Friday, 30 June 2017

Gav Thorpe - Newsletter

The most recent news from the author Gav Thorpe...

Fantasy Artwork from Gav's Website
  • Hello!
  • Interview with WargamerOnline
  • Weird Ales: Last Orders
  • The Origins of the Tau
  • My Favourite 40K Art
  • Newsletter Q&A
  • Kickstarter - Human Interface
  • Blog Round-Up
  • Upcoming Events
  • Hard Drive Hot List (or, My Current Projects)
  • Submissions Alert - Heroic Fantasy Quarterly
  • Bi-Monthly Competition
Gav drinking a cup of tea
Part of Warbeast Artwork
Before we get to the newsletter proper, I just want to say a huge thank you to everyone who took the time to vote for Warbeast in the David Gemmell Legend Award - your support is truly appreciated.  The winner is announced at EdgeLit on 15th July.
In case you missed it you can now read my short story The Blessed and The Cursed, which was originally published in Legends 2, a 2015 anthology in honour of David Gemmell, over on my website, for free.


So, new 40K, eh?
As of writing, I have had one game with the new system and have another lined up to be played at Warhammer World in a couple of days' time. Bearing in mind that I have not actually played 40K for nearly a decade, my overall impressions are very positive. I've been looking at the three ways to play and think that, on the whole, Narrative Games will be my kind of thing.
That said, there's a lot in the Matched Play style that I like as well, and although it says to use points values so that complete strangers can meet up and have a 'balanced' game (yeah, there's no such thing in my experience) I don't see why the scenarios, Tactical Objectives and other stuff couldn't be used if you're just picking forces based on Power levels.
Warhammer 40k Dark Imperium Box Set
I really like the idea of 'Power' instead of very specific points systems. It makes putting together a force really quick - in fact we just grabbed models out of our cases for our first game and did a rough tally. It also does away with the notion that the value of every single option and tactical circumstance can be rendered down to a specific value.
For example, a lascannon is worth a lot if you're faced with a lot of tanks, and not very much at all if you end up playing against a horde of Gretchin. Value in wargames is so contextual, dependent upon the tabletop, enemy and scenario, that anything other than a 'close enough' guesstimate is pretending to an accuracy that doesn't exist.
Cover of Ravenwing by Gav Thorpe
It's something I had a little joke with in Ravenwing, as Annael discusses the motivations of the Port Imperial rebels with Sabrael:
“I see your point, brother. We do not ascribe arbitrary value to individuals, but create it from the wider context of our purpose. A host of tough enemies may be slain and yet victory not achieved, whilst the death of a single less powerful individual may prove the victorious moment.”
Just a week and a bit after release there are already people declaring certain parts of the game system broken, troops that need boosting or nerfing, etc etc. Firstly, I envy them the time they clearly have at their disposal as they must have played many times in the space of a week to draw such deep conclusions about a brand new game system. Secondly, really...?
Just as the video games community occasionally has an entitled toxicity, in which certain players will never be satisfied that the game is 'balanced', so too wargames. These people will never be happy, something will always be a point too much or too little, and somehow this will be the ruination of everything they enjoy about 40K.
So I think I'll stick to rough-and-ready power levels for now, because close enough is good enough.
[You can read more about my slippery slope back into 40K in this blog post.]

Interview with WargamerOnline

In a worrying trend, I've been asked to do two video interviews recently.  If this carries on I'm going to have to get my hair cut and trim my beard more regularly.  Anyway, you catch watch the first interview with WargamerOnline here:
Gav video with WargamerOnline

Weird Ales: Last Orders

As Black Library always have work for me, it's difficult sometimes to set aside time to work on my own projects - prioritising speculative writing over paid work is daunting when you're self employed and have bills to pay.  One way I manage the need to spread my creativity, is to write short fiction.  I'm able to use my story ideas that don't fit the 'grim darkness' without risking too much in the way of income.
To that end, my latest offering - Psychopomp and Ceremony - has just been published in the Weird Ales: Last Orders anthology (alongside fellow Black Library author Josh Reynolds).
Cover of Weird Ales Anthology
" And now, the end is near... From creator Theresa Derwin and editor Lynn M Cochrane comes the final installment of the Weird Ales trilogy.
From festivals to free houses, clubs to cantinas, bars to breweries to beerkellers, we’ve travelled the drinking world. But the bell is being rung, so from the hangover from hell to Gav Thorpe’s spectacular conclusion, join us for Last Orders. The last drink you’ll ever take."

