Children of Sicarus

Kor Phaeron and friends - another amazing cover by the very talented Neil Roberts.

Kor Phaeron and friends - another amazing cover by the very talented Neil Roberts.

Happy New year! Wow, 2016 went by bloody fast, didn't it? 

Something that almost slipped by without me mentioning it, was that the end of 2016 saw the physical release of my Horus Heresy audio drama Children of Sicarustogether with Laurie Goulding's audio, The Heart of the Pharos.

While Laurie's story is focused on the Ultramarines (curse them), Children of Sicarus focuses on everyone's favorite faithful nut-job Legion, the Word Bearers. 

The story takes place directly after the end of Dan Abnett and Neil Roberts'  graphic novel, Macgragge's Honour (which itself takes place directly after Dan's Know No Fear, and my short story Dark Heart). 

Kor Phaeron, clinging desperately to life, has cut his way through reality to escape the destruction of the Infidus Imperator, and found himself on the daemonworld that would later become known as Sicarus. However, it is not the safe harbour he hoped it was, and along with a dwindling coterie of warriors and faithful servants, he must fight desperately against the various warbands and daemonic entities that claim dominance there just to survive.

It was a fun story to write, and it was great to come back to some of the characters from my Word Bearers series, including Marduk.

Actually, this story shows glimpse of the fate that could have been Marduk's - except that the self-serving bastard Kor Phaeron would never let it come to pass. While this prophecy would have benefited the Legion as a whole had it been allowed to come to pass, and could possibly have altered the outcome of the final battle on Terra, it required something of Kor Phaeron that he was never truly willing to sacrifice.

Poor old Marduk. It's probably for the best that he hasn't (yet...) realized just how much the Dark Cardinal screwed him over.

Podcast action

A couple of weeks ago I was a guest on the "Combat Phase" podcast. 

I chatted with Kenny from Combat Phase about Kharn: Eater of Worlds (now out in paperback in all good bookstores!), my take on Kharn, how the story ties in to Chosen of Khorne, the challenges, and what comes next.

Check it out here (my segment starts at about the 41 minute mark).

We also talked about the Word Bearers, and the Bretonnians, as well as other bits of bobs.

The podcast also features fellow Black Library author David Guymer. 

Kenny was a very gracious host, and it was a pleasure chatting with him. If you haven't listened to the podcast before, check it out - they've had lots of different BL authors on there. Definitely worth a listen! 

Cheers!

A very Star Wars Christmas

It's been a very Star Wars themed holiday, the last couple of weeks. As well as the new film (more on that in a moment), there's been lots of Star Wars gaming of one sort or other in our house.

First up, Beth and I have been playing through the campaign of Imperial Assault. It's a really fun game, with good production values, as per usual with Fantasy Flight Games. If you've played The Descent, you'd find it very familiar, as it uses the same mechanics, though they've been improved in a few ways to make the game run a bit smoother. The campaign literally came down to the final dice roll, with the rebels just managing to win the day.

Grey, unpainted miniatures are bad, m'kay?

Grey, unpainted miniatures are bad, m'kay?

Next up - Star Wars Armada. Beth got me this for Christmas, and man... I love it. As a big fan of X-Wing, I wasn't 100% sure if this game was going to feel sufficiently different to warrant starting to collect some of the (more expensive) Armada ships, but to be honest, I think I like Armada more. Maybe that's just because it's shiny and new, but the epic feel of it, and the less frantic movement makes it feel a bit more stately, strategic and grand in scope. Definitely worth a look.

While the big ships in Armada come pre-painted, like the ships in X-Wing, the little squadrons (Tie Fighters, X-Wings, etc) come either plain grey (Imperial) or bone colour (Rebels). That just wasn't gonna work, so out came the brushes and paints once again. Here are some of the results:

Then, of course there was The Force Awakens, which we saw on Christmas Day. I hadn't seen it yet (and had been studiously avoiding spoilers, of which there are none here, BTW), so was super excited to go see it, and... I loved it. This was a really fun movie, both for fans and newcomers to the Star Wars universe, with characters you can love and plenty of heart (something the prequels distinctly lacked). I utterly loved the look and feel of the movie - what a difference practical effects make. After the prequels, the story was refreshingly simple, and the casting brilliant. It's a great kick-off to a new era of Star Wars films.

