Aaron Dembski-Bowden

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

Sevatar, In Resin Clad

No prizes for guessing who you can preorder now.

Sevatar-5

 

So. Games Workshop have made a mini of one of my characters. That’s a sentence I’ve basically hoped would be true since I was a little kid, and is a pretty significant tick on the bucket list. I thought this’d be a moment where I jumped up and down and shrieked in playgroundish delight, but the truth (just like the day I hit the New York Times bestsellers’ list) is a bizarre sense of awestruck serenity.

More surreal than anything else.

Well, surreal and awesome.

It’s both obvious and weird that it’s Sev. Obvious because he’s easily my most popular and asked-about character, and he has a rank in the Heresy that deserves some time on the tabletop. Weird because authors don’t always write what they love; sometimes they write what they have ideas for at any given time. I occasionally joke about not liking him the way Paul Sheldon doesn’t like Misery Chastain. That’s not true but the analogy always tickles me, and there’s at least a thread-thin sliver of truth there. I like that people like him. That matters more, sometimes, especially when you’re trying to tell people a story.

But I digress. There’s gushing to be done.

Dat mini, tho.

People will ask if he matches what’s in my head, and I’ll say no – because that’s the truth. He looks waaaaay better for a start, and secondly, as I’ve mentioned before, I don’t really have concrete and definite pictures in my head for every detail of a character’s appearance. When I see artwork or modelled incarnations of my characters, I do the same thing I do when I’m writing them: I look for the 3-4 key details and the overall vibe. Talos isn’t a clear, definite image in my mind: he’s a vague aura of characteristics and details, like the runic faceplate; the exposed cables of Mark V armour; the broken Aquila on his chestplate; and the distinctive weapons he stole – all with an aura of melancholic anger and optimistic self-delusion, which is the core of his personality to me.

Capture a handful of key details and the overall vibe, and I’m sold. That’s how it always is with the many models and pieces of artwork I get sent, depicting my characters. That’s how it is with my novel covers, too.

So… what about Sevatar?

It’s impossible to overstate just how rad and fucking brutal Sev looks in his tabletop incarnation. Alan Bligh and John French gave him awesome, characterful rules, and Forge World’s Steve Whitehead has floored me with this resin-born slice of wickedness.

What can I even say, really? He looks perfect. The model speaks for itself.

(Also, I maximum adore the bareheaded Ravenloft look he’s got going on here, and in his HH book artwork.)

 

January 29, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | 7 Comments

The Talon of Horus… and an FSOG Interview

It’s real. It’s actually real. And it’s looking bloody lovely too, though you’ll have to excuse the weird light glare as this was under my painting lamp.

For a zoomed-in look, you can press your face against the screen so the pixels squoosh over your eyeballs – that way the raw data bypasses your tongue, kidney stones, and bile ducts, to filter directly into the brain. Or maybe you could print the picture out and liquefy the paper as a key ingredient in some new and exciting energy drink.

You can do what you like, okay? I don’t care. That’s the point, here. I’m not your boss. I won’t judge you.

 

photo (26) photo (27)

“Book I of the Black Legion Series.”

And so it begins. Series. Not “trilogy”. Series.

OH GOD THE PRESSURE.

I’m not exaggerating when I say I couldn’t be happier. It’s flawless, and I’m immensely grateful to everyone at BL who worked at the finish line to make it come out looking like this. I think the artwork just went on sale, by the way.

I’ll just head off one particular question now: “Why is it The Talon of Horus? Didn’t it used to be Abaddon: Talon of Horus“?

Nope. It was always The Talon of Horus. Look back at the 800 times I’ve mentioned it on Facebook, Twitter, any forum ever, and indeed this blog, and you’ll see that it’s always been The Talon of Horus. There’s a conflicting image on Amazon that has a mock-up of a cover, but that was an error. Amazon just took an age to update it (it still shows as A:TToH in a few places, but is mostly corrected on the various national Amazon sites). I’ve said on a few forums and on my blog that the Amazon piccy was a flub, but it’s worth reiterating because I’m sure a few people won’t have caught any of those mentions. In most places it is – and always was – The Talon of Horus. 

This thrilling update was brought to you by the letters A, D, and B.

