A Last Blast From the Past: The Navis Nobilitae

Here is the last article I salvaged from the old Trollslayer.net site. It comes from the time when I was writing Wolfblade. As usual, it is not part of the official Warhammer 40,000 background save where parts of it have made their way into the book. The Navigators An extract from the basic training lectures […]

Revising Macharius

This is the part I always enjoy. The grunt work of writing the first draft is out of the way and I am now going through The Angel of Fire in Scrivener with an eye to improving it. I took a short break away from the book last week so I could come to it cold […]

One For the Titan Fans

I’ve a lot of work to do this half week before we head off to Berlin so here’s a very brief extract from the Imperial Guard book I am currently writing. The usual disclaimers apply— this is a work in progress, subject to change and editing, no Titans were hurt in the making of this […]

Building a Hive

What does the future smell like?

I spend a significant chunk of my working life thinking about this. To write fiction set in the 40K universe (or any other) you need to know how things look, sound, feel and smell. You need to convince your readers of the reality of the world your characters are moving through. You need to stimulate their imaginations with small, telling details that help them to believe in the place. You need to be able to describe how things feel, how they smell, how they sound if you are going to conjure up vivid images in their minds.

Games Workshop’s artists and sculptors have given us a very good idea of what the 41st Millennium looks like, but for the rest of it, you have some work to do.

Right now I am writing a story set in the Hive city of Irongrad; a vast, multi-layered urban mountain with the population of a modern country. I need, at least in my imagination, to walk its streets, and come back with a description that convinces. It’s a form of intellectual time and space travel. Once that’s done I need to be able to relate what I find to physical stimuli that readers can grasp.

How do I do that?