Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Heresy in the Library - An Opinion on the Excessive

Hello again fellow dwellers on the front line. Trooper here, back again without a review, but an opinion piece. It's been months since my last transmission but I wanted to post a piece (and meet the Commissar's quota for propaganda inspirational pieces) explaining my thoughts about the recent unswing in Black Library publications. The diversity in publications, the flood of new authors, the massive fleshing out of the 40k (and 30k universe). What does it all mean?

It means we are going back to an age old argument, folks. We're going back to the idea of oversaturation and having too much stuff.

My last article was posted last year. Granted, it has been a month and a half since the new year but think about that. A month and a half with no new posts from myself, no new reviews. There has been dozens of new releases. Some regular, some e-books. Most publications coming from the new codex releases (Necrons, Blood Angels, Tyranids). I remember the absolute rush of material coming out with two box sets, the re-release of Dark Vengeance, and three codexes worth of material. But where you might have x number of books, you might have y times that in short stories. The Advent Calender didn't help this matter, with short stories being released to all manner of quality and length. Some weren't bad and were collected into some new Horus Heresy anthologies (which has been a disturbing trend for new Heresy releases). Others...

I'm not going to name specifics. Normally I'm a firebrand for naming good and bad titles, but this is a rant piece and I would be lying if I said I had read everything Black Library has put out in the past few months. And there in lies the crux of my argument...

..Who has that much time? Who can read every last scrap of material put out by Black Library? Is there somebody out there with an enormous amount of time and money who can just buy and read everything? I'm not saying that it isn't possible. On a good day I've read more than my fair share of literature, Black Library or otherwise. But I also work almost fifty hours a week. I have hobbies (including with Games Workshop. Those Carcharodons won't finish themselves); I work out, I enjoy media, I have friends. The only time I've been able to fit in a Black Library novel, or short story, or audiobook is at work during my down time (which could be the whole day or non-existent). And this is usually only on e-book. My tablet has become an invaluable ally to me during these times, but buying all of those ebooks is not cheap. They might be more expensive than the hard copies even.

So what is the point of this rant?

Black Library has, in my opinion, become too large a producer of material. And this was bound to happen with the new Games Workshop mode of operations. Constantly producing new models, new rules, dataslates. I know I'm not alone in thinking that the company is producing things at a breakneck speed. Too much growth isn't always a good thing. The same can be said with their fluff department. That's really saying something too, considering that 40k has a set point that IS NOT CROSSED. Even with the rumor of a "40k endtimes" it only opens up the possibility to cram more fluff into an already limited frame. You know what, 10,000 years is a long, long time? Now, this could be said to be an effort to expand their reader base, but that's a lot of ground to cover for A lot. But who is getting covered? The Imperials and that is about it (although codifying the Eldar series into one book was an enjoyable touch).

It's really a personal opinion. If you can keep up with everything..more power to you. If you want to keep up with everything..that's even better!

The Commissar is giving me some sideward glances so I will wrap this up. Ultimately I am just spouting words about a hobby that we all love to hate. There are some cool titles coming this way on the rumor mill. Master of Mankind is rumored to explore the Webway War, titles for Magnus' fall to chaos and legion transformations are coming. Full length novels that explore something more than the shattered legions would be wonderful..and they are coming.

I'm just impatient. This is Trooper, signing off.

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