For the record, as gratifying as it will be for various folks to run to Amazon and pre-order it from everyone’s favourite tax-avoiding mega-company, I’ll just note that the more zealous and hardcore among you might want to wait until August, when there’ll be a fairly lush announcement regarding the novel. An announcement that, sadly, I’m not allowed to say a word about just yet. I asked! I swear! But the messianic overlords that stand astride BL Towers poured boiling oil down upon my hopes, using words like “marketing” and “when the time is right” and “in accordance with the prophecy”.

For now, enjoy its terrible and lovely beauty. Or don’t. That’s fine, too. Like I said, I’m not your boss. And if I was your boss, you can bet I’d tell you to stop screwing around with plastic spacemen and focus on business things, like money and dollars and perhaps even Canadian dollars too, which are apparently a real thing.

Also, if you’re interested, check out this podcast interview I did with Fifty Shades of Geek only last night, which might just be worth your time. If it’s not up right away, check back in a few hours. There’s a fair bit about current/upcoming projects, many spoilers about past novels, and incredibly features only 2* swear words.

 

 

* — I think it’s only 2. I can’t actually remember.

June 15, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | 17 Comments

Deathwatch – The Vigil Begins

You may remember that I’m starting a Deathwatch game soon – next weekend, in fact – with a few of the members of my 40K campaign group. It’ll also be the first field test of the (finally finished) Aaronorium, which is the best name for a games room since Futurama’s “Angry Dome”, “Calamatorium”, or “the Accusing Parlour”.

I’m making an effort to blog a little more this year, especially about hobby stuff, so we’ll start with a teaser. Our GM Mark (who plays Eldar, for the record) is notorious in our gang for going all-out in terms of effort at our 40K campaign weekends. His models are insane. As an example, he pro-painted a Blood Bowl orc team for me for my birthday. But this is above and beyond the call of duty. He had actual props made for when we’re sat around the table.

Check these out…

4 1 2 3

Holy fucking shit, right? I need a weapons rack for the Aaronorium so, so badly. 

The guys in my DW group haven’t even seen these yet, so consider yourself on the bleeding edge of my delicious but ultimately futile existence.

January 24, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | 16 Comments

The Talon of Horus

I can hardly believe it, but I started The Talon of Horus today. The book I’ve been wanting to write since forever.

The rough plan (very, very rough, remember) is to open the Black Legion Series with a trilogy: The Talon of Horus, The Black Legion, and Chaos Ascendant. I’ve been saying it in interviews and on panels for years, and it’s such a rush now it’s finally coming to pass.

The sheer scale of possibility has had me delaying this series a few times, because it’s the story of… everything. It could last for years and years. I originally pitched it as 2-3 novels, but my editors have mentioned that it might work better as a long-running series. “Your ‘Gaunt’s Ghosts‘,” are the words being used.

The scale terrified me, the way it would terrify anyone with at least half an eye towards all the possibilities on the table. It’s the story of the Chaos Marines after the Scouring, from the first years of the Legion Wars in the Eye of Terror, right up to… well, that’s the thing. Right up to wherever I want to take it. It could go anywhere. The story of the Black Legion is the story of the Chaos Marines themselves, the Armies of the Damned, across 10,000 years of spite, sin, and war.

So. Here we go. The story of the last days of the Sons of Horus, driven to extinction by the Traitor Legions, yet reborn from the same bloodlines.

ToH

I love how even my own Microsoft Word doesn’t recognise my surname as a real thing.

March 29, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | 53 Comments

As 2012 Draws to a Close…

I mentioned this in my Facebook/Twitter splurging a few days back, but If I don’t get another chance to say it before the Big Day when 2012 becomes 2013, then Happy Holidays, Season’s Greetings, and a Happy New Year to everyone whose eyes fall over these words.

The last 12 months have been tough, enlightening, and amazing. Alexander came along, and is already walking (as long as he has something nearby to grab onto). I wrote my second Horus Heresy novel over the course of 9 months, which was “the hardest one to write yet”, just like I say about everything I write. Every novel is the hardest while I’m writing it, and the one I hate the most once it’s released. I think that’s just a hazard of the job. When you spend ages making something and that many people are staring at it, it doesn’t matter what they say. All you see are the holes and imperfections.

