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Battle of the Fang Q&A


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48 replies to this topic

#1
MaveriK

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"I wanted to ask you first before-hand, but would you be interested in a Q&A here at the Space Wolf forum? I was thinking of starting a new topic at the Fang, focusing on you the author. It's objective would be to NOT take away from your novel or give away any hints, but give the people here some of your insights and perspectives on the Space Wolf chapter in general. I think it would be greatly appreciated by most of my wolf brothers here at the Fang."
---- Hi MaveriK. Yes, I'd be very happy to do a Q&A. I'm going to be away for a couple of weeks, so I won't be able to do anything until around Dec 18th. However, if you're still keen to do this, why not send over a list of questions and I'll take a look when I get back. Depending on your views, we could either put something up just before Christmas, or wait until the New Year. Cheers, Chris

I wanted to share this with everybody here at the Fang, and I'm hoping my wolf brothers can help me gather enough questions, for Chris Wraight author of the upcoming novel, Battle of the Fang. I realize, since the book isn't out yet it's a little difficult for anybody to have questions. But honestly, I'd love to know his motivations, inspirations and thoughts in general about our mighty chapter. So lets have it sky warriors of Fenris! we have until December 18th to come up with some intelligent, hard hitting questions and Space Wolf related fluff. It's not everyday we are graced by a talented author, especially one that has written about the sons of Russ. We were already given a nice sneak peek, of the magnificent cover art for his book. So now, the hype and anticipation is out! and with the coming of Prospero Burns, it only makes us want more Space Wolf goodness.

Edited by MaveriK, 01 December 2010 - 05:11 PM.

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#2
Growler67

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I know what I have, and current am doing, in the way of research for my writing projects. I am curious to know what Chris does. As it pertains to the subject matter, has he read the codices? How far back (previous editions)? What other sources of information on background has he sought so that what he writes would be rich in the "meat, down to the bone" in presenting his vision of the Sons of Russ with the right flavor?
Just leave me some ammo, a little water.........and some chips if you got 'em.

#3
MaveriK

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I have a few simple and basic questions in mind..

1) how long does Black Library usually give you to finish a book? did you choose this project or was it given to you?
2) like Dan Abnett, he had certain props around him to help him write Prospero Burns, did you do anything similar?
3) who is a your favorite Space Wolf character and why?
4) what are your final thoughts on the Space Wolf chapter in comparison to the other chapters of the Imperium.

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Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/Azn_MaveriK. Night Four: Inglorious Brawler, Season One. Night Three: Inglorious Brawler, Season Two.


#4
Bulweih

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Nice initiative brother!
I would like to ask if the author will shine a light to the lethal native flora and fauna of Fenris aside from the obvious Wolves, like Psyfoxes and cave dragons....?
Is the Fang described in lots of detail?

But that's just me ^_^ .

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#5
Growler67

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Perhaps for a quick referrence to others who might've missed it, read these:

http://www.bolterand...p...=210624&hl=

http://www.bolterand...p...=210624&hl=

...or just have a gander at his previous posts: http://www.bolterand...sult_type=posts

Edited by Growler67, 01 December 2010 - 08:12 PM.

Just leave me some ammo, a little water.........and some chips if you got 'em.

#6
Niiai

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Hmmm... I really like some of the books, but they are action books. He must have wanted to be a writer a lott to end up as a writer, so I am wondering what authors inspiers him and he looks up to. :-)

#7
Zynk Kaladin

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Not really a question, but I'd appreciate it if the book is mostly epic battles rather than one giant talking session like some HH books.

#8
dragon950

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Was the battle/war only at the fang or was it global?

How many brothers were left to defend the fang? There should be one company left to defend, plus all the different priests, scouts, blood claws that haven't been put in a compnay yet, and dreadnoughts.

Any ideas on how many thousand sons were attacking the planet. In the third ragnar book it made it seem like there was alot more of them than there were in the HH book.

Edited by dragon950, 02 December 2010 - 03:24 PM.


