First published in 1993 – though completed some years earlier – at a time when the background to the Warhammer 40,000 universe was still in a state of flux and not yet fully coalesced, the book follows three young Imperial Fist recruits from their formative years in the underhive gangs of Necromunda through to fighting as part of the First Company within the bowels (literally!) of a Tyranid bioship.
Not only will you find squats in this novel –Tzeentch-worshipping squats at that – but also Space Marines controlling Titans, Space Marines with lasguns, the Pain Glove and more than a small amount of toilet humour. Oh, and a Zoat. How could we forget the Zoat?
Although the temptation was great to rewrite significant portions of this book to make it conform to current background, as a curiosity piece, an historical snapshot of the Warhammer 40,000 universe circa the early 1990s, this book is invaluable. It also serves as a shining example of what can happen when a respected genre author at the height of his powers is let loose on an established shared universe.
A Warhammer 40,000 novel by Ian Watson.