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Lord_Crull
10-09-2009, 23:38
Now first of all, I will say this. I respect Dan Abnett, make no mistake about that I can only imagine the sheer amount of work and effort it goes into writing a novel and I can only respect that.

I would also say I do not hate Dan Abnett, I enjoyed Eisenhorn and Gaunt’s Ghosts greatly. I think he is an awesome writer with the occasional bad book (Brothers of the snake comes to mind)

Now, while reading Eisenhorn again, I am struck by this feeling, I cannot exactly properly describe it in words. But it’s like I’m not really read Warhammer at all.

This is not a bad thing, Eisenhorn is some very, very, good science fiction. Same with Gaunt’s Ghosts, but I never get the same ‘’grimdark’’ fell as I do with every other author.

I always feel like I am reading a somewhat different version of the setting with a different tone. Has anyone had this?

The Judge
11-09-2009, 00:11
Yeah, I have had this. I find all the authors, to some extent, change the setting with their own personal style somewhat. IMO, without really thinking about it properly, Steve Parker and the person who wrote the Shira Calpernia books got my vision of 40K the most accurate. Abnett has one of the more... unique views, and it is awesome, just not "perfect" grimdark 40K. Bit too much pulp sci-fi, not enough space fantasy perhaps?

Lord Malice
11-09-2009, 00:31
The main problem I think Abnett has with writing for 40K is that the character's seem too modern, there is none of the true madness or horror that makes 40K 40K in his novels. Just ordinary people (and I say ordinary as in civilian, no soldier I know acts or talks like anything from an Abnett novel) with laser guns.

The other thing I don't like in BL novels is that everyone knows about Chaos even though the Inquisition (and even then only some Inquisitors) and the Administratum ruthlessly purge all traces of Chaos to the point where almost no-one knows of its existence.

If you read BL the impression is that everyone knows about Chaos, the Horus Heresy, Traitor Marines, the lot which is rediculous when most hivers think that such things as 'outside' and 'the sun' are nothing more than myths!

Imperialis_Dominatus
11-09-2009, 00:43
Eh. I don't seem to get the same impression. He occasionally breaks with mainstream 40k to the point where it stretches suspension of disbelief (or breaks it, like Brothers of the Snake does in limited quantities), but it's a damn big galaxy and all of his work fits into it as far as I'm concerned.

To me it seems that there is plenty of grimdarkery in his books, and Eisenhorn in particular was the BL novel that, in tandem with other classics like Lord of the Night and Storm of Iron, really brought 40k to life for me.

Lord_Crull
11-09-2009, 00:45
I'm not denying that Abnett's books are ''grimdark''. I just do not get the same ''type'' of grimdark feeling.

Charax
11-09-2009, 00:49
To me, the Eisenhorn books read like a Star Wars novel - all those high-tech worlds, frequent interplanetary travel and, as Lord Malice mentioned, his characterisation just seems off. Replace his Powersword with a Lightsaber, Psionics with Force Powers and you basically have Obi-Wan Eisenhorni, flitting from world to world following a trail of clues and coincidences, permeated by some climactic battles that would no doubt have cost ILM a pretty penny to visualise.

So no, I'm not a fan of Abnett's.

threewolftats
11-09-2009, 01:22
I am not a fan of either the Eisenhorn, or Ravenor trilogies for the same reasons stated by Charax...... and I don't rate Brotherhood as one of his better works..... but I love the Guants Ghosts series and I thought Double Eagle was excellent..... perhaps I am easily pleased... I just don't need the whole "grimdark" thing shoved down my throat with every page.....

Lord Malice
11-09-2009, 01:22
I just do not get the same ''type'' of grimdark feeling.



...his characterisation just seems off.

It's music with rocks in but it ain't rock music.

Firaxin
11-09-2009, 05:13
I don't get why people complain so frequently about an Inquisitor being able to travel from planet to planet at will or about the Imperium having anti-grav tech (it's gotta show up somewhere in their million worlds), etc...

And to right the whole series off because they can't get behind the tech levels shown is even dumber.

Allen
11-09-2009, 06:38
I'm not denying that Abnett's books are ''grimdark''. I just do not get the same ''type'' of grimdark feeling.

The same kind of grimdark feeling compared to what, exactly?
The small fluff bits and the stories in the rulebook/in every codex are quite...well, amateur-ish.

They don't really communicate any "grimdark" feeling, at least to me: it's like saying that Dr. Evil from Austin Powers communicate a true evil feeling. It's an over-the-top caricature of a stereotypical clichè, exactly like the fluff in the tabletop resources is an over-the-top exaggeration of a "grim" and/or "dark" setting. I think even GW authors see the "non-BL" fluff in this way.

Tonberry
11-09-2009, 08:49
This is why Abnett made his own little piece of the galaxy to write about in his books (The Sabbat Worlds).
Maybe there things really aren't so grim dark - it's a pretty big galaxy after all.

Condottiere
11-09-2009, 09:25
The Imperium has a million worlds - not all of Imperial citizens will be feeling despair, and not all of them will have a totally grim existence.

Lord_Crull
11-09-2009, 10:40
The same kind of grimdark feeling compared to what, exactly?


Every other Black Library author.



They don't really communicate any "grimdark" feeling, at least to me: it's like saying that Dr. Evil from Austin Powers communicate a true evil feeling. It's an over-the-top caricature of a stereotypical clichè, exactly like the fluff in the tabletop resources is an over-the-top exaggeration of a "grim" and/or "dark" setting. I think even GW authors see the "non-BL" fluff in this way.

I actually consider that quite grimdark and good myself.

Burnthem
11-09-2009, 11:40
I personally love the way Eisenhorn is written (the best BL novel so far IMO), in that it shows the 'other side' to 40K, the mundane day to day lives of people not caught up in the consuming GRIMDARK that alot of people seem to think infects every single world in the Imperium.


I don't get why people complain so frequently about an Inquisitor being able to travel from planet to planet at will or about the Imperium having anti-grav tech (it's gotta show up somewhere in their million worlds), etc....

QFT, if anyone in the Imperium can do this, it's an Inquisitor. If a nobody was taking regular interplanetary holidays for fun then i'd see a problem, but as it is it's fine.


Just ordinary people...with laser guns.!

Because the VAST majority of people in 40K are 'normal' people.


The other thing I don't like in BL novels is that everyone knows about Chaos even though the Inquisition (and even then only some Inquisitors) and the Administratum ruthlessly purge all traces of Chaos to the point where almost no-one knows of its existence.

If you read BL the impression is that everyone knows about Chaos, the Horus Heresy, Traitor Marines, the lot which is rediculous when most hivers think that such things as 'outside' and 'the sun' are nothing more than myths!

Even all the BL novels put together cover a tiny percentage of the Imperium, and will obviously focus on those regions/people/wars etc that feature a popular part of 40K - Chaos.


The Imperium has a million worlds - not all of Imperial citizens will be feeling despair, and not all of them will have a totally grim existence.

Exactly.

x-esiv-4c
11-09-2009, 11:49
I enjoy Abnett's books very much (with exception of BotS). It's a refreshing new take on the 40k universe that doesn't involve MaHrEEnz or SKuLLZ!!!

Count Zero
11-09-2009, 12:22
i enjoy Abnett's books very much, am loving the Ravenor Omnibus at the moment, but 40k and its universe is a constantly altering thing anyway. i still think of things from the original Inquisitor book series when i think of 40k outside of a game setting.

Even in Ravenor there gives a good description of 'normal' life, with thousands of workers, most augmented in some way that only improves their job productivity trudging to work, to do a boring, endless job, and this is the best life they can hope for. Also with constant threat of acid rain storms etc etc.

ashc
11-09-2009, 12:24
I enjoy Abnett's books very much (with exception of BotS). It's a refreshing new take on the 40k universe that doesn't involve MaHrEEnz or SKuLLZ!!!

I agree with this. If anything, it makes you believe that these places could actually exist, because if mainstream 40k universe was as bad as it makes out to be, the whole damn thing would collapse with the weight of its own grimdarkness...

I personally think the Eisenhorn trilogy is plenty of grimdark, especially by book 3 where the Grox-dung hits the fan.

Lord_Crull, I am afraid the way you talk makes it sound like you prefer machiavellian caricatures of a nemesis than a true nemesis.

(Woo, post 3000 :) )

Lord_Crull
11-09-2009, 14:03
Lord_Crull, I am afraid the way you talk makes it sound like you prefer machiavellian caricatures of a nemesis than a true nemesis.


Nope, that's your opinion of what a villian is.

x-esiv-4c
11-09-2009, 14:07
That doesn't even make sense.

Lord_Crull
11-09-2009, 14:10
That doesn't even make sense.


Makes sense to me, what one person cosiders depth differs from another's perception of a villian with ''character depth''.

ashc's statement of a ''true nemesis'' and me preferrign a ''caricture of a nemesis'' is false, Since I do not share his interpretation of what makes a good nemesis.

To me, he's the one with the caricture.

AndrewGPaul
11-09-2009, 14:22
Are the same people who complain about Eisenhorn and Gaunt's Ghosts the same people who complain about the OTT setting info in Codex: Space Marines? :)

I like Abnett's stuff, precisely because it went away from the relentless adolescent sense of doom and failure that sometimes permeates the setting. He was one of the first writers in more recent times to widen the scope of the setting and to give an accurate sense that yes, the Galaxy is big enough for this sort of thing, too. OK, so Gaunt doesn't shoot any of his guardsmen in the head for cowardice, and perhaps that doesn't fit with the 'traditionl' portrayal of a Comissar. Fair enough - most novels are about something out of the ordinary, and he's only following in the footsteps of Yarrick, who is also described as inspiring his men through faith and valour, rather than fear of punishment (thematically - chronologically, Yarrick's following his example).

ashc
11-09-2009, 14:49
@Lord_Crull, your response to Allen's post concerning how basic the grimdark setting placed in the army books is and in reference to it being more like a caricaturisation of what is grimdark:



I actually consider that quite grimdark and good myself.


Then fair enough, but many (including myself) will disagree with you.

To me, the grim, dark setting of 40k results in a typical feeling that the heroes will lose and the villains will win, or that the heroes can win, but at a mighty cost (definite pyrrhic victories). Often, this results in the heroes seeming less heroic themselves. I can't really see how Abnett's Ghost and Inquisitor work does not tick those boxes.

I would say that an after-effect of this is that people think there should be an aura of darkness and oppression in every corner of the setting, which clearly there isn't, and in a setting that wants to maintain some realism, there shouldn't. One of the recurring themes in 40k that is often forgotten is the 'feudal' split in many of the world's rich and poor, and that is something that Abnett has explored, for instance showing both rich and uncaring guild masters who live an opulent care-free life to the 'twist slums of an agricultural planet.

To me, this makes for a 'grimdark' setting that you can actually believe in.

AndrewGPaul
11-09-2009, 14:54
Wasn't the term "grimdark" coined as something derogatory? To point out the childish "spikes and skulls" mentality that some people feel 40K has? Or is it being reclaimed, like "queer"? :)

ashc
11-09-2009, 14:57
Wasn't the term "grimdark" coined as something derogatory? To point out the childish "spikes and skulls" mentality that some people feel 40K has? Or is it being reclaimed, like "queer"? :)

Yes, and by the looks of it it actually derived from 40k's 'In the Grim Darkness...' banner :D

What I think the better BL authors (such as Abnett) have done is made grim dark actually readable and gripping.

There are plenty of bolter-pr0n grimdark writers elsewhere for BL though.

Lord_Crull
11-09-2009, 15:42
Then fair enough, but many (including myself) will disagree with you.


Then more power to you. but I will maintain my opinion.




To me, the grim, dark setting of 40k results in a typical feeling that the heroes will lose and the villains will win, or that the heroes can win, but at a mighty cost (definite pyrrhic victories). Often, this results in the heroes seeming less heroic themselves. I can't really see how Abnett's Ghost and Inquisitor work does not tick those boxes.


I recognize that, but my post is not about that. It's about the ''feel'' I get. I can't really explain it in written words, it's the ''feel'' I experiance when I read a book.

x-esiv-4c
11-09-2009, 15:52
The experience boils down to how Abnett wants you to interpret his world. As mentioned before, not all planets in the Imperium are the embodiment of Dachau. If you look at the cities Eisenhorn/Ravenor travel through there are many strata of "worlds" within them, be it glitzy upper-spire life or slum-crates. He generates a wide and varied world instead of the usually perceived: "Skulldeathbolterexplodedeath" notion that has become somewhat synonymous with 40k.

