"John Banks is one of the UK's most prolific audiobook narrators, working for the likes of Big Finish, Audible, Random House and Games Workshop.

He is a true multi-voice, creating everything from monsters to marauding aliens.

He is also an accomplished stage and TV actor."

audible.co.uk 2018

Soul Wars

Hello...

...I'm John Banks - welcome to my website.

The majority of my working life has been spent in the theatre with companies including
York Theatre Royal, Cheltenham Everyman, Sheffield Crucible, Bristol Old Vic, Manchester Royal Exchange and the National Theatre in London.

Television work includes Emmerdale, Coronation Street, and 'Allo, Allo!'. I have also worked on a number of radio drama and comedy productions with the BBC.

Since March 2009, I have enjoyed playing a huge variety of characters in more than 250* audio-drama stories with Big Finish Productions, together with The Black Library/Games Workshop, details of which can be found in the postings below.


There are also details listed here of the 165* audio books I've recorded since March 2013,
including the unabridged New Revised Standard Version of The Bible, for companies including audible.co.uk, Hachette, HarperCollins, RNIB, W.F. Howes, Little Brown Group, Penguin Random House, Games Workshop, Orion, Fantom Films & Ladbroke Audio.

(*figures at April 2019)

I hope you find something of interest here and come back soon for further updates.


For all posts, reviews and audio samples, please scroll down...

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The Great Work

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Monday, 24 December 2018

Advent 2018

Welcome and Merry Christmas Eve! As Advent is almost over for this year, I thought I'd better quickly mention the last two releases that I have an involvement with - and here they are. A couple of days ago, Hungerfiend became available to download:

Hungerfiend

Advent Calendar 2018: Day Twenty-One

In a desolate corner of Ghur, a dread Mourngul haunts a graveyard – but there is more to the spirit than meets the eye, and the mystery could spell doom for Prince Maesa.


Drawn to a haunted graveyard in the Realm of Beasts by rumours of a fearsome creature, the aelven Prince Maesa seeks to cleanse the area of its taint. Along with his allies Stonbrak the duardin and Shattercap, the malevolent spite who serves him, Maesa sets out to defeat the beast – a terrifying and monstrous spirit known as a Mourngul.

But there is more to this horror than meets the eye, and unless they can solve the mystery surrounding it, the Mourngul may spell the heroes' fate.
 

Performed by John Banks, Matthew Hunt, Melvyn Rawlinson, Richard Reed & David Seddon

Written by Guy Haley & Produced by Matt Renshaw


I'm delighted to be playing Prince Maesa once again, along with Melvyn Rawlinson as Shattercap. We originally played the characters last year in The Autumn Prince and more recently, both characters appeared in The Sands of Grief; a short story I narrated for the Sacrosanct audio book anthology.

And finally, my last release for Advent and indeed, for this year, another 'commuter length' audio drama:

Half-horn

Advent Calendar 2018: Day Twenty-Three

Three underhive fugitives shelter around a fire in the midst of a storm. They must be safe here, for the only one who could track them is Gor Half-horn. And he's a myth, isn't he? 




Kaya, Gull and Vaughn are on the run. After a job gone wrong, the trio of hive-scum have a price on their head and aren't welcome in any reputable settlement. As they shelter from a hive-storm in an abandoned hab-unit in the deep sump, they're sure they're safe from any who might be seeking them. 

They are wrong. Gor Half-horn is coming for them, and none escape the abhuman bounty hunter once he has their scent…


Performed by John Banks, Toby Longworth, Gesella Ohaka & Andrew Wincott

Written by Josh Reynolds & Produced by Matt Renshaw 

* * * * *

And that's pretty much a wrap for now. As always, many thanks for stopping by the web site, both today and throughout 2018 - it's much appreciated. January is already looking busy for me, though unlike this time last year, I do have a little time off during the holidays, which I'm thoroughly enjoying.

May I wish you a very Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a peaceful & Happy New Year!

                                                                                                                                            


...all for now, more just as soon as it happens!

Thursday, 13 December 2018

A Victorian Gentleman’s Ghostly Anthology

And finally for today, here are details of last week's recording of twelve traditional spooky stories from the Victorians - who really knew how to do this sort of thing!

A Victorian Gentleman’s Ghostly Anthology

Read by John Banks

Twelve of the very best Victorian short ghost stories, all written by incredibly talented, but oft-times overlooked or forgotten, authors.




"The Victorian era is remembered for many things, but one of the fondest is the wide and varied array of short, ghostly, suspenseful tales…often enjoyed around the fireside at Christmas time.

In this new anthology, John Banks performs twelve of the very best, all written by incredibly talented, but oft-times overlooked or forgotten, authors. Once you tire of Dickens and James, these are the true masters of short-form suspense":


The Steel Mirror by W.W. Fenn 
A Real Country Ghost Story by Albert Smith 
The Weird Violinist by Anonymous 
Walsham Grange: A Real Ghost Story by E. Morant Cox 
Haunted by Coulson Kernahan 
Nicodemus by Alfred Crowquill 
The Veiled Portrait by James Grant 
The Ghost Chamber by Anonymous 
The Doll’s Ghost by F. Marion Crawford 
How Peter Parley Laid A Ghost: A Story of Owl’s Abbey by Anonymous 
The Ghost’s Summons by Ada Buisson 
A Terrible Retribution; or, Squire Orton’s Ghost by Anonymous

Produced by Neil Gardner


I recorded these stories with producer Neil Gardner, who has made them available free to download via this web site:

Should you choose to have a listen to these stories, I very much hope that you will enjoy them.


...all for now, more just as soon as it happens!

The Deserter

And welcome indeed to the second of today's postings; this one features a short audio drama, which is part of The Black Library's 2018 Advent Calendar. I'm not actually credited in this story as I'm playing quite a small role; nevertheless, here it is and maybe you could take the Christmas challenge (no prizes alas!) of identifying which part I'm actually playing - that sounds like fun huh?

Ok, enough; here are the details:

The Deserter

Advent Calendar 2018: Day Eleven

A chance encounter with a stranger known only as "The Deserter" might be just what Corenne needs as she struggles to survive in Necromunda's underhive.


