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boogle
19-06-2006, 12:01
here's the chance to have your say on what is the worst BL Book/Series you have read, here are my choices:
The Inquisition War - no real likable characters, nothing much happens in the 1st couple of books, basically boring and at time unreadable

Iron Hands - the Main character is a moaning whinging git, and the story meanders nowhere

Wine of Dreams - It a story about wine!!!, what more can i say, i have had the book for nearly 6 years now and still haven't finished it

Fire Warrior - It's the books of the game and it's basically Crap

Warrior Brood - The author treats you like an imbicile and has very large fluf inconsistancies in it (Tac Marines with Heavy Flamers!!!)

Daemonworld - Hmm, very very odd, and seemingly disjointed in places

P(r)awns of Chaos - suffers from the same thing as Daemonworld, but isn't written as well

what are you views on your most hated BL book?

Old School
19-06-2006, 12:41
Blood Bowl - LOVE the game, but the first book blew! I still bought the 2nd one though :o

boogle
19-06-2006, 12:43
If you can get past the blatently stupid names (Bavid Deckham),the books are exacly what a Blood Bowl novel should be, stupid violent fun

The boyz
19-06-2006, 12:50
I wasnt really a big fan of Inquisition War by Ian Watson. It was ok, but it was a bit boring really. The characters where a bit poor, although I did find Grimm to be quite amusing sometimes. The storyline was a bit boring as well. I think you could pretty much skip the first two books Draco and Harlequin and read the last Chaos Child. As pretty much nothing happens in the first two books.

x-esiv-4c
19-06-2006, 15:06
Well, i'd have to say that I don't really like the way Grey Knights are portrayed in the "Grey Knight" series, especially in Dark Adeptus. He did a fantastic job of creating a chaotic world in which machine and flesh were bound together but then took a cleaver to 40k fluff and defiled it worse then Slaanesh at a baby shower.

Blue Orphen
19-06-2006, 15:20
I kinda wish I hadn't read the Inquisition War trilogy. It hurt my soul.

It started out with a touch of promise, but that vanished by the end of the first novel.

Then, just two books of pure pain.

Lyinar
19-06-2006, 16:02
The Grey Knights series is just fine. If you think he's "defiling the 40k fluff", then just read the BL's major storyline: Gaunt's Ghosts. How about Genevieve Dieudonne? Gotrek and Felix? All of them play around with the fluff to some extent, and some of them are playing around with fluff that's now outdated, to boot.

I'd also have to say that Fire Warrior is pretty good, considering the limitations forced on the author. If he hadn't been forced to follow the plot of the game (which WAS crap), then the story would have been a LOT better. As is, he manages to make the story fairly interesting while still having it read like a corridor-based FPS game.

As for worst? I'd have to say it's a toss-up between Dawn of War and Warrior Brood. CS Goto has typos, grammatical errors, and MAJOR disconnects from the game, such as Terminators in Rhinos. Though Warrior Brood did get me interested in the Mantis Warriors, so I'll give him that much.

boogle
19-06-2006, 16:04
were you ever left in any doubt about the Preying Mantidae though?, as he repeats what they are numerous times throughout the Book, had it not been someone elses book, i would have sent it sailing out of the train window

Lyinar
19-06-2006, 16:07
Like I said, the book wasn't good.

boogle
19-06-2006, 16:08
I just hope that CS Goto never gets anywhere near the HH series

Damien 1427
19-06-2006, 17:24
Anything that has had CS Goto touch it is terrible. Dawn of War made my eyes bleed. But even that isn't even near the level of mind-numbing crap that I dub Iron Hands. Jonathan Green shouldn't be allowed to write novels ever again after that. He does, however, have an ability to craft some decent short stories. Just full-length novels are apparently beyond him.
And please, chalk me up as another hater of the Inquisition War series. Onl ever finished the first one, and even that was a struggle.

Fire Warrior is infectious. I enjoyed it, but it's hardly a classic. I can understand the flaws, but it's a guy writing an extended story based on a (terrible) plot of a bad FPS, and I think he made a decent job of it.

As for Daemon World... Well. I liked it. One of the few decent Chaos-affliated books out there, with the added bonus of no Imperials around. It did get odd towards the end, with the DAoT ship, but overall it was pretty fun.

Corn Berserker
19-06-2006, 19:58
The Ciaphus Cain books kinda grate, sorta like a 40k Flashman but not nearly as cool.

Wraithbored
19-06-2006, 20:38
Storm of Iron it's just one big battle report.

vampking111
19-06-2006, 20:47
I just hope that CS Goto never gets anywhere near the HH series

Oh if what I've heard from Mr. Abnett he will be. From what I haerd From Dan Abnett and somewhere on the BL forums. Every black Library 40K author is writting a book for the HH seris. So there be a Goto one. (Damn him to the warp.) As well as a Gav Thorp. which will be a snore fest.

Damien 1427
19-06-2006, 20:48
Storm of Iron it's just one big battle report.

One could argue the same of any GW novel that isn't based around "adventurers", such as an Inquisitor, though.

Helicon_One
19-06-2006, 20:51
Matthew Farrer's Crossfire and Legacy did nothing for me. Crossfire was just dull, and Legacy spun out of control just at the point where it was starting to get interesting, as though the author realised he was about to hit his word limit when he was only halfway through the story.

Tim

Lyinar
19-06-2006, 20:52
Oh if what I've heard from Mr. Abnett he will be. From what I haerd From Dan Abnett and somewhere on the BL forums. Every black Library 40K author is writting a book for the HH seris. So there be a Goto one. (Damn him to the warp.) As well as a Gav Thorp. which will be a snore fest.


/me sets mode + "Darth Shatner"

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

/me sets mode - "Darth Shatner"

Maybe they'll assign a committee of Dan Abnett, Ben Counter, Sandy Mitchell, Simon Spurrier, and Graham McNeil (Curse you, William King, for leaving us!) to poke CS Goto with a cattle prod every time he screws something up?

Wraithbored
19-06-2006, 20:55
One could argue the same of any GW novel that isn't based around "adventurers", such as an Inquisitor, though.
I never said I liked BL books all that much! :D There were a few exceptions however

vampking111
19-06-2006, 20:56
Maybe they'll assign a committee of Dan Abnett, Ben Counter, Sandy Mitchell, Simon Spurrier, and Graham McNeil (Curse you, William King, for leaving us!) to poke CS Goto with a cattle prod every time he screws something up?

Now that I'd like to see.

boogle
19-06-2006, 21:01
As long as Gav gets to expand on what he started in Angels of Darkness, then that's cool with me, hopefully CS Goto's book won't have much impact in the overall grand scheme of things

Damien 1427
19-06-2006, 21:06
hopefully CS Goto's book won't have much impact in the overall grand scheme of things

Now that you've said that, he'll no doubt be the one to write the climactic end to the Siege of the Emperors Palace. :(

Lyinar
19-06-2006, 21:09
I can't really see them giving that to anyone but Gav or MAYBE Graham McNeill or Dan Abnett.

Zander
19-06-2006, 21:26
I read "Faith and Fire" every night to put me to sleep, the first 1/2 of that book is so dull I'm surprised that I finished it.

boogle
19-06-2006, 21:28
the last 3 will be wirtten by Ben, then Graeme and finally Dan, that is the overall plan

Corn Berserker
19-06-2006, 21:45
I suppose we can all sleep easily tonight if what you say is true.

boogle
19-06-2006, 22:07
was that sarcasm i detected?

Corn Berserker
19-06-2006, 22:35
At the time it wasn't, after re-reading the last few posts it may be. At least Abnett has the last book though, if the first is anything to go by he should do it justice....assuming I'm still reading the series by then.

Gabekun
19-06-2006, 22:41
Inquisition War is by far some of the worst fiction I've EVER read. Great big pile of crap, that series.

Warrior Brood was pretty bad too, but was a masterpiece compared to Inquisition War.

Khaine's Messenger
19-06-2006, 22:57
what are you views on your most hated BL book?

The only Black Library books I absolutely detest are Iron Hands and The Bleeding Chalice. The former had a really cool lead in, only to have the coolest character in the book (not Gdolkin) go insane for no particular reason other than that he wasn't the main character (he could have made a much more convincing villian than "the Iscariot"). The latter...well. Personally, I think no one should get a "get out of jail free" card in 40k. No one.

A lot of the other books are "just" not all that good.

Phunting
19-06-2006, 23:45
I agree with Inquisition War being the worst. Will never understand while people love it.

I used to love Cain, then I discovered Flashy and they just pale as a really substandard rip-off.

Eversor
19-06-2006, 23:56
:skull: I kinda liked Inquisition War on some level. The major error is that Watson tries to stuff everything in at once. But I found the core part, about conspiracies within conspiracies highly inspiring, even if much of it is contrived.

I 've had it up to here with Gaunt several years ago. Can't understand the hype. Most of the other books I've read are decent, though I take nothing BL publishes as canon background.

One of the best 40k stories is still from the Deathwing Space Hulk supplement. Who else has fond memories of Weasel Fierce and the others? ;)

GodofWarTx
20-06-2006, 01:11
The Deus Encarmine series.

The archstory of a false rebirth of Sanguinius? Cool.
Showing Mephiston as a badass? Cool.

Showing marines as a bunch of disagreeing babies who dont follow any sort of chain of command, even after years and years of fighting together? Terrible. Just plain terrible. Unforgivable showing how much bickering goes on here. If this was the average space marine force, long ago would the imperium fall apart to a bunch of tattle-tales and ego-centric battle-brothers.

Corn Berserker
20-06-2006, 01:43
Groovy, another Flash reader, anyone who thought a Cain book was good should have a look at George MacDonald Fraser's Flashman Papers.

Set in Victorian times, he's an officer, a cad, a coward and a threat to all women. Far better than Ciaphus.

Incognito
20-06-2006, 07:00
The Blood Bowl books were pretty silly.

Delicious Soy
20-06-2006, 10:35
As long as Gav gets to expand on what he started in Angels of Darkness, then that's cool with me, hopefully CS Goto's book won't have much impact in the overall grand scheme of things
Well I don't know much about his WFB Chaos series but Last Chancers got off to a good start in 13th Legion only to steadily slide downhill to hit bottom in Annihilation Squad. If Abnett's doing the heresy series, then hopefully some fluff lord is hiding behind him to stab him if he goes to non-canon (i.e his chaos as the uber-flu in Gaunts Ghosts).

boogle
20-06-2006, 10:40
Well I don't know much about his WFB Chaos series but Last Chancers got off to a good start in 13th Legion only to steadily slide downhill to hit bottom in Annihilation Squad. If Abnett's doing the heresy series, then hopefully some fluff lord is hiding behind him to stab him if he goes to non-canon (i.e his chaos as the uber-flu in Gaunts Ghosts).
the thing is, whatever Dan writes will be Heresy Canon

Hlokk
20-06-2006, 10:50
It catagorically has to be "wine of dreams", which invoked my puke reaction so much I ended up with a football sized hernia called fred.

In all seriousness, the book is freaking awful. Nothing happens, ever. Main character minces around in a shop for 5000 chapters, theres some beastmen, then it stops. Convoluted language, lack of any development, ever and uninteresting characters.

The inquisition war also sucked ass and was painful to read. I will never ever understand the fuss. Alright, some of the prose is nice, but it reads like the 40k version of "dude wheres my car", a series of random events and random ramblings with no coherant reason given as to why the plot develops in the way it does. The astropath character sucked, Meh lindi was an irritating muppet (And why precisely is a Callidus teamed up with an inquisitor?) and as for the hydra, what the crap? And the absolutely shockingly bad end of book one left me feeling violated, and not in a good way.

