Monday, 17 March 2014

A Couple of Warhammer 40K Short Stories…

Because sometimes you’re stuck on a packed train with no room to reach into your bag and get the book that you’ve been dying to read, ‘No Hero’ by Jonathan Wood just in case you were wondering. It’s all you can do to hold a hand out and read whatever is on your phone; Facebook and Twitter mostly but also Warhammer 40K short stories on occasion, stories like these two…

‘Truth Is My Weapon’ – Justin D. Hill

Interrogating a prisoner who calls himself Alpharius, Wodin Grime of the Inquisition begins to question everything he knows and all that he holds dear.

To be honest, I really wasn’t sure what to make of ‘Truth Is My Weapon’. On the surface it’s written solidly enough but a little too straightforward to be really engaging; it’s over before you know and I was left thinking, ‘oh, was that it?’ Let the story sink in a little bit though and the duplicitous nature of the Alpha Legion casts a whole new light on this story and lends it some real impact. Or did Justin Hill strike lucky and really did just write a solid but uninspiring tale? With the Alpha Legion you can never be sure.

‘Censure’ – Nick Kyme

In the depths of Calth’s arcology network, the Underworld War has raged for years. Aeonid Thiel, previously an honoured sergeant of the Ultramarines, once again finds himself in trouble – pitted against the daemonic forces of the Word Bearers, he has no choice but to venture back to the ravaged surface and brave the deadly solar flares that have scoured all life from this world. With a lowly Imperial Army trooper as his only companion, it falls to him to drive the maniacal Dark Apostle Kurtha Sedd and his warband from the overrun XIIIth Legion stronghold.

I loved the character of Aeonid Thiel from ‘Know No Fear’, seemingly the only Marine capable of thinking outside the box a little and therefore one of the only Marines capable of turning the tide. Thiel is up to more of the same here as his mission across the surface of a ravaged Calth makes for opportunities to get to know him better (explored through the relationship with his Imperial Guard companion) and also watch him take down the enemy in stunning moments of future warfare. There’s a nice little twist at the end as well. A welcome return for one of the Horus Heresy’s lesser known, but still very intriguing, supporting cast. If anyone fancies writing more about Aeonid Thiel then I for one would be very grateful. ‘Censure’ made for a gripping read where Calth’s sun itself is just as much the enemy as the forces of chaos wandering the planet.

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