped me off but it's been so long since I read Fire Caste that I had forgotten that particular quirk of the 4th Captain.



**Another side note, I find it very interesting that Preacher Gurdjieff wound up on the homeworld of the Angels Resplendent, a chapter that has a strong connetion to Redemption, a world that is similar in aspect to Phaedra. Coincidence? Or is Templeton right that there is no coincidence? Or perhaps what Canoness Aveline said about Redemption eventually turning on it's protectors had more weight than it appeared, the Prophet after all was the instrument of the Angels Resplendents fall from grace into the Penitents, perhaps that was Redemption finally exacting it's price on the Chapter as it did the Sisters through the early Spiralites.

The Dark Beneath the Spires:

Spoiler: This was another element I found interesting, I got the sense from the line that describes it as "something for whom bloodshed is the end," that it is Khornate in nature. It does seem like a Daemon as previous sources have shown that Chaos Daemons are the only thing that the Hive Mind, and extensions of it like the Spiral Father and other Broodlords, recognize as a genuine threat to the Tyranid race (a fellow predator) and have actively worked against it wherever they encounter it, rather than ignore them as beings that can yield no biomass. Yet whatever was down there felt more sinister than a mere creature of carnage and war, something older that is more intrinsically connected to the Coil and the strange nature of the worlds of the Koronatus Ring, perhaps something that lived in the Coil and was imprisoned by the Imperium or it's predecessors in the Diaspora era prior to the Emperor's birth. Or perhaps it's something much more connected to the story that links to all these different novels, a certain Dark Man.



Crucible:

Spoiler: The Crucible Aeterna was the element that surprised me the most, perhaps because I haven't read Fire and Ice yet and I was told that if I did read that first, LotDM: GCs would make some more sense to me. My first thought is that it is some kind of sentient oversoul of Redemption, and that the beings that inhabit it are the true protectors of the planet. The "giant" I would guess is whatever Angel Resplendent was in charge of the Chapter keep on the planet during the Chapter's tenure as Guardians, the "man with hungry dreams" I am unsure of (perhaps it is a character from Fire Caste), and the final mind I think is the Spiral Father (since technically he was the guardian of Redemption by being the jailor of the Dark Beneath). Ariken's induction is interesting, as I would not have characterised her as the protector of the planet, but there seems to be more than just that required for entrance into the Crucible as Ariken's entry into it proves. But this is the part of the novel I understood the least.



'Stealers in General:
Lastly, I really liked how you portrayed the Genestealers. They were unmistakeably alien in their mannerisms and beliefs, yet they felt like a dark mirror of the Guardsmen. The camaraderie between kin (Uchzaf and Matias), the pride in duty (Iaoguai being proud to carry the Icon into battle) and the Primus's choice in clothing (reflecting that he likes his position) felt a lot more like the Imperial Guard than any other force in the galaxy. The Genestealers felt human, not completely and definitely more alien than human, but there was a lot of human in them, but twisted to an evil purpose.

Spoiler: Also I liked, and was horrified by, the scene when Bharlo told Ariken what became of poor Ophele and even more when you physically described Iaoguai (since thanks to Steve Parker's Deatwatch we know how Genestealers that aren't Purestrains breed... shudder.)




And Peter's responses:

O'Seishin wrote:I've loved Genestealer Cults since their first appearance in White Dwarf, back when they were cruising around in cyber-limousines and making pacts with Chaos, so having the opportunity to get my teeth into them was both a privilege and a creative high. There's a grungy, insidious 'bio-punk' vibe to them that contrasts nicely with the epic pomp and bombast suffusing most of the 40K world.

While 'FC' was structured around the template of 'the Journey into Darkness', 'GC' was planned as a claustrophobic narrative with an emphasis on escalating paranoia. The inspirations here were 'The Thing' and 'The Name of the Rose', along with Lovecraft's Innsmouth of course. Sadly, due to the constraints of time and word count I had to abandon a chapter where Cross explores Hope City, which would have pushed the Innsmouth vibe a little further.

