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LexxBomb
27-05-2009, 13:01
just as the title says

Edit. who do you think is the worst Author in Black Library or was the worst one they have had and why... This includes Games Workshop Books for us old timers

Kal Taron
27-05-2009, 13:03
You probably mean "worst" but oh well.

C.S. Goto will make first place, mark my words. He gets my vote for sure.

borithan
27-05-2009, 13:07
I haven't read any Goto stuff... and I have not read much 40k stuff with which to compare Abnett to, so I have no idea if he is the worst. Personally I thought Abnett's stuff wasn't that bad (just read the first three Gaunt books and the Horus Heresy book (?) he did)... in fact it was good. However, a lot of it just really didn't feel like 40k, and I didn't like the way he represents a few things. But otherwise he is fine.

SylverClaw
27-05-2009, 13:15
Mitchell Scanlon. Descent of Angels.

No more needs be said.

x-esiv-4c
27-05-2009, 13:18
Quite a limited poll...

LexxBomb
27-05-2009, 13:19
Im not sure why the Poll is not working...

maybe a Moderator could fix this.. or delete and start a new one.

Hicks
27-05-2009, 13:19
You may not like everything he did, but Abnett wrote a lot of really good 40K books. Goto on the other hand writes with such disregard to established fluff that he can always be certain to attract the agnst of 40K fans.

If Goto wrote Star Wars novel he would probably have thing like a single ewok powerbombing AT-AT's into volcanoes.

LexxBomb
27-05-2009, 13:20
I thought that Goto and Abnett would make the most votes because I hear alot of bashing on both.

Lord of Worms
27-05-2009, 13:24
This is the worst poll ever. Seriously, are you even trying to figure out people's opinion or what? Why is Dan Abnett on even an option?

Ian Watson would have gotten my vote. I do not believe in punishing people for what they write unless it's slanderous but "The Inquisition War" was literally (I am not exaggerating for rhetorical purposes) the worst crap I have ever read. :mad:I've read gossip magazines from 10 years ago at the dentists office that I enjoyed more. If I met him in person I would probably break his nose. At least his nose.

Havarel
27-05-2009, 14:28
Theres not really a contest between Abnett and Goto. Abnett is Shakespeare compared to Goto.

Witchsight
27-05-2009, 14:36
I tend to grow tired of long 40k books pretty quickly. The word Fluff really seems to apply to them, so much of what i see is puffed out to the point of beaing insubstantial.
I really wish BL didnt require thier novels to be similar lengths all the time.. most of the books ive read would have been better at 150-200 pages.

Edit: And yes this poll is pretty bad.

xowainx
27-05-2009, 14:41
This is the worst poll ever. Seriously, are you even trying to figure out people's opinion or what? Why is Dan Abnett on even an option?

Ian Watson would have gotten my vote. I do not believe in punishing people for what they write unless it's slanderous but "The Inquisition War" was literally (I am not exaggerating for rhetorical purposes) the worst crap I have ever read. :mad:I've read gossip magazines from 10 years ago at the dentists office that I enjoyed more. If I met him in person I would probably break his nose. At least his nose.

What a ridiculous and pathetic thing to say.

SylverClaw
27-05-2009, 14:45
Ian Watson would have gotten my vote. I do not believe in punishing people for what they write unless it's slanderous but "The Inquisition War" was literally (I am not exaggerating for rhetorical purposes) the worst crap I have ever read.

It wasn't that bad, it's just very old now. We can look back and chuckle at some of the silly ideas. At the time it was more or less canon - it's only after serious retconning that it looks so bad. Writing wise, aside from being over the top, it's alright.

That said, I couldn't read it again now.

But... I'll be literally sick if I ever read another Ghosts book.

"And then McColl killed this... and that... with a shoe... with his super-fu... and the Ghosts singlehandedly won the war by slightly rebelling against the rules or something. Oh and they recruited yet another regiment to fill in their now completely comical losses."

Please...

The first few books were great, were well written and certainly had some original content. The last three were just trash. Seriously, he's not even trying to develop characters anymore and only kills off the new joiners for fear of completely losing his fan base.

x-esiv-4c
27-05-2009, 14:52
Personally, there are two Dan Abnetts. At least, in style of writing.

1). "Body glove" style
Wherein we will find Eisenhorn and Ravenor. These books don't center around epic battles but instead character development and progression....And everyone is wearing some kind of tight fitting body glove.

2). "Gaunt" style
Gaunt's ghosts. Lets face is, every character can be replaced by a plank of wood with an angry face painted on it and it would still read as good. No one reads GG for it's literative merits, we read it for the same reason we watch Hollywood movies. Plenty of dakka and boom boom.

Captain Micha
27-05-2009, 14:57
CS Goto, easily the worst Black Library author of all time.

And considering the low caliber writing that BL usually produces, that should tell you just how bad CS Goto is in the rest of the literary world.

Abnett at least produces good books from time to time.

Captain Shrike
27-05-2009, 15:00
That guy who wrote "Fifteen Hours". That trash was worse than Goto.

x-esiv-4c
27-05-2009, 15:02
That was Ben Counter wasn't it?

Captain Shrike
27-05-2009, 15:03
No, I think it was Mitchell Scanlon.

Zingbaby
27-05-2009, 15:05
How do you have a 'worst ever' list without James Swallow?

Further why would you put the obvious, best, 40k writer (Dan Abnett) in your list? Even if you hate him, it is clear from the online voice that most people think he is heads above the rest.

IceDragon84
27-05-2009, 15:06
I have never read a Goto novel because of all the bad things I heard about him so I can't really comment. But from personal experience the one I disliked most was Watson.

I read his books because I heard they were good, but everytime a character died I was happy as I disliked them all, he was focusing too much on their vices, always bringing them up. First book wasn't so bad, second book was really bad and I quit third book after only 2 or 3 chapters.

James Swallow was a good contender too with Faith and Fire. The only reason I found that one tolerable is because it featured the Sisters of Battle.

Laser guided fanatic
27-05-2009, 15:08
They're all pretty naff tbh. If I had to pick i'd say William King.

Huronbh
27-05-2009, 15:10
Ben Counter gets my vote hands down. The first Soul Drinkers book was the first and only one of his books I am ever going to try to read. He makes Goto look like a Pulitzer Prize winner.

Other then that, I have to disagree with every ones comments about Dan Abnett, especially since all the 40K novels outlines are now run past him before the author (except in the case of Graham McNeil I believe) is allowed to write the book.


-jay

SylverClaw
27-05-2009, 15:11
Personally, there are two Dan Abnetts. At least, in style of writing.

Good point, actually. There seems to be an early/late period to him. The early period is much better, of course.


Gaunt's ghosts. Lets face is, every character can be replaced by a plank of wood with an angry face painted on it and it would still read as good. No one reads GG for it's literative merits, we read it for the same reason we watch Hollywood movies. Plenty of dakka and boom boom.

This is so not true. Back at the start there were actual characters, who developed over time. There were romances, even a little bit of sex. Major characters died, things mattered. The whole Cuu/Larken thing was genius - incredibly tense (you knew the git would do something, but what and when kept you going).

As you say now they are all planks. Complete planks. Incidently, don't make me laugh out loud at work!


That guy who wrote "Fifteen Hours". That trash was worse than Goto.

Scanlon. Criminal.

Eldanar
27-05-2009, 15:12
I'm kind of disappointed there was no "All of the Above" option.

BL books = light pulp junk

In regard to the poll problems, I'll bring it to the attention of the Admin.

Lord of Worms
27-05-2009, 15:14
What a ridiculous and pathetic thing to say.

Seriously. Leading the readers through dozens of plot threads and horribly unsimpathisable characters for THREE novels, waving that little carrot in front of your face that at the end it will all be worth it and all the nonsense will eventually make some semblance of sense...but no. :mad:

I always finish books I start, it's bad luck not to. This jackass cost me time and dignity. I felt used.

Captain Micha
27-05-2009, 15:16
How do you have a 'worst ever' list without James Swallow?

Further why would you put the obvious, best, 40k writer (Dan Abnett) in your list? Even if you hate him, it is clear from the online voice that most people think he is heads above the rest.

Oh god James Swallow... talk about vomit turned novel the Blood Angel books he made I'm ashamed to say I own them, and Laurell K Hamilton books sit on one of my shelves.

Lord of Worms
27-05-2009, 15:19
Ben Counter gets my vote hands down. The first Soul Drinkers book was the first and only one of his books I am ever going to try to read. He makes Goto look like a Pulitzer Prize winner.

-jay

Yeah, I agree. But don't waste your time with Soul Drinkers. It's a conceptual nightmare. Nothing that happens even remotely makes any sense at all, and every single character inspires not empathy and a desire to see him succeed, but revulsion and hatred at their sheer idiocy.

Although, I did enjoy Daemon World. :confused: Way more than Dan Abnett, there are definitely two Ben Counters.

x-esiv-4c
27-05-2009, 15:37
I'll echo your opinion of Daemon world. That was a very entertaining book.

LexxBomb
27-05-2009, 15:51
Personaly I miss William King... I think Farseer so far was the best 40k book ever and I enjoyed Gotrek and Felix...


I find it interesting that many people put Abnett as the greatest Author within BL's history, yet I hear alot on the forum how he messed up the background and fluff regarding details within the 40k universe (such as Eisenhorn telling a marine he will report someting to his Primarch)

samiens
27-05-2009, 15:53
None of them are good writers with the possible exception of McNeill, honestly they are terrible authors. As far as the stories go its much of a muchness- but the writing style is pathetically juvenile.

LexxBomb
27-05-2009, 15:57
believe me compared to the 4 hours of badly written history essays/ journals and books I have to read every day for my research into interpretting history using Marxist tool sets, the Black LIbrary material is fun to read... even if a little juvenille...but at least most of it makes some sense and I dont need copious amounts of caffine to get through it.

IJW
27-05-2009, 15:58
Seriously. Leading the readers through dozens of plot threads and horribly unsimpathisable characters for THREE novels, waving that little carrot in front of your face that at the end it will all be worth it and all the nonsense will eventually make some semblance of sense...but no. :mad:

I always finish books I start, it's bad luck not to. This jackass cost me time and dignity. I felt used.
It would be more correct to say that Boxtree Publishing cost you time and dignity. :cries:

It's worth bearing in mind that Inquisitor as a single book stands up much better than the trilogy - when it was published in 1990 it was the single largest expansion of the 40k background that had happened so far. A lot of things may have since been changed/removed by GW for whatever reason (Squats, Sensei, the Star Child etc.), but many things introduced in the book such as the assassin shrines are still very much part of the 40k universe.

Then GW Books closed down, and several years later Boxtree took over the publishing contract. The impression that I got from reading the second two books is that Watson was trapped in a three-book contract and had to write the two sequels whether he wanted to or not. By 1994 GW was in the heart of the 'red period' and the style and atmosphere had already moved drastically away from that of the late Eighties, as GW moved their target audience to teens rather than twenty-somethings.

Eldanar
27-05-2009, 16:04
Oh god James Swallow... talk about vomit turned novel the Blood Angel books he made I'm ashamed to say I own them, and Laurell K Hamilton books sit on one of my shelves.


Her first 3-4 books are actually pretty good. Its only her later books when you have 300 pages of non-stop orgasms that they get really ridiculous.

pookie
27-05-2009, 16:06
This is the worst poll ever. Seriously, are you even trying to figure out people's opinion or what? Why is Dan Abnett on even an option?

Ian Watson would have gotten my vote. I do not believe in punishing people for what they write unless it's slanderous but "The Inquisition War" was literally (I am not exaggerating for rhetorical purposes) the worst crap I have ever read. :mad:I've read gossip magazines from 10 years ago at the dentists office that I enjoyed more. If I met him in person I would probably break his nose. At least his nose.


remmeber its age though and the fact it was wrote with RT ( or maybe 2nd edition in mind) and its actually still better than most of the rubish that comes out of BL at the moment.

theres Two Authors i wont read - Goto - because of all the 'love' he gets on here.... and Ben Counter, Mr " I want my homebrew chapter to be the best, so i'l insert them into the history of the IF". seriously did he even realise that the Soul Drinkers were part of the WS Legion???? Muppet.

Lord of Worms
27-05-2009, 16:10
It would be more correct to say that Boxtree Publishing cost you time and dignity. :cries:

It's worth bearing in mind that Inquisitor as a single book stands up much better than the trilogy - when it was published in 1990 it was the single largest expansion of the 40k background that had happened so far. A lot of things may have since been changed/removed by GW for whatever reason (Squats, Sensei, the Star Child etc.), but many things introduced in the book such as the assassin shrines are still very much part of the 40k universe.

Then GW Books closed down, and several years later Boxtree took over the publishing contract. The impression that I got from reading the second two books is that Watson was trapped in a three-book contract and had to write the two sequels whether he wanted to or not. By 1994 GW was in the heart of the 'red period' and the style and atmosphere had already moved drastically away from that of the late Eighties, as GW moved their target audience to teens rather than twenty-somethings.

Professional artists getting suckered into crappy contracts is pretty normal. It happens to musicians all the time. The ones with some character bite the bullet and still record something decent because they actually have a sense of shame. Ones that don't release a Greatest Hits album. If this guy was worth anything as a professional (or even some guy with a sense of pride in himself), he would have tied up loose ends. As you said, he had three books to do it. He also would have created a protagonist who was a wee bit more sympathetic than that loser from Catcher in the Rye. A neurotic, selfish, inept and utterly worthless protagonist is not a good read, contract or no.

Eldanar
27-05-2009, 16:13
An update on the poll issue:

We are currently having some sort of database problem with this poll. One of the Admins is going to have to fix it as we mods do not have enough access and/or technical know-how to do so.

Lord of Worms
27-05-2009, 16:14
remmeber its age though and the fact it was wrote with RT ( or maybe 2nd edition in mind) and its actually still better than most of the rubish that comes out of BL at the moment.


