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19 November 2016 @ 11:50 am

An update this weekend from the Black Library Live! 2016 event - BL are continuing their tradition of an advent calendar release for the month of December, publishing 18 eBook short stories and 6 audio dramas from December 1st to Christmas Eve.

The stories will hail from the world of Warhammer 40,000, Age of Sigmar, The Horus Heresy and Blood Bowl, and a you'll be able to pick them up individually or opt in now and get a subscription for reduced cost.

I've got a Horus Heresy short story in the mix, but for now we're keeping stuff under wraps with regards to title and content...

Across the battlefields of the Horus Heresy where brother fights brother, to the humanity's final days ten thousand years later, and from the war-torn Mortal Realms where brave heroes fight to save all from the pervasive grip of Chaos, to the astrogranite where teams of skilled Blood Bowl players vie for glory (and gold), there is one constant: great stories packed with action and drama.

That's what you'll find in the 2016 Black Library Advent Calendar, with eighteen short stories and six audio dramas telling tales from all four of these diverse worlds, filled with heroes, monsters and mayhem.

To subscribe, visit the BL website Here.

02 November 2016 @ 03:25 pm
Another week, another cover!

I've been writing the adventures of Battle Captain Nathaniel Garro for a while now, ever since I picked up his story in my Horus Heresy novel The Flight of the Eisenstein, and over the years those tales - told in audio drama form - have become fan favourites in the saga. Last year I mixed things up a little with the publication of Vow of Faith, a novella-length prose story, but people have been asking for some time to see more of Nathaniel in book form...and so here he is.

Once again, m'colleague Neil Roberts outdoes himself with another awesome cover for Weapon of Fate, the "complete" (at least for now) saga of Garro's post-Eisenstein stories all in one volume. Important point to make here - this isn't a script book or a collection of short fiction. Weapon of Fate is a full-length novel in the Horus Heresy series that gathers together and adapts all of the audio stories (Oath of Moment, Legion of One, Burden of Duty, Ashes of Fealty, Sword of Truth and Shield of Lies) and the Vow of Faith novella into a seamless whole with new connective material and an author afterword.

Here's the blurb:

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?

The hardback edition of Garro: Weapon of Fate will be available from Black Library in February next year and you can pre-order it here; and if you want to wait for the paperback edition, that'll be out around late Summer.

And if that's not enough? Here's a bonus cover - although it's just a temporary one for the moment...

2017 will also see Black Library re-releasing my Warhammer 40,000 Sisters of Battle stories in a new omnibus edition - more on that in the months ahead...

27 October 2016 @ 12:18 pm
So it turns out that October has been a crazy-busy month, with me working on a bunch of new projects for cool folks (including but not limited to new Black Library fiction, a to-be-announced Triple-A videogame project and the novelization of the live-action Ghost in the Shell movie) - but by far the most nifty of things has been finalizing edits on the sequel to my original Sunday Times bestselling thriller Nomad; check out the cover for Exile, the next novel in the Rubicon series!

A vicious Serbian gang whose profits come from fake nuclear weapons.

A disgraced Russian general, with access to the real thing.

A vengeful Somali warlord, with a cause for which he'd let the world burn.

A jaded government agency, without the information to stop him.

Only one man sees what's coming. And even he might not be able to prevent it . . .

Racing breathlessly from secret CIA black site prisons to the skyscrapers of Dubai, from stormbeaten oil rigs off the African coast to the ancient caverns beneath the city of Naples, Marc Dane returns in the explosive new thriller from the internationally bestselling author of Nomad...

Exile will be available from Bonnier Zaffre in hardcover format, export trade paperback and Kindle editions in July next year - and you can pre-order a copy right Here!

But before that, the first novel in the Rubicon series Nomad will be out in a mass market paperback edition on December 29th, and that'll feature an excerpt from the first chapter of Exile bound in. In addition, the unabridged audiobook version of Nomad is available now from Bolinda - you can check out all the versions of the book Here.

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03 October 2016 @ 01:15 pm
It's a little short notice, but I will now be appearing at the Destination Star Trek Europe this coming weekend, at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham!

Right now, the plan is for me to be on the Voyager Stage on Saturday 8th October from 2.45pm to 3.20pm, along with Jon Van Citters of CBS Licensing and Chris Cooper of Star Trek Magazine to talk about "Star Trek in print and the world of the novels".

Straight after the panel, I'll be off to the retail area to sign books and I'm told there will be copies of Star Trek - The Latter Fire, Star Trek: Titan - Sight Unseen and Star Trek: The Fall - The Poisoned Chalice for purchase there - but I'm happy to sign any of my stuff if you bring it along! (And for those who asked, I *never* charge for autographs)

Other bits of the schedule are still in flux, but it looks like I will also be joinging Ben Robinson from the Eaglemoss team on the Voyager stage on Sunday morning, where we will be talking about Star Trek in comics.