In other news, I constructed my games room (not on my own, obviously), so now I can say “Gentlemen, to the Aaronorium” with a straight face. I might even start saying it to strangers in the street. I’ll do it without blinking, for maximum effect.

This is the first year I’ve ever been in a position not to be freaking out that I’ll end up in the gutter come tax month, and you might think that finding my feet financially (along with being married for a year, and having a baby boy) would encourage me to actually get some writing done much faster than usual. Nice theory.

However, if you thought that, you’d be wrong. I’m still as slow as ever.

My bad.

I’m currently getting close to finishing Blood & Fire, which is a little (well, a quite long, actually) tale featuring the words Season of Fire, Armageddon, Celestial Lions, Grimaldus, as well as the name of a certain Chapter that dresses in a blackish templarish way, and – of course – the name of a certain stormtrooper has been mentioned more than once.

After Blood & Fire, I’m starting The Talon of Horus, and I couldn’t be more psyched about it. Not much to say at this stage, except that the main character will be at the right hand of Abaddon through the fall of the Sons of Horus and the rise of the Black Legion, over the course of 10,000 years. Yeah, unless I get killed or banned from touching the IP, this series threatens to be a long one. If you’ve read Bernard Cornwell’s Warlord Chronicles (about “King” Arthur) or Steven Pressfield’s novels of Ancient Greece (Gates of Fire; Tides of War; The Afghan Campaign, etc.) then you’ll know the atmosphere.

The main character’s name is Inaros Khayon, though he has many, many, many titles by 999.M41, and hardly anyone knows his real name by then.

I’m dimly aware that I owe a few updates about my Heresy and 40K armies, so that’ll be inbound in January.

But thank you for enjoying what I do – evidently enough for me to have done it for another year. Thanks for all the feedback, and for taking time to review anything you’ve reviewed on blogs, on Amazon, on Goodreads, or wherever else. Best wishes (along with the blessing of your deity of choice, if appropriate) from the newly forged Dembski-Bowden family, on this Christmas morning.

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December 25, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | 16 Comments

First Claw (on the tabletop)

I get a lot of images (and often the models themselves, as gifts) of First Claw conversions. It’s always flattering, always awesome, and always a surprise. I keep every single one for my office (and soon, for the Aaronorium).

But… Jesus Christ. Here’s the newest one. Just look at these guys.

Freaking killer.

First Claw, by Dimitris Kiourtsoglou.

First Claw, by Dimitris Kiourtsoglou.

December 17, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | 15 Comments

I’m Still Alive, Post-Canada (Mega Photo Update)

So here’s a photo of me touching Chris Wraight’s balls:

No, really. My knuckles bumped his balls. We had a Moment.

I was in Canada for a while, with a bunch of the other Black Library authors. Here’s Dan, Nik, Jim, Chris, me, Gav and Graham. Gemma, who actually organised the event, isn’t here for some reason. But many thanks to her for playing hostess with aplomb. As I’ve said before, I don’t travel well, but this was a pretty magnificent week away.

I had my usual pre-event (and indeed, during-event) discomfort that nothing short of growing a backbone will ever stop, but no one died. I consider that a net gain for humanity. I also got to meet the Chestermere town mayor dressed as a Sister of Battle (no, really) and ate Vietnamese food for the first time ever, which was life-changingly good. (Thanks, Nathan and his Lilliputian bride, Theresa.)

As always, I took no decent photos. You may recall my trip to Chicago? Yeah, where this pic from the Lego store was the only photo that made it back with me:

My photos from Canada are similarly useless and/or meaningless to anyone who isn’t me.

Here’s one of the Rockies that’s actually real and not fake:

This is a real place. I was actually there, and actually took this photo.

And here’s one at Banff, one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen in my life:

And as you can see, I used it to be mean to Houston, for beating the Suns in the 1993 playoffs. No, I won’t get over it. No, you shut up.

Also, Katie and Jim Swallow jazzed up my Chaos Raptors by introducing this… this Disco Madness or whatever:

And for some reason, I have this photo of me in a restaurant:

And (true story) that was taken by a Marines Errant player by the name of Jason, whose Chapter I killed off in Blood Reaver. 

He was very forgiving.