Added into the mix quite a bit of Star Wars Battlefront, and it's been very Star Wars themed all round! 

Now to go plot the next additions to the Imperial and Rebel fleets for Armada... 

 

 

 

Order in Chaos

With Games Workshop's recent release of "Betrayal at Calth" (which I'd really like to pick up at some point to start some Iron Hands), there's been some renewed interest in the good old XVII Legion.

Sor Talgron looking badass in Neil Roberts's awesome cover for The Purge. 

Sor Talgron looking badass in Neil Roberts's awesome cover for The Purge. 

In the wake of that, I've had a few people ask me about the chronological order of my Word Bearers stories. Here it is:

1. Horus Heresy: Scions of the Storm (short story)

2. Horus Heresy: The Purge (novella)

3. Horus Heresy: Dark Heart (short story)

4. Dark Apostle (novel)

5. Dark Disciple (novel)

6. Dark Creed (novel)

7. Torment (short story)

8. Vox Dominus (novella)

9. The Tallyman (short story).

The stories fall into three groups: the Heresy stories, Marduk's main arc (Dark Apostle through to Torment), and the stories of what happens next (Vox Dominus and The Tallyman). I'd love to find some time to come back to Marduk at some point! 

Cheers!

What I've been reading lately...

I've been on a bit of a comics kick recently. In no particular order, here's some of what I've been reading, and what I thought about them:

This, and the sequel Stormbringer, are freakin' awesome.  Moorcock himself has rightly praised these versions of his tales. They really do feel like the definitive versions, to me. The artwork is stunning and the world-building is really impressive. I just wish they'd hurry up with the next volume! If you haven't checked them out, then go get them. Now.

I picked up the graphic novel of Fray from a very cool second hand bookshop in Ojai, California, called Bart's Books. I'd always meant to read this when it came out years ago, but for some reason never got around to it. It's a good addition to the Slayer mythos - as a character, Fray is not just a futuristic Buffy clone. Good fun. 

Other than Batman ('cos Batman), I've never been a huge DC fan, so I know for a fact that I missed many of the references in this, but it didn't really matter - this was just a good story, well told, and with the beautiful art of Alex Ross. Made me want to re-read Marvels.

Locke and Key hooked me more than any other comic has in recent times. Loved it. A really cool idea - one that when I was reading it, made me think 'man, I wish I'd come up with this idea.'

I've only read the first graphic novel of Fatale, but I really enjoyed it. Noir-ish detective thriller crossed with Cthulhu - how can you go wrong? The first graphic novel worked really well as a stand-alone piece, I thought, so I look forward to seeing how the second volume goes.

I came late to Saga, and was a little unsure if it would live up to the hype... but it did. A great read. Rectify it if you, like me, are coming late to the party.

More Brian K. Vaughan goodness. I just realised (yes, realised with an 's'. I many be living in the US these days, but spelling it with a 'z' just seems... wrong) that I haven't actually finished reading Y the Last Man... I'm not sure why. I should change that, as it's great.

Can't go wrong with a bit of Hellboy, and there were a few volumes that I'd never got around to reading, such as The Wild Hunt, so I've been going back and filling those gaps. Damn I really hope they make Hellboy 3 and do it well. 

I tend to wait for the collected volume before reading comic runs - but RunLoveKill was an exception. The art is done by friend and work colleague Eric Canete (he was also co-writer of the story), and you should check it out. It's rad. 

Any awesome graphic novels that you've read recently that I should check out?

Cheers!