The Origins of the Tau

As I’ve mentioned in some interviews, the genesis of the T’au philosophy and society pre-dates my employment at Games Workshop (and their official inception) by about a decade.  Read about their origins, and my part in it, in this blog post.
Tau Artwork
Eldar Art from Rogue Trader

My Favourite* 40K Art

*I don't really do 'favourites' because it can vary wildly with my mood, so when Grimdark Magazine asked me for my favourite 40K art I chose an Eldar piece from Rogue Trader, as it triggers something each time I look at it. You can read more about my selection, and those of Graham McNeill and Andy Hall, in this blog post.

Newsletter Q&A

Bruce asked: How likely is it for an author, lets say you, to continue a story arch/series left by another author? Is it possible? Is there too much red tape involved?
Authors do occasionally pick up other writers’ series – when Bill King finished on the Gotrek and Felix books Nathan Long, and then David Guymer and Josh Reynolds continued them. However, it’s very unlikely unless for a major ‘franchise’ or by personal arrangement between the authors and Black Library. For instance, Matthew Farrer is writing a second Iron Snakes novel, working with Dan Abnett as the original creator.
Conversely, it has always been my idea that other authors might contribute to the Phoenix Lords series – I certainly had interest from Guy Haley and Aaron Dembski-Bowden – but whether that will be the case remains to be seen. I may end up writing them all.
If you want to ask a question, just reply to the newsletter and I'll get back to you as soon as my schedule allows.  I'll pick a question to go in the next newsletter, and combine them all into a blog post for the website.  Click the buttons below for the full Q&A round-ups for June.

Kickstarter - Human Interface

"Human Interface: Be a Better Human is a cyberpunk cooperative miniatures game for 1 to 5 players ready to play straight from the box."
There are only two days left on this Kickstarter, which has already reached its target and then some, so you'll have to act quickly if you want to back it.
Human Interface Box Cover

Blog Round-Up

Elsewhere on the blog this month, you can read my update on Big Stompy Robots after I took it to demo at the new ChillCon Wargaming event in Sheffield.
You can also listen to my interview with Masters of the Forge, where we talk in-depth about my two Phoenix Lords novels, Jain Zar: The Storm of Silence, and Asurmen: Hand of Asuryan.

Upcoming Events

  • 29 July 2017 (10-12noon), Lorgar Book Signing, Warhammer World
Do come and say hello if you're attending any of these events.
Envelope with "Top Secret" stamped on it
One of the most common questions I get asked is "What are you working on?", so here's my (sorry, sometimes cryptic) list of works in progress, plus future releases.

Hard Drive Hot List

! Submissions Alert !

Heroic Fantasy Quarterly Logo
At the other end of the 'Grimdark' spectrum, we have Heroic Fantasy Quarterly.
"Heroic Fantasy Quarterly is an ezine dedicated to publishing short works of heroic fantasy. More than that, through both prose and poetry we hope to hearken back to an older age of storytelling — an age when a story well told enthralled audiences."
The next submissions window is September 2017, so you have plenty of time to write and polish your Tolkienesque saga.  The submissions guidelines are really detailed for this one, and should be a big help if you need some direction for your story.
As with all submissions, make sure you read past issues (Heroic Fantasy Quarterly is free to read) so you can get a feel for what they are looking for.

Bi-Monthly Competition Winner

All subscribers to my mailing list are entered into the bi-monthly draw to win a personalised, signed copy of one of my books.  The next winner will be picked in July, and will receive a signed copy of my original fiction trilogy, Empire of the Blood.
Cover of Weird Ales: Last Orders
Cover of Eye of Night by Gav Thorpe
Cover of Jain Zar: The Storm of Silence by Gav Thorpe

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