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Polaria
16-07-2010, 13:10
Since I've never read anything by him (I think I'm lucky that way?) but I notice his work is regularly held as being the very worst fluff ever would someone please refer to me what he did wrong?

Just curious...:D

Iracundus
16-07-2010, 13:31
Simply put he does not do even basic research and disregards basic parts of background in favor of making up divergent stuff himself, leading to massive conflicts with existing background and general :wtf: moments.

narrativium
16-07-2010, 13:42
Polaria: it seems to be a bandwagon thing. While there are quite a few vocal people on Warseer who dislike his writing style, his books sold sufficiently well that he wrote at least seven novels for Black Library. Most recently, he had a short story published in Legends of the Space Marines, which came out in May, and his Deathwatch novels were recently re-released under the new Print on Demand system.

There should be extracts of some of his material on the Black Library website, and Cassern has his own site too; have a read, see what you think.

reds8n
16-07-2010, 13:47
Most recently, he had a short story published in Legends of the Space Marines, which came out in May,.

Which is good, it's a fine tale.

No, really.

Mannimarco
16-07-2010, 14:04
This thread needs examples:

Post any moments in any of his books you looked at and thought "wow......really?"

Idaan
16-07-2010, 14:07
Simply put he does not do even basic research and disregards basic parts of background in favor of making up divergent stuff himself, leading to massive conflicts with existing background and general :wtf: moments.

I think that not as massive as not knowing when the Fall of the Eldar was, which is what Dan Abnett and Graham McNeill do all the time. And it's not just the Eldar fanboy in me, the Fall was crucial to the launch of the Great Crusade.
It's just that Abnett and McNeill can write too.

Lord Asgul
16-07-2010, 14:31
Braying Eldar...need I say more?

narrativium
16-07-2010, 14:34
Braying Eldar...need I say more?

Does this contradict the background? I'd be interested in a page reference.

Askil the Undecided
16-07-2010, 14:37
Imperial Fist Deathwatch captain with an Eldar force sword.

Slaanesh worshipping DE that get delivered sacrifices for their Deamon Prince mistress by Ulthwe Farseers.

MULTILASERS!!!!

You know when you've been Goto'd!

massey
16-07-2010, 14:43
Braying Eldar...need I say more?

I've known some women who bray...

LordLucan
16-07-2010, 14:55
Imperial Fist Deathwatch captain with an Eldar force sword.



Slaanesh worshipping DE that get delivered sacrifices for their Deamon Prince mistress by Ulthwe Farseers.

[/QUOTE]

To be fair, Lilith Hesperex(sp?) might simply represent a minor faction of Slannesh worshipping Dark Eldar. It might make no sense to worship the destroyer of your people, but religion doesn't have to make sense (especially religions practiced by psychotic alien minds). Also, The Craftworlders worship Khaine, who was actively the enemy of the Eldar until Slannesh showed up.

Philip S
16-07-2010, 14:56
Since I've never read anything by him (I think I'm lucky that way?) but I notice his work is regularly held as being the very worst fluff ever would someone please refer to me what he did wrong?
Nothing. Well nothing according to GW.

The perceived problems arrise from the Black Library using an expanded background while the wargame uses a restricted background. It's all part of BL 'bringing the world of 40K to life'.

So in a novel a marine can stomp about with a multi-laser no problem, but you cannot have multi-lasers in your wargame army, it's not in the codex (restricted background), and your certainly can't use them in a competition.

This causes a wee bit of confusion.

Think of the codex, wargame, etc. as a small slice of a much bigger 40K pie.

Philip

massey
16-07-2010, 15:52
Nothing. Well nothing according to GW.

The perceived problems arrise from the Black Library using an expanded background while the wargame uses a restricted background. It's all part of BL 'bringing the world of 40K to life'.

So in a novel a marine can stomp about with a multi-laser no problem, but you cannot have multi-lasers in your wargame army, it's not in the codex (restricted background), and your certainly can't use them in a competition.

This causes a wee bit of confusion.

Think of the codex, wargame, etc. as a small slice of a much bigger 40K pie.

Philip

Such a good point it needs to be posted twice.

You see this quite a bit in game novels. The reader screams out "but they can't do that in the game!" Doesn't matter. In the Dark Angel codex, a Captain can't take a Storm Shield (the Captain gets an Iron Halo automatically, a 4+ invulnerable, and the Dark Angel Storm Shield only gives you a 4+ invulnerable, so there's no in-game reason to have the option). Of course, background-wise, there's no reason why a Dark Angel Captain can't run around with a Storm Shield and a meltagun. You just can't equip them that way in-game.