 

  

 

 

 

Word Bearers Omnibus re-released

Hey all,

Just wanted to post up a quick note to let folks know that the Word Bearers Omnibus has been re-released, and seems to be appearing back on the shelves of books stores and online retailers. So, if you missed out on it last time around, now is your chance to pick it up.

Death to the False Emperor! 



Kharn: Eater of Worlds

So, Khârn: Eater of Worlds got released on Christmas day, and I'm really pleased to see that the folks who have already picked it up (well, metaphorically picked it up - it's only been released as an ebook so far) seem to be enjoying it.

The story takes place during the lead-up to the infamous Battle of Skalathrax. The Horus Heresy is over, and the World Eaters, along with the other 'traitor' Legions have fled into the Eye of Terror. Without any clear leader - Angron is no longer with them - the XII Legion tearing itself apart as it lurches from one confrontation to the next, like rabid dogs let off the leash.

Captain Dreagher (a character first appearing in Matt Farrer's awesome, foundation-laying short story After Desh'ea') sees the imminent death of his Legion, and believes that only one man can unite the Wolrd Eaters and forestall its self-destruction - Khârn. Unfortunately, Khârn remains in a brain-dead coma, and has become little more than a living shrine... 

Cue lots of internal conflict and bloody, chain-axe action as the World Eaters struggle to remain a cohesive Legion and come face-to-face with former allies the Emperor's Children...

It was a tricky, but very satisfying book to write, and I'm really happy with the way it turned out.

I first got to write 40K-era Khârn a few years back with Chosen of Khorne, and thoroughly enjoyed getting inside his head. With The Eightfold Path from last year's BL Advent Calender I got the chance to write about 30K-era Khârn. Eater of Worlds is set in between the two - coming just after the end of the Horus Heresy. 

Originally, this was going to be just a single book - the Battle of Skalathrax - but it was going to be waaaay too long. Hence, the decision was made to turn this book into more of prelude to the battle itself. 

For those of you who prefer paper versions to e-books, I believe it is going to be released in the first quarter of 2015 as a hard back.

And on that note... HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!

Ant

 

Oooooooh, shiny new website

Hey guys,

What do you think of the new website? Pretty shiny, eh?

From now on, this will be where I'll be updating my blog - ideally a little more than I managed in 2014... My old faithful wordpress blog will now be redirecting to here.

In other news, my latest book Kharn: Eater of Worlds was released on Christmas day. I'll write up a blog dedicated solely to that book in a day or so. I'm really pleased with how this book turned out, and hope you guys enjoy it too.

I hope all of you are having a happy holiday, and that you will be seeing out the last days of 2014 in style.

Cheers!

Ant

Wanna win some signed books?

Since I've been travelling  for the last year, most of my stuff's been in storage. Now I'm back in Sydney (for the moment), I've been going through said stuff - oh my lord I own a lot of books/toy soldiers/games/camping gear/etc. I've decided to send some doubles of my own books out into the big wide world, rather than be consigned to a box. So... I'm running a little competition on my Facebook page to give some of these books a new home.

If you'd like to get in the running, head over to my page, Like it, and leave a comment under this post.

If you win, I'll happily sign the books and post them out to you.

Good luck!

Kharn_betrayer-internal

Welcome to the future

2014, eh? Geez, that crept up on us, didn't it?

Back to the Future II was set in 2015 - so I guess this year is going to have to have a heck of a lot of technological breakthroughs to look forward to: self-sizing clothes and shoes, flying cars, hoverboards, nuked food, etc.

Come on Mattel, up your game and release a hoverboard.

2013 was a crazy, wonderful year for me.

I proposed to the love of my life, Beth - and she said yes. I visited and lived in twelve different countries. I caught up with amazing, brilliant friends all over the world - you all know who you are and you freakin' ROCK - and met loads of new ones along the way.

I got to know my future in-laws, who are awesome. I got to snowboard in Colorado on Christmas day, which was both mad and rad.