Lord_Crull
11-09-2009, 15:58
The experience boils down to how Abnett wants you to interpret his world. As mentioned before, not all planets in the Imperium are the embodiment of Dachau. If you look at the cities Eisenhorn/Ravenor travel through there are many strata of "worlds" within them, be it glitzy upper-spire life or slum-crates. He generates a wide and varied world instead of the usually perceived: "Skulldeathbolterexplodedeath" notion that has become somewhat synonymous with 40k.

But, what if, I think (Shock! Gasp!) that's not what I came to read? What if I think it get's a little dry and boring at times?

x-esiv-4c
11-09-2009, 16:13
There's no need to be facetious about it. If bolter-pr0n is your thing then more power to you I suppose. Some people just don't like thinking outside codex:Ultramarines and there isn't anything wrong with that. It's your game.

ashc
11-09-2009, 17:13
One thing about having a whole universe to go and play in is that you can pick and choose the bits you like.

x-esiv-4c
11-09-2009, 17:19
And a lot of people seem to forget that.

Lord Malice
11-09-2009, 23:30
Because the VAST majority of people in 40K are 'normal' people.

Taken completely out of context.

My point was that Gaunt's Ghosts as soldiers don't act or talk like real soldiers. Now I don't want or expect a direct translation from modern day soldier to Imperial Guardsmen but Abnett's characterisation reads like ordinary people, not military types.

True, they are a rag-tag bunch of conscripts but even the professional soldiers talk and act in the same way.

Also, the fact that you've gone into detail to point out that not all of the Imperium is 'Gimdark' and then here wish to say that the 'VAST' majority of humans are not 'normal' (as you put it, that isn't the word I used) is rather ammusing.


Even all the BL novels put together cover a tiny percentage of the Imperium, and will obviously focus on those regions/people/wars etc that feature a popular part of 40K - Chaos.

You've misconstrued my point again.

I didn't say that the novels feature Chaos and battles against the forces of Chaos too much. I said that Chaos in in-universe terms is something that only a tiny handful of select individuals are allowed knowledge of but that the BL novels have skewed this so much that it would seem that everyone knows about Chaos.

I like Abnett as an author (in and outside of BL) and enjoy the novels he has written for 40K immensely, even the ones people have slated elsewhere in this thread. I enjoy them as pieces of entertainment but they fall short of the mythos of 40K for me even where they don't out-right ignore in-universe facts; servitor-navigators, commissar-colonels, worlds where eneryone has an anti-grav vehicle even though anti-grav technology is incredibly rare within the Imperium, formalised hierarchies in the Inquisition, all Xanthites must have a daemon weapon et cetera.

RCgothic
11-09-2009, 23:59
Taken completely out of context.

My point was that Gaunt's Ghosts as soldiers don't act or talk like real soldiers. Now I don't want or expect a direct translation from modern day soldier to Imperial Guardsmen but Abnett's characterisation reads like ordinary people, not military types.

Seems military enough to me, granted I don't have military experience myself, but it's good enough for me.

Lord Malice
12-09-2009, 01:17
Seems military enough to me, granted I don't have military experience myself, but it's good enough for me.

It's a matter of individual taste at the end of the day. As I said I find the novels entertaining, they're easy to read as they're usually gripping stories and I like the characters, but that doesn't necessarily equate to the characterisation being representative of the 40K mythos. They should have had Abnett write some novels for Necromunda, I think he would have come up with some fantastic stories for that.

Rat Catcher
12-09-2009, 01:24
As someone who has served a three - year tour in Iraq, I find Abnetts' writing to be believable enough to enjoy; while I tend to prefer Gav Thorpe for combat oriented writing - his is still very engrossing.

The only thing that has ever "stood out" as unbelievable for me, is how the strength of main characters varies based on the book - sometime a squad of marines eats it in a valiant last stand or a single marine handles an entire squad solo. Aside from that, great stuff.

Lord Malice
12-09-2009, 01:31
I remember seeing in White Dwarf years ago that the BL sent hundreds of novels to the troops in Iraq, GG being the favourite. Enjoyable as you say and a point I agree with although my favourite GG character was the possessed Predator.

IncrediSteve
12-09-2009, 01:56
As everyone has been alluding to, Abnett's works tend to have more hope in them than we are used to.

"In the grim darkness of the far future there is only war..." does not imply hope, so it seems out of character when we see the level of hope and inspiration Abnett likes to use.

Orktavius
12-09-2009, 05:09
ahem....now that I've read the second page

To lord Krull

Ultramarines, Calgar

now that that's out of the way....I'm still trying to understand how the nemesis's that abnett writes seem less nemesy to you than Dr. evil...an over the top parody of the movie archtype nemesis O.o you understand the concept of parody right?

as for the rest...I find Abnett's books to be vastly entertaining *haven't read BoS and don't plan to now* and his vision of the grim darkness of the 40k universe matches mine...grim darkness doesn't mean that everyworld is under constant warfare...that's a bloody tagline... many worlds are going to have to be relatively unmolested *until someone comes along to molest em which is what I think they were going for* The "there is only war" bit to me is mainly a referal to the fact that there is no hope of lasting peace anywhere, the imperium will forever be at war until it is eventually swept away in the tides of war. What it does not mean is that every planet is locked in a freaking life or death struggle with one enemy or another. I think Abnett does a fine job of showing the grimness of everyday life in the great gap between rich and poor on worlds everywhere as others have mentioned.

As a final note.....RARE does not mean that anti grav does not exist. It just means it's rare to find anti-grav available on worlds, if a handful of worlds out of the MILLIONS of worlds in the imperium exist where everyone and their bloody dog have an anti-grav car that does not mean it is not still rare in the imperium.

Gutlord Grom
12-09-2009, 05:28
I'm not going to say Eisenhorn or the Gaunt's Ghost books are truly good reading. They still live in that rather pulp fiction kind of sci-fi that BL produces on a constant basis. But if you judge them by the standards of the books around them, they're leaps and bounds ahead in the right direction.

Let me explain: I don't mind a good, action movie style book. I enjoyed reading about the Soul Drinkers, Storm of Iron, Lord of Night, and Warriors of Ultramar. There straight forward and to the point. They're grim and dark, amusing at times, and not an unpleasant read to get through. They showcase "grimdark" 40k from the viewpoint of relatively blank characters with big guns, and sometimes, that's all you need. The plots are simple (Lord of Night gets something of an exception, a little one), and the message gets through to the reader

Of course, I've also read "GRIMMdOrKneZ" stuff like the Blood Angels novels, Dawn of War, and now I'm hammering my way through The Last Chancers. Sometimes the authors go a little too mass battle, a little too Marine Crazy, a little too evil villain with no actual motive to be evil, and Mary Sues juggling Rhinos. It's blood, skulls, heroics you've seen done before and carried off better. It's childish, silly really. It has pretensions to high drama and tension, but its all lost and figured out quickly, especially when the plot only works because everyone's an idiot.

Abnett does something different with Eisenhorn and Gaunt's Ghost's(and even the first Horus Heresy book) is that he makes it all a little less crazy. He creates his own little view of the Imperium, one where not every second is pounding doom and gloom. He creates characters who you can relate to, even if they may be psykers or officers, characters who are actually likable because they have fleshed out personalities and back stories.

Are his books more hopeful than a lot of 40k fiction? Yes, they tend to be. But sometimes that hope is often a counterpoint cruelty and pain that occur as well. Look at the opening to Eisenhorn 1. Hundreds of people die as they wake from cryogenic storage, freezing to death as their organs fail. In book two, the way that the grand Imperial victory march descends into madness is one of the largest and most spectacular scenes of a society falling apart in 40k fiction.

That's not to say everything works, like Brothers of the Snake. I prefer the more human approach on Marines that Abnett has, rather than "I kill orks good" Marines of say, Goto. But Brothers is a mess of overpowered insanity.

Lord Cook
12-09-2009, 05:36
The other thing I don't like in BL novels is that everyone knows about Chaos even though the Inquisition (and even then only some Inquisitors) and the Administratum ruthlessly purge all traces of Chaos to the point where almost no-one knows of its existence.

The idea that knowledge of Chaos is ruthlessly purged is frankly getting very out of date. I haven't seen it repeated in several editions now, and personally, good riddance. It's ridiculous. Let's look at an example. Everyone on Cadia knows about Chaos. For them the defense of the Cadian Gate is a way of life. Cadia not only trades widely with every surrounding sector, but Cadian troops serve on war zones all over the galaxy. Is anyone going to seriously propose that billions of troops with knowledge of Chaos are going to be kept quite somehow as they're scattered confetti-style across the entire Imperium?

What about the ongoing campaigns to purge sectors (like the Sabbat Worlds) from Chaos control? Does a military crusade involving billions of soldiers and trillions of Imperial citizens really have any hope of being secret? "Yes, we're launching a vast hundred-year crusade of epic proportions, but no one knows who we're fighting. It's confidential". See how ridiculous the whole idea gets?

Now I'm sure knowledge of things like Daemons and Traitor Marines wouldn't be encourage by the authorities, and stamped out where it starts to become paraded too openly, but the Imperial citizenry must know that they are opposed to the Arch-Enemy, who come from beyond the Cadian Gate, who wish to destroy the Imperium, and who possess many Imperial traitors and heretics. Knowledge like that helps to frighten people and bond the Imperium together.


I enjoy them as pieces of entertainment but they fall short of the mythos of 40K for me even where they don't out-right ignore in-universe facts; servitor-navigators, commissar-colonels, worlds where eneryone has an anti-grav vehicle even though anti-grav technology is incredibly rare within the Imperium, formalised hierarchies in the Inquisition, all Xanthites must have a daemon weapon et cetera.

Can't really agree with many of these. Some like the anti-gravitic technology is a fair point, but even Abnett has made it clear that the rank of Colonel-Commissar is incredibly unorthodox. Similarly, we just don't know enough about the Inquisition to say that it doesn't have some kind of formalised heirarchy. After all why not? It's a massive bureaucracy, if it had nothing except a huge mass of Inquisitors all at equal rank, it just wouldn't work.

I often feel that people want their 40k setting to remain so ridiculous that it makes no sense at all, as though that improves the story somehow. It's far more "grimdark" if it's believable, because you can see the parallels to actual reality and the society we ourselves live in. A nightmare is more frightening when it feels real enough that it might be true.

Orktavius
12-09-2009, 06:34
*applauds lord cook* I agree with you almost entirely and what I don't agree with is not worth mentioning. My hats off to you sir

WarpWhisperer
12-09-2009, 07:43
My point was that Gaunt's Ghosts as soldiers don't act or talk like real soldiers. Now I don't want or expect a direct translation from modern day soldier to Imperial Guardsmen but Abnett's characterisation reads like ordinary people, not military types.

True, they are a rag-tag bunch of conscripts but even the professional soldiers talk and act in the same way.


I know this discussion has probably moved past this point, but these kind of statements really grate on my nerves. I appreciate that all fiction is marked by the times in which it is authored, but statements like these that complain about the 'authenticity' of sci-fi novels are a little miguided, and these points about 'military ethos' seem even more so.

Do you think that the troops in the trenches of WWI acted in the same way as the armies facing each other at Agincourt?

Or even closer to home, do you think that NATO and Taliban forces in Afghanistan act in identical fashion? In fact, I doubt that British and US troops act in exactly the same way.

So to want to enforce a stereotype on 'soldiers' seems ridiculous.

And for the record, Abnett's BL books are the only ones I've felt that I should keep to read again, and not pass on to my wife's school 40K club to have...

Charax
12-09-2009, 10:44
Similarly, we just don't know enough about the Inquisition to say that it doesn't have some kind of formalised heirarchy.
Does Gav Thorpe?
"The Inquisition does not have formal organisation, and therefore there is no system of ranks or command"
"The Inquisition is organised on only the most fundamental level - the single Inquisitor"

It has informal hierarchies, based on respect and influence but the one thing that has been emphatically stated for a long time now is that there is no formal organisation.


After all why not? It's a massive bureaucracy
"In an Imperium that groans under the weight of gargantuan organisations and an impossible bureaucracy, the Inquisition is unfettered by such considerations"

RCgothic
12-09-2009, 11:05
One thing I wouldn't mind clarifying whilst we're here, in 'His Last Command' there is a rank of Commissar-General. I take it that's a high-ranking member of the Commissariat, and not a Commissar-Colonel style command position?