I read most of the stuff from that era (and even before). A beautiful woman who ages was beautiful at some point, this garbage was never beautiful. It was frumpy, grotesque, and poorly concieved start to finish.

Lord Damocles
27-05-2009, 16:17
Tempted to say Goto (Multilazors!)

Might just have to say Swallow though, given what he's done to my beloved Blood Angels... :cries:

LexxBomb
27-05-2009, 16:21
remmeber its age though and the fact it was wrote with RT ( or maybe 2nd edition in mind) and its actually still better than most of the rubish that comes out of BL at the moment.

theres Two Authors i wont read - Goto - because of all the 'love' he gets on here.... and Ben Counter, Mr " I want my homebrew chapter to be the best, so i'l insert them into the history of the IF". seriously did he even realise that the Soul Drinkers were part of the WS Legion???? Muppet.

I think I am the only one on this forum that says "Eldar Prophecies" was interesting and I only say that because I find it an interesting way to look at a 'backward' craftworld... I think the Eldar were better portrayed in William Kings "Farseer".

have to agree with you on Soul Drinkers... for the love of the Emperor how the heck can a chapter derived from the White Scar turn out to be Thousand Sons (I could only get through about 1 chapter before I literaly used the omnibus as a fire starter - its the only book I have EVER burnt)

lol which muppet... my bets on Animal or Beeker

regarding the Blood Angels books... a mate of mine offered to give me money to take them off his hands because he honestly felt that who ever wrote them should have been burned at a stake for being a heretic... in hindsight I should have taken the money and donated them to a book sale at a church.

pookie
27-05-2009, 16:22
I read most of the stuff from that era (and even before). A beautiful woman who ages was beautiful at some point, this garbage was never beautiful. It was frumpy, grotesque, and poorly concieved start to finish.


well we are all allowed our opinions :D


Tempted to say Goto (Multilazors!)

Might just have to say Swallow though, given what he's done to my beloved Blood Angels... :cries:

just ignore the plonkers work, i have ( i mean come on, a chpater thats 'blessed' with mutations? yet thinks that the Emperor did this to them :wtf: give me Eldar with Multi lasers over this tosh any day of the week :evilgrin: )

TheOverlord
27-05-2009, 16:24
Whoever who wrote the Armageddon book has my vote.

The most convulated, shallow, under-developed and most sudden ending of all the books of BL, I thoroughly wished to burn that book it if belonged to me, but alas.

Badger[Fr]
27-05-2009, 16:24
I fail to see what is so wrong with Ian Watson's books. They're probably more mature and better written than the vast majority of the BL books, and are somehow darker despite their over-the-top tone. Not that surprising, as Ian Watson is perhaps the only "true" SF author in the whole BL.


A neurotic, selfish, inept and utterly worthless protagonist is not a good read, contract or no.
And yet, I'd favour Draco over the current, faceless BL characters. At least, he has flaws.

"Fifteen hours" war far from being perfect, but it was a better read than the average Space Marine book. I love how it features several points of view, from a puny Grot to an IG high-ranking officer.

IJW
27-05-2009, 16:25
I read most of the stuff from that era (and even before).
Such as? The only older 40k fiction is the Deathwing collection (which includes two Ian Watson shorts) plus the occasional bits of short fiction that appeared in WD.


If this guy was worth anything as a professional (or even some guy with a sense of pride in himself)
So you haven't had any experience of his writing outside of the tiny amount of writing he did for GW?

In the late Seventies and early Eighties Ian Watson was arguably the best known British SF author after Arthur C. Clarke. The modern equivalent would be someone like Alastair Reynolds, Iain M. Banks or Neal Asher writing for BL.

razormasticator
27-05-2009, 16:32
No, I think it was Mitchell Scanlon.

I agree, that book was horrible. I dont think Gav Thorpe is all that great either.

Captain Micha
27-05-2009, 16:48
Her first 3-4 books are actually pretty good. Its only her later books when you have 300 pages of non-stop orgasms that they get really ridiculous.

Actually I'd go as far as to say the first five or six are good (after she first has sex it goes down hill....fast from there. everything before that is actually a pretty good read)

Lord of Worms
27-05-2009, 16:54
In the late Seventies and early Eighties Ian Watson was arguably the best known British SF author after Arthur C. Clarke. The modern equivalent would be someone like Alastair Reynolds, Iain M. Banks or Neal Asher writing for BL.

So what is his excuse for this abomination?
And no, I'm a relative young 'un so the only "classic" sci-fi I even consistently read is Philip K. Dick. Believe it or not, it's not really a genre that appeals to me. I find most of those writers try too hard to be "out there". PK Dick didn't try, he was. Everything that happens in his novels was (as far as he was concerned) happening to him, reading his stuff isn't forced, it's natural.

@Badger: Flaws are fine, but redeeming qualities are sort of necessary. This perverse self-righteousness about how he's "above" sex and then develops this disturbing obsession with a Callidus assassin? Then he blows up a planet...by accident. These are not tragic flaws in the traditional sense that you identify with him as a person and want to see him overcome them and succeed. I didn't wan't him to succeed, he didn't deserve it.

Also other (serious problems): The Imperial Fist captain who says "There's no time" to harvest the gene-seed of fallen brothers because (apparently) "Captain Jack" and his posse of time-travelling super dinks have a really important quest that can't wait 10 minutes...:wtf:

Being "risque" or whatever does not make it mature. IMO, authors that project their sexual neuroses onto their "fictional" protagonists are more imature than any hack n' slash writer ever could be.

But enough about Watson, nothing I say will change anyone's mind. The one final point though, is that IME anybody who does not immediately dismiss "Inquisition War" as worthless is more in a situation of trying to like it, as opposed to genuinely enjoying it. This genuinely perplexes me, as I hear the most bizarre excuses for what it should have been; if only....

Tymell
27-05-2009, 16:58
C. S. Goto.

Dunno why Abnett would be considered among the worst. Personally I think he's an excellent author, one of BL's best. Even if you don't like his writings much, I still don't see how he could be a contender for worst.

tortoise
27-05-2009, 16:58
Ian Watson is a fine author- a respected and award winning one before he wrote for GW in fact. Actually I really like his Inquisition books. They actually captured the insanity of the Imperium very well.

As for the worst author- God Knows. Who wrote the Eisenhorn books? Abnett? They were shockingly bad. Ben Counter is also pretty awful. I didn't mind the first Soul Drinkers book (although I didn't like it either) but Daemon World was abysmal.

Having said all that I think the worst 40k fiction I've ever read was a short story by Gav Thorpe.

The nice thing about this thread is that while people may have different opinions about which author is slightly beter or worse than the others pretty much most of us agree that all of Black Library's output overall is shockingly awful. High literary standards win!

pookie
27-05-2009, 17:00
sorry to derial a thread, so what your saying ( about Inq Wars ) is that i didnt like it, but im just trying to like it? eh, how can you make that decision for anyone other than yourself? tho if ivethe wrong end of the stick i do apologise.

Badger Mek
27-05-2009, 17:01
Mitchell Scanlon. Descent of Angels.

No more needs be said.

That is a hideously boring book.

But saying that, I would rather read and lean verbatim every Black Libray writer's output at 11 years old than ever, ever, ever read another Dan Brown novel.

Vaktathi
27-05-2009, 17:02
I actually really liked the Inquisition War trilogy and thought the ending was rather suiting, even if it could have been better executed, especially given the background of the time, it was suitably depressing and ridiculous. I can forgive the last 5 pages of the trilogy when the rest was fairly decent.

Remember, the first book was written in the era of Rogue Trader, where people were sent to penal battallions for late library books.

Badger Mek
27-05-2009, 17:13
Oh, and he guy who wrote the Assault on Black Reach book - by eckers was that a badly witten, dull book with a ridiculous* plot.

* I know, it's all a bit silly, but this book was uber silly, with an extra dash of sprinkles on the top



p.s, stll better than Dan Brown though.

Eldanar
27-05-2009, 17:13
The poll should be "fixed" now. If it is not, please let us know.

Badger[Fr]
27-05-2009, 17:15
Then he blows up a planet...by accident.
He doesn't. His astropath is to blame. Draco did the right thing, and the Ordo Hydra even praised his move.

On the other hand, Draco is perhaps the only BL character who willingly sentenced a whole world to death, executed a loyal Imperial governor and his retinue, and tortured an Eldar prisonner when he felt he was right to do so.

Commissars and Inquisitors are known for their ruthless purges and their summary executions, but I have yet to find another BL character who uses such immoral methods. Draco is an ambiguous character, to say the least, and he's as far as you can from the typical BL archetypes, be it the sensitive Commissar or the moderate Inquisitor.

Though, I do agree, Chaos Child was rubbish.

tortoise
27-05-2009, 17:16
@Badger: Flaws are fine, but redeeming qualities are sort of necessary. This perverse self-righteousness about how he's "above" sex and then develops this disturbing obsession with a Callidus assassin? Then he blows up a planet...by accident. These are not tragic flaws in the traditional sense that you identify with him as a person and want to see him overcome them and succeed. I didn't wan't him to succeed, he didn't deserve it.

Also other (serious problems): The Imperial Fist captain who says "There's no time" to harvest the gene-seed of fallen brothers because (apparently) "Captain Jack" and his posse of time-travelling super dinks have a really important quest that can't wait 10 minutes...:wtf:

Being "risque" or whatever does not make it mature. IMO, authors that project their sexual neuroses onto their "fictional" protagonists are more imature than any hack n' slash writer ever could be.

But enough about Watson, nothing I say will change anyone's mind. The one final point though, is that IME anybody who does not immediately dismiss "Inquisition War" as worthless is more in a situation of trying to like it, as opposed to genuinely enjoying it. This genuinely perplexes me, as I hear the most bizarre excuses for what it should have been; if only....

its rather silly to assume that people have ulterior or self hidden motives for liking something.

It sounds to me that you don't like Watson for 3 reasons. Firstly, that you demand an appealing main character to identify with. Redeeming qualities are in fact not necessary in a work of fiction.

Secondly you seem to have issues with the canonical content. Who cares if the IF captain says there's no time to harvest gene seed? It makes no difference to the narrative outside of your expectations of how he should behave.

Thirdly, you seem to find the sex in the novel irritating. I actually think this is more about your sexual neuroses than Watson's. There's nothing risque about it, nor particularly projectionist (ie non of the characters act as a sublimation of the authors sexual desires). Its hardly the most appropriate or well handled depiction of sex in a novel but then again, there's nothing about it that I think a reasonable person could find particularly objectionable. After all, it happens once in the whole 3 books.

I think of Inquisition Wars and Inquisitor Draco especially) a bit like Watchmen. When explaining Watchmen Alan Moore once asked what would Batman really be like? He wouldn't be a hero, he'd be a socially dysfunctional psychopath- like Rorshach. In the world of 40k Inquisitors are heros, but what would they really be like? I think they'd possibly be a mess, highly prone to fantastical delusions and easily confused between their sexuality and their ideologies of purity and duty- Like Draco is.

Lord of Worms
27-05-2009, 17:17
sorry to derial a thread, so what your saying ( about Inq Wars ) is that i didnt like it, but im just trying to like it? eh, how can you make that decision for anyone other than yourself? tho if ivethe wrong end of the stick i do apologise.

I should have spent more time adding "opinion!" and "from what I've gathered overall, and not just present company" and "IMVHO!".

No. That's not what I meant at all. I never presume to think that I know what people are all about having never spoken to them, and typed three sentences to in a forum.

What I meant was that people always (Edit: frequently) seem to apologize for those novels as oppose to saying "I like them because ....". People tend to say "I light of the fact that...they weren't so bad". That's the "vibe" I get, wether explicitly or implicitly 90% of the time I talk about these books. It's almost like; "The Great" Ian Watson could never have written a "bad" novel, therefore it's a question of context...maybe I just don't "get it" etc...

Again, I wasn't saying you're deluded.:)

Lord of Worms
27-05-2009, 17:30
Thirdly, you seem to find the sex in the novel irritating. I actually think this is more about your sexual neuroses than Watson's. There's nothing risque about it, nor particularly projectionist (ie non of the characters act as a sublimation of the authors sexual desires). Its hardly the most appropriate or well handled depiction of sex in a novel but then again, there's nothing about it that I think a reasonable person could find particularly objectionable. After all, it happens once in the whole 3 books.

:rolleyes: I'm not saying it's offensive, I'm saying it's childish. Sex in novels or movies or whatever is fine; I read Kenneth Grant's novels for example...but they are full of sex, so that's not what my problem is per se. Anne Rice novels, however aren't "mature" in any shape or form and although there is no "actual" sex, there is an undertone that is fundamental to the imagery and mood.


Why does every criticism or comment regarding sex in literature (or art) suddenly immediately mean that the critic is repressed or neurotic? That is seriously messed up if you think based on what I typed that I'm repressed.:eek:

A "flawed" character is fine in small doses. It's just not pleasant to read some flawed-yet-"interesting" character's (1st person, remember) foolish thinking for 800 pages. That's too much "realism" for 40k as far as I'm concerned. I deal with ****** on a daily basis, I don't need to read about them.

LexxBomb
27-05-2009, 17:32
look the early books are mostly good pulp books...

suprised no one has mentioned the:
Konrad series , or
the Guienivere (cant spell it) aka Beasts in velvet and Drachenfiels

come on this books make Karl Franz look like an idiot who should have died (and nearly did a few times)

Lovejoy
27-05-2009, 17:43
Barrington J Bayley - Eye of Terror was a disgrace.

CraftworldsRus
27-05-2009, 17:44
I have to say, from the BL authors I have read, Abnett is the one I think would be able to put out a passable non-GW sci-fi book. C.S. Goto, though...dear god. I have NEVER in my life not finished a book I began, expect the Eldar Prophesy. I mean....good god, that book made so little SENSE! I hated it oh-so-very-much.

Eldanar
27-05-2009, 17:51
Actually I'd go as far as to say the first five or six are good (after she first has sex it goes down hill....fast from there. everything before that is actually a pretty good read)


Hhhmmm...

