Genre Spotlight

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The galaxy of Warhammer 40,000 is immense. The setting is inarguably one of the broadest in fiction. With near limitless planets and cultures, it can be home to stories from all kinds of genres. Even better, the 40K setting brings it’s own twist to these genres, creating something unique both with Warhammer fiction and within the genre itself.

This month we’re highlighting some stories that use a specific and clearly identifiable genre to tell a unique story within the Warhammer setting. From Western to Comedy and Fairy Tales to Romance, the galaxy is big enough for all different kinds of stories.

5 genre-bending stories

The Thorned Rose by Benjamin Joseph – RomanceAmong the editors (and some of our authors) there’s a running joke of the ‘Guild of 40K Romance Authors,’ and our repeated attempts to inject more romance into Warhammer fiction. While I doubt I’ll see the day that we get noticed in mainstream Black Library, Cold Open has plenty of 40K romance to sate us for the time being. The Thorned Rose is a great example for this genre spotlight because while it definitely has the hallmarks of romance, it’s undeniably a Warhammer 40,000 and is shaped by the setting just as much as the chosen genre. Are Drukhari even capable of love? I guess you’ll have to read to find out what Benjamin Joseph thinks.
The Lone Ranger by Jack Van Beynen – Western The western genre is all about the frontier. It’s about trusting your weapons and your mount, but most importantly yourself as you fight for justice and law in your land against unruly invaders. Well, Jack Van Beynen does exactly that with a tale of Skitarius 5H37-1FF and his mount, Ironside, as they protect their home from invaders who don’t belong. It’s also available as a narrated audiobook!
The Fisherman’s Tale by Lukasz Furmaniak – Fairy Tale People often forget that there’s a large number of worlds in the Warhammer Galaxy which have more in common with Arthurian Legend than with something like Starship Troopers, well as long as King Arthur also had a Gundam.  Despite these mighty mechs, most of the populace lives as medieval peasants, working in the fields, maintaing tradition, and sharing stories over a nightly fire. The Fisherman’s Tale feels like one such story, something to share with the children after a long day in the fields and inspire dreams of grandeur they’d likely never see.
The Echo of Satellite 66b by Colyn DeGraaff, performed by Colyn DeGraaff, Karl Willers, Omar Negron, and Brandon Richards – Mystery A first for these collections, we’re featuring an audio drama written, directed, and starring Cold Open Stories Founder Colyn DeGraaff. There are infinite possibilities in the galaxy. When possibilities are limitless, ignorance is just as great. When ignorance spawns curiosity, people can get in over their heads. When a watcher in space starts getting pings from Satellite 66b, a supposedly decommissioned satellite, the watcher gets pulled into something more dangerous than he could have ever imagined.

Hyperphagia by Daniel Dolgos – Comedy – Our comedy feature is, unsurprisingly, about orks. Who could blame us though? The orks are a treasure trove of humor… as long as you’re not fighting them, that is. Daniel’s story is about the ork’s best friend: the squig. In particular, it’s about Hungry, a big squig with an even bigger appetite! Hungry is always looking for new friends and new snacks (and they’re often the same thing), and he may have finally found his perfect match.