#9
Orphus

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My thoughts: I know it's much more likely that whenever the Thousand Sons launch an assault on Fenris they would just head straight for the Fang (rather than get shot out of the sky by Fenris' Planetary Defense Guns) but if they were to consider sending forces off to go after the natives how would the SW counter this/ act on it and how would the skirmishes play out?
Night Five: Inglorious Brawler, Season One.
Therefore the youngest of them all stood up,
And with a voice like amber wine she spoke:                
"Great sir, now all is clear and seeming well,
Yet still there is but one remaining problem;
My children, sir, they as of yet unborn,    
Shall never hear your words so pure and grand."
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It is the law, our honor bound in hide."
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#10
Simo429

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I've always wanted to know with all Black Library authors how much the stories main details are already decided,
http://clawsandfists.blogspot.com

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#11
Niiai

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Yeah Simo! Some of them seems to get so mutch dictated they have no room to make a good story.

#12
Simo429

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Its the same with all these sorts of books, take the star wars books for example, when they killed off
Spoiler
there was no way that the author had decided on that. Its why when people talk about not believing the pieces of information in the Horus Heresy we learn I find it silly not to believe it becuase there is no way that an author can just include such a massive spoiler such as
Spoiler
without Black Library's say so.
http://clawsandfists.blogspot.com

Possibly one of the 50 best Warhammer 40,000 blogs based in the UK that is primarily about Space Wolves

#13
Niiai

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Yeah i particulary liked that bit. I am not a facts fanatic, but it opens up for some pretty diverse flaws in sead chapters geneseeds. :jaw:

#14
clanfield

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i noticed areferance to greylock in the write up on the site, i am interested to see if this is the same greylock aka brother captain greylock from the wolftime campaign released back in the rt book of the astronomicon

#15
Grey Mage

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Did you do all your research via books, or who did you talk to for facts on the wolves? What places/groups/films/etc did you find yourself drawing on for their speech and behavior? How do you feel your works line up with William Kings descriptions of the Fang and Fenris?
QUOTE (Wolf Guard Dan @ Dec 28 2009, 06:06 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
When in doubt- Grey Mage.
QUOTE (thade @ Jun 7 2011, 09:43 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Also, Hammernators are for pansies. There, I said it.

#16
MeatGrinder

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Ultramarines whatnow? Which book was that?

Edited by MeatGrinder, 05 December 2010 - 02:49 PM.

QUOTE (Ravenous;1568384)
I just have a bad feeling that the drop troop guard army's theme song would be "its raining men"

#17
Niiai

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The last one withe the world bearers? Big possessed marine vs what looks like a grey knight on the cover. It is like 2 sentences, nothing more.

#18
MaveriK

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Alright warriors of the FANG, there are some really good questions here! we have less than a week left to get more questions in. If not, hopefully this is enough for Chris hahaha. An ale to those who helped, and my thanks to everyone who all participated.

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#19
Hfran Morkai

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This one isn't strictly fluff related but can you talk to/beg/bribe the bosses at the Black Library into creating a poster size copy of the Fang map? That would so make an awesome piece.

Is there a strong wolf pack feel in the book? I love this imagery of each pack operating within its specialty and synergising so well (which we do on the tabletop and in other fluff well).

Just how peeved are the Wolves that Fenris is being invaded? Does it bring on a righteous fury among the Wolves, making the assault on Prospero seem like puppies playing?
QUOTE (A D-B @ Jan 10 2011, 12:45 PM)
THE CUSTODIANS AREN'T PSYCHIC OH MY GOD I HATE YOU MIKAL.

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#20
A D-B

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I've always wanted to know with all Black Library authors how much the stories main details are already decided,


Practically no details are already decided, unless it's a famous battle, or something.

Its why when people talk about not believing the pieces of information in the Horus Heresy we learn I find it silly not to believe it becuase there is no way that an author can just include such a massive spoiler such as

Spoiler
without Black Library's say so.


Well, you probably shouldn't believe that, dude. The characters in the novels are just making guesses, or hinting at an unknowable truth. It's possibly true, sure, but as it stands right now, GW won't reveal the truth about those Legions; all hints in the Horus Heresy series are just possibilities.