I thought there was sex in all of her books. Its just the earlier books might have 30 pages out of say 350; whereas the later books have 349 out of 350. :rolleyes:

I do agree with you about the first 5-6 books though, the more I think about it...

dodicula
27-05-2009, 17:54
None of them are good writers with the possible exception of McNeill, honestly they are terrible authors. As far as the stories go its much of a muchness- but the writing style is pathetically juvenile.

I don't know about that...I thought Ben Counter (like the Grey Knights books) is pretty good and so is Anthony Reynolds. Gav Thorpe is also passable plus the books he writes keep him away from writing codexes/army books!

Lord Cook
27-05-2009, 18:18
I think some people are struggling to tell the difference between a book they didn't like and a bad book. I've read stuff I disliked and would never read again, but I might still call it a good book. For example, whoever mentioned Eisenhorn. Sure you may not like it, but the plot makes sense, the characters are quite well developed, there's a decent mix of action and story elements, an interesting underlying theme, and so forth. Describing it as a bad trilogy would be stretching it a little even in the context of general sci-fi literature, but to call it a bad trilogy in the context of the average quality of Black Library publications? I'm afraid that's going beyond opinion into simply being wrong. The quality of a book isn't simply determined by your personal opinion of it, any more than quality of art is determined by the viewer.

Captain Micha
27-05-2009, 18:25
Hhhmmm...

I thought there was sex in all of her books. Its just the earlier books might have 30 pages out of say 350; whereas the later books have 349 out of 350. :rolleyes:

I do agree with you about the first 5-6 books though, the more I think about it...

Nope, not all of them have her boinking things in them. I believe the first time was... Blue Moon? (not sure. I quit reading the series long ago and the crap books have started to override the actually good ones in my memory) When Richard turned into a wolf and ate the former pack leader and she runs off and ends up boinking the vampire. That was the first time that the character actually screwed anything in the books and as far as I can remember the first time that boinking made a direct described "detailed" appearence in the series.

IJW
27-05-2009, 18:52
And no, I'm a relative young 'un so the only "classic" sci-fi I even consistently read is Philip K. Dick.
Oddly enough, Philip K. Dick is/was the closest US equivalent to Ian Watson. ;)

Seriously, if you enjoy Philip K. Dick you should try some of Ian Watson's non-GW books - you might like them! And no, I'm not being sarcastic.

I'd recommend 'The Book of the River', 'The Book of the Stars', 'The Book of Being' and 'Queenmagic, Kingmagic' out of his novels, and 'The Very Slow Time Machine', 'Salvage Rites' and 'The Coming of Vertumnus' from his short story collections.


What I meant was that people always (Edit: frequently) seem to apologize for those novels as oppose to saying "I like them because ....". People tend to say "I light of the fact that...they weren't so bad". That's the "vibe" I get, wether explicitly or implicitly 90% of the time I talk about these books. It's almost like; "The Great" Ian Watson could never have written a "bad" novel, therefore it's a question of context...maybe I just don't "get it" etc...
Actually, I'd say that the second and third books are bad, certainly Ian Watson's worst.

Inquisitor, on the other hand, I enjoyed reading back in 1990, and enjoyed reading it again a couple of times since then. No ifs, buts or restrictions, I like the book.

Lord of Worms
27-05-2009, 18:59
All right...I'll try them but if this is a setup then so help me...[shakes fist menacingly] ;)

Laser guided fanatic
27-05-2009, 19:04
All right...I'll try them but if this is a setup then so help me...[shakes fist menacingly] ;)

Blatently it is a set up as IJW = Ian J. Watson.

Lord of Worms
27-05-2009, 19:06
:eek:{!strokes out!}:eek:

tortoise
27-05-2009, 19:42
:rolleyes: I'm not saying it's offensive, I'm saying it's childish. Sex in novels or movies or whatever is fine; I read Kenneth Grant's novels for example...but they are full of sex, so that's not what my problem is per se. Anne Rice novels, however aren't "mature" in any shape or form and although there is no "actual" sex, there is an undertone that is fundamental to the imagery and mood.


Why does every criticism or comment regarding sex in literature (or art) suddenly immediately mean that the critic is repressed or neurotic? That is seriously messed up if you think based on what I typed that I'm repressed.:eek:

A "flawed" character is fine in small doses. It's just not pleasant to read some flawed-yet-"interesting" character's (1st person, remember) foolish thinking for 800 pages. That's too much "realism" for 40k as far as I'm concerned. I deal with ****** on a daily basis, I don't need to read about them.

Indeed Anne Rice's novels are the epitome of juvenile sexual wish fullfillment. I'm genuinely surprised that you find the tone in them similar to that in Watson's trilogy. As I pointed out, its hardly the most mature portrayal of the subject but I didn't find it at all in the Anne Rice vein.

The Inquisition trilogy is not written from the first person, it's written from the 3rd so you aren't permanently exposed to Draco's thoughts. I didn't find the character to be a ***** either. Delluded and confused, yes, stupid, no. Remember (I allude to this as you used it as an example in one of your earlier posts), Draco has no knowledge of the order that destroys a planet. He is confronted with a conundrum of serious complexity and while he doesn't succceed in resolving it he doesn't just blunder blindly though it either like the protaginists of some sci-fi tend to do, with everything somehow working out in the end. In the end Draco fails because of his lack of resolve and absolutism- a human characteristic I enjoyed seeing portrayed. And while he isn't a terribly sympathetic character I didn't ever feel like I was being asked to sympathise with him. In particular, the ending is rather fitting for someone who becomes, over the course of the trilogy, as confused between his own ends and those whose interests he is charged to protect, as Draco does.

Big TM
27-05-2009, 19:45
Mitchell Scanlon. Descent of Angels.

No more needs be said.

Descent of angels wasn't that bad a book. It was completely out of place in the Horus heresy series though. As a stand alone book, its not too bad.

Gotto gets my vote though

silence
27-05-2009, 19:47
back on poll...

Goto, but did you really need to ask?

Jellicoe
27-05-2009, 19:49
As others have said - Black Library books are not exactly competing with literary giants such as Tolstoy etc. Abnett stuff is highly readable pulp - war porn someone called it. The only ones I have really enjoyed are Jack Yeovil/Kim Newman's Genevieve collection which I have read many times and Sandy Mitchell's Caiaphas Cain series. I thought I would hate it as I am a big Flashman fan but thoroughly enjoyed his homage and allusions to Flashman and McAuslan.

The most painful book by far that I have read was the Bill King Space Wolf collection. Yee gods that was awful, like the scratchings of an over excited spotty teenager, excruciating dialogue, clunking plot devices and cringe worthy character development if you could call it that.

IJW
27-05-2009, 19:51
Blatently it is a set up as IJW = Ian J. Watson.
Nah. Ian J. Wood. ;)

Tymell
27-05-2009, 20:43
Who wrote the Eisenhorn books? Abnett? They were shockingly bad.

I really can't understand how anyone can think that :eek: Excellent flow and writing style, great characters, genuine emotional choices, a believable and sympathetic fall from grace (with plenty of moral ambiguity to think about though), top notch fight scenes, a 40K story that is much more than just a battlefield full of heroes, good look at the universe and it's flow without explaining too much...I could go on.

Although I do have to wonder: how much did you actually read, to not know who wrote them? :p

Bookwrak
27-05-2009, 20:50
Abnett's inclusion on the 'poll' is completely extraneous. There just isn't a metric in existence that you can use to justify calling him the worst of the BL authors, so ultimately, the only two valid choices are Goto, or Other.

JCOLL
27-05-2009, 20:51
Chris Roberson, Dawn of War II. The intro chapter was so poorley written that I couldn't finish it. The small battle was so badly written, describing marines doing things that didn't need explaining. Made me sick. I enjoyed Goto more than I enjoyed Roberson.

7thOffensive
27-05-2009, 20:55
I think McNeil, Abnett, Counter, and Lee are all great writers. I have fun reading their books and that's all that matters. It's engaging and I want to read more. Goto's books are boring, and I feel the same about william king.

If you don't enjoy popcorn military sci-fi, and want an amazing cutting edge, "deep" philosophical writer why the **** are you reading 40k books?

People just like to complain, and know less about what makes a good book than they think.

Damien 1427
27-05-2009, 21:06
If you don't enjoy popcorn military sci-fi, and want an amazing cutting edge, "deep" philosophical writer why the **** are you reading 40k books?

I think that sums up the nature of the beast. By my yardstick, Dan Abnett is the best author Games Workshop have employed, as he writes the literary equivalent of very good Hollywood blockbusters. They're not works of art, but for what they are, they're perhaps the best examples.

That being said, on the topic of who is the worst, Goto, by a mile. He's not the worst author I've had the disapointment to read (That would be Richard A. Knaak, who should be banned by UN convention), but he is something of an inspiration to aspiring writers... If they'll publish him, what the hell is stopping you?

Lord Raneus
27-05-2009, 21:14
I actually enjoyed the Soul Drinkers books.

Blood Angels trilogy was horrible, and I never had the misfortune to read the Dawn of War books.

Tymell
27-05-2009, 21:45
but he is something of an inspiration to aspiring writers... If they'll publish him, what the hell is stopping you?

Damien, my hat is off to you: you've turned Goto's writing into something positive and uplifting. Well done, sir!

Balog
27-05-2009, 22:38
I thought Richard Knaak's books set in the Diablo universe were decent for what they are.

Treadhead_1st
27-05-2009, 23:14
My favourite author is Abnett, so naturally I can't understand what he's doing on the poll. The Gaunts Ghosts books are a good and inspiring read, and it's refreshing to see a novel where the main characters (or relatively main) can be killed off or otherwise removed from the story. The manager at my local GW, reading a first draft of the book, actually threw it against the wall when he found out Colonel Corbec dies and refused to speak to Mr. Abnett for about a month!

I think the Eisenhorn books are relatively well written (sure, they're no Robert Jordan or Tolkein) and are, in my opinion, amongst the more "mature" books of the Black Library line - in that they appeal to older readers more due to the relative complexity and incredible shades-of-grey that the whole trilogy, and short stories interlinking. Not tried Ravener yet.

McNeil is OK - I've a love/hate relationship with his works. I found his HH books to be tough going and uninteresting (just starting Mechanicus) and though I liked the first Ultramarines book the 2nd and 3rd were dire in my opinion. But he wrote Storm of Iron...

I dislike Goto's work, despite finding them mildly amusing (when the Librarian gets dumped on the sandy planet, a part in my mind read it as *appears in atmosphere*"Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah*whump*OW!" so naturally he'd get my vote of "worst". Mainly for the braying and the multilasers.

And now something to prove I'm crazy - I actually really enjoyed DEscent of Angels. Mind you, I'm a fan of the Dark Angel background (but not an in-game player) and so loved the foundings of the greater secrets/societies present in the current chapter and the foreshadowing of possible events (nb: the foreshadowing may be leading you up the wrong path!) to come later in the series. That's something no-one appreciates - it's part of a series (trilogy iirc) and so is actually quite an important background book. It's just out-of-kilter with the HH books which is why it gets so much scorn IMO.

Other books I love are the Cain series (mind you I'm also a big Blackadder and Monty Python fan, so it's naturally appealing) and the Malus Darkblade books.

Books I'm hoping to get soon: Double Eagle, Ravenor 1-3, Guinevere, Malekith and maybe the other Fantasy History books.

Col. Tartleton
27-05-2009, 23:15
That is a hideously boring book.

But saying that, I would rather read and lean verbatim every Black Libray writer's output at 11 years old than ever, ever, ever read another Dan Brown novel.

I live like a town away from Dan Brown... I haven't met him yet, but I know a lot of people who do. Very nice house. But although I like his idea, I'll agree the books are dribble. I can read about 300 page a day in the summer if I like a book. I think it took me a month and a half to read through the Da Vinci Code, and I refuse to read anything else by him.

On topic, I'm not a fan of most of them as authors, but I'll read them because I like a good hack and slash book I can read in a day to wind down after reading a serious work of fiction like a Dark Tower novel or something.

bob_the_small
27-05-2009, 23:16
I was repulsed by what other people said about C.S Goto's books, that I haven't read them.... he gets my vote for sure...

tortoise
27-05-2009, 23:23
I really can't understand how anyone can think that :eek: Excellent flow and writing style, great characters, genuine emotional choices, a believable and sympathetic fall from grace (with plenty of moral ambiguity to think about though), top notch fight scenes, a 40K story that is much more than just a battlefield full of heroes, good look at the universe and it's flow without explaining too much...I could go on.

Although I do have to wonder: how much did you actually read, to not know who wrote them? :p

You're right, I didn't read very much and it was a long time ago. Possibly I was just in a very bad mood at the time, I don't remember. From what you've said they sound alright. I remember thinking they were like some sort of cross between Poirot in space and genre sci-fi and was not impressed but like i say, I could well be wrong in hindsight.

In retrospect I do remember hating the Inquisition fluff that was being rolled out at the time (the skirmish game had been released as had the first Inquisition codex) and that may also have coloured my opinion somewhat.

recommend me one and maybe I'll pick it up sometime and give them another go.

Lord Cook
28-05-2009, 01:31
I think it took me a month and a half to read through the Da Vinci Code, and I refuse to read anything else by him.

In fairness to Dan Brown, the Da Vinci Code may be his most famous book, but it's also his worst. Bear that in mind. Angels and Daemons (soon to be released as a film as well) was far better.


Books I'm hoping to get soon: Double Eagle, Ravenor 1-3, Guinevere, Malekith and maybe the other Fantasy History books.

Double Eagle is competently written, but nothing incredible. If you enjoy Gaunt's Ghosts then you will also enjoy this, as it shares several of the ancillary characters. Mainly I liked it because it was trying something a little different by portraying an air war between Chaos and the Imperial Navy, but it's a pretty shameless ripoff of the Battle of Britain, even down to the Imperial planetary defence force consisting of an alliance known as the 'Commonwealth'. Even so, enjoyable, if predictable.