I could write a story where a marine destroys a Land Raider using a lasgun. The screams of rage begin. "It's unfluffy!!!!!" Not necessarily. Just because it can't be done in a game doesn't mean the "real" guys can't do it. He's gonna have to pull some kind of Indiana Jones in The Last Crusade thing, but I can write a story where it's at least within the realm of suspension of disbelief.

I haven't read any Goto books. I can only stand so many novels based on a game, and I think I used up my allowance for those on Battletech and Ravenloft books ages ago. What he should really be judged on is if his novels are boring. I haven't heard anyone say that his books just put them to sleep.

MajorWesJanson
16-07-2010, 16:09
What he should really be judged on is if his novels are boring. I haven't heard anyone say that his books just put them to sleep.

Not sleep, no, but to me the overall quality of the story, characters, and writing all result in a solid Meh. I tend to reread books, but I don't think I have picked up the Deathwatch books since I bought them, whereas I have worn out the Cain omnibus from more than a dozen readthroughs, have read the Shira Calpurnia books probably 4-5 times each, and gone through Gaunts Ghosts an average of 4 times. More on the Saint, less on the Lost. I will admit that Trial of the Mantis Warriors was not bad. A tad odd, but more striking than his other stories.

Polaria
16-07-2010, 16:16
Someone once told me about a book where Space Marine captain was drooling over some eldar chick... was that Goto or someone else?

Sephiroth
16-07-2010, 16:33
Nothing. Well nothing according to GW.

The perceived problems arrise from the Black Library using an expanded background while the wargame uses a restricted background. It's all part of BL 'bringing the world of 40K to life'.

So in a novel a marine can stomp about with a multi-laser no problem, but you cannot have multi-lasers in your wargame army, it's not in the codex (restricted background), and your certainly can't use them in a competition.

This causes a wee bit of confusion.

Think of the codex, wargame, etc. as a small slice of a much bigger 40K pie.

Philip

I think this is glossing over the real issues with his writing by pointing out something easily ignored (but also frequently brought up by the fans themselves too).

As an example, in Warrior Coven:

The story is the Eldar of Craftworld Ulthwe are being raided by Dark Eldar, who are capturing their souls to feed the release of a Demon Prince of Slaanesh.

Ulthwe's plan to stop this is to call in an old favour and get the Deathwatch to help them directly, but covertly its so they can sacrifice the Marines instead by letting the DE take them while the Craftworld escapes.

There is so much wrong with the above I don't even know how a BL/GW publish "okay'd" that. A demon of Slaanesh, craves the souls of Space marines, over Eldar? I'm sorry, that should be a "no" and since that's the entire basis of the story, it is entirely crouched in error.

Add to this, CS Goto didn't sooth things over with fans by saying, "Hey, I'm not the most knowledgeable guy on 40K, but..." instead his responses to criticisms was "Hey, the BL guys didn't point it out, so... you lose, good day sir."

That said, he HAS improved and his recent short "Trial of the Mantis Warriors" was a solid and interesting read.

Clanrat
16-07-2010, 16:42
tbh, my only real problem with hi is...he writes a book about marines, ends up talking mostly about eldar.

Then does the same thing all over again.

Finally actually gets to write a book aboutr eldar and its one of the most badly written stories ive ever read.

I dont really care about the supposed "unfluffines" for example, why couldnt a marine whose lost his weapon and just happens to find a multilaser lying about pick it up?? I sure would!

Really imo its just the fact that he cant write for toffee.

Lord Damocles
16-07-2010, 16:48
it seems to be a bandwagon thing.
I think this is a very valid point as regards Goto.

While his writing style is god-awful, and [it is the opinion of a significant number that] he takes certain liberties with regards to the background, and [it is a fact that] the editing of his works leaves a lot to be desired, the number of people who criticise his work seems to be at odds with the number who you'd expect to have actually read what they're criticising (if you knew it's that bad, why did you buy it?).

I've seen, here on Warseer, Goto criticised for things which simply *never happen* in his books.


PS. I've actually had the 'pleasure' of reading the [I]Dawn of War Omnibus (one terrible novel, one bad novel, one lower end of OK novel, and one bad short story; and the short story about the Vindicare (which made absolutely no sense).