Black Library never tell us to do anything. That's not really how they work. They check facts, and where the Horus Heresy is concerned, we have regular (long) meetings to discuss the series with Games Workshop's Head of Intellectual Property.

Edited by A D-B, 15 December 2010 - 05:23 PM.

Note: Everything I say is my own personal opinion as hobbyist, a novelist, and the world's slowest painter. It's not intended to reflect back on Games Workshop in any professional context.

 

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#21
Chris Wraight

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I know what I have, and current am doing, in the way of research for my writing projects. I am curious to know what Chris does. As it pertains to the subject matter, has he read the codices? How far back (previous editions)? What other sources of information on background has he sought so that what he writes would be rich in the "meat, down to the bone" in presenting his vision of the Sons of Russ with the right flavor?


Hi Growler67. This is an interesting question, as the Wolves, like all aspects of 40K, have evolved over time, so the question of what counts as getting them 'right' isn't entirely straightforward. Consider how Graham McNeill portrayed them in A Thousand Sons, compared to how Bill King did in the four original Space Wolf novels. Superficially things are pretty similar, but in many ways they're very different characters. Every author, including the various writers of the Codexes, has their own angle on the SWs, and being faithful to that huge collection of material is a challenge.

So, in preparation for BotF, I thought a lot about the nature of the SWs and how to portray them. At the same time, I did a *lot* of reading. For starters, that meant the current Codex, plus extracts of the older ones sent to me by BL. I went back through the two Space Wolf omnibuses, as well as the relevant stories from the anthologies. There were bits and pieces from the Index Astartes that were useful, as well as chunks of the venerable Rogue Trader rulebook. And don't forget the Thousand Sons - I didn't want them to be mindless villains (the sorcerers, at least), and it was important to get them 'right' as well. So that meant reading extracts of the Chaos Space Marine Codex (both old and new), as well as the various snippets about them scattered across the GW canon. I also wanted to get a feel for how Space Marines were being written in contemporary BL books, so got stuck into books like Salamander and Soul Hunter for a flavour of how the universe was being rendered by current authors.

In the end, there were three sources that proved most helpful and influential. The first was Helsreach, which came out just as I was getting started. This was a great inspiration in many ways, but the story structure is also quite similar to the Fang's and I suspect the writing issues were pretty similar. The second was A Thousand Sons, which gave me heaps of ideas for portraying Magnus's sons. I had a long chat with Graham before starting out, as I wanted my Thousand Sons to feel the pain of Prospero in everything they did. For them, it's a matter of decades since the City of Light fell, and they're still coming to terms with it.

The third influence was, of course, the mighty Prospero Burns. I won't be giving any spoilers away if I say that this was one of the finest books I've ever read from BL, and it was a huge help in getting the Space Wolves clear in my head. By the time I got hold of an advance copy I was about a third of the way through Fang, so I had to do some rewrites to make sure everything matched up. In my opinion, Dan has written the definitive Space Wolf book in PB, and I've taken his account as the principal template for my own rendering of the warriors of Fenris.

All that being said, though, BotF is my book. There are ideas there that are totally my own, and I've not tried to copy anyone's style or mannerisms. It was an enormous privilege to portray Fenris in all its savage glory, and to try to tell an epic tale with the action and depth it deserves. I'll have to wait to see what the readers make of it, especially those who play SWs or TSs. Experience tells me that not everyone will agree with my take on the characters, setting and story, since everyone has a different angle on them. But I hope that others will, and that it'll stand up alongside the other Space Wolf stories and further enrich their fantastic background.

#22
Chris Wraight

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1) how long does Black Library usually give you to finish a book? did you choose this project or was it given to you?


Hi MaveriK, and thanks for the idea of doing this. BL books vary in how long they take to write. Some are written as quickly as three months, although there's usually been a few weeks of planning before that, and the proofing stage can also add to that. BotF took a lot longer, as it was Big and Difficult. I was asked to pitch for BotF by BL.