Ravenor is perfect if you want more of Imperial society, before it's been blasted to rubble and used as 4+ cover for everyone and his dog. Pretty much everything that Eisenhorn had, but with less moral ambiguities and a more intricate and interesting plot.

WastedWhiteBoy
28-05-2009, 02:54
Hmmm...just a observation, but Goto seems to be the Uwe Bole (forgot his name) of BL. Even if someone hasn't read any of his stuff, or when they do read it, they basically jump into it automatically marking it as horrible, not really paying attention to the fact that the BL itself is basically a sea of mediocrity.

Gensuke626
28-05-2009, 02:57
I'm currently working through Malekith, Treadhead. Most of my friends recommended it to me because they like it and I'm a DE fanboy. It's...It's alright I suppose, but it's not getting me to sit down and read it for long stretches of time. It's just so so...Which means it's probably the best thing that Gav Thorpe has ever written and will ever write.

CS Goto though...there is no hope for that one. His writing tries to emulate the sense of action that you get from reading a comic book, but in a text format it comes across as awkward and poorly done. That and I can not understand why so many of his characters Bray like mules and why he thinks that Eldar Pulse Lasers can have their barrels plugged up with rocks.

weissengel86
28-05-2009, 03:34
Plenty of dakka and boom boom.:p maybe you should write BL novels ;)

Lord of Worms
28-05-2009, 04:17
Indeed Anne Rice's novels are the epitome of juvenile sexual wish fullfillment. I'm genuinely surprised that you find the tone in them similar to that in Watson's trilogy. As I pointed out, its hardly the most mature portrayal of the subject but I didn't find it at all in the Anne Rice vein.


That was just an example I came up with off the top of my head,as an extremely loose and tenuous analogy of "good" sex and "bad" sex. My simple point can be summed up thusly: If I am familiar with a "person" be they real or fictional and I don't respect them, I cannot empathise with them. I don't care about their motivations or dreams or anything. People have flaws, that is real and for the most part tolerable as a part of human existence. However, when people (real or fictional) are defined entirely by their flaws it is unpleasant and distasteful.

In another example,for a "villain" to be an effective protagonist he cannot alienate the audience with his grimdark debauchery, and must have qualities that most people would consider favourable. This is why Honsou is the main character in Storm of Iron, rather then Kroeger. Kroeger embodies blood-lust, arrogance and a conceited air of self importance, whereas Honsou is the "under-dog" , and has determination, ambition and a sense of warrior's honour on his side.

That is why, for example I detested Catcher in the Rye when they made us read it in school. The character was utterly unsympathetic to me. But other "flawed" characters in works like Julius Caesar I felt had my respect, and therefore felt genuine sorrow when he was killed. The portrayal of Marcus Antonius (while probably inaccurate) was stirring...etc.

Bear in mind, most novels I like, I read repeatedly. But the Inq. War I read years ago and tried to forget. Maybe you are right about the 3rd person, and I concede that I was wrong in that case.:o

Imperialis_Dominatus
28-05-2009, 04:41
A lot of things may have since been changed/removed by GW for whatever reason (Squats, Sensei, the Star Child etc.)

Only one of those has been removed. :p

LexxBomb
28-05-2009, 04:44
tell that to the few hundred of us that still have squat models :(

Lord of Worms
28-05-2009, 04:50
So use them anyway! Long-time vets in my acquaintance never let GW's unpleasant "executive orders" deter them. You like your guys, so adapt the old list. You aren't any less qualified and your experience is any less "legitimate" than Matt Ward! If he writes the official codexes now, how can yours be any worse?

LexxBomb
28-05-2009, 05:32
I just use them as Guardsmen.

Zoring
28-05-2009, 06:07
I personally can't comprehend why people like the Gaunt's Ghosts books. I read the first two and they were the most cliche riddled crap i'd ever read. Painful to read.

Warforger
28-05-2009, 06:58
Looking at the title I knew the first reply was going to be "Goto"

I onyl read Swallow, I really don't see why people hate him so much, seriously people on the BaC forum treat him like Goto, there are even death threats.

Damien 1427
28-05-2009, 07:10
I thought Richard Knaak's books set in the Diablo universe were decent for what they are.

His Warcraft stuff is little more than self-insertion fanfic where the main character is super-awesome, teaches previously-established main characters everything they know via tiiime traaavel, marries and elf (Sister of two other characters who actually have reasons for being rather than to plop out half-elven spawn) and for the love of all that's right and holy, he's called Rhonin.

The fact that he's best friends with one of the lead designers certainly isn't why he still gets published, nooo. :rolleyes:

BobtheInquisitor
28-05-2009, 07:24
just as the title says

Edit. who do you think is the worst Author in Black Library or was the worst one they have had and why... This includes Games Workshop Books for us old timers

There's no mention of Andy Hoare in your poll. He wrote the two worst BL novels I can think of, the Rogue Trader/Tau Wankjob series. The books couldn't decide if they were taking place in Star Trek or Warhammer. Hoare didn't even look at the BFG rulebook, let alone read the fluff, read Execution Hour, or just ask Gav Thorpe how 40k ships work. And the plot... Ouch. The only things worse than the plot were the characters..

That said, I would grant that G.S. Goto is the most boring BL author I have read. How can a writer make an epic battle into a total yawn fest? Read Dawn of War to find out.

BobtheInquisitor
28-05-2009, 07:33
How do you have a 'worst ever' list without James Swallow?

Further why would you put the obvious, best, 40k writer (Dan Abnett) in your list? Even if you hate him, it is clear from the online voice that most people think he is heads above the rest.

First of all, Sandy Mitchell is the best BL author. Abnett has written a lot of great books, but also a lot of crap, and his latest Ghosts novels are an almost insultingly cynical ploy to cash in on his fanboys. Whenever he gets away from Ghosts (Or Ravenor, another ****), he produces thrilling genre fiction at its best, but how often does he do that anymore?

Second, Flight of the Eisenstein was actually pretty good, so it's easier to overlook Swallow in favor of excoriating Goto, Hoare or Scanlon.

MetalGecko23
28-05-2009, 08:33
First of all, Sandy Mitchell is the best BL author. Abnett has written a lot of great books, but also a lot of crap, and his latest Ghosts novels are an almost insultingly cynical ploy to cash in on his fanboys. Whenever he gets away from Ghosts (Or Ravenor, another ****), he produces thrilling genre fiction at its best, but how often does he do that anymore?

Second, Flight of the Eisenstein was actually pretty good, so it's easier to overlook Swallow in favor of excoriating Goto, Hoare or Scanlon.
Yup...Mitchell is the best. Even if the novels are using the same baddies over and over and sometimes all of them at once, they are still funny and still awesome.
I liked Ravenor, so Abnett is cool with me sometimes.
Swallow did write Eisenstein which is my personal favorite for the HH series, Desent being second.
Though I was a fan of the Soul Drinkers series until the characters stopped developing and all of the plot hooks keep getting ignored (seriously what the hell is Iktinos doing?). But I will continue to give him at try.
Goto writes garbage....falcons fly into the ground to make bunker:wtf: why the hell would they do that....kids jumping on falcon tanks going near mach and not exploding :wtf:, and then stuffing rocks and sticks in the guns and engines and killing the pilots :wtf:....I think we see a horrible trend. But in Gotos defense Abnett had 10 marines kill 3000 DE.

Jedi152
28-05-2009, 08:43
Wow, that's not the most biased poll i've ever seen.

Treadhead_1st
28-05-2009, 08:59
I'm slightly worried that nearly 6% of people think Abnett is worse than Gotto :wtf:

geraint
28-05-2009, 08:59
why c s goto , whats soo bad about his work

murekhalir
28-05-2009, 09:10
James swallow anyone?

LexxBomb
28-05-2009, 09:10
But in Gotos defense Abnett had 10 marines kill 3000 DE.

that should be someones Signature

Captain Shrike
28-05-2009, 09:13
Trust me, Goto did much, MUCH worse.

ancient_conflict
28-05-2009, 09:15
Gotto is the only one that has made me put a book down as it was that bad. I have tried to read some of his stuff and it is awful. Everyone I know who has (or tried to) read them has complained.

Epicenter
28-05-2009, 09:18
I don't expect high literature from BL/GW. This stuff is like beach reading to me - I want something I can read that will entertain me without having to put too much effort into reading it.

Sadly, as much as I try and stick to this, some parts of books are so gut-wrenchingly bad I laugh in disgust.

I mean, Abnett is pretty entertaining, but he still has these moments that are so awful: "I looked at the moon. Threads of heat around a cold, black heart. Like me, I thought, like me."

LOL!

So awful. That's like something an angsty 15 year old emo boy would write. Goodness, how old is Abnett? I hope he was laughing hard when he typed that. (Another of Abnett's winners was when the Interex referred to "Chaos" as "Kaos" ... I just can't imagine Abbadon as anything other than some goofy Maxwell Smart villain now.)

But by my criteria, I have to say Descent of Angels (Scanion?) was pretty awful. Beast this and beast that and hardly any action or fun. Legion was really bad, too - talk about winning the "trying too hard" award.



The nice thing about this thread is that while people may have different opinions about which author is slightly beter or worse than the others pretty much most of us agree that all of Black Library's output overall is shockingly awful. High literary standards win!

Not really. We live in the age of post-post-modernism. We're united by what we dislike. A far more interesting poll as far as taste (or lack of) in Warseer would be if someone made a poll about who their favorite author is and why.

That'd probably develop into a flamewar the mods would have to lock or at least keep posting, "I just deleted the last 350 posts. Take your personal attacks somewhere else."

MetalGecko23
28-05-2009, 09:27
Gotto is the only one that has made me put a book down as it was that bad. I have tried to read some of his stuff and it is awful. Everyone I know who has (or tried to) read them has complained.

So far I can't bring myself to pick up Brotherhood of the Snake, again. Its just bad...but I didn't have to buy so I will eventually finish it.
Who wrote that awful Iron Hands book...I simiple can not remember anything from that book being good. I mean the main character didn't speak a line of text to another character for like 100 pages, worse than that though he didn't even think, he just grunted in his own head :eyebrows:.
But then again Goto had devastator marines weilding heavy flamers and chainswords....and a terminator sergeant fight an acrobatic areial battle with a dark reaper exarch (come to think why would a dark reaper exarch run across a battle field to engage a terminator in hand to hand :wtf:).

hush88
28-05-2009, 09:30
Goto - Dawn of War series

Other authors have had their good and bad days.
BL books isnt any high literature so for most part i can accept the quirky writing of the authors.

Goto is the only one writer that has made me want to never read a 40k book again.

Oh...and Mike Lee for Nagash the Sorcerer, couldn't get past 5 pages of the damn book.

chromedog
28-05-2009, 09:37
CS Goto. No question.

Even worse than Ian Watson.
Made me want to stop reading 40k novels.

Dan Abnett is about the only one who could convince me to read more - but only if they're inquisition based. His guard stuff bores me silly - and I have a pile of David Drake books (he does war stories better, from the grunt pov).

tortoise
28-05-2009, 10:15
That was just an example I came up with off the top of my head,as an extremely loose and tenuous analogy of "good" sex and "bad" sex. My simple point can be summed up thusly: If I am familiar with a "person" be they real or fictional and I don't respect them, I cannot empathise with them. I don't care about their motivations or dreams or anything. People have flaws, that is real and for the most part tolerable as a part of human existence. However, when people (real or fictional) are defined entirely by their flaws it is unpleasant and distasteful.

In another example,for a "villain" to be an effective protagonist he cannot alienate the audience with his grimdark debauchery, and must have qualities that most people would consider favourable. This is why Honsou is the main character in Storm of Iron, rather then Kroeger. Kroeger embodies blood-lust, arrogance and a conceited air of self importance, whereas Honsou is the "under-dog" , and has determination, ambition and a sense of warrior's honour on his side.

That is why, for example I detested Catcher in the Rye when they made us read it in school. The character was utterly unsympathetic to me. But other "flawed" characters in works like Julius Caesar I felt had my respect, and therefore felt genuine sorrow when he was killed. The portrayal of Marcus Antonius (while probably inaccurate) was stirring...etc.

Bear in mind, most novels I like, I read repeatedly. But the Inq. War I read years ago and tried to forget. Maybe you are right about the 3rd person, and I concede that I was wrong in that case.:o

Well, you see Catcher In The Rye is one of my favourite books of all time. As for the 1st/3rd person thing, while Watson wrote the books in the 3rd person the narration is indeed still written from a very close perspective, almost stream of consciousness in places. Its almost like the narrator can go right into Draco's head and spell out his thoughts directly. I can understand why you might have remembered it as 1st person and why that would annoy you if you really hate the character. I liked being that close to the madness though, I guess in the same way I liked being so involved in Holden caulfield's breakdown, even though he was a bit of a douche.

Thud
28-05-2009, 10:53
I've read a lot, if not most, of the BL books and there aren't many of them I can say I really like. Sure, most of them are good for a couple of hours of entertainment, but shockingly many are tripe. Not just bad, but horrible. Could be that I'm a sucker for the bildungsroman and it's not much of that in BL, though.

First though, what I do like is the Cain series. They aren't really masterpieces, but as I'm a fluff-nut the jokes make sense and it's all very entertaining. It's not Ibsen, though. I mean, is there even a plot? Besides the "oh, no we have a problem - Cain solves the problem humorously - Cain gets medals" variant, I mean? Hardly. But still, it's good entertainment.

Secondly, the Inquisition War. This is good and it has actual characters. You might be deeply offended by the Space Marine having the gall not to be the typical "GAHHH ALL THAT MATTERS IS THE DEATH TO THE ENEMIES OF TEH EMPORARRZZZZ!!111" and actually being capable of deeper thought, quite a shock. Also, that silly inquisitor doesn't make the right decision every damn time, what a tool! He should obviously be infallible, because that's what makes a good character! Or? I saw earlier in the thread someone who thought the books were bad, because Draco was flawed... What a strange thing to say... How about an example to put that into perspective: "Faust was a terrible book because the protagonist was so flawed!"

