Saturday, 28 July 2018

Gav Thorpe - Newsletter

The latest news from the author Gav Thorpe...
Fantasy Artwork (by Pete Borlace) from Gav's Website
  • Hello!
  • Crown of the Usurper
  • Strontium Dog
  • Q&A - Dark Angel Serfs!
  • The Last Chancers Are Back!
  • Upcoming Events
  • Blog Round-Up
  • Submissions Alert - Robot Dinosaurs Fiction
  • Kickstarter - The Expanse RPG
  • Hard Drive Hot List (or, My Current Projects)
  • Corax: Soulforge - Competition Winner
  • Bi-Monthly Competition Winner
Gav drinking a cup of tea


Am I allowed to mention the weather?  I'm British, so I believe it's mandatory at the start of all communications.  For those not in the UK, we're currently experiencing a heatwave the likes of which we haven't had in over 40 years apparently. I mention this not to complain, but because it has an unfortunate side effect of turning my office into a sauna from lunchtime onwards.  The upside of this however, is that it's giving me the impetus I need to get my daily wordcount done by midday (a nice reminder that I can actually do that), and is giving me the afternoons to spend with Kez and Sammy out in the garden. On a side-note, I can highly recommend this water pistol).
My new Age of Sigmar novel is well underway. It has been about three years since I wrote for Age of Sigmar, and I'm enjoying how much the world has been fleshed out since then, but also how much opportunity for creativity there is in the still relatively young background.
Once I've finished this novel, my next big project will be my contribution to the Horus Heresy Seige of Terra. All the authors involved in the Seige of Terra books met at Black Library this month (our third such meeting), to share ideas, and ensure we're writing cohesive stories that tie up any loose ends.
Gav holding court at the Horus Heresy Seige of Terra Meeting
“...and the thing you have to understand is that really the Emperor was just a jokaero with a voice box..."
Not sure what I'd just suggested, but John French looks horrified!
I'm feeling the love for Big Stompy Robots at the minute, having been asked about it at a couple of events, and people giving me gentle nudges on social media. Friend and mentor Andy Chambers was gracious enough to listen to my uncertainties about the direction of the game recently, and gave me the benefit of his wisdom (as well as some robot minis he isn't currently using), telling me exactly what I needed to hear:
"Just get on with it."
So I've done just that, and started writing up the new iteration of the rules ready for some playtesting. Update coming soon.
Aside from work I've been getting in more games recently. I have a monthly Age of Sigmar game with friend Martin Morrin from Warhammer TV, and have played a few games of 'new' 40K, giving my venerable Craftworld army an outing. My regular gaming buddies and I played Rumbleslam from TT Combat recently, but unfortunately they couldn't be coaxed into offering to paint my minis for me.  Apparently they have "other stuff to paint for tournaments" or some such excuse...
I need to leave it there this month as the temperature is already reaching 'melting my Mars Bar' levels.
PS: If you're attending Nine Worlds next month please do come and say hello - I suspect I'll mostly be in the kids area next to the Board Game Cafe, so 'grown-up conversation' would be most appreciated!

The Crown of the Usurper

The final installment in my Empire of the BloodTrilogy, is The Crown of the Usurper. It took four years from starting book one, to this final book being released in 2012.
The entire story for Empire of the Blood sprang from knowing how it was going to end, and the freedom that gave me to let the characters go where they wanted. 
Sounds contradictory?  Not really.
Cover of The Crown of the Usurper by Gav Thorpe
"By knowing exactly how my trilogy was going to end, I was able to relax, enjoy the diversions created by my characters’ actions and deal with unseen ideas and events without ever feeling I was getting lost."
I explain more about this in my blog post 'Starting At The End', which you can read here.
“I have now spent over 1200 pages immersed in the brutal politics, intricate plotting, dynastic wrangling and battle-smilodon riding awesome of the Romanesque Empire of Askhor, and I’d happily, very happily spend twice as many pages more there.”
~ Kate Sherrod, Goodreads
I had a lovely review of Crown of the Usurper from fellow author Guy Haley, but I won't use it here to avoid accusations of cronyism! You can read the beginning of The Crown of the Usurperhere.

Strontium Dog

Cover of Strontium Dog Skirmish Game from Warlord Games
The Strontium Dog skirmish game that Andy Chambers and I have been working on is now available from Warlord Games - yippee! You can watch an unboxing video, and also several interviews with the esteemed Andy over on the Warlord Games Youtube channel
You can hear both Andy and I discussing the game on the next Warlord Games Podcast, which is due for release in the next week or two - I'll share on my Facebook page when it's available.  Mike Hobbs of Meeples & Miniatures Fame, has also published a great 'What's In The Box' blog, along with a comprehensive look at the rules, which you can read here.  And finally, there's a feature on the game in the latest 2000AD Dredd Megazine, including myself, Andy, and Paul Sawyer from Warlord Games.
"Late 22nd century. After the Atomic Wars of 2150, many survivors were warped by the Strontium 90 fallout. These ‘mutants’ became a victimised underclass, and the only job open to them was bounty hunting."
It was great working with Andy again, and hopefully we'll be moving onto another project together soon (will let you know as soon as there's anything official).

