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Darkest

You can do worse than the lurid fantasy worlds of Games Workshop when it comes to novels. I blame it on Britain; like 2000 AD comics, Games Workshop’s Black Library seems happy to allow authors to indulge their hallucinogenic whimseys as long as the canon is consistent. And the canon is a fever-dream to start with, so you’ve got a rather fertile base for excess. What more can one ask of RPG novels?

Start with The Vampire Genevieve, by the estimable Jack Yeovil. At home, he’s Kim Newman. This weighy paperback is a compliation of all his Genevieve novels, and they’re grim gloomy romps with a wicked sense of humor. In the introduction, he notes that he wanted to write a book about what happened to the heroes of a fantasy epic afterwards. Tasty and moody and even a little wistful in the descriptions of the decrepit assassin-dancer and the fat old bandit king.

You could also check out his Dark Future books; I believe only Demon Download is in print. It’s not as good, but wow, that’s a post-apocalypse United States to be reckoned with. GW released Dark Future as a competitor to Car Wars, back in the day, so it’s a ruined US in the Warhammer timeline. Expect spiky crawly Chaos. Also expect mad Mormons, Vatican black ops, and very fast heavily armed cars. The later books also have Elvis. Like I said, not as well-written, but palpably insane.

Stuart Moore has a new Dark Future book out: American Meat. I’m only halfway through, but it’s lovable. You know Stuart Moore as the chief editor of Vertigo Comics for a number of years. It’s hard to tell if someone’s a great writer from one of these; I can say I’m enjoying it. Who doesn’t like robot monkeys and vegetarian biker gangs? I dunno why GW is putting out more Dark Future books but I’m kinda guiltily glad they are.

Final nod goes to Honour of the Grave, by Robin Laws. Not at all bad, and it’s the first of a series, which is a plus for me when it comes to popcorn reading. There’s always something really measured and intellectual about his prose, which is an odd framework for a pulp dark fantasy novel, but it’s Warhammer so it works pretty well all in all. And hey, cool heroine. Not enough fantasy novels about graverobbers.

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