I haven’t really had much opportunity to talk about The Long Games at Carcharias, my short story for the ‘Victories of the Space Marines’ anthology. The story centres on Chapter Master Elias Artegall and the tragedies that befall his Astartes brothers, the Crimson Consuls.
This was my first outing with Space Marines and I wanted to get them just right. I settled on an invented chapter - because of what I wanted to do to them – and also because I wanted greater control over their background. The Crimson Consuls have a distinct and detailed culture and history that emerges across the story and I tried to be bold in the way the narrative sweeps through an entire Chapter. I feel that you either get Space Marines right or wrong: they are, after all, Games Workshop’s poster boys. I was a little anxious in terms of writing about them: perhaps a little reticent at first. So far, I have chosen to explore the narrative viewpoints of ‘human’ characters in the Warhammer 40,000 universe: Imperial Guardsman and Inquisitors etc. The further I got into the planning and actual writing, the more I came to appreciate the narrative challenges and opportunities that the Adeptus Astartes offer. The story was well received by my editor and shortly after I was asked to write an Adeptus Astartes short story for the ‘Age of Darkness’ anthology, which forms part of the best-selling Horus Heresy series. Not too shabby!
Advance copies of ‘Victories of the Space Marines’ were available at Black Library Live 2011 and early feedback has been very good. The anthology is available to buy in April and can be bought in print or as an e-book. The short story can be bought on its own as an e-text also (see right hand bar). As well as The Long Games at Carcharias, ‘Victories of the Space Marines’ contains stories by the excellent Jonathan Green, James Swallow, Gav Thorpe, Chris Wraight, CL Werner, Ben Counter, Steve Parker and Black Library debutant Sarah Cawkwell (who is excellent too!).