DeathsHead
12-09-2009, 12:11
Good original post. My thoughts:

While I find Abnett's work to frequently be the pinnacle of Black Library (particularly Gaunt's Ghosts, a series I've become really attached to, and often re-read), I think the "problem" here is that Abnett's protagonists are humanistic in their worldview and every day psychology. While I think a bit of this is ok, I think he tend to go a little over the top with the subtly moralistic tone a lot of his stories take. The feeling of much of this is a lot like "Paths of Glory", that movie about World War One. Watch it and you'll probably see what I mean.

While it's not a big deal, it is a little bit incompatible with the so-called "grimdark" (I really hate this term, actually, as it implies a shallowness to dark themes that is in no real way inherent) quality of 40k. Think of the vast differences between the way, for instance, the Death Korps of Krieg are portrayed in the Imperial Armor books and the way the Tanith (and guardsmen in general) are portrayed in Abnett's books. The Death Korps are hardly human, their instincts towards self-preservation and personal identity having been almost completely obliterated by the many forms of conditioning they've undergone. Some people think that this leads to "dull, 2-dimensional" characters, but I think this is a dull, 2-dimensional attitude. 40k is compelling because it's dark, ugly, morally challenging, and paints this horrific and fascinating image of a nightmarish future where humanity has sacrificed its humanity in order to endure.

In all of that darkness and horror, I think there's a little room for some humanity, some normalcy, something more familiar in order to off-set the extreme darkness. While Abnett usually treads the line pretty well, sometimes he deviates into territory which I find a little bit trite/tired. Think, for instance, of the differences between Inquisitor Eisenhorn and Inquisitor Heldane (sp?). Eisenhorn is 'moderate' and humanistic in his attitudes, and is the protragonist with whom we sympathize. Heldane is brutal and indifferent to the 'human cost' of things, and we're made to hate him and see him as a bit of a buffoon. Doesn't this all feel a little familiar and boring? Wouldn't it be cool to turn it around a little?

Lord_Crull
12-09-2009, 12:20
ahem....now that I've read the second page

To lord Krull

Ultramarines, Calgar


What's your point?


but even Abnett has made it clear that the rank of Colonel-Commissar is incredibly unorthodox.

I would like to raise another point. Reading Gaunt's ghosts around the first time, (the first three books) was cool, but when I read it the second time I began to get the the feeling of him being a mary sue.

I can accept his fighting skills and leadership skills easily enough(He's a veteran front line soldier) but then not only is he loved by his men he always seems to make the right descisions and prove others wrong. In the firest few books an other Guard regiment that holds opposing views to Gaunt is inevitibly wrong. He's also highly educated beyond what would expect from a normal Scola gradute.

I also fully realize the irony of that statement, and I also realize that he is the main character in a Black Library novel, and as such has certain privliges. I also point out again that I did enjoy the Ghosts novel ver much and I am eagarly looking forward to the next one.

The Judge
12-09-2009, 14:20
I'll agree that Abnett goes a bit nuts with the other regiments always being wrong compared to Gaunt, but that's eased off a bit in the more recent books. The education, I can also fully understand; only the more intelligent Schola kids become Commissars, and Gaunt was noble born as well.

dlantoub
12-09-2009, 14:22
I'm easily pleased. I find the Abnett books aren't too bad. However I just treat them as light entertainment and not as anything deeply meaningful.

I do notice however that for all the grumbling about how much certain aspects of the books annoy people, most people have said they are still going to buy the next ones. ;)

Hlokk
12-09-2009, 14:35
I actually like abnetts stuff, except for Mkoll (killing a dreadnought with a lasgun and a cactus) and Mcvenner (or Mkoll +2 as I call him). I think the reason a lot of his characters are modern and relatable is really to draw people into the books. I find it hard to relate to, say, Honsu, because his character is completely alien to my understanding, but Caffran, or Dorden is easily much more understandable and that makes the novels a bit more accessable for me.

What I don't like about abnett is how he ties up his novel's loose ends in 5 pages with the efficiancy of an obsessive compuslive in a spaghetti factory. His novels do read like he realises he's running out of room and he kind of hammers through the ends. Honour guard and His last command are particularly good examples of this type of crappy ending.

That being said, I like his stuff, but he's no Graham McNeil.

AndrewGPaul
12-09-2009, 14:38
One thing I wouldn't mind clarifying whilst we're here, in 'His Last Command' there is a rank of Commissar-General. I take it that's a high-ranking member of the Commissariat, and not a Commissar-Colonel style command position?

IIRC, Commissars-General are staff commissars, as opposed to the normal field commissars like Cain, Gaunt (and possbly Yarrick). Commissar-General Mordred van Horcic was on the general staff of the supreme command of the Taros campaign, for example.

Iracundus
12-09-2009, 14:42
While there are always exceptions, when writing for any established background, I think there should be more consistency rather than exceptions. The problem is authors tend to end up making everything exceptions...which in the worst cases ends up making the thing more generic and more like it is in its own fan created universe rather than the background universe it was meant to be in originally.

Condottiere
12-09-2009, 15:10
Exceptional people tend to fall to the sin of Mary Sueism.

Lord-Caerolion
12-09-2009, 15:19
I've always slightly disagreed with Thorpe's idea of a structure-less Inquisition. Sure, the basic Inquisitor may work on a purely individual level, but he needs a powerbase. The Ordo Malleus libraries of daemonic lore didn't come about because one Inquisitor decided to play librarian for a bit. The Inquisitorial Fortresses didn't come about because Inquisitors decided to have an open house.
The Inquisition, in order to be able to function, must necessarily have a central bureaucracy behind it. How do Inquisitors get their specialist gear otherwise? How do they join an Ordo? Do they wish "I want to be a Witch Hunter!" and the Convocation of Nephilim appears before them, as well as a book on hexagrammic wards? Even before that, where do they get their Rosette?

Abnetts view of the Inquisition is the most likely. There are however many Inquisitors out there, scattered amongst the stars, pursuing their agendas. Behind them though is the Inquisition itself, the agency comprised of the "desk Inquisitors", those who don't take an active field role, instead looking over the reports of the "field Inquisitors" in the hope of finding larger patterns. An agency that provides the knowledge that each Inquisitor needs, providing databanks on the alien, the mutant and the daemon, and gives access to the specialist gear required to fight against each.

It should also probably be noted that other books mention Inquisitorial Fortresses too, and the Dark Heresy book very much resembles the Abnett version of the Inquisition. Simply put, the Thorpe Inquisition would have died off long ago, unable to find the resources it requires to survive.

Iracundus
12-09-2009, 15:44
An excessively decentralized Inquisition also runs the risk of more massive internal conflict if there is no way to arbitrate. For example, what if one sector's Conclave of Inquisitors decides that another sector's Conclave are heretical or interfering in a matter that spans sectors? Both sides could call the other side heretics. Both sides could then requisition fleets, resources, assassins, etc... to punish the other. And both sides don't have to be truly corrupted or the pawns of an outside power. Both might genuinely believe they have the best interests of the Imperium at heart, so there isn't necessarily any "obvious traitor/heretic" for other Imperials to disobey.

Imagine the upheaval and confusion for normal personnel in in such a conflict:

"You are ordered to remain on station in orbit around such and such planet and do not depart for any reason else you will be declared a traitor and executed. Inquisitor A"
"You are ordered to immediately depart and make your way to so and so planet else you will be declared a traitor and executed. Inquisitor B"

Who should be obeyed?

Lord Malice
12-09-2009, 15:57
As a final note.....RARE does not mean that anti grav does not exist. It just means it's rare to find anti-grav available on worlds, if a handful of worlds out of the MILLIONS of worlds in the imperium exist where everyone and their bloody dog have an anti-grav car that does not mean it is not still rare in the imperium.

Quite wrong. Anti-grav technology in the Imperium is so rare that only a handful of the most elite forces have access to it.

From Codex: Dark Angels

'...gravitic drives the likes of which are long lost to the tech-priests of the 41st Millennium.'

'...the art of maintaining these craft has been all but forgotten by Humanity and is regarded with superstition and distrust as the province of xenos races.'

'...a prized vehicle... ...the like of which may never be seen again in the service of the Imperium...'

To say that an entire world would have access to such technology so readily as to have every civilian transport fitted with it is ludicrous and totally out of keeping with the established background of 40K.

If the Imperium made contact with a human world like this the Adeptus Mechanicus would confiscate every machine quicker than you could say Praise Be to the Omnisiah!


The idea that knowledge of Chaos is ruthlessly purged is frankly getting very out of date. I haven't seen it repeated in several editions now, and personally, good riddance. It's ridiculous. Let's look at an example. Everyone on Cadia knows about Chaos. For them the defense of the Cadian Gate is a way of life. Cadia not only trades widely with every surrounding sector, but Cadian troops serve on war zones all over the galaxy. Is anyone going to seriously propose that billions of troops with knowledge of Chaos are going to be kept quite somehow as they're scattered confetti-style across the entire Imperium?

Cadia is the only world in the Imperium that guards the safest route into the Eye of Terror, hardly representative of the bulk of the Imperium's worlds. Neither does this mean that its forces understand the true nature of the enemies they oppose. Certainly they know them as traitors and heretics but it doesn't mean they understand the intricacies of what Chaos is.

Also battles against the forces of Chaos are equally rare and those troops unfortunate enough to stand against them are not usually kept quiet, they are executed and civilian populations completely replaced. Just because every author wants to have his characters face off against the Imperium's most bitter enemies and live to tell the tale, whilst sometimes entertaining, does not make it right.


What about the ongoing campaigns to purge sectors (like the Sabbat Worlds) from Chaos control? Does a military crusade involving billions of soldiers and trillions of Imperial citizens really have any hope of being secret? "Yes, we're launching a vast hundred-year crusade of epic proportions, but no one knows who we're fighting. It's confidential". See how ridiculous the whole idea gets?

Case in point, the Sabbat Worlds Crusade, an author invention, an author who admits that when he started writing the Gaunt's Ghosts novels had a very limited knowledge of the 40K background.

If we look at it logically, assuming that such a massive Chaos force would or could actually rampage through the Imperium in this manner and using Abnett's view of the aftermath, Imperial worlds that survive are usually in one of two states, not that damaged, meaning that contact with Chaos forces was minimal before they were defeated which means that those people who had contact can be easily subdued and the rest of the population misinformed by Imperial Propaganda.

Then we have worlds decimated by the Chaos forces, worlds either so corrupted they are essentially lost or worlds with so few survivors that they too can be easily destroyed.

The point isn't that people wise up to the reality of the foe they face but even if they somehow survive are dealt with in the most extreme fashion afterwards despite their bravery because individual human lives are utterly worthless to the faceless bureaucracy that dominates the Imperium.


Knowledge like that helps to frighten people and bond the Imperium together.

But they don't need to know.

I don't recall anyone in this thread stating that they believe every human world is embroiled in war, never-the-less some posters have insinuated this opinion themselves and then proceeded to attack it.

The fact is, a lot of the Imperium hasn't known war for millennia and even then not necessarily war with anything other than ordinary human rebels that think the Imperium doesn't matter or won't notice.

Where inter-galactic communication is so difficult and imprecise most human worlds will not be aware of the terrible conflicts that see hundreds of worlds lost and countless lives destroyed. The Imperium is so vast that only a handful of it's warriors are universally recognised, like Logan Grimnar for example.

This relative ignorance keeps populations blissfully unaware of the horrors that assail mankind and where large swathes of humanity are attacked by these foes they are easily manipulated by a privileged few who are ruthless in their purges so that they control information and knowledge.


Similarly, we just don't know enough about the Inquisition to say that it doesn't have some kind of formalised heirarchy. After all why not? It's a massive bureaucracy, if it had nothing except a huge mass of Inquisitors all at equal rank, it just wouldn't work.

What Charax said



Good original post.

I agree with your interpretation of 'the problem' and go back to what people said earlier on, it isn't that Abnett's stories are bad, they're just little off the mark in their tone and flavour.



...there should be more consistency rather than exceptions.

Again this exemplifies my points. It seems to me that sometimes 40K has gone from a universe of rare mysteries and cyclopean evils to Star Wars with bolters.

Worlds comparable to modern day Earth do exist in the Imperium, there are literally thousands but the people that inhabit those planets don't enjoy life because they are brave in the face of the Imperium's enemies but because they don't truly know they exist.

To underline what I've said I'll leave with this quote, one of my favourites.


For the warp is a strange and terrible place. You might as well throw a traveler into a sea of sharks and tell him to swim home as send him through the warp unprotected. Better it is not to let common man travel through the stars. Better still, let him not know such a thing is feasible.