There was also this guy:

…who looked crazy-similar to my friend Nik. So much so, that I made him stand there while I texted Nik this very photo. “STAY THERE, MAN. OH MY FUCK, YOU LOOK JUST LIKE MY FRIEND NIK. HE HAS TO SEE THIS SHIT.”

My friends Nik and Rob (who I have, on occasion, been known to call my brothers in the most exquisite moments of bromance) came over to see me, Katie and Alexander while we were at my mum’s place for one night, pre-Canada:

…and as you can see, I was totally justified in my claims of clonehood. That guy looked just like Nik, man. I kept staring at The Clone for the rest of the day, which I hope he didn’t notice, as in a strictly legal sense, I was probably stalking him.

Also, here’s one of Rob and Alexander:

I’m pretty shit at taking photos, but the two ones above really touched me. They were great moments – but then, I cry at the end of How to Train Your Dragon, so I’m not really an emotionally stable human being. My word simply cannot be trusted.

For some reason, totally out of order, there’s also one I took on my last jog:

…which I stopped, breathless and disgusted, to take. Rural Ireland is a very rainy place, and it pulls shit like this on the countryside lanes all the time. It’s like it has a gentle grudge against the people that live here. Sometimes there are trees in the road, because Ireland just thought that would jazz the place up a bit. Sometimes the diesel freezes in your car, putting you at very real risk of death unless your father-in-law has a pimpingly huge 4×4 to get groceries. It’s the sort of place that resents human intrusion, and isn’t shy to let it show.

I ran through that puddle a moment later, and it was almost Geneva Conventions-breakingly cold. As I did it, I thought of all the soldiers who read my work, and all the cross-country training they do. I’d like to say I had a moment of unselfish perspective and realised my problems weren’t all that great after all, but that would be a lie. My feet were wet, cold, and fuck you because that was bad enough.

But I have no idea why that photo is there, completely out of order.

While we were gone, Alexander was playing at my mum’s house for the week. Every day, she’d update her Facebook with pictures and a blog of what he’d been up to that day, and some absolutely beautiful shots came out of it.

Here’s a couple with his great-granddad:

I want to get the second one blown up and framed for the hallway wall.

And, perhaps most importantly, Mum was good enough to start grooming my replacement. She says he was updating his blog, but I’m intensely sucky at that, so this casts his entire lineage into question.

Also, it’s finally, finally done. Betrayer went to the wire, being just as late as The First Heretic, Blood Reaver, and The Emperor’s Gift. Let it never be said that I’m not consistent, even if it’s consistency in the very worst ways.

But since none of you care about any of that, here’s a new infrequent feature that I’m sure to forget about. Desktop Watch! What I’m working on right now:

The Underworld War is my Gal Vorbak story in the Mark of Calth anthology, detailing the ins and outs of daemonic possession, and the Word Bearers left to die on Calth, hoping for reinforcements that aren’t coming.

The Lord Inquisitor, quite obviously, is WIP document for The Lord Inquisitor. I’ll restate for the bajillionth time: me and Erasmus are redoing the whole story, and the voice actor in the proof of concept trailer is long, long gone.

The Talon of Horus is the synopsis for, uh, a novel with the working title of The Talon of Horus. It’s the first in my (hopefully long-running) Sons of Horus / Black Legion series. But we’ll see. It’s just in the first tentative stages right now, and I’m a changeable creature.

So now you’re up to date.

Leave me alone.

October 27, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

Betrayer Opening Quote

June 4, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | 47 Comments

New Lord Inquisitor Teaser Trailer

I was reliably informed that some of you might be interested in seeing the new teaser trailer for The Lord Inquisitor.

Behold.

May 29, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | 18 Comments

Questions and Answers

Annnnd back from the Horus Heresy meeting. Which means: back at work on Betrayer, Werewolf: the Apocalypse 20th Edition, and The Lord Inquisitor.

With all the filming I’ve been doing of Alexander lately, I think I should probably make good on my claim to finally “Do a video Q&A, like Dan always does.”

If it fails due to time or club-fisted editing (and remember, this’ll just be me in my office, so don’t expect miracles), I’ll just answer stuff in a long post like I’ve done in the past. But if it works, it should be worthwhile.

So, ask questions.

Go wild.

We’ll see if this works.

May 11, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | 129 Comments