Newsletter Q&A

Cover of Angels of Darkness by Gav Thorpe
Matt askedWhen Astelan enquires about the number of servants retained by the Dark Angels, Boreas tells him that the Chapter retains 500 serfs. This seems remarkably low especially considering how many servants of the chapter are under Boreas' auspices alone, not to mention the thousands of souls that crew the chapter's void craft.
Is Boreas playing semantics or is he just lying? If it is a semantic argument do the other agents of the chapter have their own classification? Or possibly is this a copy error and there should have been a thousand in there somewhere?
Angels of Darkness was written a while ago and the background has continued to evolve. For instance Space Marine ships are meant to be very servitor-heavy, as are the fortress-monasteries. Serfs I classify as failed aspirants that survived able enough to serve the Chapter in another role on the Rock. For the Dark Angels that recruit from many worlds there may be other related non-Space Marine attendants taken from that world’s population to serve at the Chapter Keep (natives of Piscina IV for example).
But on the whole you’re probably right, it should be a higher number.
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.
Advert for The Last Chancers, available via Print on Demand

The Last Chancers - Back In Print

Alongside the Games Workshop release of Kill Team, Black Library are making my Last Chancers trilogy available for a limited time only via Print on Demand. Lieutenant Kage is special to me, and to many others if my inbox is anything to go by, so it's nice to see it available to another generation (it was originally released 17 years ago - gulp!).
"Across a hundred blasted war-zones upon a dozen bloody worlds, the convict soldiers of the 13th Penal Legion fight a desperate battle for redemption in the eyes of the immortal Emperor.
Under the command of the mysterious Colonel Schafer, Lieutenant Kage and his comrades – murderers and psychopaths all – are sent on the most dangerous missions, with little chance of survival. From the tyranid-infested plains of Deliverance to the war-torn hives of Armageddon, Kage and his fellows seek their Last Chance at glory…"

Upcoming Events

  • 6th October 2018, Writer's Event, Nottingham (details TBA)
If you are coming to any of these events, do come and say hello.
My weekend time with Sammy will be even more precious once he starts school, so I'm looking to scale back on the events that I attend from next year. 
I've already been contacted about a couple of dates in 2019, so you'll need to get in touch soon if there's something you'd like me to be involved with.

Blog Round-Up

Fan Art of Gyrinx Alorynis chilling on Eldrad's couch
Once again the blog is a barren wasteland, so a huge thank you (again) to Eunice Tan for this appropriate depiction of Alorynis (from Rise of the Ynnari) chilling on Eldrad's couch.

! Submissions Alert !

It's got robots and dinosaurs - how could this submissions opportunity not appeal?
Robot Dinosaur Fiction Logo
Robot Dinosaur Fiction have recently announced that their next open submissions window begins on 1st August.  They are after flash-fiction between 750 and 1,200 words long, so this would be a great opportunity for those of you currently writing longer fiction, to exercise your creative muscles in a different way (and without getting your main writing project too side-tracked).  The submission deadline is 15th August - make sure you read the stories already published on their website, so you can get an idea of what they are after.

Kickstarter - The Expanse

The Expanse RPG
Many of you will be familiar with James S.A. Corey's award winning series of science fiction novels - The Expanse - and subsequent move to TV, but might not know that before that it was conceived as an RPG.
"The Expanse takes players to a far-future solar system where humanity is divided: Martians, Belters, and the people of old Earth struggle for political power and resources, but even older, alien, forces are stirring in the universe, and human history is about to take an unexpected new turn."
Green Ronin Publishing* (who had the Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay license a while back) have worked with Ty Franck and Daniel Abraham (the real folks behind the James S.A. Corey pen name) to create this long-awaited Kickstarter. It funded in less than an hour, and has knocked out 10 stretch goals already (with 26 days to go).
* Conicidentally, I contributed to a couple of books published by Green Ronin a few years ago - Hobby Games: The 100 Best, and Family Games: The 100 Best. Check out the links to find which games I selected for "most enjoyable, most cleverly designed games" of the last 50 years.
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


Corax: Soulforge Winner

Thank you to everyone who entered last month's competition to win Clark's donated copy of Corax: Soulforge (and thanks again Clark).
The winner, for sheer dedication to the competition, is: Velgar Grim (if this isn't your real name, you need to change it so it is! - I'll be in touch soon to get your address details).
Here's the winning entry:
Cover of Corax: Soulforge by Gav Thorpe
Clark is awesome because due to his dedication for spreading the knowledge of our holy God-Emperor's mighty sons' deeds, the glory of the Imperium will be know further and wider than ever before and those who have found themselves with doubt in their hearts and perhaps heretical cravings for something other than what the noble humankind can offer them might find the courage from the example given by the esteemed Primarchs and seek amendment for those sinful feelings that hinder the Imperial citizen's small mind. Also helps the shortage of servitors that plagues the Imperium on daily basis.
He is also awesome for doing the Inquisition's work just that much more easy by having himself exposed as the spreader of falsehoods and lies that any Imperial agency or co-operational partner to it, such as the venerated Adeptus Mechanicus, could have ever been conspiring against the blessed Imperium in any shape or form, or that such institutions could have come to any other contact with the Heretic Astartes than through voluminous usage of munition. Or that such groups as Heretic Astartes even exist.
In light of all this, we would be tremendously interested in obtaining this volume of such blasphemous writings and perhaps even with having a talk with everyone involved with the passage of such forbidden knowledge. Also having the name of the author marked to the item is seen as great help and will no doubt be taken into account when possible actions towards the said author will be decided.
We'd like to thank you for your co-operation in this matter and wish you pleasant and eventful existence for however long it may still be.
-Inquistorial acolyte, designation: Veli-Matti "R0n T1M0743Y 'Vitus'" Orava"
Honourable mention also go to Paul for his entry "Clark is awesome because of his impeccably high standards of book spine".  Thanks again to Clark for the book donation.

 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. This month's winner is Mike Kavanagh from Poland, who will be receiving a signed copy of Empire of the Blood.
Cover of Imperator: Wrath of the Omnissiah by Gav Thorpe
Cover of Ashes of Prospero by Gav Thorpe
Cover of Ghost Warrior by Gav Thorpe

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