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jmswallow
28 January 2015 @ 10:17 am
For the new year, I've decided to reinstate the "Incoming!" list of my new releases and event appearances, but I'm changing the format a little; from now on, there's a permanent listing page set up Here on my Blogger account that I will update as and when cool new stuff pops.

The list will show release dates for all the new books, short fiction, videogames, audios and other projects I'm working on (and are allowed to talk about), including reprints, foriegn editions and so on. I'll also include event dates for any signings, panels or seminars that I'm at, in case you want to have me write my name on stuff or just heckle.

You can also navigate directly to it by clicking on the COMING SOON link that has been added to the 'Links' sidebar over on the right of this page.... >>>>>>

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jmswallow
21 January 2015 @ 12:27 pm
Happy PLR Day! Where the blogs and twitter feeds of writers all across the nation celebrate the the Public Lending Right, the gift of free money, and most importantly, that libraries are awesome.

For those unfamiliar with the PLR, here's my annual public service announcement on the subject:
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Here's my Top Ten Library Loans of my novels for 2014 (with 2013's position in brackets)
1    (1)    Peacemaker
2    (2)    Fear To Tread
3    (4)    Nemesis
4    (7)    Cast No Shadow
5    (4)    Hammer & Anvil
6    (-)     The Poisoned Chalice
7    (10)  Synthesis
8    (6)    Red Fury
9    (9)    The Blood Angels Omnibus
10  (5)    The Flight of the Eisenstein

As always, my Doctor Who Western adventure Peacemaker remains welded to the top slot in the chart, and my most recent Horus Heresy novel Fear To Tread remains in second place for a second year; I was also pleased to see my Star Trek: The Fall novel The Poisoned Chalice make an appearance.

My thanks to everyone who supported their local libraries and borrowed my books!

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jmswallow
GunsightLast year, Black Library published a new Horus Heresy anthology, Death And Defiance, a limited release hardback special as part of their ongoing series of bespoke super-lovely editions; but for folks who couldn't pick up the dead tree version, BL has now made each tale in the collection individually available in glittery digital form.

That includes the story I wrote called Gunsight, which is can be downloaded directly from BL's website right Here.

I won't blow the plotline (despite the fact that the front cover strapline contains is a major spoiler!) but I will say that Gunsight is a direct sequel to the events of my second Horus Heresy novel Nemesis, which featured a disparate squad of Imperial assassins working together in hopes of terminating the archtraitor Horus Lupercal.

As anyone familiar with the larger scope of the Horus Heresy will know, it didn't go well for them, but it's in the "for want of a nail" what-if, almost-but-not-quite that story lives - and you can think of Gunsight as a coda for it. In this tale, readers meet someone forever changed by his near-miss with the Warmaster, and get a look into the doom that lies at the end of his particular fate line.

Alternatively, if you'd like to pick up the full Death And Defiance collection, you can find it Here.

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jmswallow
09 January 2015 @ 01:07 pm
My last list-of-the-year-end, and it's movies. I got a little more flicks in over 2014 than in previous years. The split between my two favourite genres (action vs. sci-fi) was pretty much 50-50 and top picks for 2014 were (perhaps unsuprisingly for me) the hugely fun Guardians of the Galaxy and the great LEGO Movie, which I found unexpectedly clever and charming. Can I just say, being a Marvel comics geek since the 70's, I am still a little amazed that I live in a world where there's a GotG film (and that there's going to be another one). What with the slate of Marvel movies announced way up until 2019, this is probably the best time ever to be a superhero fan.

Here's the list:
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jmswallow
08 January 2015 @ 11:09 am
My second year-end list; and 2014 turned out to be a year where I played less than half as many videogames as I did in the previous year, several of which were add-on titles under the same umbrella (a bunch of Disney Infinity toys-to-life games, episode from the Grand Theft Auto saga and so on). It's been a strange gaming season for me, though, caught as I am in the Old Ways having chosen not to jump to the next generation of consoles with Xbox One and PS4, or indeed upgrade my increasingly cranky PC. Xbox Live does a terrible peer pressure thing with this, showing you that your gamer mates are on-line but then mocking you with the revelation that they're sharing funtimes and laughing as a group on the the Xbone and not your decrepit 360.