Son of Sanguinius
16-07-2010, 16:58
I think this is a very valid point as regards Goto.

While his writing style is god-awful, and [it is the opinion of a significant number that] he takes certain liberties with regards to the background, and [it is a fact that] the editing of his works leaves a lot to be desired, the number of people who criticise his work seems to be at odds with the number who you'd expect to have actually read what they're criticising (if you knew it's that bad, why did you buy it?).

I've seen, here on Warseer, Goto criticised for things which simply *never happen* in his books.


PS. I've actually had the 'pleasure' of reading the [I]Dawn of War Omnibus (one terrible novel, one bad novel, one lower end of OK novel, and one bad short story; and the short story about the Vindicare (which made absolutely no sense).

Good point. It is a terribly popular thing to hate on him, but how does that quote in Horus Rising go? Something like "Myths grow like crystals". The point being that Goto, anyway you slice it, had produced some utter crap for publication. That work and the people who published it are deserving of almost every coherent criticism thrown their way.

Is he capable of writing something good? I'm sure he is. Reds8n seems like an intelligent individual to me, and he vouches for a short story of Goto's. But at most that's proving to be an exception to a rapidly solidifying rule.

Philip S
16-07-2010, 18:42
There is so much wrong with the above I don't even know how a BL/GW publish "okay'd" that. A demon of Slaanesh, craves the souls of Space marines, over Eldar? I'm sorry, that should be a "no" and since that's the entire basis of the story, it is entirely crouched in error.
An author has to jump through quite a few hoops to get their 40K novel OK'ed. A lot of other people, people who know the background and who write the background, are going to stick their oar in. A finished novel has a lot of peoples dabs all over it.

Here is a post by Aaron Dembski-Bowden over on the B+C discussing what's involved (http://www.bolterandchainsword.com/index.php?showtopic=206072&st=75&p=2462155&#entry2462155).

So it was OK'ed by a whole bunch of people who know what they are talking about and doing. The same bunch of people who OK'ed all the other novels. The background is consistent to this group, to GW.


Add to this, CS Goto didn't sooth things over with fans by saying, "Hey, I'm not the most knowledgeable guy on 40K, but..." instead his responses to criticisms was "Hey, the BL guys didn't point it out, so... you lose, good day sir."
Um, what's he supposed to say (assuming to are being a little melodramatic in your paraphrasing ;))?

BL-GW OK'ed it. Those who know the background said yes. If Goto didn't know about the background (as you suggest), they sure did, and they are the ones that said was OK. If they didn't like it then BL-GW would ask for rewrites and from what I understand they ask for those all the time.

Don't you think it's a little unfair to blame the author for background you don't like - when it's the ones who mind the background that told the author it was OK?

I not saying every novel is devoid of mistakes. However some 'mistakes' aren't mistakes.

Philip

Kiro
16-07-2010, 18:51
I'm only about halfway through the first Dawn of War book and the two criticisms I would have for him are:

1. His writing style seems a tad high school lit class.

2. His in-universe phrasing of 'Chaos Marines' and space marines identifying Orks as 'shoota boyz'.

Other than, it's more generic than dreadful, but then I suppose I haven't read the novels that really get under people's skins.

Clockwork-Knight
16-07-2010, 18:54
That's like saying George Lucas read every Star Wars-book when he gives them the okay for publishing.
Sometimes, those who should know about the background lore don't actually care at all and don't read it either, because all that matters is that it brings money.

Philip S
16-07-2010, 19:11
That's like saying George Lucas read every Star Wars-book when he gives them the okay for publishing.
If George Lucas was the editor of the publishing division then yes. He would have to read them. It's his job.


Sometimes, those who should know about the background lore don't actually care at all and don't read it either, because all that matters is that it brings money.
Don't care?

I would say they care about as much as any other fan, probably more so as it's their livelihood.

I may think that GW could do a lot of things to make 40K better, but caring more is not one of them.

Philip

Clockwork-Knight
16-07-2010, 19:22
The Black Library-editor doesn't have to do a good job. Only look if that book has some Wh40k-acronyms in it, like Space Marines, Lasgun, Imperium and Emperor.
Just like Lucas only cares that the Star Wars-novel has the Force, Jedi, Sith and Lightsabers to sell it as a Star Wars-novel.
Money matters, and quality control can be put in the backburner as long as enough buy it.

