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Possible Graham MacNeill Black Crusade adventure!


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#1 CaptainSabutai

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 03:18 AM

 In the interest of creating rumour, innuendo, nerdrage and irritation , may I present the black library author Graham MacNeill's comments on being made aware of the existence of Black Crusade (by me!) on his Fortress of Hera Facebook page:

'i'd not seen this, no, but it looks fantastic. Who could resist being a Chaos Marine? I NEED to write an adventure for this system!'

and 

'Hmmmm, yeah... a Honsou adventure, that'd be fun...'

 

After False Gods, Fulgrim and A Thousand Sons, and his portrayals of the Iron  Warriors (DAEMONACULABA!),  theres no Black Library author better qualified to work on fluff material on Chaos topics than him IMHO,  Dan Abnett and Ben Counter's work on dark heresy was cool, and, whilst the above is thinner evidence then the boundary between warp and reality in the Eye of Terror, its something I'd like to see happen!



#2 Psion

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 05:20 AM

After reading The Killing Field... I have to say I'll pass.  Now if Dan Abnett were interested... and had a background in writing adventures, I might consider it.  But MacNeill...  I'm not interested.



#3 CaptainSabutai

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 05:36 AM

What about the Killing Fields didn't you like specifically? Have you read Dead Sky, Black Sun? Utterly subjective I know, but in the last year or two MacNeill's 40k related output has far outstripped Abnett's in quality IMHO. Whilst you will prise my Eisenhorn omnibus only from my cold dead hands, A Thousand Sons, Mechanicum and Fulgrim are far superior contributions to 40k lore , and better novels than Prospero Burns (Just a rip-off of a medieval story in its entirety!) or Legion (massively overrated, brave attempt at using an unorthodox structure, but the characters are so dull!),  Abnett's enjoying his sweet comic writing wage too much and whilst I acknowledge his health problems over the timescale mentioned, it seems hes got to a stage of ignoring characters in favour of experiments with structure, which t is an indication of his genre-fatigue, Abnett hasn't the literary stature to pull off unorthodox novel structures convincingly...



#4 CaptainSabutai

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 05:38 AM

 Also, whilst Abnett has worked on Dark heresy before, macNeill is a long-term GW design studio employee before becoming novelist, thus has gaming industry and writing experience...



#5 Dulahan

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 05:45 AM

Just curious what Medieval Fantasy that Prospero Burns ripped off? 



#6 CaptainSabutai

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 06:03 AM

 Ahmad ibn Rustah:

 

 

 

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#7 Drake56

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 06:14 AM

another good auther for chaos related goodness is  Anthoney Reynolds his dark apostle series was imense



#8 MILLANDSON

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 07:21 AM

CaptainSabutai said:

What about the Killing Fields didn't you like specifically? Have you read Dead Sky, Black Sun? Utterly subjective I know, but in the last year or two MacNeill's 40k related output has far outstripped Abnett's in quality IMHO. Whilst you will prise my Eisenhorn omnibus only from my cold dead hands, A Thousand Sons, Mechanicum and Fulgrim are far superior contributions to 40k lore , and better novels than Prospero Burns (Just a rip-off of a medieval story in its entirety!) or Legion (massively overrated, brave attempt at using an unorthodox structure, but the characters are so dull!),  Abnett's enjoying his sweet comic writing wage too much and whilst I acknowledge his health problems over the timescale mentioned, it seems hes got to a stage of ignoring characters in favour of experiments with structure, which t is an indication of his genre-fatigue, Abnett hasn't the literary stature to pull off unorthodox novel structures convincingly...

I was thinking I was alone in thinking this!

I also think Legion, whilst good in it's last few chapters when the epic reveal is made and the book uses a more standard structure, the rest of the book i awful. I likewise think that Fulgrim and Mechanicum, in my eyes, are two of the best books to have come out of the Horus Heresy series to date.

Abnett might have done some brilliant books (Eisenhorn, Ravenor, and the Gaunt's Ghosts series are brilliant), but his recent stuff for the Horus Heresy books have been pretty bad compared to most of the others, as though he's really phoning it in.


~Yea, Tho I Walk Through The Valley Of The Shadow Of Death, I Shall Fear No Evil~

 

Posts/views/opinions are in no way representative of FFG, and are entirely my own.


#9 Dulahan

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 07:28 AM

Mechanicum was amazing, I thought.