Now, for the bad stuff:

McNeill. Seriously. The Ultramarines books are unbelievable. That captain type sounds like a thirteen year old fanboy on speed, armed with a chainsword.

Bill King. I hate stock characters. Yes, that does mean I would have liked Inquisition War better if Watson had gotten rid of that annoying dwarf. But King takes it to a whole new level. Everyone is a stock character in the Space Wolf books. Everyone. I can't say much about his Fantasy stuff, as I've only read one book, but at least Vampireslayer was better than the SW crap.

Whoever wrote Fire Warrior. I shall say no more for fear of going completely off the wall in rant mode.

Monachus
28-05-2009, 10:53
just as the title says

Edit. who do you think is the worst Author in Black Library or was the worst one they have had and why... This includes Games Workshop Books for us old timers

what an idiotic poll,

so you clearly don't like goto, this is obvious by putting him up against abnett who is most people favourite.

you really need to have the ability to create polls taken away from you

MetalGecko23
28-05-2009, 10:56
Whoever wrote Fire Warrior. I shall say no more for fear of going completely off the wall in rant mode.
I'll just say this......looooved it.

Griffin
28-05-2009, 10:58
In the immortal words of Lastie - "the universe hates C.S. Goto's work - fact"

HE/SHE/IT MUST BURN

LexxBomb
28-05-2009, 11:29
what an idiotic poll,

so you clearly don't like goto, this is obvious by putting him up against abnett who is most people favourite.

you really need to have the ability to create polls taken away from you

youve got me wrong... Im one of the only people on the forum that will actually support Goto's work... heck I have been told off for (on this very forum) telling all Eldar players to read "Eldar Prophecies".

The reason I put Goto up against Abnett was due to a side comment made on another thread


Not even Gav "Worst Author Ever" Thorpe.



I thought we voted and gave that title to Goto


Seconded.
Wait......What?!?! There was a poll?:confused: I missed this one!!:mad:

In hindsight I should have put him up against Gav Thorpe but giviven that he frequents these forums I really didn't want to insult him particularly as I enjoyed his work... Abnett on the other hand I think needs to go back to basics and redo his craft.

Imperialis_Dominatus
28-05-2009, 11:29
But in Gotos defense Abnett had 10 marines kill 3000 DE.

Though a moment of laxity may spawn a lifetime of heresy, Goto has had many, many, many, many more moments of laxity. This is akin to saying:

"Well, Joe Schmoe may be absolutely horrible at baseball, but Barry Bonds struck out once."

tortoise
28-05-2009, 12:17
youve got me wrong... Im one of the only people on the forum that will actually support Goto's work... heck I have been told off for (on this very forum) telling all Eldar players to read "Eldar Prophecies".

The reason I put Goto up against Abnett was due to a side comment made on another thread








In hindsight I should have put him up against Gav Thorpe but giviven that he frequents these forums I really didn't want to insult him particularly as I enjoyed his work... Abnett on the other hand I think needs to go back to basics and redo his craft.

I think you should have left 'other' out of the poll then and just put those 2 authors head to head.

I've never read any Goto. If he's as bad as his reputation suggests I may pick up one of his books- if you're going to read something as awful as BL novels why not go all the way?

Giganthrax
28-05-2009, 12:38
Bah, I'm going to buy myself a Goto book or two, just so I can see the author that so many people despise with white-hot intensity. It seems to be a cultural phenomenon. :P

As for BL authors, the Tales of the Old World short story compilation had some REALLY bad stuff. Fanfiction bad.

His Warcraft stuff is little more than self-insertion fanfic where the main character is super-awesome, teaches previously-established main characters everything they know via tiiime traaavel, marries and elf (Sister of two other characters who actually have reasons for being rather than to plop out half-elven spawn) and for the love of all that's right and holy, he's called Rhonin.

The fact that he's best friends with one of the lead designers certainly isn't why he still gets published, nooo. :rolleyes:
As incredible as it may seem, his WarCraft books are actually good when compared with his Legacy of Blood Diablo book. I've read that not long ago, and sweet immortal Emperor, does he suck...

Captain Micha
28-05-2009, 13:03
Trust me. Stay Away!


Braying Necrons Braying Necrons!

Other gems include

Fatseer (Eldar actually can't be fat, with how their bodies work it is just not possible. ((They don't have fat stores at all)))

Rocks clogging up Eldar skimmer guns and engines.

Giganthrax
28-05-2009, 13:17
Ummm... Aren't necrons supposed to be 100% silent, and stuff? =P

EDIT: Is this kind of fluff sodomy as plentiful in Goto's works as everyone says, or are people just exaggerating?

pookie
28-05-2009, 13:21
I should have spent more time adding "opinion!" and "from what I've gathered overall, and not just present company" and "IMVHO!".

No. That's not what I meant at all. I never presume to think that I know what people are all about having never spoken to them, and typed three sentences to in a forum.

What I meant was that people always (Edit: frequently) seem to apologize for those novels as oppose to saying "I like them because ....". People tend to say "I light of the fact that...they weren't so bad". That's the "vibe" I get, wether explicitly or implicitly 90% of the time I talk about these books. It's almost like; "The Great" Ian Watson could never have written a "bad" novel, therefore it's a question of context...maybe I just don't "get it" etc...

Again, I wasn't saying you're deluded.:)


ok cool,though i think i may just be.... :evilgrin:

Lyinar
28-05-2009, 13:36
For CS Goto, let's just put it this way: Warrior Brood managed to dethrone The Old Man and the Sea for the worst book I'd ever read. Even having been forced to read Saint Augustine's constant whinging about how unworthy he was couldn't do that.

@Thud: As far as Fire Warrior goes... Simon Spurrier did a hell of a lot with what he had to work with. Try re-reading it while firmly keeping in your mind that he was being forced to write an adaptation of a corridor-based FPS game that wasn't that good (despite the Fourth Doctor doing some of the Tau voice acting) and couldn't stray nearly as far as he wanted from the source material, and I think you might come out with a better opinion of his writing abilities. It's certainly still one of the best sources that Tau players can mine for background material.

James Swallow managed to redeem himself with Flight of the Eisenstein, and has written some pretty good stuff outside the Black Library.

Dan Abnett hits far more than he misses.

Counter's kind of 50/50. The Grey Knights books are awesome, but his other stuff, not that much. Battle for the Abyss had a few redeeming features, but I still say it was crippled by centering on the two most cardboard-cut-out legions there were. The Ultramarines LIVE by their gorram book, and the Word Bearers are run of the mill religious nutcases, except that the faith they follow was evil BEFORE they went all "CONVERT OR DIE!!!" with it.

Gazak Blacktoof
28-05-2009, 13:37
I've no idea who's worst. If I pick up a book and don't like it I'll put it back down before I find out if its truly terrible.

I like Abnett's double eagle and ravenor/ eisenhorn series, I also enjoyed sandy mitchell's cain books as well as mechanicus and titanicus (can't remember who wrote them).

Captain Micha
28-05-2009, 13:38
Ummm... Aren't necrons supposed to be 100% silent, and stuff? =P

EDIT: Is this kind of fluff sodomy as plentiful in Goto's works as everyone says, or are people just exaggerating?

Yep totally silent.

Oh yes. There's more, but I can't speak of such evils. Lest I give Goto power.

TomsDad
28-05-2009, 14:02
look the early books are mostly good pulp books...

suprised no one has mentioned the:
Konrad series , or
the Guienivere (cant spell it) aka Beasts in velvet and Drachenfiels

come on this books make Karl Franz look like an idiot who should have died (and nearly did a few times)

Karl Franz went through a bit of revision after teh books came out. He was a bit less heroic originally. I think Drachenfels and Beasts in Velvet were the best two warhammer fantasy books. (but I mainly read 40k now).


I haven't read many BL authors, I like Dan Abnett so I won't be voting for him.

Kaenei
28-05-2009, 14:04
I know that strictly speaking, you're asking for the worst authors but I'd like to slip in a little mention of "The Last Chancers," as written by Gav Thorpe. Schaeffer is a hero. ;)

borithan
28-05-2009, 17:01
But saying that, I would rather read and lean verbatim every Black Libray writer's output at 11 years old than ever, ever, ever read another Dan Brown novel.Meh... I think Dan Brown can write a nice pacy read... ok, I wouldn't want to read any more than the two I have read, their literary style is non-existent (and god, what is his opsession with short chapters... a paragraph is not a chapter), and his historical and scientific knowledge is... weak, at best, and his habit of presenting things as fact which are not is entirely irritating (can't he just accept he writes schlock fiction and be done with it, rather than try and say it has some deeper meaning?), but his books sold well for a reason.


In fairness to Dan Brown, the Da Vinci Code may be his most famous book, but it's also his worst. Bear that in mind. Angels and Daemons (soon to be released as a film as well) was far better.Those are the only two I have read... I tried reading... Deception Point(?), and just found I had got fed up with his writing style. However, I enjoyed the two I actually read, even if they were nonsense.

Just started reading the Cain series... enjoying it quite a bit, I have to say (though it largely fails to read like what it is meant to, a person's memoirs... but that is a minor problem).


I personally can't comprehend why people like the Gaunt's Ghosts books. I read the first two and they were the most cliche riddled crap i'd ever read. Painful to read.Well, they aren't exactly original (and frankly, until the third one I couldn't find anything that was stand out 40k), and I did find certain bits of the first two very clunky (early in the first book especially, where we were having characters introduced in a very... well, obvious and straight forward manner: "And here we have the lovable gentle giant who is a bit of a goof etc"). But really they weren't that bad, unless you were actually looking for literature.

One thing I find a bit irritating about Gaunts Ghosts (Only read the first 3, and the third is certainly the best of those) is the bizarre way ranks are treated. Ok, not a major point for how fun/interesting the story is, but if he was going to write a story in the fashion he did, why not make them less senior officers and NCOs, rather than having Colonels running about behaving like a sergeant?


That is why, for example I detested Catcher in the Rye when they made us read it in school.I was given it as a birthday present, starting reading it... didn't finish, having decided I didn't see what the fuss was about. Deadly boring book...

Bookwrak
28-05-2009, 17:47
why c s goto , whats soo bad about his work

Get the 'Let the Galaxy Burn' anthology, and read Goto's entry in that. It pretty much exemplifies how he just doesn't get the setting.

Joewrightgm
28-05-2009, 17:56
Goto. His gross violations of fluff make anything incorrect done by Abnett seem like nit-picky details.

Also, I never really had a problem with Abnett. His stuff is very good and is mercifully devoid of fluff violations. Yes, I know about Brothers of the Snake. No, I don't care.

Urath
28-05-2009, 18:33
Oh yes. There's more, but I can't speak of such evils. Lest I give Goto power.

BAAAAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

I spilt my ale, damn you sir!

AntiPaladin
28-05-2009, 18:34
I've read almost every BL book written, both 40k and Fantasy, since I first picked-up Draco back in '02 (still got my copy of that and Harlequin) I agree with the earlier point that a lot of these reviews and remarks stem not from something being a bad book, but from people not liking what happened/how the fluff was treated. But since the fluff is such an integral part of 40k, that part can't be totally disregarded.

I personally wouldn't have put Abnett on the poll at all, since he's one of the best authors in the genre, and possibly the best at BL. Yes the last part of the Ghost's series has started to drag, but considering most series don't go beyond 5-6 novels, the fact that he's still even trying should be worth something. Hell, even William King gave up on Gotrek and Felix after 7 books. Personally I think some of his best work has been in the Malus Darkblade series. And considering Eisenhorn was an assignment piece to help launch Inquisitor, I think it turned out pretty well, both in terms of fluff and as a novel.

I'm also a big fan of Ciaphas Cain. Currently my favorite series BL has, not only because of the humor and unique characters, but because it gently expands the fluff instead of trying to rewrite it.

One of the biggest pitfalls most of the authors have is making their characters too uber (I'm looking at you, Soul Drinkers) but given that it's a heroic-scale game, can you really complain? The Ultramarine series might have seen preachy and "We're the greatest ever" but after the recent Ultramarine circle jerk aka the latest Marine codex, Ventris feels like an under-powered whimp.

If I had to pick a worst, though, I'll gladly hand the prize over to Goto. Brood and Coven were ok, good for filling a rainy day and not much else. Prophecies was just WTF? Never before and never since have I had to put down a novel because my head hurt.

Urath
28-05-2009, 18:40
I might pick up a Goto book for the pure lulz.

I heard something about Space Marine's using multi-lasers and "Fatseers"

borithan
28-05-2009, 18:58
Space Marines could be equipped with multi-lasers in the past, so I cannot see why people would hold that against him. If that is a serious reason behind it then, really that is daft. If he writes rubbish outside that, then ok...

Urath
28-05-2009, 19:06
They could?

Shrapnel
28-05-2009, 19:22
There's a lot of (deserved) Goto bashing here. but I can't let Ben Counter get away with Battle of the Abyss.

****** Tripe.

jsullivanlaw
28-05-2009, 19:28
I think Legion is the best 40k book I've read and I've read a lot of em. Abnett is the best 40k author in my opinion. Goto is definitely a top contender on this poll but even Goto's worst stuff is better than Counter's Soul Drinkers books. However, i've enjoyed everything Counter has written that does not involve Soul Drinkers.

borithan
28-05-2009, 19:28
They could?Yup. They could take any form of heavy weapon that existed in the background (even D-Cannons... and conversion beamers). However, with... second edition, I think, they stopped being able to take them (in fact, I am not sure there was anything but chimeras that was able to take them).

Captain Micha
28-05-2009, 19:46
Anything pre 3e as far as I'm concerned doesn't exist fluffwise. (since the game has changed so dramatically since then) so Goto bashing about Multilasers is perfectly allowed.

Sorry about the ale.