Cross and the Coil:

Spoiler: Talking about things I had to cut, Cross's 'origin' story was among them. Your interpretation of what happened to him after he entered the 'temple' on Phaedra is absolutely along the right lines, along with your speculation about those others who have descended/ascended into/out of the Coil, including Gurdjieff, Talasca, Malavoisin... and a couple of others.



My take on the 40k mythos (which I honestly feel reflects its logic) is that the firmament is mind, not matter, with emotions and beliefs literally shaping - or warping - reality. This is why 'ghosts' are not only frequent, but substantial in many of my stories. The Coil is essentially a metaphysical tangle - or cancer - growing at the heart of reality that manifests physically in regions where the consensus of beliefs have become particularly frayed, such as Phaedra, Sarastus and Redemption. I've been developing this concept pretty elliptically across the stories of the Dark Coil so its really heartening that some folks like yourself have picked up on it. Unexpectedly, the most serious debate and analysis has been on Warforge in Russia, where they've actually mapped out the interaction of the stories and picked apart every detail of my stories, particularly 'Fire Caste'. I've been blown away. Literally nothing gets past those guys.

Cross:

Spoiler: You're right that the Cross we see in GC is a strikingly different man to the genteel scholar of Fire Caste. The consistency lies in his inherent thoughtfulness and decency, particularly in the protectiveness he shows towards Ariken and the other pilgrims. However, he's quite clearly been on one hell of a journey which hardened him - and almost hollowed him out. I hope to have the opportunity to write about this sometime, but it would have been too far outside the scope of the novel given its limited length. Perhaps the best reference is the fairly lengthy passage in 'FC' that outlined Gurdjieff's first voyage in the Coil, when he was gone for what felt subjectively like decades, but was in fact only a year or so.



I'll be interested to hear your thoughts on 'Fire & Ice', which is far and away my most esoteric story. It does tie-in directly with a couple of the characters and themes that appear in 'GC', notably Mordaine and Omazet, but you won't find any answers to the Crucible Aeterna there. That mystery makes its first appearance in the novel, however I can confirm that it is indeed connected to the Angels Resplendent...


Very interesting stuff, and one or two things you said in that reply got me thinking:

Firstly regarding a certain Chaplain Malvoisin, you mention that he has been through the Coil. Now that gives me a theory on first the nature of the Coil, it's effect on the human mind and how the structure of the mind can be affected by the Coil, and the "curse" that has befallen the Angels Resplendent through Malvoisin and the Chaplains. If the Coil is metaphysical then it is something that can be interpreted, and as such the effect it has on each mind would be wildly different based on how that person perceived the Coil, what they believe they experienced in that time, etc. Now in GCs->

Spoiler: In the scene when Mordaine's crews are lost to madness as a result of Redemption,



->I believe that they were exposed to the Coil in full as Cross, Gurdjieff and Malvoisin were when they travelled through it. But the question is why did Cross come out of it sane when these other people did not, when it's clear that Malvoisin did not. I think it has something to do with the state of their minds, more specifically how their minds have been shaped or have not been shaped. Cross is a mortal man, someone whose mind is fallible and can be damaged. Whereas Malvoisin and the character's mentioned in the spoiler above have had their minds reshaped by the Imperium, in Malvoisin's case as a Space Marine he would have undergone a great deal of brainwashing and hypno-indoctraination, while the spoiler characters would likely have had similar treatment->

Spoiler: Given that they were Inquisition men. The Tempestus Scions were described by Xiathauli as having "iron" like minds, which directly informs the point i'm about to make, and we've seen in Ben Counter's Grey Knights that Inquisition ship crews often have their minds fiddled with to make them resistant to corruption. Mordaine seems like the kind of guy who would have those kinds of crews.