Not a bad book per-se, but the female protagonist from "Angels of darkness" irritated me greatly

I still think the second arc of the ghosts series is complete and utter ass as well.

Oh, and of course, the lothesome ratmen and all their vile kin is a complete waste of money.

boogle
20-06-2006, 10:52
Hlokk, there are no female characters in Angels of Darkness

glad to see that i've got nothing to worry about in not reading the rest of (s)wine of dreams

AmKhaibitu
20-06-2006, 10:56
The reason why the Inquisition War is so loved is because it's not the pulp crap that authors such as Abnett pump out.

That's right, pulp crap.
Then again, Watson is a real author.

Let me list the GW novels I actually own to give you an impression of what I do like.

Inquisition War
NightBringer
Warriors of Ultramar
Storm of Iron

If I want to read actual decent fiction, I'll go to the real library, because black library stuff is so inconsistant it's not funny.

And with Abnett behind the HH books to some extent, I seriously doubt I'll be touching them.

Khaine's Messenger
20-06-2006, 10:57
Oh, and of course, the lothesome ratmen and all their vile kin is a complete waste of money.

Ironically, the 5th edition Skaven armybook was a better deal in terms of background than LR. And I was still suckered into bying the WHFRP supplement for the Skaven (which, at the moment, I treasure with all my warpstone-tainted heart ;) but I am sure I shall soon decry its wickedness...). Ah, well. :(

boogle
20-06-2006, 11:20
The reason why the Inquisition War is so loved is because it's not the pulp crap that authors such as Abnett pump out.

That's right, pulp crap.
Then again, Watson is a real author.

Let me list the GW novels I actually own to give you an impression of what I do like.

Inquisition War
NightBringer
Warriors of Ultramar
Storm of Iron

If I want to read actual decent fiction, I'll go to the real library, because black library stuff is so inconsistant it's not funny.

And with Abnett behind the HH books to some extent, I seriously doubt I'll be touching them.
Enjoy missing out on a truly superb book then Horus Rosing has just about recieved universal praise, unlike Watson's outdated and quite frankly boring crap

norwegianpuma
20-06-2006, 11:43
Enjoy missing out on a truly superb book then Horus Rosing has just about recieved universal praise, unlike Watson's outdated and quite frankly boring crap

Agreed. Horus Rising is extremely good, and is a much-needed
breath of fresh air to the inconsistent fluff of the Heresy.

Anyway, what's wrong with Dawn of War except for some
slight mistakes (such as the terminators in a rhino :wtf:)?
The plot in the book is way cooler than in the game! :rolleyes:

boogle
20-06-2006, 11:45
It's more for Warrior Brood that i dislike CS Goto than Dawn of War

BTW, aren't the plotlines for the game and the book virtually the same?

Tarquinn
20-06-2006, 12:02
The Inquisition War was horrible. Perhaps it would have been better if Dan Abnett never would have written Eisenhorn/Ravenor. Guess I was spoiled by these books.

Also, the Space Wolves series was rather dissapointing. I don't know, I felt like I was too old for it. It reminded me of a children's book.

Hlokk
20-06-2006, 12:26
Hlokk, there are no female characters in Angels of Darkness

Im thinking of the one with the bad ass nightlord guy in it. theres that female inquisitor telepath thing with an abhuman as an adjunct. or have I got the title wrong?


The reason why the Inquisition War is so loved is because it's not the pulp crap that authors such as Abnett pump out.

Your right, its not pulp crap. its just the normal kind of crap.

Anyone else think they should get Andy Macnab to do a BL book provided someone checked all the background stuff?

Kahadras
20-06-2006, 12:46
Storm of Iron. God that book was bad. Basicaly Chaos = FTW. A terminator takes out a Warhound. WTF? Plus the entire Imperial Fists 4th company gets wiped out (for the second or third time in GW fluff stories). The Black templar book (my memory has blotted out its name as a self defence mechanism to stop me from going crazy) was also incredably poor. The author clearly had no concept of the 40K universe. Sad really.

Kahadras

Tarquinn
20-06-2006, 12:50
The Black templar book (my memory has blotted out its name as a self defence mechanism to stop me from going crazy) was also incredably poor. The author clearly had no concept of the 40K universe. Sad really.

Books.

Battle and Crusade for Armageddon.

Thought they were rather good.

boogle
20-06-2006, 13:01
Im thinking of the one with the bad ass nightlord guy in it. theres that female inquisitor telepath thing with an abhuman as an adjunct. or have I got the title wrong?


Your right, its not pulp crap. its just the normal kind of crap.

Anyone else think they should get Andy Macnab to do a BL book provided someone checked all the background stuff?
Lord of the night

Kahadras
20-06-2006, 14:17
Books.


I only read the first one and wasn't impressed at all.

Kahadras

sliganian
20-06-2006, 14:28
Remember Kids, whenever you are discussing books or literature of any kind:

Don't blame the Authors. :angel:

Blame the Editors and the company the buys the stories. :p

Authors left to their own devices will run-off in any direction that interests them, so infatuated with the sound of their own voice they are.

It is the Editors job to direct and hammer out a good story. The fact that so few realize this is probably a clever plot on the part of Editors. ;)

Hlokk
20-06-2006, 15:29
I dont believe that at all, thats like saying dont blame Al Quieda for blowing something up, blame the security guard for not detecting it. the authors are the ones to blame given that they write the book.

An editor can give a book as many editorial facelifts as he wants, but if the source material is *****, then theres nothing that can be done. Steven King says its the author's idea to bang out the story, not the editors,(and he acknowledges there are good and bad writers, while your arguement only assumes there are good and bad editors) and I'd be inclined to side with him on this. See Ian Watson's inquisition war. One could argue that a decent amount of editing could make it a worthwhile read, unfortunately the material is cack, so no amount of editorial nuking would fix it.

Im not saying they dont have a significant impact, but saying "It is the Editors job to direct and hammer out a good story" is incredible nieve

Str10_hurts
20-06-2006, 17:14
Storm of Iron it's just one big battle report.

I thought that was the best way to write about 40k stories anyway.
I loved that book! great characters and loads O' blood and killing without making ik cartoon like.

I do not like Fire warrior or anything GS Goto has written.

Damien 1427
20-06-2006, 17:37
The reason why the Inquisition War is so loved is because it's not the pulp crap that authors such as Abnett pump out.

That's right, pulp crap.
Then again, Watson is a real author.

Well, I can think of a fair few "real authors" that make my eyes bleed to read them. Abnett may pump out "pulp crap", but then again, that's ALL Black Library publishes. You're deluding yourself something chronic if you think otherwise. At least, to my mind, Abnett writes stuff that whiles away long train journies and extended periods of doing rather little, and on occasion adds to the universe - The Blood Pact being the prime example, as Chaos "mortals" who aren't lunatic cultists who die in droves. And the Tanith, probably the first guardsmen in fiction who didn't get ripped apart horribly until either the Marines showed up or the story ended.

Thing is, if I want literature, I'll pick it up at the library. Inquisition War is a bad sci-fi novel by a bad author masquerading as bad literature, with a net result of some of the most tepid stuff Games Workshop has put out. Eisenhorn and Ravenor may be pulp, but I'll take readable pulp over an unreadable mess.

Inquisitor_Pink
20-06-2006, 17:38
I found Dark *adeptus* bit of a snooze fest personally. The story was ok I guess I just didn't care if any of the characters lived or died. Managed to finish it and it had some pretty cool ideas but the characters just irritated me.

*Edit I am a fool Boogle I bow before thee

boogle
20-06-2006, 19:22
Is that Dark Adeptus you mean?

Hlokk
20-06-2006, 19:25
And the Tanith, probably the first guardsmen in fiction who didn't get ripped apart horribly until either the Marines showed up or the story ended.
You know damien, that was the one thing that irritated me greatly about the existing GW IG fluff. Basically, guard turn up in their millions, 99% of them die and then a squad of space marines come along and kill everything. nearly all the fluff in the 2nd editon IG incarnation had this stuff in there.

boogle
20-06-2006, 19:36
Which really is the way it should be, a few marines should be able to taker on greater forces, sadly the poor bloody infantry are the sacrificial lambs

Helicon_One
20-06-2006, 19:54
On the Inquisition War:

it should probably be remembered that Ian Watson's trilogy is very much a product of its time. Having a Callidus hanging out with (and doing naughties with, for that matter) an Inquisitor just looks weird now, but the first book was released in 1990, and at that time the 40K fluff itself was a) very much underdeveloped compared to what we see now, and b) in a fairly extreme state of flux as the original RT-era material was being hammered into something more consistant with what became 2nd Ed. It shows its age now, yes, but that's more because of what has happened since then in 40K.

Admittedly, some of the prose is pretty hideous though. Space Marine is much better than the IW trilogy.

Tim

Killgore
20-06-2006, 22:29
Storm of Iron. God that book was bad. Basicaly Chaos = FTW. A terminator takes out a Warhound. WTF? Plus the entire Imperial Fists 4th company gets wiped out (for the second or third time in GW fluff stories).

Kahadras

Storm of Iron is one of my favorate black libary books, Honsou deserves to star in more books, I was well pleased when he returned in Black Sky Dead Sun as the baddie

and it wasnt the entire Imperial Fists 4th company, it was a few squads at the most that fought.

Kahadras
21-06-2006, 01:39
and it wasnt the entire Imperial Fists 4th company,

Funny I remember the Imperials turning up after the battle with the 'fists looking for their 4th company. I'm possitive that the entire company went down but to tell the truth I kinda lost interest after the Terminator fliped out on that Warhound.

Kahadras

Tymell
21-06-2006, 07:07
I loathed the Inquisition War books, don't know why some go on about how they're "classic". Oh, and if you want playing with fluff try the Genevieve series for fantasy. Don't get me wrong, it was an pretty good book, but you wouldn't guess it was warhammer at all.


I can't really see them giving that to anyone but Gav or MAYBE Graham McNeill or Dan Abnett.

Better still, why not just give the whole Horus Heresy series to Abnett. That'll do me nicely ;)

Lockjaw
21-06-2006, 07:14
I actually like a good number of BL books, they're entertaining and that's what counts, but yeah, there are a few bad ones. Inquisition war, eye of terror, and i wasn;t a fan of faith and fire, IW pretty much sucked, eye of terror was just goofy as hel, and faith and fire was dull

norwegianpuma
21-06-2006, 12:45
I agree with Kahadras, the IG do say "A whole company? We're saved!" or sumfink like that.
I think that Storm of Iron is quite a nice book if you've got
a couple of hours to spare.

Though, IMO, I don't think Graham McNiell is such a good writer, really...

Lyinar
21-06-2006, 12:51
Like I said (well, implied, actually) earlier, Genevieve ends up taking some liberties with long-since-abandoned fluff, so it's pretty far from the setting of "Modern" WHFB. Great books, though (I've read the Big McLargehuge omnibus with the whole series in it).

Doctor Gonzo
21-06-2006, 12:56
Anything by gav thorpe. The man may know his way around game mechanics, but his fiction is overblown, cringe worthy rubbish of the worst kind. Also any of the tie in books (crusade for armaggeddon, dawn of war) are pretty poor.

I do like most of what mr abnett has done, and theres a few oher gems knocing about. Daemonworld is quite enjoyable.

I do think inquisiton war has aged quite badly, I read it the first time around when it was inquisitor, harlequin and chaos child, and thoroughly enjoyed all three books. i don't think they would hold the same appeal a second time around though. Also, Space Marine, also by Ian Watson, is a damn good book.

