Behold, my gaming group has a hobby blog now. Please enjoy my latest and hopefully not as-doomed-as-always attempts at getting my gaming life in order.
Or don’t enjoy it. Ignore it. It’s your destiny, you make the calls. I can respect that. Hey, I dig that about you.
Tales from the Aaronorium!
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Aaron is not Graham McNeil.
A writer of 40K awesomeness for the Black Library and occasional fa/tg/uy. He's also involved in the fan project The Lord Inquisitor, but he's just one of many. He also has a blog. Also worked on Hunter: The Vigil.
A younger, even sexier version of Dan Abnett with a bigger dick and a smaller word count. Member of the Bald Brotherhood of Awesome 40K Writers, also known as the Bald Bards of Steel.
He wrote the short pieces of fiction, Dude, Where's my Land Speeder?, and What it's like.
Aaron Dembski-Bowden is also well-liked by Daemonhunter lore masters, due to his effort in at least making the new Grey Knights lore more palatable (given the rage-inducing material he had to work with). Where there was once just Mary Sues after the Glory Days of 3rd Ed, now there is at least a semblance of deeper character to the 5th Ed Grey Knights outside the idiocy written by a certain Spiritual Liege. He even ties them back into threads left from Ravenor, so that the influence of Saint Abnett can cleanse them.
He's also pretty well-liked by Ultramarine players for making them cool again.
He also wrote arguably the best speech in the 40k setting in Grimaldus’ to the people of Helsreach. It’s on his page, go check it out. Seriously, it’ll give you goosebumps.
In fact he's pretty good at making all factions awesome but imperfect. See, for example, his portrayal of Angron. While Angron is indeed a dreaded unstoppable killing machine, he's also a pitiful character who blames others for his problems.
He has also committed himself to rehabilitating the reputation of Abaddon the Despoiler, with all the controversy that implies. Although, he's certainly not above ripping into old Failbaddon either, as evidenced in the Night Lords trilogy where Talos has nothing but open contempt for him, point blank outlining all the reasons the Despoiler and his Legion suck, to his face. This is particularly noteworthy when contrasted with Talos' genuine respect for Huron Blackheart's power, authority, and achievements, even while planning on backstabbing the Corsairs. Now, ADB has claimed these are just Talos' views, not his own.
He is quickly approaching Dan Abnett's record of number of beloved characters murdered. Seriously. Reading his books, especially the Horus Heresy ones, is like watching him rip your heart out and chew on it while he coos "Was it good for you too?"
Lest you think we're going soft, though, we should point out that he has received some pretty harsh criticism, particularly for his portrayal of the Emprah as a raging torrent of incompetence and jackassery the likes of which Earth had not seen since Mussolini made his last public appearance upside down at a petrol station (although, to be fair, he mostly portrays traitor legions who have a... less than positive view of the guy). Some have even accused him of turning the Horus Heresy books into a public therapy session for his daddy issues, which, to be fair, is comparable to CS Goto using his books as a public therapy session for his depression at not having the chops to be a Hollywood screenwriter. He also has a major issue with making the characters he likes look perfect while shitting on other groups; see especially his Grey Knights book which just becomes a Space Wolves wank, and The First Heretic, which is utterly fantastic - except the two pages his beloved Night Lords show up and snark all over the Word Bearers.
As a matter of fact, as well as you can speak for a large, completely anonymous community, /tg/ seems to have mostly turned against old Aaron. More and more, he seems to be getting his way at Black Library, especially in the Horus Heresy series, and some well-loved fluff is being rewritten after a very long time unchanged. Many point at Master of Mankind, the book specifically about the Emprah, which no one at BL was smart enough to realize they shouldn't assign to the guy constantly criticized for how he writes that character. Again, /tg/ is not a single person, and he still has his defenders.
Through his novels you can notice a few things about him:
- He likes Chaotic neutral(ish) characters
- He is hence great at writing Robert E. Howard-styled characters (how is that he hasn't written any Conan pastiche?)
- He enjoys writing in first-point-of-view, although he can work in third-point-of-view
- He mostly portrays Space Marines in his novels, although he has a few works with non-SM as well.
- If there is a ship at one of his stories, expect him to make the ship be controlled by a young woman (ship-girls anyone?) He says he tries to balance the testosterone with female mortal characters
- He definitely doesn't get well with the Abrahamic religions, or their priests (we may assume this is the source of the so called "daddy issues")
- He also isn't really sympathetic to order-aligned factions
- He dislikes fat people
- He dislikes Eldar.
- He tends to write events through the protagonist's perception and thus has to spend lots of time telling people not to take the opinions of said protagonist (for example, anything said by or about the Emperor in MoM) at face value.
- He seems to have been the one in charge of breaking the classic image of the Emperor, turning him from a grimdark Sigmar into an emotionless Lex Luthor (This is still the approximation of "good" in 30k and 40k)
- He considers the 40k franchise fated to be won by Chaos. (It will be funny seeing him getting charged to write some stuff about Age of Sigmar.) Though to be fair, even the Grey Knights Codex indirectly conceded that Chaos will probably be the faction to eventually win.
His Facebook posts are pretty incredible. Go and check them out.