Jellicoe
28-05-2009, 20:06
Borithan wrote

Just started reading the Cain series... enjoying it quite a bit, I have to say (though it largely fails to read like what it is meant to, a person's memoirs... but that is a minor problem).

They are written like that as they are a pastiche of the Flashman series by the late great George MacDonald Fraser. The Flashman books were written as if they were the long lost memoirs of Harry Flashman. MacDonald Fraser liberally sprinkled them with editorial footnotes about the historical context in which Flashman was. Mitchell has copied the footnote motif too in his Cain series

Many people associate Jurgen with Baldric from Blackadder but a little further reading of MacDonald Fraser will demonstrate that a far better and more accurate comparator is Private McAuslan the dirtiest soldier in the British army from MacDonald Fraser's McAuslan series, the filthiness, the dogged loyalty and the ability to deter interlopers/act as a Deus ex machinae are all strong characteristics of McAuslan and certainly more so than Baldric

Bookwrak
28-05-2009, 20:07
Not quite as Scottish though.

marv335
28-05-2009, 20:17
Counter gets my vote as worst.
The entire Soul Drinkers debacle for a start.
I've read some bad fiction in my time, but I just couldn't bring myself to finish it.
2nd founding IF successors?
where the hell did that come from?

Abnett does get the occasional technical detail wrong, and does use jargon now and again without explaining it ( "viffing" in double eagle for example. I'm an aircraft engineer so I knew it means "vectoring in forward flight" but he doesn't feel the need to explain this until quite some way through the book) but on the whole he writes decent stuff.

Grindgodgrind
28-05-2009, 20:39
I like Abnett, Mitchell, the occasional Counter book, but the worst I've read? Hmmm. NEarly all of the stories in 'Heroes Of The Space Marines' were terrible, I thought. I enjoyed 'Headhunted', that was it. I'll agree with the sentiments about the Ultra Marines books, although I like Storm of Iron, and McNeill's HH books. Goto....well, you just need to read the other posts, really. The blood angels books were pretty crap, too.

Ben
28-05-2009, 21:10
I quite liked the Skull Harvest.

However again, I'd vote Goto for overall worst. Some of the older books have stood the test of time very well, like the Genevieve books, and bits of the Gotrek trilogy, but they were written at an earlier time and fill in fluff quite nicely where there wasn't fluff before. The older fantasy novels give a notion of the Empire as more than something that gets invaded by Chaos every ten minutes.

The recent HH series has some very good and very bad stuff. Flight of the Eisenstein is balanced by Descent of Angels, and Mechanicum by Battle for the Abyss. Battle for the Abyss adds absolutely nothing to the background or overall arc of the series, and should have had the Wordbearers actually attacking the Ultramarines, and none of the retarded super ship business. That was stupid beyond measure.

borithan
28-05-2009, 21:13
Borithan wrote
They are written like that as they are a pastiche of the Flashman series by the late great George MacDonald Fraser.Oh, yes, I do know the homage (though I haven't read the Flashman books), it was just a comment that most of the time it is written as a simple first person narrative, rather than the kind of writing one would really get in a memoir. Basically pedantry, which I am prone to, about the genre. Basically there is far too much... well off the top of my head, direct speech, and details one wouldn't have in a memoir (basically because you wouldn't remember them. Memorable quotes fit in fine, but dialogues don't really). The excerpts from the Lieutenant's (who supposedly became a general) are actually a bit better at getting the right feel. Its not a problem really, as I don't think it suffers because of it, its just it doesn't really fit the genre it claims to be recreating. It does manage it on occasions, when Cain talks about things that are not happening in the main storyline, but the main plot almost always just reads like any first person narrative (ok, someone could write like that in a memoir, but they would largely be making the conversations up... which I guess is not really beneath Cain...).

Damien 1427
28-05-2009, 21:57
Goto. His gross violations of fluff make anything incorrect done by Abnett seem like nit-picky details.

I think there's a real difference. Dan seems to understand the setting enough to be able to add and expand it... Like the Blood Pact, since before then every human Chaotic force (If they got a mention at all) were frothing loony rabble. Now they have serious, discliplined troops that don't come with 3+ saves.
There's a difference between adding to the setting, and defecating over it.

Rock > Falcon Grav Tank seems to be very much a case of the latter.

IJW
28-05-2009, 21:59
There's more, but I can't speak of such evils. Lest I give Goto power.
From a previous thread on the subject:

Ia! Ia! Csgoto fhtagn!

C S Goto is like a cosmic horror. Reading his books makes you go crazy, and sometimes even just mentioning his name in a forum will make the members descend into madness.

My main problem with C. S. Goto is the lack of 'suspension of disbelief'.
Abnett is pretty good at keeping you along for the ride, apart from the occasional 'why is everyone riding around in anti-grav taxis when anti-grav tech is supposed to be rare, poorly understood and reserved mainly for the military?'. The Goto shorts that I read in Tales of the Dark Millennium would go for 3-4 pages and there'd be another background element, turn of phrasing or 'bray' that jarred me out of the story's flow.

Suspension of disbelief is incredibly important in SF, even if it's pulp genre SF like most GW-related fiction. This got me thinking about the wider SF field and a particularly jarring moment in 'Idlewild' by Nick Sagan. For assorted reasons the human population of the Earth has been wiped out by virulent disease, apart from a bunch of kids hidden away, growing up in VR. Towards the end of the book they wake up/get booted out of VR, 18 years after everyone else has died.
The start of the next chapter, the characters are driving across the US without even a mention of how they got hold of the car - let alone how they started it with an empty fuel tank, a 15-year-flat battery, rubber tyres that have perished, electrical cables where the insulation has been eaten by rodents, electronic immobilisation systems that don't like re-booting and roads that have been broken up/colonised by vegetation.

It was one of those moments that jars you out of the story so badly that you can't really enjoy the book anymore. :(

SanguinaryDan
28-05-2009, 22:03
James Swallow period-full stop-end line

He's either a rabid fan of the Traitor Legions and so turned the Blood Angels into a bunch of helmet wearing, short bus riding, dimwits in protest for not being allowed to write a CSM book. Or... he sucks.:wtf:

Noserenda
28-05-2009, 22:16
Goto is certainly a terrible author, but some of his action scenes (IE the Ones without jarring flow breaking crap) are actually alright, James Swallow on the other hand... Gah!

HK-47
28-05-2009, 22:38
I only read a couple of BL books, and going by that I say Abnett is the best, followed by McNeill. The others are basically the same. Though the worst is Goto, with Counter and Sallow following colse behind. People dislikes Gav Thorpe because of his "Angels of Darkness" book starting the Dark Angles fluff war, but he is my favorite warhammer fantasy writer. Simon Spurrier is another favorite for writing "Lord of the Night" which is my favorite chaos book.

All in all after you have read a couple of BL, you have read them all. There all the same it's either IG vs. something, SM vs. Something, or Eldar braying. :rolleyes:

They need more stories like "The Last Church" from "Tales of Heresy," books that go deeper into the 40k universe. I'm getting tired of the war stories, I want more things on the life of average Imperial citizen, more xeno books, Ork that aren't dad guy of the week; and for all that is holy can someone make characters that aren't cardboard cutouts.

boogle
28-05-2009, 22:49
pookie - The Soul Drinkers actually 1st appeared in the Sisters of Battle 2nd Ed Codex as part of the Space Marine forces sent to purge the planet of Lastrati, so aren't Ben Counter's own homebrew chapter (and co-incidentally, that was the 1st time Black Templars were mentioned as well)

as for terrible authors Goto wins hands down
DOW - was ok, but with terrible bits of inaccurate background
DOW Ascension - can't remember 1 thing about the book, it was that bad
DOW Tempest - gave up after the 4th page of the Librarian trudging through the desert, haven't gone back to it

Warrior Brood and Warrior Coven - High Level Trash, with added repitition of lines to infuriate me even more, i realised what the Praying Mantidae were the 1st time!!! Added to that was again 'Tac Marines with Heavy Flamers WTF???'

Eldar Prophecy - haven't and won't read it after his abortionesque attempts to portray them in Warrior Coven

His short in Tales of the Dark Millenium is absolutely crap as well, and it looked like he deliberately makes marines out to be akin to useless plebs.

Salvation - His only saving grace as a former BL writer, is a decent book

Si Spurrier - For the good that was Xenology, we have Fire Warrior which was just as pap as the game was and Lord of the Night, which had the quickest turnaround since Palpatine said to Anakin 'Come over to the Darkside' and Ankins says 'ok then', the main character was totally crap, here's hoping the new stuff puts the Night Lords in a better light than Spurrier left them in.

Ian Watson - Marines farting, Marines piloting Titans, 'lets see who can lust after the assassin the most', the Eldar stuff was just bizarre, and Chaos Child should have been aborted, as it felt like the writer was putting a mental breakdown onto paper.

Ben Counter - his Soul Drinkers stuff is forgettable, his 1st heresy book was so bad it was re-written by Dan and Graham (i was told this by Graham personally), followed by Battle for the Abyss which WAS a 40k novel in 30k, and NOTHING happens, his Grey Knights stuff is the average fare, but Daemon World was a good story.

Chris Roberson's stuff isn't filling me with joy either at the moment.

Brian Craig would be on the list for Prawns of Chaos and Swine of Dreams, both insipid, and in the latter case, utterly boring, but redeems himself moreso with the Orfeo Trilogy.

As for Descent of Angels, it took 8 months to write apparently, doesn't fit what we think of the Heresy story, but has interesting hooks to the series, and was blatently written with a sequel in mind.

As this isn't about best BL Authors i won't state the case for stuff i like

Heimlich
28-05-2009, 22:52
I declare you the worst poll maker ever. My vote goes to Lee Lightener.

boogle
28-05-2009, 22:55
I declare you the worst poll maker ever. My vote goes to Lee Lightener.

Which in the last book was actually Mike Lee (but not in the previous one)

Grindgodgrind
28-05-2009, 23:05
pookie - The Soul Drinkers actually 1st appeared in the Sisters of Battle 2nd Ed Codex as part of the Space Marine forces sent to purge the planet of Lastrati, so aren't Ben Counter's own homebrew chapter (and co-incidentally, that was the 1st time Black Templars were mentioned as well)

as for terrible authors Goto wins hands down
DOW - was ok, but with terrible bits of inaccurate background
DOW Ascension - can't remember 1 thing about the book, it was that bad
DOW Tempest - gave up after the 4th page of the Librarian trudging through the desert, haven't gone back to it

Warrior Brood and Warrior Coven - High Level Trash, with added repitition of lines to infuriate me even more, i realised what the Praying Mantidae were the 1st time!!! Added to that was again 'Tac Marines with Heavy Flamers WTF???'

Eldar Prophecy - haven't and won't read it after his abortionesque attempts to portray them in Warrior Coven

His short in Tales of the Dark Millenium is absolutely crap as well, and it looked like he deliberately makes marines out to be akin to useless plebs.

Salvation - His only saving grace as a former BL writer, is a decent book

Si Spurrier - For the good that was Xenology, we have Fire Warrior which was just as pap as the game was and Lord of the Night, which had the quickest turnaround since Palpatine said to Anakin 'Come over to the Darkside' and Ankins says 'ok then', the main character was totally crap, here's hoping the new stuff puts the Night Lords in a better light than Spurrier left them in.

Ian Watson - Marines farting, Marines piloting Titans, 'lets see who can lust after the assassin the most', the Eldar stuff was just bizarre, and Chaos Child should have been aborted, as it felt like the writer was putting a mental breakdown onto paper.

Ben Counter - his Soul Drinkers stuff is forgettable, his 1st heresy book was so bad it was re-written by Dan and Graham (i was told this by Graham personally), followed by Battle for the Abyss which WAS a 40k novel in 30k, and NOTHING happens, his Grey Knights stuff is the average fare, but Daemon World was a good story.

Chris Roberson's stuff isn't filling me with joy either at the moment.

Brian Craig would be on the list for Prawns of Chaos and Swine of Dreams, both insipid, and in the latter case, utterly boring, but redeems himself moreso with the Orfeo Trilogy.

As for Descent of Angels, it took 8 months to write apparently, doesn't fit what we think of the Heresy story, but has interesting hooks to the series, and was blatently written with a sequel in mind.

As this isn't about best BL Authors i won't state the case for stuff i like

I thought the Black Templars first appeared in the 2ed Ultramarine codex? :P And as for Ben Counter, some of the stuff he told me about that he had planned for 'Battle for the abyss' made me cringe. Such as Lorgar having a burning head. And having a book that he threw at people. No, I'm serious.

Industrial Propaganda
28-05-2009, 23:19
I thought the Black Templars first appeared in the 2ed Ultramarine codex? :P And as for Ben Counter, some of the stuff he told me about that he had planned for 'Battle for the abyss' made me cringe. Such as Lorgar having a burning head. And having a book that he threw at people. No, I'm serious.

Lorgar had a golden skin as mortal (not sure). When he became a champion of the dark gods he had a burning head similar to the Chaos Word Bearers symbol (looking at the HH illustrations).

boogle
28-05-2009, 23:21
I thought the Black Templars first appeared in the 2ed Ultramarine codex? :P And as for Ben Counter, some of the stuff he told me about that he had planned for 'Battle for the abyss' made me cringe. Such as Lorgar having a burning head. And having a book that he threw at people. No, I'm serious.

You could very well be right RE: the BT

Grindgodgrind
28-05-2009, 23:24
Lorgar had a golden skin as mortal (not sure). When he became a champion of the dark gods he had a burning head similar to the Chaos Word Bearers symbol (looking at the HH illustrations).

As it happens, true, I just looked at my HH books. But still, the book thing was enough to make me duck behind the painting table in my asbestos suit...

Lyinar
29-05-2009, 03:57
I'd say about the only real redeeming feature in Battle for the Abyss is Mhotep, but then again, my brain cast him as being played by Christopher Judge, which enhanced his awesomeness.