Lord_Dante
21-06-2006, 13:54
Did wine of dreams seem like a standard book that had a few places renamed so that it could fit into Warhammer?

Why has no one mentioned the Eye of Terror? That book is awful though I can't throw it away because I seem to have to own them all (Like some mutated form of Pokemon).

Lyinar
21-06-2006, 14:56
Why has no one mentioned the Eye of Terror? That book is awful though I can't throw it away because I seem to have to own them all (Like some mutated form of Pokemon).

Bookémon?

I choose YOU, Death or Glory!

MikeyB
21-06-2006, 16:28
Like I said (well, implied, actually) earlier, Genevieve ends up taking some liberties with long-since-abandoned fluff, so it's pretty far from the setting of "Modern" WHFB. Great books, though (I've read the Big McLargehuge omnibus with the whole series in it).


Thats coz they where written when the long abandoned fluff was infact current and up to date! I've got the original drachenfels and it was published around 90/91...

...which incedently is when IW was first published.

When it first came out IW was "T3h sh1t". I remember reading it for the first time and being well impressed.

That being said its now way, way. way out of date so i can understand why someone reading it now would think it's pants.

Kinda like when the Snes came out it was amazing, yet now we have Xboxs and it looks pretty crap in comparison.:)

Thundercats still pwns tho! :p

I'd just like to add im bloody 24 and your all making me feel old! :mad:

Farseer was a big dissapointment. Why can't the right a book where the main char is eldar? Why does it have to be some poncy ass washed up rogue trader? :(
The ending sucked as well.

Personal fave of mine has been the spacewolf books. Has another one come out since wolfblade?

boogle
21-06-2006, 17:43
the reason that has been given out for novels written from a non-imeprium point of view is; they are aliens, they don't think like humans do, so they can't write them effectively as to do so they would have to give them human-like thoughts and feelings, which is not what they are

Lastie
21-06-2006, 21:24
the reason that has been given out for novels written from a non-imeprium point of view is; they are aliens, they don't think like humans do, so they can't write them effectively as to do so they would have to give them human-like thoughts and feelings, which is not what they are

Which is probably for the best, as the average quality of BL writers can't seem to understand how a Human thinks, let alone something completely different. At best, even the most decent and enjoyable of BL characters (my personal favourites being Rawne (Gaunt's Ghost) and Ventris (Ultramarines Trilogy)) are rather two-dimensional with little substance to add any sense of further realism to them other than 'they're the good guys, they kick ass' (which, admittedly, is fun to read about).

Apologise if I seem very cynical; I do enjoy BL stories, but almost none of them I'll be picking up again in a hurry (with the possible exception of Necropolis - Gaunt's Ghosts went downhill after this enjoyable romp). While there's nothing wrong with good old fashioned brain candy, there's a part of me that wishes for a deep exploration of the 40K background. I stopped reading Star Wars fiction when I realised every book was essentially the last one with a different cast and background.

What was I talking about? Oh yeah ... a book with an Eldar main character would be awesome, if they could get the Eldar PoV right (which I doubt any of the current BL writers could. Gav shouldn't be allowed near anything Elvish under pain of death (by Shuriken Catapult), nor should McNeil if his interpretation of the Dark Eldar in Nightbringer is anything to go on, while Abnett would make them too soft and understanding (pointy-eared Gaunt basically). Counter might make it work, but then the story would be lacking).

Oh well ... :p Need to get round to reading Horus Rising, considering I haven't heard a bad word about it yet (and lets face it - worth it just to know Abaddon's first name (Ezzie to his mates?)).

Mortare
21-06-2006, 21:46
The latest templars on armageddon book was poor, the only good bit was the guardsmen, the amrines just seemed to lunder around.
Warrior coven was rather annoying, it seemed to try and have more subplots than it could feasibly fit in.
Annihilation squad, p'ah.
There are a few others i have put from my mind, and a few others with good parts that seem to be interspaced with large periods of moaning and waiting.

The worst part of it all though is the typos and poor grammar. I emailed BL when i started Grey Knights, because there were a handful of errata in the first few pages (daemon name spelt differently 5 lines apart!), and they offered me a proof reading slot. Their docs for this had errors in. Never got chosen though. Another is Warrior Brood, QUOTE 'The Mantis Warrior, captain'- why the comma?? and there are others to follow. For the ease of having it pre-read, which the staff seem to do anyway, DO IT PROPERLY


Ahem ***Sorry

Colonel_Kreitz
22-06-2006, 07:37
Well, it kinda feels like beating a dead horse but, yes, the Inquisition War is quite awful and why it's so beloved in some circles defies comprehension (perhaps it's nostalgia, since they were among the first BL books?). The prose really isn't that good; Watson inexplicably grievously overuses a few words, such as "farrago" which seems to turn up every chapter. It's as though he found a word that sounded intelligent in a thesaurus and decided to use it repeatedly.

Furthermore, though it isn't Watson's fault, the fluff is now so out of whack that many parts are rather grating to read. Oh, and though he apparently takes a crack at writing something resembling literature, his work comes across quite differently, since his characters have an interesting tendency to behave wildly illogically and the chain of events seems to frequently lack any cause-effect relationship, like a bunch of random events strung together with a contrived plot.

Let's see, what else...well, I like the Ciaphus Caine novels quite a lot (so what if they're a blatant Flashman ripoff? Still fun, if you ask me), but the 4th in the series wasn't as good. Caine's schtick is running a little thin, since what Mitchell has to write is fairly predictable and, unfortunately, the 4th (Death or Glory) really isn't funny at all, now that the jokes are being recycled. Sandy Mitchell might be able to put some new life in the series, but it's a little repetitive at present.

Oh, I remember now. Iron Hands. I hated that book. It's one of the only books that I read and now have literally no recollection of. I don't recall any characters, locations, the plot, or, really, anything else. I just remember that it was sufficiently boring for me to forget all of the aforementioned facts and that I didn't like it.

kanluwen
22-06-2006, 07:52
Correct me if I'm wrong: But when Gaunt's Ghosts and the Eisenhorn books were first published alot of the things mentioned were still around, yes? I don't know as I wasn't into 40k at the time, but from what I've seen it was.

Warrior Brood was pretty pathetic though. The Space Wolves books were ok at best, and there are very few books that're really nice, but there are some that are damned good.

Hlokk
22-06-2006, 10:40
and the chain of events seems to frequently lack any cause-effect relationship, like a bunch of random events strung together with a contrived plot.
So its the 40k version of Harry and Kumar get the munchies? :p

Am I the only one who didnt like necropolis? I Understand its popular, but I think abnett fell on his **** with this book because:

a: he tried to introduce too many new characters
b: The characters he does introduce are basically designed to match up with existing characters (That doctor woman, the female sniper, that bird with the two kids)
c: Abnett's strengths rest in the up close and personal, I happen to think his descriptions of the overall war effort are vague and wishy-washy.
d: After developing the main characters really well in Ghostmaker and first and only, he seemingly relegates them.

Escaflowne_Z
22-06-2006, 12:43
I really like the SW quadrilogy. Space Wolf initiate and intro to the TS feud. Cool. Orks and SWs racing in Ork buggies?! HA HA great! A journey to Terra and serving the Navigators. Some neat occurrences there.

Once I understood that the Inquisition War novels were old fluff, I started to enjoy them well enough. They bring out the mystical, religious aspects of 40k very well. Disjointed and laughable at times? Yes. But an interesting take on the 40k universe nonetheless.

Son of the Lion
22-06-2006, 13:57
Ahhh, the IW series. I remember reading those the first time round.Didn't rate them too highly then either.

However, GW fiction was pretty thin on the ground then and (as mentioned numerous times) the 40k fluff was barely formed and not as set in stone as it is now. Same is true of the WHFB 'orfeo' tales (the infamous Brian 'wine of dreams' craig) and the Konrad saga (still pretty good now actually). Taking this into consideration, it could have been worse.

So this makes the current batch of ***** BL has been churning out particularly inexcusable. With so much rich background to work from, they ought to be able to do better than the monkey-on-a-typewriter hackneyed cack of (amongst others) CS Goto and Jonathen Green (sp?), the latter of whom should stick to short stories. Goto should just be banned from writing.

Sorry if this is a bit vitriolic, but my only access to 40k stuff at the moment is BL Books, and I'm sick of forking out wads of cash for expanded chapter approved articles and generic sci-fi/fantasy dressed up in GW fluff.

#RANT ENDS#



GOOD: Pulp fiction that entertains (Abnett, Counter, McNeil, King (mostly), Thorpe (Occaisionally), Swallow (1st BA novel rocked, 2nd Meh) and Mitchell.
BAD: Pulp fiction that insults (Goto, Green, Craig, Thorpe at his worst, Farrer and several others that I have blanked from my memory (ie forgotten)


P.S. What happened to the old days of reader submission into inferno?

Lastie
22-06-2006, 21:54
P.S. What happened to the old days of reader submission into inferno?

GW probably realised that what we were sending them was far better than what their 'official' team was churning out.



b: The characters he does introduce are basically designed to match up with existing characters (That doctor woman, the female sniper, that bird with the two kids)


Ahh ... but even in the 41st millennium dating services are needed. :p

Damien 1427
22-06-2006, 22:38
P.S. What happened to the old days of reader submission into inferno?

I assume Inferno! cost too much to publish, or some other such gumf. Either way, browsing their site it states something along the lines of "send in four short stories, at least one relating to Games Workshops properties, and we'll get back to you".

I'll eventually get off my **** and write some Necromunda fiction, on the basis no matter how bad my stuff might be, it'll always be better than CS Goto. :p

boogle
23-06-2006, 00:53
The readership levels of Inferno and Warhammer Comic were too low to sustain their continued development (i believe that is their offical line)

Son of the Lion
24-06-2006, 04:07
The readership levels of Inferno and Warhammer Comic were too low to sustain their continued development (i believe that is their offical line)


Not a fat enough profit margin in other words. I heard them complaining about readership levels before the axe, I was thinking it would have made sense to lower the price of inferno (and thus increase circulation) by accepting more reader submissions. But we are talking about a GW subsidiary here, and common sense is not something they value very highly...

Zingbaby
24-06-2006, 04:28
The Deus Encarmine series.

The archstory of a false rebirth of Sanguinius? Cool.
Showing Mephiston as a badass? Cool.

Showing marines as a bunch of disagreeing babies who dont follow any sort of chain of command, even after years and years of fighting together? Terrible. Just plain terrible. Unforgivable showing how much bickering goes on here. If this was the average space marine force, long ago would the imperium fall apart to a bunch of tattle-tales and ego-centric battle-brothers.

Couldn't agree more. The Blood Angels are the oldest of all the space marines (due to the black rage) and have surely seen enough chaos taint and masked corruption to recognize a phony. Swallow's Blood Angels were such a bunch of weak minded loosers. I too found that very frustrating.

Swallow's Sisters are even worse... its like he is afraid to really committ to who the sisters are... half way through the book you still don't really know jack about the sisters.


Honestly most of the 40k novels are pretty weak as far as sci-fi goes, but most are still enjoyable as they are set in a built-in universe that I so love...

So far I think that really only Dan Abbnett is capable of writing mature and original stories... I so wish he wrote all of the HH serious.

Graham McNiell can write some good action but his stories are all still pretty one-dimensional and lacking in depth. They are more the hollywood action variety.

Warp_touched
24-06-2006, 08:32
I fail to understand how ANYONE could diss the Dan man. I love Gaunt and Eisenhorn to death. Also I'm a big fan of all of Graham Mcneill's work!
However The question was the worst. I'm expecting some flak from this.
EASILY! Ragnar Blackmane. Any of it. Pure, worthless, old crap. I don't care if it was when 40k was still sucking its own teat, It's pitiful in comparason to almost any other book I've read from the Black Library.
Save for CS Gotto's nightmares.