 

Heck, so far all three Black Library books I've read with a focus on the Mechanicum have been awesome.  They're definitely alien and weird.  Which is nice.



#10 Luddite

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 08:55 AM

CaptainSabutai said:

 

 I NEED to write an adventure for this system!'

 

 

 

He NEEDS to never be let near writing anything ever again.

http://darkreign40k....hp?topic=4841.0 



#11 Psion

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 09:04 AM

Hmmm, where to begin on Killing Field?  Well to start, the one thing I didn't hate was how he handled "Previously on Warhammer 40k" for those of us who didn't know that Killing Field was a sequel.  That was very helpful as I picked the book out at random.

As for the bad... The two Ultramarines had as much distinction in the story as a pair of sock puppets, half the time I was left wondering which one was which, and the Imperial planet they stumbled upon was so-so.  The supporting characters were better then the Ultras or the Grey Knights but still rather flat except for the Commissar who would replace the governor.  The plot itself was alright but still pretty formula; heroes arrive in city bestricken by a curse, curse is retribution for some great tragedy the city was responsible for, heroes break the curse and everyone lives happily ever after.  Which irks me as one of the first things I learned to accept is that in 40k there are no good guys, no utopias, and NO happy endings.  Just varying degrees of evil in a cold, miserable, and flat out uncaring universe.

Generally speaking, my favorite 40k books so far were Gunheads and Cadian Blood.  The characters were generally better fleshed out, no one had plot armor, and the story contained enough twists to keep things interesting.  The tank battle at the end of Gunheads were a squad of Rusty Lemons had to outmanuver a Looted Baneblade was particularly entertaining, especially once the tank crews realized just which Baneblade it originally was...



#12 Dulahan

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 09:19 AM

Luddite said:

He NEEDS to never be let near writing anything ever again.

http://darkreign40k....hp?topic=4841.0 

 

I pretty much disagree with that at every level.  I loved Mechanicum.  Point by point of your review I see so many glaring mistakes.  No plot?  Were you even trying to read it?  It was there.  Setting stuff?  There is spades...  I came out of it understanding the Mechanicum far more than I went into it.

 

Is it literary genius?  No... but if you're looking for that you shouldn't be reading gaming fiction at all.  It's nice, fun, setting enhancing relative 'mind off' sort of stuff  I can pick up and enjoy when my mind needs to focus on harder things like thesis research.    No, it's not Dune or Book of the New Sun or even Engines of God.  But it is something fun, and presented a really cool, alien view of the Mechanicum that I found fascinating. 



#13 Luddite

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 10:17 AM

Dulahan said:

I pretty much disagree with that at every level. 

No worries.  :¬D

Dulahan said:

I loved Mechanicum.

 

 

Fair enough.

Dulahan said:

Point by point of your review I see so many glaring mistakes. 

 

 

Really?  'Mistakes'?  I, of course, disagree.

Dulahan said:

No plot?  Were you even trying to read it?  It was there.

 

 

Yes i was trying very hard to read it.  I had to try very hard as it is turgid, incompetent writing of the worst sort.

Plot?  OK, so what was the plot then?  I failed to see one.  There were two sort of main strands that i could pick out, but no identifiable plot to speak of.

Please enlighten me to what i missed.

Dulahan said:

  Setting stuff?  There is spades...  I came out of it understanding the Mechanicum far more than I went into it.

 

 

 

Really?  In 'spades'?  Where?

Can you explain the Mechanicum to me?

I was itching to read this book, eagerly anticipating its revelations.  I came out of it none-the-wiser on either what and who the Mechanicum were, nor indeed the Mechanicus.

Again, i'd love to read what you you understood about these institutions that the book revealed to you.

Dulahan said:

Is it literary genius?  No... but if you're looking for that you shouldn't be reading gaming fiction at all. 

 

 

Dear lord why?!?!

There are countless excellent writers out there, even 'jobbing writers'.  House fiction like this is always going to be patchy but there's no excuse for pushing out this sort of amateur nonsense.

Irrespective of whether a reader likes or dislikes a book, it should and can be written at least technically competently.

Mechanicum wasn't. 

Dulahan said:

 But it is something fun, and presented a really cool, alien view of the Mechanicum that I found fascinating. 

