What is there to write about? I don't know, good characters, a well drafted conflict and resolution? You know, all the things that are part of writing any kind of novel? I mean, how hard is it to write license fiction? I understand a lot of effort goes into writing a novel, and my hat off to anyone who completes one. McNeill's characters aren't bad, and his writing style isn't bad, but there are a million ways to write stories about the Ultramarines without having to rely on these kinds of amateurish interpretations of the Codex. Heck, the Ultramarines should be the easiest chapter to write about. They are just big guys in big armor with big guns that have this big book of tactics and strategy that makes them amazing warfighters. No little cultural plot hooks (aside from the subtle Roman references) like the Space Wolves, no quirks of psychology or biology to explain, etc. There's a reason why GW uses the Ultramarines as their flagship chapter. All you have to do to write Ultramarines is describe really good warriors doing their thing. And that gives you a million ways to go with things. People have been writing military fiction for decades, if not centuries, and not needed anything more than that. Pick an enemy, imagine up a planet for them to be on, consider some basic thematic and narrative elements, mix together with Ultramarines.you know im readng through alot of these posts, and if you dont like the way McNeill portray the ultras, then thats fine..
Except that is what McNeill is portraying it as, a rulebook, and hence my complaint.
but id imagine the ultramarines are one of the hardest chapter to write about, i mean it seriously, whats thier selling point? a book needs more than bolter porn to sell, it needs the background stuff.
What McNeill did was almost a cardinal sin as a writer. He attempted to write about something he didn't understand or know. At all. That was his choice, not something forced upon him. If you notice, most of the other stories about Space Marines just have vague references to the Codex Astartes, because nobody actually knows what's in it. It's a fictional book with only a basic description of its contents. However, the concepts that the fictional book would contain have very real and solid links to things that happen in the real world (generalship, strategy, logistics, chain of command, etc), that are easily researched. A similar example would be like me choosing to write a book about the Qur'an, without know what was in it or ever having read it. I mean, I understand the basic tenets of Islam and I've been to Islamic countries and interacted with their populaces (the equivalent of knowing the basic 40K lore). I should be able to write a whole novel explaining how and why Islamic militants think and act right? No.