2) like Dan Abnett, he had certain props around him to help him write Prospero Burns, did you do anything similar?


Lots of artwork, and piles of codexes. But mostly the inspiration comes from the music I'm listening to as I type. God bless Spotify.

3) who is a your favorite Space Wolf character and why?


The Dreads. They're awesome. The way I see it, all Space Marines have an ambivalent relationship with being stuck in a giant metal coffin for all eternity. Sure, it's a huge honour and they can keep on fighting, but deep down they know they'll never race toward the enemy with a chainsword in their (real) hand ever again. They're pissed, they're confined, and that makes them utterly terrifying. Space Wolves even more so. Imagine being a Blood Claw - the most reckless and exuberant warrior in the galaxy. You spend your time hurling yourself into combat like the were-rabbit from Holy Grail. Then you're told you can only trundle into contact at two miles per hour and you have to get your mjod through a tube. That's some interesting psychology there.

And, of course, there's the grandaddy. Best Space Wolf character? Bjorn, by a distance.

4) what are your final thoughts on the Space Wolf chapter in comparison to the other chapters of the Imperium.


As I said in the previous post, I think Dan's take on them is the right one. They're savage, but not savages. They're brutal, but not brutes. They're obsessive in pursuit of their goals, and kill without remorse or hesitation. They're executioners, the guys you turn to when you need a job doing with the most extreme kind of prejudice. But they're also capable of extreme loyalty and devotion. They value the human spirit when it stands up and fights. They have no airs - what you see is what you get. They will laugh as they run into battle like a mortal would laugh when falling in love. They're superstitious and backward, but for all that wiser than many more advanced strands of the Imperium. They're extremely simple, and also extremely complicated.

In short, they're brilliant. :cuss

#23
Chris Wraight

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I would like to ask if the author will shine a light to the lethal native flora and fauna of Fenris aside from the obvious Wolves, like Psyfoxes and cave dragons....? Is the Fang described in lots of detail?


Hi Bulweih. As you'd expect, Fenris gets a lot of attention. I did try to flesh out the planet's unique landscape, and pay attention to the fact that everything on it is trying to kill you. All the time.

Don't expect much focus on the more exotic fauna, since most of the action takes place in the Fang, and this is about Space Marines fighting each other. But there are deep tunnels at the bottom of the fortress, and the story takes us a long way down...

#24
Chris Wraight

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Hmmm... I really like some of the books, but they are action books. He must have wanted to be a writer a lott to end up as a writer, so I am wondering what authors inspiers him and he looks up to. :-)


I've been pretty vocal about the BL authors I admire, in this thread and elsewhere. As for non-BL writers, I have pretty broad tastes. SF-wise, I like Iain M. Banks, Ursula LeGuin, Christopher Priest, John Wyndham and Margaret Atwood. I also enjoy Robert Harris thrillers, journalism by Joseph Mitchell, and Calvin and Hobbes.

One author I hugely admire is J. K. Rowling. Not for the books (I haven't read any of them), but for her life-story. Anyone who can work that hard and go through so much rejection and maintain belief in her material is a hero. I'm glad she's made a success of herself - she deserves it.

#25
Chris Wraight

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Was the battle/war only at the fang or was it global?


Hi dragon950. Your questions touch on stuff that I'd rather leave to the book to tell, so don't assume from my brief responses that they're not good questions (they are).

The book concentrates on the Fang.

How many brothers were left to defend the fang? There should be one company left to defend, plus all the different priests, scouts, blood claws that haven't been put in a compnay yet, and dreadnoughts.


Yup, that's about right. More detail in the book.

Any ideas on how many thousand sons were attacking the planet. In the third ragnar book it made it seem like there was alot more of them than there were in the HH book.


I took the likely numbers from what's left at the end of A Thousand Sons, accounting for defections to Ahriman, etc., over a millennium. So we're talking hundreds of Rubric Marines rather than thousands. But that doesn't mean there can't be mortal troops as well, on both sides - the ranged forces are pretty big.