A snap of Beth and I, moments after she said yes. Awww.

I got to work with some incredibly talented friends and experts in their field, and am incredibly thankful and humbled to have been given some amazing work opportunities. I got to two Games Days (US and UK), and met loads of awesome fans who said nice things about my stories, and got to hang out with authors whose work I admire and respect.

I got to write some stories that made me grin, laugh and pull my hair out in equal measure - some of which have yet to see the light of day (or even be announced yet...) and I'm currently just about to cross the 50% mark of my latest novel for Black Library, which I can't wait to share but  must remain, for now, tight-lipped about.

2013 hasn't been without its challenges and periods of stress, but all in all, it was pretty damn freaking good. You've got a lot to match up to, 2014, but I've got a good feeling about you. We're gonna get along just fine, I'd say.

Sketch of Kharn by the incomparable Jes Goodwin. Was great to write about him again (Kharn, not Jes...)

Over the next few weeks I'm going to give a bit of a run-down on my favourite books/movies/games of 2013, and the ones I'm most looking forward to in 2014, as well as aiming for a more regular presence both here, on my author Facebook page (go like it HERE so I'm not talking into the void) and in the twittersphere (here!) on my news, random musings on stuff, and whatever other nonsense I fancy blathering on about.

To all of you, I hope you have a wonderful 2014, that it's kind to you - but not dull - and that the next twelve months is filled with laughter, happiness, good books, good games, and good friends.

Cheers!

Ant

The Eightfold Path and Chris Fairbank

Image Yesterday, a new short Horus Heresy audio drama I wrote was released - The Eightfold Path. It features everyone's favourite blood-drenched berserker, Khârn, before he became 'the Betrayer' (and before he became the utter, utter psychopath we all know and love.)

It was great to once again write about Khârn - I really enjoy writing about him. He's such an iconic character, and he's been so well written by ADB, that it's a real honour to step into his blood-drenched shoes. This one was a little different from Chosen of Khorne, set as it is during the Horus Heresy. It takes place just after the end of Betrayer, and shows a small glimpse into how the XII Legion, and specifically Khârn, are dealing with the ending of that (freakin' rad) novel.

Once again, Khârn is read by the brilliant Chris Fairbank. Chris also voiced Kharn in Chosen of Khorne, as well as in Butcher's Nails and Christian's Trials of Azreal. The Germanic accent that Chris gave him is really chilling - I can't read any of Khârn's dialogue now without hearing that voice.

He's the Eightfold Path, don't ya know.

For those of you don't instantly recognise the name Chris Fairbank (shame on you), I guarantee you already know him. He was in Tim Burton's first Batman film (the guy at the start: "What are you?"), was in Alien 3, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (which I haven't actually seen) and The 5th Element (" as well lots of TV (such as Auf Wiedersehen, Pet) and games (he's a voice actor in Fable 2 and the Killzone games), among many, many other credits. Check out his page on IMDB.

Seriously, he's like a proper, grown-up actor. And he's been reading words that I've written. And they've like, recorded them and everything. Yes, I'm geeking out a little about that. Image untitled

Eternal Crusade

Ok, so I have a few things I really need to share here on the blog, but today I thought I'd focus on one thing that is pretty cool that I've been working on lately and haven't been able to talk about until now. Namely... Warhammer 40,000: Eternal Crusade. Image

Together with the good mate Graham McNeill, I've been hired on to help out Behaviour Interactive with creating the background and storyline for the upcoming 40K mass combat RPG, Eternal Crusade.

Graham and I were able to catch up with the guys from Behaviour Interactive when I was recently over in the UK (they are based in Montreal, Canada, but were over in the UK to meet up with GW and check out Games Day). They're a great bunch of guys and gals, all incredibly enthusiastic, very talented, and massive fans of 40K. It's already been great fun working on this project, and after getting to see some of the early gameplay I can't freakin' wait to play it. The size and scope of the game is gonna be pretty epic, and I'm really excited to be a part of it.