Descent of Angels DOES belong in the Horus Heresy series... It's a tale of the founding of the Dark Angels. Only real problem I had with it was the very end of the book, where it seemed like he ran out of space and crammed stuff in to get to the ending without explanation of WHY.

William King... His Space Wolf stuff is pretty generic, I'll grant, but the Gotrek and Felix books written by him were pretty good to excellent, at least those that I've read. Could never find a copy of Giantslayer. I've not read the continuation stuff.

Mike Lee manages to make a character whose army book description for how many editions has made him out to be THE biggest bastard in the entire Warhammer Fantasy world, Malus Darkblade, and makes him into a protagonist who's just sympathetic enough to be worth reading without ruining the character. Not many folk could do that, so I left him off my list of worst authors.

With regards to the discussion of Inquisitor Draco, I think a lot of people tend to look at "no redeeming qualities whatsoever" and say "flawed", with regards to various characters and I don't agree with that. Flawed characters still have something about them that makes you actually interested in them.

Lord of Worms
29-05-2009, 04:07
I'd say about the only real redeeming feature in Battle for the Abyss is Mhotep, but then again, my brain cast him as being played by Christopher Judge, which enhanced his awesomeness.

I saw him as being James Earl Jones.:D

LexxBomb
29-05-2009, 04:13
In regards to Inquisitor Draco I actually found him be be tragic not flawed...
my reasoning...
1. He reminded me of people my father work with when he was an Intelligence Officer
2. He reminded me of characters from Ancient Greek Plays... he is infact very Odysseus with some Edipus thown in at the very end... Actually if you combine Odysseus, Edipus and Bachus/Bacchi (depending which version you read) you would get a character very much like Draco.

laudarkul
29-05-2009, 06:47
Goto and maybe CL Werner (I mean it's predictable the end of the story from the first pages)

Gutlord Grom
29-05-2009, 07:20
As usual, C.S. Goto comes in as the worst thing I've read from BL. He's just can't write a convincing character with a convincing emotional response to... well, anything. You guessed the plot and end of any of his books by looking at the cover

The next on the crap heap is James Swallow. I mean the entire Deus Encarnamine Series was a joke. The characters are pretty much cardboard cut outs of more interesting characters. You can figure out Stele is evil in the first paragraph of his view point. The Word Bearers are jokes, because most of their dialogue could be replaced with "Mwuhahahahahahaha!" or "Curses!". Rafen is a Mary Sue with plot armor, and all the Blood Angels are about as thick as planks.

I've also heard the Last Chancers book was pretty bad, but I've not personally read it, so who knows?

After that, it's a bit of mix. Dan Abnett is probably the best of the bunch, and the Eisenhorn Series and Ravenor books are pretty good, and while not world shaking literature, at least are competently written with likable characters and plots that often go beyond "blood, gore and platitudes blah blah". The Ghost series is okay, nothing special and at times cliched. But it has its moments, and the last few books have had their share of "cool" characters and interesting settings. Brothers of the Snake wasn't all that good, and the characters didn't really feel like they belonged. Had is moments, but below average. Horus Rising (first Heresy book, right?) was a great opener to the Horus Heresy, and made Horus a character with a depth that unfortunately has been lost on the later Heresy books. Legion is fairly good, and it fleshes out the Alpha Legion nicely(though honestly not enough).

Ben Counter is hit or miss. The Soul Drinkers series, while interesting in concept, has bland main characters (Sarpedon). The more interesting characters are often the secondaries, like the Imperial Guard General in Bloody Tears or the Inquisitor in the second book. The first Grey Knights wasn't anything special, but all the characters were wel fleshed out, and Alaric was a likable Space Marine.

The Cain books are okay, but there really not that interesting in the long run. It has its moments, but most of the jokes get recycled over and over.

That's all I got.

Tymell
29-05-2009, 08:27
The Cain books are okay, but there really not that interesting in the long run. It has its moments, but most of the jokes get recycled over and over.

I agree with this one. I love the concept, but it just gets really repetitive, basically doing the same thing each time. Which is a shame, because I feel the series has lots of potential.

Bregalad
29-05-2009, 08:42
I agree that it is one of the worst polls.
BTW, Ben Counter's "Grey Knight" is my favorite BL novel, on par with ABnett stuff, so people might give it a try except his bad reputation in this thread.

redthirst
29-05-2009, 09:34
I've read a lot of BL books: all the Gaunt's Ghost, Space Wolves, Imperial Guard, Soul Drinkers, Blood Angels, etc. books and while I've been less than enthralled by quite a few of them (lookin' at you, Swallow), there's only one book I've ever had to just stop reading: Iron Hands by Johnathan Green - the absolute, without a doubt, makes Goto read like Steven King, worst BL writer of all time.

Dranthar
29-05-2009, 09:34
C.S. Goto. I tried reading the start of one of his books, but just hated his writing style. I've heard bad things from people who have read more than I (regarding plot), but I'm not willing to see for myself.

Of Dan Abnetts stuff Ive only read the Eisenhorn Trilogy and part of a Gaunts Ghost book. The first two novels of the Eisenhorn Trilogy were great but the third was a real let-down by comparison. The Gaunts Ghosts book was okay, but nothing extraordinary. He writes better than C.S. Goto, but with the exception of the above two Eisenhorn novels the plot progression leaves something to be desired.

I've just started reading some non-GW science fiction (haven't had the time for any reading until recently). I couldn't tell you the author but even after the first two chapters, the writing style is far and away better than Abnett's or Goto's. Chances are that I'll never pick up a Black Library book again.


This is the worst poll ever.

You haven't been on here long, have you? ;)

Bob Hunk
29-05-2009, 10:03
pookie - The Soul Drinkers actually 1st appeared in the Sisters of Battle 2nd Ed Codex as part of the Space Marine forces sent to purge the planet of Lastrati, so aren't Ben Counter's own homebrew chapter (and co-incidentally, that was the 1st time Black Templars were mentioned as well)

Interestingly, the first mention of the Soul Drinkers is actually as a dedicated assault company of the White Scars in WD130-something. I only found that out recently myself. Go-go retcon! ;)

daboarder
29-05-2009, 10:03
swallow! nuff said.
as for inquisition war man those were some frigged up novels but the strange thing is i enjoyed the wierd all over the place inconsitencies. hmm maybe its sadism tho. ive been reading the BL books alot of late mostly because it tired of epics and stories that run over multiple books and havent been finnished yet.

Nero
29-05-2009, 11:08
I voted for Abnett. I've only read his HH books and the first Gaunt's Ghosts book. I can't say I care for them... Dull, stupid and painfully overrated in equal measure.

Goto on the other hand is brilliant. He has a Space Marine surfing a razorback down a river of blood in one book. It might be the multiple memory-altering aneurysms followed by weeks of morphine-soaked hospitalisation that I get from reading one of his books, but I find them hilariously enjoyable!

Seriously, both authors are incompetent hacks. If you're going to be bad though, at least be so bad you're entertaining to watch fail. Goto is that bad.

Grindgodgrind
29-05-2009, 11:45
I agree that it is one of the worst polls.
BTW, Ben Counter's "Grey Knight" is my favorite BL novel, on par with ABnett stuff, so people might give it a try except his bad reputation in this thread.

How did you find the other two novels, Bregalad?

Draconian77
29-05-2009, 11:51
Ever?

Hmm, unfortunately I can't peer into the future so I'm going to have to abstain.

Iverald
29-05-2009, 11:53
I agree that it is one of the worst polls.
BTW, Ben Counter's "Grey Knight" is my favorite BL novel, on par with ABnett stuff, so people might give it a try except his bad reputation in this thread.

Seconded. :D

Count Fenring
29-05-2009, 12:18
Hahaha,

I knew that Goto would be tops by a wide margin here. I stopped reading eldar prophesy and his short story (Of the same) too. Alluding that a farseer is a pedophile is just too frakking much to take.

Captain Micha
29-05-2009, 12:39
The next on the crap heap is James Swallow. I mean the entire Deus Encarnamine Series was a joke. The characters are pretty much cardboard cut outs of more interesting characters. You can figure out Stele is evil in the first paragraph of his view point. The Word Bearers are jokes, because most of their dialogue could be replaced with "Mwuhahahahahahaha!" or "Curses!". Rafen is a Mary Sue with plot armor, and all the Blood Angels are about as thick as planks..

To be fair Mary Sue describes pretty much all Space Marines in game and fluff alike, the same applies to all Space Marines (being thick as planks).

pookie
29-05-2009, 13:56
pookie - The Soul Drinkers actually 1st appeared in the Sisters of Battle 2nd Ed Codex as part of the Space Marine forces sent to purge the planet of Lastrati, so aren't Ben Counter's own homebrew chapter (and co-incidentally, that was the 1st time Black Templars were mentioned as well)
or stuff i like

are you sure? im almost positive ( tho no books to hand) that they (BT) were mentioend in the C:SM UM Dex, which pre dates the SoB one doesnt it? ( and even in the 2nd edition Codex Imperialis (sp) too?.

didnt realise that they were not his Homebrew Chapter, though in hindsight and considering they were the Assault Elements of the WS then its fairly obvious they werent.


I agree that it is one of the worst polls.
BTW, Ben Counter's "Grey Knight" is my favorite BL novel, on par with ABnett stuff, so people might give it a try except his bad reputation in this thread.

actually i'l agree the GK book i read was quite a good read.


Interestingly, the first mention of the Soul Drinkers is actually as a dedicated assault company of the White Scars in WD130-something. I only found that out recently myself. Go-go retcon! ;)

in my mind its just poor Knowledge of Canon fluff, i just refuse to believe that they are founded from IF Gene Seed!

LexxBomb
29-05-2009, 14:00
isn't that why GW needs a fluff bible that they can use (even if we cant have one) so that they dont stuff up so much.

Kaenei
29-05-2009, 14:02
I have to say the Last Chancers book is worth reading in its entirety just to follow the awesome dynamic of Kage and Schaeffer - the usual contempt but grudging respect a subordinate has for his commanding officer blown out of proportion as only 40k fiction can do!

boogle
29-05-2009, 14:49
are you sure? im almost positive ( tho no books to hand) that they (BT) were mentioend in the C:SM UM Dex, which pre dates the SoB one doesnt it? ( and even in the 2nd edition Codex Imperialis (sp) too?.

didnt realise that they were not his Homebrew Chapter, though in hindsight and considering they were the Assault Elements of the WS then its fairly obvious they werent.



actually i'l agree the GK book i read was quite a good read.



in my mind its just poor Knowledge of Canon fluff, i just refuse to believe that they are founded from IF Gene Seed!

I never owned a copy of Codex UM, (was a BA player back then so never needed it) so you may well be correct there, and i may have gotten Lastrati mixed up with the assault on Terra during the Reign of Blood http://warhammer40k.wikia.com/wiki/Soul_Drinkers (1st paragraph) and also a bit of a contradiction in their background here: http://web.ics.purdue.edu/~amnichol/ImperialFists.html (last paragraph)

pookie
29-05-2009, 15:06
I never owned a copy of Codex UM, (was a BA player back then so never needed it) so you may well be correct there, and i may have gotten Lastrati mixed up with the assault on Terra during the Reign of Blood http://warhammer40k.wikia.com/wiki/Soul_Drinkers (1st paragraph) and also a bit of a contradiction in their background here: http://web.ics.purdue.edu/~amnichol/ImperialFists.html (last paragraph)

i dislike Wiki as it can be amended by anyone cant it?

and the contradiction for me is that the Soul Drinkers were a knamed element of the WS, and no other source other than Ben Counter ( official GW that is ) can find them as a second founding chapter.

even the BT dex doesnt say they are, although it was argued to me that it does say it in the BT Dex, but if that was the case then the Fire Hawks are also a IF decended chapter.

oh and Ditto, about BA back then, i was also a BA Player.

Witchsight
29-05-2009, 15:37
To stray a little bit, i was just wondering if the Horus heresy series was done well? Mainly the first book, which i believe is done by Abnett.

Im starting to realize BL is what it is and it isnt going to get any better. The last book i read was Daemon World by Counter. It wasnt bad, but it was stretched out way to long.
Are most of the heresy books done by him and Abnett?

Urath
29-05-2009, 15:45
Abnett wrote "Horus Rising" and "Legion".
Counter Wrote "Galaxy in Flames" and "Battle for the Abyss"
Mcneil wrote "False Gods", "Fulgrim" and "Mechanicum"
Swallows wrote "Flight of the Eisenstein"
Mitchel wrote "Descent of Angels"

Tbh, I think all of them are good. Except for Battle for the Abyss, which is way to boring and cliche and does not advance the plot at all really. Abentt's books are awesome and Mcneil's are also grand, Fulgrim and Mechanicum being my faves of the series.

Galaxy in Flames is also great, with a nice portrayel of Isstvan III.

There are a couple of inconsistencies though, involving Tarvitz.

boogle
29-05-2009, 16:34
Abnett wrote "Horus Rising" and "Legion".
Counter Wrote "Galaxy in Flames" and "Battle for the Abyss"
Mcneil wrote "False Gods", "Fulgrim" and "Mechanicum"
Swallows wrote "Flight of the Eisenstein"
Mitchel wrote "Descent of Angels"

Tbh, I think all of them are good. Except for Battle for the Abyss, which is way to boring and cliche and does not advance the plot at all really. Abentt's books are awesome and Mcneil's are also grand, Fulgrim and Mechanicum being my faves of the series.

Galaxy in Flames is also great, with a nice portrayel of Isstvan III.

There are a couple of inconsistencies though, involving Tarvitz.

Galaxy in Flames is only good because large parts of it were re-written

Sir_Turalyon
29-05-2009, 16:48
Abnett. Gotto is obviously bad and unreadable, Abnett is equaly but less so obviously bad so he has greater freedom of polluting BL with his writings.

Zingbaby
29-05-2009, 17:53
Well clearly Abnett is the only real writer amongst the bunch. He might not always say what every 40k fan wants him to say - but he sure can write and hold his own in the SciFi genre as a whole.

