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I was moved. Moved I say.
on 24 November 2010
It has become of concern to me in recent years that I might have wandered into a rather low-brow, pubescant world of military/sci-fi pulp fiction. I suppose all of us sneer at something whether it be thrillers, chick-lit, sword and sorcery or what you will. Well this is certainly as nerdy and narrow a genre as ever you will find and Dan Abnett is aguably one of is most prolific contributors.
But just let's pause to aknowledge that Mr Abnett is good at what he does. Gaunt's Ghosts has been building for a while as a massive story in a rich and well-fleshed gaming backdrop of Warhammer 40k. It is dark and brutal as I suppose all war must be and it is unrelenting. The charm in these stories, apart from the honest excitement and adrenaline involved in battlefront fiction is the triumph of the human spirit. It is the love for comrades in arms and the sacrifices that are made for friends. It is the unexpected gallows humour that has had me laughing hard and long. It is the tragedy of losing old familiar characters and the helplessness of seeing others killed when you barely have time to register their names.
The title of this Omnibus is apt. The First and Only endure but at a terrible toll. A tribute to the Lost.
So there you have it. "Birdsong" it ain't but that had me crying openly on public transport which is worrying to everyone. I have met Dan and shaken the boy's hand and next time I meet him I'll fething well shake it again. He really is very very good.