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post #131 of 205 (permalink) Old 03-19-15, 12:22 AM
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I am new to this site but I am so thankful I signed up. This thread has answered the questions I have had for months now. I have fallen behind on my reading of this series ( partly due to me trying out a WOW book and going back to a few favorite Ultra Marines novels) but have notice the rapidly growing list of books in the series. I have purchased the full novels up to Fulgrim and have no desire to purchase any more after my thoughts were confirmed in this thread about the lack of progression in the story line due to GW/BL quest for the all mighty dollar.
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post #132 of 205 (permalink) Old 04-12-15, 08:14 PM
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Default BL is very frustrating...

I started buying the paper backs in 2007, then switched to ebooks once they came out. I knew hardly anything about 'warhammer 40k', but I was captivated by the premise of the heresy, and the Emperor's supposed divinity. I'm not a collector, I don't do the miniatures, I just really like the story. I have purchased every novel and short story, with the exception of the limited editions (I can't justify spending that much money on a book). No matter how good or bad the story might have been, I gladly spent my money on them because I enjoy reading this series!

And this is what I don't understand... Why BL has made it so difficult for me to give them my money! There doesn't seem to be any official means of finding upcoming releases, and there also seems to be fewer books released! It's as though BL has set the bar too high, and are now unable to meet fan's expectations. Are they losing their best authors to other publishers? It's the only explanation that makes any sense to me... It seems like Dan Abnett doesn't even work for them anymore!

Seriously, release another novel like Battle for the Abyss, I don't care... Just let me read!
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post #133 of 205 (permalink) Old 04-13-15, 03:29 AM
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Originally Posted by MolsonSS View Post
I started buying the paper backs in 2007, then switched to ebooks once they came out. I knew hardly anything about 'warhammer 40k', but I was captivated by the premise of the heresy, and the Emperor's supposed divinity. I'm not a collector, I don't do the miniatures, I just really like the story. I have purchased every novel and short story, with the exception of the limited editions (I can't justify spending that much money on a book). No matter how good or bad the story might have been, I gladly spent my money on them because I enjoy reading this series!

And this is what I don't understand... Why BL has made it so difficult for me to give them my money! There doesn't seem to be any official means of finding upcoming releases, and there also seems to be fewer books released! It's as though BL has set the bar too high, and are now unable to meet fan's expectations. Are they losing their best authors to other publishers? It's the only explanation that makes any sense to me... It seems like Dan Abnett doesn't even work for them anymore!

Seriously, release another novel like Battle for the Abyss, I don't care... Just let me read!
Dan Abnett still works for them, he just has other commitments with games, and other publishers.

Today, I march for Calth
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post #134 of 205 (permalink) Old 04-13-15, 07:34 AM
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The number of books published thus far (or that will be by the time the series is over) isn't what's really bothering me about the Horus Heresy series. Just two or three years ago, people across the various fora on the internet were fuming not about the series having too many titles, but about the fact that so many of the Legions were underrepresented.

Nor is it necessarily the various shorts, audio dramas, etc. There are twenty legions out there. Most have at least one character that a number of people out there are interested in following. And then there's the fact that this is a war of galactic scope, and for Black Library to stick with a straightforward charge through the decade the Heresy lasted would be to miss a metric shit-ton of opportunities to tell amazing stories.

I can't even say it's the Limited Edition or event-specific stuff, truthfully. Really, the only reason that affected me was when I had to wait one or two years to read some story - especially when it might be the only Legion-specific thing that particular year. I could care less if the Limited Edition/event-specifc bit is handled like the last few First Edition books, where you get the choice to pay a premium for a collectible item and then have the opportunity to buy it in some other format (eBook, hardback, etc.).

My issue is that the series has been badly planned-out and/or executed. Right now, the only thing that seems to be working out well is the coordination for a cohesive timeline and a focus on specific stories set in specific settings. E.g., "This year we're focusing on Calth. Next year, we're focusing on Shattered Legions." We're still getting uneven coverage of all the factions/legions, though. We're still getting disjointed, confusing updates to storylines. We still get authors working on pet projects that don't advance the storyline (Corax and XIX Legion, I'm looking at you!) while being forced to wait year after year to get to find out crucial stuff (like, as others mentioned, why the hell Magnus has chosen to throw his lot in with Horus). We're getting stories that introduce contradictory, non-sensical twists and turns, and have to wait months (or even longer) for an audio drama or short story that purports to "explain" what was shown earlier.

