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Josh Reynolds no longer works for BL

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#26
aa.logan

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On his blog, Josh has spoken about being burned out by writing BL stuff that he didn’t necessarily enjoy but knew he’d get well-remunerated for; while it’s pretty clear that there may have been issues with the way BL handled him, this isn’t the sole reason for his stopping writing for them.

On the plus side, he’s presumably going to be writing more original fiction and enjoying that more, which is great because what I’ve read of his beyond BL has been very enjoyable indeed.
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#27
bluntblade

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I'll have to investigate that other work.

Edited by bluntblade, 16 May 2020 - 06:32 AM.

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#28
cheywood

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On his blog, Josh has spoken about being burned out by writing BL stuff that he didn’t necessarily enjoy but knew he’d get well-remunerated for; while it’s pretty clear that there may have been issues with the way BL handled him, this isn’t the sole reason for his stopping writing for them.

On the plus side, he’s presumably going to be writing more original fiction and enjoying that more, which is great because what I’ve read of his beyond BL has been very enjoyable indeed.

I’ve always interpreted Josh to be less of a fan of Warhammer 40k than some of the other authors, even though he writes for it so well. He was pretty open about his distaste for space marines and preference for writing original characters. Writing for BL, especially 40k and the HH, is very lucrative compared to writing entirely original material, but I can imagine it to be soul-sucking if you don’t love the universe in its entirety. If I recall correctly Josh’s AOS work hasn’t sold as well as his 40k work, which might be another factor in him leaving.

Edited by cheywood, 16 May 2020 - 06:59 AM.


#29
DukeLeto69

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I don’t get the love for Josh Reynolds!

Ok disclaimer - I don’t read AoS (and Josh appears to have been a heavy lifter for the setting). I thought his HH work was ok. The only novel I read was the first Fabius Bile and...meh!

I bought the Fabius Bile in hardback because many if the brothers on here were raving about it. I just didn’t like it. I had the same reaction to it as I did with Atlas Infernal (another book some brothers seem to love).

For me the tone is wrong/off and doesn’t quite fit the setting (personal taste obviously). It has a slightly irreverent style that grates and I just cannot help thinking Josh is saying “you readers don’t take this seriously do you? You do know this is a setting designed for manboys to play toy soldiers in right?” Just felt to me like he was laughing at us the readers, but it appears from the love he gets I am alone in that.

Conversely I am looking forward to picking up Kal Jericho in pb as I think his style (as I know it) will work well for that.

Hearing about how GW/BL treated him was bad though and it clearly is a sad day for many BL fans.
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#30
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I'll have to investigate that other work.

 

A lot of his Royal Occultist stories are free to download from his site, btw. They`re great fun, and I loved the novels. But even there he had tough luck with the publisher, who never actually released the third in print despite it being both scheduled and promised =/ Still miffed about that

 

 

 

It doesn't matter if Josh Reynolds leaves Black Library, we'll get another 67 Guy Haley Blood Angels books that will be praised from one end of the Internet to the other facepalm.png

 

For all I snipe at Haley, I have to be fair: I never understood why anyone liked Blood Angels until I read his Dante stuff. I'm looking forward to a listen of Darkness in the Blood, not the least of which because the spoilers are bananas.

 

 

I'm with you on Darkness in the Blood and Dante. Damn if that wasn't great, probably the best novel the Blood Angels have seen to date.

For what it's worth, Haley is one of the prime reasons why I'm gonna stick with BL, at least, although I wish he'd write more original novels again. Or another Baneblade crew book. Or more Greenskins. In a way, he seems to be in a reasonably similar situation as Josh, where he gets commissioned for a bunch of things (especially because he's fast) instead of really getting to pitch his own, and that kind of sucks. Unlike Josh, it appears his working relationship with GW's studio and BL is much better and involved, it seems. Maybe because he has a longer history with GW proper?

 

And yeah, cheywood, I believe you're correct. The amount of WHFB/AoS pitches he got rejected compared to the 40k pitches is just nuts. WHFB brought out a lot of passion, and I can't help but wonder how it must have felt for him, with all that, writing the conclusion of the setting. He went beyond anything you could've expected with Lord of the End Times, too, wrapping up SO MANY characters and plot threads from other stories, stuff that GW proper simply forgot about. You could tell how involved he was with the setting they squatted. When AoS came around, he commented on having a great time writing in the setting because of it being such a blank slate and thus allowing his creativity to flow, if I recall. Compared to that, 40k might've been pretty stifling, especially when more creative ideas got routinely shot down to begin with.

