Aaron Dembski-Bowden

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

A Few Things…

Excuse the relative drought of decent bloggery. Between my deadlines, Katie’s ever-swelling bump, and a mix of various meetings, stag nights, friends visiting and general chaos, I’m trying to squeeze as much time into getting some actual work done as I can.

Just wanted to chuck up a couple of things.

Firstly, thanks for the responses to the first chapter of Dear Fuchsia. I’d not expected so many, and I’d been considering for a long time whether to make them public or not. The fact I was going to write them wasn’t in doubt, but I hesitated to assume anyone else might be interested in them. There’ll be more in the coming months, and I hope you’ll continue excusing the tone: they’re not written for everyone (in fact, they’re only really written for one person), so thanks a bunch for not complaining that they’re not funny or don’t mention my work, or whatever. I appreciate it  a lot. This is my blog – and as writers we’re told how blogs are a necessary marketing evil, even if I barely pay attention to it – but it’s mostly my journal, and a place to spill my thoughts.

Secondly, about Games Day UK, I was there – but only “sort of”. I had one of my oldest friend’s stag nights the evening before, and showed up very late in Birmingham on the Sunday. Since my arrival was a last-minute agreement anyway, I didn’t have a poster or a pre-arranged signing queue. I did sign on the sly for about an hour, but I spent most of the day walking around the Black Library quad, and saying “I did that…” while pointing at Katie’s tummy. Curiously enough, I signed more books that day just by walking around and people saying “Wait, aren’t you AD-B?” than I did for my first Games Day when I was sat at the table all afternoon.

Thirdly, I got sent two things I thought some folks might like to see.

The first is a picture of Argel Tal, drawn by Shane Cook, who did my First Claw art a while back. Do I need to say this is badass? I think it speaks for itself. Suffice to say, I love it lots.

I have a special, not-work-related commission in the wings for dear ol’ Shane. A bunch of us are setting up for a 40K campaign next year, and I’m thinking about getting him to draw the Chaos teams’ warlords in a similar piece to the First Claw sketch, as a nice touch for the Red Team players.

The second thing I thought might be worth mentioning is that the cover art for The Emperor’s Gift was on show at Games Day, in the form of a massive poster. A photo of it is now doing the rounds on various forums, natch. Here it is, just for kicks:

I like it a lot, though not with the unashamed love I have for most of my covers. Part of my reservations are simple enough: Jon Sullivan’s Night Lords covers (especially Void Stalker) are practically unbeatable, and Neil Roberts’ Heresy covers are super, super, super lush. When you have those two guys doing your covers, anyone else has a lot to live up to.

That said, it rocks on toast. It’s by Cheoljoo Lee, who does a lot of 40K artwork for various major deals (like Dawn of War II), and did the beautiful Salamanders series covers to boot. For the record, Hyperion isn’t a Justicar. The tilt plate on his shoulder is artistic license.

I was asked a lot on Sunday whether The Emperor’s Gift was going to lead into a series. The popular plan was for it to be a trilogy or a duology, and we’d see where it led on from there. Due to various reasons, the novel’s ending up longer than expected, and about way more than was planned in the first volume. I’m not sure where I stand on the score of doing more after it – I have a lot of love for the Grey Knights, but they changed drastically in their latest iteration of the codex, and a lot of what I’d planned ended up vanishing into the void with the old lore. It’s not a huge deal, but for now I’m keeping The Emperor’s Gift as a single (big…) novel, with a “we’ll see how it goes” feel for the future.

And on that note, I really need to go do some writing.

I also really need to add tags to my blog at some point. Searching this thing is a fucking nightmare.

September 27, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , ,


  1. Is that space battle you were talking about on the B&C where you had figured out all the zerograv physics and how combat would work still in?

    Comment by Chapter Master Ignis Domus | September 28, 2011 | Reply

  2. I wish I had the funds to attend Games Day UK :/ oh well, perhaps next year.

    Love all the arts 🙂 remind me, though, Argel Tal was the Word Bearer in “The First Heretic”, correct? Just wanted to check.

    Comment by Christopher Meyer | September 28, 2011 | Reply

    • Yes, the one that talks to the “Prophet/Seer/Survivor” a lot.

      Comment by Chapter Master Ignis Domus | September 28, 2011 | Reply

  3. What if your GK novel kicks ass? Like, major ass? Hell, let’s make it all the asses in the world. I think in that case GW would have to retcon Matt Ward, won’t they?

    Comment by TheSGC | September 28, 2011 | Reply

  4. So Matt Ward-ian fluff is keeping you in Check-Mate.
    Damn shame.

    Comment by Flying_Dutchman | September 28, 2011 | Reply

  5. Ah only if i stayed a tad longer on the day after fighting with swords fixed to get into the retail area.

    Comment by Adrian Hagger | September 28, 2011 | Reply

  6. Are there any concrete things that vanished that you really really wanted to use in your future sequals but now never will be which you could mention? 🙂

    Comment by Forkmaster | September 28, 2011 | Reply

  7. Really looking foward to the GK novel Aaron, there are some ‘mis-steps’ in the current codex by Mr Ward imo with some OTT stuff that really belongs in the ‘primarch’ or ‘not existing’ territory. But I do like the new structure of the chapter as a whole.

    Comment by Starsword | September 28, 2011 | Reply

  8. Looking forward to the Grey Knights. I don’t get what everybody doesn’t like about the new GK Codex, I like it. And yes I like Draigo, he’s superpowerful that isn’t in question but I don’t think he’s overpowered since he doesn’t actually “kill” anything, he just disperses the Daemons and sends them back into the dark(er) depths of the Warp. And the Mortarion thing… it needs to be explained more. I doubt he just walked up to Mortarion and bitch-slapped him to death, it was likely a gruelling fight where even a single mis-step would mean death, and I imagine at the end Draigo was heavily wounded and had to be helped from the field. It just needs to be explained in better detail to be acceptable. Anyone who says you can’t beat a Daemon Primarch is just showing favouritism, Angron was beaten and he was far more powerful than Mortarion.

    And Castellan Crowe is one of the best new heroes in quite a while, he paints a new picture in 40k that brings hope against Chaos. The Puresouls, as I have dubbed him and any others like him. That and he has an awesome sword, perhaps the most awesome sword in 40k.

    If I may ask ADB, what is your own opinion on the GK Codex? (Strictly off the record of course.) 🙂

    Lord of the Night

    Comment by Lord of the Night | September 29, 2011 | Reply

  9. Man happy for your marriage – maybe it will speed the fate of Sevatar=)
    He must die the most painful baddest death possible!

    And hope to see some of our lovely Talos squad dying – 2 books and all alive – you really sparing them!

    Comment by Anakwanar | September 30, 2011 | Reply

    • If the prophecy in the very end of Blood Reaver is anything to go by, a bunch of them are going to get their due deaths.
      I would be more than just slightly amazed if they somehow managed to avoid their shown fates, or if the prophecy won’t be turning out at all as shown (which probably isn’t the case).

      Comment by Drayhen | October 4, 2011 | Reply

  10. Hey Aaron, I don’t know why, but I got it in my head that Argel Tal (in his Raum form) had wings, but this picture suggests not, and I can’t now find anything in the books to back that up. Any chance you can give the definitive word, please?

    Comment by bittermanandy | January 5, 2014 | Reply

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