Published

Yesterday, yesterday I should have made an announcement here.

I apologise that I did not. Social media, conversations with friends, proud boasting, these things occupied my time and attention.

So the announcement shall be made today. My work is vindicated. I am allowed to speak.

I was published yesterday.

I still can’t get over that thought.

I was published.

A lifelong dream, held, cherished, scrunched tight within my soul emerged into reality, realised, fully formed.

I am now a writer, not just a blogger, not just a Captain of Chickens.

I am now Joe Parrino, writer.

Beyond that fact, beyond that vindication comes the fact of what has been published, what will continue to be published (Emperor and Editor willing).

My name is Joe Parrino and I am a writer for the Black Library.

That may not mean much to you, but to me it means everything.

Ever since I was a young child, I have read the works of William King, Dan Abnett, Graham McNeill, since that fateful day I strode into Powells and found a copy of Trollslayer, Necropolis and Storm of Iron.

I was lost, lost within visions of a bleak future, of camaraderie, betrayal, all the things my young self wanted to read, to write.

Last year a friend of mine did the impossible. He won the lottery on my behalf with a selfless act. I was floored, astounded, shocked, honoured.

Then came the response, the response that left me stunned and ecstatic by equal measures. I could scarce sit still when I heard the news and yet, at the same time, I could scarcely cease moving.

An editor contacted me, asking for my work, asking for more.

It felt surreal, writing about the things that I had always read, that I still read.

I was no longer going to be a passive observer, I would contribute, add, create.

My first short story came months later, as I stumbled through pitch after pitch, striving, and not achieving. Finally one broke through.

The words flew from my mind and onto the page.

Then more came. I was asked for more and the dream deepened, became more real with every passing day.

A new story was commissioned, a new premise introduced. It was challenging to write for a subject with which I was scarcely familiar, with a viewpoint I had never before considered.

Yesterday that story was released. Yesterday I was published. Yesterday I was vindicated as a writer.

Yesterday a dream came true, burst forth from the aether, into reality, made manifest.

It is the first. It will not be the last.

My name is Joe Parrino and I was published yesterday.

The Politics of Primarchs

There is a spot in the Meadows near to where I live. There is nothing special about this spot, nothing visually appealing. It is just a quiet bend in a quiet park.

This is where ideas come from. They whisper in quiet voices. They whisper with the thunder of surety, of betrayal, of politics, of philosophy. They are the imagined words of primarchs and legionnaires, men who exist only in fiction. The quotes are usually not long, simple statements of intent and interest.

I do not know why I always think of the words from this spot. Perhaps because it lies on my route home from class, my mind still abuzz with the notions and theories of International Relations. Perhaps the walls between reality and the Immaterium lay thin there and the echoes of thoughts and deeds resonate on that spot. Perhaps it is just a spot and my fevered mind only ascribes significance conjured from the heady heights of nothingness. Perhaps it is all of these things. Perhaps it is none of them.

Most of you who read this blog may not find this post interesting, believing it to be part of the fandom from which the Hallowed Captain of Chickens draws inspiration.

There is an announcement that will soon brighten this webpage, but today is not that day. Instead listen to the glory, the heresy, the thoughts and philosophies of fictional beings.

‘Do you do the right thing because it is right or because it is the right thing to do?’
-The Primarch Lorgar Aurelian (c. M31)

‘Without the rule of law we are nothing.’
‘No, without the rule of law we are everything.’
-Interrogation of Anarcho-Heretic Milias Hartfel (c. M40)

‘The Emperor taught us to be brave, to know no fear. We carry that with us even now, as we dismantle His Imperium.’
-Unknown Speaker, Vox Capture, Elsidias Massacre, Shortly after Isstvan V (c. M31)

‘There is no good versus evil. No darkness versus light. There is only survival and extinction.’
-The Primarch Horus Lupercal, Address before the Siege of Terra (c. M31)

