The Black Library is amongst the larger producers of sci-fi and fantasy in the UK, and has the unusual habit of annually opening its doors to the great unwashed, allowing the general public to meet the authors and learn a little bit more about new releases. They called this gathering of geeks Black Library Live! 2012 and the event is now in its fourth year.
Black Library produces tie-in fiction exclusively for Games Workshop, and this means that the event was held at Warhammer World in Nottingham, which also happens to be part of the toy-soldier manufacturer’s HQ. It’s a nice facility, filled with displays relevant to the Games Workshop fandom (as well as plenty of merchandise). The venue has a busy but extremely pleasant bar and restaurant section, nicely decorated in a faux-fantasy fashion. Despite a relatively large footfall at the event, the support staff where friendly and professional at all times, though the staff at the bar where very busy indeed
In addition to the usual tat associated with these sort of venues, fans could purchase books usually only available via mail-order, as well product that had not been released through the usual distributors yet. In addition a small selection of long out of print books were also on sale, though these where quickly snapped up by a small army of nostalgia junkies.
Black Library Live! 2012 was a slickly produced and well organised one-day convention, with a heavy focus on providing an insight into the firm’s forthcoming releases. Highlights of the event included the various panels, which were carefully co-ordinated and quite intimate. Plenty of opportunity was provided for various fans to ask their favourite authors all sorts of strange questions, and the overall feel of the day was one filled with geeky fun and nerdy joy.
The seminars did suffer from some slight technical issues, a number of the larger panels lacked enough microphones for all the panellists, and there wasn’t a roaming mike for those asking questions. On the other hand, another seminar was handled via video-conferencing, and it was relatively trouble-free, despite a few sound related issues.
Revelations where dotted throughout the various panels and included the news that the firm’s submission window will now accept adventure game books, and this will be the last year that unpublished authors can submit books to the open window.
In addition, Black Library will be producing many more audio books and audio dramas through both Big Finish and Heavy Entertainment, and intend to have at least one audio release per month.
Finally, a new Horus Heresy related multi-media project will be announced in November. This has lead fans to widely speculate that a CGI movie could be on its way, but no actual hard facts have been provided as yet, and we may have to wait until the end of the year before we find out more.