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The Black Library - The collected works of Warhammer Fantasy!

Overread

All Hail Skaven!
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Some might know that Warhammer (the game by Games Workshop) not only has the models and game to play, but also has an extensive library of fiction published by the Black Library wing of their company. Stories of harrowing horrors; of noble heroes and adventures!

Semi-recently they dropped their old fantasy world in a cataclysmic event that blew the world apart and started a fresh story set in a series of Realms linked via powerful magical gates. This world went through three ages, a high age of rising, a horrifying Chaos invasion era and the current, the Age of Sigmar; where mighty warriors from the heavens came to help fight back Chaos and reclaim the Realms from their taint.

Having gotten into the game I decided to start having a read of the fantasy that comes along with it and found myself against a wall. GW keeps a very complete library of publications; from novels to short stories. All intermingled and complicated by also releasing many of them in collected editions that come out later. This can make it rather a trial to work out what is what and what is on its own and what is sold in a collected edition.
So I spent two evenings going through it all and listing out what was published where. I did this for the Warhammer Chronicles (tales of the old world before its end) and the Age of Sigmar (which was actually more messy as there are more smaller and larger collected editions). They've also been tidying up the Chronicles somewhat by releasing collected editions of many of the stories (indeed there's at least another four or five already known to be coming out next year).

So from that I came up with the following two documents:
Classic Fantasy
Warhammer Fantasy (classic) Black Library listings

Age of Sigmar
Age of Sigmar Black Library listings

I think for any interested in checking out either of these major blocks of writing then these two lists might at least help with purchase choices. I should note that as GW is publishing a lot of collected editions its worth waiting at present, esp for the Chronicles, and getting novels in collected editions rather than as individual publications.


I hope people find these of help and I will aim to keep them updated as best I can as new books are published. Hope to hear from any other fans of the Black Library and its publications. I'll note I've not done this for 40K as I've less interest there in the writing at present and because there is a LOT more of it!

Also if any are interested there's an Audio Book coming out soon which continues the story of Gotrek (who has his own section in the classic bit) and they got Brian Blessed as the voice actor for the mighty dwarf!
 

Rodders

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I have read a few of the Black Library omnibus editions and have found them to be especially enjoyable.

I am a big fan of Dan Abnett's work and am in the process of trying to get the Gaunts Ghost series in Hardback for my library. (I can't rate these highly enough.) I also really enjoyed Sandy Mitchell's Ciaphas Caine stories too.

I haven't started any of the Horus Heresy books.
 

picklematrix

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I collected Warhammer when I was a teenager. It was pretty awesome. I always knew there was potential for awesome books, though I havent got round to reading any yet. Ive been told to start with Abnett's work, or possibly Gotrek and Felix
 

BAYLOR

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I collected Warhammer when I was a teenager. It was pretty awesome. I always knew there was potential for awesome books, though I havent got round to reading any yet. Ive been told to start with Abnett's work, or possibly Gotrek and Felix
I have read a few of the Black Library omnibus editions and have found them to be especially enjoyable.

I am a big fan of Dan Abnett's work and am in the process of trying to get the Gaunts Ghost series in Hardback for my library. (I can't rate these highly enough.) I also really enjoyed Sandy Mitchell's Ciaphas Caine stories too.

I haven't started any of the Horus Heresy books.

It's some of the best military science fiction ive ever read.
 

Vince W

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I've read a number of W40K books, but nothing from their fantasy range. They won't win any Hugos, but they are fun reads.
 

Vince W

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Space Marines and Imperial Guard get all kinds of love, but I thought the 13th Legion books by Gav Thorpe were very good. Criminals fighting for the Empire were great.
 

BAYLOR

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Space Marines and Imperial Guard get all kinds of love, but I thought the 13th Legion books by Gav Thorpe were very good. Criminals fighting for the Empire were great.
Baneblade by Guy Halley is quite good

Also his novel Dark Imperium in which one the of Primachs Roboute Guilliman is brought back from the dead to save the Imperium . I think this is the first book in a series. Storywise, I think bringing back a Primach was a great idea. :cool:
 

Vince W

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I read Baneblade. It was quite good.

Primarch Guilliman was never dead. He was in stasis, healing very slowly.
 

BAYLOR

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I read Baneblade. It was quite good.

Primarch Guilliman was never dead. He was in stasis, healing very slowly.
Guiliman one of my favoite characters in the Warhammer 40 K Universe. :cool:
 

Vince W

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If GW can squeeze a £ out of bringing them back, they will.
 

BAYLOR

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If GW can squeeze a £ out of bringing them back, they will.
They could make a lot of money if they allowed Warhammer films to be made. This could be major film franchise.
 

Vince W

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They could make a lot of money if they allowed Warhammer films to be made. This could be major film franchise.
Or Hollywood could kill it stone dead. But of course Hollywood has a stellar track record with adaptations, right. :rolleyes:
 

Overread

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GW likes to retain a hold and control over their IP which means that the only Hollywood director they'd work with is one who REALLY wants to make a Space Marine (or other) film. Because otherwise Hollywood would want to change and adjust everything.

Another aspect is that GW got burned very hard by Lord of the Rings. GW secured the rights for the models and made good money off them for years, but GW isn't a film toy company. They were not prepared for the very sudden and very big drop off in casual popularity that their LotR line had when the films ended. Big toy producers are used to this and know how to balance production as things ease off, plus they are already making and selling a new line of toys for a new film. GW wasn't and got hurt hard by the big drop off.
That in itself might make them cautious about a future film.


But overall I think its just that they'd want to retain control of things and "should" be big enough that their legal team would write up a good contract for them. A lot of Hollywood producers prefer preying on lesser known IP that gives them control over it.
 

Toby Frost

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Yes, that was me! Thanks Baylor!

Given that much of the 40k world is a lot like Dune as written by Sven Hassell, I think you could make a good film out of some of it. However, it would inevitably be Hollywoodised and, I think, would have to be. Much of the lore around Space Marines, for instance, would just look silly to a causal observer (they’re 8 feet tall and spit acid!). I also have a lot of respect for the writers who can wring a personality out of the Space Marines, who are incapable of fear, sex and most other emotions except rage. Most of the “good” (ie humanoid) characters simply aren’t likeable as people, which doesn’t matter in a game but does in a story.

I think the best way to make a true-to-franchise film of 40k would be to make an animation: a proper drawn one, based on the art style of John Blanche in the way that Disney’s Hercules is based on the style of Gerald Scarfe. I doubt the majority of players would want to see it, though. That said, GW’s attitude has changed in the last year or so, so I wouldn’t rule anything out. (They are about to release a new LOTR game, oddly enough.)

The closest thing I’ve ever seen to a 40k film is Paul Verhoeven’s Starship Troopers.
 
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