The official forums for the game have recently opened up. Check 'em out here. The devs are very active on those forums, so there is already a wealth of info on the game in there.

Cool, eh?

Entering the Black Library

So, I've been in the UK now for almost two weeks now. It's been great catching up with old friends and family - even if it started off rather poorly with Australia losing the Ashes on the day I arrived in London. Hopefully that was just a coincidence. Stupid bloody game. It feels a little odd being back in Nottingham. It's been seven years since I was living here and was working in the Design Studio. Much has changed (trams, friends' situations, my own attitudes to some things, etc) yet lots of remains much the same (friendships, chavs, the weather, etc). The best thing about being back is definitely seeing old mates and meeting the new little people many of them have spawned in the last half a dozen years. It's wonderful, though all very grown up.

Robin is still wearing a poncy hat.

On Friday I ventured in to Games Workshop HQ (where I impressed by the Rhino in the carpark) and met up with my editor, Laurie Goulding. I've been working with Laurie for the last couple of years now, but never actually met him face to face, so it was great to finally sit down and chat with him. It was also great to see random old friends and colleagues passing by (although this did make our meeting much longer than intended - but Laurie was a good sport about that, thankfully).

Nom nom nom nom nom.

SO... I've had a number of people asking me, either in person, on Facebook or on Twitter, about what I'll be working on next, and what I have coming out in the foreseeable future. This is what Laurie and I spent much of our time chatting about, but unfortunately there's not a whole hell of lot that I can actual tell to you lovely people, sadly. I'd love to spill the beans and tell you all about what Laurie and I were plotting, but, well, I'm not allowed to. What I can say (or at least, I hope I can and will not have a kill-team smashing the door in within minutes of my clicking 'publish') is this:

  • While I do intend to come back and write more 40K Word Bearers at some point - Vox Dominus really does leave things on a bit of a cliff-hanger, so needs a follow-up - it's not gonna happen in the foreseeable near future. To be honest, I'm keen to write some other things for BL before coming back to Marduk.
  • Horus Heresy - yes, I'd love to do more writing for the Heresy. I really enjoyed writing Dark Heart (the Word Bearers short-story I penned for 'Mark of Calth'), and while I can't say much, but some more Heresy work IS on the cards. Nothing as grand as a full novel, mind, but something that I reckon is pretty neat. It's a little daunting to think about writing for the Horus Heresy series, but it's very, very exciting.
  • People have been really complimentary about my audio drama, Chosen of Khorne. I'd love to write more Kharn, as I've really taken a liking to the psychotic nut-bag. I've been pestering Laurie about getting to write more about Kharn - I will keep everyone posted about any developments there.
  • I'm working on pulling a new novel synopsis together, and all going well, am looking to get started on this new book in the next couple of months. It's a 40K book. It's got lots of Chaos in it. It's not a follow-up to my Word Bearers work. More will be revealed when I get the green-light to speak more about it.

Kharn: 'You have a combi-melta, you moron, why are you throwing a helmet at them? Oh whatever... KILL! MAIM! BURN!'

That's all a bit vague, I know. Sorry 'bout that, but I can't really say much more at the moment. Right, I seem to have gone off rambling much more than I'd intended when I started this blog, so I'm gonna sign off now. Cheers all, and I hope everyone survived their Monday and has a good week.

Games Day US 2013

The last two and half weeks have been pretty crazy. I've been in Chicago, Memphis, California, Colorado and back to Chicago, and this evening I am flying out to the UK, which will be the first time I've been back there since 2006. Crazy! I've also been doing quite a bit of writing, having handed over a few short projects to BL, finished up working through the rules for Twelve Elements of War, and been doing some work on synopsises for two novels that I hope to start work on later in the year. So... Games Day US 2013 in Memphis, which was held a couple of weeks ago. It really was an awful lot of fun. Exhausting, but fun.

My, what a lot of taps you have...

