Black Library Live! 2010

(Note the inclusion of the apparently mandatory exclamation mark).  I pay attention, you know.

The day dawned bright and… alright, it didn’t.  It was bloody horrible, quite frankly.  Overcast and a bit pants to be honest, but it’s Jamie’s birthday and that made a little bit of red-headed little boy sun come out to shine.  We got ready to head off to BLL and the little darling said “hey, here’s a really great idea.  Let’s walk!”

Well, in fairness, it’s only about a mile and a half from the hotel, so where’s the harm?  There isn’t any.  So off we stroll.

We get about three quarters of the way there and Dearly Beloved says “did you remember the tickets?”

There is a pause.  Ice ages come and go.  Empires are founded, battled for and duly destroyed.  Mountains form, rivers reach the ocean and there’s still no such thing as a good reality TV show.

“Tickets?” I say, airily with a forced laugh of ohmygodi’msobloodystupidness.  “Tickets… well, now you come to mention it…”

There is another pause.

Dearly Beloved commences his own  private ‘Challenge Anneka’ style race against the clock by jogging lightly back in the general direction of the hotel whilst Small Son and I continue on to join the queue at the Black Library.  We befriend half the people standing near us, because that’s what you do in a queue.  I can’t be in a queue for more than ten minutes without finding out the details of the person behind me.  There could be a stampede, or the earth could end… you’d want to know the person standing next to you’s name, surely?

After fifteen minutes or so, I ring Dearly Beloved.  “I’m at the main road,” he pants between the sound of pounding feet.  Against my better judgment (and indeed, against my will) I have flashback memories of all those unfocused shots of Anneka Rice’s arse. 

“Where are the tickets?”

“In the laptop bag.”

“Where’s that?”

“In the car.”

“Where are the car keys?”

“In the bag in the hotel room.  The front pocket.  Of the bag, not the hotel.”




“Nothing.  Um.  See you soon.”

By the time he pounded like Roger Bannister down the street towards GW HQ, what remained of the queue applauded him in.  A four mile round trip in less than 30 minutes.  Rather impressive.  Plus, we had tickets now.  Admittedly, Dearly Beloved had gone roughly the same colour as a sunburned lobster, but he has been whining about not getting enough exercise of late, I was merely helping him in his quest for svelteness.

I signed up for the afternoon ‘Seer Council’ session with James Swallow, because he is made of several shades of shiny stuff, and we headed into the main room to enjoy a joint panel with Nick Kyme and Aaron Dembski-Bowden reading excerpts from their respective tomes ‘Firedrake’ and ‘Soul Hunter’.  It was a good start to the day.  I now understand that Nick does all his research into forging by playing Fable 2.  How the truth surprises.

What happened then?  A blur of queues and panels and mis-spelled posters that proclaimed it to be ‘Black Libary Live’… Dennis the Hamster stealing the show… fantastic.  Not sure about that bloke who hangs around with him, though.  (;))  The Seer Council with Jim Swallow was out of this world, especially the conversation about how to approach the ultimate end scene of the Horus Heresy, the big punch-up between Horus and his pop.  How, it was wondered, could one best approach this?  Surely directly zooming in on the Mysterious Emperor after seventeen quintillion books of mystery would somehow diminish him?

I believe the discussion went something like this.

“I could always just write a book of reactions.  ‘Oh!’  ‘Oooh!’  ‘Ouch, that’s got to hurt.'”

“Or… maybe tell the story from the point of view of a Space Marine who’s locked in a broom cupboard and can hear all this awesomeness going on outside.”

It will stick.

Beer was had afterwards with an assortment of  rather splendid individuals, all of whom had a plethora of advice for me.  I will not be shaving my head and growing a beard any time soon, though.

I have had a fantastic weekend.  I hope there will be many more opportunities to talk to some of these people, even Chris Wraight who sloped off to catch a train (how very dare he?) without the promised swappage of email addresses.  *sniffs haughtily*

Brilliant stuff.  Thoroughly enjoyed it.  Can’t wait for more of the same.

Additional bonus was the chance to meet some of the Bolthole Bods, who are fabulous people.  Brilliant.  Not to mention the lovely Ragnar who supplied me with so many books that I plan to build a small fort when I get home and defend it with a tiny, tiny catapult.

Also: Prospero Burns.  Cover makes me want to weep almost as much as the one for Legends of the Space Marines.

This post has been brought to you by the power of fangirlishness… and the letters ‘P’ and ‘R’.

Normal grumbling will no doubt resume shortly.

Thank you for your patience.  Your call IS important to us.


4 thoughts on “Black Library Live! 2010

  1. schaferlord says:

    Brilliant ‘over/re’-view of proceedings, much better than the rambling account I provided at the bolthole. Twas great to meet you as well.

  2. Tookey says:


    Just wanted to say that I was one of the men in queue that you talked to, we had a discussion as to what you could do with a can of WD40 and a piece of plastic. Then I had run to Bugmans before I wet myself, leaving you with my friend Paul. Upon my return I moan about the stairs no one warned me about on the way to the toilet. Anyway it sounded like you had a great time, me and my friend certainly did. It was nice to have met you for that short time we queued in the cold. Take care.


  3. pyroriffic says:

    Hey Mark!

    That’s some research finding this journal!

    Welcome into the madhouse. Grab a beanbag and slouch about.


  4. Tookey says:

    I just left a message on Chris’s Blog, who is a thoroughly nice chap by the way and thought I’d be nosy, so I clicked on your link, saw your BL Live blog and thought ‘oh I was there’ so read what you had to say about it, after a few minuets my brain realized you were talking about me so I thought I’d say hello. Thanks for the welcome and offer of a beanbag . I will take a look around the madhouse when I get time, cause at the moment it can’t be worse than here. The missus is at work and I seem to be operating a gratis babysitting service! I have my 5 and 2 year old (not a problem) and my sister -in-laws 7 and 10 year old, that were dropped off her a few moments ago ‘for only a little while’. Oh and as sister-in-law left she just happened to mention that they hadn’t eaten yet. So it real fun here.


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