Dragunov09
16-07-2010, 19:36
The Black Library-editor doesn't have to do a good job. Only look if that book has some Wh40k-acronyms in it, like Space Marines, Lasgun, Imperium and Emperor.
Just like Lucas only cares that the Star Wars-novel has the Force, Jedi, Sith and Lightsabers to sell it as a Star Wars-novel.
Money matters, and quality control can be put in the backburner as long as enough buy it.

Whilst I do agree with this to a point, and that the editors do indeed have an obligation to tick the particular IP boxes, your agrument is a little flawed.

If it was simply money based, and CS Goto really was that bad, then his books would not sell. Black Library being the money grubbing beast that you describe that is only interested in keyword rich text(tm), that they will let any old tat go, would instantly drop Mr.Goto from their list of contributing authors like a shot.

So, in the best way possible, people are deciding that they like or dislike the books based on sales and it seems that they like them, despite his style not appealing to everyone.

I personaly don't like Graham McNeill's style, but I still try read and enjoy most of them. Is he a bad writer for not ringing my particular literary bell? No, just not my cup of tea.

Anyway, just thought I would chip in.

D

Philip S
16-07-2010, 19:46
GW is a niche market with fans who are very vocal. Quality control matters a lot and I think it shows. GW makes one of the most beautiful game universes we have.

Getting back to canon: I think when it comes to canon GW is more concerned with the spirit of the lore than the letter of the lore.

It's very hard to capture the spirit of something in writing (a lawyer can make a mockery of the law and twist it into something it was not intended). Most fans know 40K when the see it, and while the majority may favour one author over another, the minority are still enjoying 40K.

I reckon that if GW nailed down the background to one 'canon' way the fan base would fragment (much like churches fragment when they write up what it canon and heresy). 40K is a broad church.

Philip

narrativium
16-07-2010, 20:19
The Black Library-editor doesn't have to do a good job. He does if he wants to keep it.

Only look if that book has some Wh40k-acronyms in it, like Space Marines, Lasgun, Imperium and Emperor.
Just like Lucas only cares that the Star Wars-novel has the Force, Jedi, Sith and Lightsabers to sell it as a Star Wars-novel.
Money matters, and quality control can be put in the backburner as long as enough buy it. Reality and this viewpoint went their separate ways at some point. Try again.

TrooperTino
16-07-2010, 20:25
First I have to say I don't like gotos books. But he is not the only BL autor I dislike. Its a matter of personal taste I think.

But a multilaser using space marine doesn't sound implausible to me, a bit out of the line maybe, but easy imaginable. So do slaneesh worshipping dark eldar. Or slaneesh prefering astartes souls... he/she gets those dark eldar some time no matter what they do and time does't realy matter for him/her. Sometimes I read those out-of-the-line things in BL books and think "cool, that could work". It adds diversity. Mkoll killing a dread with a lasgun springs to mind. Lasguns on full power... pawns of chaos... eye of terror... good reads but totally out of the line

narrativium
16-07-2010, 20:34
Mkoll killing a dread with a lasgun springs to mind. Lasguns on full power... good reads but totally out of the line Read the short story again. Mkoll didn't kill a dreadnought with a lasgun. He overloaded a lasgun. The explosion widened an existing opening in the armour of an already damaged dreadnought, and the environment responded to the explosion, killing the dreadnought.

Farseer Dave
16-07-2010, 20:56
Since I've never read anything by him (I think I'm lucky that way?) but I notice his work is regularly held as being the very worst fluff ever would someone please refer to me what he did wrong?

Just curious...:D

Ohh no m8 yo have it all wrong hes the second worse , the coveted first place is Matt Ward destroyer of Avatars , mutilater of craftworlds ..

Farseer Dave.

Colonel Deal
16-07-2010, 21:00
Read the short story again. Mkoll didn't kill a dreadnought with a lasgun. He overloaded a lasgun. The explosion widened an existing opening in the armour of an already damaged dreadnought, and the environment responded to the explosion, killing the dreadnought.

QFT.

Sometimes I think the real reason people have a problem with that story is Mkoll used his brain rather than simple strength.

As to the topic of Goto, I've only read one short story of his from the Dark Millenium anthology (I think that was the name, it had some artwork from the 40k CCG on the cover). Personally I didn't particularly like his writing style but one short story isn't really enough to judge fairly. For example I didn't enjoy the first Uriel Ventris novel but read some other things (Storm of Iron especially) by Graham McNeil and really liked his style, so continued to read his books.