For me 40K isn't about unceasing conflict and 'epic' battles it is a general attitude where ignorance and superstition are so rife they make mundane everday activities like boiling the kettle frought with danger and ritual because knowledge of the universe holds nothing but fear and pain for the unwary.

ashc
12-09-2009, 16:03
For me 40K isn't about unceasing conflict and 'epic' battles it is a general attitude where ignorance and superstition are so rife they make mundane everday activities like boiling the kettle frought with danger and ritual because knowledge of the universe holds nothing but fear and pain for the unwary.

The question is whether that then makes for an interesting book, or whether we would get pretty sick of everyone reverring the machine god every time they wanted a cup of tea whilst everyone dies to the evils set against them...

Lord Malice
12-09-2009, 16:14
I don't mean that it is literally what happens every time for every single human being, it represents the flavour and tone of how the universe works.

AndrewGPaul
12-09-2009, 17:34
There's plenty of canon evidence for civilians having access to anti-grav technology. Amberley has a hover-car in one of the Ciaphas Cain novels, and the Underhive scum of Necromunda have access to personal grav-chutes. Not to mention that Imperial Navy fighter wings and Imperial Guard drop troop regiments manage to kit out their planes and infantry with the things.

Firaxin
12-09-2009, 17:39
I can accept his fighting skills and leadership skills easily enough(He's a veteran front line soldier) but then not only is he loved by his men he always seems to make the right descisions and prove others wrong. In the firest few books an other Guard regiment that holds opposing views to Gaunt is inevitibly wrong. He's also highly educated beyond what would expect from a normal Scola gradute.
I take it you hate the Cain series, then, since he's an even lower rank than Gaunt but seems to be even more knowledgable/skilled/right/loved.


From Codex: Dark Angels
You realize those are all referring to jetbikes? There's a difference between a pleasure-limo that floats along sedately half a meter above the ground and a weapon-toting jetbike capable of accelerating to atmospheric craft speeds and pulling ultra-sharp turns at the same time.


Just because every author wants to have his characters face off against the Imperium's most bitter enemies and live to tell the tale, whilst sometimes entertaining, does not make it right.
To be honest, I think the best ending possible for the Sabbat Worlds Crusade would be for the Ghosts to be awarded a planet finally, but upon landing discover that it was only a trick and they're all executed/bombed from orbit/etc because they know too much. Or, even more ironically, Gaunt, being of sufficiently high rank to be spared the culling, decides to warn his regiment and they all go Renegade. Which presents a wonderful setup for the second verse in the Ghost's saga, Soul Drinkers style.

Badger[Fr]
12-09-2009, 17:41
For me 40K isn't about unceasing conflict and 'epic' battles it is a general attitude where ignorance and superstition are so rife they make mundane everday activities like boiling the kettle frought with danger and ritual because knowledge of the universe holds nothing but fear and pain for the unwary.
I couldn't have said better. I suggest you read Dark Heresy's background: there are plenty of exemples of the oppressive and superstitious nature of the Imperium. Far more interesting than Dan Abnett's World War Two novels, no matter how enjoyable these may be.


The question is whether that then makes for an interesting book, or whether we would get pretty sick of everyone reverring the machine god every time they wanted a cup of tea whilst everyone dies to the evils set against them...
Empathy is what differentiates a talented writer from a hack.

But I suppose that's why I hate most historical novels, anyway: all I see is XXIth century characters with a XXIth century state of mind pretending they are Roman, Greek, or Egyptian. 40k is hardly different.

AndrewGPaul
12-09-2009, 17:48
For me 40K isn't about unceasing conflict and 'epic' battles it is a general attitude where ignorance and superstition are so rife they make mundane everday activities like boiling the kettle frought with danger and ritual because knowledge of the universe holds nothing but fear and pain for the unwary.

To me, the setting is big enough for both of those things. :)

Amusingly, the depiction of Imperial Guard psykers in Only In Death is even more grimdark than that in the codices and rulebooks. :)

Lord Cook
12-09-2009, 19:26
Does Gav Thorpe?
...
"In an Imperium that groans under the weight of gargantuan organisations and an impossible bureaucracy, the Inquisition is unfettered by such considerations"

Ok, I apologise. It seems I was wrong. We do know that about the Inquisition, the only problem is that the whole idea is pants-on-head-retarded. Gav Thorpe has put forward an utterly ludicrous piece of background that is so unbelievable that it hurls me from the rich, detailed background of the Inquisition so hard I might as well be riding a ballistic missile. It's an insult to our intelligence to suggest that any vast, galaxy-spanning network of intelligence services could possibly function with no formal hierarchy whatsoever. It's like putting forward background that says "Hive Fleet Scarabus lands on Tarento IV, but fortunately a squad of five Space Marines were so awesome they fought them off all by themselves".

Having an organised system of rank and procedure doesn't necessarily make the Inquisition into an inefficient and bloated mess. They could easily have a very streamlined system that works very well. But there must be a system beyond informal contacts and respect, or it's just a lazy author saying "It works because I say it does".

Other than that, Caerolion puts it very succintly:


It should also probably be noted that other books mention Inquisitorial Fortresses too, and the Dark Heresy book very much resembles the Abnett version of the Inquisition. Simply put, the Thorpe Inquisition would have died off long ago, unable to find the resources it requires to survive.




What I don't like about abnett is how he ties up his novel's loose ends in 5 pages with the efficiancy of an obsessive compuslive in a spaghetti factory. His novels do read like he realises he's running out of room and he kind of hammers through the ends.

This I agree with completely. Abnett's biggest problem in my view is that all his endings feel incredibly rushed.


Cadia... Certainly they know them as traitors and heretics but it doesn't mean they understand the intricacies of what Chaos is.

Which is exactly what I said. They understand that Chaos is a mortal enemy that they must fight against, but they don't understand how it works, or where daemons come from, etc.


Also battles against the forces of Chaos are equally rare and those troops unfortunate enough to stand against them are not usually kept quiet, they are executed and civilian populations completely replaced.

Executed guardsmen and mind-scrubbed marines used to be the standard fare, yes, but when was that actually last repeated? Before or after they removed the Squats? That's not sarcasm, I'm honestly interested.


If we look at it logically...

In terms of civilians on conquered worlds, yes. But I think that's a very narrow view. What about neighboring worlds? "The sector next to us has completely dropped out of contact, but we have no interest whatsoever in knowing what happened to them". Now the Imperium could easily lie and say another alien race destroyed that sector, but why bother? It's no better than saying the Arch-Enemy did it, but we're going to capture it back, bless His name, etc. etc.

Then what about the crusade itself? Logically, any such effort would not only involve billions of troops, but similar numbers of logistics and support personnel, Navy crews, and any number of countless Imperial servants. Nearby worlds must coordinate to provide supplies and munitions. Men must be conscripted. Ships despatched. Your logic falls down because you haven't considered the efforts the Imperium itself must make in order to fight against that same opponent. It's not just a case of keeping the troops quiet, because you've got just as many (if not many more) people who were just as involved, spread across every nearby sector of loyalist space providing for the effort. They know they must be fighting some huge enemy. Now you could spread propaganda, misinformation and lies, sure. I don't doubt the Imperium would be happy to do that. But governments don't lie when there is no benefit in doing so. Just call it the Arch-Enemy, a faceless, evil foe with nothing but hatred for the beloved Emperor, made up of traitors and heretics. That still doesn't mean the Inquisition is having to stand on street corners explaining daemon summoning rituals.


But they don't need to know.

True, but they need to know something, so you may as well ruthlessly control that knowledge and use it as a rallying point around which to unite otherwise divided factions.


Where inter-galactic communication is so difficult and imprecise most human worlds will not be aware of the terrible conflicts that see hundreds of worlds lost and countless lives destroyed.

Entirely true. But the Imperium has stood for ten-thousand years, and at any time dozens of massive, apocalyptic wars are going on, spreading across entire Segmentums of space. Either there is no inter-galactic communication and trade at all (in which case the Imperium might as well not exist) or there is some inter-galactic communication and trade, fraught with difficultly. Ergo, people talk. You couldn't hide knowledge of the Orks, for example, when they are everywhere engaging in genocidal wars with humanity all the time. Would it be considered as a distant and irrelevent threat by most worlds? Well yes, because it has no impact on them. But if an Ork Waaaghh suddenly enters the Sector and starts knocking off planets, who then mobilize for decades of war, it is going to become common knowledge, whether very soon or in several years.

Burnthem
12-09-2009, 21:10
True, but they need to know something, so you may as well ruthlessly control that knowledge and use it as a rallying point around which to unite otherwise divided factions.

QFT. Nothing makes a bunch of people band together like a common enemy. And with a bunch of people as varied and as huge as the Imperium, the bigger and badder the enemy the better.

StormWulfen
12-09-2009, 21:46
'...gravitic drives the likes of which are long lost to the tech-priests of the 41st Millennium.'

i understand that this is not your words but, do land speeder not use gravitic drives? and last i knew the mechanicum were still producing them? so either they use gravitic drives but different or that is yet another loophole in GW's background.

Condottiere
12-09-2009, 22:02
The other possibility is that they're using propulsion with a downward thrust, in which case, I wouldn't want to stand too close to them.

StormWulfen
12-09-2009, 22:10
you see any form of turbine on the bottom of them?:eyebrows:

RCgothic
12-09-2009, 22:14
Yup, Landspeeders are a big spanner in the no-antigrav tech argument.

Lightnings, Thunderbolts, Thunderhawks and Marauders also clearly need some additional antigravs for their STOL/VTOL as they physically don't have the vectored nozzles for it otherwise.

Lord Malice
12-09-2009, 22:22
i understand that this is not your words but, do land speeder not use gravitic drives? and last i knew the mechanicum were still producing them? so either they use gravitic drives but different or that is yet another loophole in GW's background.

From Imperial Armour Volume Two

'The Land Speeder... ...is one of the few vehicles employed by the Imperium's fighting forces that still use this rare and secretive technology.'

'It is thought that Mankind made far wider use of anti-grav technology. Today it is an almost lost art.'

'...the Adeptus Mechanicus regard it as a 'black' technology...'

'It is likely that there would be no anti-grav vehicles remaining at all if it were not for Techno-Archaeologist Arkhan Land's famous expedition into the Librarius Omnis on Mars. ...he discovered information on anti-gravitic plates...'

'They are far too precious and complex to be risked in the hands of Imperial Guardsmen.'

'The mysteries of how such technology works is the reserve of a few high ranking Tech-Magos and the Techmarines, who are inducted into the art of anti-gravitic construction as part of their training with the Adeptus Mechancius.'

The simple fact of the matter is that Dan Abnett made a mistake. It is a mistake in the same way that Gaunt's rank of Colonel-Commissar is a mistake, one Abnett himself admits was made due to an imprecise understanding of the 40K background. Someone should have pointed it out before the books went to print but they didn't so there it is, a simple mistake but a mistake none-the-less.

Condottiere
12-09-2009, 22:27
A whiff of VIFF. Or in this case, quite a lot of it being required.

Edited - they could have a made a slighter larger variant that employs turbine technology.

Lexington
12-09-2009, 22:57
This is not a bad thing, Eisenhorn is some very, very, good science fiction. Same with Gaunt’s Ghosts, but I never get the same ‘’grimdark’’ fell as I do with every other author.
And thank God for that. While the Gaunt's Ghosts novels never much appealed to me, the Eisenhorn novels, far as I can tell, are one of the only things the Black Library has ever published that wouldn't be better used as kindling or sanitary napkins. "Grimdark," the arch-enemy of good 40K writing, seems to be one big, sordid excuse to write the kinds of heroes and villains that wouldn't be palpable in a third-rate video game cinematic. 40K deserves better, and so do we as readers.

ashc
12-09-2009, 23:48
And thank God for that. While the Gaunt's Ghosts novels never much appealed to me, the Eisenhorn novels, far as I can tell, are one of the only things the Black Library has ever published that wouldn't be better used as kindling or sanitary napkins. "Grimdark," the arch-enemy of good 40K writing, seems to be one big, sordid excuse to write the kinds of heroes and villains that wouldn't be palpable in a third-rate video game cinematic. 40K deserves better, and so do we as readers.

Although apparently some people are happy with it, and won't be happy until every book is about the Death Korps of Krieg dying ignominous and pointless deaths whilst they prey to the machine-god of toasters and killed by the big bwahahaha evil no.1... :confused:

Lord_Crull
13-09-2009, 01:26
Although apparently some people are happy with it, and won't be happy until every book is about the Death Korps of Krieg dying ignominous and pointless deaths whilst they prey to the machine-god of toasters and killed by the big bwahahaha evil no.1... :confused:

Which I fail to see how that is not entertaining, but that's beside the point. I have as much right to enjoy my version of 40k than you do.