In the underhive of Necromunda, the only law that really matters is that might is right and unless you can defend what's yours, someone else will claim it. That's what happened to Corenne. When the Thunder Knuckle Posse came, they took control of the Sweet Drop Still, sending her family packing.

Now, she wants it back, and a chance encounter with a ragged old man known only as "The Deserter" who claims to have fought in the armies of the vaunted Lord Solar might just be her salvation – or at least revenge.

Steve Conlin, Toby Longworth, Carla Medonca & Jo Woodcock (&me)

Written by Justin D Hill & Produced by Matthew Renshaw


©2018 Games Workshop Limited (P)2018 Games Workshop Limited


...still not all for now, more next!

Hubris of Monarchia

Hello, good evening and welcome! As the festive season is now well under way, I feel fortunate to have had such a busy, challenging and rewarding year and fortunate too, that it's now come to a temporary halt over the holiday season!

My last recording was of an anthology of traditional Victorian ghostly tales, which I did last week and which, astonishingly, is already available! But more of that later. Even though new recording has come to brief cessation, new audio releases certainly have not! And so, to the first of this week's offerings; an audio drama written by Andy Smillie and here are some details:

The Horus Heresy: Hubris of Monarchia

A Horus Heresy audio drama

The Ultramarines muster at Calth to join their Word Bearers brothers in battle – but in the remnants of the Ghaslakh Empire, Captain Alcaeus would see his mission complete and the greenskin warlord dead before he joins his brethren.




Before the Warmaster's betrayal, the primarchs and their Legions were a warrior brotherhood without equal. At Calth, a planetary jewel in Ultramar's crown, a great mustering is taking place. Two proud Legions gather in hopes of healing the discord after the notorious shaming of the Word Bearers at Monarchia.

Captain Alcaeus of the Ultramarines plans on joining the muster, but will not rest until the remnants of the Ghaslakh Empire are purged utterly from the galaxy, For honour and glory, he has sworn an oath to succeed. His obsession in hunting down the greenskin overlord drives him to greater and greater feats, but in his zeal has Alcaeus not realised the true enemy in his Legion's midst?


John Banks, Steve Conlin, Andrew Fettes, Matthew Hunt, Richard Reed & David Seddon 

Written by Andy Smillie & Produced by Matthew Renshaw


©2018 Games Workshop Limited (P)2018 Games Workshop Limited



...not all for now, more next!

 

Saturday, 8 December 2018

The Horus Heresy Audio Collection Volume 1

 
Good afternoon and welcome the first update in a while; once again due to busy times in the recording studio. I mentioned some time ago, that towards the end of the year, the general trend of audio releases would vere away from regular Games Workshop content, to other stuff. Due to a re-sheduling by the particular publishing house in question, the releases I was referring to will instead, now become available in March 2019; which isn't too far away!

In the meantime, here are details of the first of this month's audio dramas:


The Horus Heresy Audio Collection: Volume 1

An audio drama boxed set

For the first time, get seven classic audio dramas from the Horus Heresy in one fantastic boxed set – including a brand new audio drama edition of Dan Abnett's short story 'Little Horus'.



"For more than two hundred years, the armies of the Emperor of Mankind fought to reconquer the galaxy – led by the superhuman primarchs, the Space Marine Legions brought countless worlds back under the rule of ancient Terra. Now Horus, once honoured Warmaster and favoured son of the Emperor, has been corrupted by the whispered promises of Chaos. At his command the Imperium is torn apart by a terrible and bloody civil war, the likes of which the galaxy has never seen…





This audio drama anthology contains seven stories across six CDs, detailing brutal wars – from the aftermath of the Isstvan V massacre to the horrors of the Shadow Crusade and even the doorstep of Terra itself – and bringing new insights into the heroes and villains of the Horus Heresy. It also includes a brand new audio drama version of Dan Abnett's classic short story 'Little Horus', specially converted into a script and recorded for this collection."

Raven's Flight by Gav Thorpe
Butcher's Nails by Aaron Dembski-Bowden
Templar by John French
Thief of Revelations by Graham McNeill
Hunter's Moon by Guy Haley
The Sigillite by Chris Wraight
Little Horus by Dan Abnett

Performed by Gareth Armstrong, John Banks, Tim Bentinck, Steve Conlin, Rupert Degas, Martyn Eliis, Chris Fairbank, Andrew Fettes, Jonathan Keeble, Angus King, Toby Longworth, Charlotte Paige, Jamie Parker, Richard Reed, Tania Rodrigues, David Seddon, Ramon Tikaram, David Timson & Tim Treloar. 

...all for now, more just as soon as it happens! 

Friday, 16 November 2018

Eight Lamentations: War-Claw

War-Claw is now available from The Black Library and will become available tomorrow (17th November) via audible; though I have to say, the CD cover and artwork, which I'm grateful to be in possession of, is well worth having; it's quite beautiful in my opinion and there's also a bonus CD of interviews, which I'm listening to as I write - Steve Conlin is making me chuckle...

I'm aware that I often say how much fun various projects were to work on and you might think "oh well, I wouldn't expect him to say anything else" and you would have a point. However, I'm going to say it again now - this was a really fun project to work on with a lovely and talented cast and a great production team in Matt Renshaw and Kylia Whitehead and we had a ball recording it. So, I certainly enjoyed it, enjoyed listening to it and hope, should you choose to give it a listen, that you will enjoy it too!

Here are some details:

Eight Lamentations: War Claw

A Warhammer Age of Sigmar audio drama

Gunmaster Owain Volkner and his companion Zana Mathos seek an ancient weapon – but so do their enemies, and in an isolated mountaintop outpost, battle is joined…


In the wilds of Aqshy, Owain Volker, Gunmaster of the Ironweld, and Zana Mathos, sellsword and adventurer, seek one of the fabled Eight Lamentations on behalf of the duardin smith-god, Grungni.

But they are not the only ones searching for the legendary artefact, and the duo soon find themselves trapped in an isolated mountain outpost, caught between a herd of savage beastmen and a pack of monstrous foes.


 Tom Alexander Emma Gregory John Banks Cliff Chapman Joe Shire Deeivya Meir Steve Conlin & Matthew Hunt


Written by Josh Reynolds & Produced by Matt Renshaw





 ...all for now, more just as soon as it happens!