-> so their minds would be very different to Cross' and as such they would experience something like the Coil very differently. Now using a quote from A Song of Ice and Fire to explain my point, "pure iron, black and hard and strong, yes, but brittle, the way iron gets. He'll break before he bends." This quote describes Stannis Baratheon but for this i'm using it to describe Malvoisin and the spoiler characters, they have iron minds and while iron can resist a lot, eventually it breaks before it bends. Cross on the other hand has a more malleable mind, one that can perhaps bend under the mental pressure of the Coil and come out with only minor damage whereas Malvoisin would not be able to do that, his mind would shatter.

My theory, long point over, is that Malvoisin went completely insane as a result of exposure to the Coil and what the spoiler characters were chanting over the vox-network in GCs is what has infected his mind, some kind of radical belief that Malvoisin is using the Angels Penitent to spread by rededicating them to their new creed of penance and self-loathing, discarding their artistic culture in favour of a darker belief. The idea that it is possible to spend long periods of time in the Coil, like Gurdjieff's journey that took a year but to him felt like decades, reinforces my theory I think as Malvoisin could have spent a long long time in the Coil, perhaps longer than anyone else.

O'Seishin wrote:Sadly, due to the constraints of time and word count I had to abandon a chapter where Cross explores Hope City, which would have pushed the Innsmouth vibe a little further.

That's a real shame, Hope City did feel creepy but underexplored. A chapter like that would have really reinforced the sense of wrongness that Trooper Rahel** referred to. The baldness, large eyes and dull nature of the Stealer cultists does have a very Innsmouth feeling to it, and I can see the influence there, not just on your narrative but perhaps the concept behind the Genestealer Cultists as well. The paranoia vibe was quite strong and I enjoyed that, the inability to tell who was loyal to whom and who was completely human, given obvious exceptions, made it tense as anybody could have been with the Cult. And even if they weren't with the Cult, the madness of other characters like Talasca made them unpredictable, so really nobody's decisions could be anticipated.

**Side note: I also find it interesting that a woman is the only one there who picked up on it, whereas all the men did not. Given that Stealers view women very differently in terms of their use to the Cult, perhaps Rahel picked up on how some of the denizens in Hope City were viewing her (like how in real life some women can tell when a guy is checking them out without looking at them). Or perhaps her story, that we'll never get to hear, would have been more surprising than Cross thought it would have been.

O'Seishin wrote:Answers to the Crucible Aeterna there. That mystery makes its first appearance in the novel, however I can confirm that it is indeed connected to the Angels Resplendent...

It just hit me that the Aeterna has a motif of thorns, as do the Penitents with the Circle of Thorns. The Sisterhood of the Thorn Eternal as well. Interesting. Could the Sisters have been influenced by the same source as Malvoisin was when he reshaped the Resplendents into the Penitents? Aveline did speak of sacrifice being very important to their beliefs, the Sisters also seemed to live very spartan lives with nothing but duty and a distinct lack of happiness, and Malvoisin seems to have ramped up the importance of that in his creed while the joyless existence the Sisters led is what the Penitents are living as a result of Malvoisin's strictures.

Lots of theory and thought there, anyone else whose read Genestealer Cults care to weigh in on it? And if you haven't read it, change that. Soon.


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Re: Ask... PETER FEHERVARI

Postby Duke_Leto » Thu Jun 29, 2017 7:42 pm

I have to confess that I was one of those BL readers who completely swerved Peter's work because, in all honesty, I thought it was tie in fiction (yes I know all BL is tie in but I mean really closely linked to studio needs rather than something more original).

It was actually the guys over on Bolter and Chainsword who convinced me to read Genestealer Cults (I was apprehensive because I thought it was going to be a pure tie in to the Codex...it even shared the same artwork).