Virus
24-06-2006, 14:19
I find Dan Abnett's books very varied, I loved Eisenhorn, Double Eagle and the first Ravenor. Second Ravenor was alright but it was left open for a sequel too blatantly. Also I find it hard to believe a psyker as powerful as Ravenor could not detect the fact Thonius turns into a daemon.

I lost interest in Gaunt's Ghosts after the last few pages of Guns of Tanith. When Cuu killed Bragg. After that i only read Sraight Silver, again what let it down was Cuu murdering Tanith. Thsi really annoyed me, so I have not read any of the more recent ones.

Hlokk
24-06-2006, 17:42
I find Dan Abnett's books very varied, I loved Eisenhorn, Double Eagle and the first Ravenor. Second Ravenor was alright but it was left open for a sequel too blatantly. Also I find it hard to believe a psyker as powerful as Ravenor could not detect the fact Thonius turns into a daemon.

I lost interest in Gaunt's Ghosts after the last few pages of Guns of Tanith. When Cuu killed Bragg. After that i only read Sraight Silver, again what let it down was Cuu murdering Tanith. Thsi really annoyed me, so I have not read any of the more recent ones.

I'll agree with that, I admire an author who's able to kill off a main character when theres a need for it, however, Abnett's aproach seems to have been "Ah, Im running out of story ideas, lets kill off a couple of main characters for shock value rather than actually thinking about things." When Corbec died, I promised myself I wouldnt pick up another ghosts book again.

Mortare
24-06-2006, 18:03
It is worth reading the latest two ghosts books. Traitor general sees abnett focus again on a small elite kill team of guard, delving back into the mechanics and individual characteristics of the men and women with him.
His last command carries this theme on, and focusses on gaunt and the other forces within the crusade. Trying to make points without giving anything away. Suffice to say that both books move away from the large scale warfare that was more apparent, and focus more on individual struggles within the wider context

Gallant
24-06-2006, 22:14
Abnett has highs and lows, but he's usually an enjoyable read. I think part of the fun with him is that he doesn't delve into fluff so much. It's as though he knows he will get smacked for screwing it up, so he sort of keeps things low level enough to avoid controversy.

When did the hatred of the Inquisition War hatred become common? I remember getting savaged on Portent for expressing my view that the series was utter trash. I feel so vindicated.

As much as I loathed the Inquisition War, hate "Storm of Iron" even more. I felt like Pete Haines was ghost writing the book, all while stroking his thighs and smearing himself in silver edible body paint and muttering, "yeah, Honsou, you're so tough, you're so naughty, yeah."

The book not only was a classic example of Mary Sue writing, it grabbed the fluff and beat it mercilessly. Obliterator virus? Doesn't that necessarily mean that Chaos/Warp is nothing but a biological condition. That would mean that a vaccination campaign could singularly wipe out the forces of chaos. That would also mean that the Warp is a disease vector. A needle in Abaddon's backside would turn him back into a loyalist. McNeill left that possibility open.

Finally, CS Goto writes like a a Babelfish translation from Japanese. I just want to take a red pen to his books, but that would require rereading those piles of steaming skaven dung.

Karesk
24-06-2006, 22:27
I don't really take it as a mark of going down the pan that Abnett killed off some of his characters, although the Cuu plotline dragged on quite a bit. At least it showed that he's willing to do it, I suppose.

For some reason the death of Corbec wasn't as high in my mind as what happened to Soric. I really don't think Gaunt's Ghosts is one of BL's worst series because at the end of the day I care about the characters and what happens to them.

Damien 1427
24-06-2006, 23:46
The book not only was a classic example of Mary Sue writing, it grabbed the fluff and beat it mercilessly. Obliterator virus? Doesn't that necessarily mean that Chaos/Warp is nothing but a biological condition. That would mean that a vaccination campaign could singularly wipe out the forces of chaos. That would also mean that the Warp is a disease vector. A needle in Abaddon's backside would turn him back into a loyalist. McNeill left that possibility open.

Heard of Nurgles Rot? :rolleyes: It's not like the Obliterator Virus doesn't have precedence. It's also, by current Imperial understanding since anyone whose had a chance to study it was probably shot by a Witch Hunter, uncurable as it's partially daemonic. Check out the file on it in the Inquisitor section of Specialist Games, it's quite interesting and makes it something a little more than a generic "melding of daemon and marine, yadda-yadda-yadda".

So whilst I can understand your dislike of Storm of Iron (A book I enjoyed, for obvious reasons), that particular point seems a little... off.

lord_blackfang
24-06-2006, 23:56
Shadow Point.
So aptly named since it indeed entirely lacks any point whatsoever. I forgot what it was about as soon as I put it down. I've seen erotic anime fanfiction that had more substance.

Zingbaby
25-06-2006, 00:15
Shadow Point.
So aptly named since it indeed entirely lacks any point whatsoever. I forgot what it was about as soon as I put it down. I've seen erotic anime fanfiction that had more substance.

Oh yes agreed. I too have forgotten what it was about... I only remembered thinking it sucked.

Hlokk
25-06-2006, 00:25
I've seen erotic anime fanfiction that had more substance.
Indeed, some of the monstrosities on fanfiction.net seem to read better than some GW novels (Who can forget frank the doom assassin and the story where jack o'niell and general hammond get their freak on :cries: )

Im also going to nominate the loathesome ratmen and all their vile kin for the "rabid fanboy crapdump" award. This book is freaking dire, seriously, its like they took the Skaven fluff part of the armybook in MS word, autosummarised it to 25% of the size and wrote that in the first person.

Chapter one starts with an examination of the rat men. Why they exist, how they came into being (which, as explicitly stated by GW, is rats eating warpstone), their world view, the physiology of a rat man and so on. This could have been awesome, with autopsy sketches, deep philosophical discussion and so on. What we got is a flacid discourse skipping over half a dozen made up creation theories and the equivalent of "Skaven fast motabolism, skaven eat or die, war=population control, stormvermin big black rats, me hungry"

The second part offered a 4 page quick glance over each clan. Im sorry but what the feck? The 4 major clans (eshin, pestilents, skyre and moulder) each deserve art least a 30-40 page discourse, not a 4 page (including big half page pictures) wishy washy discourse. Grey seers got 2 pages, the horned rat got a page of mummbly rubbish.

The third part looked over the methods of war, except it didnt really, it kind of glanced over them and said "eshin =TEH STEALTH MARINES, Moulder= mucky". It should have looked at different moulder beasts of war (beyond the rat ogre) and different diseases used by pestilens other than the two given which were blatant copies of bubonic plague and marburg.

The whole thing isnt even well written. Fair enough, the editor may have said "you need to cover x/y/z subjects in 92 pages", but that is no excuse for the horrible writing, the lack of any new information and the quick glancing over of subjects which deserve detail.

Dont buy this crap, spend an extra £3 instead and get the WH fantasy roleplay sourcebook for the skaven. Or go and play Vampire the requiem.

Radical Inquisitor
25-06-2006, 05:35
The only BL books that I truly dislike are the ones by william king and c.s. Goto (though that is as common as hating inquisition war) the only really good books are Dan Abnetts. Let it be known that I enjoyed Storm of Iron (not an imperial viewpoint) and I also liked Shadow Point (true it had no point but I enjoyed the naval combat and the Dire Avenger Exarch was just sweet.)

Gallant
25-06-2006, 07:27
Heard of Nurgles Rot? :rolleyes: It's not like the Obliterator Virus doesn't have precedence. It's also, by current Imperial understanding since anyone whose had a chance to study it was probably shot by a Witch Hunter, uncurable as it's partially daemonic. Check out the file on it in the Inquisitor section of Specialist Games, it's quite interesting and makes it something a little more than a generic "melding of daemon and marine, yadda-yadda-yadda".

So whilst I can understand your dislike of Storm of Iron (A book I enjoyed, for obvious reasons), that particular point seems a little... off.

Look, chaos as a bad virus is bad fluff. It is totally incongruous. Bad fluff repeated is still bad fluff. Nurgle is a junk god anyway. Nurgle is decay. Plague marines don't decay completely. They stop, because if they decayed completely, they'd be lumps of carbon, so Nurgle is the god of illness followed by stasis. If Nurgle decayed, eventually he'd cease to exist, but he doesn't which means he got better, which means he ceases to be rot, which finally negates his existence. Nurgle = No Nurgle. The fluff gods have spoken.

Khaine's Messenger
25-06-2006, 08:33
Look, chaos as a bad virus is bad fluff.

Agreed. Certain effects can be likened to, or even be, viral infections or diseases (physical or mental), but to categorically state that this is what Chaos is would be to ignore a great deal of information regarding Chaos. I personally don't mind the Obliterator Virus (although I prefered the "explanation" that Obliterators were Chaos' way of showing its adherents that you can't escape mutation by making yourself a machine-man) or Nurgle's Rot, as neither of them the be-all to end-all about the workings of Chaos.


The fluff gods have spoken.

It is the fiftieth coming! Hallelujah! :)

Gallant
25-06-2006, 09:07
Agreed. Certain effects can be likened to, or even be, viral infections or diseases (physical or mental), but to categorically state that this is what Chaos is would be to ignore a great deal of information regarding Chaos. I personally don't mind the Obliterator Virus (although I prefered the "explanation" that Obliterators were Chaos' way of showing its adherents that you can't escape mutation by making yourself a machine-man) or Nurgle's Rot, as neither of them the be-all to end-all about the workings of Chaos.



It is the fiftieth coming! Hallelujah! :)

Exactly. That's one of the things I really didn't like is that certain authors tried to pin it nicely on a disease. Disabled rights activists should be screaming. Illness as evil. Cute. I know a gaggle of lawyers who would sue GW into oblivion (or the Warp) for that.

Abnett did it nicely in the HH. He restored a bit of mysticism that had slowly been bled out of the setting with junk like the obliterator virus.

Damien 1427
25-06-2006, 09:59
Look, chaos as a bad virus is bad fluff. It is totally incongruous. Bad fluff repeated is still bad fluff. Nurgle is a junk god anyway. Nurgle is decay. Plague marines don't decay completely. They stop, because if they decayed completely, they'd be lumps of carbon, so Nurgle is the god of illness followed by stasis. If Nurgle decayed, eventually he'd cease to exist, but he doesn't which means he got better, which means he ceases to be rot, which finally negates his existence. Nurgle = No Nurgle. The fluff gods have spoken.

Uh-huh. Slow daemonic infection, warping the host. Again, failing to see how such a concept is "bad fluff" when you have Nurgles Rot, which does the same but the end-results are Plaguebearers, as opposed to Obliterators. One's established fluff that's been around for donkeys, the other was brought up in Storm of Iron and has been merged with the later fluff.

Nurgle is god of plague, disease and decay. He creates plagues. Such is the fluff. If you think that's crap, fair enough, but it's a bit hypocritical to say on one hand, Nurgles alright and he's a Plague God, whilst the Obliterator Virus isn't, 'cause it first showed up in a novel you didn't like, even though it's pretty much the same thing with a different end result.

noneedforaname
25-06-2006, 11:20
Nurgle as a god of disease, plague and decay is the reason why plague marines don't just melt into a pile of goo. As parts decay and rot away, new growths think tumours and buboes take there place ready to ooze a weep new disease. Nurgle is also a god of life, all be it a very stinky kind of life.

