Aaron Dembski-Bowden

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

Ragnar eBookmane, and 2015’s End

I didn’t think up that unbelievably tragic wordplay, but it was so deliciously bad that I just had to steal it for a blog post title. You guys and girls know me by now. If I’d thought up something that fucking dire, I’d have been legitimately proud of it.

2016 is going to be a hell of a year, work-wise. I’ll keep you posted, natch, because it all pertains to pretty much every question I’ve been asked in 2015 (“Where is The Master of Mankind?” and “Where is The Black Legion?”

But firstly, as 2015 comes to an end, let me just slide in a quick “Thanks, Gang.”

Thanks, as ever, for liking my work enough to want to read it – and doubly so for every review you leave online, and the feedback you wing my way via forums or social media. Thanks for helping us raise over £1,000 for Ellie’s charity last month. Thanks for being patient with how slow I’ve written of late, too. If it’s any consolation to those of you eager for The Master of Mankind and The Black Legion, I’m powering through at something like my old speed again. (Which, admittedly, was still always pretty slow. But it’s still progress.)


For those of you asking when they could get hold of a non-limited-edition version of Ragnar Blackmane, the answer is… Right now, apparently. I know, right? That took me by surprise, too. It’s good to see it getting out there – I tried a lot of new stuff with that accursed novel and it ended up taking me almost all of 2014 to write.

I managed to squeeze in a vignette story for the Black Library Advent Calendar called ‘Without Fear’, which got a short but lovely review from Track of Words:

“…to illustrate Dembski-Bowden’s personal take on the Ultramarines, their character and idiosyncrasies. He goes far beyond their usual portrayal as being rigid and precise, the ‘perfect Marines’, delving into their linguistics, their pre-battle rituals, and the devastating power that they (and all Marines) possess, and his Ultramarines are at once powerfully human and terrifyingly alien. It’s characteristic of his writing, full of careful little touches that build up a beautifully detailed picture for the reader, and a far more thoughtful and considered tale than most Black Library stories.”

Given the subject matter and how much ground has been trodden with the Ultramarines before, that was a helluva nice review.

But enough of all that.

I owe all you wonderful bastards a Christmas present, don’t I? An extract from The Master of Mankind, right?

I’m sending some stuff in to my editor this week, to help choose which section to post. Maybe some insight into the Emperor’s dealings with Angron. Maybe a little about the Emperor’s supposed childhood on Ancient Terra.

December 28, 2015 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. “Supposed” childhood on Terra? Was he never a child? Does he have xenos origins? Goddamn you Aaron and a merry Christmas and happy new year to you and the family.

    Comment by dcbrave | December 28, 2015 | Reply

    • “It’s possible he was conceived by the midichlorians.”

      Comment by Aaron Dembski-Bowden | December 28, 2015 | Reply

      • I doubt that.

        Comment by bigblackfiend | December 28, 2015 | Reply

    • ‘“Supposed” childhood on Terra?’ All I can think of now is the Emperor spouting blatantly fake yet heartily patriotic lines like President Eden from Fallout 3

      “When I was a child, growing up in rural Kentucky, I had the best friend a boy could hope for, my dear old dog, Honey.” – The Emperor of Mankind (aka John Henry Eden)

      Comment by Thomas Anderson | December 28, 2015 | Reply

  2. Uh oh now I got way too excited about next year!!

    Comment by Forkmaster | December 28, 2015 | Reply

    • But that’s good! Well, y’know, it’s good for me. I feed on enthusiasm the way tentacled Underdark jellyfaces suckle on people’s brainmeat.

      Comment by Aaron Dembski-Bowden | December 28, 2015 | Reply

  3. I’m still waiting for ‘THE ARCHMAGE ZORBULON’ – Part 4

    Comment by megasolipsist | December 28, 2015 | Reply

    • I’d only planned that for that one day, really, but it was so popular I should probably keep going with it…

      Comment by Aaron Dembski-Bowden | December 28, 2015 | Reply

  4. I feel like there was too large a space at the end of this blog. What are you hiding Aaron? . . .
    Oh, and merry Christmas from Australia and all that jazz. (It’s so fucking hot down here.)

    Comment by Mitchell Brazel | December 28, 2015 | Reply

  5. Always look forward to your work, it’s so damned good that it’s pretty much heresy. Wish you and your family a great upcoming new year, may it be filled with bestsellers and…well, whatever the hell else you’d like it to be filled with.

    Comment by dweese33 | December 28, 2015 | Reply

    • Peanut M&Ms.

      Comment by Aaron Dembski-Bowden | December 28, 2015 | Reply

    • He likes young Korean Nubians.

      Comment by bigblackfiend | December 28, 2015 | Reply

  6. The Emperor and Angron? *swoon*

    Comment by Dexter | December 28, 2015 | Reply

    • That makes it sound like they’re kissing.

      I mean, I’m all for that, but it’s way too late to change it now.

      Comment by Aaron Dembski-Bowden | December 28, 2015 | Reply

      • Fulgrim will never be toppled from his throne as genecest slash-fic king.

        Comment by triceratopping | December 28, 2015 | Reply

      • There is no rage like a gay man scorned.

        Comment by Dexter | December 29, 2015 | Reply

    • That got me too. So many questions about what went on there.

      Comment by Michael Kennedy | December 28, 2015 | Reply

  7. YES. Just yes. Ive been curious about the emperor’s initial maltreatment of one of his more tortured progeny. And an MoM extract is almost too delicious of a prospect. Cannot wait.

    Comment by sethsoomro | December 28, 2015 | Reply

  8. you tease!

    Comment by John Stiening | December 28, 2015 | Reply

  9. Man Write als Slow as you want to…as Long as you keep that level that you got the Last years its all good….i bought all your books and i fuckin love em…just keep that high standard

    Comment by Owdnerd | December 28, 2015 | Reply

  10. Hmmmmm………I’m guessing the big E was a troublesome child. Precocious, didn’t eat his greens, wash behind his ears, dreamed of universal domination, etcetera. And I imagine he made a nightmare teenager.
    Seriously, please, for the love of Pete/Allah/God/The Giant Jellybean, print an extract of anything you’ve written. We’ll be eternally grateful. If it’s something from MoM, that would be awesome. If not, it’ll be worth the wait – I think we’d all agree with that. Good luck writing about a cornerstone of the whole canon, like…..

    Comment by Chris Robinson | January 2, 2016 | Reply

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