I decided to start with the linked short Cast a Hungry Shadow... And was blown away. I bought GC and... was blown away. Such mature themes. Such complexity and a hint of something larger and more interlinked. Such mystery. So grim dark! THIS was the type of storytelling that, for me at least, had been missing from BL for a while and so represented my own take on the 40k universe (as I had been involved in it since 1st edition Rogue Trader days).

Now I have built up my Peter F (hard surname to spell) collection in readiness for a binge read (tracked down a second hand copy of Firecaste - I know that means Peter doesn't receive royalties but I hate ebooks for novels and wanted a proper book. I contacted GW/BL asking if they were reprinting but got told no. However, bought the shorts as ebooks).

I am binge reading all the Sabbat Worlds Crusade/Gaunts Ghosts books first in readiness for Warmaster, but then it is a Peter fest.

I asked, and got advice, on B&C if there was a best reading order. If Peter ever visited here again I would like to know what he thinks?

I will also say that Peter must be the most wrongly represented/marketed author in the BL stable. Talk about giving his novels the wrong titles. I avoided Firecaste because I am not that interested in the Tau and thought it was a book fully focused on the Tau! It would have been the same for Genestealer Cults as it just smacked of Codex cash in.

Anyway, I have discovered the error of my ways (and good to see the paperback release getting a new name). I truly hope more people discover Peter and he gets more commissions and we get more dark madness from him soon!
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Re: Ask... PETER FEHERVARI

Postby Xisor » Fri Jun 30, 2017 8:21 am

What a bloody interesting pair of posts; excellently done you three (including Herr Fehervari, of course).

The idea of the Coil as 'mind over matter... gone horribly wrong' is ludicrously enchanting, especially in its execution. The remark that Fire & Ice is even more esoteric still... well, I think it's just jumped up to next on my list (after Dark Imperium & Jain Zarr).

----

Also, I vacillate between a naive & wry amusement through to untold horror considering how massively right you are, Duke: "Peter must be the most wrongly represented/marketed author in the BL stable". It's almost laughable, but then it's also literally someone's career, (perhaps) magnum opus, and passion thats bei g squandered and suffocated by it, let a lone a couple of very decent reads. (The sort of very decent reads that, as LotN & Warforge demonstrate, not merely decent, but the sort of thing that could easily be the subject of a dissertation or thesis, let alone the odd essay!)
"When my housemate puts his bike in the middle of the living room floor, I find that inordinately jarring, annoying and rude, but for me to refer to it as "genocide" would be incorrect." -Ath
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Re: Ask... PETER FEHERVARI

Postby Duke_Leto » Fri Jun 30, 2017 6:35 pm

Xisor thanks.

I work in marketing and know that the saying "don't judge a book by the cover" is virtually an oxymoron because we all do! Packaging of products is absolutely essential to correctly position that product with the consumer...is it luxury, is it exclusive, is it economy or a value product etc.

I started a thread on B&C about the decline in quality of the BL covers/artwork. You see I think it is really important to manage the customers expectations. If the artwork (as has been the case generally in more recent times) has more of a comic feel to it, then it gives the impression that the contents of the book are probably aimed at a younger audience (and will therefore be less fulfilling to a mature reader like myself). Now in truth there have been some good books over this period but the artwork is off putting (especially to casual readers). One example would be the Fabius Bile novel.

Similarly book titles matter as does reuse of codex artwork on covers...

So Genestealer Cults by Peter F having not just THAT title but ALSO sharing the SAME artwork as the codex, indicates to the potential customer/consumer/reader that the product is VERY closely tied to the codex and is probably therefore aimed at the core game demographic (or at least the target demographic GW have been going for which is younger people) and as such is not going to be something I will enjoy!

In the specific case of Peter F's GC book that was virtually criminal because it was SOOOOO good and I nearly missed it (just as I had missed Firecaste).

Saying that I do think BL are starting to realise some of this (they will if they actually read the forums). The fact that the paperback of GC is getting a new title (check out Amazon) is a step in the right direction.

