Games Workshop has announced a new Warhammer book series, giving its stories of planet-wide chemical weapon strikes and demonic possession a re-working for a new line of children’s fiction.
Published by Black Library – Games Workshop’s own publishing house – the Warhammer Adventure novels collection aims to open a new window in to the world of Warhammer for children aged eight to 12.
Warhammer Adventures will be a series of action stories about brave heroes battling monstrous enemies in both the far future universe of Warhammer 40,000 and the fantasy realms of Warhammer Age of Sigmar.
The first title for the new Warhammer Age of Sigmar range will be Realm Quest: The City of Lifestone by Tom Huddleston, and the first title for Warhammer 40,000 will be Warped Galaxies: Attack of the Necron by Cavan Scott.
Both Tom and Cavan have written extensively for younger readers, including collaborating on the popular Star Wars: Adventures in Wild Space series.
The art for these first novels is by San Francisco based concept artist Cole Marchetti, who specialises in character work and whose credits include work on the Marvel Avengers Academy game in 2016.
“We often hear from hobbyists whose kids are eager to learn and read more about the rich worlds of Warhammer,” say the publishers. “At doubles events the world over, it’s a common sight to see parent-child teams having a blast and sharing their love of Warhammer gaming.
“We wanted a way for these young Warhammer fans to explore the settings, so we’ve created a brand new fiction series.”
“I’m delighted to be bringing the adventure, excitement and thrills of life in the 41st Millennium to a new generation,” says Cavan Scott. “There are going to be space battles and monsters, fearsome aliens and dangerous villains. But there will also be friendship and bravery in the form of our three lead characters; ganger Talen, Martian Mekki and explorer Zelia.
“They already know that life in the Imperium is tough, but they never expected that it would be this challenging, that they would find themselves lost and alone. As their quest begins, they will have to quickly learn who they can trust and what risks are worth taking. Above all, they will learn that need each other to survive.”
As sites like i09 and Polygon have noted, the stories are going to go through some ruthless editing for their new audience, who “perfect for bookworms aged 8-12,” as GW puts it, “who want to read about heroes, aliens and monsters.”
It is the first time the company has overtly targeted the age range, typically pinpointing an older market. However, over recent years, Games Workshop and the Warhammer brand has found a growing audience within the children’s market.
The announcement was made at this year’s Licensing Expo in Las Vegas and as Charlie Hall at Polygon notes, who’s done a side by side comparison of one story, there’s a lot of editing involved in adapting the tales.
Alexander Thieme, licensing manager at Games Workshop, said: “Learning to enjoy reading, discovering the wonderful richness that books can provide, is an important step for children.
“Warhammer, despite being written for adults, always attracted a younger audience too, but there were limits.
“For the Licensing Expo in Vegas, our colleagues in the Black Library announced this exciting project: Warhammer Adventure Novels. It will open a special window into the fascinating worlds of Warhammer and will help to create even more fans of the brand in the future.”
While there are likely to be some naysayers, it’s not as if the more adult brands are going to disappear, and if this range, with its diverse character line up opens Warhammer to a wider younger audience, that’s surely a great idea.
The book series is planned to hit shelves and online in 2019.
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