My very first short story for Black Library - the Space Wolves vs. Drukhari flyers tale Stormseeker - gets another airing in this colossal Space Wolves omnibus...
Born on the icy world of Fenris, few amongst the brotherhoods of the Adeptus Astartes are as fierce or as noble as the Space Wolves. Long are their tales, told around mead halls or the flickering glow of a hungry fire. Heed them well, for they speak of legends like the Young King Ragnar Blackmane, whose thirst for battle is matched only by his heroism, or the Wolf Lord Logan Grimnar, that most venerable and fearsome of warriors, who leads the Chapter itself. So listen hard and listen carefully to the skald as he holds forth around the burning fire, because there is darkness in these sagas as well as light.
This omnibus edition collects together for the very first time the novels Ragnar Blackmane, Curse of the Wulfen, Legacy of Russ and The Hunt for Logan Grimnar, as well as the novellas Blood on the Mountain and Arjac Rockfist.
Ragnar Blackmane by Aaron Dembski-Bowden
Curse of the Wulfen by David Annandale
Legacy of Russ by Robbie MacNiven
The Hunt for Logan Grimnar by Ben Counter, Steve Lyons, Rob Sanders and C L Werner
Blood on the Mountain, Arjac Rockfist: Anvil of Fenris, Iceclaw and Twelve Wolves by Ben Counter
Thunder from Fenris and On the Heels of Morkai by Nick Kyme
Reparation by Andy Smilie
Logan Grimnar: Defender of Honour by Cavan Scott
In Hrondir's Tomb and Hollow Beginnings by Mark Clapham
Engage the Enemy by Lee Lightner
Stormseeker by Alec Worley.
Available on both Kindle and in print from Black Library.
Worked once again with the lovely folks at The Folio Society, writing web copy for a very special project Marvel: The Silver Age 1960-1970...
Marvel: The Silver Age 1960–1970 marks the second chapter in The Folio Society’s collaboration with Marvel Comics. Over 30 revolutionary Super Heroes await you, including Spider-Man, the Avengers and Doctor Strange. Curated by Marvel legend Roy Thomas, this collector’s edition comes complete with a scale reproduction of the groundbreaking The Fantastic Four #1.
Over thirty iconic characters! Fifteen groundbreaking tales! One explosive edition! Marvel: The Silver Age 1960–1970 is The Folio Society’s second collaboration with Marvel Comics. This lavish hardback edition collects the defining stories of over thirty revolutionary characters, including Iron Man, the Hulk and the X-Men. These landmark tales are bound within a bold cover designed by celebrated typographer Ian Jepson. Award-winning Daredevil artist Paolo Rivera provides gorgeous artwork for a digitally signed print, as well as the book’s endpapers and luxury presentation box. Inside, you’ll also find a meticulous facsimile of The Fantastic Four #1, the comic that launched Marvel into the modern age.
You find out more at The Folio Society website.
My run of adapting animated TV show Star Wars: Resistance has sadly come to a close.
The fifth and final story, The High Tower - which I adapted with brilliant artist Cosmo White - appears in Star Wars: Fun & Action #1, the monthly magazine for younger readers from Panini Germany, published 18 March...
I've been quietly pottering away on Star Wars comics with Panini Germany for a couple of years now, from novel adaptations to original Star Wars Rebels stories. But I'm happy to see my short run of Rebels tales and all my Resistance adaptations to date currently running in English for the first in Australian kids' monthly K-Zone.
Meanwhile, the adaptation of Greg Rucka's younger readers novel Smuggler's Run, which I adapted with incredible German artist Ingo Romling back in 2018, is now being collected in trade by Panini...
At last year’s Black Library Weekender, the team revealed that they were working on a new range of books and audio dramas – Warhammer Crime. Now, we can bring you a look at just what it is, and the first few releases.
Warhammer Crime, like Warhammer Horror before it, is a new range of books that will explore a different side of the Warhammer universes – in this case the grim, dark future of Warhammer 40,000. To introduce you to what it’s all about, here’s the series premise, direct from Black Library’s editors:
Expect hard-bitten investigators chasing dangerous leads, crime lords, femmes fatale and all the other defining features of crime stories that you know and love – but set in the the 41st Millennium.
