Aaron Dembski-Bowden

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

Priests of Mars, Covers, and Necromunda Campaign Pix

As a general rule, I don’t tend to whore work out for all to see. Not my colleagues’, not my friends’, and rarely even my own beyond showing some cover art after long waits, throwing up a prologue (when it’s ready…) or linking to a few novel reviews. I’m not, shall we say, up to my nuts in the lifestyle of a literary pimp.

But I finally got hold of Graham’s Priests of Mars, which makes up 50% of the Black Library novels I’m most looking forward to in 2012 (the other half of that demographic being Dan’s forthcoming Pariah). These’ll be the two books I awkwardly smile about when I ask the other guys to sign them, and these’ll be the two books where both Graham and Dan shake their heads slightly as they scrawl their signatures, wondering if I’ll ever man the fuck up.

(Spoiler: I won’t.)

I read the first half of this in a Word.doc a while back, and it’s my fave thing Graham’s ever written. If you buy it on my recommendation and totally hate it, feel free to unleash your online e-wrath upon me, via the method of blog commentary. But seriously, I was in love with its raw Rogue Trader-era-ness, so I’ll break my covenant of silence to recommend it to any sci-fi fan.

I’m actually grinning here, but for some reason I look more like a leering child molester. Creepy. Also, the angle of my head makes my hat a weird shape.

In other news, Priests of Mars has the best cover of any 40K book ever, and it’s making me rethink my demands that “Seriously, I’ll only do the Abaddon / Black Legion / Rise of the Warmaster series if I can have Raymond Swanland do the cover.” Because Slawomir Maniak is clearly The Sex. Check out both artists work with some Googling. Tell me what you think.

By the by, I’ll be in Dublin this Saturday, with Dan and Graham, signing in the GW there (the staff there, by the way, were awesome enough to make my Realms of Battle board for me).

With the (long) weekend done and the Necromunda campaign underway, I’m a little behind in my work. Alexander teething early isn’t helping when it comes to sleep, either. Nevertheless, for those of you who demanded pics of the Necromunda jazz going on, here’s a slice of what went down over the three days of bloodshed and carnage in the Underhive:


Incidentally, my Cawdors sucked, but didn’t die.

Katie’s Eschers are already the gang to beat, out of the 10 of us playing. She’s deadly.



May 23, 2012 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. Slawomir Maniak: WOW!

    Comment by Jamie Nelson | May 23, 2012 | Reply

  2. “Priests of Mars”

    My knees go weak just reading the title.

    Comment by Rictus | May 23, 2012 | Reply

    • For really reals. It’s a pure classic sci-fi name. Plus Rogue Trader.

      Rocks on toast.

      Comment by Aaron Dembski-Bowden | May 23, 2012 | Reply

  3. I stand by my belief that Necromunda is the best thing GW ever released. And your eyes look strangely close together in that picture.

    Comment by Brad | May 23, 2012 | Reply

  4. Oh man, some pictures of actual models. That is impressive. And Im kinda looking forward to this book as well. Nice seeing things from the Mechanicum-angle like Titanicus did. 🙂

    Comment by Forkmaster | May 23, 2012 | Reply

    • Also, your eyes look very small. Creepy small.

      Comment by Forkmaster | May 23, 2012 | Reply

  5. Priests of Mars would be bought oh yes! Aaron where is the promised prologue for the Betrayer?

    Comment by Anakwanar | May 23, 2012 | Reply

  6. Priest of Mars has be so torn. I adored Mechanicum but the last few books and stories I’ve read from Graham have left me feeling kinda blah or decidedly annoyed (The Outcast Dead)….so do I really want to f

    Comment by Xhalax | May 23, 2012 | Reply

    • Uuuuuuuuuu

      Stupid goddamn idiot fingers. Stupid goddamn phone!

      …fork out for a hardback book that could leave me on a similar predicament as the last few have. I really don’t know.

      This sucks!

      Comment by Xhalax | May 23, 2012 | Reply

  7. Teething is going to go on for a while. My condolences!

    Van Saar and Ratskins FTW!

    Comment by John the Great | May 23, 2012 | Reply

  8. Even though Graham is known for his Ultras,I think his super strong point is the Mechanicus.
    Mechanicum is my Favorite by far so I am really looking forward to it.
    Can’t wait for Betrayer to come out either.
    Pariah I have been waiting 10 years for?

    Comment by Bigwill | May 23, 2012 | Reply

    • 10 years from the last Eisenhorn book

      Comment by Bigwill | May 23, 2012 | Reply

  9. Very cool. I’ve always been a big fan of the Adeptus Mechanicus for some reason. I look forward to reading it meself. 🙂

    Also, never played Necromunda but it looks AWESOME. Haven’t really had time for my tabletop games of late due to job and Master’s Degree work (oh Battletech, let me count the ways I miss you…) but I’d love to try Necromunda.