Rat Catcher
13-09-2009, 05:25
Which I fail to see how that is not entertaining, but that's beside the point. I have as much right to enjoy my version of 40k than you do.

Different strokes for different folks, Crull.

I really liked the "fighting" in the Last Chancers, it was gritty, brutal and believable. It was great, but then as the omnibus went on - everyone had to die around Kage just to show how grimdark the situation at hand was; I started having trouble trying to "like" any characters aside from Kage and Colonel Schaeffer. Some people would enjoy that in a book I guess, but I don't.

Having "main" characters and whatnot die in a novel is fine, I enjoy the realism - but having everyone meet a horrific end every other second makes it too hard to digest for me.

"Uh oh, Kage met another Last Chancer - that guy is screwed. OH GOD A FORK CAN DO THAT TO A MANS HEAD!? Man this book is grimdark!"

As I started saying though - like any other book it's down to taste, some people like being surrounded by abject horror and sorrow at all times, I don't.

Lord-Caerolion
13-09-2009, 05:44
From Imperial Armour Volume Two

'The Land Speeder... ...is one of the few vehicles employed by the Imperium's fighting forces that still use this rare and secretive technology.'

'It is thought that Mankind made far wider use of anti-grav technology. Today it is an almost lost art.'

'It is likely that there would be no anti-grav vehicles remaining at all if it were not for Techno-Archaeologist Arkhan Land's famous expedition into the Librarius Omnis on Mars. ...he discovered information on anti-gravitic plates...'

'They are far too precious and complex to be risked in the hands of Imperial Guardsmen.'

'The mysteries of how such technology works is the reserve of a few high ranking Tech-Magos and the Techmarines, who are inducted into the art of anti-gravitic construction as part of their training with the Adeptus Mechancius.'


Emphasis mine. Now, would you look at that. Those same quotes you gave us give the possibility that anti-grav technology is indeed still being produced, one quote even stating it outright.

What those quotes seem to say to me, is that it isn't impossible to get anti-grav technology on a civilian world. It isn't handed to the IG because it will inevitably get blown up, and quite soon. On a civilian world there isn't much risk of that, so worlds with a high level of technology and links to a Forge world might indeed have anti-gav technology being not uncommon.

HK-47
13-09-2009, 05:57
As I started saying though - like any other book it's down to taste, some people like being surrounded by abject horror and sorrow at all times, I don't.

This is what I was going to say, 40ks background can sometimes get to crazy and I need something to ground it or I will go :wtf:. I like how some of Abnett's stories gives you these non-action moments that allow you to see into a character mind, instead of jumping from action scene to actions scene, which he and other BL authors like to do when writing action novels.

I also like how Abnett expands the background in his stories, but he sometimes goes a little overboard, like with Alpharius for example. I still love legion though, it's a great book.

At lest he is not Goto. :p

Burnthem
13-09-2009, 08:30
Whilst Abnett might have gone a bit OTT with the amount of anti-grav vehicles in Eisenhorn (on Gudrun wasn't it?) I personally find it pretty easy to look over this, after all, in an Imperium of over a million worlds, there's going to be one that has access/money/influence enough to have quite alot of it.

Lord-Caerolion
13-09-2009, 08:53
Come to think of it though, there is still a precedence of Imperial civilians being "processed" because of Chaos exposure: the 1st War of Armageddon. It's one of the key points of Logan Grimnar's background, because he stood up to the Inquisition to prevent the civilians of Armageddon being killed off.
I don't think this is ordinary though, as these civilians did live through a major Chaos invasion, yet they were allowed to live. I'd more say a Monodominant was involved, who got a bit trigger-happy.

AndrewGPaul
13-09-2009, 09:25
It's not impossible that rich worlds' PDF units may be better equipped than some (most?) Imperial Guard regiments. One reaon the Guard use lasguns instead of hotshot lasguns, Chimeras and Leman Russ tanks is because they're reliable, not necessarily because they're the best available.


And thank God for that. While the Gaunt's Ghosts novels never much appealed to me, the Eisenhorn novels, far as I can tell, are one of the only things the Black Library has ever published that wouldn't be better used as kindling or sanitary napkins. "Grimdark," the arch-enemy of good 40K writing, seems to be one big, sordid excuse to write the kinds of heroes and villains that wouldn't be palpable in a third-rate video game cinematic. 40K deserves better, and so do we as readers.

That'se because Black Library are cheap> Look at the authors who wrote for GW when they first published fiction in the early 90s; Ian Watson, Kim Newman (as Jack Yeovil), Storm Constantine, Charles Stross, Brian Stableford (as Brian Craig). These days, AFAIk the only authors writing for Black Library who were already a published author before then are Abnett, Matthew Farrer and Alex Stewart (as Sandy Mitchell). It's sure not coincidence that they're the three best authors writing for GW at present. :)

exsanguis
13-09-2009, 10:31
What's everyones beef with BotS? Granted it's been a while since I've last read it, but I found it portrayed the Space Marines as I've always thought they should be - 9 foot tall killing machines. That's not to say I want them to be unstoppable...I just think it's ********* cool when one genetically engineered badass with crazy armour and wargear goes to town on a bunch of normal baddies!

I will admit that Graham McNeill has probably taken over from Abnett as my fave BL author. Fulgrim was ultra cool. Shame about most of the other HH novels (the Dark Angels ones for example...yuck!). As long as either Abnett or McNeill writes the siege of the Emperor's Palace novel when it's time for that I'll be happy!

For me the GG series peaked with Necropolis. Still an awesome series though. And how can you not love Honsu? Not all the followers of Chaos are crazy religious loonies! He fits the bill in my opinion as that perfect renegade/mercenary type baddy manipulating others for his own gain.

Slightly off topic, but how are people liking Salamander? Mixed feelings for me so far (though I'm only about half way through). Sometimes some of the authors make Space Marines seem almost childish.

madprophet
13-09-2009, 13:13
I like Abnett's stuff - especially Gaunt's Ghosts. I am primarily a Guard player (my other armies exist to give my Guards someone to fight). I never bought the over-the-top Grim:skull:dark stuff.

I see 40k as sort of a Gothic, Holy Roman Empire take on a Dune style Imperium (and if you haven't read Dune - do so immediately!) I see the 40k Universe as sort of like the Dune universe except the Imperial Cult's quasi-Catholicism is the dominant religious paradigm rather than the quasi-Islam of Herbert's universe. Abnett seems to see it similarly so maybe that's why I like his stuff. :eyebrows:

Anyway, 40K is a galaxy-spanning setting so you can stick what ever you want in it and it won't really hurt the setting.

Lord_Crull
13-09-2009, 14:06
What's everyones beef with BotS? Granted it's been a while since I've last read it, but I found it portrayed the Space Marines as I've always thought they should be - 9 foot tall killing machines. That's not to say I want them to be unstoppable...I just think it's ********* cool when one genetically engineered badass with crazy armour and wargear goes to town on a bunch of normal baddies!


Having 10 tactical marines kill 2000 dark eldar seems ridiculous when you read Dark disciple, which had dark eldar having a fairly equal fight with the Word Bearers.

I have my own review of Brothers of the snake.

Safe to say, Abnett ripped off 300 in a bad manner. The phalanx scene was epic fail.


I take it you hate the Cain series, then, since he's an even lower rank than Gaunt but seems to be even more knowledgable/skilled/right/loved.


No, I simply don't take the Cain series seriously.

Argastes
13-09-2009, 14:20
That'se because Black Library are cheap> Look at the authors who wrote for GW when they first published fiction in the early 90s; Ian Watson, Kim Newman (as Jack Yeovil), Storm Constantine, Charles Stross, Brian Stableford (as Brian Craig). These days, AFAIk the only authors writing for Black Library who were already a published author before then are Abnett, Matthew Farrer and Alex Stewart (as Sandy Mitchell). It's sure not coincidence that they're the three best authors writing for GW at present. :)

QFT, couldn't have said it better myself. The abysmal quality of the prose that comes out of BL is a direct consequence of their lack of interest in/willingness to get actual talented sci-fi authors to write under their banner. Charlie Stross, for instance, is an incredibly good author and BL books would be a delight to read if they got him to do some more stuff for them. I don't know where they find some of the clowns they have now.

Lexington
13-09-2009, 14:33
That'se because Black Library are cheap
Probably true, in part, but I also see it as a consequence of BL's basic mission statement - to sell, and reinforce sales, of GW's miniatures lines. BL restricts their authors so tightly - stories must be from an Imperial view ('till recently), must reflect the milieu of the tabletop battlefield, must have an action scene every X number of pages - it's no wonder their product is such a steaming pile. That and the fact that they seem actively opposed to having useful, intelligent, or God forbid even reflective characters in their books. I understand that their general market is teenage boys, but it'd be nice if they made things that could engage readers that aren't teenage boys.

Lord Malice
14-09-2009, 00:04
Emphasis mine. Now, would you look at that. Those same quotes you gave us give the possibility that anti-grav technology is indeed still being produced, one quote even stating it outright.

Not once have asserted that anti-grav technology is not produced.

What I have argued is that anti-grav technology and vehicles are so rare they're almost unheard of, so much so that the Adeptus Mechanicus is highly suspicious of the technology.


What those quotes seem to say to me, is that it isn't impossible to get anti-grav technology on a civilian world. It isn't handed to the IG because it will inevitably get blown up, and quite soon. On a civilian world there isn't much risk of that, so worlds with a high level of technology and links to a Forge world might indeed have anti-gav technology being not uncommon.

Which is completely out of keeping with the spirit of the background and the letter of the backgorund which, as I have said, makes it clear that anti-grav technology and vehicles are incredibly scarce.


...in an Imperium of over a million worlds, there's going to be one that has access/money/influence enough to have quite alot of it.

A lame and lazy excuse to shoe-horn in things which have no need to be. It's as pathetic as saying Chaos did it, or blame the C'tan.

Condottiere
14-09-2009, 07:18
Anti-grav could be a technology that can be reproduced, but isn't understood.

AndrewGPaul
14-09-2009, 08:17
Not once have asserted that anti-grav technology is not produced.

What I have argued is that anti-grav technology and vehicles are so rare they're almost unheard of, so much so that the Adeptus Mechanicus is highly suspicious of the technology.

And yet Imperial Guard drop regiments hand it out to line troops, it's built into every aircraft the Imperium builds and underhive scum on Necromunda can get their hands on it.

If the AdMech is so supicious of AG technology, why does every magus apparently have a retinue of servo-skulls? :)

Charax
14-09-2009, 08:48
Grav chutes use passive anti-grave technology which just reduces the effect of gravity, it doesn't nullify it, so of course that's going to be easier to produce than full anti-grav (rather like Suspensors)

As for Servo-skulls, they're individually crafted by the AdMech from the skulls of the pious, it's not unreasonable that the use of rare technology would be justified in their construction.

Allen
14-09-2009, 08:50
But, what if, I think (Shock! Gasp!) that's not what I came to read? What if I think it get's a little dry and boring at times?

Then (Shock! Gasp!) read bolter p0rn and/or basic gridmfark fiction.
I think that's the point about Black Library: you cand find different kind of "views" of the 40K setting.

Do you like bolter p0rn in the Ultramarine Codex way? You can read that.
Do you like novels riddled with over-the-top clichè? You can read that.
Do you like novels full of planets of the hats? You can read that, too.

If you like a grimdark approach to the setting that is not "RAWR, skulls! I'm Evil McBaddy and I'm gonna eat your soul! IN SPACE!"...well, you can read that. That's one of the few things I appreciate about Black Library: they provide us a wide variety of "40K flavours". Each one is good, for the respective fans...and each one is canon and grimdark according to GW.

threewolftats
14-09-2009, 09:30
Then (Shock! Gasp!) read bolter p0rn and/or basic gridmfark fiction.
I think that's the point about Black Library: you cand find different kind of "views" of the 40K setting.

Do you like bolter p0rn in the Ultramarine Codex way? You can read that.
Do you like novels riddled with over-the-top clichè? You can read that.
Do you like novels full of planets of the hats? You can read that, too.

If you like a grimdark approach to the setting that is not "RAWR, skulls! I'm Evil McBaddy and I'm gonna eat your soul! IN SPACE!"...well, you can read that. That's one of the few things I appreciate about Black Library: they provide us a wide variety of "40K flavours". Each one is good, for the respective fans...and each one is canon and grimdark according to GW.


couldn't agree more with this post.... if you didn't like the first couple of Dan Abnetts books.... why did you bother to read any more?

and if bolters and explosions is your thing..... well try the endworld, and or blade series of books..... or Battletech novels.... loads of big bangs.... and insane body counts.

if you like great action scifi, i would recomend the honor harrington series,its well thought out for the main part, and i found the characters well written and engageing.....

just my personal opinion.... like it or lump it your choice.....