In have also repeatedly said across different forum sites that GW/BL need to diversify their product range and extend their customer base (and retain the more mature customers). There are plenty of us, ahem, mature customers who simply love the IP and 40k grim dark setting, but need more challenging interesting fiction to keep us spending our money on GW product. I haven't played a game or bought a miniature since the mid 90s and yet here a I am still spending a fortune buying up every rule book, codex, campaign book, imperial armour book, Horus Heresy big black book and copious amounts of BL books - simply because I love the lore and setting.

I think Peter F has already demonstrated (to me) that he is perfectly capable of producing the kind of fiction that will keep me spending my money and coming back for more. He has the word craft, readability and wealth of interesting ideas of Dan Abnett. But has combined that with the more esoteric (somewhat crazy) approach of Ian Watson (before he lost his way). Which in my mind is a perfect combo.
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Re: Ask... PETER FEHERVARI

Postby O'Seishin » Fri Jul 28, 2017 6:08 pm

Good day to you Duke Leto,

I hope you'll forgive the lateness of my reply. I check in on the Bolthole fairly regularly, along with a couple of other forums, but have let the custom slip recently because I've been so quiet on the writing side. It's been a long time since my last story so I figured I'd wait until I had something tangible to report, however since that might be some time coming I'd be remiss not reply.

I've mentioned it before, but it's worth repeating - without the enthusiasm and vocal support of readers like yourself I'd have given up on writing for BL long ago. It means a great deal to me that my eccentric take on 40K resonates with enough people to keep it just about viable for both BL and myself.

Regarding your question about the best order to read my stories, there isn't an absolute answer. With the exception of 'Cast a Hungry Shadow' (which ties in directly with 'Genestealer Cults') they were all commissioned as stand-alone pieces, hence required self-contained narratives. However to readers in the know they are also fragments - or threads - within the shadowy tangle of the Dark Coil, a non-linear meta-narrative that's more emergent than planned - a process of discovery rather than construction, for the writer as much as the reader. When writing about the Coil I'm more an explorer than an architect, looking for connections rather than overtly planning them. Colonel Talasca's painting was a metaphor for this in 'Genestealer Cults'. The enigmatic Calavera from 'Fire & Ice' on the other hand...well...he might just be a weaver.

Reading all that back it sounds pretentious as hell, however I won't delete or rephrase it because it happens to be what I believe - or choose to believe...

But putting aside the metaphysics of the Coil, the chronological order of the stories is as follows:

1. Nightfall
2. The Walker in Fire
3. The Greater Evil (forthcoming t'au story...hopefully...)
4. Out Caste
5. A Sanctuary of Wyrms
6. Fire Caste
7. Vanguard
8. Fire & Ice
9. The Crown of Thorns
10. Cast A Hungry Shadow
11. Genestealer Cults

Reading them in this order might make some of the character arcs clearer, but at the same time less meaningful. For example 'Out Caste' is a very short piece concerning the origins of a character from 'Fire Caste'. While it functions adequately as a stand-alone it will be more engaging for someone who's already familiar with the character.

Likewise you'll find the origins of some key characters from 'Cults' in earlier stories, but where and when it's more interesting to meet them first is debatable. The only case where I'd strongly recommend the chronological order is 5 to 6 to 7, the 'Phaedra Arc', where the linearity builds the drama.

Hopefully this is of some help. Likewise, I hope the rest of these weird, dark stories don't disappoint you!

Best,

PF
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Re: Ask... PETER FEHERVARI

Postby Duke_Leto » Sun Jul 30, 2017 1:11 pm

Peter welcome back! Actually great for thebolthole if we can get the authors to start visiting more often/again. We have been discussing how we can capture the former glory (and membership) that was there when this was set up (following closure of the Black Library forums)... One way would be to get discussions going with the authors.