Hlokk
25-06-2006, 15:22
The thing is, Decay isnt just physical either. This is what made leiber chaotica nurgle so good, it argues that things like depression, mental illness and being emo are also signs of decay, which is quite cool. So basically plague marines are spotty emo teenagers.

Zingbaby
25-06-2006, 16:13
I am in total agreement about "Chaos = virus" as an extremely lame explanation. Does that mean that someday some hospitaller may find a syrum/cure for chaos?

"Get your Chaos vaccine!"

Having been introduced to 40k via the old 'Realm of Chaos' books, I agree with the other poster that Abbnett did a nice job of putting the old mysticism back into Chaos.

Anyone see that crappy movie "Event Horizon"? ...that reminded me a lot of the old 40k Chaos presence.

Even Papa Nurgle is a supernatural being/God of chaos... of course one of his lesser powers is spreading disease. But the warp deals with souls and spirit and an alternate dimension of reality... its far greater than physical disease/virus/illness.

The Emperor was actually born of a sacrifice of all of earths' shamans (whom all used the warp as their spiritual guide) to save humanity. He wasn't just some 'physical' super hero.

Phunting
25-06-2006, 16:30
it should probably be remembered that Ian Watson's trilogy is very much a product of its time.But not even taking into consideration the background, it's just a very badly written series.

The characters are totally alien to us, acting almost randomly by the end and not through any discernable motivation. The plot is disjointed, throwing hundreds of different ideas around and never finishing or exploring any of them to any satisfying extent.

And under the trade's descriptions: There is no Inquisition war! There's a short interlude where it mentions two Inquisitors fighting. And that's it...

I agree unlike most of the stuff BL publishes it's not pulp crap: it's just crap!

noneedforaname
25-06-2006, 16:52
For all those who say the BL stuff is crap put your money where your mouth is and get something published. you all appear to know everything about writing but how many of you are you are in print. They may not be the greatest pieces of literature in the world but in general they keep people entertained and they are there. If you feel qualified to complain then perhaps your literary talent is great enough to eclipse these works?

Wintermute
25-06-2006, 17:09
For all those who say the BL stuff is crap put your money where your mouth is and get something published. you all appear to know everything about writing but how many of you are you are in print. They may not be the greatest pieces of literature in the world but in general they keep people entertained and they are there. If you feel qualified to complain then perhaps your literary talent is great enough to eclipse these works?

People are entitled to air their views on WarSeer, this includes negative views of the Black Library's output. You don't have to be journalist or author to be able to form an opinon on a novel or short story.

Wintermute
The WarSeer Inquisition

noneedforaname
25-06-2006, 17:24
I apologise if i seem unnecessarily harsh but what i would prefer to see is constructive criticism and maybe some aspiration to improve this literary field rather than comments which are absolute in there negativity.

Damien 1427
25-06-2006, 17:27
I apologise if i seem unnecessarily harsh but what i would prefer to see is constructive criticism and maybe some aspiration to improve this literary field rather than comments which are absolute in there negativity.

Well, if it's any consolation, I'm working on it. :p I still argue that Goto (Wasn't that a droid from KOTOR 2?) shouldn't be allowed to write ever, ever again. One of the few men who made Necromunda dull.

Kahadras
25-06-2006, 17:37
I apologise if i seem unnecessarily harsh but what i would prefer to see is constructive criticism and maybe some aspiration to improve this literary field rather than comments which are absolute in there negativity.

Well this is titled the worst BL book. You can hardly expect people to sugar coat what they really don't like. The thread is there for people to explain why they don't like the book in a couple of sentances. If the thread was more along the lines of 'what is the worst BL book and how would you make it better' that would be more the thread to post up constructive comments.

Kahadras

cailus
26-06-2006, 04:04
Personally I anything written by Abnett and especially the Gaunt's Ghosts series to be absolute ********.

But there has been a spate of atrocious Black Library books that have been glorified kill counts such as Grudgebearer and Firewarrior.

The Purple Ninja
26-06-2006, 05:10
While reading through this thread, I was also shocked to see people slamming Dan Abnet. i've never read any of his novels due to time and actually finding them, but the excerpt from First and Only in a white dwarf and the Fall of Malvolion short story on the UK site were very good reads, and any other snippets by him i've managed to get ahold of have been very well done.

Has anyone else read "15 Hours"? I believe it's new, and the first book by Mitchel Scanlon. It was pretty decent, though my critque mode was not engaged since I bought it for the express purpose of reading on a trip from California to Ohio that would take me, Ironically, ~15 Hours. [no, the book didn't actually last that long, but it was the thought that counted]

The cover art is pretty crappy though, no doubt about that.

cailus
26-06-2006, 05:36
All of Abnett's writings are big long kill counts, especially that horrid **** Double Eagle. And all the characters I've so far encountered are mindless stereotypes. And especially in Gaunts Ghosts I have a feeling I'm reading books about American G.I.'s and not some insane zealot soldiers of the 41st Millenium.

Furthermore Abnett has a total disregard for established fluff. He literally pi$$es on it and replaces it with lame cliches.

By the way I haven't read his Inquisitor books. I have mainly read Gaunts Ghosts as well as Riders of the Dead which is a fantasy novel.

As for 15 Hours it's ok but nothing spectacular. Like nearly everything BL does there is no characters to speak of.

Damien 1427
26-06-2006, 09:37
And especially in Gaunts Ghosts I have a feeling I'm reading books about American G.I.'s and not some insane zealot soldiers of the 41st Millenium.

Hate to break it to you, but not every human being within the Imperium is a zealot. Nine times out of ten, most of them are what we'd call "normal". Not to say there aren't fanatical regiments, but most of them aren't lunatics who think their faith is their greatest shield and weapon, charing at the enemy in a shirt, unarmed except for maybe a handgun. You get those guys as millitia attached to Ecclesiarch forces, not as standing armies.

Also, as I'm curious, where does he **** over the fluff? By this, I assume you mean that it ignores or rewrites existing information and replaces it with his own. I hear this thrown at Abnett a lot, but beyond a few meagre references (Power weapon using focused light as opposed to an electrified blade from Xenos, for example) I fail to see how he's changed the fluff for the worse. Indeed, the biggest change is that he's made the forces of Chaos have human troops who aren't fanatical rabble, and has actually shown Chaotic forces having non-combatant staff. :O And in all honesty, I prefer his Blood Pact to almost any other human Chaos forces written within Games Workshop publications.

Son of the Lion
26-06-2006, 12:41
RE: Dan Abnett slamming.

Yes, I'm a little confused on that one as well. By and large the 'deviations' from the fluff canon are actually attempts to expand and enrich what is capable of being a very 2-dimensional universe, and I don't think he should be criticised for that. There are, admittedly, a few dodgy bits in the earlier books (tanith scouts wiping out world eaters in a close range battle/the afore mentioned 'lightsabre' power sword in xenos), but I can't think of any instance of actual 'pissing' on the fluff:eyebrows:

As I (ahem) 'mentioned' in my earlier post, I'm not happy with a lot of the recent BL stuff, and this is quite often because it DOESN'T introduce anything new to the (sometimes) tired imagery we've seen reproduced in codexes and chapter approved articles countless times. Any author that is willing to try something a bit different with the fluff (within reason) is worthy of a read I think. In this respect I may have been a little hard on Ferrer and legacy, which was actually quite well written. I just found it a bit disappointing at the end.

Whoops. I wrote an essay.:D

Lyinar
26-06-2006, 13:42
Well, Legacy has the disadvantage of having one of those, "well, pretty much everyone dies" endings, and for the most part, that is the single major complaint I've heard about it (and the one I've voiced myself).

I also don't get the Abnett-bashing. Double Eagle didn't "**** all over the fluff" just because a world with almost no livable land decided to apply to the Administratum to make their Imperial Guard contribution be an air force. Also, "glorified kill count"? I hate to break this to you, but fighter pilots do tend to put a hell of a lot of stock in the number of enemy pilots they shoot down. Gaunt's Ghosts don't "**** all over the fluff" by having Imperial Guardsmen be *GASP-SHOCK-HORROR* normal, relatively well-adjusted humans (well, as well-adjusted as one can be after your homeworld has been blown up), as opposed to utter fething nutcases, nor does it "**** all over the fluff" by introducing a 'mortal' Chaos force that embodies the whole "martial pride" aspect of Khorne that so many people forget about.

Like Son of the Lion said, there were a few dodgy bits (which always get brought up) in the earlier books. I personally don't think the representation of Chaos in the later Gaunt's Ghosts books is too out-of-line. It's conceivable that the same Imperium that develops blessed bullets specifically to annihilate Daemons could come up with an injection that could delay the effects of Chaos taint.

cailus
26-06-2006, 13:42
Hate to break it to you, but not every human being within the Imperium is a zealot. Nine times out of ten, most of them are what we'd call "normal".


Do you realise that even on this planet in this century most people aren't "normal" people like us.

Normal people in the Philippines have themselves crucified to feel the pain that Jesus experienced. Normal Muslims in India (there is a large Muslim minority in India) refuse polio medicines for their children because Allah has decided that their children are to have polio. I lived with a guy who was a normal Muslim and he prayed 5 times a day even though he was studying for a PhD in science. Even in the USA you have the so-called Bible belt where most people are highly religious.

These are normal people. Religion plays a major role in their every day lives. Even Turkey, once the home of forced secularism, has been embracing the role of religion in daily life and in politics.

It is only in the decadent, inidvidualist west that religion has been replaced by a secular oriented view. We are abnormal and are the 1 in 10.

The Imperium would be closer to Saudi Arabia or pre-Communist Tibet than it would be to the good old greed driven individualist West. It is an autocratic borderline theocracy.

And by the way, I am an arrogant Western atheist. But this doesn't mean that I am blinded to how roughly several other billion people live on this planet.

So please get some perspective.

Lyinar
26-06-2006, 13:46
Yeah, and you specifically said "insane zealot soldiers". You can have faith and still use SENSIBLE FETHING TACTICS! You can have faith and still be relatively normal. Not everyone in the Imperium is a gorram Redemptionist.

cailus
26-06-2006, 13:50
Also, "glorified kill count"? I hate to break this to you, but fighter pilots do tend to put a hell of a lot of stock in the number of enemy pilots they shoot down.

Most fighter pilots today have never scored an air-to-air kill. The total number of air-to-air kills in the 2003 invasion of Iraq was 0. In the 1999 Kosovo campaign it was about 5 (4 to USAF F-15's, 1 to a Dutch F-16). Most Allied aircraft losses in 1991 were to ground fire while Iraqi casualties were to air strikes. So I don't see how fighter pilots can be obsessed with enemy aircraft they shoot down given that it doesn't really happen.

cailus
26-06-2006, 14:04
Yeah, and you specifically said "insane zealot soldiers". You can have faith and still use SENSIBLE FETHING TACTICS! You can have faith and still be relatively normal. Not everyone in the Imperium is a gorram Redemptionist.

Your use of the word "normal" is insulting as it implies Western values are the only normal ones.

But I agree to a point. Look at Iranians troops during the 1980-88 war against Iraq. Some of them used very modern and sensible tactics while others used insane charges. Or the suicide bombers which were initially used against Israelis in Lebanon. Many of these people were considered normal by their own cultural and religious standards.

Highly religious people utilise different solutions to that by a non religious person. The same applies to a cultural basis - for example the implementation of Communism in the Soviet Union and China was different and accounted for differing cultural and even economic values.

It's literally a state of mind thing. People from religious backgrounds think differently to secular people. By the same token people from different cultures think differently too.

So the suicide bomber is acting rationally in the eyes of many muslims. He/she is sacrificing him/herself to kill many of the enemy. Basically they are sacrificing themselves for the benefit of their community and for their god. This is viewed as insane by Westerners where an individual life is more important than that off the whole.

