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Just for research purposes. How canon are the Horus Heresy books?
I notice that the Luna Wolves and others employ plasma cannons and things like that.
Are these books safe to be considered as canon for technology available during the Horus Heresy?
Well apart from the whole debate about exactly what is canon in terms of WH40K, I would say yes they are canon.
Mainly because I have heard that the contents are verified by the head of GW IP.
As with all Black Library stuff, it's to be taken with a grain of salt, not official fluff in any way, shape or form! And i have never heard of them being checked by GW, especially since they claim some pretty divergent stuff (fulgrim being possessed by a daemon springs to mind).
Personally, i don't like any of the HH novels apart from the first, and i'm now up to descent of angels!
I think Gav Thorpe says in his interview in WD this month that all the BL stuff is checked by someone high-up in GW to make sure its passable.
Currently play: 4000+ of Black Legion
I'm with Zem here. One has to be a bit critical. The use of Assault Cannons spring to mind, which is just "wtf?". Overall I would call them as official as it can get with 40k fluff, but the times when they really go against the older fluff (like with the assault cannons) one has to be a be a bit sceptical.
And IIRC, all BL-published novels are "checked" by someone in GW to make sure they are "passable". How books like Goto's first DoW-novels can come through that as "OK" is beyond me though.
Edit: And I agree with Zem again. Thrope is... unique. Different. Not like anybody else.
I think the important thing really is that you're dealing with a fantasy universe created by many different people, and rather than there being a 'canon' version of it, canon being the author's original intention, it's more like a consensus. There are some things which are readily accepted, some things which are a bit dodgy, and others which will fall outside of it completely.
I personally don't like the Black Library and I tend to ignore virtually everything written by them (with a few exceptions being books I actually enjoyed reading - I'm not neutral, go figure.) I stick very much to things like the Index Astrates articles over the Horus Heresy books. That does not mean that the BL are not canon, just that I don't like them or consider them valid, plenty of people here will cite the BL for absolutely everything (despite the fact that different authors constantly contradict each other - but that's the point.)
In short, if you're writing fluff, do it, follow the rules of good storytelling (no 'my chapter is made up of flying ninjas who are 9000 times better than all other marines!') and write something which will interest other people rather than pandering to yourself, and you've probably got a good result.
Basically agree with Giant Mantis, though my personal view is that WH40K is a collection of mythologies rather than single unified History (hence there are various versions of the Horus Heresy, various versions of who the Emperor is and so on)
That said what I heard from a GW staff member was a guy called Andy Jones (I think thats his name...) who is head of GW IP checks the stuff that the authors do for the HH books. When Dan Abnett went to him with 'Legion' Abnett thought that only a few things would get passed but this Jones fellow signed off of on all of it.....
Take from this what you will.
Last edited by Visitor Q; December 1st, 2008 at 12:56.
Hmm, I would not consider them the bible of fluff, but they can be pretty good.
Andy Jones probably never read Rouge Trader, so I wouldn't trust any BL publication. I believe the 'get out of jail free' card that GW used was something like
The BL books are canon from their own point of view
ie. completely useless.
Ignore obvious mistakes where ever possible.
Plasma cannons are just big plasma guns, thats not too bad
Assault cannons and razorbacks are 'new' technology and you should mentally replace them with 'Autocannon' and 'devastator standing on top of a rhino'
Stick to Index Astartes and codecies for accurate fluff
Arch Overfiend & Grand Despot
I currently play:
Doom Eagle Space Marines
Hive Fleet Omega Tyranids
Goff Ork Boyz(dead)
Tau of O'me
Inquisitorial Xeno Hunters
and my attempted foray into fantasy
'Dark Angel Green' Dark Elves in need of fluff