Saturday, 10 November 2018

Sacrosanct and Other Stories

I have always been a great fan of 'the short story'; it's quite a skill to relate a fully developed narrative, complete with engaging characters and a credible 'through line' and to achieve this within the strictures of the short story format. I've thoroughly enjoyed the various Black Library short story anthologies I've so far recorded and was delighted to be asked to record this latest collection. It's an enjoyable challenge to create so many varied character voices for such stories; producer Kylia Whitehead and I had great fun with this collection and should you choose to give it a listen, I hope you'll enjoy it as much as we did.

This anthology is quite useful as an introduction to the Age of Sigmar; here are some details:


Within this book you will find Sacrosanct, a fantastic new novella from C L Werner…




A restless menace threatens the town of Wyrmditt. Stirred from his grave by fell magic, Sabrodt, the Shrouded King, seeks dominion over the kingdom he failed to claim in life. So great is the terror inflicted upon the lands by Sabrodt and his nighthaunts that Sigmar, God-King, sends a retinue of his warriors most skilled in the art of Azyrite magic to liberate the town.

The Stormcast Eternals of the Sacrosanct Chamber are warrior-wizards, imbued with arcane knowledge and the power to wield the energies of the storm in battle. Leading the retinue is Knight-Incantor Arnhault, a formidable mage who has studied the histories of Sabrodt's kingdom. But the fight against the Shrouded King will challenge Arnhault's mettle like none other – especially when he discovers that the Undead knows more about his past than he does.

Also within this book are a host of short stories, giving you a flavour of the many warring armies that exist in the worlds of Warhammer: Age of Sigmar.


The Dance of the Skulls by David Annandale
Great Red by David Guymer
The Sands of Grief & The Volturung Road by Guy Haley
Callis & Toll: The Old Ways by Nick Horth
A Dirge of Dust and Steel, Auction of Blood & The Prisoner of the Black Sun by Josh Reynolds
Wrathspring by Andy Clark
Sacrosanct, Shiprats & The Witch Takers by C L Werner


 Produced by Kylia Whitehead & Performed by John Banks

12 stories - overall running time: 15 hours 17 minutes

©2018 Games Workshop Limited (P)2018 Games Workshop Limited


...all for now, more just as soon as it happens! 

Sunday, 4 November 2018

Realmslayer

Good morning and thanks for stopping by! The impending release of the box set audio drama, Realmslayer, now available, has been an open secret for some time and if anything, the 'progressive' nature of the release has possibly generated more interest than had it been issued in the regular way; ie, as a bit of a surprise.

I think from an internal Black Library viewpoint, Realmslayer represents a ramping up of their committment to the audio element of the business, which seems to be increasingly of interest to an ever growing audience. Good news indeed!

Over the decade or so of my audio adventures as an actor, I've been privileged to work with some remarkable people and it's always an interesting experience to find oneself working alongside someone who, perhaps, has been known and often admired throughout one's life. That's certainly the case for me with Realmslayer and it's lead actor, Brian Blessed.

Brian comes from the same part of the country as I do, between Doncaster and Sheffield and hearing his voice in Z Cars, in which he famously played policeman 'Fancy' Smith, was the first time I remember hearing my native accent on television; I was probably around five or six when the series featuring Fancy was being broadcast and such a seemingly trivial thing, actually had a huge impact on me. Fifty odd years later and there we were, having lunch together and talking about exactly that. Brian is a tremendous raconteur and all it took to launch our conversation was for me to say, quite gently, perhaps tentatively: "Z -Victor One to BD" - the character's police call sign - and he was off!

I was of course, delighted to be asked, (having submitted my audition samples!) by Matt Renshaw to join the cast of Realmslayer and play the part of Snorri Nosebiter, and old pal of Gotrek Gurnisson, Brian's character. It was fun; it was great fun - and despite having recieved an advance copy of the magnificently produced box set, my deferred gratification approach to these things means that I can now, finally, actually listen to it all!

Here are some details and an interesting, (I hope!) 'making of' and interview video:

Realmslayer: A Gotrek Gurnisson Series

A Gotrek Gurnisson audio drama boxed set



The Slayer returns. Spat out of the Realm of Chaos after an eternity of battle, Gotrek Gurnisson finds himself in the unfamiliar surroundings of the Mortal Realms. With no axe, no oaths and no Felix, he sets out to find his place in this new universe…

Gotrek Gurnisson was the greatest monster slayer of the age, who met his doom at the End Times. The heroic duardin stepped forth into the Realm of Chaos to fight the daemons gnawing at the world's ending and satisfy his death oath, leaving behind his companion Felix Jaeger.

Now Gotrek has returned, having outlived the old gods and the Old World. Spat from the ruinous depths with his redemption unfulfilled, he emerges into the Mortal Realms, a strange new world where gods walk the earth and dark forces are ascendant. Nothing is as he remembers. His oaths are dust, and the lands are torn asunder by Chaos.

Yet when Gotrek learns of human champions being elevated to immortality for Sigmar’s fight against this darkness, the so-called 'Stormcast Eternals', he knows why fate has brought him into this new age.

To find Felix. For only then can he find the peace in death he seeks. But is there more to Gotrek's apotheosis than even he can fathom? Has he truly been chosen by Grimnir and for what purpose?


Running time 4 hours and 15 minutes

5 hours and 28 minutes in total

Performed by:


Brian Blessed as Gotrek Gurnisson, John Banks, Steve Conlin, Vanessa Donovan, Matthew Hunt, Jonathan Keeble,      Toby Longworth, Connie M'Gadzah, Penelope Rawlins, David Seddon, Joe Shire & Andrew Wincott

Written By David Guymer and Produced by Matt Renshaw




©2018 Games Workshop Limited (P)2018 Games Workshop Limited


Before wrapping up this post, a quick online search has come up with a couple of images and some biographical details of my character, Snorri Nosebiter; this is my 'favourite' rendering of him:


...yes, those are nails he's driven into his head; tough guy huh?

* * * * *

The very busy phase of my very busy summer and autumn recording shedule, does at least now have a welcome pause coming up. By the end of this coming week, I need to finish recording my current audio book, start recording another and complete it by Friday. So another Sunday of homework to prepare for another intensive week in the studio and then almost a whole week of prep before the next book, scheduled to record mid November - phew! Which means of course... 

...all for now, more just as soon as it happens!

Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Just in time for Halloween...

...though much more horrific than anything Hollywood might have come up with. This meticulously researched book by Paul Simpson was released yesterday and here are some details:

"There are many myths about serial killers: that they are all dysfunctional loners; all white males; only motivated by sex; that they all travel and operate across a wide area; cannot stop killing; are all insane, or evil geniuses; and that they all want to get caught.

Of course, there are some serial killers who fit into these categories, but the married Green River Killer was not a dysfunctional loner; there are plenty of female and non-Caucasian serial killers; Dr Harold Shipman was certainly not motivated by sex; many serial killings (such as the Ipswich prostitute murders carried out by Steve Wright) happen within a confined area; and the BTK Killer, Dennis Rader, stopped killing in 1991 but wasn't caught until 14 years later. Many serial killers may have a low animal cunning or be 'street smart', but few of them are Mensa-level geniuses.

Each of the 30 cases covered here is unusual in some respect, perhaps in the way in which the killer carried out their crimes, the choice of victims, the way in which they were apprehended, or the method of their execution.

The cases are presented alphabetically by country - from Australia via Colombia, Great Britain, Indonesia, Iran, South Africa and elsewhere to the United States - and then chronologically. They come from across history and from all over the world. The author has gone back as far as possible to contemporary source material - newspaper accounts, trial evidence, interviews with perpetrators or survivors - rather than rely on the increasingly blurred truth to be found online and in far too many collections." 


©2018 Paul Simpson (P)2018 Little, Brown Book Group

Written by Paul Simpson, Produced by Neil Gardner & Narrated by John Banks

Running time: 12hours - 25 minutes

...all for now, more just as soon as it happens!
 

Saturday, 27 October 2018

Prophets of Waaagh!

And as a brief adjunct to today's main posting, I would briefly like to mention the recent release of the complete series of Waaagh! audio dramas. Here are some details:

Prophets of Waaagh!

An Orks audio drama

Dumped on a nowhere world by the opening of the Cicatrix Maledictum, the Red Sunz Mek mob battle to survive.



When a call to Waaagh! rings out across the planet, the chance at survival, as well as some shooty-fun, beckons. But all is not what it seems. Only an ork with real orky know-wots can hope to overcome the False Waaagh…!

The End of Daze

Bozgat's Big Adventure

The Waaagh! Faker

Performed by:
Tom Alexander John Banks Cliff Chapman Steve Conlin Matthew Hunt Jonathan Keeble David Seddon & Joe Shire
 
Written by Guy Haley and Produced by Matt Renshaw

Running Time: 1 hr and 3 mins

 
©2018 Games Workshop Limited (P)2018 Games Workshop Limited

...all for now, more just as soon as it happens! 

The Interrogation of Salvor Lermentov

Good afternoon! After another busy week in the studio, recording four audio dramas, it's back to audio books for the next couple of weeks; two books to record by the second week of November, which, relatively, seems to be quite a calm schedule.

A few days ago, this short audio drama, 'Lermentov' below, was released and having now heard it a couple of times, I must say that I'm very pleased with the way it's turned out. David Seddon does a magnificent job of articulating Lermentov's tremendously difficult moral position and Matt Renshaw was a very reassuring and expert director, in this short, but complex drama. I hope you enjoy it.

I was delighted to discover that by the second day after it's release, it stood at number 4 in the I-tunes Top Sci-Fi and Fantasy chart - always good to know that a piece of work has gone down well and my congratulations go to all involved. I was deeply impressed by the sound design and would love to credit whoever did it; alas, I don't yet know who it was, but will certainly update here just a soon as I find out.

Here are some details:

 

The Interrogation Of Salvor Lermatov

A Vaults of Terra audio drama

Captured by the Inquisition, can the self-styled freedom fighter Salvor Lermentov convince the formidable Inquisitor Crowl to spare his life and take him into the Inquisition's service?


Salvor Lermentov, Astra Militarum officer turned would-be freedom fighter, languishes in a dark cell deep within an Inquisition fortress. Captured for the crime of treachery, he is sure of his innocence – for did he not aid a servant of the Inquisition in preventing a grievous threat to Terra itself?

As he and Inquisitor Crowl match wits in an interrogation, Lermentov outlines his reasons for deserting – but Inquisitor Crowl knows darker truths about the Imperium of Man, and with them in mind, can he possibly allow this traitor to live?


 John Banks as Inquisitor Crowl and David Seddon as Salvor Lermentov

Written by Chris Wraight and Produced by Matt Renshaw
Running time: 22 minutes

©2018 Games Workshop Limited (P)2018 Games Workshop Limited


Should this story whet your appetite for more of Lermentov & Crowl, they also feature in Chris Wraight's The Carrion Throne, which I recorded as an audio book just over a year ago. Here are some details of that release too:

In the hellish sprawl of Imperial Terra, Ordo Hereticus Inquisitor Erasmus Crowl serves as a stalwart and vigilant protector, for even the Throneworld is not immune to the predations of its enemies. 

In the course of his Emperor-sworn duty, Crowl becomes embroiled in a dark conspiracy, one that leads all the way to the halls of the Imperial Palace. As he plunges deeper into the shadowy underbelly of the many palace districts, his investigation attracts the attention of hidden forces, and soon he and his acolyte Spinoza are being hunted – by heretics, xenos, servants of the Dark Powers, or perhaps even rival elements of the Inquisition itself. 

Soon they discover a terrible truth, one that if allowed to get out could undermine the very fabric of the Imperium itself.


Written by Chris Wraight, Produced by Matt Renshaw & Narrated by John Banks

Running time: 10 hours 25 mins



...all for now, more just as soon as it happens! 

Saturday, 13 October 2018

Judge of The Wastes

Good afternoon and welcome to another brief update on an almost equally brief 'commuter length' audio drama. Judge of The Wastes has been available via the audible.co.uk web site for a couple of weeks already, although it has only today been released via The Black Library; which is a bit odd, though the 'dark arts' of marketing strategy are a bit of a mystery to me. The point is I suppose, that it's now universally available and there's very little excuse for not giving it a listen!

Here are some details: 

 

Judge of The Wastes

A Warhammer 40.000 audio drama 

After executing a fleeing Guardsman, Commissar Arehn starts to see the dead man's phantom – what does it mean, and will it lead him to enlightenment or disaster?


