2022 has been a huge year for us here at Cold Open Stories. Between the four Fast Fiction competitions and four Short Fiction we ran this year, we’ve published over 100 stories written by you!. That is a lot of great, free Warhammer fanfiction for everyone to read!
To celebrate such a successful year, we thought it would be a great idea for some of our Editors to try and pick three of their favourite stories that we published. An almost impossible task, for sure, but here are nine stories that stuck in our minds long after we finished reading them.
Jack - Publishing Editor
Through Morkai’s Gate by Steve Joll – For me, this story stands out because of its tone of voice and style. It reminds me of an old-school, epic fantasy, in the style of Conan the Barbarian. But, of course, it has that delicious 40k twist and flavour!
Grandpa’s Visit by Jesse Brown – I just love the child-like voice this story has. It fits the story perfectly and is immediately captivating. It almost had me cheering on those sneaky Genestealer Cultists!
A Beginning by E. Nicole Gary – This story is disgusting and gross in all the right ways. It really encapsulates the whole horror of Nurgle and the juxtaposition of him (and his followers) being the most caring of the Chaos Gods. What a great piece!
Tim - Editor
Roses Never Wilt by Suzanna Gauss – A hard hitting Sisters of Battle story with a deep emotional punch that works on so many levels. I had the privilege of editing Ms Gauss’ story, but even during the first reading, I could see this was a jewel of a story. There is action, suspense, but also deep sentiment, and the main character truly suffers at the loss of her fellow Sororitas. My kind of Sisters of Battle story.
Motes Dancing in the Silver Light by Lee Ryan- This was the Aeldari story I had been waiting to read for a long time. Lyrical, emotional, and steeped deeply in Aeldari lore, it moved me to tears. The longing and profound sadness that permeates all Aeldari really comes through in this story. If for no other reason, read it for the imagery alone, it will be worth your while.
Our Song by Geneviève Laprise – One of the most grimdark stories I’ve ever read at Cold Open Stories. When I read this story for the first time, I had to take a five-minute break in the middle, before I could finish reading it. It is that dark a story. If you’re into horror and maximum grim-darkness, then Our Song is the story for you.
Ebony - Editor
Deadline by Matthew Neil – Every second on the front lines feels like a lifetime. This story hits home in all the right ways; the grit and determination of the guardsmen, constant threat of a deserter’s death at the hands of silent Commissar, and the never-ending tide of a Tyranid swarm. Deadline nails the Warhammer universe in every respect, makes unique use of the time prompt, and drives it all home with a surprising Inquisitorial twist.
The Lone Ranger by Jack Van Beynen – Decay is glorious! Not even an irrational hatred of westerns could make me dislike this story. The Lone Ranger is deliciously slow in all the best ways and has the most unique interpretation on Grandfather Nurgle’s gifts that I have ever read. It is a Mechanicus-meets-Chaos, Gunslinger-meets-western, full-on experience dripping with gorgeous biology.
Emergency Stations by Bob Church – I wasn’t technically an editor for this one, but I thought of it immediately! All the competency porn, all in one place. This short story puts you right into the thick of it with the voidsmen aboard the Ser Amandus Tyr battling fires and a carbon dioxide leak. It is a completely immersive experience that sucks you in right up until the last heartbreaking moments.
So there you have it, nine memorable picks from three of our editors here at Cold Open Stories for 2022. Whether you go back and revisit them, or read them for the first time, we hope you enjoy these stories – and the many others – written by the Warhammer Community.
Be sure to check out the rest of our catalogue, including our writing contests, audio dramas, and anthologies. It is a bit of a rabbit hole, but one well worth jumping into – in our deeply biased opinions.
Anyway, Happy New Year and here’s to another great year of Warhammer fanfiction in 2023!
All the best,
The Cold Open Stories Team