And that's before we get into the quality of the individual reads themselves!

Honestly, I'd be in the same camp with a lot of people on this thread if my wife and I hadn't brought into this world children in back-to-back years. The fact that I've had so little time to engage in the luxury of reading-as-a-hobby has meant that I didn't register having to wait for anthologies to be released, or audio dramas being converted to written format (since listening to audiobooks is even more challenging with infants or toddlers). I didn't feel any impatience for something like Corax: Soulforge because when time is at a premium, you can't afford to act on completionist instincts for something that you know isn't going to be worth two or three times the price of a normal Heresy novel.

I still think the Horus Heresy has the opportunity to rebound and capture imaginations again. It saddens me that excellent writers like Dembski-Bowden and Abnett seem to be getting burnt out on the ongoing burden this series must have become. I'm glad Black Library has found writers like French, Sanders, and Wraight, who have shown the creativity and chops to not just supplement those efforts but bring their own spark in the series as well.

For right now, though, there seems to be too much of an emphasis on pushing "exclusive", "limited", and "collectible" entries for a premium price. I hate to say this, because it assumes bad things from people I think are ultimately good folk that are genuinely invested in this setting, but the bottom line (read: profit margin) seems to have become a greater priority over telling a story the best way possible. With that priority in place, it seems to be a case of "Why sell a 400-page novel when you could instead sell a 300-page novel, an 80-page novella, and a couple audio dramas, short stories, or e-shorts?"
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post #135 of 205 (permalink) Old 04-13-15, 08:06 AM
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Thanks. If I believed in conspiracy theories I'd say that the poor design of the BL website and the paucity of info about upcoming releases is tied into the plan to obfuscate the product so much so that people can't make clear, comfortable purchasing choices and so rely on the collector / gotta-catch-em-all / loyalty instinct that just buy everything as it comes out. Despite it being a poor deal in the long term (and increasingly, the short term). Oh wait, this is a business, I guess I do believe it.

I think they're onto a dodgy path not only in terms of ethical treatment of the customers, but in terms of quality product for your money. While personal preference of course makes what I'm about to say just a general statement you can take or leave, anecdotal online and from friends comments and decent, non hype reviews and common sense have all been saying that, in the main, the series has take a sustained dip in general quality in the last two years. The same time the number and complexity of product has exploded.

Okay, personal bias time. I don't think Nick Kyme's stuff is very good. Like, it's just not. So his stuff being expensive limited edition material is laughable to me. It's not worth the money to read middlingly-plotted high-school level prose. But that was absorbable in a quality analysis when released in the same year as other material which either was variously worth the inflated limited edition price, or just good quality regular material.

What I'm seeing now is the same situation being repeated - far too regularly, in terms of initial cost or exclusivity values - but without the absorbent nature of easily accessible, lower-cost material to take the strain. It's not just that there isn't enough of the regular release, value-for-money material (there isn't) it's also that not only is the quality arguably not really there anymore, this base-level material that allows you to build more expensive and complex product on top of, ALSO comes out in poor value fashion; over-priced hardback, pointless trade edition (I used to work in the book industry and could rant about these things) and then finally, mass market edition. The mm edition's worth now having been devalued by being a year or more delayed in release, meaning that the fanbase who only purchase them are left feeling dissatisfied.

tl;dr - BL have embraced maximum we-want-your-money too hastily and are at risk of damaging the entire product line in the two years or so ahead either through sustained neglect of 'ordinary' customers or if something unexpected and seriously bad happens that generates a consumer backlash or about-face. Though to be honest, that doesn't really happen in this kind of product.
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... Because the LE's are taking the piss. They were meant to be, or at least it seemed like they were meant to be, one off novellas released every once in a while between every 'x' amount of full novels. Whilst not being essential to the series plot, more of a bonus that you could miss without losing any important fluff or plot. Aurellian did this perfectly, it fleshed out what Lorgar experienced when he went into they Eye. Nice to know sure, but if I hadn't read it, I wouldn't have missed anything plotwise.