But that misses the point fundamentally doesn't it?  The PReisthood of MArs is essentially HUMAN, not ALIEN.  Just another example of the dreadful mess that is this book.

 

Still...opinions vary.  I stand by mine though.



#14 Cynical Cat

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 11:19 AM

Any critique of Mechanicum that says it has no plot is simply not credible.  I don't have an issue with someone not liking it, but calling a hate filled rant against a review isn't honest.  I hate Ayn Rand's work and she's an atrocious writer (really who thinks a 70 page speech is anything but torture for the reader?) but I will admit her garbage had a plot.   



#15 Dulahan

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 11:35 AM

It's been about a year... but I'll give it a whirl.

 

The main plot was that of the civil war in the Mechanicum, the strange choosing of sides and what was up with the noosphere stuff.  The one engineer - the woman I believe.  Not to mention the Creed differences on the Emperor's divinity vs the Omnissiah.    Which ties into...

 

The other was how things related with the Void Dragon, and to an extent what was going on with the Crusade as a whole.

 

 

I disagree on the Mechanicum being fundamentally human, indeed, I always got the impression that they were a very different sort.  Enough so as to be very hard to understand by anyone but the mechanicum, with the higher ranks being further from human than many aliens.  Thus a big part of the Creeds issues wtih them, their necessary much like Navigators, but the contradiction is they're potentially even more heretical. 

 

EDIT: And as for 'why?'  - Again, sometimes I want to read 40k.  I don't want to read other stuff.  I want to read 40k.  Whether this be Mechanicum or whatever.  I plough through multiple books a week.  And fun and easy is often preferable, just like I said, when I've got to do research for my Thesis or am just not feeling up to it.  And frankly, I didn't think it was poorly written at all.  I aknowledge again it's no Gene Wolfe.  But it was no worse than Honor Harrington stuff or any other number of similar Scifi or Fantasy that's easily accessible and does what it sets out to do, be fun to read.



#16 Luddite

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Posted 01 March 2011 - 02:27 AM

Cynical Cat said:

Any critique of Mechanicum that says it has no plot is simply not credible.

Explain?

I found no identifiable plot.  Why would you baselessly insult my credibility?

 

Cynical Cat said:

I don't have an issue with someone not liking it, but calling a hate filled rant against a review isn't honest.

It didn't pen a 'hate-filled rant' thank you; rather a reasoned critique of what i saw as a technically incompetent piece of writing.

I'm not sure i actually expressed an opinion as to whether i liked or disliked the book.

As to my honesty, I don't appreciate the unwarranted insult.  I shall rise above it however.

 

*****CURSE THE LACK OF MULTI-QUOTING*****...grr...

Duluhan said:  The main plot was that of the civil war in the Mechanicum,

Is that a plot or a situation?

Duluhan said: the strange choosing of sides and what was up with the noosphere stuff.

Choosing of what sides, by whom?  I couldn't see clairty in any of that really.  And crucially in terms of a plot, choosing for what purpose?

I really saw little in terms of either Aristotolean or Freytagian concepts of plot.

As for the noosphere...well...i still don't really understand what that is and i've read all the HH novels so far up to Mechanicum.  Can someone explain it to me?  What is it?  What's its significance?

Duluhan said:  The one engineer - the woman I believe.

Is that the Dahlia character of one of the other 'name on a page'  characters?  I really had no idea who was who.

Duluhan said: Not to mention the Creed differences on the Emperor's divinity vs the Omnissiah.

Yes this sort of thing was what i was really excited to be reading about, but i really don't recall much of this key tension and plot/narrative at all.  With the secular Emperor gradually losing ground to dogmatic faith during the crusade i think its a key part of the narrative progression of the whole series, and given the tensions we all argue about in terms of the AdMech (knowledge/faith) i was really hoping to see this explored.  I didn't get it at all in Mechanicum.

What did that book tell us about either view?  I must have missed it...

 

Moving on though.

Duluhan said: I disagree on the Mechanicum being fundamentally human

Now that's interesting.  With the drive in progression through the AdMech towards giving up the flesh in favour of the machine, i see that as a key HUMAN dichotomy.  People who are willing to give up their flesh.  Surely that's an excellent 'human' narrative?

And in roleplaying terms it has precedents: the cycberpsychosis issue at the heart of Cyberpunk, the degenerative loss of Humanity in Vampire the Masquerade, the loss of sanity in Call of Cthulhu, etc.  All key narrative tensions that i see this willing embraceing of the blessings of the Omnissiah being a part of. 