I've yet to read anything else by Goto, the hate of others has made me wary. But I think in the grand scheme of things fluff mistakes are not such a deal-breaker for me. After all, I can use my imagination to keep mistakes I don't like in line with my understanding of the background as long as the story is enjoyable. I suppose that's the main thing, is the story entertaining.

mob16151
16-07-2010, 21:00
Someone once told me about a book where Space Marine captain was drooling over some eldar chick... was that Goto or someone else?

Are you sure your not thinking about Ragnar Blackmane, in Bill Kings Space Wolf series?

Compel
16-07-2010, 21:02
To be honest, I'd say that Counter's Battle of the Abyss was far, far worse than the Dawn of War trilogy.

I quite enjoyed the Dawn of War Omnibus, then well... I started thinking about it a bit.
:wtf: moments pretty much describe it best. For example, in the 3rd book, the story follows a Blood Ravens librarian for the vast majority of the story as the central character who's on a kind of spirit quest thing. Then, eventually he turns up at a 3 way battle between Eldar, Marines and Chaos and randomly dies, end of.

Then there's a long running story in the first trilogy about a PDF recruit who gets inducted into the Blood Ravens, goes through an 'accelerated' geneseed program, ends up with a random tentacled arm from it for some reason from it, Angelos' response, despite just having a major battle against Chaos.

"Get that glove on right now, soldier and report to the scout corps."

The one thing I did like about book 3 of the Omnibus, I felt Ahriman was quite suitably sneaky in it.

mob16151
16-07-2010, 21:07
To be honest, I'd say that Counter's Battle of the Abyss was far, far worse than the Dawn of War trilogy.



The one thing I did like about book 3 of the Omnibus, I felt Ahriman was quite suitably sneaky in it.

I've never agreed with someone so much. Wanna be BFF's ? :D Kidding about the BFF's part. But we cool.:D

mistercactus
16-07-2010, 22:45
Philip S. Thanks for the link. What a grown-up conversation! Much better than the rants we get usually get on here.

Also. Originally posted by A D-B.


I've been exceptionally lucky with the way my work's been received online so far (even on Warseer...),

Classic.

FarseerMatt
17-07-2010, 01:23
But a multilaser using space marine doesn't sound implausible to me, a bit out of the line maybe, but easy imaginable. So do slaneesh worshipping dark eldar. Or slaneesh prefering astartes souls... he/she gets those dark eldar some time no matter what they do and time does't realy matter for him/her. Sometimes I read those out-of-the-line things in BL books and think "cool, that could work". It adds diversity.

There were bits of Goto's Warrior Coven that I did find intriguing, such as the idea that craftworlders don't always get on and occasionally screw each other over for political/personal reasons (after all, if the farseers are doing their job they don't have to fight, so who else are they going to argue with); and the ambiguity at the end as to whether Eldrad intended for the marines to succeed all along (thus saving Ulthwe and stopping the daemon, the latter being far more in line with Eldar policy).

The darkness of the Ulthwe psyche as a result of over-emphasis on the Reaper path was an interesting touch - it doesn't clash with anything per se, so it's more of an additional layer of depth to the craftworld. The "darkness" of the Reapers versus the "lightness" of the Spears was an odd part of the aspect path to focus on, but it made some sort of sense.

Lelith's splinter faction taking a more direct approach to keeping Slaanesh off their back also gets a pass, seeing as how Lelith had almost no previous backstory anyway, and given that she's holed up on a planet rather than in the webway it's highly likely that her group and their methods were shunned by the rest of the DE.

Things that seemed a bit off included the premise that the Ulthwe did not have the strength to deal with DE raids on their own, while a single squad of marines was sufficient to turn the tide (indeed, the entire Eldar plan revolved around this single squad). Mind you, this is nothing new for BL :angel:

Also the Eldar of both factions seemed remarkably blasé about sacrificing their own kind; although I know that they have to make hard decisions for the greater good, it just did not sit right with me that Dark Eldar would let the marine frigate catch and kill them (bearing in mind their selfishness and the emphasis they place on not dying because of what's waiting for them on the other side). Neither did the Ulthwe sacrificing their civilians to buy time. The latter however might be excusable, since it is the speculation of the marines rather than from an Eldar POV, and later on the two seers make such an effort to boast to the marines about their betrayal that it makes me think they were deliberately trying to get them angry enough to break out and stop Lelith.