Last time, I jumped generations I left a lot of games unfinished (some even untouched) and I've resolved not to do that this time around. I'm determined to work through my "pile of shame" and at least make some attempt to complete the XB360 and PS3 games I've got lying around. But honestly, I've yet to see the killer app that will make me want to make the leap to next gen anyhow, so for now I'm old-gaming, so there. That said, I have been playing some stuff that was actually new in 2014, including a good 60+ hours of my life invested in Destiny on the PS3; but I also played very old stuff in the form of Death Race, a generation one arcade game from 1976 that was one of the first titles to be banned in a panic over "videogame violence". Comparing Death Race's act of running over stick people to Destiny's melonpopping headshots seems almost quaint now... And so, GOTYs for me were the fiendish mobile murder puzzler Hitman GO and the fun-but-flawed Destiny, which I enjoyed while it lasted, and equally enjoyed griping about. I also liked a preview of Battlefield Hardline, which I want to play some more of in the year ahead.

Here's the full list:
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jmswallow
07 January 2015 @ 01:58 pm
My second annual year-end thing is the first of my list-o-ramas; so 2014 was a good year for reading, and it featured some interesting stuff for me - including an advance looks at m'colleagues Ben Aaronovitch's latest urban fantasy tome Foxglove Summer and David Mack's forthcoming 24 tie-in Rogue, the return to SF of one of my favourite authors with William Gibson's The Peripheral, and a look at some new writers I've not read before like Ann Leckie, Terry Hayes and James S.A. Corey. I felt like I read a lot more action-thrillers this year, but on reflection it seems it was roughly a third of my intake; admittedly, I've felt a little adrift from recent SF offerings recently, and I kinda drifted back toward my second love, which is technothrillers and spy-fi. But that said, I also binged on Star Trek ebooks at the start of the year, blasting through the Mere Anarchy and Slings And Arrows miniseries back-to-back.

My top picks of the year are the aforementioned The Peripheral and Terry Hayes's prose debut I Am Pilgrim.

Here's the list:
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jmswallow
05 January 2015 @ 01:41 pm
Like I was last year, I'm a little late with the first of my annual series of year-ending blog postings, and the reason is pretty much the same. 2014, like 2013, has been a tough one to assimilate. Without wanting to start off 2015 on a sour note, I kept getting reminded last year of a line from Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, where Indy says that sooner or later we all reach an age "where life stops giving us things and starts taking them away". Last year there was a lot of bad with the good, and the thing is, you tend to dwell on the bad stuff because that's what leaves the scar.
(And for the record? I thought Crystal Skull was a decent Indy movie. Seriously, if you're still getting your knickers in a twist over ancient aliens in the same milieu where angry Ark of the Covenant angels melt people or immortal knights exist, just let it go. But I won't quibble over the Shia/Monkeys thing, though.)
So; all of that is a long way of saying "Farewell 2014. Don't come back."

So what did I write last year? 2014 saw more than its fair share of crashing and burning, I have to be honest. I slaved away on something very important that went exactly nowhere, which reminded me about how a lot of what writers do comes out of sheer bloody-mindedness, that I [REDACTED] hate [REDACTED] and they should all [REDACTED], and most importantly, to just keep writing. In the crazy world of videogames, I had an awesome superhero project shot out from underneath the studio I was working for, and months later it still burns, damn it. But that's teh gamez for you, and out of the ashes of that came something even cooler which I am not yet allowed to talk about, but I will say it's something I've wanted to work on for a very long time. More on that in the months ahead. For fun, I penned some script shorts on spec, and a couple of new Horus Heresy audio dramas - Shield of Lies, which is out now, and Ashes of Fealty, which will be properly announced in the weeks ahead. I delivered Deadline, my first 24 novel and first action-thriller to deadline at the start of the year (see what I did there?), and a new Star Trek: Titan adventure called Sight Unseen, which will actually be seen some time in the Autumn. Lastly, I wrote the short stories "Gunsight" for the Death And Defiance anthology, "Reflection In Blood" for the Black Library Advent Calendar and a new Doctor Who tale which I'll talk more about later in the year. So, busy in spite of it all. On the edge. *snaps fingers* Where I gotta be. *snaps fingers*

I roved a bit in 2014 too, book-ending the year with panels about games with the great Animex festival at the start, and the now-annual "games writing thing" at the London University of the South Bank at the end; other game-related highlights were getting to crash both the Destiny launch and Eurogamer Expo, and getting deep in boardgame stuff at the UK Games Expo. As well as a couple of Black Library-centred events (Warhammer Fest and a blink-and-you'd-miss-me at Black Library Weekender III), I showed my face at the Worldcon in London - it's my hometown after all, it would have been churlish not to - but I reckon the best gig of the year was Destination Star Trek 3, which was warmly welcoming and just all-around nice to guest at. Travelling in 2014 saw me in Malta, soaking up history and getting too much sun, and San Francisco, where I met Yoda; and last but not least, closer to home, I pegged my fun-o-meter at the Red Bull Air Race, which was, quite certainly, hypercool.