You can check out the full event timetable here.

26 September 2016 @ 12:15 pm
Kicking off this week with a gratutious image post of this neat piece of art for Dan Dare: The Audio Adventures...

Great work here by Brian Williamson and Pete Hambling on this “movie poster” for “The Red Moon Mystery”, my episode of the forthcoming Dan Dare audio drama.

Coolest touch? I like how Dan is holding one a pistol modelled after the original Lone Star “Dan Dare Space Gun” toys from the 1950′s...

Visit Big Finish's website Here to pre-order a copy of Dan Dare: The Audio Adventures - Volume 1 or check out the trailer Here.

19 September 2016 @ 01:19 pm

Back in May I posted a cover reveal for a brand new anthology of fiction based on the Halo videogame universe, and this week - tomorrow to be exact - the book arrives out in the world in trade paperback, eBook and unabridged audio editions.

Halo: Fractures is nearly a dozen shots of action, adventure and high drama from this epic and deep science fiction mythos, and I've written one of them. "Breaking Strain" is set toward the end of the events of Halo 3, on a distant colony planet where the shadow of the Human-Covenant war falls dark and deep. My story joins fiction from a whole bunch of other cool folks, including my fellow Black Library writer Matt Forbeck and Star Trek novelists Christie Golden and John Jackson Miller, as well was Tobias Buckell, Troy Denning, Kelly Gay, Kevin Grace, Morgan Lockhart, Frank O’Connor and Brian Reed.

I've been hooked into the Halo games since I first ventured into the halls of the Silent Cartographer, back in the day of the original game on the Xbox, so it was a tick off my geek bucket list to be able to write some fiction for the series - and it's great to be part of such a stellar line-up.

Here's the back-cover blurb for the Halo: Fractures anthology...

A sensational short story collection in the expansive universe of Halo, the New York Times bestselling series!

Launch once more into galaxy-spanning conflict and legendary heroism…shards of an ever-expanding journey where human and alien alike find their finest hours in facing their greatest challenges.

These scattered stories span untold millennia, from the age of the ancient custodial race known as the Forerunners to the aftermath of the Covenant’s bloody war against humanity and even the shocking events surrounding the resurrection of the mysterious Guardians.

Halo: Fractures explores mythic tales of bravery and sacrifice that blaze brightly at the very heart of the Halo universe.

Check out the publisher page Here or read the official announcement on the Halo Waypoint blog Here!

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14 September 2016 @ 03:07 pm

When the Galaxy's Greatest Comic 2000AD arrived in the late 70's to rock my young pre-teen mind, one of the things that came with it was a revival of a classic British space hero - Dan Dare, star of the old Eagle comics that had been the equivalent entertainment for my dad's generation. The UK's equivalent of Buck Rogers or Flash Gordon, Dare was a two-fisted interplanetary adventurer in the mould of an RAF fighter ace or jungle explorer - and while his 1970's incarnation was different to his original 1950's version, he remained the very model of True Brit, with a stiff upper lip, a line in cool banter a steady hand on the stick.

Dan's been reinvented a bunch of times, not just in comics but also in cartoons and for radio - and so when B7 Media decided to tackle the character for the 21st century, I was delighted to be asked to take part!

As announced this week, Dan Dare: The Audio Adventures will be released in a few months time by the folks over a Big Finish (with whom I've previously worked on Doctor Who, Stargate and Highlander audio dramas); two box sets are on the way, with volume one featuring my episode The Red Moon Mystery coming out in December and volume two due in February 2017.

Working from the original take on Dare, we've written stories that are inspired by the classic Eagle comics tales - here's the blurb for mine:

The Red Moon Mystery - Unable to return to Earth, Dan Dare and the crew of the Anastasia head to the desolate planet Mars, where Dan's estranged Uncle Ivor is part of a research team working on a top-secret archaeological dig; but when they find the base wrecked and the scientists missing, Dare, Digby and Professor Peabody soon discover that the Red Planet is not nearly as dead as everyone thought and that Ivor’s expedition has woken an army of deadly insect-creatures that threaten to swarm and engulf the Earth… Dare must stop the aliens, but can he really resort to genocide in order to save the human race?

Read the full press release from B7 Media Here or visit Big Finish's website to pre-order the box sets Here.

08 September 2016 @ 12:54 pm

50 years ago today, Star Trek premiered on television, and it's really not an exaggeration to say that a phenomenon was created.