One final thing - I'm sorry but for some reason I just can't see an Eldar farseer yelling "Bring it on!" :p

In terms of writing style Goto can come up with some quite cool images, although he sometimes gets carried away with his adjectives and similes, which can make the prose a bit clunky to read.

His battle scenes are very stylish, occasionally at the expense of logic, so to what degree they work will vary depending on personal taste.

That's as fair a review as I can give, based on my personal experience and thoughts.



To be honest, I'd say that Counter's Battle of the Abyss was far, far worse than the Dawn of War trilogy.

That's a shame. I'd have expected more seeing as how his Grey Knights trilogy was so solid (the first of the three being one of my favourite 40K books).

Kiro
17-07-2010, 01:50
Ouch, Compel....really could have done with some spoilers there :(

Horus_Lupercal
17-07-2010, 01:53
he's bad, the only cool scene i can think of is in the first dawn of war book with the alpha warrior bikers fighting the eldar jetbikes and vypers.

TrooperTino
17-07-2010, 09:54
Read the short story again. Mkoll didn't kill a dreadnought with a lasgun. He overloaded a lasgun. The explosion widened an existing opening in the armour of an already damaged dreadnought, and the environment responded to the explosion, killing the dreadnought.

If you see it this way thats wrong, too. The Powerpack of said lasgun overloaded and exploded, not the gun.

I remember the story very well. Thats exactly what I mean btw... with a good explanation a marine can wield a multilaser, DE can worship slaneesh and mkoll can kill a dread with a las... ähhh overloading powerpack and responding alien plans.

TrooperTino
17-07-2010, 10:21
on and occasionally screw each other over for political/personal reasons

I think the Eldar should be above such arrogant behaviour between each other... but its difficult for autors to portray them, so I forgive them much in aspekt of the eldar.



Things that seemed a bit off included the premise that the Ulthwe did not have the strength to deal with DE raids on their own, while a single squad of marines was sufficient to turn the tide (indeed, the entire Eldar plan revolved around this single squad). Mind you, this is nothing new for BL :angel:

These things bother me, too. I tend to "rewrite" them for me.



Also the Eldar of both factions seemed remarkably blasé about sacrificing their own kind;

Sometimes I have the feeling W40ks storyline is written with eldar blood :p They die just too much.



One final thing - I'm sorry but for some reason I just can't see an Eldar farseer yelling "Bring it on!" :p


Me neither^^

I like how the eldar language is portrayed and how subtle differences change meaning, the importance of body language, etc etc.

Iuris
17-07-2010, 10:38
think the Eldar should be above such arrogant behaviour between each other...

One thing the eldar should never be above is arrogance.

Ordo Hydra
17-07-2010, 12:30
I've read the Dawn of War Omnibus and Warrior Brood, in-between Warrior Coven at the moment. Personally, I don't have a huge dislike for the guy though parts of the writing can be somewhat boring. First part didnt interest me except for a few points of writing for lore reasons since I love fluff though I did enjoy the later half of the Omnibus especially the exploration of the Order Psykana within the Blood Ravens as well as the possible hint that their origins being descended from the Thousand Sons possibly. I also enjoyed the Eldar parts of it and their relationship with the Necrons. Plus the whole "friend of Ahriman" part was enjoyable.

Warrior Brood was somewhat different... I mean I didnt hate it but nothing really seemed to happen in it. I didnt dislike the characters but neither did I like them much either. I was perhaps more interested on the artifact present that was responsible for the whole thing. They had that Inquisitor thing as a sideline plot but that hardly interested me at all.

Still reading Warrior Coven but havent had time to finish it yet. I do like the descriptions of the Craftworld like the huge hanger bay thats basically a folded portion of the warp. Also like the Coven of Isha as a concept. Can't say more here since I havent finished it yet.

All in all, I think Goto has some interesting and thought provoking concepts in his books though he does leave quite a bit unexplained. And when I say unexplained I dont mean "wow, a mystery", I mean "what the deuce?" Plus portions of the book you can almost just skim through and not be bothered. Anyway thats just my experience with it. I got no problem with the weapon descriptions and in-universe parts of it.

NightrawenII
23-09-2010, 16:29
Getting back to canon: I think when it comes to canon GW is more concerned with the spirit of the lore than the letter of the lore.

Philip
Well depends, just look what havok Matt "Fluffbuldozer" Ward did with his two codexes*, like BA&Necrons happy party.


