Never Turn Your Back On A Dark Elf

This article was originally published on Ferretbrain. I’ve backdated it to its original Ferretbrain publication date but it may have been edited and amended since its original appearance.

The vast majority of Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000 fiction published by the Black Library focuses on the human (or superhuman, in the case of the Space Marines) factions of the game. This is a deliberate policy of theirs, and it is a sensible one. Having taken care to establish exotic and alien backgrounds and psychologies for the various nonhuman creatures in the relevant settings, Games Workshop don’t want that undermined by stories which treat the groups in question as just human beings in funny costumes. They try their best to make sure that those few novels and short stories they do publish from a nonhuman perspective are written by authors who truly “get” the faction in question, and can write about them in a way which gets across the essential differences between them and humans and which is true to the atmosphere, philosophy, and general theme that the faction is based around.

Unfortunately, accurately replicating the psychology of a particular faction doesn’t always lend itself to telling a rewarding and interesting story.

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