Posts Tagged ‘Games Workshop’


When in York the other day I popped into Games Workshop. I usually try to go to the local GW when I’m in a town. Sometimes, I buy stuff.

As always, the store dude approaches and asks if I’m looking for anything, what army I’m into, that sort of thing. Well done GW store training programme – your store managers never fail in this regard. Partly to short-circuit the whole process, and partly because I want some recognition, dammit, I say who I am, and point out some of my books. There’s a third, slightly mischievous desire here. I do it because I want to see how the store dude reacts. Nine times out of ten there is a flicker as their mind changes gear, and their faces become neutral. A slight disengagement enters the interaction. You can see them thinking. Is he really who he says he is? Is he a lunatic? Is this a test? Sometimes that’s it. They leave me alone. (As happened in this case). Either way, BL author or a lunatic, I don’t need their enthusiastic spiel. If the shop’s less busy, after I have established that I am not, in fact, a lunatic, then conversation is forthcoming. If I were more modest, I probably would not do this at all. It’s slightly egotistical, perhaps even a little bit mean. But I don’t get out much. And writing is lonely. And I crave validation.

Sometimes, after credentials have been established, they really don’t know how to act. This is the “magic author” effect, and it happens to me sometimes. This is where folks treat you like you’re somehow special, and they say things like “You’re really talented” or somesuch, and I think, “Er, am I? Are you sure? Have you got the right man?”

Provided I don’t become convinced that the magic is real, or rather, as long as I remember that the magic might be subjectively real for the reader, but that it does not actually make me in any way special, I should avoid becoming a total knob. I’ve seen it happen many times. It can happen to anyone with even a vaguely public profile. Sometimes people buy into the magic lens they are seen through and forget the shortcomings of the person living inside their skull. This especially tragic when the person is a writer with a humble following, and not, for example, Johnny Depp.

There is only one Johnny Depp.

So we must hold on to our secret feelings of fraudulence, we writers. And I must always keep in my mind that the only magical thing about me is that I am a goblin living in a man’s world.

Lunatic and BL author. That’s probably the right internal response for future contactees.


If you’ve been over to the Games Workshop or the Black Library sites today you’ll have seen that I’ve two new books coming out next weekend! Both of them detail the fate of the the Imperial Valedan system, whose five worlds are caught between the closing jaws of two Tyranid hivefleets.

Valedor centres on the system’s eponymous prime world. All of Valedan was once inhabited by Eldar. Too close to the heart of the Eldar star empire for the inhabitants to survive Slaanesh’s birth, too far for the worlds to be drawn into the Eye of Terror, it is in Eldar parlance a “True Star”, a place left deserted. Usurped by human colonists millennia ago, now man has been scoured from the planet. The Eldar return, fearing the chance melding of the hive fleets could spell doom for the entire galaxy. So great is this threat, that a gathering of Eldar kindreds occurs which has not been seen since the Fall…

The Last Days of Ector is a prequel novella set in the lead-up to the Tyranid invasion. Ector is a sub-arctic hive world whose twenty cities are lucky enough to each be overseen by a single Space Marine. Can these noble Crimson Castellans save at least a portion of the doomed population?

The books tie in with the latest Apocalypse Battlezone book, called, unsurprisingly perhaps, ValedorThere’s some tasty new models out with it too.

If you want to know more about Valedor, pick up White Dwarf, as there’s an interview in there with me about it (I’m not sure if it’s next week or this week), where I talk about how I tackle writing from an alien perspective. There’ll also be a short interview on similar topics up on the BL website next week. I had an absolute blast writing both these books, and if you’d like to know more about them please feel free to ask questions in the comments thread.


I’ll be at Games Day tomorrow, signing some books and hobnobbing with anyone who would like their hobs nobbled. Come and say hi. I don’t know if I’m appearing on any seminars; I was originally down for one, but I asked to be taken off it. Not because I’m scared of crowds or was having a prima donna fit or anything, it’s just that it was about the Horus Heresy. Having written precisely two and a half short pieces of fiction for that setting, and having been to none of the planning meetings, I didn’t feel I’d have much to add (which is exactly what happened the last two times I was on HH seminars). And I couldn’t sit there being a pretty face, as I ain’t that pretty.
But I’ll be there at the tables, and when I’m not I’ll be wandering about, trying very hard not spend all my money on toy soldiers like everyone else. My wife would be most displeased in a “What do you mean? Magic beans?” kind of manner if I blew my cash. Only in this case, if I tossed a handful of Space Marines into the garden, they’d not grown into a giant money tree.
Still, it’s Games Day! I’ve got to get something, haven’t I? I’m getting the nerd sweats thinking about what toys to buy…


No posts forever, what can I say? I’ve been backed up to the wazoo (I have no idea what that really means, except I do, but it’s not very British so I’ll say I don’t) with work, hence no posts for quite some time. I have a few I really want to write, but you know, these posts are free. People pay me monies for other words, bills mean I have to take the monetised scribblings first, second, and third every single time. Sorry ’bout that.

