Saturday, December 06, 2008

Every once in a while, I get a taste to read some pulp fiction. Real pulp died out in the 50s but one of the modern equivalents is the media tie-in novel - novels based on a movie, game or other product.

Because of that taste, I picked up Eisenhorn by Dan Abnett, one of many novels he has written based on the Warhammer 40K tabletop/roleplaying/computer games. I've never played the tabletop or roleplaying versions but I have played the real time strategy computer game Dawn of War.

The universe of Warhammer 40K is a dark one, part Gothic, part steampunk with an endless war between the forces of Order and those of Chaos. The titular character of Eisenhorn is inquisitor on the side of Order, tasked with tracking down and eliminating aliens and heretics. The book is actually a trilogy of novels and a couple of related short stories. The novels would work as stand alones but are tied together enough to make one coherent story, one that is a little more sophisticated than I expected from a pulp book. Eisenhorn develops as a character in some surprising ways along the way, dealing with using evil to fight evil and the effects that has on him and his relationships.

Overall, some pretty good pulp and if the mood strikes me again, I might look for more by the same author.