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jmswallow
22 February 2017 @ 10:00 am
Today marks 40 years since the launch of the Galaxy's Greatest Comic, 2000AD - and it's undeniable that it has been a massive influence on me as both a fan and a writer. I'm proud to say I've been lucky enough to contribute to the fiction of two of the comic's most popular heroes - Judge Dredd and Rogue Trooper. Here's to four more decades!

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jmswallow
06 February 2017 @ 01:06 pm
My newest entry in the Horus Heresy series is officially relased this week: Garro: Weapon of Fate is the definitive compilation of all the Nathaniel Garro stories to date in prose form.

As my esteemed editor Laurie Goulding described the book: "It's James Swallow's full novelisation of Nathaniel Garro's story arc, something we've previously only seen (in part) in the audio dramas and novella. There are new and extended scenes, whole new chapters in fact, making this just about the most definitive exploration of the founding of the Knights Errant, and everything that comes after..."

Check out this ace piece of cover artwork from Neil Roberts...


The book includes a new introduction, content from the audio dramas Oath of Moment, Legion of One, Sword of Truth, Shield of Lies, Burden of Duty and Ashes of Fealty, plus the Vow of Faith novella and bridging material that collates the whole story into one single epic bind-up.

From out of the shadows of the Silent War, a hero emerges. Clad all in grey, an errant warrior of the Legiones Astartes kneels before the Regent of Terra, and accepts a solemn new duty – Battle-Captain Garro, once commander of the Eisenstein, now Agentia Primus of Malcador the Sigillite. From the desolation of Isstvan to the halls of the Imperial Palace itself, he stands as a paragon of loyalty and protector of the innocent, ever ready to strike back at the traitorous allies of the Warmaster. But Garro is walking a path of his own, one that may lead him to question his own place in the Imperium... and what if he, too, should falter?

As well as the hardcover book, there's an eBook edition and a 12 hour+ audiobook version narrated by the voice of Garro himself, the mighty Toby Longworth. Click Here to order a copy!

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jmswallow
31 January 2017 @ 02:23 pm
I'm appearing at the official Horus Heresy event this weekend, along with a bunch of my colleagues from the Black Library...


Me, Gav Thorpe, Chris Wraight, John French, Neil Roberts and Guy Haley will be talking about our books and signing them too, over Saturday and Sunday at the Nottingham Belfry hotel. There will be some exclusive stuff available in advance of release and it's likely we'll spill some secret truths about upcoming works. I can't confirm or deny if anyone will be wearing war-pelts, though.

I'll be joining John and Guy on Saturday for the "Road To Terra" and "Black Library Preview" panels at 11:45am and 3:00pm, and on Sunday I'll be talking about "The Primarchs" with Guy, Gav and Chris from 12:30. I'll be doing book signings on both days, which will be posted outside the Scribe Station. Hardcover copies of Garro: Weapon of Fate should be available on the day.

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jmswallow
30 January 2017 @ 11:26 am
Ah, the Public Lending Right; the gift that keeps on giving (to writers, editors, illustrators and other booky folks) and generally helps to remind us all why libraries are important places – not just for readers but for those of us who make books happen.

Not familiar with the PLR? Read on for my annual public service announcement on the subject:
If you are a writer/editor/illustrator/etc, a resident of the UK or Ireland and you ever need a reason for donating your books to the library - on top of all the obvious ones like promoting reading and supporting this valuable and increasingly undermined public service - this is it.
The PLR is a system where authors who've written books that are in public libraries get a little revenue each time somebody borrows their works. It's a way to repay writers who won't be earning a royalty from a sale in a bookstore. The hardworking folks at the PLR office pay a nominal fee based on how borrowed you were - and in the interests of fairness, you can't earn more than around £6000, so the big names don't get to hog all the money.


Once more, the PLR and the libraries it springs from are under threat from the current powers that be, so if you are a writer or a reader, please do your bit to help support both as best you can.

Here's my Top Ten Library Loans of my novels for 2016 (with 2015's position in brackets)

1 (1) Deadline
2 (5) Fear to Tread
3 (2) Peacemaker
4 (3) The Poisoned Chalice
5 (-) Nomad (paperback & hardcover editions)
6 (10) Cast No Shadow
7 (6) Hammer & Anvil
8 (4) Nemesis
9 (9) The Flight of the Eisenstein
10 (13) Blood Angels: The Second Omnibus

For the second year running, by 24 novel Deadline holds the top slot, with the Horus Heresy story Fear to Tread and Doctor Who tale Peacemaker very close in 2nd and 3rd places. It was nice to see one of my Blood Angels omnibus editions re-enter the top ten, but I was most pleased to see my new thriller novel Nomad make a great showing!

As always, my thanks to everybody who supported their local libraries and borrowed my books!