This is where Abnett fails. His characters are American or British - highly independent, secular and individualist. Yet the Imperium for the most part does not condone such behaviour. The job of Commissars is to ensure that the regiment adapts some key principles of Imperial dogma. Commissars are fanatics and are trained as such. Yet Gaunt is the typical British or American colonel - he makes hard decisions but is caring etc.

The Imperium requires absolute dedication and sacrifice. Not everyone may be a total fanatic but that religious background would influence the way one thinks and acts.

And of course to you, the reader, religious fanaticism doesn't make sense because it's alien to you. So you relate to the Western-oriented Gaunts Ghosts because it's similar to your own values etc.

Son of the Lion
26-06-2006, 14:12
@Cailus: :eyebrows: Easy tiger! Granted, Damian 1427 may have missed the mark a little with his 'normal' comment, but I think you're getting a bit carried away.
As for Abnett's 'american GI's', I disagree completely. He does borrow from the modern day military era, but I think that's to give a bit more depth and empathy for the readers - it makes the characters more 'real' if you can associate them with something you're already familiar with (ie soldiers from war movies), but he balances them out with other 'borrowed' ideas, including a recurrent 'faith' (or lack of) theme.
I think you also expect a little too much out of the books - complex character development is a little difficult in short, action-packed novels and BL books are (let's face it) brain candy and not serious literature. It's kind of like going to see an action flick at the movies and slagging it off because the main characters didn't have a complex emotional back story to explain why they're kicking the living *&%$# out of each other with big guns/cool swords/spaceships.

It's the badly written, unimaginative brain-candy I object to, which is (to take the film analogy a bit further) like paying to see Alien vs Predator or say, underworld.:D

cailus
26-06-2006, 14:27
@Cailus: :eyebrows: Easy tiger! Granted, Damian 1427 may have missed the mark a little with his 'normal' comment, but I think you're getting a bit carried away.
As for Abnett's 'american GI's', I disagree completely. He does borrow from the modern day military era, but I think that's to give a bit more depth and empathy for the readers - it makes the characters more 'real' if you can associate them with something you're already familiar with (ie soldiers from war movies), but he balances them out with other 'borrowed' ideas, including a recurrent 'faith' (or lack of) theme.

This is what I meant by:

And of course to you, the reader, religious fanaticism doesn't make sense because it's alien to you. So you relate to the Western-oriented Gaunts Ghosts because it's similar to your own values etc.

I doubt the average reader would relate to the following:

Gaunt: "Charge for the Emperor! Kill the heathen scum! You're lives belong to the Emperor! KILL! KILL! KILL!"

Trooper 1: "But sir, surely the Emperor has foresaken us. We are surrounded and are nearly out of ammunition. We have fail..."

The trooper's voice is silenced as a 0.75 Calibre bolt detonates his head. Bone, blood and brain matter splatter everywhere, a shower of death from a man who did not have the faith required to serve the saviour of Mankind.

Gaunt's eyes fire up as he licks the blood from his lips, smoking bolt pistol in one hand:

Gaunt: "Let this be a lesson to every man. The Emperor does not foresake those who die for Him. All who die today facing the enemy will sit at the table of the Emperor. Now kill those heretical scum! Ave Imperator!! "

This obviously does not represent the humane, life respecting, democratic values of today. We cannot relate to some one like this.

So Abnett gives us the cool American movie colonel.



@I think you also expect a little too much out of the books - complex character development is a little difficult in short, action-packed novels and BL books are (let's face it) brain candy and not serious literature. It's kind of like going to see an action flick at the movies and slagging it off because the main characters didn't have a complex emotional back story to explain why they're kicking the living *&%$# out of each other with big guns/cool swords/spaceships.

It's the badly written, unimaginative brain-candy I object to, which is (to take the film analogy a bit further) like paying to see Alien vs Predator or say, underworld.:D

This is what I meant by glorified kill counts.

It's not even brain candy. The last Abnett book I read was Messengers of Death and he even managed to stuff up the Fantasy background with his drivel.

Shadowheart
26-06-2006, 14:55
I'm with Cailus on this, if Abnett was trying to write a 40K story, he'd be doing a poor job. People with contemporary western mindsets could conceivably exist in a literal interpretation of the background, but I think that's a bad way to approach a work of fiction. A 40K story with no characters that are typically 40K is rather pointless.
People may say they're bored with typical 40K characters, but you don't actually see many of those, whereas you see generally typical characters a whole lot, and they're what Abnett offers. Apparently throwing in 40K terminology is enough to make things fresh for some readers.

It gets worse when the rest of the galaxy still works like it does in the established background, except for the heroes. Meaning that the characters, who are like us, are better. That is appealing and easy to swallow, which is precisely what the 40K galaxy shouldn't be. I hope that Gaunt will eventually bring about his own doom and that of his regiment through his refusal to accept conventional Imperial doctrine. What I expect though is that it'll be the foolish, narrow-minded Imperial High Command that screws him.

But if you forget that he's supposed to be writing 40K stories, Abnett is quite good, in small enough doses, by way of snack. He has mastered the craft of writing appealing characters, punchy action and snappy dialogue, but the craft shows through and in the long run I get really fed up with a diet of appeal, punch and snap. He rather reminds me of Joss Whedon and even Neil Gaiman's weaker moments. Must be the comic scripting. I find the humour especially grating (which is why I never sat through an episode of Buffy), because it's so easy to come up with witty remarks if you can construct the whole scene at your leisure.

In any case, I'm getting no less than 51 second-hand Black Library novels in the mail soon, so I'll have more complaining to do later. But first I must finish my Miles Vorkosigan books.

Son of the Lion
26-06-2006, 15:12
Right, first off, you posted before I got my comment finished (slow typist:) ).

.....




So Abnett gives us the cool American movie colonel.




I really don't want to get into a semantic fan-boy argument about this, and I think the exact lines of what we agree/disagree on are getting a little blurry. However, I still think you're being a little harsh on ol' danny boy - there is continous mention of how Gaunt isn't your typical imperial commissar, and he does include plenty of examples of the more traditional religious-fanatic types. Look, Abnett is well known for hi-jacking a genre/film theme for his BL stuff, because it makes it more entertaining. It doesn't always work well (with fantasy settings in particular, I agree with you there), and it relies heavily on stereotypes (some of which may not fit EXACTLY into our preconceptions of the 40k universe) but your original point about Abnett pissing on the fluff doesn't hold water (excuse the pun).

As to the whole religious-fanaticism/western viewpoint, I don't see why you're still hammering that home. I already said I agree with you (I spent 6 years studing social anthropology and religious systems;) ), but it isn't relevant to my point about Abnett's writing style. You were criticising it for lack of characterisation, being at odds with the fluff, and being one long kill count etc etc. We've already agreed that the uber-fanaticism stereotype doesn't often make for entertaining reading, so why be so upset that it's absent from abnett's work?

As for kill-counts being the same as brain candy, I think your definition differs from mine a little. I would see a kill-count movie/book as one with lots of endless death/violence with little or no plot or style (brainless horror/shwarzenegger-vehicle movies = C.S. Goto, Thorpe), unlike a good brain-candy flick , which at least makes an effort to entertain.

Warp Zero
26-06-2006, 15:16
Okay, read the first ten pages of the thread and just skimmed the rest. Sorry if I repeat anything.

Personally, if the writer has created a decent story and achieved a decent amount of fun escapism....then I'll forgive fluff inconsistancies. I think a lot of Dan Abnett haters focus too much on the fluff mistakes.

Also, sometimes I think each of us has a certain view on how we would like to see 40k written and when it varies from that view, we get disappointed. So I think that sometimes the better books in the Black Library get an unfair shake due to this bias.

But I still feel there are still the existance of universal stinkers in the BL selection. I haven't read them all, but some of the ones that come to mind are:

Dawn of War (first book-couldn't finish it)
Soul Drinker (first book- couldn't finish it, even though I was close)
Warrior Coven (still trying to read it and its becoming a chore)

Now, I haven't read "His Last Command", but I have read "Traitor General". I sort of frown upon bashing a book by just writing a simple broad statement. Example: "Gaunt's ghosts...ugh....chaos as a virus? WTF?" To which I say: yeah that's silly, but I think you misinterpreted it. I didn't take it as that is how Chaos works. I took it more like, that's one aspect of how Chaos is effecting this world, from this army, and its how the Ghosts are misunderstanding it. Remember, its from the Ghosts point of view. So, I think their ignorant paranoia think of it as a virus but all they're really are getting is side effects from random Nurgle-esque activity.

Okay, now I'm gonna be a hypocrite and use a simple broad statement to describe what I thought was wrong with "Soul Drinker". :D Is it me or does it seem the whole thing could've been avoided if the Soul Drinkers just opened up a comm and said, "hey the adeptus mechanicus aboard that ship just stole our spear , a sacred relic of our chapter as well as the Imperium. They are the traitors not us.". Then the Imperial Fleet, Imperial Guard, and most likely later on, the Ordo Hereticus would've sided with the Soul Drinkers and those aboard the Mechanicus ship that stole the spear would've been the traitors instead. I hate plotlines that happen because someone just simply didn't know how to talk.

Son of the Lion
26-06-2006, 15:20
Damn, I need a speed typing course....

See, this is what I mean about cross arguments here - I agree wholeheartedly that Abnett has his faults, and I'm not a fan of all of his work. Shadowheart puts it very well that he works best in short doses. I personally have grown a bit bored with Gaunt et al. I just don't think he desrves the merciless trashing cailus gave him.
It would be nice to have recognisably 40k character-driven novels that involve and entertain without either devolving into Kill/slash/maim or relying on western sterotypes/mindsets. But it's just kinda hard to do, so we have to make do with writers like abnett, warts and all.

Lyinar
26-06-2006, 17:32
So the suicide bomber is acting rationally in the eyes of many muslims. He/she is sacrificing him/herself to kill many of the enemy. Basically they are sacrificing themselves for the benefit of their community and for their god. This is viewed as insane by Westerners where an individual life is more important than that off the whole.


Actually, they are NOT acting rationally in the eyes of the vast majority of Muslims, because that extremist suicide-bomber viewpoint is, in point of fact, a HERESY against mainstream Islam.

Also, regarding the "British/American" thing? The Tanith are quite clearly, to the point of being almost too clear, WELSH. Just as the Tallarns are quite clearly Bedouin, the Valhallans and Vostroyans are quite clearly Russians from different eras, the Mordians are quite clearly Prussian, the Death Korps of Krieg are quite clearly World-War-One-era Germans, the Praetorians are quite clearly Victorian-era English, etc. Even the Cadians, the army that the vast majority of Imperial Guard regiments are based on, are themselves based on thoroughly modern, WESTERN armies.

The Phantine Air Corps are pretty clearly based on the US Army Air Corps during World War II, which is when you should have looked back to when you were "evaluating" my statement about kill-counts and fighter pilots, or you could have looked back less and looked at Korea, or Viet Nam, or the Falklands, etc... In other words, wars in which aerial warfare actually played a reasonably significant part.

I think you're still judging the Black Library based on the outdated 2nd Edition "A whole regiment of Imperial Guard fights a heroic and utterly hopeless battle until a squad of Space Marines shows up to save the day for the handful of survivors" fluff instead of the "Hey, the Imperial Guard are actually pretty badass in their own right" 3rd and 4th Edition fluff.

MadJackMcJack
26-06-2006, 17:37
The Tanith are quite clearly, to the point of being almost too clear, WELSH.

They're choir-singing sheep-******** drunks?

