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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-02-15, 05:21 PM Thread Starter
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Default Rant about Graham MacNeil...

I plan to write a thread, about three of my favorites writers of the Black Library...

If my post and my thread aren't well placed or just irrelevant, I invite the moderator to give me a sign and edit or erase them.

Feel free to post your feelings about the authors or my rant...
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-02-15, 05:25 PM Thread Starter
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About Graham MacNeill...



God-emperor, I love and I hate this guy...

I have pretty mixed feeling about him, for his writing doesn't lack qualities. He can make some damn good description of place and people. Hell, I love how he create and describe his characters in a way that make them awesome to me, and he can make very good description of battle too.

On the other hand, he has some really bad habits, and one of his baddest is to be the slave of BL product. His books are often auto referencing, which could be good if it wasn't such a blatant attempt to make more sales.

Another flaw of him, is his tendency to be the "fanboy" of the character he create. This can be really annoying when he ressurect, or make his character survive against all odds and even narrative logics, or his writing deliberately ending no conclusively in order to make you buy one more novel on BL site at a scandalous price.

That tend to spoil my writing experience of his books.

Some example ?

In Angel Exterminatus, we have Lucius, whom he feeled Nykona Sharrowkyn had to kill, then ressurect without any apparent reason is just bad writing to me, and he felt the need to bring us Honsou with the subtility of a punch in the face, and make him something near of a villain sue.

The Outcast dead, which take some time to truly begin, has awesome character and awesome moment, but the ending is incomplete, and if you really want to know the end, you have to buy a novel who could surely better fit into the main book.

But he can write interesting character, he can write good action scene... that he will waste in a blaze of ego trip and sales motivated dick move.

That's why I love and hate the guy and find his book a quite frustrating experience...
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-02-15, 06:22 PM
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Now I hate Grahams descriptive writing. It's truly horrible and mind numbingly dull and repetitive. It's filler because he has nothing else to write. I don't need to be told every other chapter what the warp looks like and using a made up metaphor is just stupid. It defeats the purpose of a metaphor, but we get them constantly and they make no sense, because they are made up and therefore irrelevant. I come away from reading his descriptive stuff wanting to drive really fast in to a brick wall to end the pain.

However, I think he does a brilliant job when he is creating interaction between characters. He definitely gives characters character and when reading his stuff I tend speed reed his filler crud to get to the good stuff.

He's not the worst BL writer (Gav Thorpe will always hold that title, even if they employ a two year old and give him some crayons) but I do approach his works with a mental shield in place in preparation of yet another stupid metaphor or description of the bloody warp.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-03-15, 07:13 AM
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He's so hit and miss I honestly think he has a split personality. A Thousand Sons, Fulgrim, and in particular his Priests of Mars trilogy are some of my favourite BL novels. Then he comes out with stuff like Vengeful Spirit, The Outcast Dead, and the Ventris books. There seems to be no middle ground with him, which I find very frustrating.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-06-15, 08:01 PM
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I didn't think Vengeful Spirit was that bad for content. The character interaction was very good, it was just the overall story line that was a little iffy.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-06-15, 08:38 PM
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-06-15, 08:44 PM
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The thing is. I like Mechanicum. I like A Thousand Sons. I even didn't mind Fulgrim and thought it did show the decline into depravity for the Emperors Children quite well. False Gods wasn't that bad when I first read it, I guess all the bad feelings I had towards it at the time, were discarded due to having just read the fantastic Horus Rising, even then, it isn't terrible. These were all my first experiences of Mcneill. Literally every single novel I have read from him since then, I have hated. I don't get it. And my poor opinion of him due to how bad his other novels are, has even managed to sour those first few upon further re-readings.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-07-15, 03:02 AM
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Storm of Iron essentially got me into the milieu. Ah, the days before Honsou needed a mustache for him to twirl and MANIACAL LAUGHTER!

The first Ventris novel also entertained me, though not to the same extent.

False Gods was a decent return, but in hindsight it benefited from the initial excitement I felt about the Heresy series.

I was indifferent about Mechanicum, but was satisfied by A Thousand Sons. The Outcast Dead was an utter disappointment to me. Angel Extrminatus was incredibly frustrating because it could have been such an excellent story - really, the premise it presented should have set the standard for a novel that seeks to fill in what happened between Isstvan V and the Siege of Terra - but it was ultimately dragged down by weak supporting characters and an inexplicable attempt to reunite the cast of Storm of Iron.

By contrast, Vengeful Spirit features some well-written appearances by Little Horus and an excellent battle scene, with the other 90% being an assortment of unimaginative plot devices, some head-scratching moments where characters do the opposite of what one might expect with no plot indicators as to why, and an ending that culminates with a giant Deus Ex Machina.

What can I say other than that I am not at all surprised by the rumors that Graham will inherit the next Dark Angels novel from the too-busy hands of Dan Abnett.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-07-15, 07:06 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen74 View Post

However, I think he does a brilliant job when he is creating interaction between characters. He definitely gives characters character and when reading his stuff I tend speed reed his filler crud to get to the good stuff.

He's not the worst BL writer (Gav Thorpe will always hold that title, even if they employ a two year old and give him some crayons) but I do approach his works with a mental shield in place in preparation of yet another stupid metaphor or description of the bloody warp.
Yeah, his sense of characterisation and interaction between characters will be definitely one of his main strenght.

So far, I found Gav Thorpe the worst, but not that unbearable, but having not the english for your first language must be helping...
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-09-15, 03:35 AM
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Thorpe's main problem isn't his plots or shallow characters, it's his almost unbearable approach to using commas. Or not, as the case may be.

McNeil's main problem as a writer is his ego.
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