On the world of Solennes, the battle between the forces of the Imperium and the heretics has become a stalemate of seemingly eternal artillery bombardments. The land is devastated, and the attempts to gain ground by either side end in disaster. Morale is low, and when Trooper Arehn is caught apparently fleeing the front lines, Commissar Selander does not hesitate in condemning him to a very public execution.

When Selander starts to see Arehn after his death, he follows the apparition, wracked by doubts – but what will he find?


Performed by Tom Alexander, John Banks, Cliff Chapman, Matthew Hunt and Joe Shire.

Written by David Annandale & Produced by Matt Renshaw


Running time 23 Minutes. 


©2018 Games Workshop Limited (P)2018 Games Workshop Limited

* * * * *

Apart from wrapping up the final novel in the Niccolo Books series, 'Gemini', which I'll be doing tomorrow morning (!), I have a short period of proper, uninterrupted prep time for the next two audio books, which will take me through to early/mid November. I also have some audio dramas to prepare, which are scheduled to be recorded before the end of the month, although I'm not yet in possession of the scripts.

'Gemini' had a few surprises in store, as I came to read and prepare it. The final novel of a long and intricately constructed story arc was always going to be challenging, as individual and collective narratives drew to their various conclusions. What made it particularly tricky to 'perform' was the fact that the majority of the novel is set in 15th Century Scotland and some of the language reflected that setting directly. Each sub-section of the book and each chapter heading had a few lines written in 15th Century Scottish dialect; around 8 pages of A4 in total, as well as a sprinkling of lines throughout the general body of the book - which, as I say, was tricky to read fluently. My fingers are crossed that my attempts to assimilate and articulate the dialect aren't overly offensive to any who might listen, knowing how it should sound! I've done my best and can only hope that it's good enough.

As an example of what 15th Century Scots looks like, here's a poem from the author's note at the beginning of the book:


Sum in-till hunting has thar hale delyte 
And uthersum ane nother appetit 
That gladlie gois and in-to romanis reidis 
Of halynes and of armes the deidis. 
Sum lykis wele to heir of menstraly 
And sum the talk of honest company, 
And uthersum thar langing for to les 
Gois to the riall sporting of the ches, 
Of the quhilk quha prentis wele in mynd 
The circumstance, the figur and the kynd, 
And followis it, he sail of werteu be.


And with that, I'll wrap up for now; thanks, as ever, for stopping by.

...all for now, more just as soon as it happens!

Sunday, 7 October 2018

Kill Shot

...aaaand - pause.

A very welcome pause is about to occur. Tomorrow is our last day of recording the The Niccolo Books, the epic eight-novel saga, written by Dorothy Dunnett, which runs to millions of words and hundreds of hours of recorded narrative, all of which, is due to be released in March 2019. Some details are, even now, on the audible website, many more will be posted here when the audiobooks become available.

So, a brief interlude of calm in order to prepare for the recording of two further, unrelated novels, soon to be embarked upon, details of which, will also appear here just as soon as possible.

In the meantime; a recent release from The Black Library:

Kill Shot

An Officio Assassinorum audio drama

A Vindicare Assassin is forced to get up close to her target when her kill shot goes wrong – but nothing is at it seems, and the truth of her mission will forever change her life.



Vindicare Assassin Deliva stalks her prey – noblewoman and dangerous heretic Seleuca Markovan – on the target's palatial estate. When her shot is spoiled, Deliva must move into the facility to finish Markovan before she escapes justice.

Inside, a trail of bodies and taunting messages from Markovan prove that Deliva's coming has been anticipated… but nothing is at it seems, and as the truth of the mission emerges, Deliva's world will be turned upside down.

Tom Alexander, John Banks, Emma Gregory & Deeivya Meir

Written by Ben Counter and Produced by Matt Renshaw


...all for now, more just as soon as it happens!

Saturday, 22 September 2018

Blood of Iax

Two postings in one day!?!? Is it possible?!?!? Can it be?!?!

Ok, so before this update takes on the flavour of a classic Batman TV intro (...nothing wrong with that!) - yes, two postings in a single day; not unprecedented, but highly unusual. And why so now? Well, to be truthful, simply because I thought both new releases deserved a spotlight all of their very own.

So the second of this week's Black Libray offerings is this audio book, which I recorded a few weeks ago and which I'm very much looking forward to. The folks at Black Library, also sent me a sneaky advance copy of a drama release, which will be available soon; it's quite a short piece and I had a listen last night, or rather, in the wee small hours of this morning. Hope you'll like it; but more of that anon.

In the meantime - this:

Blood Of Iax

A Warhammer 40,000 audio book

When Ultramarines Primaris Chaplain Kastor and Apothecary Polixis are separated in the fight against a fearsome ork warlord, they must battle to survive and be reunited.



In the age of the Dark Imperium, Primarch Guilliman’s Primaris Ultramarines are a shining beacon in the darkness of war. On the Imperial Hive World of Ikara IX, Chaplain Kastor and Apothecary Polixis, brothers in blood as well as in battle, stand firm against the endless Greenskin horde. But a threat is looming.

An invasion like no other assaults the broken city of Shebat, as the crazed warlord Urgork arrives to lay waste to the Imperial forces and capture a Primaris Marines for his own twisted ends. As Kastor and Polixis find themselves separated by the disaster that unfolds, the brothers must turn the tide of war to win the battles that rage within their very natures, as well as those upon the battlefield.

Written by Robbie MacNiven, Produced by Kylia Whitehead & Narrated by John Banks

Running length: 9 hours - 31 minutes

 




















 ©2018 Games Workshop Limited (P)2018 Games Workshop Limited


Another busy week ahead and another weekend of final prep, together with a long drive to my next recording location; where can that be I wonder?


...all for now, more just as soon as it happens! 

Taker of Heads

Good morning! Another busy week (!) in which, I think, a new little milestone has been passed. In the general scheme of things, it's a very minor milestone indeed, although I was quite surprised when it occurred. As I've been bleating on about over the last several postings, my recording schedule is pretty nuts at the moment. With that in mind, this week's audio book had to be completed within a five day time frame and in order to meet that deadline, I've somehow managed to record fourteen hours of narration over the last two working days - with of course, the unflagging support and encouragement of Mr Morrison Ellis, my ace producer for those last two monster sessions - six and a half hours recorded on Thursday and seven and a half hours yesterday. I think my previous 'best effort' was five and a half hours, so, a new little milestone...