(Before anyone starts, I AM welsh)

- Edit -

This is a PG-13 forum, please remember this.

Wintermute

Phunting
26-06-2006, 23:22
This obviously does not represent the humane, life respecting, democratic values of today. We cannot relate to some one like this.Speak for yourself :evilgrin:


This is a PG-13 forum, please remember this.
What does PG-13 mean!?

Damien 1427
26-06-2006, 23:42
@Cailus: :eyebrows: Easy tiger! Granted, Damian 1427 may have missed the mark a little with his 'normal' comment, but I think you're getting a bit carried away.

Quoted for bloody truth. Ye gods, man, it's the internet, discussing pulp sci-fi produced as merchandise for a wargame whose background isn't exactly the deepest or most original around. So I made a comment that you seem to take offence at? Calm the bloody hell down. If you're getting so uptight about this, methinks you're the one who needs a bit of perspective.

As has been said, people like characters they can relate to. Since the target market is male teenagers in the secular West, characters who aren't religous nutbars tend to appeal a lot more than stone-cold, religous lunatics (Although characters like The Redeemer seem to be rather popular).
Commissars shooting someone like in your example wouldn't get too far as they'd lack the respect of their men, and if they were real jerks (To say the least) I can imagine them having an... accident. Characters like Gaunt, and to a lesser extent Caine, make sense because they are respected and trusted by the men (And women) under their charge. If Gaunt was an uptight jackass, do you think the First and Only would have survived for so long? Probably not.

Also, I'd have to agree with the Tanith having a Celtic flavour.

cailus
26-06-2006, 23:59
Commissars shooting someone like in your example wouldn't get too far as they'd lack the respect of their men, and if they were real jerks (To say the least) I can imagine them having an... accident. Characters like Gaunt, and to a lesser extent Caine, make sense because they are respected and trusted by the men (And women) under their charge. If Gaunt was an uptight jackass, do you think the First and Only would have survived for so long? Probably not.

Once again you give the Imperium strictly western values.

A commissar is not a commanding officer (Gaunt is an exception).
The Commissar is charged with maintaining obediance to Imperial values and laws. Do you think that the Red Army had much faith in their political officers?

These people are feared because they are ruthless. Though Commissars do actually earn the respect for their men, they also do not hesitate putting a bullet in one of them for percieved failures.

As for "accidents" the Imperium does not enable people to think in such ways. If you have lived in an authoritarian dictatorship that has lasted 10,000 years you would not know of independent thought. You would be a good little sheep and follow whatever stupid orders you get.

Because under you theory, the Imperium wouldn't last a second. Everyone would have revolted. Same applies to actually every single bastard regime on this planet (most of the democracies on this planet are only democratic in name and most people are still heavily oppressed by governments, warlords, wealthy landowners and corporations).

To hammer the point again, the Imperium is not the USA or the UK.



Also, I'd have to agree with the Tanith having a Celtic flavour.

Celtic flabvour does not mean they are Celts.

Damien 1427
27-06-2006, 00:13
As for "accidents" the Imperium does not enable people to think in such ways. If you have lived in an authoritarian dictatorship that has lasted 10,000 years you would not know of independent thought. You would be a good little sheep and follow whatever stupid orders you get.

'splain the Catachans. One of the special rules was "Whoops, sorry sir" which equated to the Commissar having a rather nasty... accident. It happens.

'sides, the Imperium is a big place. A million worlds. You're going to get every possible type of regiment in the guard you can imagine. Just because the more liberal ones make it to print doesn't disprove the existance of lunatics and bastards running the show. Just, for the majority, they're a lot less interesting. If I wanted religous zealot soldiers I'll pick up a book about Marines (Who, oddly enough, are pretty dull in most books) or a generic Inquisitor.

Though to be honest, I defend Mr. Abnett because he's a nice guy, who has provided plenty of happy hours reading untaxing pulp. He added concepts to the fluff that I enjoy. If you don't, fair play, but there's no need to come across as a pompous jerk about it.

cailus
27-06-2006, 00:29
Actually, they are NOT acting rationally in the eyes of the vast majority of Muslims, because that extremist suicide-bomber viewpoint is, in point of fact, a HERESY against mainstream Islam.

A bit of a history lesson. The first suicide bombers were Lebanese who were fighting Israelis. These people were and still are respected amongst Arabs because they fought against an occupying Jewish army.

I will get away from the topical theme of suicide bombers (I think I'm pushing it a bit too far), and go to an old favourite, kamikazes. This was viewed as an acceptable sacrifice.



Also, regarding the "British/American" thing? The Tanith are quite clearly, to the point of being almost too clear, WELSH. Just as the Tallarns are quite clearly Bedouin, the Valhallans and Vostroyans are quite clearly Russians from different eras, the Mordians are quite clearly Prussian, the Death Korps of Krieg are quite clearly World-War-One-era Germans, the Praetorians are quite clearly Victorian-era English, etc. Even the Cadians, the army that the vast majority of Imperial Guard regiments are based on, are themselves based on thoroughly modern, WESTERN armies.

Abnett's potrayal of the Imperium is strictly Anglo-American circa World War II.

Bedouin - Arab forces. Quite clearly not Western
Russian - not Western. Russia is culturally quite different to the West.
Prussian - not exactly a modern army based on modern western values. The Prussians were very militaristic and emphasised a lot different values to the modern Germans.
Victorian-era English - again this is not the same as the British Army circa 1943.
Cadians - modern Western military.



The Phantine Air Corps are pretty clearly based on the US Army Air Corps during World War II, which is when you should have looked back to when you were "evaluating" my statement about kill-counts and fighter pilots, or you could have looked back less and looked at Korea, or Viet Nam, or the Falklands, etc... In other words, wars in which aerial warfare actually played a reasonably significant part.

What a strange thing to say.

Airpower played a major role in nearly every major conflict since 1945. And the Kosovo campaign was exclusively an air campaign (other than perhaps sectret Spec Ops we have no idea about). Except the USA developed a little thing called air superiority which made the opponent's airforce obsolete.

F-15 air superiority fighter + E-3 AWACS + F-16/EA-6B SEAD aircraft + plethora of other space, air and land based C3/ECM/ELINT/SIGINT = no point in even sending your MiGs and Sukhois into the air because they are dead already.




I think you're still judging the Black Library based on the outdated 2nd Edition "A whole regiment of Imperial Guard fights a heroic and utterly hopeless battle until a squad of Space Marines shows up to save the day for the handful of survivors" fluff instead of the "Hey, the Imperial Guard are actually pretty badass in their own right" 3rd and 4th Edition fluff.

The modern fluff is slowly turning the Imperium in a P.C. Anglo-American friendly place. In the old days Marines didn't care about civilians. Now you have Chapters such as the Salamanders being super caring about civilians. Chaos is now an idiotic "we are evil with spiky bits" thing while everything else has become a single minded killing machine (Nids - not much mention of the Hive Mind, Orks - idiotic brutal beasts who don't even have weapons that work (they work psychically)). The Ad Mech are now super scientists who generally understand things and are not so religious. The Eccelsiarchy and the Inquisition have become chums down to the point that SoB are the armed forces of ones of the Ordos. Heck the Skitarrii have even be relabelled as Tech Guard!

Modern fluff is generally crap. But we're lucky in that there won't be much of it anyway as White Dwarf no longer does fluff and the Codexes just rehash the same old tired stuff.

EDIT: Rant off

cailus
27-06-2006, 00:35
'splain the Catachans. One of the special rules was "Whoops, sorry sir" which equated to the Commissar having a rather nasty... accident. It happens.

'sides, the Imperium is a big place. A million worlds. You're going to get every possible type of regiment in the guard you can imagine. Just because the more liberal ones make it to print doesn't disprove the existance of lunatics and bastards running the show. Just, for the majority, they're a lot less interesting. If I wanted religous zealot soldiers I'll pick up a book about Marines (Who, oddly enough, are pretty dull in most books) or a generic Inquisitor.

A fair enough point. But I have found that everything today seems to be from the "nice guy" perspective. As I said even the Marines are no longer psycho killer monks other than the Templars.

In fact I'd say that if we took all the Black Library crud we could easily say that the Imperium is a very nice place to live where everyone gets along and the only people to spoil things is the odd evil greedy man, the odd spikey evil Chaos man or the odd evil spikey alien.

The Imperium is also not bureaucratic and unwieldy but is the epitome of efficiency. I wish the government department I worked for considered their model.

This is the fluff of the 4th edition.

Son of the Lion
27-06-2006, 02:46
But I have found that everything today seems to be from the "nice guy" perspective.

Agreed. This is part of GW's recent 'black and white, goodies vs. baddies' policy to simplify the 40k Universe for a younger audience. I don't like it either, but I still think it's unfair to pan an author for trying a different (and undeniably entertaining) approach.




Abnett's potrayal of the Imperium is strictly Anglo-American circa World War II.



Sigh. #Engage fanboy mode# Actually, while it does borrow heavily from this era(particularly the later books, which are also the worst IMO), there are elements from almost every recorded period of military history. The Tanith themselves are (certainly in the first few books) clearly based more on Napoleonic-era Greenjackets than WWII marines. Indeed, there have been many references to 'Gaunts Ghosts' basically being 'Sharpe's Rifles' in space.
The trench warfare mentioned is closer to WWI. The Air combat, as you yourself pointed out, takes elements from several notable air campaigns through-out history, although the (admittedly tepid) plot of Double Eagle seems to be a re-writing of the Battle of Britain.

Point is folks, like with a lot of GW fluff, pointing to these characters/plotlines/settings and saying 'X is based on Y, not Z, you're utterly wrong/misinformed/stupid' is a.)counter-productive and b.)totally redundant as they draw on multiple real AND fictional sources (I'm surely not the only one to detect a little Star Wars in abnett's writing?).

#Fanboy mode disengaged#


P.S. You're all wrong. The Tanith are Irish....:D

ekister101
27-06-2006, 03:24
Add my agreement to Inquisition War - the worst ending ever in my opinion.

I also disliked the Crossfire and Legacy books.

I hit the bookstore weekly to get my next 40k fix. My "other" job (besides 40k) is as a teacher - history. So everything I read for "professional" development has a high likelyhood of being boring, but I plow through it. So I like a little "pulp" fiction that causes no pain, is easy to read and is about my second favorite topic. A win-win if I ever heard one.

I am really excited about the HH series. While I too worry about certain authors, I think the content "should" be fairly controlled, so it can't get F'ed up too much..... can it?

Anyway - I buy and read them all and I find them fun if not a relief to read. Its still a game and still fiction.

Ekister

Son of the Lion
27-06-2006, 03:38
Anyway - I buy and read them all and I find them fun if not a relief to read. Its still a game and still fiction.

Ekister

Yup. This is my view exactly. I treat the BL books as a break from weightier texts, and they do the job rather well for the most part. I only get pissy when they are so badly/unimaginatively written they fail to provide any escapism at all.

cailus
27-06-2006, 03:50
I just get tired of the emphasis on mindless action. Books are not a very good way of conveying action as action is a very visual thing.

Whereas I can watch Assault On Precinct 13 and enjoy the constant mindless gun battles I can't do that in a book without getting bored. You need a plot and you need characters in a book. You can have action but it should not be the overriding theme.

Son of the Lion
27-06-2006, 04:18
True. You can only read 'he was a whirlwind of destruction' so many times before your eyes begin to glaze. (I'm looking at you, Mr. King)

Lyinar
27-06-2006, 05:48
At least Dan Abnett gave the various sword-fighting moves names in Eisenhorn, though like Robert Jordan in the Wheel of Time, he very rarely tells us exactly what the hell those named maneuvers actually are. And there are visual equivalents to crappy and overused descriptions of combat. Just watch THIS (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tl_E3WoqhHA&search=Deathstalker)... If you dare.