Read the short story again. Mkoll didn't kill a dreadnought with a lasgun. He overloaded a lasgun. The explosion widened an existing opening in the armour of an already damaged dreadnought, and the environment responded to the explosion, killing the dreadnought.
I have no problem with the way Mkoll did it, just... Why would you have a weapon with auto-destruction mode?

No 5 Element quotes, please.


Are you sure your not thinking about Ragnar Blackmane, in Bill Kings Space Wolf series?
Ragnar was mildly affected by hmm.... I think she wasn't a Inquisitor but a Acolyte, I'm not sure right now.
And don't forget, that he was a little pup here, so it's possible.



*I know that it's bad speling and I don't care.

Alsharoth
29-09-2010, 19:50
Being someone who came from Epic (1994) and a long term fan of wise & Hickman Eldar prophecy was a case of "errrr huh?"
It was really a bad story but it wasn't good eather.
Double eagle was my first BL book and after then (as said) I felt it was written too childishly and comparable to my pre GCSE English (2nd time around) examwork.

horizon
29-09-2010, 20:11
This thread is empty of examples on bad writing.

Besides Eldar are alien, how are we supposed to know how they behave. ;)

Never read Goto,
heck, haven't read any BL book. None.

loveless
29-09-2010, 22:18
Well depends, just look what havok Matt "Fluffbuldozer" Ward did with his two codexes*, like BA&Necrons happy party.


To be fair to Ward, that was a single instance (in that book, I'm leaving Codex: Space Marines out of this one...) of oddity - and it seemed more like "Uh...out of room...maybe this will make the Necrons look enigmatic...or something..." as the story didn't really revolve around anything out of line. 2 armies are fighting, a third army arrives, and the original two armies take out the third as the more immediate threat.

As for Goto, it's not even a matter of "Hey, maybe it could happen" - it's a matter of "why did it happen?"

Were the multilasers so important that he couldn't have used Heavy Bolters or even Assault Cannons in their place?
Was it necessary to use Lelith as your Slaanesh-worshipping antagonist when you could have created your own character instead?

Writing be damned, he's made choices that didn't need to be made. His options were widespread enough that he didn't need to make the "background errors" he did, yet there they were.

Honestly, though - I sometimes wonder how many things attributed to Goto actually occurred - I feel my memory has been partially blinded by internet lore - so take everything with some level of salt.

horizon
30-09-2010, 05:49
Which background errors?

Lord Damocles
30-09-2010, 08:40
Which background errors?
'A bunch of children taking down a grav tank full of Aspect Warriors' is a [the] common one.


BUT IT NEVER HAPPENS!


See here (http://www.warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?p=4325054&highlight=goto#post4325054) for more.

Alsharoth
30-09-2010, 17:07
The lycosdie is often shouted as one of his b.s's

BlackLegion
01-10-2010, 09:52
Actually his short stories "Trialof the Mantis Warriors" and "Small Cogs" are pretty good.

sliganian
01-10-2010, 13:36
I have no opinion of Goto one way or the other (not sure I've read anything of his) but to sum up...

It seems that there are two very different sets of readers involved. Those who would judge a BL novel based on the current game rules and those who will judge a story based on, well, actual literary style and execution of a narrative.

For those who get outraged over 'fluff' and 'game' inconsistencies please note that just because one reacts in this way "OMG! HE WROTE ABOUT A SPACE MARINE USING A LASGUN!" does not mean the writing is bad. Remember that these stories have the potential to be read 20 years from now, long past the shelf life of whatever rules quirk happens to be around in the current game system.

I think extracting the fluff-rage about an author from any actual discussions of 'good writing' seems to be the main challenge on these forums.

Technically, BL should hire good writers. Note that a 'good writer' may know next to nothing about the WarHammer 40,000 universe. The freelance writers are just looking to write for someone and want a paycheck. It is the job of the editors to shape the background elements and maintain universe consistency on the fiddly details. So if Goto, Ward, King, et.al have a 'mistake' in their text (like a Space Marine using a Multi-laser), the blame falls firstly to the EDITORS.

However, I ask fluff-ragers to bear in mind this: Is the fact a Space Marine was using a multi-laser (or whatever travesty of game rules has one upset at the moment) actually count as BAD WRITING? Does a small technical detail based on a restrictive game set (as someone cleverly mentioned above) derail the quality of the narrative?