There's going to be a galaxy of think-pieces out there about this over the next few days, some of them thoughtful and some of them mocking, but I'm not likely to read the majority because I know exactly what Star Trek means to me. And I'm not going to get starry-eyed about this (well, maybe a little bit) because we are just talking about a TV show...but the fact is, Star Trek has exerted a huge influence on my life, both personally and professionally, and continues to do so to this day. And I love that.

I found this picture of me as kid a while ago; a photo taken on the morning of Christmas Day 1976, and I'm sitting on the sofa in front of some hideous flock wallpaper in my little Arthur Dent dressing gown, holding my new Dinky Toys U.S.S. Enterprise on the verge of some imagined adventure. I look that kid in the eyes and I think of how he has no idea where that ship is going to take him. I think about the exciting places he'll go to, the challenging ideas that will open up to him, the cool things he will get to see and do, the amazing people he will meet...all thanks to this one space show off the telly.

Ten years ago, I wrote about my thoughts on what was the 40th anniversary - here's what I said then and it still holds true:

Star Trek has been good to me. Through it's fandom I made at lot of friends, had good times and I met the most important woman in my life. It helped me earn my living over the years, helped me kick-start my professional scriptwriting career, kept my journalistic endeavours afloat during lean times, and - oh yeah - it gave me plenty of great stories that kept (and continue to keep) me entertained.

I've been watching bits of the original series in recent weeks and rediscovering some of what it was that made me love this saga. Yeah, it has dated all right, but there's still stuff at the core of that show that shines through, decades later. Let's be honest, if there wasn't something unique about Trek, we wouldn't still be talking about it. Some observers might think that in these troubled times it's naive to hold on to a mythology that talks about unity of purpose and a better tomorrow, but last night I watched a documentary about 9/11 and it made me realise that we need these kind of aspirational stories, now more than ever. Star Trek, like Star Wars and Superman et al, are the heroic myths of our era; reinvented, retold, but always with the same intention.

A decade after writing that, I don't have a lot to add. Star Trek is still here, with its original tales backed up by new books and comics, new movies and very soon a new TV series with a new crew on a new starship. I can't wait to see it. I've been lucky enough to tell a dozen stories in Star Trek's mythos, giving back to something that has - and continues to - mean a lot to me. I hope to carry on...maybe for another fifty years.

Once again, here's to all the continuing voyages...

05 September 2016 @ 01:21 pm
Partworks are a thing over here in the UK - handsome collections that build week-by-week into something you will treasure forever, so the adverts say. When I was a kid, I got the massive New Oxford Illustrated Dictionary and The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Aircraft that way, and later when I started writing for a living I worked on The Official Star Trek Fact Files, the 007 Spy File and The Official Star Wars Fact File magazines - each issue is part of a larger whole and by the end of the run you usually have a impressive amount of material for your subscription.

Earlier in the year, the people at Hachette Partworks teamed up with Black Library to test-market The Warhammer 40,000 Legends Collection in a similar vein - each issue reprints a hardcover novel from the universe of Warhammer 40,000 and The Horus Heresy in a new larger format with bonus content, subscriber premiums and more. The test was a success, so this week (on Wednesday 7th to be exact) the full release for the collection kicks off, and you can learn all about it at the official website Here.

The Warhammer 40,000 Legends Collection is planned to run for 80 issues and it will feature a few of my novels, alongside work from m'colleagues Dan Abnett, Graham McNeill, Guy Haley, Aaron Dembski-Bowden, Chris Wraight, Gav Thorpe, Rob Sanders and others - check it out at your local newsagent or use the link to subscribe direct...

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30 August 2016 @ 10:43 am
Radio 4's Front Row is one of the BBC's most popular and well-regarded magazine shows on arts and entertainment, so it was pretty neat to be asked to come on and talk about writing for videogames for an audience of listeners who are likely to be outside the wheelhouse of most things games related...

This month has seen two big new releases in the video gaming world: the highly anticipated No Man Sky, which promises an infinite, constantly regenerating universe for players to discover, and the latest instalment in the sci-fi blockbuster franchise Deus Ex: Mankind Divided. From an economic perspective, games have outperformed other creative industries for years, and they're also nurturing the best creative writing talent.
So how do writers fit in to this multi-billion pound industry? Novelist and scriptwriter James Swallow, whose game writing credits include Deus Ex: Mankind Divided and No Man's Sky, and scriptwriter and story designer Rhianna Pratchett, whose credits include Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, discuss.

Samira Ahmed interviewed m'colleague Rhianna Pratchett and I on last Friday's show, where we talked about our work on the Tomb Raider and Deus Ex games, as well as the nature of narrative design and the future of game stories; check out the show here via this Link - Rhi and I are on from the 13:26 mark.