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jmswallow
27 January 2017 @ 11:36 am
And my last list of the year is all about books. I got through less titles this year, but longer works so I guess it kinda evens out. Science fiction and thriller/crime titles came out almost level, and almost half my reading was digital in 2016.

My top reads of the year were Rowland White’s story of the first space shuttle flight Into The Black, my buddy Ben Aaronovitch’s The Hanging Tree, Peter Tieryas’s United States of Japan and Bob Judd’s Formula One.

Here’s the full list:
Designers & Dragons: The 2000's (Shannon Appelcline); The Weapon of a Jedi (Jason Fry); Be The Monkey (Barry Eisler & Joe Konrath); Warlord (James Steel); United States of Japan (Peter Tieryas); Private Sydney (James Patterson with Kathryn Fox); Into The Black (Rowland White); The Escape (Cavan Scott); How To Avoid Being Killed in a War Zone (Rosie Garthwaite); The Paradise Game (Brian Stableford); The Lions of Lucerne (Brad Thor); The Hostage (James Patterson with Robert Gold); Airport Code Red (James Patterson with Michael White); The Dream Machine (Richard Whittle); Dark Clouds (John Shirley); Spare Me The Truth (CJ Carver); The Hanging Tree (Ben Aaronovitch); Kill File (Christopher Farnsworth); The Assassination Game (Alan Gratz); Tenacity (JS Law); Brinkmanship (Una McCormack); Military Slang (Lee Pemberton); Codex (Graham McNeill); Fear of the Dark (McNeill); Wild Justice (Wilbur Smith); Formula One (Bob Judd); Catalyst (James Luceno); Delete (Karl Olsberg); A Dictionary of RAF Slang (Eric Partridge); Nerd Do Well (Simon Pegg); Devil's Due (Andrew Warren); The Farthest Station (Aaronovitch); Ahsoka (EK Johnston); Rogue One (Alexander Freed); Bloodline (Claudia Grey).
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jmswallow
26 January 2017 @ 11:29 am
My number two year-end list is games, and this year I’ve also added board games and card games to the list just for the heck of it.

I got myself a Playstation 4 in 2016, so most of what I gamed was on that platform, although the PC got a workout too as I almost doubled the number of titles I played from the 2015.

Three games I worked on this year – Fractured Space, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided and No Man’s Sky – all came out in 2016 and I had a blast with all of them; I also got hands on with the next Ghost Recon title, which I’ve been writing for (more on that in the months ahead!)

I revisited a few familiar virtual worlds in 2016, going back to Destiny and Star Trek Online for the PS4, and my favourite non-digital title was Car Wars: The Card Game. Bests of the year include the excellent puzzle titles Mini Metro, 0rbitalis and Deus Ex GO, and my time-sink award goes to The Division, which kept me in a snowbound NYC for most of the year.

Here’s the full list:
Car Wars: The Card Game; Pandemic; Transistor; Rocket League; The Long Dark; The Logo Board Game; Skyliners; Fractured Space; Purble Place; Warhammer 40,000: Regicide; Batman Fluxx; The Division (PC and PS4 versions); Battleship; Battlefleet Gothic Armada; Mini Metro; Codenames; Ghost Recon Wildlands; Counterspy; Battleborn; Red Bull Air Race: The Game; Destiny: The Dark Below; Mad Max; The Expendabros; Star Wars Battlefront (PS4 version); Tron RUN/r; Doom [2016]; Destiny: House of Wolves; The Division: Underground; 0rbitalis; Ultratron (PS4 version); Deus Ex GO; Battlefield 4 (PS4 version); Battlefield Hardline (PS4 version); Deus Ex Breach; Deus Ex: Mankind Divided (PS4 version); No Man's Sky; Star Trek Online (PS4 version); Destiny: The Taken King; Drone Racing League Simulator; Transformers: Devestation; Inversus; The Bunker; Invisible, Inc: Console Edition; Hyper Void; Carmageddon Max Damage; Alienation; Hitman; Overwatch Origins Edition; Uncharted 4: A Thief's End; The Division: Survival.

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jmswallow
25 January 2017 @ 11:29 am
Time for the first part of my annual year-end listopia; movies!

I broke my total of films seen from 2015 by just one in 2016, and nearly half of them were SF-themed, with action and thriller flicks a close second.

My best-of-year runs from the potato-riffic The Martian and Arrival to the bullet-laden John Wick and the epic Mad Max: Fury Road (Witness Me!) It was certainly a good 12 months for some of my favourite franchises with new entries in the worlds of Marvel, Star Trek, Star Wars and more – and a special documentary shout-out to Future Shock!, a terrific look at the history of 2000AD, the Galaxy’s Greatest Comic.