Again, I've no skin in the game here regarding Goto, but it sounds like a lot of folks chucking out the baby with the bathwater (sort to speak) and pilloring an author on techinical fault rather than a literary one.

Ron Burgundy
03-10-2010, 03:00
^I really like your post, but I also consider 'contravening game rule-fluff' for no good reason to be bad writing.
It's distracting and jarring for the reader and smacks of showing off and trying to be different for no good reason. Which is a problem I think Goto has as both a plotter and a writer, frankly.

Don't go against the accepted order of the shared universe you are creating in without justifying it. Then it's not the shared universe any longer. People complain about the (apparent) liberties Abnett takes with the fluff, creating the 'Abnettverse' version of 40K or whatever? Goto is worse IMO, becuse he does it ina pointless, low-concept way that's so low-concept it could be called no-concept. He seems to create unusual and unbelievable scenes and plots just for the sake of having unusual and out-of-the-ordinary stuff in his books. When you have to pull 180s or cross boundaries to get your stories instead of developing stuff inside the (wide) playing field laid for you already, that's a sign of poor imagination and talent, IMHO.

The last thing I read by him was the Badab War short he did in some anthology. It was an abomination, for multiple reasons, but principally the extremely basic plot and the ridiculousness of the character "The Mantis Master".
The Mantis Master. I ask you.
I disliked the story for the two reasons you suggest - though you suggest complaining about his work because of fluff-rage to be unreasonable. For me, this is not the case: This guy trying to write something about the Badab War - and ending up producing dull, clunky stupidity, like always - is annoying. It's annoying because he wrote something bad about some important fluff thing. The Badab War is cool. It's important fluff. He ****ed it up. Therefore he sucks. This is the thought process that comes across by fluff-ragers and it does sound bad, I admit. The bit missing - that some fluff-ragers may just assume is to be taken as read - is that he ****ed it up because he can't write for ****.

Lost_Heretic
03-10-2010, 21:38
Salvation by C.S. Goto is the only Necromunda novel that's really... well, a Necromunda novel.

Alsharoth
05-10-2010, 19:22
I have no opinion of Goto one way or the other (not sure I've read anything of his) but to sum up...

It seems that there are two very different sets of readers involved. Those who would judge a BL novel based on the current game rules and those who will judge a story based on, well, actual literary style and execution of a narrative.
*snip*
That a very good post but I have to point out another group.
Those who don't care about the things you mentiond and accept a story as a piece of entertaining media.

For me it is a good story (dispite my former posts) but as I said there are bits that are just WTF?
I dunno, maybe we have been poluted by previous authors works but untill a unifying set of rules about fluff exist these things will happen.

Even my own short story is a case of
B.S. that wouldn't happen that way.

Pacific
07-10-2010, 01:39
I think tie-in with game rules is or is not acceptable depending on what the reader knows about the game universe.

Sometimes this can be as simple as a chaos marine in a drop-pod - what we know about the 40k universe makes this a likely event to occur, and we can summise that it was excluded from the game rules for balance issues or some other reason. There are many other examples of this in a similar kind of vein.

I'd be interested to know how exactly Abnett has created a markedly different version of the universe to what others perceive? I've always though he has had his finger pretty much on the pulse of what 40k is all about (recognising of course that this is not everyones cup of tea).

BlackLegion
07-10-2010, 16:58
I say that ADB has a better grasp of what the WH40k universe is than Abnett.

Pitalla Crimson
13-10-2010, 14:27
Someone once told me about a book where Space Marine captain was drooling over some eldar chick... was that Goto or someone else?

yes... he did that to Gabriel Angelos, he had the blood ravens trained by the eldar. I mean I know that the blood ravens are a very liberal chapter but really?:wtf:

Lord Malorne
13-10-2010, 14:41
His books are not that bad, they are on par with the general level of ability I expect from BL, what I don't like is the touches he adds, like having marines far too... human.

Damien 1427
13-10-2010, 19:07
His books are not that bad

In the grand scheme of licensed fiction? I have read far, far worse. Richard Knaak makes Goto look like a titan of literature. Difference is, Knaak was lucky enough to get in with Blizzard (And, by extension, WoW). Word is he's friends with some of the higher-ups, which is the only reason I can see for Blizzard publishing the bilge he puts out.

But Goto is still fist-chewingly awful.

Lord Malorne
13-10-2010, 22:24
I utterly disagree, I really liked Knaacks Dragonlance novels.