 

They never did approve of his ideas for Erebus =/


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#31
caladancid

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I'll have to investigate that other work.

 

A lot of his Royal Occultist stories are free to download from his site, btw. They`re great fun, and I loved the novels. But even there he had tough luck with the publisher, who never actually released the third in print despite it being both scheduled and promised =/ Still miffed about that

 

 

 

It doesn't matter if Josh Reynolds leaves Black Library, we'll get another 67 Guy Haley Blood Angels books that will be praised from one end of the Internet to the other facepalm.png

 

For all I snipe at Haley, I have to be fair: I never understood why anyone liked Blood Angels until I read his Dante stuff. I'm looking forward to a listen of Darkness in the Blood, not the least of which because the spoilers are bananas.

 

 

I'm with you on Darkness in the Blood and Dante. Damn if that wasn't great, probably the best novel the Blood Angels have seen to date.

For what it's worth, Haley is one of the prime reasons why I'm gonna stick with BL, at least, although I wish he'd write more original novels again. Or another Baneblade crew book. Or more Greenskins. In a way, he seems to be in a reasonably similar situation as Josh, where he gets commissioned for a bunch of things (especially because he's fast) instead of really getting to pitch his own, and that kind of sucks. Unlike Josh, it appears his working relationship with GW's studio and BL is much better and involved, it seems. Maybe because he has a longer history with GW proper?

 

And yeah, cheywood, I believe you're correct. The amount of WHFB/AoS pitches he got rejected compared to the 40k pitches is just nuts. WHFB brought out a lot of passion, and I can't help but wonder how it must have felt for him, with all that, writing the conclusion of the setting. He went beyond anything you could've expected with Lord of the End Times, too, wrapping up SO MANY characters and plot threads from other stories, stuff that GW proper simply forgot about. You could tell how involved he was with the setting they squatted. When AoS came around, he commented on having a great time writing in the setting because of it being such a blank slate and thus allowing his creativity to flow, if I recall. Compared to that, 40k might've been pretty stifling, especially when more creative ideas got routinely shot down to begin with.

 

They never did approve of his ideas for Erebus =/

 

 

Was he after Haley though? Maybe in overall connection with the company?  I really don't know.  Knights of the Blazing Sun and Neferata are not exactly new novels though (and the Gotrek novels he did, but I wasn't a fan of those).



#32
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Knights didn't get the proper sequel he wanted to write and Neferata ended up as a canceled trilogy, with book three not happening due to the End Times. Personally, I love his G&F, and was kind of confused when they gave the job to finish the series to Guymer (who I enjoy too, but not on the same level as Josh). It ended up making sense due to Josh opening and ending the End Times books, though.

 

Josh and Guy both started around 2013 iirc. I think Josh was novel-published right in January and Haley around March/April, with G&F: Road of Skulls and Baneblade respectively. It's pretty obvious who's got the better relationship with the company, though. Heck, Haley even writes for Warhammer Community on occasion (which is helmed by Andy Smillie iirc).


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#33
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Not my favourite author by any stretch but I’ve enjoyed Lukas the Trickster, Return of Nagash and most recently the Kal Jerico book.
Honestly I found the Fabius series tough going and I wasn’t fussed on Fulgrim.
Some of his pitches sound interesting particularly the ecclesiastical one, that is definitely an area that needs more exploration but I can think of others I would prefer to do it.
His topics are certainly more creative than the space marine dolts in BL central obviously want their authors to be. Stifling authors is something BL have previously done and it’s been recognised as being very much to the detriment of the work.
Having said that putting the list on Twitter was a bit of a juvenile move. If I worked in BL regardless of how good the author is I would have ripped up any contract he had.

#34
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Not my favourite author by any stretch but I’ve enjoyed Lukas the Trickster, Return of Nagash and most recently the Kal Jerico book.
Honestly I found the Fabius series tough going and I wasn’t fussed on Fulgrim.
Some of his pitches sound interesting particularly the ecclesiastical one, that is definitely an area that needs more exploration but I can think of others I would prefer to do it.
His topics are certainly more creative than the space marine dolts in BL central obviously want their authors to be. Stifling authors is something BL have previously done and it’s been recognised as being very much to the detriment of the work.
Having said that putting the list on Twitter was a bit of a juvenile move. If I worked in BL regardless of how good the author is I would have ripped up any contract he had.

