Hello, it’s been a while since my last post, sorry about that, but here I am, back from the blogging equivilant of death.
I was recenty talking to a guy who had only been in a hobby a few years but told me his whole hobby revolved around the amazing backstory of 40K. This is something I always love to hear plus, he had been working on an Inquisitorial army, AWESOME!
So, without any thought, I leapt into my shpeel about the Eisenhorn Trilogy by Dan Abnett only to have him stop me and ask, what are these books? Followed by (and no, I am not joking) who is Dan Abnett? Now, striking another person is technically assault, and I have no wish to go to prison; however, I can honestly say I have never been so tempted to clobber someone before in my life!
Then it occured to me, we must have 40K players, (potentialy quite good ones) who still have not read the Eisenhorn Trilogy. I must say this worries me greatly, back when I started, I was sold of copy of each book before I’d even purchased a rulebook or any minis. The idea being that I would read the books, realise how awesome the story of 40K was and want to get stuck in.
So, I asked some questions came up with some alarming results. 63% of people I asked that have started the hobby in the last 5 years hadn’t read a single black library book! (35% of the remaining people had read the Eisenhorn Trilogy, I don’t know what the other 2% have been reading). That’s 63% of my local hobbiests missing out on a massive section of the hobby!
The books the Black Library produce create a rich, vibrant enviroment for us to play out our bttles and create our armies in. Without these books, 40K as we know it wouldn’t exist. Therefore, I thought I would create a list of books that, I believe, were instrumental in creating the 40K universe we play in today.
At Number One: The Eisenhorn Trilogy by Dan Abnett
As one of the earliest released 40K series, Xenos, Malleus and Hereticus shaped the early years of the 40K universe. Gregors adventures gave us snapshots of worlds and systems far away from the centralised Imperium and the characters showed us the richness of the cultures on these distant worlds. The books also created probably the single most interesting group of the Emperor servants, the Inquisition! These books are pretty much the reason I started this hobby and I think every hobbyist should sit down and read them–if they can get hold of them! If not, buy the omnibus here:
At Number Two: The Sabbat World Books by Dan Abnett
Probably the longest running series of novels within this umbrella are the Gaunts Ghosts. The sabbat world crusade shows the imperial war machine in all its convoluted glory, backstabbing, career building, lies, shadows and heroism. They give us a massive insight into full scale warfare waged across an entire star system and with every book we learn more of how warfare is fought not by the generals or tacticians, but by Joe and Bill down on the front line. Anything from the sabbat worlds is well worth a read.
At Number Three: Space Marine
First published in 1993 at atime when the background to the Warhammer 40,000 universe was still in a state of flux the author Ian Watson was given free rein to do as hepleased and, possibly by mistake, created the backbone of what we know about the space marines of the Imperium. Everything you’ve read about augmentations, black carapace and marks of power armour came from this book. Though it may be old, this novel possibly more than any other, created the 40K universe. After all, what says 40K more than a space marine?
At Number Four: Inquisition War by Graham McNiel
This series of books gave readers an in depth look into the murkydepths of the inquisition and the lengths the agents will go to to back each other into making a costly error, regardless of the wider consequences for the Imperium. It’s one of the few books that makes the reader question the whole ideal on which the Imperium is founded, perhaps those chaos bloke have a point (and they almost definitely have a better dental plan!)
Finally At Number Five: Harlequin
Now, this book was really really odd, (it actually gave me nightmares when Iwas younger). The story followed a troop of harlequins as they danced their dance of death telling the story of the great fall and the birth of Slannesh. The realism and sorrow within this book are astonishing and, if you can ever find a copy, buy it and read it, then lend it to as many people as possible. I must say I am suprised BL haven’t re-released the novel as it is the only account of the fall in any detail. For this, and the shear brilliance of the writing, it is a must for all 40K fans.
So there we have it, the books that, in my opinion, shaped the 40K universe into the wonderfully diverse (if a bit odd) playground we have today. If you have read these books, then I hope you enjoyed them as much as I have and if you haven’t, then run, run to the nearest books store or log on to amazon and get hold of them asap! These books really will enrich your view of the hobby and more importantly, they are simply brilliant to read.
P.S: 21/04/2011 MARKS THE BIRTH OF THE LONGBEARD MARKET HALL, IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR CHEAP HOBBY BITS AND BOBS OR WISH TO SELL ANYTHING HOBBY RELATED, HOP OVER THERE TODAY!