Now however, there are endless expensive LE novellas and now LE's novels, though they aren't quite the same length as a normal full novel, but twice the price for the fun of it.
For the record: I need to spread more Reputation around before I can award you guys some for these posts, but I wish I could. Like, NOW.

The thing that scares me about the status quo is that it looks like the focus is increasingly on maximizing profits via increasingly expensive entries aimed at the existing customer base instead of trying to get more customers into the game. Imagine someone who got into the Horus Heresy series by word of mouth or by a book cover catching their eye in a bookstore today: the number of audio dramas, e-shorts, and limited edition stuff would, on its own, be terrifying. Making sense of it all, in terms of what fits where and when, would be an even greater challenge!

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Don't even get me started on the anthology releases that are 90% what we already have read from eBook shorts or the Limited Editions with perhaps one, maybe two new shorts.
The anthology format, in itself, doesn't bother me. What I think is a travesty is the utter lack of effort to provide a rather loyal customer base with an accessible, regularly updated product that shows where each story - regardless of format - falls. How hard would that be? More than one private party has attempted to do so, via graphics, Excel-based spreadsheets, etc. Why is it that the only effort on the part of Black Library (that I'm aware of) was a "reading order list" that more or less followed the order in which the various releases were published?

Last edited by Phoebus; 04-13-15 at 08:11 AM.
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post #136 of 205 (permalink) Old 04-13-15, 11:29 AM
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The anthology format, in itself, doesn't bother me. What I think is a travesty is the utter lack of effort to provide a rather loyal customer base with an accessible, regularly updated product that shows where each story - regardless of format - falls. How hard would that be? More than one private party has attempted to do so, via graphics, Excel-based spreadsheets, etc. Why is it that the only effort on the part of Black Library (that I'm aware of) was a "reading order list" that more or less followed the order in which the various releases were published?
I agree that I have no problem with an anthology once in a while, since many shorts have been good depending on the author. But I hate that the digital shorts are spread out and released more often than needed. Get them collected together and then sell it.
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post #137 of 205 (permalink) Old 04-13-15, 05:57 PM
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I just had a look at the HH range on the BL website - http://www.blacklibrary.com/our-rang...us-heresy.html

I had no idea there was such much content (I only buy the MM paperbacks but I've still read them all the way up to Vengeful Spirit).

Why anyone new would want to get into the series is beyond me! My loyalty is flagging in the extreme and it seems the next MM paperbacks due for release - The Damnation of Pythos and Legacies of Betrayal are still flagged as 'currently unavailable' in my Amazon shopping basket. If they aren't going to stock them in that format, then sadly my time buying BL books will be at an end.
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post #138 of 205 (permalink) Old 04-13-15, 06:31 PM
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The Damnation of Pythos still flagged as 'currently unavailable' in my Amazon shopping basket.
That right there, is nothing but a good thing.
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post #139 of 205 (permalink) Old 04-13-15, 07:42 PM
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That right there, is nothing but a good thing.
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post #140 of 205 (permalink) Old 04-13-15, 08:15 PM
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You know, I was torn about Damnation.

On the one hand, I thought it featured some interesting characters. It went a step farther than the usual "the flesh is weak!" throw-away lines that have defined the Iron Hands thus far. On the other hand, I just wasn't engaged by the "Dinosaurs on Steroids!" angle that dominated so much of the story. The twist, such as it was, regarding the colonists was obvious from the get-go. And, worst of all, the plot just didn't meaningfully advance the overall storyline. I found myself wondering, much as with Battle for the Abyss, why this wasn't a novella, an audio drama, or something other than one of the only two or three Heresy novels we get to enjoy in a given year.

I thought Annandale showed a lot of promise with this story, but I just didn't feel the tale he told really needed to be Book XXX in the Horus Heresy.
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