‘Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Lies written by idealists in an age of idealism. There is only one life worth preserving, that of humanity as a species. Liberty must be sacrificed towards that end. As for the pursuit of happiness, I have never agreed with this as a fundamental right. Happiness is incidental and trite. Preservation, order, duty. These are the values I prefer.’
-Private Correspondence between the Emperor and Malcador the Sigillite (c. M31)

‘The old adage, “fortune favours the bold,” has always rung false to me. I would replace it with “fortune favours the clever.”‘
-The Primarch Alpharius (c. M31)

‘A tyrant is a tyrant, no matter whether they call themselves Emperor or Warmaster. We reject both.’
-VIII Legion Captain Aral Tarn, Hours before his Assassination (c. M31)

‘I reject the doctrine of non-intervention. Those who will not see will be made to see. Those who will not hear will be made to hear. Those who will not bow will be made to bow.’
-Attributed to the Emperor, Onset of the Unification Wars (c. M31)

Channeling the Master

The Imaginary Crowd is settling well back into civilian life. Except for their propensity for military marches, drilling up and down the square (where they found a square I have no idea), and random war games that is. But on the whole its going pretty good. I tell ya a man could get used to being constantly saluted. Although the chickens are refusing to conform to it. Insolent little bastards…

Anyway, today I have a gift for you. An extra blog that I was not planning to put out but which gouged its way into my mind for me to share with all y’all happy and imaginary peoples.

I’m not quite sure what or why it is. Could be because I’m rereading Salvation’s Reach. It could be because the man’s a freakin’ genius when it comes to writing Warhammer 40,000. I don’t know and I’m not really sure its important that I know. All I know is that today I was channelling the spirit of Mr. Dan Abnett today and to my astute readers who happen to actually read Mr. Abnett’s stellar works (all three of you) you might notice some familiarity in tone with this little writing sample. Incidentally if you are unaware who Dan Abnett is and are scratching your heads at this little display of hero worship he can be found at www.danabnett.com. Check him out. He’s well worth your reading time.

As I was writing today I noticed that my writing had a bit of the Abnett flare (although probably at about a tenth of his awesomeness).

So without further ado read and enjoy:

The thunderhawk banked towards a deserted edge of the city. Black figures darted out from the buildings, furtive and hooded. Touching down, hydraulics hissing, pops sounding from the stressed hull, Matthias Trench approached the thunderhawk.

He raised his lasgun towards the descending ramp, hating himself for having to do so. Five massive figures exited the gunship. They stepped straight out of Imperial legend and onto the waterlogged soil of Destrov.

Trench made the sign of the Aquila. The Astartes ignored him.

Helmets tracking for any threat, the Astartes examined their surroundings. Satisfied that the landing zone was as secure as it could be, the marine with blue markings banged on the side of the thunderhawk. The gunship’s engines whined as they spooled up.

Protests sputtering from his lips, Trench approached the nearest marine. His eyes slid over the unremitting black of the Astartes’ armor. Helmets of an obviously xenos design hung from bronze chains. A wicked device encased one gauntlet. Trench felt unmanned with sudden fear. The red eye lenses of the marine’s helmet swung to look at Trench.

The Resistance member made the sign of the Aquila again. Cocking to the side, the marine examined the man before him.

“Speak.”

The word emerged harsh and deep from the helmet’s vox grille.

Questions tumbled through Trench’s mind. Only one made it past his lips. He regretted it immediately. “Where are the rest of you?”

“We’re it,” the marine said, laughter hidden in the machine buzz.

Another of the marines approached. Upon reaching them, the marine, armored in blue and gold and black extended his massive hands in the sign of the Aquila. Trench’s eyes darted back and forth between the two Astartes. Another question left his mouth. He regretted this one too. “What if you aren’t enough?”

“Then we will fail,” the blue armored marine answered. The Resistance member’s eyes locked on the sigil of the Ultramarines, finally recognizing something on one of these armored giants. His mind seized on it like a drowning man on a piece of flotsam.

A new marine approached, his armor dripping with bestial totems and fur fetishes. “We will not fail little man,” the newcomer said. He was far from reassuring.

“Five will be enough,” announced a new voice.