And in light of that...

Duluhan said: I always got the impression that they were a very different sort

Fair enough, but i think the fact that they AREN'T a 'different sort'; that tech-priests are human, or at least begin their journey that way, makes for a far more interesting story (and indeed roleplaying opportunity).



#17 Dulahan

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Posted 01 March 2011 - 05:48 AM

OK, seriously.  It's been a year since I read it.  And I have trouble remembering names at the best of times.  That said, when I read it, I was never confused by who was who.  But if you were, then I can understand why you might be confused as to the plot, because knowing who is who and who is doing what is important.  Heck, I only finished Prospero Burns a few weeks back and I couldn't tell you the main character's name anymore!   Though the plot is fresh in my head.

 

Me?  I'm used to reading Asian stories and histories with hundreds of characters/people (Three Kingdoms, Outlaws of the Marsh, Genji, Jin Yong Wuxia novels, Secret History of the Mongols, etc) so Mechanicum didn't even come close to a 'name on a page' level for me.  I've learned how to keep track of people in a book who are important while I'm reading it and that's that (Though as a funny related digression, I now find Asian names easier to keep track of than Western ones.  A complete polar opposite of most westerners :P ).  The best answers I can give for mains were the Female Tech Priest whose forge was being destroyed near the end.  The Knight was a sort of minor protagonist.  And I vaguely recall at least one other, probably something to do with Noosphere as well.

 

To me it was mostly a cool little, by the numbers romp.  Nothing terribly surprising.  The whole Mechanicum level of stuff.  Yeah, there were some odd sidestories like the things with Dorn on Terra that didn't seem to fit in very much, despite being cool.  But in those cases they remained important to the Series Narrative as a whole instead of the book as a standalone, revealing info on the mindsets of key players in the Crusade.  Heck, that's one of my more memorable lines in how it hinted that if he wanted, Dorn could have called back the two lost Legions...  But even in the face of Horus that was unthinkable.  (How weird is that?  Because it implies at least at this point they were still out there in some form...  Though admittedly later things hint they were destroyed too.  Half makes me think of a vault in Terra or similar with 2 Primarchs and their legions in Stasis...  But I digress)

 

As for the faith 'war' so to say, again, it's been a year.  But as I recall a key point was the dilemma of it.  And the discovery of the Void Dragon helping to call into question the faith of even the Loyalists, but them choosing to remain loyal despite that for whatever reason rather than reveal the truth to the traitors.



#18 Vendettar

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Posted 01 March 2011 - 09:04 AM

Graham may be a good writer but he lost lost of his old flavor in his latest books. Same Problem with Dan Abnett.

If i could pick a writer it would be Aaron Dembski-Bowden or Anthony Reynolds. Both draw a in their recent Books a fantastic picture of Chaos Marines "Society".



#19 Adam France

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Posted 01 March 2011 - 11:48 AM

The Noosphere is the (as ever Abnett, Blessed be his Name, created - or ported if you prefer) explanation for the method of networked connectivity between members of the later Mechanicus (of the 40K era) that allows it's members to communicate at an extra-verbal level.  This has been implied before, but Abnett, Beloved by All, spelled it out in Titanicus, which is a fantastic 40K novel for all those heretics who doubt the divinity of Our Lord Wordmeister. 

 



#20 Adam France

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Posted 01 March 2011 - 11:52 AM

Vendettar said:

Graham may be a good writer but he lost lost of his old flavor in his latest books. Same Problem with Dan Abnett.

If i could pick a writer it would be Aaron Dembski-Bowden or Anthony Reynolds. Both draw a in their recent Books a fantastic picture of Chaos Marines "Society".

People are always ready to claim Abnett's 'later stuff' is rubbish. Well ... I personally think the latest two Gaunt's Ghosts books are far and away the best two books of that series, especially the latest, Blood Pact ... which gives the hands down -no question- most interesting Chaotic-eye view of Archenemy soldiers in the canon. 

ADB is ... okay. He's getting better certainly, his Night Lord books are better than that zombie one he started out with, and his HH novel was better than his Night Lord books ... but he's still pretty green imo. I agree Reynolds is good, but I've yet to see much variety, they need to get him to branch out a bit.






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