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Dan Abnett- More then just war books?
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Old 13 May 2007, 18:19   #1 (permalink)
Shas'La
 
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Default Dan Abnett- More then just war books?

The first book i read from the black library was First and Only, and subsequently all the other Gaunts Ghosts books, and for the first books there seemed to be very little meaning in the books. They are fantastically written, and great fun to read, but in essence, all they are is war books. Towards the end of the series there seems to be a recurring theme based around the idea of what chaos really is, and how it interacts with the human mind. In an abstract kind of way this has real meaning in relation to real life (not to everyday life but in relation to the power polititions hold and how their mind works (in the case of some *ahem blair ahem*(woo he's leaving) it doesnt))

I went on to read quite a few other ones. I've read the Gotrek and Felix books, and havent found much meaning in them at all. The work of Graham McNeill has more, but still i cant find as much meaning as in the Inquisitor books by Dan Abnett (namely the Eisenhorn and Ravenor series).



*Potential Spoilers here*




Take Eisenhorn as an example. This book demonstrates admirably some of the quirks of the idea of Good and Evil (and to an extent chaotic and lawful, but thats the D&D player in me). When you consider the world of 40k, in some case it is far to black and white. The Imperium is good. Chaos is evil. Orks are slightly confused by philosophy and so ignore the whole idea.

In terms of a game, this is all well and good, but the main reason i play 40k is because of the depths of the fluff. It seems to me that the only books that actually portray the fact that the imperium isnt inherently good are the books about the Inquisition.

In the Eisenhorn books, without ever actively deciding to be evil, the 'hero' slowly turns from the strong willed puritan amalthian inquisitor, into the radical deamon using 'enemy of the imperium'

In the case of the Ravenor books, the real deeper examination of this idea comes in the end of Ravenor Rogue, where...



* DEFINITE SPOILERS HERE *






despite Molotch being an evil enemy of the imperium, Ravenor allies with him to fight the greater evil...



So i guess the main point of this post is to find out if there are any other books which really contain deeper meaning as opposed to just big violence.

A secondary point would be whether you actually read for meaning, or entirely for violence...
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Old 27 Jun 2007, 19:25   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dan Abnett- More then just war books?

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Originally Posted by smurf
It seems to me that the only books that actually portray the fact that the imperium isnt inherently good are the books about the Inquisition.

I think that the reason for this is the the Inquisition is sort of the Imperiums secret police. Beyond books like Eisenhorn and the Ravenour series, you never see what goes on behind closed doors. Through this the guard seem like a noble and honorable group of people who protect humanity and all that. But even in books where there is little meaning, subtle refrenses are made to the genocidal nature of the imperium. Like in 15 hours. the main character makes a comment about how its humanities devine right to walk the stars without aliens in the way.

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Old 19 Jul 2007, 15:34   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dan Abnett- More then just war books?

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Originally Posted by smurf
A secondary point would be whether you actually read for meaning, or entirely for violence...
That's a good point, whether we read these books because of the violence, or for another reason, in fact, I don't know why I read these books, but they've been some of the greatest books/stories I've ever read.
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Old 29 Jul 2007, 16:37   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dan Abnett- More then just war books?

I've read the first Eisenstein book translated (I'm sure that took some of its charm), but it seemed a bit bland to me (not counting the fact that Eisenstein has methods of a Malleus brute, not an inquisitor of the Ordo Xenos). I think I'll buy the original omnibus and read the whole three to be sure.
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Old 22 Aug 2007, 00:45   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dan Abnett- More then just war books?

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Originally Posted by smurf
The first book i read from the black library was First and Only, and subsequently all the other Gaunts Ghosts books, and for the first books there seemed to be very little meaning in the books.
I've only read the first few Ghost books (the Founding omnibus) and I found meaning in them. They were gritty and realistic, but very human. They were about men in war, their bonds with one another and their leaders. Gaunt is unique in that he is a colonel-commissar and that makes him more than the stern disciplinarian typical of normal commissars. Consequently the books are full of contrasts between the run of mill imperial officers and commissars and the more humane style of Gaunt.

The other big take away from the series is the way it presents the Guard as the workhorse of the Imperium and the Space Marines are a bunch of prima donna glory boys.

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Old 22 Aug 2007, 01:28   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dan Abnett- More then just war books?

Well thay are relly sorry.

gris
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Old 23 Aug 2007, 18:04   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dan Abnett- More then just war books?

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Originally Posted by Arschbombe
The other big take away from the series is the way it presents the Guard as the workhorse of the Imperium and the Space Marines are a bunch of prima donna glory boys.
Makes the Guard seem to be harder than they actually are. Some people might see them as cannon fodder, but Dan gives them the 'toughen up' treatment.
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Old 25 Aug 2007, 01:00   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dan Abnett- More then just war books?

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Originally Posted by Dark Adeptus
Makes the Guard seem to be harder than they actually are. Some people might see them as cannon fodder, but Dan gives them the 'toughen up' treatment.
What do you mean by that? The Guard are as tough has he showed them.
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Old 25 Aug 2007, 11:38   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dan Abnett- More then just war books?

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Originally Posted by Legio Mortis
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark Adeptus
Makes the Guard seem to be harder than they actually are. Some people might see them as cannon fodder, but Dan gives them the 'toughen up' treatment.
What do you mean by that? The Guard are as tough has he showed them.
Some of us see the Imperial Guard as being frail and weak against chaos, but this time Chaos get their booty kicked!

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Old 31 Aug 2007, 16:59   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dan Abnett- More then just war books?

Well even lacking any great meaning or themes, if nothing else I've found Abnett's work to be great at showing us what life is like in the forty-first millennium, especially Eisenhorn. His attention to detail really paints a heck of a picture of the worlds in his novels.
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