AndrewGPaul
14-09-2009, 09:49
Grav chutes use passive anti-grave technology which just reduces the effect of gravity, it doesn't nullify it, so of course that's going to be easier to produce than full anti-grav (rather like Suspensors)

As AG is obviously impossible, and thus one can't speculte on what the proerties 'should' be, it'd difficult to argue specifics. However, I'm not convinced there's a scientific difference, other than Grav-chutes inly nullify 90% of the gravity, not 100% like in skimmers. Note that Land Speeders have jet engines and airfoil maneouvring surfaces, so it's not using the AG for propulsion, only for keeping it off the ground.


As for Servo-skulls, they're individually crafted by the AdMech from the skulls of the pious, it's not unreasonable that the use of rare technology would be justified in their construction.

Which also shows that they're not suspicious of it, if they're stuffing holy artefacts full of AG equipment. :)

x-esiv-4c
14-09-2009, 11:32
Excellent post Allen! Sums it up about right.

Burnthem
14-09-2009, 12:04
As AG is obviously impossible...

Sorry, i must have missed the year you won the Nobel prize :eyebrows:

AndrewGPaul
14-09-2009, 12:08
All of the descriptions of anti-gravity I've seen studied in detail have done unpleasant things to conservation of energy and/or momentum, or require unusual materials like "negative matter". Like FTL travel, anti-gravity is at odds with the observable laws of the universe.

More simply, it's impossible now. If any of the many SF writers who use AG in their settings actually knew how it worked, they would have won the Nobel prize by now.

All I'm saying is it's a bit difficult to argue over the inner workings of AG in 40K when it's never properly explained in the setting.

x-esiv-4c
14-09-2009, 12:49
Isn't arguing about the inner workings of any of 40k's technology and science kind of futile?

AndrewGPaul
14-09-2009, 12:54
Depends what it is. You can argue the effects and powerlevels of a lot of things, because there's canon evidence of what they do. On the other hand, the actual principles of how they operate, well, not really.

Lord Cook
14-09-2009, 13:12
I think in a universe where our very emotions coalesce into warp-spawned daemonic entities, we can take a little unorthodox vehicle propulsion on faith.

x-esiv-4c
14-09-2009, 13:20
The idea of arguing "Powerlevels" (I hate that term) is equally futile. "Powerlevels" never take into account context and without context you cannot make a fair comparison.

Burnthem
14-09-2009, 14:10
Yeah but my Lunar Cruiser will still WTFPWN your Star Destroyer!!1!1! :D

*Throws open can of worms into the baying crowd and sits back to watch the show*

Argastes
14-09-2009, 14:40
Isn't arguing about the inner workings of any of 40k's technology and science kind of futile?

Yes, which is why it was silly of Charax to assert, as if it were factual, that grav-chutes "only" use passive anti-grav technology to reduce rather than nullify the effects of gravity and thus should be easier to produce.

Charax
14-09-2009, 14:59
Yes, which is why it was silly of Charax to assert, as if it were factual, that grav-chutes "only" use passive anti-grav technology to reduce rather than nullify the effects of gravity and thus should be easier to produce.
Funny how the word you quote is one I didn't actually use, which is rather silly too.
Well, more dishonest, manipulative and pathetic rather than silly, but whatever floats your proverbial boat.

As for my assertions, they are fact, at least in the case of the grav-chutes available on Necromunda - which is appropriate, as one of the main arguments that anti-grav tech is common is that "underhive scum on Necromunda can get their hands on it."

Lord_Crull
14-09-2009, 15:31
Then (Shock! Gasp!) read bolter p0rn and/or basic gridmfark fiction.
I think that's the point about Black Library: you cand find different kind of "views" of the 40K setting.

Do you like bolter p0rn in the Ultramarine Codex way? You can read that.
Do you like novels riddled with over-the-top clichè? You can read that.
Do you like novels full of planets of the hats? You can read that, too.

If you like a grimdark approach to the setting that is not "RAWR, skulls! I'm Evil McBaddy and I'm gonna eat your soul! IN SPACE!"...well, you can read that. That's one of the few things I appreciate about Black Library: they provide us a wide variety of "40K flavours". Each one is good, for the respective fans...and each one is canon and grimdark according to GW.


Except I fail to see how that is ridden with cliches or have hats any more than Abnett's books.

Argastes
14-09-2009, 17:13
Funny how the word you quote is one I didn't actually use, which is rather silly too.
Well, more dishonest, manipulative and pathetic rather than silly, but whatever floats your proverbial boat.

:eyebrows: You need to cool it with the personal attacks, buddy. I didn't use quotation marks in attempt to attribute any particular words to you. Haven't you ever seen the word "only" put into quotes in order to suggest that the alleged exclusivity or limitation is bogus? There are more uses for quotation marks than actually quoting people, in case you didn't know. I hope you'll be more careful about calling your fellow posters dishonest, manipulative, and especially "pathetic" in the future.


As for my assertions, they are fact, at least in the case of the grav-chutes available on Necromunda - which is appropriate, as one of the main arguments that anti-grav tech is common is that "underhive scum on Necromunda can get their hands on it."

No, they are not fact, because we have no fluff statement that the technology which reduces gravity is fundamentally different than the technology which nullifies it. You're assuming that. In fact it's nothing more than a question of degree, and if the antigrav technology in a grav-chute is capable of reducing the pull of gravity on a human body so much that they float down as if wearing a parachute, then it could easily be put to use in a skimmer-type vehicle as well. We can get into the science of it, if you like.

AndrewGPaul
14-09-2009, 23:02
Please don't - discussion of stuff like Anti-gravity and FTL and the like rapidly stop being discussions of "science". :)

It's possible, depending on how you design your AG, that 'nullifying gravity' is different to actively lifting into the air. However, the writers of 40K have never, to my knowledge, put that much thought into defining their magic technology.

Argastes
14-09-2009, 23:07
Please don't - discussion of stuff like Anti-gravity and FTL and the like rapidly stop being discussions of "science".

A discussion of anti-gravity in the sense that you seem to be thinking of--i.e., how it would actually work--couldn't be even remotely scientific from the very beginning, because the idea of anti-gravity directly conflicts with our current understanding of basic physical law. When I say we can discuss the science of it, I don't mean the science of how it would actually work, but rather the question of what additional practical capabilities could be derived from a piece of technology that can slow a human being's fall to the point that they can use it like a parachute. There is no speculation, pseudo-science, or technobabble involved; everything I'm talking about could be taken from a high school level physics text.

EDIT: The question of whether "nullifying gravity" is the same as actually lifting into the air is immaterial, because if you "nullify gravity", you can lift a multi-ton vehicle into the air with a couple of quite small ducted fans.

AndrewGPaul
14-09-2009, 23:13
True, on both counts.

As to your second point, it's possible, depending on how you want your universe to operate, to say that AG only acts to counter gravity - a form of 'gravitic friction', if you like. That doesn't necessarily lead to actual propulsion (like H.G. Wells' Cavorite, which would accelerate upwards left to its own devices).

I don't think that's how 40K AG works, however - like I said, the Land Speeder has jet engines (with possible vectored-thrust capability) and control surfaces on the wings, which lead me to believe that the AG is purely there to reduce its weight to 0, not to push it around the sky. I would apply the same logic to Eldar and Tau vehicles.

Compare that to, for example, Minbari vehicles (both space and ground) from Babylon 5. Not only did they float, but they had no actual engines, so they used the AG to push them around, as well as just to float.

Edit; and with that post,

"I'm taking over. Fly this thread to Cuba!"

Argastes
14-09-2009, 23:18
I don't know anything about Babylon 5 or Cavorites, but yes, the bottom line is that the same technology that's in a standard-issue IG grav chute allows antigrav skimmers, even if they have to use conventional propulsion to get around. So we can dismiss the claim that an Imperial planet would never have such vehicles in civilian usage.

ashc
14-09-2009, 23:23
to be honest there are plenty of exceptions to background established and then broken by GW anyway, this is just one of them.

Nothing is canon, nothing is sacred, anything can be retconned on a whim at a moment's notice; there is no 'fluff bible' or 'grand loremaster' for the background.

the Warhammer 40,000 universe is what you make of it and enjoy out of it.

Lord Malice
15-09-2009, 00:35
So we can dismiss the claim that an Imperial planet would never have such vehicles in civilian usage.

Apart from all the long standing background that makes it quite clear that anti-grav vehicles and technology are incredibly rare; too rare to be utilised in the manner portrayed by Abnett for the Gudrun skimmers.

Still, like ashc says, if dismissing a rather well known section of background in favour of a tiny snippet from a novel pleases you, then that's your prerogative but other people might like to know that what Abnett has written isn't necessarily congruent with the rest of the established background and since I've listed the various sources they can read them and come to their own conclusions.

BrotherMoses
15-09-2009, 00:39
lol hey maybe they're from a planet with some as yet unimplemented Anti-grav STC?

Argastes
15-09-2009, 00:47
Apart from all the long standing background that makes it quite clear that anti-grav vehicles and technology are incredibly rare; too rare to be utilised in the manner portrayed by Abnett for the Gudrun skimmers.

This has already been pointed out and I am aware of it, you don't need to reiterate it. You may notice that the conversion now has moved on to the question of whether that established fluff is coherent in light of the similarly well-established fluff that antigrav technology is common enough to be used in IG grav-chutes.


Still, like ashc says, if dismissing a rather well known section of background in favour of a tiny snippet from a novel pleases you, then that's your prerogative but other people might like to know that what Abnett has written isn't necessarily congruent with the rest of the established background and since I've listed the various sources they can read them and come to their own conclusions.

I've never read the novel in question and I don't care in the slightest about it. I am in no way interested in defending whatever Dan Abnett has written about skimmers. Again, we already know about the fluff sources stating that antigrav technology is rare and that Abnett's novel isn't congruent with this; we are now talking about whether that fluff can be reconciled with the fluff stating that it's common enough to be used in gravchutes. Obviously, since grav-chutes are a well-established part of the background, it is not accurate for you to claim that the entirely of the established fluff supports the idea of antigrav being arcane and rare technology.

Lord Malice
15-09-2009, 00:51
lol hey maybe they're from a planet with some as yet unimplemented Anti-grav STC?

Unlikely since no functional STC have ever been recovered and since the Adeptus Mechancus would slaughter an entire world just for a copy of a copy of notes about a blue-print that might have come from an STC in no way would Gudrun, which is supposed to be a fairly ordinary Imperial world, have STC data just lying around.


snip

Gravity Chutes utilise a slightly different form of anti-grav to those emplyed in vehicles being essentially massive suspensors which work in a passive way to reduce the effect of gravity unlike anti-grav plates which actively push a vehicle away from the ground.

The maximum height for this is around 100 meters, any more and it gets dangerous. Gravity-Chutes work from any height as they aren't quite the same. The wordage used to describe the effects amounts almost to the same thing but the results in-universe are different.



I've never read the novel in question and I don't care in the slightest about it.

Well since this thread is primarily about Abnett it might help if you've actually read the book in question. I 'care' (too strong a word really, it just ruins my suspension of disbelief is all) about the novel in that Abnett has added yet another thing into 40K which he really ought not to have done with the result that people go around saying, 'yeah, but, Abnett used anti-grav skimmes so it must be true'.

Having enjoyed 40K for its background for a very long time, seeing a mistake like this just makes what should be an entertaining submersive experience a bit annoying. It's on a par with GW's mis-prints and spelling mistakes.

Argastes
15-09-2009, 01:04
Gravity Chutes utilise a slightly different form of anti-grav to those emplyed in vehicles being essentially massive suspensors which work in a passive way to reduce the effect of gravity unlike anti-grav plates which actively push a vehicle away from the ground.

The maximum height for this is around 100 meters, any more and it gets dangerous. Gravity-Chutes work from any height as they aren't quite the same. The wordage used to describe the effects amounts almost to the same thing but the results in-universe are different.

Right, but my point (which I already stated) is that, if you think it through and do the math, the described effects of the technology used in grav-chutes would make it quite easy to use the same technology to build skimmer-type vehicles that have similar capabilities to those of "true" (or whatever) anti-grav vehicles such as jetbikes and land speeders. So on the one hand we have GW saying that anti-grav vehicles are extremely rare and nearly impossible to build nowadays, and on the other hand we have them saying that a technology which could be used to make similar vehicles is common enough to be used in IG gear. Inconsistency.