The rest are, at best, unsuccessful hack writers (Goto, Swallow, etc) or friends of the GW inner circle that are just doing their best to forge an already existing and wonderful pile of material into an engaging story. Certainly a few have created some fun works, given the already interesting 40k-universe and built-in fan base, but very few of these books could stand up on their own outside of our little microcosm of 40k.

That said I think Graham McNiell has greatly improved as a writer and I do enjoy his books. His pace is also a little more suitable for the younger readers. I really don't expect the 'attention-deficient' generation to appreciate Abnett as much as I do, nor do I expect them to even read this entire post, but in my opinion he is heads above the rest.

Urath
29-05-2009, 18:04
Galaxy in Flames is only good because large parts of it were re-written

Where did this come from?

Abnett is generally good. He is a good author and actually knows how to construct a story however, his grasp of the fluff is sometimes poor at best; considering he's basing his stories around it in an effort to make cash.

Gaunts Ghosts... Some of the most overated tosh of all 40K books. But Eisenhorn and Ravenor were grand, as were his Horus Heresy stuff.

boogle
29-05-2009, 18:29
Where did this come from?

Abnett is generally good. He is a good author and actually knows how to construct a story however, his grasp of the fluff is sometimes poor at best; considering he's basing his stories around it in an effort to make cash.

Gaunts Ghosts... Some of the most overated tosh of all 40K books. But Eisenhorn and Ravenor were grand, as were his Horus Heresy stuff.

From Graham McNeill himself, when i spoke to him last year when signing a copy of Mechanicum at GW Oxford Street

Bregalad
29-05-2009, 19:41
Hahaha,

I knew that Goto would be tops by a wide margin here. I stopped reading eldar prophesy and his short story (Of the same) too. Alluding that a farseer is a pedophile is just too frakking much to take.
A drooling (!), old, Slaanesh worshipping pedophile participating in big regular Slaanesh parties on an Eldar craftworld to be precise ;)


How did you find the other two novels, Bregalad?
Ben Counter: The other two Grey Knight novels are quite different with only the main character barely connecting them. "Dark Adeptus" has an interesting theme with AdMech vs. Dark AdMech on a twisted forge world, "Hammer of Daemons" is all about "Will the first Grey Knight be corrupted?" on a daemon world and not my cup of tea. Like them a lot less, with Dark Adeptus much better than the third.

James Swallow: "Faith and Fire" is perhaps not a masterwork, but I enjoyed it because it gives some background information on Sororitas.

Simon Spurrier: Fire Warrior has strict limits being the novelization of an ego shooter, but within these limits, it is not bad. Xenology has some faults and very daring theories, but it was enjoyable as well.

Urath
29-05-2009, 19:45
From Graham McNeill himself, when i spoke to him last year when signing a copy of Mechanicum at GW Oxford Street

This is pretty interesting, did he happen to let slip which sections may have been re-written?

I doubt it, but it's worth a shot! :p

Balog
29-05-2009, 20:14
People seem to be confusing "poorly written books" with "a book I personally don't care for" with "a book that doesn't adhere to previous 40k fluff" none of which are necessarily the same.

boogle
29-05-2009, 20:42
Well in the original draft the beginning of the book started with the death of Sindermann, so that was one of the many things that was re-written.

Graham said the problem was that Ben wrote the 1st draft of Galaxy in Flames in seclusion, unlike Dan and Graham as they met and communicated often, hence the flow from Horus Rising to False Gods was smooth.

Steel Legion for Life
29-05-2009, 23:07
Abnett is actually very, very talented, not to mention hugely prolific.

If you don't believe me, try writing entertainingly in the first person - he manages it for three novels in Eisenhorn.

Most people haven't read Riders of the Dead, which is a shame, as I think it's actually written with more skill than most "literary" books out there.

He's also extremely prolific, and money-driven (when asked at seminars why he writes he always replies "for the money") and that gets in the way of the quality of some of the novels; for example, you can feel the rushed endings in some Gaunt's Ghosts books, and you can practically hear the pushing of Forge world toys in Sabbat Martyr.

As for Gaunt's Ghosts, I think both 1st and Only & Ghostmaker suffer from being short story collections; Xenos, the first Eisenhorn book, is the weakest of the three. Lots of people don't get much past those, I think, and judge the whole of his talent as a writer by them.

Why are they worse than his other books? Gaunt started as a cheap rip-off of Sharpe; easy money. Equally, Xenos was rushed out for the Inquisitor launch.

When I introduce people to Gaunt's Ghosts, I tend to start with Necropolis, which I think is probably the best of the lot. The other books in the Gaunt series vary from excellent to average-but-still-better-than-most-sci-fi.

And that's the point; compared to most other sci-fi/fantasy adventure fiction writers, Dan Abnett is up there in the Robin Hobb "rollicking good read if you like that sort of thing" league, whereas the vast majority of the BLs other authors are "barely readable even if you like that sort of thing" - the exceptions being Graham McNeill and Kim Newman, who are both very readable.

I'd say the worst authors are:

Goto (Most basic failing is he can't write dialogue, apparently his main talent is speed; he was brought in to write Dawn of War in a week because another author dropped out),

Swallow (commits the terrible sin of being exceedingly boring to read and unable to pace a story -if you describe the events of Flight of the Eisenstein, it sounds almost impossible to make it dull, but he finds a way).

Thorpe (Thorpe's fiction is so bad it beggars belief that it was ever published; compare it to the Black Library's own publishing guidelines for a list of why it's awful. I think the biggest sin is that Kage is clearly who Gav Thorpe wishes he was; which is a bit odd considering the character is so hugely loathsome.)

If I had to choose, I'd pick Thorpe, as he also wrote Codex:Blood Angels. The bastard.

spacewolf_sven
29-05-2009, 23:14
abnett is really quite good but goto just does understand the setting of 40k

Damien 1427
29-05-2009, 23:25
when asked at seminars why he writes he always replies "for the money"

:D What a guy. At least he's honest. That being said, Dan also does a fair few comics, is knocking out some original stuff (Apparently one is out around the same time as Blood Pact) as well as the stuff he wants to do. Say what you want about him, the chap works hard.

Truth be told, I'm not a huge fan of the Ghosts books. But they're by far and away the biggest sellers (Perhaps short of the Heresy books) so sometimes you get the feeling he'd rather be doing something else, hence the "middle period", or the more recent stuff. But since they shift, you can bet GW want to see more of them out on the shelves. But at this point, Dan is pretty much the headline name for the Black Library, he could do a book about anything in the setting and it'd sell out in a day.

Tymell
30-05-2009, 00:53
Galaxy in Flames is only good because large parts of it were re-written

I can vouch for this point as well, heard from a store manager during a discussion of the series. The story went that whenever someone is writing a novel for Black Library, they get sent a massive stack of background material. When Ben Counter submitted his first draft, it was painfully obvious he hadn't even looked at all this material, and it had to be re-written.

Dexter099
30-05-2009, 02:21
That guy who wrote "Fifteen Hours". That trash was worse than Goto.

Michael Scanlon

And Goto is awful from what I've heard. Little kids and civilians downing a wave serpent by climbing on top of it?

Dexter099
30-05-2009, 02:24
Swallow (commits the terrible sin of being exceedingly boring to read and unable to pace a story -if you describe the events of Flight of the Eisenstein, it sounds almost impossible to make it dull, but he finds a way).


I actually found Flight of the Eisenstein to one of the better HH books.

Imperialis_Dominatus
30-05-2009, 10:33
Descent of Angels DOES belong in the Horus Heresy series... It's a tale of the founding of the Dark Angels.

Eh. Other Legions deserve a Founding book just as much, but won't because it's a Horus Heresy series. I don't see what the Founding of the Dark Angels has to do with the Heresy.


People seem to be confusing "poorly written books" with "a book I personally don't care for" with "a book that doesn't adhere to previous 40k fluff" none of which are necessarily the same.

QFT.


when asked at seminars why he writes he always replies "for the money"

What an odd concept. Doable if you can pull it off, but you could probably make loads more money putting the energy it takes to make a good book into something else.

Bregalad
30-05-2009, 10:42
I actually found Flight of the Eisenstein to one of the better HH books.
Seconded. But perhaps I was starved to see the first Chaos Space marine appearance after waiting in vain for three novels. ;)
His description of the rise of Nurgle marines made me buy the first (Nurgle) SM models.

boogle
30-05-2009, 11:11
I enjoyed Flight of the Eisenstein as well as it vastly expanded the little knowledge that we had about the actual Flight itself and also as Bregalad said showed us the 1st Cult Marines.

The Dark Angels are one of the most interesting of the 1st Founding Chapters and the whole fall of Caliban and it's circumstance has always been shrouded in mystery, and this book goes to show that the seeds of rebellion were founded long before the Heresy was even thought of. As i said before, it was patently obvious that this book was meant to be part of a triology within the series.

As for the other founding chapters, they may well have their time in the sun, but some of the really don't need whole books about themselves (The Night Lords for example were perfectly portrayed in the Dark King short, apart from this, they should have a supporting role and nothing more)
The Chapters that probably will get stand alone books:
Blood Angels - the events on Signus Prime
Death Guard - probably the becalming of their ship and their eventual fall to Nurgle
White Scars - the move from Chondax, briefly meeting with the Space Wolves, the attack of the Alpha Legion, then their Heroics of the Lions Gate Space Port
Ultramarines and Word Bearers - The Battle of Calth (done properly, not the pap that was Battle for the Abyss)
The rest can be covered in Shorts.

Steel Legion for Life
30-05-2009, 11:34
sometimes you get the feeling he'd rather be doing something else, hence the "middle period", or the more recent stuff.

I actually thought of the more recent stuff (i.e. post Traitor General), the problem was less that the books were bad, just they didn't feel as epic as the previous ones.

His Last Command, Armour of Contempt and Only in Death have all felt "small scale"; you don't feel what the Ghosts are doing is that important, and they usually don't succeed. Maybe it's a reaction to the "too OTT for Guard" criticism he often gets.

I'm sure it's deliberate; all the business about being in the second front etc etc. His Last Command & Armour of Contempt basically just got Gaunt back from behind enemy lines; tied up the lose end of Gereon; Only in Death really just tied up what happened to Soric, in terms of moving the plot forward.

Equally, the subplots haven't really lived up to the earlier ones; the secret psi arc and the Cuu arc were much more interesting than all the business with Caffran and the fallout from what happens in Armour.

In terms of the books themselves, HLC is quite a weak story; rushed at the end - once the Imperials work out the secret the whole exercise seem a bit pointless.

Armour of Contempt is very interesting, but suffers from the story about the young lad conscript being much more interesting than the parallel-loose-end-tying-up. Again, Gereon is described as being so ruined it feels like it's a waste of effort.

Only in Death is a great haunted house story, a good read, and has some lovely expansion of the background of how psis work and are treated in the Imperium, but again, it doesn't really have oomph - Jago, as a deserted fortress, never feels as important as Phantine or Verghast or Aexe Cardinal.

I'm hoping for a return to form with Blood Pact, and hoping Abnett starts to move the overall plot forward again - more Sons of Sek please!

Staurikosaurus
30-05-2009, 12:06
Ben Counter. He should beat himself into unconciousness with whatever implement he used to write Battle for the Abyss. A retarded monkey with it's head stuck in a paint shaker could write a better story.

Captain Micha
02-06-2009, 17:54
I do believe that is better than wizards of the coast who's minis are so bad quality wise they make the work of a retarded 4 year old with broken fingers look fantastic.

hereticdave
02-06-2009, 19:47
Holy what a bunch of whining! BL books are great for a kick back non brain engaging fun, there's nothing revelationary there it's just a chance to explore aspects of the warhammer world.

Just going through the pages here there's people who agree and disagree on who's best/worst or good/bad books about the very same authors/novels. Sometimes you like a book sometimes you don't. Hell i'm reading World War Z right now and enjoying it - i bet in 5 minutes i could find someone who hates it. Who cares!?!

If you want mind crunching fantasy excellence go out and pick up Stephen Eriksons Malazan Book of the Fallen series.

If you want to read more about 40k then BL is the only place you'll get it and it's inherently limited by (a) the people who'd want to write for them (b) the limits on what they can write about both in the fluff and by editors.

I'd say excellently written sci-fi or fantasy comes out of giving a writer their head and letting them explore a world/reality of their own creation. Writing within the confines of 40K particularly with a bunch of sniping internetz fluff nerdz on their heels drastically limits what they can do.

Complaining about BL writing is much like complaining about GW always focusing on Space Marines. They're a corporation, they make their money out of a franchise and it's easier to perpetuate it without any more thought [much like the music industry] rather than keep taking those risks and developing new lines/directions whatever that might fail. GW rolling back to their core games is as much a result of the same thought pattern as generates the basic stories BL puts out.

Lastly if i had to complain about anything in BL i'd bitch about their inconsistent book height, cover continuity/sytle within series' and general book availability :) But then i'm an anal retentive who likes a nice bookshelf.

....and i bet there's someone out there who disagrees - such is life, buy a helmet.

Lord of Worms
02-06-2009, 23:06
I have to say the Last Chancers book is worth reading in its entirety just to follow the awesome dynamic of Kage and Schaeffer - the usual contempt but grudging respect a subordinate has for his commanding officer blown out of proportion as only 40k fiction can do!

The first one was OK. I found the part where the surviving Chancers gang beat that scumbag to death in the barracks very powerful.
The other two novels were too much of a radical shift in Kage's personality to really be believable. Maybe that was the point, but it seems a little bit thrown together, IMO.

Captain Micha
09-06-2009, 16:09
I don't think Abnett deserves being on this poll, because he made the Ravenor series, which perfectly hits the 40k setting spot on really. Out of the BL books I've read nothing quite captures the atmosphere GW tries to push on everyone like the Ravenor series (and makes it seem worth reading at any rate).

Given the 'quality' Abnett has to work with to start with I think that he does a pretty fine job.