I’ve always been intrigued by Warhammer in it’s various incarnations, but to be honest I didn’t know much about the lore besides what little I gleaned from their association with one of the greatest bands of all time, Bolt Thrower.
I played Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning back when it was a thing so I learned a little more (including exactly how shamelessly Blizzard ripped them off with Warcraft, natch).
But I knew almost nothing about Wahammer 40,000. I knew there were Space Marines and I knew there was an Emperor. I knew there was lots of conflict and combat and powered armor and huge war machines, but that was about it.
Then, thanks to watching a lot of short science fiction films, I found this in my recommendations on YouTube: Astartes, a 13 minute wordless film (told in 5 parts) made by a fan of Warhammer 40k that blew me away even tho I had no idea what the backstory was. I didn’t know who was a good guy, who was a bad guy or what the hell was going on other than what I was shown.
Since I didn’t know what Astartes was (didn’t even know if it was a plural or not!), I looked it up… and apparently now I’ve fallen down the rabbit hole.
In just the past 15 or 16 hours I’ve spent some considerable time watching some videos that go thru the lore and explain what’s going on. They were all made by the same guy, Luetin09, and they are incredibly well put together. In the order I watched them:
So I now understand a bit more about the Warhammer 40k universe (or galaxy, if you prefer). I like it. It’s detailed, it’s messy, it’s complicated and it’s dynamic as hell and I’d like to experience it myself. I’ve got some of his other videos on my list of things to watch, but I’m not sure that doing so wouldn’t spoil some of the fun of reading the actual stories, so I’m holding off for now.
To be clear: I want books and stories to read. I am not interested in playing the tabletop game nor is this thread seeking video game recommendations.
I found a site online that recommends starting with the Horus Heresy. Okay; I looked that up on Wikipedia and found that there are 56 (soon to be 57) novels just written around the Horus Heresy! And the first three are all OOP and command prices in the range of hundreds of dollars for hardcover editions and sometimes that much for paperbacks.
I see that there are hundreds of Warhammer 40k books by a plethora of authors and so I’m a little overwhelmed with choices.
I don’t mind starting in the middle, or at the end. I like having to put the pieces of a story together in my head just fine; it even enhances the reading experiences IMO. (I read the first 10 Dresden novels all out of order as I could find them and loved the experience; I’m still doing that with the Culture novels.)
I prefer hardcover books and do not enjoy reading ebooks.
I’m leaning toward jumping in with Lord of the Dark Millennium: The Dan Abnett Collection (Warhammer 40,000), mostly because it’s fairly recently published, it’s hardcover and it doesn’t seem to be embedded in a particular specific storyline that has already been taken up by several dozen related novels, novellas and short stories.
So I decided to turn to my fellow Dopers to ask: where should I start?
And would any Dopers like to talk about Warhammer 40k lore?