My objection to the setting being described as cartoony or comical. Of course there are elements of it that meet that criteria: I myself am talking about how I wish the Orks wouldn't be thus in another thread. I just don't think that the setting as a whole
is that way.
As far as realism, though? That's not something I'm trying to argue. I'm simply saying that the setting presents certain concepts in a way that - for the most part, with the obvious caveat I provided above - allows for the reader to switch their suspension of disbelief on. I daresay that most science fiction aren't realistic by default.
Sure, some are more realistic than others (Heinlein's earth government, since Starship Troopers
was brought up earlier), and a few are set soon enough in the future that we don't second guess many of their concepts (Bladerunner
comes to mind). I think it's fair to say, though, that a majority of the genre rely heavily on made-up technology and fanciful imaginings of societies that might somehow come to be in the far future. That goes doubly so for those genres that also heavily borrow from fantasy - such as Star Wars, for instance.
There is quite a leap to be made between "not realistic", which is a label that much of the genre is saddled with, and "goofy", "silly", and "utterly ridiculous", which is Veteran Sergeant's
take on the setting.
Speaking of which, come on Veteran Sergeant
, you have got to be more fair with your comparisons. Crichton didn't make up Ahmad ibn Fadlan. More importantly, though, Hawser doesn't fill the same role as the Arab. Or did I miss something? Did the latter also serve as an unwitting fifth columnist that the Wendol intended to exploit against the Bulliwyf's band of Norsemen?
You then go on to offer a hash of opinion - to which you're obviously entitled - as to the quality of said novel, before making a colossal assumption regarding the reading habits of those who disagree with your premise. Do we really want to get into a dick-waving context about who's better-read, or are you man enough to accept that maybe - just maybe
- a lot of the stuff you're throwing out there just comes down to taste, and isn't an objective appraisal of the setting as a whole?
Fun fact: The First Heretic
hit the New York Times Bestseller list before Prospero Burns.
I suppose it, too, simply borrowed on earlier works and relied on its intended audience's poor readership for success?
Hi there, Codex Space Wolves would like to have a word with you.
Every reader is entitled to agree or disagree as to whether Abnett achieved his aim of making the Space Wolves more interesting. That having been said, Codex: Space Wolves was released in October of 2009. Prospero Burns
was intended to be released at least six months after that. I sincerely doubt that Abnett will ever get a chance to affect the writing of a Codex being written concurrently with one of his novels, let alone one that had probably been in development before he even got started with his story.
Obviously I'm not privy to the working relationship (or lack thereof) between Black Library novelists and Games Workshop Codex writers... but given the fact that the last Codex: Space Marines still assumes the Legions are as they were circa decade-old Index Astartes articles... I'm going to assume Abnett was never going to affect the development of crap like "Thunderwolf Cavalry".
F35's are expensive and they are very limited. So it's not hard to see why melee weapons/pistols are a viable alternative when the situation calls for it. That's it applied to modern day kit. Pistols and "Combat Knives" (can be found in the section labled "string cutters/can openers") are personal defence weapons used when you don't actually have a rifle to hand.
We also don't have superhuman soldiers in powered armour that can shrug off small arms, who are able to deploy within seconds (or minutes) in the heart of strategic targets. Melee combat becomes somewhat more viable in such situations. I know that, if I could run as fast as a cheetah and could pulp bones beneath armour with my armored hands or shred through tanks with certain melee weapons, I'd be less worried about taking cover and engaging with three-round bursts.
"ooh titties" is not childish? They're fucking ace, I'll give them that, but seriously? "How do we appeal to 13 year old boys? I know, Boobs!" Chainmail bikini's do not provide any pleasure whatsoever. You're hit with a rapid firing rocket launcher. You're disintegrated. And no, don't use that "increased mobility" bullshit, because there's numerous occasions of other Eldar in armour being able to dodge bullets.
Alright, so you crossed Wych Cults off the list. What about the rest of the Dark Eldar?
Besides that, though, two things:
1. Yeah, obviously it's best when cheap attempts at sexuality aren't used as a marketing device.
2. But seriously, if those are the criteria by which we're going to judge Warhammer 40k, I hope we're all incredibly selective
with our choice of fiction/science fiction/fantasy, and are simply slumming in these forums for laughs.
Any of the CSM Codex.
Wait, by what criteria are we judging them? By the gaming background material, or by the novels they're appearing in? This is an important qualifier for me because I don't play the game. I read the novels and I've played the computer games. Of course I read the Codices and background material as well, but I take into consideration the fact that there are novelists, there are aspiring novelists, and there are people who simply like writing background material for gaming hobbies.
As such, there are two sides to Abaddon the Despoiler. He has been a two-dimensional, megalomaniacal tyrant in gaming background material... and, as a secondary character in three different novels, his motivations have largely been kept away from the reader. But that's not to say that The Talon of Horus
won't make him a captivating character. Again, opinions will vary, but I don't think you can read Dembski-Bowden's arguments on the character and the Black Legion and plausibly argue that he's just cashing in a check and telegraphing a bunch of tropes.
Moving on down the list, I think Lucius has potential for a secondary character. It remains to be seen how well he will be used.
Typhus is another question mark. If he's two-dimensional, it's because he has largely been a set of stats thus far. In the two stories in which he's been part of the supporting cast, we've never been given insight as to what drives him.
Ahriman is just starting to become accessible. Atlas Infernal
touched on his goals a bit, and a trilogy of novels purports to tell his tale. I'm not sure if you've read any of them or not (I haven't, yet).
Kharn certainly seems to be getting away from a guy who keeps yelling "KILL MAIM BURN".
I agree that Fabius Bile is telegraphed. I've yet to see anything - even from the Horus Heresy novels - that gives him any life beyond "typically brilliant, yet cruel and mad scientist".
Any of the Daemon Codex.
Never read it. I imagine the biggest challenge authors face when writing these into novels is the classification system. It makes matters easier for a game, I'm sure, but what a hurdle for someone more worried about a fulfilling story?
I'm up in the air about the Tyranids insofar as how they've been used in novels. I was more a fan of the Genestealers.
I think these are still a work in progress.
... the Primarchs are in fact some of the few multi-faceted characters presented, but some of them are just retarded; Fulgrim, Perturabo, the Lion, Ferrus Manus, Magnus...
I thought Fulgrim's portrayal was amateurish, and depended on stereotypes more than anything else. Ferrus Manus is just aggravating to me - he's angry for the sake of being angry. I didn't think anything was wrong with the Lion or Magnus. I agree that Perturabo vacillated to easily from reasonable and idealistic to brutal and callous in Angel Exterminatus.
But what can you say? McNeil's work vacillates so easily from promising to disappointing.
There's a reason the CROWS system and the radio was invented.
That's not even a licensed piece of artwork...