Warhammer Crime will be launching with the fearsome-looking novel Bloodlines by Chris Wraight and an audio drama by yours truly. It's called Dredge Runners, and here's the cover reveal...
Baggit is a fast-talking ratling sniper with a greedy eye and loose morals. Clodde is an ogryn, a brute with a core of decency and a desire for a better life. Two abhuman deserters turned thieves, at large in the monolithic city of Varangantua where only the tough or the ruthless survive. Having landed in debt to a savage crime lord, Baggit and Clodde end up in the crosshairs of the meanest, most puritanical sanctioner in the city. Caught between two powerful enemies, and with innocent lives at stake, the unlikely companions must think fast and hustle hard before death points a las-pistol in their direction…
These exciting launch titles will be closely followed by another pair of releases. The short story anthology No Good Men will include seven tales of locked-room mysteries, missing persons, serial killers and more, written by some of Black Library’s most devious minds. Alongside that, you’ll be able to get Flesh and Steel by Guy Haley, in which a probator must work alongside the Adeptus Mechanicus to get the bottom of a string of murders that straddle Imperial and Martian territory.
This is just the beginning! There’s plenty of crime in Varangantua, and plenty of writers keen to tell you their tales… To be among the first to find out about forthcoming Warhammer Crime tales, subscribe to the Black Library newsletter.
This was my very first book, published 15 years ago by McFarland and now reprinted in paperback. This thing took me around two years to research. I wrote it in between night shifts splicing together ad reels for movie theatres. My models were the film books that had really expanded my mind in terms of what the genres of the fantastic can do (namely Paul Nicholls's Fantastic Cinema and Kim Newman's Nightmare Movies).
Though Empires never reaches the impossibly high watermark of those books, it was still one of the very first to offer a serious critical survey of fantasy as a genre distinct from horror and science-fiction.
Remember, kids, this was written long before the internet and Stranger Things made Dungeons & Dragons cool. Back then, this sort of thing was the love that dare not speak its name!
A lot of water has passed under the bridge of fantasy cinema since the genre hit the mainstream, but I'm still really proud of this book and stand by pretty much everything it says - not sure I should have been quite so harsh about The Never-ending Story though...
The warlocks and ghosts of fantasy film haunt our popular culture, but the genre has too long been ignored by critics. This comprehensive critical survey of fantasy cinema demonstrates that the fantasy genre amounts to more than escapism. Through a meticulously researched analysis of more than a century of fantasy pictures—from the seminal work of Georges Méliès to Peter Jackson’s recent tours of Middle–earth—the work identifies narrative strategies and their recurring components and studies patterns of challenge and return, setting and character.
First addressing the difficult task of defining the genre, the work examines fantasy as a cultural force in both film and literature and explores its relation to science fiction, horror, and fairy tales. Fantasy’s development is traced from the first days of film, with emphasis on how the evolving genre reflected such events as economic depression and war. Also considered is fantasy’s expression of politics, as either the subject of satire or fuel for the fires of propaganda. Discussion ventures into the subgenres, from stories of invented lands inhabited by fantastic creatures to magical adventures set in the familiar world, and addresses clashes between fantasy and faith, such as the religious opposition to the Harry Potter phenomenon. From the money-making classics to little-known arthouse films, this richly illustrated work covers every aspect of fantasy film.
Available from McFarland Books, Amazon UK, Amazon US, Barnes and Noble, Book Depository, Blackwells and Waterstones.
If you're a fan of Black Library's Warhammer fiction and audio dramas, then I would urge you to follow the review blog Track of Words.
Run by reading-machine Michael Dodd, this comprehensive site is essential for anyone keen to keep track of Black Library's dizzying level of output.
How Mike manages to read all that he does is pretty unbelievable and his reviews are never less than literate, well-considered, and contextualised with a comprehensive knowledge of Warhammer lore.
Anyway, I was lucky enough for Mike to have me aboard for an interview about my audio drama Broken Saints, which had just been released as a three-parter for Black Library's December Advent event.
I ended up getting a bit carried away and gabbled about all sorts, from how I write to Sisters lore. Click here to read and make sure you sign up for the Track of Words newsletter.
The latest DURHAM RED one-shot has just appeared in the 2000 AD Christmas Special.