Lord Malice
15-09-2009, 01:15
Inconsistency.

Well not really, you could put as many gravity chutes onto a vehicle as you like but it won't hovver, it'd float safely to the ground if you drove it off a cliff, but it won't ever hovver.

RCgothic
15-09-2009, 01:36
I disagree with you as well Lord Malice. There's no distinction between antigravs that float and antigravs that lift. Eldar and Tau antigravs work on the same lines, they need engines to manoeuvre.

Abnett's novels aren't the only examples of antigravs in general use either. Just about everywhere you look you find some sort of antigrav tech. Starships, drop ships, aircraft, landspeeders, air cars, jump packs, grav chutes, cherubs and servo skulls, antigravs are in use wide use throughout the Imperium at every scale.

Lord-Caerolion
15-09-2009, 02:38
I disagree with you as well Lord Malice. There's no distinction between antigravs that float and antigravs that lift. Eldar and Tau antigravs work on the same lines, they need engines to manoeuvre.

Abnett's novels aren't the only examples of antigravs in general use either. Just about everywhere you look you find some sort of antigrav tech. Starships, drop ships, aircraft, landspeeders, air cars, jump packs, grav chutes, cherubs and servo skulls, antigravs are in use wide use throughout the Imperium at every scale.

True, servo-skulls are the biggest argument against the "nobody but Astartes has antigrav" theory, in that it seems every important figure has a few servo-skulls floating around him.

Lord Malice
15-09-2009, 02:50
I disagree with you as well Lord Malice. There's no distinction between antigravs that float and antigravs that lift. Eldar and Tau antigravs work on the same lines, they need engines to manoeuvre.

Actually there is. Suspensors, which is what a gravity chute is, only decrease the effect of gravity upon an object. An anti-grav plate inverts the gravity field to push an object away from the ground. There is a distinct difference between the function of the two. This is cleary shown in the fact that anti-gravity plates have a limit on how far they can travel away from the ground while suspensors have no such limitation; their limitation is that they cannot make an object hovver like an anti-gravity plate.

Also, xenos technology is entirely irrelevent in a discussion about Imperial technology and the idea of a Magos tinkering with xenos technology is why the Adeptus Mechanicus view even human anti-grav technology with suspicion.


Abnett's novels aren't the only examples of antigravs in general use either. Just about everywhere you look you find some sort of antigrav tech. Starships, drop ships, aircraft, landspeeders, air cars, jump packs, grav chutes, cherubs and servo skulls, antigravs are in use wide use throughout the Imperium at every scale.

I would hardly call millennia old battle craft 'general use'. Also, what aircraft specifically use anti-grav plates, do you have a source?

Also jump packs (and the seldom ever mentioned flight packs) are glorified gravity chutes which negate some of the wearer's weight but do not allow them hovver like an anti-gravity plate.

If the sources I've quoted from are innacurate, which I do not believe they are, and any old world has all its civilian traffic use vehicles with anti-gravity plates then why are jet bikes almost unheard of on the field? Why are Speeders so precious that only the Astartes can use them? Why aren't all tanks fitted with plates ane jets to negate their weight and allow them to swoop about several hundred feet above the ground?

Iracundus
15-09-2009, 02:54
Have people perhaps looked at this from the practical implementation point of view rather than just the theoretical technology? The Imperium could have problems with sufficient miniaturization of sufficiently powerful units.

The Imperium has servo skulls with anti-grav tech to move them around. These are compact, and likely low strength (a skull doesn't weigh very much). The Imperium also has gravity plates on board starships to give normal orientation. Starships however are large and have ample power to work with. So the Imperium can do small and low power, or large and high power. Can it do compact and medium power? That may be where the Imperium has difficulty.

This kind of thing wouldn't be unique to anti-grav tech either. The Imperium manages to use plasma weapons and reactors on starships with no major problems. For Titan scale weapons (in 2nd ed. Epic anyway), there were problems with the power requirements sapping power from other weapons, and also the vulnerability of the reactor to exploding if the shielding was breached. On the more compact personal arms level, the Imperium has trouble maintaining shielding while keeping the power high, even though it doesn't appear to have such problems on starships, perhaps because once again on starships there is ample space and power.

Xenos technology isn't irrelevant to the issue however as in the material universe, anti-grav should be the same regardless of who is designing it. The Eldar are supposedly the masters of this and have the largest tanks capable of anti-grav movement. This might be from superior miniaturization capabilities: they may be capable of manufacturing powerful compact anti-grav plates in a form more compact than what other races can cram onto a tank chassis.

Condottiere
15-09-2009, 05:45
So gravity plates are used in starships to create artificial gravity?

BrotherMoses
15-09-2009, 05:48
offtopic: Man I wish I had a servo skull. That would be cool. :)

Condottiere
15-09-2009, 05:54
Voulnteer as a research subject.

Charlie Scene
15-09-2009, 06:24
Voulnteer as a research subject.

Hahahaha..

Argastes
15-09-2009, 06:31
Well not really, you could put as many gravity chutes onto a vehicle as you like but it won't hovver, it'd float safely to the ground if you drove it off a cliff, but it won't ever hovver.

I know it wouldn't hover entirely on it's own, but as I said earlier in the thread, it would be quite easy to make it hover with minimal downward thrust (from ducted lift fans or something similar), so it would be quite easy to make a skimmer-type vehicle with the technology even if the skimmer in question wouldn't technically be a "pure" anti-grav vehicle. Technology that can fit into a backpack and reduce a man's effective weight to the point that he floats down as if wearing a parachute could also be used to create floating vehicles, that's just a fact. Again, we can run the numbers if anyone is interested.


If the sources I've quoted from are innacurate, which I do not believe they are, and any old world has all its civilian traffic use vehicles with anti-gravity plates then why are jet bikes almost unheard of on the field? Why are Speeders so precious that only the Astartes can use them? Why aren't all tanks fitted with plates ane jets to negate their weight and allow them to swoop about several hundred feet above the ground?

Because GW's fluff is inconsistent and they haven't thought this stuff through. Obviously we aren't saying that anti-grav vehicles are in common usage, because you're right; the fluff says clearly that they aren't. I'm just pointing out that such vehicles SHOULD be common if grav-chute technology is really capable of doing what it's described as doing.

Fans who labor to think up or defend rational in-universe explanations for their pet setting's absurdities when those absurdities are pointed out are usually swimming against the tide, and 40K is no exception.

Allen
15-09-2009, 07:08
You may notice that the conversion now has moved on to the question of whether that established fluff is coherent in light of the similarly well-established fluff (...)

(...) Again, we already know about the fluff sources stating that antigrav technology is rare and that Abnett's novel isn't congruent with this (...)

(...) whether that fluff can be reconciled with the fluff stating that it's common enough to be used in gravchutes(...)



You (and a lot of people here, including the OP) talk about the 40K setting in a way that implies a normal-to-high level of internal coherence.
Sadly, that's not true. The 40K setting is *literally* a morass of poorly conceived and equally poorly armonized ideas, sedimented through the years and the editions. In the 40K setting you can find bits of background originated from the RT era conflicting with everything has been created afterwards. You can find III edition background conflicting with "actual" background. Name a piece of background, even a major one, and there is a good chance that there's somewhere another piece of background stating the exact opposite.

The Imperial Armour volume states that AG tech is rare and the Imperium does not use it anymore? Well, some BL novels disagree with that. What is canon? Both.
That's the official stance of GW about that kind of situation.


It's stupid? Yes.
It's a cheap excuse for lazy writing? Yes.
It's many things, including the official stance of GW (the creators and owners of the 40K setting) about background. Love it or leave it, as they say.

Argastes
15-09-2009, 07:21
Dude, I know the 40K setting is internally incoherent. That's exactly what I'm saying. I'm not trying to talk about the 40K setting as if it were internally coherent, I'm pointing out why it's NOT. As opposed to the people who seem to think that the setting has a consistent and internally coherent explanation of where anti-grav technology exists and who uses it. My entire point is that the setting's explanation of who has anti-grav (and of many other things, of course, but those are for other threads) is totally incoherent and inconsistent.

I mean look:


Because GW's fluff is inconsistent and they haven't thought this stuff through....

....Fans who labor to think up or defend rational in-universe explanations for their pet setting's absurdities when those absurdities are pointed out are usually swimming against the tide, and 40K is no exception.

If anyone needs to be told that GW fluff isn't internally consistent, it's not me.

Allen
15-09-2009, 08:05
The problem is that I'm not debating about Anti-grav technology in the setting.

I'm talking about the general attitude of the posters about the now infamous Abnett novels: they're "not exactly warhammer-ish", "they don't communicate the same feeling" and "they're really not enough grimdark, it's like Star Wars or something".

What I'm trying to suggest is that is quite pointless trying to invalidate Abnett "non-grimdarkness" works because his novels conflicts with established background: mainly because a stable, coherent background does not exist.
Without a fixed point of reference it's frankly impossible saying that "official" background from rulebooks or Forgeworld publications is "more grimdark" than certain BL novels or vice versa...everything is canon (and, consequently, grimdark) with a GW sponsorship. Even crappy videogames with a very embarassing plot. Abnett (and other authors) just provide us a different "flavour" of 40k...as long as GW publish his works, those novels are as grimdark as everything else.

That's all.

Argastes
15-09-2009, 08:21
Oh, well I do agree with that. Like I said earlier, I don't read BL and I haven't read the particular Abnett novel that the conversation has drifted towards (I think I did read Gaunts Ghosts a while ago, not sure though), but in general, I have no problem with the idea of a novel (by him or anyone else) that "isn't grimdark enough" or whatever. I agree that the background isn't consistent or coherent, and that this means that there's plenty of room for various authors, etc., to come up with their own takes on it. I'm certainly not one of the people in this thread who has criticized Abnett, or anyone else, for failing to stick to the "established" background, so I'm not the one you need to be telling this to.

Condottiere
15-09-2009, 09:54
On the grim dark issue, isn't that just the ambiance that GW tries to conjure? Rather like film noir and certain detective stories. You could have a happy-go-lucky guy explain his world view and adventurers in the Imperium, and it would still be 40K.

Seattledv8
15-09-2009, 10:09
Sorry gents , but Abnett is the best writer from Black Library....BAR none.
He is so far above the other writers that even his lesser works are head and shoulders above any other BL writers.
Grimdark alone does not a good warhammer 40k writer make.

TheDarkDaff
15-09-2009, 11:28
Sorry gents , but Abnett is the best writer from Black Library....BAR none.
He is so far above the other writers that even his lesser works are head and shoulders above any other BL writers.
Grimdark alone does not a good warhammer 40k writer make.

I have to disagree. I still rate Goto as a better writer so that should give you an idea of where i rank Abnett.

The main problem i have with Abnett is when i read one of his novels i find myself thinking it isn't fun to read. It is just a mash of over the top cliches that don't particularly fit my view of the background. I find other BL authors give a much more consistant view internally. The lightsabre in the Inquistor series is just one of the many things that jar me out of enjoying the story he is trying to tell.

I have now even decided that the horrible mess of the Darkblade series in fantasy is entirely Abnett's fault after reading Mike Lee's Fallen Angels, which i rate as one of the best BL books in recent years. The writing was nice and enjoyable to read but the background was so horriblely mutilated in that particular series that i had to stop some books and walk away muttering to myself.

Lord_Crull
15-09-2009, 13:45
Sorry gents , but Abnett is the best writer from Black Library....BAR none.
He is so far above the other writers that even his lesser works are head and shoulders above any other BL writers.
Grimdark alone does not a good warhammer 40k writer make.

Nope,that's your opinion. I thought Brothers of the Snake was horrible, and Double Eagle to be mediocre.

You are entitled to your opinion. However you have no right to force it on others, or bandy it around like absolute fact.




The main problem i have with Abnett is when i read one of his novels i find myself thinking it isn't fun to read. It is just a mash of over the top cliches that don't particularly fit my view of the background. I find other BL authors give a much more consistant view internally. The lightsabre in the Inquistor series is just one of the many things that jar me out of enjoying the story he is trying to tell.

I have now even decided that the horrible mess of the Darkblade series in fantasy is entirely Abnett's fault after reading Mike Lee's Fallen Angels, which i rate as one of the best BL books in recent years. The writing was nice and enjoyable to read but the background was so horriblely mutilated in that particular series that i had to stop some books and walk away muttering to myself.