This post is not a long one – I come here briefly to say that my Space Marine Battles book, Death of Integrity, is out now to buy. It’ll even be in GW’s shops from tomorrow. As, in fact, will I. Not for sale, but signing my Black Library novels. I’ll be in the Bath Games Workshop between 11.00 am and 1.00pm. so if you’re in the area and want a chat, please come along.

I should also mention that Black Library have re-released “The Rite of Holos” as a digital short, which appeared in Hammer and Bolter last year. This is a prequel to Death of Integrity featuring the Blood Drinkers.

I finished my fourth Black Library novel last week, and have been asked to do plenty more stories of all kinds. If you’re a Warhammer or Warhammer 40,000 fan, you’ll be seeing a lot of me over the next 12 months.


Criminy, another new year, my 40th to be precise. I’m halfway through my life, or thereabouts. Now that’s something to chew on. Once more the terrifying brevity of human existence troubles my thoughts.

Happy New Year!

I don’t celebrate New Year much. This year (I suppose “last year”) I watched Predators on telly, which was better than expected, then went to bed at 11.30. I’ve always found New Year’s Eve a bit of an anti-climax, unless you can find a good house party. And I always get maudlin about my mortal span (see above). In any case, now my son Benny is four, there’s no going anywhere on days like that. So, onto 2013, it’s a busy one. Here’s a rundown of what’s happening in the Guyniverse come the next twelve months (all provisional, naturally).

January

My first story for Interzone will be published in issue 244. Hurrah!

March

I’ll be at Black Library Live in Nottingham on 3rd March, then the day after at The Scifi Weekender in Pwllheli. See you there?

April

I am also going to be at Salute with BL, on 20th April in London. I’ll be at several other events with the Black Library this year, and I’ll be posting details of those nearer the time.

May

Baneblade, my first published novel for The Black Library, is out on 7th May. Expect a linked story in Hammer and Bolter before the book comes out.

June

The Crash is out on the 25th. My second original novel for Solaris, it’s about a colony expedition that goes horribly wrong.

July

Skarsnik is out, my second BL book. This hits the shelves on 19th July. There’ll be a tie-in story about another famous Greenskin warlord in Hammer and Bolter. If you’re seeing a pattern here, that’s because there is one.

August

My Horus Heresy-era short story will appear in the Mark of Calth anthology, out on 13th. I actually just finished this today, and will tell you the title when I am one hundred per cent sure I won’t get into hot water for it (meaning, I’ll ask my editor).

September

My third novel for The Black Library/Games Workshop is released 3rd September. Space Marines galore, Genestealers, and a twist.

And that’s about it for the time being. I’ve got several other projects bubbling away, and as I said I will be appearing at other events. As for this blog,  I’ve made my one and only New Year resolution to get all my Death Ray work online. And then I’ve  a four-year backlog of SFX material; and that’s just the stuff I’ve got permission to publish. FYI, the blog got 25000 views in 2012, nowhere near the likes of John Scalzi’s eight million but not bad, I think. Things I’m hoping for this year? Less rain.


Look, look! Artwork for my book Baneblade! This atmospheric piece of the eponymous tanks in action was created by Adam Tooby, and a fine job he’s done too. I first saw this some time ago, and have been itching to show you ever since, now I can! I’ve also been given permission to reveal a little of the plot of the book, hooray! Here goes:

Imperial Guard fight Blood Axe Orks across a treacherous world!

Colaron Bannick is a young officer of noble birth. Posted to hostile Kalidar – a place wracked by deadly storms, covered in choking dust and troubled by bizarre psychic phenomenon – his heroic actions in his first engagement see him seconded to join the crew of the ancient Baneblade, Mars Triumphant, where he faces a terrifying enemy…

Although the story is set at the time of the Macharian Crusade, the war on Kalidar is not a part of this grand campaign (read Bill King’s Angel of Fire for that), instead the book shows an army group stretched to the limit as resources are siphoned off to fuel the Warmaster’s conquests.

In a parallel story depicted in a series of flashbacks, we also see why Bannick fled his comfortable existence as a privileged nobleman for a hard life in the Guard.

Expect big tanks, big battles and the will of the Emperor and the Omnissiah done by man and machine against terrible odds.

Baneblade will be released in April next year. In fact, you can preorder it on Amazon already.