The last week or so has also seen a flurry of audio releases, some of which, I'm going to hang back on briefly, until I can confirm that I'm actually allowed to talk about them. However, what I am certainly allowed to mention, is this audio drama from The Black Library, in which I narrate - and play the lead character - I know!!! 

Here are some details along with yet more fantastic artwork:


Taker of Heads

A Warhammer 40,000 audio drama

In the jungles of Aztlan, a losing campaign against the alien T’au Empire is reinforced by the fearsome Mortifactors, as the neophyte Adoni seeks to become a Taker of Heads.


In the jungles of Aztlan a deadly war of the shadows is being fought. And the Imperial Guard are losing. The alien t’au, though few in number, greatly outclass the soldiers of the Imperium and are taking a serious toll on their forces.

A call for aid is answered by the fearsome Mortifactors Chapter, who come to the world full of grim purpose. Adoni, an unblooded neophyte yet to earn his place, is amongst the war-party. As the Mortifactors descend into the jungle vastness, they hunt for a killer, one that will not die easily but that whom Adoni must slay if he is to become part of the Chapter and a Taker of Heads.


John Banks, Steve Conlin, Andrew Fettes, Emma Gregory, Matthew Hunt, David Seddon & Philip Nightingale 

Written by Ian St. Martin & Produced by Matt Renshaw


©2018 Games Workshop Limited (P)2018 Games Workshop Limited



...all for now, more just as soon as it happens! 


Friday, 14 September 2018

Key of Infinity

Good morning! Welcome to today's posting, which features a collection of short 'commuter length' audio dramas from The Black Library. These stories were originally released as individual downloads and are available now, for the first time, on CD.

I realise that over recent months, the majority of releases featured here have been from the Black Library, either in the form of audio drama or solo audio books. These stories and indeed, the whole world of Warhammer, might not be your thing. Have no fear! I think, by the end of the year, the balance might well have shifted and the updates here, will go off in quite a different direction.

In the meantime, there are more releases to come from Games Workshop and I have just received an advance copy of a major November release, which I'm very keen to listen to. What I can say now, is that the cover artwork is quite stunning and I look forward to sharing images here as soon as they become available.

The 'crazy phase' of recording continues apace. This week is a very welcome prep week; I shall be recording a new book every week now till early October. Last week's audio book recording had 251 named characters, though mercifully, not all of them had a speaking part! When finally edited, that particular book, (880 pages), might have a running length around the 30 hour mark - roughly the length of three average audio books. We recorded it over five and a half days, at a little over five hours of recorded material per day, which, believe me, is quite a brutal pace, especially when continually switching beween narrator and character voices in multi-character conversations. Two of the next three books are of about the same length, so having a couple of days to prep is, as I say, very welcome!

If my voice and me make through the next few weeks, there will be a short time to prepare for the next audio book, scheduled for an early November recording and about which, I am very excited indeed. I look forward to telling you much more about it as soon as I'm allowed!

In the meantime:
  

The Key of Infinity & Other Stories

Warhammer 40,000



In the grim darkness of the far future, there is only war. But war is waged in many ways. From the dark places where 10,000-year-old psychic warriors interrogate living machines from a time before man, to a treacherous assassination plot that could bring an end to a centuries-old legacy of honour, to relic hunters who want to wrest secrets from a plague-ridden traitor or cross swords with a sinister Chaplain of the Dark Angels, this collection of four audio dramas showcases battles of the mind and spirit in which the victors will be those with the strength to prevail against not only their foes but their own weaknesses.

Key of Infinity by John French

Thousand Sons sorcerer Ahzek Ahriman studies an ancient construct of the necrontyr race - but the necron is studying him right back and has plans of its own....

Running time: 18 minutes. Performed by John Banks, Steve Conlin, Jonathan Keeble and Saul Reichlin.

The Assassination of Gabriel Seth by Andy Smillie

Gabriel Seth, Chapter Master of the Flesh Tearers, has made many enemies in his long years defending the Imperium - and now they plot against him, planning his death. But Seth will not be taken down so easily....

Running time: 23 minutes. Performed by John Banks, Tim Bruce, Steve Conlin and Andrew Wincott.

Heart of Decay by Ben Counter

Two heroes of the Relictors Space Marine Chapter interrogate a prisoner - a hideous servant of the Dark Gods, a Traitor Astartes of the Death Guard.

Running time 28 minutes. Performed by John Banks, Matthew Hunt and Toby Longworth.

The Rage of Asmodai by C Z Dunn

Captain Vidarna of the Relictors finds a mission to capture a Chaos artefact complicated by Dark Angels Chaplain Asmodai, who has his own sinister mission.

Running time: 25 minutes. Performed by John Banks, Steve Conlin, Jonathan Keeble, Toby Longworth and Saul Reichlin.

Produced by Matt Renshaw
 
©2018 Games Workshop Limited (P)2018 Games Workshop Limited

...all for now, more just as soon as it happens! 
 

Tuesday, 28 August 2018

Silent Souls...

Apologies again, for yet another lightning quick update; same excuse - crazy busy - (come November/December you might see what I mean!) - so a couple of very recent releases from The Black Library, which, as ever, I hope you enjoy!

The Lords Of Silence

A Warhammer 40,000 novel

The galaxy has changed. Armies of Chaos march across the Dark Imperium, among them the Death Guard, servants of the Plague God. But shadows of the past haunt these traitors…


The Cadian Gate is broken, and the Imperium is riven in two. The might of the Traitor Legions, kept shackled for millennia behind walls of iron and sorcery, has been unleashed on a darkening galaxy. Among those seeking vengeance on the Corpse Emperor’s faltering realm are the Death Guard, once proud crusaders of the Legiones Astartes, now debased creatures of terror and contagion.

Mighty warbands carve bloody paths through the void, answering their lord primarch’s call to war. And yet for all their dread might in arms, there is no escape from the vicious legacies of the past, ones that will pursue them from the ruined daemon-worlds of the Eye of Terror and out into the smouldering wastes of the Imperium Nihilus.