Here’s the full list:
Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance; Kingsman: The Secret Service; Ex Machina; Run All Night; Chappie; Robocop [2014]; Seventh Son; John Wick; Exodus: Gods And Kings; Spooks: The Greater Good; Fast & Furious 7; Escape Plan; Barely Lethal; Mad Max: Fury Road; Jurassic World; Future Shock! The Story of 2000AD; Last Knights; Entourage; Captain America: Civil War; Ender's Game; American Ultra; We Still Kill The Old Way; Independence Day: Resurgence; Space Station 76; Robot Overlords; Star Trek Beyond; Ghostbusters [2016]; Jason Bourne; The Man From U.N.C.L.E. [2015]; Hyena Road; The Martian; Narcopolis; Infini; Kite; I Am Wrath; Sisters [2015]; Extraction; Snowden; Colt 45; Arrival; Doctor Strange; The Accountant; Tube; Non-Stop; 13 Hours; Zoolander No.2; Rogue One: A Star Wars Story; Deadpool.

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jmswallow
24 January 2017 @ 11:09 am
My usual annual end-of-the-year blogging comes late this time around. Partly because I’ve been pretty busy with work stuff, but also because 2016 was the very definition of I Can’t Even, and nearly a month into 2017 I’m still having trouble parsing it.

Last year was really a rollercoaster for me. Externally, pressures about the world at large, political fears reawakening and a general sense of what-the-hell-is-happening put a drag on everything else, and that’s before mentioning the sheer number of people I admired who we lost. There were three that stuck out the most for me... Hannes Arch, the Red Bull Air Race pilot. I’d met him a few months earlier and the guy’s determination was infectious; actor Ron Glass, who I got to hang out with at a Serenity convention some years ago. We talked about vodka and my memory of him is that he was an absolute class act; and Carrie Fisher. I never met her, but I’ve always respected who she was and what she did with her life and career – and somehow losing Princess Leia feels like part of my cherished geek past broke off and vanished while I was looking the other way. It’s bittersweet that the last thing she left us was “Hope”, but that’s what I’m trying my best to carry into 2017.

The strange thing is, 2016 was actually a really good year for my writing. Overshadowing everything I did was the release of my first original thriller novel Nomad, which came out in hardcover in June and stayed on the Sunday Times top ten charts for several weeks afterward. As I write this, the paperback edition has been out for a month or so and that too is replicating the same success, so I guess it is safe to say that Nomad is a hit! I want to thank everyone who has bought a copy, and especially give a lot of love to all my family, friends and colleagues out there who have been so very supportive in spreading the word. I (heart) you guys. As Nomad was hitting bookstores, I was busy writing Exile, the next book in what we’re calling the Rubicon series, so the whole experience was oddly dislocated for me – but it’s been very exciting too, and I look forward to seeing where these stories take me in the future.

Elsewhere, I also worked on a couple of Horus Heresy projects, compiling and adapting all my Nathaniel Garro stories for the Garro: Weapon of Fate bind-up novel and a new Death Guard short story for Black Library’s Christmas Advent Calendar. I wrote a Dan Dare audio drama and I fronted a faux documentary about alien invasions as part of a promotion for the new Independence Day movie. I’ve been a fan of the Halo videogames since the first title hit the Xbox, so it was great to be asked to write a story for the Halo: Fractures anthology; and on the subject of games, I had a very full year on that front...

To be honest, things didn’t start well. The games project I was working on at the start of 2016 was a Star Wars playset for Disney Infinity, which would have tied into the Rebels cartoon and Rogue One movie – but that was cancelled along with the entire Infinity line when Disney Interactive was shut down and what we worked on will now sadly never see light of day. It stings, but I’ve learned the hard way that this how the games industry can be. You take your hits and you walk it off. I also did some writing for No Man’s Sky, first for the collector’s edition of the game and then for some of the narrative itself, but my biggest game project for 2016 was Deus Ex: Mankind Divided. It was a while coming, but I’m very proud to have been a part of DXMD. I also wrote a tie-in novel (Deus Ex: Black Light) and an eBook novella (Deus Ex: Hard Line) to go along with the game, the latter of which you can now download for free right Here. My games work for 2016 ended with work on a new gig – Ghost Recon Wildlands – and I’ll be talking more about that in the future.

The echoes of events in 2016 – personal, professional and more – are still resonating right now, so I’m just concentrating on the work, putting one word down after another. I’m hoping to build on the success of Nomad and as always, to keep improving my craft, to keep moving forward.

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jmswallow
04 January 2017 @ 12:15 pm

My new thriller novel Nomad came out in paperback over the holiday break and I want to thank everyone who bought a copy - enough of you did so to put it in Sunday Times bestseller list once again!

And here's a personal Achievement Unlocked moment for me -  I got a billboard ad for one of my books! This one is up at London's Victoria Station, but they're popping up all over the UK!

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