 

Black Library has authors posting far more controversial things on Twitter than a list of rejected story ideas.


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#35
Knockagh

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Flip that sounds good! I’m not on it anymore I should probably rejoin if that’s the case. I found twitter a cesspool of human hate tbh and jumped ship a few years ago.

Regardless of anything else it’s still a dick move, don’t bite the hand that feeds and all that.
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#36
Bobss

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I want to post a big rant about this because I consider Josh Reynolds to be one of the most intelligent authors who has ever written for Black Library, and have barely scratched the surface on how great his Fabius work is, but it's a waste of time. I might do a respect thread at some point post-Manflayer. To hear (or roughly work out) how badly handled he's been is very disappointing

 

At the end of the day Black Library probably makes more money printing Sisters of Battle books for fans of Sisters of Battle moreso than they do printing genuinely good books for fans of genuinely good writing. For every well-put-together Ahriman trilogy we have an ocean of dross. We've all been through that phase where we thought everything printed by Black Library was wonderful because it was like those short stories in old codices but even bigger... then realised that actually not all authors are created equally. Is it warranted to talk about these books like this? Maybe not, but I have always felt like the best of Black Library have always tried to push the ceiling on the expectations of tie-in fiction, and driving away a talent like Josh Reynolds isn't going to help that. After all, being critical of what you enjoy is both historical and it is normal - people have been doing this for their sports teams for centuries, however the sheer volume of material churned out by Black Library nowadays strikes me as more of a 'consume product' cultural shift

 

Just gotta hold those few great books and series that we value nice and close, like Black Legion and Chris Wraight's Terra work, and vote with our wallets on other stuff. As much as I bemoan bulletpoint-summaries on places like Reddit, they alongside Goodreads reviews and discussion forums like these help me sort the wheat from the chaff

 

At the end of the day, we only have so much disposable income and so many years on this rock, and I would rather not waste them reading dross. I feel like Games Workshop is being handled a lot better nowadays than say 5+ years ago, and I congratulate them on that, but this kumbaya feeling from Warhammer Community really isn't for me

 

https://i.imgur.com/TkkftEy.gif


Edited by Bobss, 16 May 2020 - 09:35 PM.

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#37
Sandlemad

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This is a real loss but I completely get why Reynolds is out, he was treated pretty shabbily by BL. That's not uncommon, I get the impression they're not known for being particularly good to their authors and in general don't come off as a particularly competent or 'together' publisher. 

 

The list of pitches is... well, in a sense they're just pitches. Anyone can pull together an idea, though frankly even just as ideas they show more creative spark than easily half the works published for 40k and almost all the works published for AoS. The tragedy to my mind is that Reynolds is perhaps uniquely skilled at spinning gold out of dross. He's not the only good writer working on AoS material but there's a serious gulf between his work and a lot of what else gets written. Any one of these would very likely have become a solid short/novel.

 

Definitely not a dick move though. Reynolds is a pro and always very clear-eyed about the grim realities of working for a big licensed fiction publisher. He has grinned and born it through far, far worse stuff on BL's part, and after all these are all things BL rejected, probably often for good reason (even where that good reason might have been "we need another uuuuhhh space marine conquests book").

 

On his blog, Josh has spoken about being burned out by writing BL stuff that he didn’t necessarily enjoy but knew he’d get well-remunerated for; while it’s pretty clear that there may have been issues with the way BL handled him, this isn’t the sole reason for his stopping writing for them.

 

This is true and fair enough. I suspect that some of that burnout is inherent to writing for a living and especially writing for a big IP but it's grating to see how poorly BL took advantage of his skills when (as Bobss said and with the caveat that we don't get to see how the sausage is made) some other writers get given a lot more leeway to just... churn out the same old stuff.


Edited by Sandlemad, 16 May 2020 - 11:52 AM.