The weekend started well when I met someone on the plane from Chicago who was heading to Games Day - a friendly bloke called Jeff Durham. Jeff was kind enough to drive me from the airport to the hotel, and helped out with a number of other things over the weekend - so thank you Jeff, you are a star.

Games Day kicked off the night before Games Day really (Games Day eve), with the GW folks hosting a BBQ at their Memphis HQ for ticket holders and guests. I headed over there with author Mike Lee. I'd not met Mike before, and it was great to hang out. If you ever get a chance to chat with him, ask him about the time he almost died at the hands (or rather, hooves) of an angry warhorse. Yikes.

The BBQ was fun, and it was great to catch up with folk I used to work with in the Design Studio, chat with Dan and Mike, as well as the BL and GW staff, and meet some of the people who were coming to Games Day. After the BBQ I headed downtown to Beale Street, a pedestrian-only street filled with blues bars, street performers and seemingly everyone in Memphis) and met up with my good mate Dave Taylor. Beers were drunk, and later in the night we caught up with the other BL folk. Good times.

A quieter moment on Beale Street.

This was my first ever Games Day US, and I was really looking forward to it. Writing can be such an isolating past time that it's always great to go to things like Games Days and meet people who are genuinely passionate about what you've written. They are always both exhausting and energising for me. Exhausting simply because being 'on' all day, chatting to folks is surprisingly tiring, and energising because they always re-excite me about what I get to do simply through the sheer weight of enthusiasm that the fans exude. I'm getting paid to make up stories about Space Marines at the end of the day, and that's pretty damn cool.

I Talked lots about Word Bearers and World Eaters (was really pleased that people seemed to *really* like 'Chosen of Khorne'), as well as about future projects that are in the works (including HH, which I'll talk about in a future post...).

Mike, Dan and I, before the floodgates were opened...

All in all, it was a brilliant day. We signed lots of books, ran seminars, and chatted to heaps of people (and Dan's line, as ever, was an impressive monster). I met loads of wonderful people who said nice things about my books. Everyone was really friendly and enthusiastic. Thank you to everyone who stopped by to say hello, you really made me feel very welcome and made the day very enjoyable. Thanks also to Desi and the US GW folks for hosting a great event, and to Claudia, Ead and the folks at BL for making sure us authors were fed and watered.

I also got a chance to look at the Golden Demon entries, which I usually don't get a chance to do, which was really cool. Some freaking amazing entries and winners.

I believe this was the Slayer Sword winner. Very cool.

The traditional post-Games Day drink turned into an epic night out, which was heaps of fun, though left me feeling a little worse for wear the next day. There were drinks, there were blues bars, there was karaoke, there were bizarre moments, and there was a lot of laughter. The term of the day was 'lobe stench', though I cannot really remember why, now. A highlight was swapping ghost stories/bigfoot stories with Dan and Mike. My skin was crawling for days.

As I said, I'm now getting packed up to head to the UK - and I'll be around in the UK for long enough to go to UK Games Day in late September. Hopefully it will be just as much fun as US Games Day!

My daily writing routine

Here's a picture I took yesterday that shows a typical day's writing schedule: image

I've been using this little white board to keep myself on track each day for a couple of weeks now, and it seems to be working pretty well. I'm not the fastest of writers, and I tend to get side-tracked and distracted easily (er, like right now - I just spent an annoying half an hour trying and failing to get that image uploaded until I tried it from my phone and it worked straight away...), so anything that helps keep me on track is a bonus.

I like this technique as the white board is there right in front of me - it's a good way of keeping myself honest and accountable.

I was pleased with what I got through yesterday. As well as the writing, I also chopped up a (small) tree that had fallen over in the previous night's storm, got to the gym, did the grocery shopping with my lady, and ate fajitas, so it was an all-round pretty productive day.

Today though? Hmmm... I need to get back to my writing. Words for the word god!

Anyone got any particular techniques they use to keep themselves on target each day?

