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Enough of Istvaan

4541 Views 38 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  forkmaster
Last week I was sitting in a meeting* of all the Horus Heresy authors as they discussed the over arching storyline for HH and what new stories they could give us.

Christian Dunn, Laurie Goulding, Nick Kyme and Lindsey Priestley were sitting in their thrones at the head of the table. The rest of the authors sat along both sides of the table.

Laurie Goulding was the first to speak.
"Ladies and Gentlemen, I am glad we could all get together, in spite of our busy schedules, to discuss the future of the Horus Heresy series. We have some exciting ideas to discuss with you all. We would like start by congratulating Nick Kyme for his stellar new novel, Scorched Earth.

This is the blurb we're putting on the website, 'Nearly a quarter of a million loyal Space Marines lost their lives on Isstvan V – the Dropsite Massacre lasted only a few hours, and yet the Iron Hands, Raven Guard and Salamanders were slaughtered by those they had once called kin.'

I think you'll all agree, this is exciting stuff and exactly what we need to be making more of"

Nick smiles and moves in closer to the table with his hands clasped together.
"Laurie is right", he said, looking into the eyes of the surrounding authors, "And now I have the unpleasant task of reprimanding several of you. David Annandale, Graham McNeill, Dan Abnett, you are all great writers, but you have failed us. You have failed us greatly and it is at this meeting that we will discuss how to move ahead in our new direction".

The room became thick with hesitation and confusion. Dan, with a look of total vexation, was the first to speak, "I don't understand. How have we failed? Our stories were loved by our readers, they sold well and we think we did a great job progressing the story line".

Nick Kyme bit hard on his lip, glaring at Dan with a murderous rage. It was at that moment that Laurie put his hand on Nick's shoulder in order to calm him.

"Progressing the story line? Hah. You speak as though you are doing something noble and yet it is right here that you have failed." mocked Laurie. "You all failed because your novels failed to include Istvaan in any way. You let your childish desires move the plot on too far. For whom do you work? This is Games Workshop, we do not progress plot lines. Why do you think the 40k series is perpetually stuck in M41.999? We do many things, but progressing a story arch is NOT ONE OF THEM!"

Stunned, Dan fell back into his chair.

Nick looked around and drank from a mug of tea before continuing, "We have already covered Istvaan from the perspective of the Emperors Children, the Raven Guard, the Salamanders, the Iron Hands and also in multiple short novellas. We have dozens of stories telling the exact same story from different perspectives and we have no desire to stop now, not when there are so many more opportunities open to us.

We may have covered most of the legions, but what about their support staff? We could have dozens of stories featuring members of the human support staff. Imagine a story about a chef in one of the nameless companies and how he views the battle. We could even take things in an abstract way and show the battle from the perspective of a rock or a bullet. Imagine how exciting that would be! We already published a story about the history of a knife. How about a story talking about a bullets journey through Istvaan and all that it saw. We certainly haven't discussed the death of Ferras Manus enough. We could publish at least 5 or 6 more stories about Ferrus dying but from a multitude of angles.

The fact is, ladies and gentlemen, we plan to set the next 35 Horus Heresy stories in and around the events of Istvaan. Lets face it, we don't have much material to work with. We have Istvaan, Calth and then it's straight on to the siege of Terra."

It was at that point that Graham McNeill stood up, and with a slight waiver in his voice pleaded, "We are authors. Creative writers. We will make up the material. We will create the stories which fill the gaps between Istvaan, Calth and Terra. I don't understand why we have to make endless stories about a battle which has been written about to the point of tedium. Do any of our readers want to read about Istvaan any more? Surely the events which took place there have been described in enough detail."

Graham fell back suddenly from the force of Nick's violent kick to the head.

"NO! You wretched scribe. You putrid scrivener of prose. NO! The readers are not tired of Istvaan. They call out for more. They don't want to see the story progress to Terra because they are scared. They are scared that the stories will reach a climax and they will no longer be able to shower us with their money as they buy our overpriced hardback novels. Do you want them to cry? DO YOU?!

And once we've finished with Istvaan, we have such sights to show you in Calth. Imagine, hundred of short stories about the tunnel warfare on that radioactive planet! With Istvaan and Calth alone we could keep the series going for another 34 years. It will be beautiful."

Christian Dunn slowly stood to his feet, glanced around the room with a smile and said, "So, do we all understand? We are not to progress the story in any way and are to release endless stories about how depressed the legions feel about Istvaan. Dan, Graham, David, I hope to see some more appropriate stories from you all. Perhaps a story from the perspective of a Iron Warriors soldier watching that battle from the walls. That will be exciting, wont it?"

The meeting adjourned and the writers left in a stunned silence.

*Note: I have never sat in a meeting of the Horus Heresy authors.

TLDR: Jesus Christ am I bored of them retelling the story of Istvaan from every possible angle. If they're not retelling it directly, they are constantly referencing it and describing it in small flashbacks. Am I alone in this or would anyone else like to see the story arch progress a little further?
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I've gone from being one of the strongest supporters of the Heresy series, to a simply jaded and tired one. I've not read or heard a good novel since......Scars? It's all just become very meh. And like yourself, I am sick to death of Istvaan and Calth. Seeing how much Calth features for next years releases made me audibly groan in exasperation.

I'm just not excited to read the novels anymore. I used to get them on the day of release, sometimes I'd buy both the hardback and the ebook format so that I could read it straight away and still have the hard copy as well. I haven't bought one in a very long time now though however. I'm still reading them via 'other means' shall we say. But they're all just mediocre and tedious now. There's no excitement, thrill or anticipation in the series anymore.

Then we get the likes of Kyme endlessly writing the Salamanders and making glaring mistakes in his novels, like the latest disaster Deathfire, in which he completely fails to comprehend where in the galaxy his characters are, where the places they are going or coming from are, or indeed and details about the Ruinstorm that features so heavily.

I'll keep reading the series, grudgingly though i'll admit. I've read too much to not see it through. But until Abnett, Wraight or ADB released novels again, then I won't be rushing to buy them (or buying them at all for that matter) or reading them with any enthusiasm.
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I envisioned a bookshelf in my home dedicated to the masterpiece of "the horus heresy", well that wont be happening, and as much as I want to continue buying the books because of a general interest in the story and the books I have already got, the quality has turned to shit, never mind istvaan, enough of (never thought I'd ever think this let alone type it) the heresy
This struck a chord. I had a bookshelf in my living room with the series on it, was looking forward to having the lot up there. Quality and format delivery got so bad I gave up, dumped the 30+ things I had haphazardly on shelves in my spare room, and then put up a telly where the shelves were.

What a disappointment the HH turned into in a such a short time.
Think that's bad? I had all the hardback collector's editions and the vast majority of the limited editions before I lost hope and optimism for the series. As you both said, I had this image of my bookshelf full of these wonderful looking hardbacks, numbered carefully with the roman numerals on the spine, the scripts to one end, the limited edtions on another.

Fast forward to the intro blurb for Gav Thorpe's new Dark Angels Heresy novel, however, and it looks like the First Legion has taken serious losses.
Which blurb is this?

the Blood Angels were mauled in Signus
Despite the losses at Signus, Sanguinius says in one of the novels, or perhaps one of the audios, that he escaped Signus with the vast majority of his legion intact. Actually looking at it, the Blood Angels are quite possible the strongest legion at the current time in the Heresy. Their numbers equalling several other combined. No wonder their impact on the Siege of Terra is so large.(In before another novel which dicks them hard in some way).
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