Mutant vampire bounty hunter Durham Red corners her latest quarry in the ruins of an ancient castle, but her prey proves far from helpless...
Here's the first two pages from artist Ben Willsher...
The revamped Durham Red is back for a yuletide one-shot in the 2018 Christmas bumper edition of 2000 AD with art by Ben Willsher (Judge Dredd, Doctor Who, Roy of the Rovers) and letters by Annie Parkhouse...
It’s Christmas Eve. The city is in thrall to a powerful criminal gang whose envoy comes bearing a gift for Durham Red. But the mutant vampire has brought offerings of her own. Three gifts are exchanged, each one revealing the next step in a deadly game...
“You’re the angel of death, Red. That’s why every goon in this galaxy is afraid of you. But I’ll bet that reputation weighs heavy on the soul... especially around Christmas.”
"After their triumphant revamp earlier this year, it’s good to see Worley and Willsher return to the bloodiest of all the Strontium Dogs."
Featuring a bundle of other new stories, including Judge Dredd, Caballistics, Inc. and Slaine, the 2000 AD Christmas Special is available from all good newsagents and comic shops, and from the 2000 AD webstore.
You can also download the 2000 AD reader app for the iPad, Android and Windows.
Download one of these to your mobile device and get access to legendary British sci-fi weekly 2000 AD and monthly sister-publication the Judge Dredd Megazine, as well as TONS of digital graphic novels collecting stories from the past four decades, including Judge Dredd, Rogue Trooper, Sláine, ABC Warriors, Nikolai Dante, and Robo-Hunter!
My very first short story for Black Library was a tale of aerial combat between a grouchy Iron Priest and a pair of crazed Drukhari aces. Stormwolf vs. Razorwings! Top dog vs. top guns!
Foul-tempered and superstitious, Iron Priest Anvarr Rustmane of the Space Wolves has a bad feeling about this mission. He and his brothers have been deployed to capture a marauding Drukhari pirate unexpectedly stranded on a crystalline death world. Sure enough, upon arrival, Anvarr’s squadron are ambushed by the Drukhari’s rescue party, led by the pirate’s equally lethal twin sister. Anvarr must lead his surviving packmates in a desperate defence while imploring his own ship’s truculent machine spirit. His situation appears hopeless, but only a fool would underestimate a cornered wolf...
“Rest assured, little brothers,” Anvarr laughed. “Should we burn, my guts shall be filled with drink enough to light our passage all the way to hel!”
Track of Words
Stormseeker: A Space Wolf Story is available as an e-short from iTunes, the Black Library webstore, Amazon UK and Amazon US.
It’s also available as part of the print collection On Wings Of Blood: An Aeronautica Anthology, alongside other tales by writers including Gav Thorpe, Cavan Scott, James Swallow and Guy Haley. You can pick this up from Amazon UK, Amazon US and the Black Library Webstore.
A saintly psycho must choose between victory and virtue in a fantasy football tale that’s just been collected in a shiny new paperback...
The Bright Crusaders have somehow made it to the Purity Cup final against the Doomtown Rats, but the saintly humans are 2-1 down at halftime and most of the team have been eaten by the Skavens’ ravenous Rat-Ogre. The surviving players are now forced to rely on their unpredictable star player Gerhardt the Penitent. Insanely puritanical, Gerhardt is famed for giving away his winnings after every match (along with everyone else’s), sharing team tactics with the opposition to ensure no unfair advantage, and purging himself of pride for scoring a touchdown by nailing himself to whatever comes to hand. But will the prospect of saving an imperilled orphanage be enough to convince Gerhardt that winning is more important than piety?
"I wish I could have been a fly on the wall of the Crusaders’ dressing room, Jim."
"I know a wizard who could arrange that, Bob."
"Hugely entertaining... Characterful, beautifully paced..."
Track of Words
Pride and Penitence: A Blood Bowl Story is available as an ebook from iTunes, the Black Library webstore, Amazon UK, and Amazon US.
It’s also available as part of a softback print collection, alongside other tales by Black Library legends including Josh Reynolds, David Annandale, Gav Thorpe, David Guymer and Guy Haley. You can pick this up from Amazon UK, Amazon US and the Black Library Webstore.