Five Black Library authors to watch out for

Last Updated on September 2, 2021

In the Grimdark Fiction Readers and Writer’s Facebook group, there’s been a growing trend of seeing more of our favourite grimdark / dark fantasy and sci-fi authors being added to the Black Library stable of authors. For the moment, these authors seem to be restricted to short stories, as if Black Library is testing the waters with these authors to see if the style that is absolutely killing it in novels for publishers like HarperVoyager and Ace will result in the same kind of awesome stories–just in the grimdark 40K universe or the Warhammer / Age of Sigmar world.

So, here’s a quick spotlight on authors we think you 40K and Warhammer fans should be keeping an eye out for, and what else they’ve written (if you’re feeling adventurous).

Michael R. Fletcher

Fletcher is a magnificent author of all things gritty AF, with his barnstorming fantasy debut, Beyond Redemption being one of this publication’s favourite books of all time. It’s little wonder that Black Library have dipped the toe into Fletcher’s style, and I’d be pretty surprised if we didn’t see a lot more of him through Black Library publications.

Other works from Fletcher outside of Age of Sigmar that you can check out include a myriad of short stories and novels of dark fantasy, noir SF, and one very different work about millennials.


Peter McLean

With Peter McLean’s Priest of Bones depicting such magnificently damaged post-war characters it is absolutely no surprise that he’s written seven pieces for a franchise that revels in such stories.

If you like these stories, then you just absolutely have to check out some of McLean’s other works such as the absolutely unmissable Priest of Lies.

Richard Ford

Now Richard Ford is a bit more of an old hand for Black Library, with his stories coming out four-odd years ago, but his works are definitely worth checking out. Outside of his Black Library works Ford has a pair of magnificent fantasy series well worth your time.

If his Black Library stories are your jam, then definitely check out his brilliant Steelhaven trilogy and the War of Archons trilogy.

Rob J. Hayes

When it comes to indie authors, Hayes is pretty much the gold standard for grimdark fantasy. His gritty as all fuck style of writing with plenty of hard-bitten military characters makes him perfect for guard-style 40k characters, and I can’t wait to get my hands on Anarchy’s End.

Hayes has a range of series for you to check out including everything from trilogies like The Ties that Bind and It Takes a Thief… to stand alones like Never Die, and collections of short stories like The Bound Folio.

Filip Wiltgren

Filip’s publications so far seem to be focussed on short stories, and I’m a big fan of him having picked The Bed of the Crimson King up for publication a few years back. He’s been in two Inferno! issues so far, and I hope to see more of him.

You can find more of Filip’s stories in a range of online magazines such as FutureMetamorphosis, and this here publication.

There’s more coming

From what we hear on the grapevine, there are more and more of these dark fantasy and noir SF authors getting added to the Black Library stable (it’d be great to see authors like Anna Stephens, Deb Wolf, and M.L. Spencer writing for these guys), so keep an eye out for these new names, check out some of their other stuff, and here’s hoping they add some serious awesomeness to the 40K and Warhammer / Age of Sigmar verses and your reading experience.

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Adrian Collins

Adrian Collins

Adrian Collins runs Grimdark Magazine and loves anything to do with telling darker stories. Doesn't matter the format, or when it was published or produced--just give him a grim story told in a dark world by a morally grey protagonist and this bloke's in his happy place. Add in a barrel aged stout to sip on after a cheeky body surf under the Australian sun, and that's his heaven.