    Comment by Christopher Meyer | May 23, 2012 | Reply

  10. That Necromunda terrain has just blown my socks off! Literally, they are now on the other side of my living room. I haven’t played Necromunda in a few years, but if I had a pimptastic set up like that I’d never stop playing it.

    The art is cool too, btw.

    Comment by Gavtron | May 23, 2012 | Reply

  11. is that a realm of battle board you’re rocking? Seriously need to get me one of those

    Comment by tim clowes | May 23, 2012 | Reply

  12. Cant wait for priest of mars I loved Mechanicum so if he does the same for 40k era followers of the machine god it will be awesomesauce.

    Also reading Gift of the Emperor today just got to the Armegeddon stuff and got to say really enjoying it never read the previous Grey Knights stuff and im really impressed with what you’ve done with them.I love that youve managed to tie it in to one of my other favourite 40K series and its got me salavating for Dan’s next book not that I wasnt already.

    Im really impressed by the BL authors working together a lot more it makes the universe feel more real tand coherent it started with the Heresy and its now lendign to the 40k stuff anyway that enough gushing.

    P.S tried to be as cryptic as possible there without leaving any spoliers

    Comment by Cor | May 23, 2012 | Reply

  13. If you hadn’t loved Necromunda, I’d probably have quietly *fucked right off* and never listened to anything you said ever again. Glad you do 🙂

    Also, shiny things are good. I want shiny things. I will gladly spend a disproportionate amount of bosnian convertible marks on shiny things if you say they are shiny.

    Comment by Roderick Hamilton | May 24, 2012 | Reply

  14. I love how your Necromunda terrain looks better than some of the terrain at my LGS does. I’ve yet to play an actual Necromunda game, the closest I’ve come to it was a Halloween-style zombie survival game using rules based off Necromunda. Each player had one figure and they had to get from one short table edge to the other through a horde of DM-controlled zombies. I had a Hive ganger of my own design armed with a bolter and a pickaxe who was just callous enough to sacrifice two other players to the horde before being shot in the back and left for dead by the rest of the survivors.

    Oh, and in case I failed to mention these earlier: Butcher’s Nails rocks socks, and Void Stalker broke the bee’s knees because, dammit, that bee owed Talos money. Between the two of those and Know No Fear all in the same week, my brain is thoroughly buzzing without even needing rum.

    Comment by Khestra the Unbeheld | May 24, 2012 | Reply

    • I’m the same, ive loved Necormunda since i was aware of it, actually bought it when i manged to save enough and have yet to play again 10 years later. However i down House of Escher, Cawdor, Goliath annnnd some Enforcers which Rock my world 😀 Would dearly love to play a game like this. Bunch of mates.. kick ass terrain set 🙂 Good times.

      Comment by Crispin Ozz (@Skilledhandz) | May 25, 2012 | Reply

  15. You have convinced me to try some McNeil again Aaron, last book i read of his was Mechanicum which was good but not DA. But then again i suppose not much is DA. I hold you at your work though, if is disapoints feedback will be given! Artists? both have fairly different styles, Swanlands style is more old worldy… and Slawomir Maniak seems abit more 40K i guess. However both totally and utterly kick ass 🙂 Do you actually just get to choose who you want? *jealous*

    Comment by Crispin Ozz (@Skilledhandz) | May 25, 2012 | Reply

  16. You are dead right Aaron, Priests of Mars is a fantastic novel. If anyone is interested I reviewed it last week,


    As for the cover it is indeed awesome, and I hope that the artist does more work for Black Library in the future.


    Comment by Lord of the Night | May 26, 2012 | Reply

  17. Is it wrong that Im a little aroused by Slawomir’s Sister of Battle?

    Comment by unkleram77 | May 30, 2012 | Reply

  18. Priests of Mars is flipping epic. I have built a little altar for it at home, where I try and sacrifice a couple of psychics every day. Best BL so far this year along with The Emperor’s Gift. Have to get around to writing a review soon :/

    Comment by Erik Lundqvist (@erik_lundqvist) | June 19, 2012 | Reply

  19. […] Cultists are earmarked for use as models for my Necromunda gang, the Dart Frogs. As you may recall, I play Necromunda. My gang rolled five (yes, five) ‘Slag’ territories, meaning my gang claims a slice of […]

    Pingback by Painting Black – Um. Help. « Aaron Dembski-Bowden | September 3, 2012 | Reply

  20. This might be a bit late, but I own all three books in this series. Currently finishing up Gods of Mars. Graham realy went all out with it. Loving it.

    Comment by savageddt | May 28, 2017 | Reply

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