ROAD OF SKULLS Cover Sneak-Peek

Black Library has posted the cover for my forthcoming novel, Gotrek & Felix: Road of Skulls. Image below cut. 

Cover art by the always-stellar Winona Nelson. I’ll talk more about this as we draw closer to the date. The book is set for an early/mid 2013 release.

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9 comments

  1. Sorry if this question has been asked before but, does this story continue on from the last novel by nathan long – ZombieSlayer?
    Or is it a stand-alone story between William Kings and before Nathan’s – timeline wise?

    1. Not a problem. I’m happy to answer questions.

      The next few G&F books are being written so as not to tie into any one point in the series to-date. So, no mention of the supporting cast (no Ulrika, no Snorri, etc.) or more recent previous adventures (no references to Zombieslayer, etc.). Essentially, RoS occurs after Trollslayer. Where exactly they fall in the series after that fixed point is entirely up to the reader. If that doesn’t quite work for you, then RoS is happening in one of those alternate realities that Felix got a glimpse of in Giantslayer.

      Basically, over the next few years (as I understand it), the G&F timeline is going to get busted wide open (check out the new omnibuses to see what I mean). Less linear and more ‘mythic’, I suppose. Akin to RE Howard’s ‘Conan’ stories, where chronology is secondary to constancy. The series will move forward at some point, but for the next coupla years, you’re going to get more ‘non-specific’ done-in-one stories/novels/novellas/audios akin to RoS and David Guymer’s Curse of the Ever-Living.

      Hope that helps!

      1. I have no problem with this “main storyline pause”, but I think that all these stories should have been squeezed to 20 year gap between Giantslayer and Orcslayer. There is no established timeline there, so it still could fit the new formula. I also think, that lot of long-time readers like myself would welcome some stories from Arabia, Kithaj, Nehekhara, Lustria… Although I’m glad for all these new shorts, novellas and audiodramas they lack certain level of… freshness. So I think, that this “business decision” and attempt to bring new readers is not done very well. Some readers are gonna be pissed and it could’ve been avoided so easily…

      2. Funnily enough, my original pitch for Road of Skulls had it taking place right after Giantslayer. And in Norsca, rather than the World’s Edge Mountains. It also didn’t have any dwarfs in it. They asked me to change it. The original plan WAS to fill that twenty year gap, but, well, plans change.

        I’d love to write stories set in those places you mention–but, other than possibly Nehekhara (which has a current army book and is thus ‘fair game’ so to speak), you’re not likely to see any places outside the Old World. That might change in the future, it might not. I’m a hack, and not privy to the inner workings of Games Workshop and Black Library.

        We work with what we’re given, basically. If they say ‘no stories set in these places’, well, ain’t going to be no stories set in them places. If they say ‘continuity-free’, well, it’s continuity-free. If they say, ‘have Gotrek fight a dinosaur’, well, he’s going to Lustria. Or a zoo.

        And some readers WILL be pissed, yes (already are, if the Amazon reviews are anything to go by–hopefully they’ll be more charitable with David Guymer’s book), but, frankly, some readers would have been pissed regardless. They’d be pissed because the main storyline isn’t continuing yet, or that Nathan Long isn’t writing it, or that Bill King isn’t coming back, or because it messes up their personal head-canon, etcetera ad nauseum. And fair dues, those are all valid reasons. Except for that last one.

        That one’s stupid.

      3. Thanks for the reply. Although I have yet to read Road of Skulls (I’ll probably wait for czech edition of the novel, because I have whole GF series in czech) Your original pitch sounds great, it’s a pity, really. On the other hand, now I know the whole “behind the scenes deal” about continuity, I think it’s gonna be easier for me to get used to it.

        I also have to compliment You on the overall quality of Your other G+F stories. From bunch of those new authors, which are writing about the infamous duo, I like Your stories the best. Charnell Congress was really great, Cask of Wynters is nice story and one of the best in the GF anthology and Blood Sport’s “twist” is truly memorable and beautiful moment. (Haven’t read Berthold’s Beard yet)

        And I’m really curious about Your Zavant stories. Was it Your idea or BL’s idea? At first I was little sceptical about the continuity with Zavant/Felix interaction, but it came out nicely and also served like a pretty good sequel to Politics of Shadow. I have to admit that I was pleasently surprised how awesome the story was.
        So my question is: Are there any plans for additional Zavant stories (Apart from Riddle of Scorpions, which I also liked)?

      4. Thanks for the compliments. I’m glad you enjoyed ’em, particularly “Blood Sport”. That one’s my favourite out of all the G&F-related stuff I’ve written, I think.

        RE: Zavant. It was a bit of both, actually. I’m a pretty big Sherlock Holmes fan, and one of the editors at BL turned me on to Zavant. Then, after I’d read it, they inquired as to whether I thought I could write something using those characters and I pretty much jumped at the opportunity. I’ve written one other Zavant story that has yet to see the light of day, and I’ve proposed a fourth, though only time will tell whether or not they’ll go for that one. I actually enjoy writing Zavant a bit more than Gotrek and Felix, so I hope they’ll let me write a few more at least.

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