Amazon to pay for fan-fic...

So, this popped up today:

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"Get ready for Kindle Worlds, a place for you to publish fan fiction inspired by
popular books, shows, movies, comics, music, and games. With Kindle Worlds, you
can write new stories based on featured Worlds, engage an audience of readers,
and earn royalties. Amazon Publishing has secured licenses from Warner Bros. for
Gossip Girl, Pretty Little Liars, and The Vampire Diaries,
with licenses for more Worlds on the way."

Wow.

The link is HERE, and the link to the writer's guidelines are HERE.

This has the potential to be huge - or to explode spectacularly in a big flaming ball of death - but I think it's probably more likely to be the former.

Already people are crying out that this is the end of traditionally tie-in publishing, and subsequently the end of good tie-in fiction. Others are seeing dollar signs, perceiving an opportunity to get their writing out there and get paid for it (writers getting paid is a good thing. I support that shit.) Others are already getting excited about this being way of potentially making a few bucks from writing that awesome tie-in they've always wanted to write that no publisher would go anywhere near - your own unique take on pre-existing IP franchise. (Note, however, that there's a 'no pornography' rule in the writer's guidelines - thank goodness - so we won't be seeing any sweaty Buffy/Battlestar porn, for which I am eternally grateful.)

I not 100% sure how I feel about this yet, but in no particular order, here are some rambling, off-the-cuff thoughts.

  • This is really weird.
  • There's gonna be a lot of crap out there. There already IS a lot of crap out there, but now that there is a potential way to make a few bucks from it, there's gonna be a lot more. Editors, copy-editors and proof readers are pretty useful, you know... and sometimes there is a reason why a story/writer has not been published through the traditional routes.
  • Writers that might never have been paid before will now have an avenue to start making some cash from their fan-fic. Writers getting paid is good. I have no doubt that this will launch a few writers' careers, which is no bad thing.
  • Publishing is a-changing. That's pretty obvious and is certainly nothing new, but it really is changing fast, and publishers and writers need to adapt. For all the changes and challenges that are there, however, people still like to read, and are doing a lot of it (hurrah!). There are definitely  new opportunities for writers now - and this may well be one of them.
  • Much depends on what licenses Amazon manage to secure. Writing a dark horror Star Wars piece would be fun...
  • Much also depends on how much Amazon sells these stories for. At the moment, fanfic is free. How much would people be willing to pay to read it? Having said that, it looks like the writer will get a decent cut the profits, often more than most tie-in writers would receive through traditional publishing.
  • For a licensee, this is free money. However, it will also see their IP mangled, but of course, being fanfic, none of this fiction will be 'official', so... that might not really be a problem. It could become a problem, I guess, if this really booms... What if the fanfic starts selling more than the more expensive canonical works?
  • Since there is bound to be a heck of a lot of fiction available through Kindle Worlds, if you want to make money from this, it will be really important to build your brand (as wanky as that sounds) so that your story gets bought ahead of the hundreds of others on offer.
  • Could this be an avenue for established writers? Well, maybe. Who knows. On the plus side, established writers already have an established fanbase. It would be incredibly interesting to see some numbers once this thing launches. If Steven King decided he really wanted to write a 10,000 word Star Trek short story and sell it through Kindle World, I would imagine it would sell rather well. Could this make him more money than writing it through traditional publishing routes? Quite possibly, I guess...
  • Taking that thought a step further, what if Amazon secured the rights for Game of Thrones fanfic, and George RR Martin wrote a short story for Kindle Worlds (perhaps tracking a side-story that wouldn't fit in a novel). I'm sure he has a pretty good royalty rate with his publisher, but for something like this? Could he make more cash going down this route? Who knows. Martin writing fan-fic of his own fiction? Mind. Blown.

I could go on, but well,  this is already getting rather rambling. Plus, I've got stuff to do - real writery stuff. Yes, I know that's not a real word.

It will be very interesting to see how this goes, and what the ramifications are.

