Friday, 8 October 2010

Black Library go Digital!

I've waited a long time for this day but at last it's here. The publishers who provide me with the majority of my leisure reading material are going digital!

By the end of October, Black Library's digital store will be open and I'll be able to buy all of my favourite author's work for my Kindle. As any long time reader of this blog may remember, my reluctance to buy the Kindle was based primarily upon the fact that the sort of stuff I like to read wasn't available on it, but no longer!

As part of their publicity campaign Black Library will be releasing an e-book every Friday for the next five weeks, gratis, to give people a taste of what to expect. This week's release is First and Only by Dan Abnett. If there are any of you out there with an ebook reader, including an iPhone or iPad, head over here and download the zip file.

I think I've made my feelings fairly clear on all things Warhammer 40,000. It's dystopian Science Fiction of the very best kind and should be read by all people with a taste for SF. The reason most people don't try is because the aforementioned world is thought of as being hard to get into, I'm going to ignore the tie-in fiction snobs who think it's beneath them.

I think Dan Abnett's First and Only is a great introduction. It is a series of short stories that introduce you to a unique Imperial Guard regiment and their battles, both internal and in a universe at war. I have long considered Mr. Abnett The Master and this book, one of his earlier works, set the foundation stone in my temple of to speak...I don't in any way have a candlelit shrine to this most gifted author, that would be madness, MADNESS I SAY.


Anyway, the other little bit of exciting news from those lovely people at Black Library is the release of their new digital-only fiction magazine, Hammer and Bolter.

Anyone already familiar with Games Workshop may remember Inferno magazine, which created a space for aspiring authors to show us their work in short story form. It also gave the opportunity for established writers to delve into the 40k and Warhammer Fantasy worlds in short story format rather than the novels they are more used to writing.

Hammer and Bolter will now fulfill this role. The first issue was on a CD that Black Library made available at Games Day and I'm in the middle of reading through it and enjoying it enormously. Just one point though guys and girls, please make Issue 2 with a selectable content page! (I'm sure they're already on it but I thought I'd mention it).

The newcomer's role is ably played by Sarah Cawkwell in her debut story, Primary Instinct, a little review of which I may post here when I get to it. Admittedly I've had a peek and been very impressed at her vivid world-building prose but I'll wait until I've read the whole story before saying anymore.

So, an exciting time for me reading wise. My Kindle has gotten more use in the last two weeks than the last year and I can't wait to see what the future holds for this publisher. The digital-only format of this magazine might limit the readership initially but with more and more people with iPhones and the like, it may open this universe out to people who might not otherwise have bothered. I hope so, it's really great stuff.


  1. yaaaay!
    I am pretty excited about this, I loved Inferno! and have many fond memories of... er, stories being rejected for it, so with luck there'll be more opportunities for the same with this!

    I feel weird reading off a screen, though. A lot of the time - if I'm, say, reading a story written by a friend or in word format - I can't concentrate on it fully, so I have to print it out.
    Something like a Kindle might help, or at least make me feel like I'm in the future, but they're pretty pricey, aren't they?

  2. Actually the Kindle has really come down in price. In the UK, the 3G version is £149 which is £50 less than I payed for it and is a much improved version...which gets on my nerves a little :)

    I'm trying to get Black Library to let me put Hammer and Bolter Issue 1 on my blog so that more people can try it out...


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