Aaron Dembski-Bowden

Don't worry. None of this blood is mine.

With an Eye to the Future

My 2010 was pretty great, all things considered. In a bizarre literary nexus, I had three (yeah, three) novels released in one year, despite all of them being written a million years apart. A publisher’s schedule is a crazy beast, and I am merely its wild-eyed rider.

I went to Chicago, which was one of the best weekends of my life.

I was sick in a truly staggering number of airports. I was also sick on a truly staggering amount of my own clothing.

I bumped my car into a wall, a tree, another car, and a different part of the same wall.

I made it onto the New York Times Bestseller List, which was so awesome I had to invent new swear words to describe it.

I saw several 4chan threads about my fiancee, which I thought were funny, and she most certainly did not.

I bought no fewer than 8,000,000 new hats, all of which were killer. I was also given 3; 2 of which were killer, 1 of which sucked.

I met Chris Wraight and Matt Farrer, who I added to the list of Writers Who Will Actually Talk To Me, and have locked them into the slow but pleasant process of forging into chums.

I had the most amazing conversation with my brother, where we finally cleared some deeply entrenched brainjunk and sorted through the chaotic backlog of our family history.

I forgave him when he was too hungover to remember any of it the next morning.

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2011 started badly, but it’s pulled itself together in time for February. F’rex, the pixie and I just got a new car, which I’m sure in the grand scheme of things is no massive accomplishment – but to me, our new Rover represents the absolute pinnacle in car ownership thus far in my eternally confused existence. And we bought it in the same week I filed my self-assessment taxes, as well as writing my first article for a review website, paying an immense list of bills, hitting 20,000 words on my super-secret non-40K novel, starting my Grey Knights novel, and still finding time to despise my cat (who sucks, and I hate him).

All of this combines to make some kind of ultra-mature week of adulthood that any man would be proud of.

Oh, you think that’s nothing? You pay your taxes and buy cars all the time, do you? Is that how you roll?  Well try to bear in mind that it was a big deal for me. I am not a high-functioning creature. The last time I was in a legitimate fight with another human being, I not only tried to do a Sonic Boom from Streetfighter II, I was genuinely surprised when it didn’t work. That’s how my brain functions.

I like the men in the background, with their grotesque melted faces.

This year is going to be a more subdued beast than its predecessor, but not an entirely silent one. I have more signings to do this year, and more industry-careery things. A week in New York City with Andy and Ken is going to kick so much booty that I may detonate from irritatingly high-pitched excitement while we’re still checking in. Did you know Toys R Us in Times Square has a ferris wheel? Oh, you did? It’s a totally famous fact that everyone knows? Well, I didn’t, so shut up. But I’m totally getting photos of that bad boy, mark my words.

Katie is going to take an empty suitcase for clothes she buys out there, and will almost certainly disappear into the city with my credit card clutched in her tiny Irish fingers.

While I only (ha, “only”) have one novel being released in 2011 – Blood Reaver, the sequel to Soul Hunter – I’ve got the next several 40K novels on my plate fairly close to organised and loosely planned out. In fact, 2011 needs to be spent writing two of them, which will be the Grey Knights novel, and the last of the Night Lords trilogy, which I’ve currently named I Can’t Name this Book, and I Keep Changing My Mind over the Title.

I’ve also promised myself to get enough of my non-40K novel cracked so I can send it to agents and kickstart that side of my career. It currently creeps by under the working title Annabelle’s Blood, which is very apt, but I’d like it a lot more if half my sci-fi novels didn’t already have that damn noun in their names, too.

I’ve also got several short stories and a novella coming out. Not sure how much I can blab about any of them, but here’s the skinny on what’s confessable:

The novella is one of Black Library’s limited edition range, and it’s a Horus Heresy novella. I’ve toyed with notions of a Mechanicum plot in the past, but it never felt quite right. This was a big deal for me, and it had to be something damn special because of the format, but it couldn’t be essential to the saga due to the limited edition nature of the whole deal.

The story I decided to tell was actually chosen by all the freaking mail I’ve had since The First Heretic went live. “What did Lorgar witness in the Eye of Terror?”

Good question, 500,000 people. I’ll get back to you all on that later this year.

One of the short stories I’ll be doing is the prologue / teaser / test for my potential future Rise of the Warmaster series, featuring Abaddon the Despoiler in the years after the defeated Legions retreat to the Eye.

My Grey Knights novel has the working title of The Emperor’s Gift. (You may now stop asking and/or sending me suggestions.) In a spot of intriguing news, and with no spoilers allowed, it has a strong tie to Dan’s Eisenhorn/Ravenor series, and it’s set in the same era. But neither of us are saying a word more about it, yet. The phone line has burned over this one, and to say I’m excited as all hell would still be an understatement. If it doesn’t rock on toast, you have my permission to shoot me in the face.

Yeah, I’m doing another Horus Heresy novel, but not in 2011. No, I can’t say what it’s about yet. It’s still a long way away, and I have more immediate stuff I want to write.


Most terrifying of all.

I’m getting married in the summer.

We’re sorting out wedding invites this month, now we’ve got the gold coins to do so. The list is small (out of intention, not loneliness), and was a surprisingly murderous process of chop-chop-chopping here and there, to whittle it down to something manageable and intimate. Like, do you invite “mates”? What about “chums” and “pals”? Colleagues, maybe, but what about “co-workers”? Jesus, is there even a difference? What’s with all the goddamn synonyms? And what’s the difference between a distant friend and a close acquaintance?

These questions and many more, how they plagued us.

But for now, I leave you with a query that has rattled around my skullspace for several blighted weeks:

What the hell is this thing, and can I have one as a wedding present?

I think I’d call him Tybalt.


February 1, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | 29 Comments