What are you first thoughts? Is this a good thing?

"Where's the Mountain Dew?"

Just over a month ago I packed up my belongings to put into storage, but I took the snapshot below before this particular picture went into a box. This was presented to me by the guys just before I left the UK in 2006. Pretty cool, huh? Oh how fresh-faced and youthful we all looked...

Must say, this really was one freakin' awesome roleplaying group. We'd play every Wednesday at Graham's house (accompanied by pizza and wine/beer), and damn it was fun.

We played D+D mostly - one mammoth campaign brilliantly run by Marky Mark Raynor that lasted the whole time - interspersed with random board game nights, a short Warhammer Roleplay interlude and an awesome Firefly adventure concocted by Graham. In the D+D campaign I played Tann, a human barbarian/druid with rage issues... until he got turned to stone and left as a statue in the depths of a dungeon. After that I played Azazel, a Tiefling spellthief who was a proper little bastard.

Ah, good times.

Oh, and if you don't know what I was talking about with the title of this blog post (shame on you), then go here. Right now. Actually, even if you did know what I was referring to, then go watch it again anyway. You know you want to.

What's been happening?

Hi folks, It's been a while between posts - apologies for that. So, what's new with me?

Well, I'm currently travelling South East Asia with my beautiful girlfriend. We've been to Singapore, Thailand and Laos so far, and are currently travelling through Vietnam. The plan is to go back to Thailand next, there to knuckle down and get writing on a new (secret) project for Black Library. It's going to be an interesting experience, writing from an island in Thailand - I think I'm going to have to be very strict with myself to put in the hours on my laptop. I think it's going to work really well, though, and am looking forward to getting started...

Beautiful waterfall near Luang Prabang, Laos.

From there, we are going to travel a bit more - Cambodia, Myanmar (Burma), and possibly Borneo. Then we are heading off to the states, where all going well, I'll get started on another BL project. In between all of this, I'm also starting work on a young adult fantasy book that I've been wanting to write for years. Exciting times! I'm planning to do a lot more writing this year than I have in the last 3 or so years, which I'm really looking forward to.

I've also got the hobby itch at the moment - which is, of course, entirely impractical as we are backpacking - but perhaps when we get to the states I'll pick up some toy soldiers and see if anyone fancies a game. I'm torn as to whether I should add to my existing Chaos Space Marine force, or start a new one - Orks (partly 'cos I reckon playing some old-school Gorkamorka would be a laugh).

Green and cranky...

Do I add some Word Bearers, daemons and cultists to my Death Guard army...

So, apart from travelling, trying not to get (too) ripped off, putting together proposals for Black Library and poring over the Chaos and Orky sections of GW's online store, what have I been reading/listening to/watching of late?

What have I been reading? As well as lots of Lonely Planet guides, I've been on a bit of a Heresy kick, catching up on stories I hadn't read, including Betrayer, Angel Exterminatus, Prince of Crows, and Chris Wraight's awesome Brotherhood of the Storm. I also read Aaron's impressive Void Stalker. Oh, and the stories from the forthcoming HH anthology, Mark of Calth (featuring a Word Bearers story I wrote). Right now, I'm also ploughing through George R.R. Martin's A Dance with Dragons, which I'm enjoying despite the lukewarm reviews I'd heard - perhaps I went into it with low expectations, and so am pleasantly surprised.

What have I been listening to? Not much, really - mostly car horns, the screech of tyres as we hurtle around mountain roads in the back of mini-vans driven by lunatics who think they are driving rally cars, drunken backpackers, etc.

What have I been watching? Again, not much. I've just got Beth up to speed on the two Iron Man films, Thor and The Avengers... she liked Iron Man, the others less so... not sure my attempts to turn her into a comic movie fan are working...

Right, our hotel room is almost ready now, so am gonna sign off - a lie-down is sorely needed (we were up at 4am to fly out of Hanoi this morning - urgh).