Written by Chris Wraight, Produced by Kylia Whitehead & Narrated by John Banks

Running length: 10 hours - 10 minutes


Raven Guard: Soulbound

A Raven Guard audio drama

On Delephron, a mag-train hurtles through the desert. Within its confines lies hidden a message that could bring the Raven Guard into such ill repute it would risk its very survival…


On Delephron, an immense mag-train hurtles through desert. Within its metal confines there lies hidden a message, one that could bring the Raven Guard into such ill repute it would risk its very survival. Only the Shadowmasters, the finest of the Chapter’s elite have the skill to infiltrate the high-speeding mag-lev and extract the message before their presence is known.

But dark forces stir against them, servants of the Plague God intent on their own fell purpose. And who is the Inquisitor Bledheim and what could he possibly know to inflict such a deadly blow to the sons of Corax?

 John Banks, Tim Bentinck, Steve Conlin, Emma Gregory, Matthew Hunt & Toby Longworth

Written by George Mann & Produced by Matthew Renshaw

I love the artwork for both these stories; I've added a few more images below for good measure. 




Lots more to come, but for the moment, alas. that's ...

...all for now, more just as soon as it happens!


Wednesday, 15 August 2018

Faker!

The third and final episode of Prophets of Waaagh, released entirely for your enjoyment!

The Waaagh! Faker

Part 3 of Prophets of Waaagh!

The greenskins have gathered to start the Waaagh! and bash things up. But when a trap is sprung, Uggrim's boyz have to team up with their rivals to fight their way out.


The latest adventure for the Red Sunz mekmob concludes in the final instalment of a three-part audio drama! A horde of orks are gathering from all over the planet have made their way to a salt lake camp. But they discover the Waaagh! is a false one set up by the Imperium using psychic technology to lure the orks into a trap. Uggrim and his biggest rival Grimgutz must work together to fight their way out.

Performed by Tom Alexander, John Banks, Cliff Chapman, Steve Conlin, Matthew Hunt, 
Jonathan Keeble, David Seddon & Joe Shire

Written by Guy Haley & Produced by Matt Renshaw

* * * * *

Currently in a 'prep week' and about to start recording the fifth of The Niccolo Books, by Dorothy Dunnett, next week. Very tempting to regard this as 'time off', though time is ticking and the next book is almost 900 pages long! Discipline JB, discipline!

...all for now, more just as soon as it happens!

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

The Lords of Terra

Week seven, audio book seven; an early start in the morning to continue this week's book and it's already late. So before sleep claims me, there's just time to post details of some Black Library stuff released earlier this week:

The Lords of Terra

The primarchs – and the Emperor’s closest ally, the mysterious Malcador – star in three audio tales that lay bare their ambitions.



 
As the Imperium of Mankind spreads across the galaxy, bringing all of humanity into its embrace, the advance is spearheaded by the primarchs, superhuman sons of the immortal Emperor. Each of these heroes is a warrior born and a leader bred, but darkness lurks in the hearts of some and threatens to tear apart all that they have worked to build.

This audio drama anthology contains three full cast tales, starring the primarchs Konrad Curze, better known as the sinister Night Haunter, and Perturabo, the Lord of Iron. In both stories, the seed of treachery in their hearts threatens to derail their efforts to bring unity to the nascent Imperium. In addition, one story focuses on the mysterious Malcador the Sigillite, the Emperor's closest ally and confidante, as he tells secrets to a dying friend.

First Lord of the Imperium by L J Goulding
Stone and Iron by Robbie MacNiven
A Lesson in Darkness by Ian St Martin

Performed by John Banks, Tim Bruce, Beth Chalmers, Cliff Chapman, Steve Conlin, Jenny Funnell, Matthew Hunt, Jonathan Keeble, Toby Longworth and Andrew Wincott

Produced by Matt Renshaw

Total running time 1 hour and 13 minutes

* * * * *

Bozgat's Big Adventure

Trapped alone (well apart from Frikk the grot, but he doesn't count, does he?), the mek Bozgat must find himself to safety – after he deals with a band of rebellious grots…


The latest adventure for the Red Sunz mekmob continues in the second part of a three-part audio drama! Bozgat, the smallest of the meks, runs out of fuel for his bike and is separated from the crew. Lost alone with Frikk the grot, he stumbles across a trading outpost deep in the desert and finds himself in trouble with a bunch of rebellious gretchin. Can Frikk save the day?

Written by Guy Haley

Performed by Tom Alexander, John Banks, Cliff Chapman, Steve Conlin, Matthew Hunt, Jonathan Keeble, David Seddon & Joe Shire

 Produced by Matt Renshaw

Running time 22 minutes 

...and finally:

Not the usual kind of voice I have to come up with for The Black Library, but now that it's all done, I think it works well - phew!



 
...all for now, more just as soon as it happens!

Thursday, 2 August 2018

This meenz Waaagh!!!

Good afternoon!

Having completed recording on this week's book, along with some very interesting voice over and audio drama stuff, I now have a small 'window' of time, during which, I am trying to catch up with 'life', before starting prep for next week's book. And so, I can squeeze in the mention of a recording released earlier this week from The Black Library, details of which appear below:

Prophets of Waaagh!: The End of Daze

Part 1 of Prophets of Waaagh!

Stranded on a backwater world, Uggrim and his Red Sunz embark on a new adventure after their Stompa is attacked by a horde of snotlings – could it be a portent of a new Waaagh!?


The Red Sunz Meks are back! Uggrim, Snikgob, Bozgat, Talker the Madboy and Frikk the grot return. Their space hulk knocked out of the sky following the Great Rift, the boyz have fallen on hard times. Stranded on yet another backwater world, they are locked in an endless series of skirmishes over diminishing supplies with rival Mek Grimgutz.

When Fat Mork is beset by an invasion of snotlings, attacked by ork Wildboyz and Talker the Madboy goes a bit nuts, the boyz reckon a Waaagh is coming. Uggrim and his mekboys set out to join it.

Written by Guy Haley & Produced by Matt Renshaw

Performed by:

 Tom Alexander, John Banks, Cliff Chapman, Steve Conlin, Matthew Hunt, Jonathan Keeble, David Seddon & Joe Shire

Running time 21 minutes.