And now onwards.

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jmswallow
'Twas the night before the night before Christmas, and all through the capsule hotel, not a creature was stirring, not even a gene-engineered augmented rodent.

Yup, it's Deus eXmas again, and mes amis over in Quebec at Eidos Montreal are entering the spirit of the holiday season with a gift for all good mech-head boys and panzer girls!

fallenangel

Last year, when Deus Ex: Human Revolution - The Director's Cut was released, folks who bought the game direct from Eidos got an exclusive pre-order bonus in the form of Fallen Angel, an eBook novelette written by me. Fallen Angel is a short prequel story centred on the popular character of Faridah Malik, and it tells the tale of how she came to be in the employ of Sarif Industries at the start of DX:HR; the story also ties into the "Shanghai Justice" mission from later in the game.

Deus Ex: Fallen Angel is now available for free from Eidos Montreal in pdf format, and you can download a copy Here.

Merry Christmas & Happy Neurojacked Year to y'all!
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jmswallow
I'm around on the web once more this month, talking about two very different subjects for two very different podcasts....

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Over at Fifty Shades of Geek, genial hosts EJ and Greg interviewed me about my work for the Horus Heresy series in general and my new Garro audio drama Shield of Lies in particular. Click Here to listen.

I also participated in a show broadcast on BBC Radio Five Live, as part of their 'Game On' stream presented by my old mate Adam Rosser, discussing the works of author William Gibson and his new book The Peripheral. You can click Here to listen to it as part of the Beeb's Let's Talk About Tech podcast series, and hear me talk about Gibson's influence on my writing before Adam chats to the man himself.

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jmswallow
10 December 2014 @ 12:50 pm
So December is here, and I'm dreaming of a Red Christmas; a new edition of the Warhammer 40,000 Blood Angels codex - the rulebook for the tabletop miniatures game - drops this weekend and the Sons of Sanguinius get a new lease of life.

It's also the 10th anniversary of my very first Blood Angels story, and thus, what better time to spotlight the fiction I've written for the Boys in Crimson over the past few years? The stories below are all available via digital download from Black Library's website, and you may still be able to chase up the dead-tree editions in bookstores... Click on the covers for order info.

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The short tale "Blood Debt" (currently only available in The Book of Blood anthology) is a prequel story setting up the villain of my first Blood Angels novels, the Deus duology, and the books themselves follow the tactical marine Rafen as his chapter falls to a schism masterminded by the forces of Chaos, which threatens civil war. "Redeemed" takes place in the aftermath, as Rafen returns home to the fortress monastery on Baal with a powerful artefact, only to face judgement at the hands of the mighty Astorath, Redeemer of the Lost; that leads into the next two novels, Red Fury and Black Tide, where the hubris of one warrior opens the chapter's heart to corruption and our hero embarks on a mission against the plans of the mad scientist Fabius Bile. Bloodline is a chapbook that shows the effects of Black Tide's shattering conclusion, and my newest Blood Angels tale, "Reflection In Blood", is set months later as Rafen returns to his sworn duties.

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I've written other Blood Angel tales beyond the adventures of Brother Rafen as well; "Honours" is the story of a Blood Angel captain and the battle-honours he has won; "The Fury" looks inside the mind of a Blood Angel in the depths of his rage; "Dante: Lord of the Host" and "The Sanguinor: Exemplar of the Host" are vignettes centred around these two key lore characters; and Heart of Rage is an audio drama (also released in short story form) featuring a squad of Blood Angels venturing aboard a Tyranid hive ship on a deadly mission at the behest of the Adeptus Mechanicus.

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I've also written Blood Angel tales in the Horus Heresy saga - the Bloodline chapbook appears here again as it's also a 'crossover' tale that briefly links the Warhammer 40,000 character of Rafen with the Heresy-era legionary Meros, the hero of my novel Fear To Tread, which details the apocalyptic events of the Battle for Signus. And lastly, "Lost Sons" is a short story that takes place parallel to Fear To Tread, showing events on the Blood Angels homeworld of Baal and the ramifications of the battle.

The Blood Angel stories are among my most popular works and I'm often asked if I have more to come; right now, I'm developing a new narrative for Rafen that I hope to bring to the page in the future; but for now, read on and Praise Sanguinius!

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