Thanks for responding and for the tips. Totally get and understand there is not an actual linear way to read but good to get a feel for a best order to heighten enjoyment. Having just completed a Sabbat Worlds binge I am about to clear a couple of other books on my list and then intend to drop into a Fehervari* binge (so to speak).

As for sounding pretentious...absolutely not. I have heard you be a little defensive in the same vein on a podcast interview. Having more depth and complexity with interesting Easter egg connections between stories is not at all pretentious. It makes us as readers explorers too and adds to the fun with us joining up the dots. Actually nice to hear that it is not planned and is evolving as you write. Must be fun?

I seriously do hope your work for BL gets more commercial success as, I imagine, that will potentially increase the number of commissions they send your way. I do not expect (or even suggest) that you respond to this point (BL being your employer/commissioner) but as I said above, I really do think BL have done you a great disservice by wrongly titling your books. I almost missed them because of this and I expect that is the same for other readers. Great to see that the paperback of GSC is getting a new name. Hopefully it will be successful and it will encourage BL to do something similar with Firecaste.

I believe you are a film or TV editor is that right? I assume that this is also on a freelance basis? Is it hard to find time to juggle your "day job" with writing? Any tips?

Thanks again for coming back and responding. Hopefully you have seen across various forums (is that fora?) the high regard BL fans have for your work. Really hope you continue.

*BTW that is one hard surname to spell and get right...what is the origin?

Edit/P.S. Just re-read the thread and realise I have simply repeated myself, again! So of course you got my point on book titles etc. You might also have picked up that I got a second hand copy of Firecaste (due to it being out of print). I know this means you won't get royalties (however small) and that makes me feel bad. Rest assured I have lobbied (well emailed several times) to ask BL to reprint Firecaste (because I still prefer physical books) or include it in an omnibus. They tell me there are no plans...but then Andy Hoare's rogue trader/white scars trilogy just got announced with an omnibus treatment so you never know!
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Re: Ask... PETER FEHERVARI

Postby Xisor » Mon Jul 31, 2017 7:19 pm

Hey Peter

I was reading through the "Deathwatch: Ignition" anthology and, given my love of Salamanders, felt compelled to say a massive well done with "Walker in Fire"

To my mind, you really emphasises their humanity - not necessarily in being humane supersoldiers of perfect vision, but blinkered and almost paralysed by his introspection. I say almost: it was a tantalising possibiliity. (And at point of recovering from armour lockdown, a brilliant touch of literal paralysis!)

For supersoldiers, an unusual empathy and predisposition for introspection is probably not the strength many people would think it was, but it was equally fascinating to see it be a step away from the traditional pros and cons. Indeed, showing how that empathy and self-awareness can be coupled to a *lack* of self-awareness, of principled and even righteous hatred (indignation, contempt)... it all came together in a very lovely way. Very sad too, of course, but in contrast to being traditionally humane, here he was displaying the humanity in super human.

Anyway, stop all that I really enjoyed the depiction of our Angel Resplendant, our Blackwing, Executioner, and The Brotherhood of a Thousand. Relatively small touches, one could argue, but tremendously enjoyable glimpses in the midst of a creepy story. Mix in your 'inhuman' machine men and contemptible Black Shield...

Very enjoyable.

It did remind me, however, of the grief you mentioned on Combat Phase in writing the Adeptus Mechanicus (et al). If reiterate comments that I've enjoyed your depiction of them. Or to put it both bleakly and cheerfully: your grief isn't going to waste!

It's easy to see them being more natural as villains: they fit the role absurdly well, and I can only imagine it's a bit more fun to not have to try to inhabit their heads for too long at a time!

Anyway, I've got "Fire & =][=ce" on hand (err, Kindle), amidst a Deathwatch and Inquisition binge, so I expect to proceed to it with some haste! :)
"When my housemate puts his bike in the middle of the living room floor, I find that inordinately jarring, annoying and rude, but for me to refer to it as "genocide" would be incorrect." -Ath
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