This short 'commuter length' audio drama, was almost too much fun to record and there are two more episodes to come. Although I'm principally playing a character called 'Mek Grimgutz', I confess to being strangely proud of my performance as one of the two Grots, who inevitably 'bite the dust' early on in proceedings; I think it's the very high pitched squeal I emit on point of death - don't know where it came from and didn't know I could actually make a sound like that! I'll highlight the character on my CV... maybe.

PS: there's also this:


...all for now, more just as soon as it happens!

Saturday, 28 July 2018

Incarnation... of Black Eagles?

Good afternoon! Another hot and sultry day here in the UK, though you'll here no complaints from me! Having spent the past five weeks recording five audio books and three audio dramas, in air-conditioned and windowless recording studios, I'm just happy to see daylight!

As this crazy phase of recording continues, with the next two weeks devoted to two further audio books and some voice-over work, I'm afraid to say that I'm compelled once again, to be brief with this update. Still, a couple of interesting releases from The Black Library to keep things ticking over - and here are some details:

The Horusian Wars: Incarnation

Book 2 in the Horusian Wars series

Inquisitor Covenant’s quest to stop a sect of renegade Inquisitors continues as he battles to deny their sinister design on an Imperial shrine world wreathed in darkness. As his foes seek to raise a Living Saint, Covenant must do the unthinkable…


 The epic story that began in Resurrection continues as Covenant faces a challenge that will test him body and soul.

Darkness approaches Dominicus Prime, a literal Season of Night that brings with it portents, madness and strange happenings. Standing alone as a beacon against the darkness is the Monastery of the Last Candle, a temple to the holy light of the Emperor. As the bishops and the cardinals vie for power and influence, a crisis looms among the Pilgrim Drift who are starving in their droves. Discord is rife and there are whispers of a rising cult, one committed to blood and horror. Into this political powder keg comes Inquisitor Covenant and his followers. 

Drawn to the shrineworld by the prescience of the Emperor's Tarot, they come seeking the agents of the Triumverate, a sect of Horusians bent on power themselves. It is the belief of Covenant that these radicals seek an incarnation, nothing less than a divine vessel, a living saint. To what end, he can only surmise, but Covenant knows it cannot bode well. He must deny the Horusians at any cost. The fate of the very sector may be determined by it. 

Unabridged audio book written by John French, Produced by Kylia Whitehead & Narrated by me.


* * * * *

Also newly released is this short audio drama, which was great fun to record:

Guns Of The Black Eagle

A Warhammer Age of Sigmar audio short

A mid-air showdown between two Kharadron Endrinmasters turns deadly serious as each uses obscure parts of the Kharadron code – and a fair amount of cheating – to try and achieve victory.


Disputes between Kharadron Overlords sky-captains are common – and some lead to outright conflict. Such is the case as the Black Eagle is bombarded by its sister ship of Barak-Zilfin, the feared Skarskorr's Glory. But this is more than just a battle of arms. The wits of the skyvessels' captains – and their knowledge of the obscure tenets of the Kharadron code – will be tested, and only the most knowledgable, determined and, perhaps, willing to cheat will see victory…


Written by C L Werner & Produced by Matt Renshaw

Performed by John Banks, Steve Conlin & David Seddon

                                                                                                                      Running time 20 Minutes

Lots of prep to do now for next week's book, so I'd better wrap up here and get on with it. Thanks for stopping by!

...all for now, more just as soon as it happens!

Ultramarines

Psychic Awakening

Warcry: Death or Glory

Warhammer 40,000

Flight. Redefined.

Reviews & comments:

The Malazan Empire

Over the course of this 8 book series, the amazing John Banks has had to create and voice 648 distinct characters!

Neil Gardner - producer

The Door In The Wall & War of The Worlds

Not often I buy another version of an audiobook I own, but after hearing John Banks' narration of The Door in the Wall by Ladbroke Audio, I had to buy their version of The War of the Worlds. Banks has a great reading voice.

Andy Frankham-Allen - writer

The Books of Babel: Senlin Ascends, Arm of The Sphinx & The Hod King

Mr. Banks does superb work, and I recommend the audiobooks wholeheartedly!

Josiah Bancroft - writer

Mervyn Stone: The Axeman Cometh

John Banks is a voice genius...

Nev Fountain - writer

Mervyn Stone... played by the note-perfect John Banks.

Matt Hills - Reviews in Time and Space

Dr. Who: The Sleeping City

I also must draw attention to John Banks who is an exceptional voice artist and in this one story performs more characters that I can count. ... it is listening to episodes like this one that really do let his talents shine through.

Tony Jones - Red Rocket Rising

Highlander:

...playing several parts, was the brilliant Big Finish regular John Banks - it was as if there were about 40 different actors in the other booth.

James Moran - writer

I went for the best of the best and brought in voice artiste extraordinaire John Banks.

Paul Spragg - producer

Vienna:

...also features the mind - bogglingly versatile and reliable John Banks

Jonathan Morris - writer

Dead Funny:

The acting is first rate… wonderfully played by John Banks as Richard – his impersonation of Eric Morecambe is worth the admission money alone.

Beverly Greenberg: Bolton Evening News

Mr. Happiness:

This early and unfamiliar play by David Mamet is a character study of a 1930s radio counsellor, dispensing suave advice to his devoted listeners. John Banks brings out the wry comedy of this – comedy quite unappreciated by the character – with a clever range of gesture and vocal tone.

Jeremy Kingston: The Times


All My Sons:

This is a beautifully crafted piece ...and it affords a wonderful opportunity for John Readman* to do his All-American Boy act as Chris Keller. This most polished and well observed performance as the blighted son of a blighted father must rank as one of his finest accomplishments yet. ( * see Profile)

The Stage

The Ordeals of Sherlock Holmes

Kudos should also go to John Banks. Lestrade can be a thankless part, but Banks rose to the challenge, playing a pivotal role in this decades long arc.

Raissa Devereux - SciFiPulse

The Judgement of Sherlock Holmes

John Banks is multi-tasking, both as the superb Lestrade and also the villainous and no doubt moustache twirling Sebastian Moran. They sound completely different and I bow to his talent.

Sue Davies - SFcrowsnest


Further reviews and comments are included with specific postings throughout the site.

The War Doctor

The War Doctor
December 2015