Saturday, October 09, 2010

Warhammer 40,000

So, I'm reading this "Shira Calpurnia Omnibus" of three-novels-in-one which takes place in the Warhammer 40,000 world.

I never knew what that world was.

But you know that little store on 8th Street, on the south side, before you hit Broadway? That's like Warhammer central. I guess that brief summer of playing Dungeons and Dragons as a teenager dates me as old enough that I'd never heard of Warhammer (or recognized what it was 'till now).

So I start reading this book and it is amazingly and stupendously boring. It's kind of like if the Nazis had won and you were reading an account of an SS officer a thousand years from now. The church is super-powerful politically but otherwise doesn't do anything. There are all kinds of military and paramilitary units running around enforcing arbitrary laws. The lead character is all about Honor and Justice and Duty and really has no character at all. In fact, after reading the first book I know who is guilty, I even know how they did what they did. But I'm still not entirely sure why they did it.

What really annoyed me was that it seemed like there was all this tremendous amount of religious stuff but it didn't mean anything. Just like Dune but the astrogators didn't need spice and weren't worming their way through treacherous space and...

...and all of that is just incorrect. The first book is rather boring because we don't really get into a lot of stuff and instead talk for hours about politics. But the world is kind of cool in that to do interstellar travel you need mutant navigators who can guide you through storms of chaos -- chaos gods which are capable of entering ships and at the least causing bad dreams and at worst taking over bodies and using them as weapons against the other souls on the ship. Now that's cool. THAT'S some conflict. And that stuff just didn't happen in the first novel in this big tri-novel. The religion, corrupt as it is, actually does have a real and potent enemy in these Chaos Gods from the warp - streams which interstellar craft travel.

I do formally request that for the last third of the omnibus we have one main character, we know who that character is and what they want. I'm talkin' to a Warhammer wall here, but I'm sayin' more Dune and fewer reports in faux-Latin. Or maybe it's real Latin (hey all I remember about Latin was how cute this girl Agnes was who sat in front of me. She had blonde hair and thick glasses and her name means "lamb".)

Volpin Props on building an Ultramarines Bolt Pistol.

No comments: