Tag Archive: ScienceFiction


Recently I took a detour from my normal reading fare to delve into some insane paranormal romance. After successfully making it through two novellas, I was ready to get back into the wondrous future of science fiction. Nothing against paranormal romance as a genre, it’s just I sometimes crave worlds were people are doing something else besides falling in love with one another.

Over the past year or so, I have been casually reading through the Horus Heresy series within the Warhammer 40K universe. Warhammer 40K began as a humble table-top strategy game that quickly grew a tremendous collection of lore to back the plastic armies crawling across tables everywhere. Somewhere along the way, Games Workshop , the company behind 40K, finally realized that it could make even more money by getting people to write books for them.

Whatever your opinion of licensed fiction, the Black Library, literary arm of Games Workshop, has been cranking out some great works of fiction that deserve to stand on their own merits outside the overwhelming lore that makes up Warhammer 40K. Several talented authors have lent their minds to the Black Library and crafted mind blowing stories within the 40K-verse.

Out of all the Horus Heresy authors I have read, Graham McNeill is still my personal favorite and his latest book, A Thousand Sons , shines brightly in the series. It is also the Black Library’s very first novel to make the New York Times best-selling list.

Summary

The twelfth book in the Horus Heresy series and following the Thousand Sons Space Marine legion, A Thousand Sons tells the tragic story of how they fall from the guiding light of the Emperor. Mangus, Primarch of the legion, searches too deeply for power to unlock hidden secrets of the galaxy and as a result, the Emperor bans everyone from wielding these powers. In his search, Mangus witnessed the betrayal of Horus and sets out to warn the Emperor with the very power he was forbidden to use. The Emperor retaliates by unleashing Leman Russ, Primarch of the Space Wolves, on their homeworld, Prospero, to bring Mangus to justice.

Review

McNeill paints this legion vastly different from any of the others he has previously worked with, giving them a truly unique flavour. As with all doomed legions in the Horus Heresy timeframe, they possess redeeming qualities that he captures and brings to life with such force that they will live directly inside your grey matter long after the story has concluded.

The interactions between the Thousand Sons and Space Wolves are simply amazing as both legions revolve around each other in a fatal dance. The mounting tension builds until it becomes palpable and you accompany Mangus to the Council of Nikea, a major milestone within 40K lore. McNeill demonstrates his knowledge and love for 40K lore as he meticulously builds to this crucial moment. His treatment of the legion is worthy of praise from fanboys everywhere.

The plot has a few problems in the beginning as it starts off seemingly going nowhere until the Space Wolves show up. Then the real plot arises and consumes the characters in its wake. Once things began to pick up, I literally could not stop reading. McNeill’s talent for weaving characters into his plot has certainly reached its pinnacle with this Horus Heresy entry and I felt he more than made up for the slow start.

The ending was a bit mysterious as it hinted at related 40K lore that readers will not pick up on unless they are fully entrenched with the table-top game. The journey to the end is well worth the read, though, as this is definitely one of the better entries in the series and deserves its well-earned New York Times slot. McNeill has written a superb story that anyone mildly interested in 40K should take a look at.

I give A Thousand Sons a 90%

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Last week an event more significant than Brittney Spears finally came to my fair city of Bossier City, LA. We were fortunate enough to be one of the many stops for Star Wars in Concert on their national tour. Jumping at the chance to engage in something equal parts nerd and culture, I scooped up tickets for the best seats in the house.

I actually had not read anything about the event, so I went in not really knowing what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised. They began with a decent selection of exhibits filling up the foyer of our Centurytel Center. I took my picture beside many replicas such as Darth Vader’s suit, Kit Fisto, and even Han Solo encased in carbonite. They even had a page from one of John Williams’ original scores. It was amazing to see his handwritten musical notation. To me, that was the best movie artifact they had, especially considering the musical nature of the event.

After having a great time immortalizing myself for Facebook, I slid into my seat and excitedly awaited an onslaught of music. To my absolute surprise, Anthony Daniels came waltzing out and began narrating the entire concert. My inner Star Wars fanboy cried out in sheer delight. Looking back, I was glad I knew almost nothing about the event as my shock from seeing him live and in person was totally worth it.

The orchestra began by playing the 20th Century Fox opening music along with a small showing of lights mimicking the searchlights from the logo. At that point, I was ready for the Star Wars experience. After which, the legendary words faded onto the massive screen, ‘A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away’. The orchestra, of course, followed it with the Main Titles piece with a good montage of footage playing on the screen.

The rest of the show was great. They played a great selection of tunes from all six of the movies while related montages displayed on the screen. A complementary light show flowing in tandem with the video montages also highlighted the musical numbers. The melding of music, video, and lights formed a great show that really brought out everything that Star Wars exemplifies.

Overall, it was an incredibly entertaining experience. Nostalgia for all the movies (yes even the new ones) awoke once inside me, driving me to watch them all in a single marathon.

If you get a chance to see Star Wars in Concert, you absolutely need to go and check it out. May the Force be with you…

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