While I think most of Abnett's works are entertaining, he often butchers the fluff pretty badly. I also recognise that issue is also a problem for the rest of BL, but I would hardly rate Abnett as the perfect 40k author.

x-esiv-4c
15-09-2009, 14:15
Since there is no pre-established guideline for fluff it is impossible to butcher it. You can only assume in your "opinion" that he butchered the fluff and since everyone's 40k experience is unique in terms of lore and fluff, your opinion only matters to you an no one else.

Is he the best 40k genre writer? Imho, sure. Of the books I have read I have enjoyed them as a trashy read.

Condottiere
15-09-2009, 14:17
I like most of Abnett's works, but if he's the best writer from that stable, that's a pretty sad commentary on the whole of BL publications.

Lord_Crull
15-09-2009, 14:27
Since there is no pre-established guideline for fluff it is impossible to butcher it. You can only assume in your "opinion" that he butchered the fluff and since everyone's 40k experience is unique in terms of lore and fluff, your opinion only matters to you an no one else.


Not exactly, other people agree with me. there are other examples in this very thread.

Regardless, it would be more accurate to say he has problems with codex fluff.

x-esiv-4c
15-09-2009, 14:31
Why do you automatically assume he has a problem with codex fluff though? Since all fluff is valid, even contradictory fluff, it can all be accepted. Again, this is entirely dependant on the reader.

So I wouldn't be so negative, saying he goes against the codex but his fluff runs in a different direction, no more valid or invalid then anything else.

Lord_Crull
15-09-2009, 14:48
Why do you automatically assume he has a problem with codex fluff though? Since all fluff is valid, even contradictory fluff, it can all be accepted. Again, this is entirely dependant on the reader.

So I wouldn't be so negative, saying he goes against the codex but his fluff runs in a different direction, no more valid or invalid then anything else.

Where did I say it was not valid? Did you not read my last few posts?

x-esiv-4c
15-09-2009, 14:52
"he often butchers the fluff pretty badly"

Don't try to backpeddle by changing the context, you do that very often i've noticed.

AndrewGPaul
15-09-2009, 14:57
The issue with a lot of people is that they assume that "Codex fluff" >> Black Library fluff. The thing is, GW have never, to my knowledge, made that statement officially. As it stands, stuff from Black Library is just as official and canon as stuff from Codex: Imperial Guard. As long as it's got a GW logo on it somewhere, it's canon.

x-esiv-4c
15-09-2009, 15:09
And extending your statement AndrewGpaul, there is no "incorrect" fluff or even contradicting fluff as long as there is a GW logo.

Argastes
15-09-2009, 15:12
The issue with a lot of people is that they assume that "Codex fluff" >> Black Library fluff. The thing is, GW have never, to my knowledge, made that statement officially. As it stands, stuff from Black Library is just as official and canon as stuff from Codex: Imperial Guard. As long as it's got a GW logo on it somewhere, it's canon.

Yeah, but nevertheless, it's understandable why people think that way and it's probably not going to change. It's all theoretically equal, but when you have two contradictory items, one from the core rulebook of the wargame that started it all and was written by the guys who invented the setting, and the other from some crappy pulp novel... yes it's all canon but guess which one people are going to take more seriously.

Burnthem
15-09-2009, 15:13
Treat Fluff just like Real history, it's all different depending on whose viewpoint it was written, who the intended audience were/are and the context of the time. Compared to many historical 'facts' we have today, GW's history and background of the 40K universe is remarkably coherent ;)

x-esiv-4c
15-09-2009, 15:15
And that is where the independant acceptance of fluff comes in. Some people will take the crappy pulp book over the main book, thats just the way it is. As such, GW has invented a universe in which everyone has a different 40k experience yet everyones is valid.

Burnthem
15-09-2009, 15:26
Going slightly off-topic here, but one thing i've noticed in the years of perusing this wretched hive of scum and villainy, umm, i mean forum, is that there is a minority of posters that seem to need to have every possible fact and figure set in stone and completely understood. Everyone else is happy to 'fuddle through', to accept that there are mysteries here and there, and that whilst individual fluff may conflict the overall picture is pretty stable and coherent.

It just doesn't seem to sit right with some people that some things don't match, and they will not let it rest until they have beaten out every single possible detail and generalised the whole of the 40K universe into huge generic swathes of faceless grimdark no-hopers.

For me, it's precisely the inconsistencies and little foibles that makes the 40K fluff so interesting. Much like a book club discussing a good book, you can gain a huge insight by simply examining it from a different point of view, or a different mindset. Much like real life history is a mish mash of different accounts, warped stories and chinese whispers, 40K history is the same. Having a background that is set to the letter in what is right and what is wrong would not only be boring, but would make background forums/discussions such as this completely pointless.

This is how i like to see 40K, if you want to disagree then fine, it's many things to many people, but just like real history, just because you believe your opinion/view to be correct, don't dismiss others out of ignorance, willful or otherwise.

Allen
15-09-2009, 15:34
Regardless, it would be more accurate to say he has problems with codex fluff.


One could argue that Codex authors have problems with Black Library fluff.
As everyone here knows well, there's no "official" and "unofficial" fluff coming from Games Workshop. If it's published and/or created with the imprimatur of GW, it's canon...regardless of confusion, bad writing, inaccurate portrayal of something and so on.

Some gamers tend to consider Codex and WD fluff as a "primary" source of background, and every other (Specialist Games and Forgeworld publications, videogames with GW sponsorship, Black Library and so on) as "secondary" or "ancillary" sources of background...sometimes even unreliable.
Sadly this is a personal choice of some gamers, it's not the official stance of GW about background.


Saying (or implying) that Abnett does not create the "right" feeling, that he does not represent the "true WH40K" is quite incorrect. "Right" or "true" compared to what? There are no "better" and "lesser" fluff sources. According to GW, they're all equal...the 40K view of Abnett is as "right" and "true" to the spirit of 40K as any fluff bit on any Codex.

threewolftats
15-09-2009, 15:40
Apart from all the long standing background that makes it quite clear that anti-grav vehicles and technology are incredibly rare; too rare to be utilised in the manner portrayed by Abnett for the Gudrun skimmers.

Still, like ashc says, if dismissing a rather well known section of background in favour of a tiny snippet from a novel pleases you, then that's your prerogative but other people might like to know that what Abnett has written isn't necessarily congruent with the rest of the established background and since I've listed the various sources they can read them and come to their own conclusions.

how longstanding is that? I have several Imperial Guard JETBIKES from Rogue Trader days still in my loft.....

well lets see.... when have GW ever dismissed well known background out of hand...... oh I Know lets see..... the "Squat" planet of Golgotha (this is from a rulebook), which in a recent novel was an imperial world over-run with orks..... kinda odd if the Squats were eaten by the nids ( don't know about this, it was stated in another thread )... where did all these orks appear from?

Argastes
15-09-2009, 16:09
Some gamers tend to consider Codex and WD fluff as a "primary" source of background, and every other (Specialist Games and Forgeworld publications, videogames with GW sponsorship, Black Library and so on) as "secondary" or "ancillary" sources of background...sometimes even unreliable.
Sadly this is a personal choice of some gamers, it's not the official stance of GW about background.

Nothing is sad about it, it's just inevitable and to be expected. Let's review:

You have a bunch of guys who invent a sci-fi setting and write a wargame for that setting. They spend two decades developing the setting through successive editions, building up a huge amount of background data through the codexes and rulebooks for that wargame. Then they decide to let some authors write novels for the setting (not very good ones I might add). When there's a conflict between the novels and the codex/rulebook background, where do you think that the wargamers who love the setting are going to put their faith? In the fluff that came first and was written by the guys who invented the setting and got the whole thing started, of course. Not in the poorly-written novels that came later and contradict the codex fluff. This attitude may not be officially supported by GW but it's hardly surprising that it exists among the wargamers. They're not claiming that the BL fluff is unofficial or technically less canon, but nevertheless, it's obvious where their sympathies are going to lie.

(Yes, I know that the codex fluff itself is not internally consistent and doesn't present a 'unified front' of a setting in which everything is coherent and fits together.)

Lord_Crull
15-09-2009, 17:11
The issue with a lot of people is that they assume that "Codex fluff" >> Black Library fluff. The thing is, GW have never, to my knowledge, made that statement officially. As it stands, stuff from Black Library is just as official and canon as stuff from Codex: Imperial Guard. As long as it's got a GW logo on it somewhere, it's canon.

The former CEO of GW, susposedly made a statement that the authors have to work on form the codices, and the main codices take place first. However I don't have the exact quote on me, but that's what I heard.

Susposedly.



Saying (or implying) that Abnett does not create the "right" feeling, that he does not represent the "true WH40K" is quite incorrect.

No I did not, I stated my personal opinion, as I noted in the OP, go read it again.

MontytheMighty
15-09-2009, 17:53
Well not really, you could put as many gravity chutes onto a vehicle as you like but it won't hovver, it'd float safely to the ground if you drove it off a cliff, but it won't ever hovver.

we know that a grav chute can decrease a person's downward velocity so that they don't strike the ground with damaging impact

to do that the grave chute isn't just decreasing the effect of gravity, it's exerting an upward force on the person greater than the force of gravity...in other words it's accelerating the person upward

if the person is falling he'll slow down to zero velocity and then possibly rise up depending on how sophisticated the chute is (just like if you throw a ball upward it slows down to zero and then falls down)

if a force is strong enough to slow you down it is strong enough to accelerate you in the opposite direction, I don't know how I can explain this in more simple terms

the point is that slowing an object down and speeding it up in the opposite direction is essentially the same function, so they wouldn't require different types of technology

Burnthem
15-09-2009, 18:02
how.....still in my loft.....

well lets see.... .. where did all these orks appear from?


Can you write in normal colours mate, that blue text made my eyes hurt! :)

MontytheMighty
15-09-2009, 18:09
we know that a grav chute can decrease a person's downward velocity so that they don't strike the ground with damaging impact

to do that the grave chute isn't just decreasing the effect of gravity, it's exerting an upward force on the person greater than the force of gravity...in other words it's accelerating the person upward

if the person is falling he'll slow down to zero velocity and then possibly rise up depending on how sophisticated the chute is (just like if you throw a ball upward it slows down to zero and then falls down)

if a force is strong enough to slow you down it is strong enough to accelerate you in the opposite direction, I don't know how I can explain this in more simple terms

the point is that slowing an object down and speeding it up in the opposite direction is essentially the same function, so they wouldn't require different types of technology

I would just like to add that even a grav chute that completely cancels out gravity or "turns off" gravity wouldn't be very useful

imagine this: you jump out of a plane, gravity increases your rate of fall by 10m/s every second, let's say you turn on your grav chute when you're falling at 100m/s...you've turned off gravity, now instead of speeding up as you fall, you're now falling at a constant velocity of 100m/s...you're still screwed

Condottiere
15-09-2009, 18:49
You need it to cancel momentum, which would be rather like buoyancy in water, I suspect.

BrotherMoses
15-09-2009, 19:14
Please for the love of god close this thread and stop debating the merits/flaws of fictional technology. If this thread had a purpose, it has lost it.

Argastes
15-09-2009, 19:43
I would just like to add that even a grav chute that completely cancels out gravity or "turns off" gravity wouldn't be very useful

imagine this: you jump out of a plane, gravity increases your rate of fall by 10m/s every second, let's say you turn on your grav chute when you're falling at 100m/s...you've turned off gravity, now instead of speeding up as you fall, you're now falling at a constant velocity of 100m/s...you're still screwed

No, with the force of gravity no longer acting on your body, air resistance would begin to slow you down and you would find yourself falling more and more slowly. In fact, if the force of gravity was completely nullified in relation to your body mass and your weight became effectively zero, then air resistance would slow you to a halt and you'd float there in the sky like a balloon. If the effects of gravity upon your body were reduced but not totally eliminated (e.g., if the gravchute reduced your effective weight by, say, 95%), then you'd decelerate until you reached the new terminal velocity dictated by your body's effective weight, your body's cross-sectional area, and your body's coefficient of drag (along with the density of the atmosphere through which you are falling).

The only time your scenario would hold true would be if there were no atmosphere around you, for instance if you were falling towards an airless body. In such a case, yes, switching on a grav-chute once you are already falling toward the body at 100 m/s--even if it totally nullified your weight--would still end with you splattering onto the body's surface at 100 m/s.

BrotherMoses, if you don't like where the thread has gone, just stopping reading it and stop posting in it.

ashc
15-09-2009, 19:49
If what you are discussing is now off-topic (and it is) then it should not be in this thread and discussed elsewhere.

Wintermute
15-09-2009, 20:03
And because this thread is off-topic, I'm closing it.

Wintermute