Shadowheart
27-06-2006, 08:07
Agreed. This is part of GW's recent 'black and white, goodies vs. baddies' policy to simplify the 40k Universe for a younger audience. I don't like it either, but I still think it's unfair to pan an author for trying a different (and undeniably entertaining) approach.

But the "nice guy" perspective isn't different. Such characters all over the place, in any number of franchises and genres. Gaunt could just as easily be a Star Trek captain, a Star Wars rebel commander or an officer in modern or revisionist historical military fiction. His current title and uniform have no real impact on the character, so they could be easily swapped.

40K is different to start with, there's no need make your story different from that. And it's quite redundant when you make it different from different by making it normal again. I don't so much blame the writers for that, it's a choice on the part of the publisher.

Damien 1427
27-06-2006, 09:28
A fair enough point. But I have found that everything today seems to be from the "nice guy" perspective. As I said even the Marines are no longer psycho killer monks other than the Templars.

[snip]

The Imperium is also not bureaucratic and unwieldy but is the epitome of efficiency. I wish the government department I worked for considered their model.

Well, what about Flesh Tearers? They're pretty much terror troops in their purest form, and fired on civvies 'cause they could.

And as much as I dislike CS Goto, his Necromunda novel (The one about the Hive founders) to me, at least, kept the "beauracratic nightmare" alive. This might be becauset he novel itself is a nightmare to read, but the paper-pushing does hurt my head. :p

boogle
27-06-2006, 10:03
i actually enjoyed his Necro book. he is much ebtter suited to the Necro books than the 50K ones (maybe he actually read up on some background about Necromunda before wrioting it?)

Son of the Lion
27-06-2006, 12:08
But the "nice guy" perspective isn't different. Such characters all over the place, in any number of franchises and genres. Gaunt could just as easily be a Star Trek captain, a Star Wars rebel commander or an officer in modern or revisionist historical military fiction. His current title and uniform have no real impact on the character, so they could be easily swapped.

40K is different to start with, there's no need make your story different from that. And it's quite redundant when you make it different from different by making it normal again. I don't so much blame the writers for that, it's a choice on the part of the publisher.

Again, we're not actually disagreeing here. I'm not refering to the 'nice guy' character of gaunt (which is, as mentioned, rather generic) as part of the difference of abnett's writing, but rather his attempts to transpose a little of a recognisable genre (WWII, Peninsla War, Star Wars), and identifiable characters (ones the average BL reader can associate with, cultural bias and all) to make it easier to tell an entertaining story. Ok, this is sometimes a little cliche or a bit dodge fluff-wise, but overall I think is a nice alternative to constant bolter and chainsword, death, death, war, grim millenium. Do I think it should replace it altogether? Hell no! Do I agree with the Abnett fanboys that all writers should be like him, or that he should write all the HH books? Double Hell no!. As I have constantly re-iterated, I am not a fan of all Abnett stuff and I don't think he's the uber BL novelist, I just think he gets unneccesarily (and undeservedly) slammed far too much for not sticking to the sterotypical dark future that, while great, can be a bit limiting in terms of story-telling.

cailus
28-06-2006, 03:37
The problem is that the Dark Grim Future doesn't really feature in most Black Library books. Most of them show the Imperium as a relatively nice place to live other than the odd ******** who tries to ruin it for everyone.

Even the Codexes are becoming increasingly PC. In Medusa there are large outbreaks of Chaos worship yet the Imperium wants to ship all the people out. In the past they all would've been wiped out as tainted. But GW is making the Imperium PC.

Abnett's perception of the 41st Millenium is quickly becoming the GW definition of the 41st millenium.

Son of the Lion
28-06-2006, 03:46
Depends on your point of view I guess. What's your opinion of Storm of Iron, by the way? That's pretty grim. Not a huge scope in plot, but it does end on a bum note for the 'goodies', and the IG get horribly screwed by the mechanicus...

cailus
28-06-2006, 04:18
Storm of Iron is alright. The Imperials are still too good though.

This is what I liked about the Inquistion trilogy by Ian Watson (though it was all over the show and the end did suck). It showed that the Imperium and Chaos are two sides of the same violent coin. It's all about power and how to wield as much of it as you can.

Having blatant good and evil guys is lame and and cliched. People are never truly good or evil. They are just various shades of grey.

Good and evil are relative terms. For example in the West it is acceptable to obliterate someone with a laser guided bomb but is unacceptable to hack them up with a machette,

MadJackMcJack
28-06-2006, 07:04
Even the Codexes are becoming increasingly PC. In Medusa there are large outbreaks of Chaos worship yet the Imperium wants to ship all the people out. In the past they all would've been wiped out as tainted. But GW is making the Imperium PC.



Actually, that's more because virus-bombing a planet makes for a rubbish campaign.

Colonel_Kreitz
28-06-2006, 07:33
Storm of Iron is alright. The Imperials are still too good though.


Uhh...well...one Iron Warrior did still take down a Warhound Titan...

cailus
28-06-2006, 07:46
Whoa forgot about that. There was also the lone Guardsman taking out Choas Space Marines including Honsou's Lieutanant. I forgot about that too.

Dawn of the Dogs
28-06-2006, 09:47
Uhh...well...one Iron Warrior did still take down a Warhound Titan...

after it fell over... and all he did was kill the crew.

Son of the Lion
28-06-2006, 10:22
Geez, there's no pleasing some people.:rolleyes:

:) Seriously, I agree, the warhound bit was a bit WTF? But (and this is one of the points I keep trying to make) you can't expect too much from pulp fiction. That asides, I too would very much like to see a more complicated main protagonist that doesn't fall easily into the light/dark camp. The Eisehorn trilogy had some promise at first, but Abnett felt the need to constantly justify his slow descent into radicalism and we're never really left in any doubt as to whether he's a good guy or not. Still, it's a good read.

Without wanting to get into a personal spat, you seem to think I don't understand your point about good and bad being relative values, culturally or otherwise. I really do get it, I actually have a degree that specialises in cultural/sociological/ethical ideologies and interaction (not bragging, I'm just trying to stress the point), but I don't think a lack of 'shades of grey' makes the books trash-worthy. When it's combined with overly simplified plots and uninteresting action scenes etc, then OK, it's just not entertaining on any level and the book's not worth the money paid.
My original objection was that you (and others) were judging the quality of the book(s) mentioned based on the fact that you disagreed with the way Abnett presented the 40k fluff/characters, when that's really just a matter of taste. If you had criticised him for say, boring action scenes, awkward prose or a confusing plot (a la watson), then I would have (apart from disagreeing with you) left the issue alone.

Kahadras
28-06-2006, 11:49
after it fell over... and all he did was kill the crew.


No I distinctly remember him flipping out. He decides that he is going to take it down by himself and runs off to punch it to death with his powerfist.

Kahadras

Lastie
28-06-2006, 11:57
My only real complaint with Mr Abnett would be the way every single book of his ends almsot abruptly, often with absurd deus ex machinas thrown into the mix just to get his characters out of the problem they spent most of the book wallowing in (Honour Guard springs to mind as a prime example).

Oh, and Cailus, I agree entirely which what you're saying. While an excellent storyteller, Abnett is simply too soft. His books are not the horrific nightmares we all glimpsed when first opening up the rulebook (in my case, the 3rd Ed rulebook and seeing the fantastic sketches of the hellish descent into the God-Emperor's domain (half-absorbed psykers hooked up to the Golden Throne and all)), but merely entertaining dreams.

Is it too much to ask for a BL book to provide that 'Grim Darkness' plastered all over the sides of almost every 40K product?

Dawn of the Dogs
28-06-2006, 15:06
No I distinctly remember him flipping out. He decides that he is going to take it down by himself and runs off to punch it to death with his powerfist.

Kahadras

ok. i just re-read that particular section, and i think its time to set the record straight.

the iron warriors had penetrated the walls and had backed one of the warhounds into a corner with vindicator support, it was heavily damaged and had lost one its arms. then Forrix flips out, jumps onto its foot, and punches the ankle joint of the warhound to death. it throws him off, takes a step back and the foot is destroyed when it hits a pile of rubble. it falls, and then he kills the crew in the warhounds head.

there you have it. he didnt kill it by himself, he had backup. now stop making it sound like he gunned down a titan with his bolter, cos he didnt.

Jellicoe
28-06-2006, 17:01
Groovy, another Flash reader, anyone who thought a Cain book was good should have a look at George MacDonald Fraser's Flashman Papers.

Set in Victorian times, he's an officer, a cad, a coward and a threat to all women. Far better than Ciaphus.

Indeed. Cain is a total rip off and a poor one at that. Rather surprised in fact that Mr. Fraser's lawyers haven't come a knocking on the door. The reason why Cain becomes tiresome so quickly is that the author only picks on the superficial facets of his character whilst Fraser goes much further. Fraser's other key skill is placing Flashman in historical context and very accurately so. Learning about the Abyssinian campaign as well as Flashman's exploits makes for hugely enjoyable learning

Damien 1427
28-06-2006, 18:03
Erm, you do know it's more likely to be a tribute, and possibly a parody, than a ripoff.

GamesmasterZ
28-06-2006, 18:12
No dude, everyone knows that when we all draw information from something else that we really enjoyed and decided to add that flavour to your own story. You're a ripoff. I thought everyone knew that...

It's just like how America ripped off the Eagle from the Romans. And how Rock ripoffed the guitar from Country.

You know it happened. Ripoffs.

Andrew-

Phunting
28-06-2006, 22:59
Indeed. Cain is a total rip off and a poor one at that. Rather surprised in fact that Mr. Fraser's lawyers haven't come a knocking on the door. The reason why Cain becomes tiresome so quickly is that the author only picks on the superficial facets of his character whilst Fraser goes much further. And of course: the women. Flasy finds himself in 90% of the messes because he is unable to keep his saber in it's scabbard, so to speak. Obviously GW considers such behaviour a little too risqué for it's audience. Instead we have Cain feebly claiming that 'it looked like the safe route at the time' every other page.


Fraser's other key skill is placing Flashman in historical context and very accurately so. Learning about the Abyssinian campaign as well as Flashman's exploits makes for hugely enjoyable learningAgreed. I was most amused to sit in Trafalgar Square one day, look up, and realize I knew who the statue of General Havelock was...

Killgore
28-06-2006, 23:07
ok. i just re-read that particular section, and i think its time to set the record straight.

the iron warriors had penetrated the walls and had backed one of the warhounds into a corner with vindicator support, it was heavily damaged and had lost one its arms. then Forrix flips out, jumps onto its foot, and punches the ankle joint of the warhound to death. it throws him off, takes a step back and the foot is destroyed when it hits a pile of rubble. it falls, and then he kills the crew in the warhounds head.

there you have it. he didnt kill it by himself, he had backup. now stop making it sound like he gunned down a titan with his bolter, cos he didnt.



Agreed!

I found that to be good FICTION, after all Forrix was an old evil hero a veteran of many wars



anyway for those saying "oh that wouldnt happen in a game of 40k" the following happened in one of my 40k games when i used my Baneblade- a Spacemarine Terminator with a chainfist attacks my baneblade with full structure points in hth combat, it causes 1 penetrating hit that does another structure point of damage then another then rolls over into another one that destroyed my warmachine! a 600 odd point model killed by 1 hand to hand combat attack the baneblade was nearly imobolised and only had 1 heavy bolter left anyway, but it still had all its structure points left which made the 1 hit kill so significant