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#38
mc warhammer

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how is a list of rejected pitches a bad move? a lazy Google will reveal hundreds of unmade movie, tv episode, pilot, comic book pitches

why would BL care? there's no IP infringement. and reynolds was careful to qualify that pitching was reliant on things outside both his and BL's influence.
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#39
Kelborn

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Two things I'd like to say:

1) Are you guys interested in a seperate thread? If so I would split the related posts into a new one. Would be more reasonable than using the Upcoming Stuff one.
2) Just a reminder before it happens. You can talk about his overall work, but avoid a deeper discussion about AoS novels or such. You know why. ;)
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#40
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Thanks Kelborn, please do the splitty-split thingy. At least that way, we can still keep the topic together and won't have to worry overmuch about going offtopic. I certainly have more to say on the matter, but held back as much as I could past the initial burst of frustration :')


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#41
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Alrighty

Gonna start one later on. ;)
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#42
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Regardless of anything else it’s still a dick move, don’t bite the hand that feeds and all that.

 

I'm curious as to your reasoning for this. He made it clear in the tweets he wasn't blaming Black Library for the rejections.


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#43
Lucerne

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Reynolds had talent and his Fabius series showed he has a much higher baseline quality than a number of BL's current "regulars". He even salvaged concepts like Trazyn, which is no small feat.

 

Frankly, we're worse off without him raising the average quality of BL novels especially from an Emperor's Children POV.

 

I do wish we'd learned more about those Lernean Proxies...


Edited by Lucerne, 16 May 2020 - 07:08 PM.

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#44
Knockagh

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Regardless of anything else it’s still a dick move, don’t bite the hand that feeds and all that.


I'm curious as to your reasoning for this. He made it clear in the tweets he wasn't blaming Black Library for the rejections.

Well then I’m in the wrong. I assumed (usually a bad idea) this was a look at me and my ideas tat big bad BL turned down in favour of crappy space marine battle books.
I try and support the authors of BL as much as possible and think we all should. I hope they are well remunerated and supported otherwise by GW. But the way these sandbox settings work GW are essentially the customer. So I think authors should respect that. If I was wrong here then I’m sorry.
It’s our job as GW customers to get all heavy with GW over content and quality. I’m never even overly comfortable with authors on this forum, as much as I love to hear their perspective and listen to their pearls of wisdom it can feel like the teacher is in the room. No one wants to criticise them if are in front of you! Remember back when Abnett pretty much stopped his BL work and it was very clear he want happy with their direction? (Along with the rest of us) I don’t remember any twitter rants just some polite comments on podcasts. And he’s Dan Abnett.
If I’m wrong here I’m wrong.
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#45
Kelborn

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Well, the title says it all.

 

I'll move all related posts from the Upcoming Stuff thread for further talk.

 

Cheers,

Kel


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#46
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Went to Black Library and entered his name in the search thing because I couldn't remember if I read anything by him. Out of the entire list only Half Horn is recognizable. I don't really read novels from BL(I never seem to finish them) I'm mostly into Audio Dramas. It was a cool story I enjoyed it.

 

Best of luck to him on his future projects.


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#47
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Reynolds leaving is a shame; at least Manflayer  is still in the pipeline. All the same, authors come and go. Abnett has greatly reduced his work with BL; people thought the world was ending there. And now Reynolds is out, but perhaps someone else will step up now. 

 

In regards to Haley doing more Baneblade work, this novella was just released a few days ago - https://www.blacklib...LDigiMon11May20


Edited by plastic_slug, 16 May 2020 - 11:36 PM.

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#48
b1soul

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Josh is not my favourite BL authour, but he's head and shoulders above Thorpe (I don't like anything written by him), Kyme (I find Fall of Damnos decent, everything else is bad), and Swallow (terrible IMO).
He's also consistently more readable than Haley and Annandale...Josh's phoned-in stuff is on a level with some of their best

I don't know how they could bring Swallow back for the dross that was Buried Dagger and let Annandale do something as tangential as Damnation of Pythos without giving Josh a proper HH novel...maybe Josh wasn't interested in HH? Why was he never brought into the inner circle? Guess we'll never know.

Who at BL decides the viability of pitches? Is it Kyme's editorial team?

Major loss for BL. I'd take Josh over any number of the mediocre-to-bad BL regulars anyday.
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#49
Noserenda

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Damn thats a shame, im always happy to pick up a Reynolds book.

Though im still gutted we wont get more Knights of Manan, love those the most :) 


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#50
Felix Antipodes

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A loss for the company but, as others have pointed out, authors come and go. I can think of several I would love to see back in the BL stable of writers who have moved on.

I do find it ironic that Josh has decided to move on not long after GW finally bit the bullet and announced the return of his beloved WFB setting.





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