Henry Zou

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Henry Zou is an Australian Black Library author, apparently of Chinese descent. Intuitively, we can assume this makes him one of the space communists, though the only one with a bad accent. Also note that he is certainly not Chris Wraight.

While his writing is known for intense and gripping battle scenes, his characters and plot writing were just okay. This made him, as a writer, above average given standard fare for most writers that come out of Black Library if you exclude their top-tier writers. Like many authors who write for Black Library, he got a few novels and short stories in before he disappeared into the ether.

On a side note both carnibales (the insurgent force in F&I) and the Ironclad along with the Blood Gorgons bring great opportunities for modeling traitor IG and CSM respectively.

Aaron Dembski-Bowden is the new golden boy, although Mr. Zou pops up from time to time (he has a short story in Mark of Calth, for instance).

Sadly Zou seems to have fallen from grace after it was accused that Flesh and Iron contained passages plagiarized from an American soldier's memoir House To House. (Which they totally were. It's pretty blatant.) When this was discovered Black Library was sued, and as a result Zou has been purged from their records, his author page has been deleted and all of his books are no longer in print. The only trace of him not purged are his two short stories that were published in multi author anthologies, and a couple preview pdfs that someone de-indexed but didn't fully delete.

The Books[edit]

Emperor's Mercy is about an inquisitor running around the sector, followed by his two henchman and a sexy French inquisitrix, trying to keep a step ahead of Chaos-worshiping space pirates (the "Ironclad) trying to seek out the Old King of Medina, a mythical superweapon that turns out not to be as mythical as was first thought. Also, a general of the Imperial Guard with a Napoleon complex tries to upstage and outdick an Inquisitor Lord, so you know how this will end for the general. Rather than handling the way any Inquisitor Lord would have in any other novel would have, the =][= guy tries to play it cool (we're saying the outcome you guessed at takes a while to get to rather than done immediately). The Blood Gorgons Chaos Space Marines also make a small appearance. While not the best portrait of the Inquisition, the novel is still fun to read, if at least for the battle scenes and trying to figure out what the Old King of Medina is.

Flesh and Iron has an Imperial force on a backwater swamp world are trying to put down a Chaos insurgency that calls itself the "carnibales" (because part of their practice is ritual cannibalism, geddit?). The force is composed of a regiment of space Cajuns, a combined heavy armor/mechanized infantry regiment, a ye olde maritime naval force; and it's all headed by an evil Ecclesiarchal cardinal, backed by his personal force of Sisters of Battle. Through the book, the space Cajuns roam through the jungles heroically getting shot to death by both sides, the mechanized infantry and cavalry sat around doing fuck-all, the navy managed to get a few ships just close enough to the shore to get blown to shit, all under the cardinal's trollfaced orders. The evil cardinal spends time abusing his minions, and presumably looking in the mirror to twirl his mustache and work on his evil laugh when he's offscreen (no, seriously, the guy is a complete asshole, it quite represents all that is wrong in the Imperium, think of a petty version of Goge Vandire mixed with Tomas Beije); while his SoB are probably having orgies, because he told them that not doing so is heresy. In the end the evil cardinal turns out (SPOILERS) to be evil, and then the Blood Gorgons show up and wreck his shit. Not as planned. There is an extra surprise which connects this novel with Emperor's Mercy and gives a whole new significance to the title "Flesh and Iron".

Blood Gorgons is about the Blood Gorgons. Go figure. Also, there are Dark Eldar poking around, too. The books goes to lengths to show that Chaos Space Marines, badassitude aside, can come surprisingly close to bro-tier with how well they don't mistreat their slaves and put a value on things like camaraderie and honor. Despite that, their chief sorcerer (who is a dirty double-non-heretic) betrays the Chapter Master in the book's prologue, to take his place as the start of the wider scheme to betray the Blood Gorgons for his own gain. (Yet another piece of evidence that psykers shouldn't be allowed to be chapter masters.) The story then takes them to one of the Blood Gorgons' recruiting worlds, which is under attack by a Nurglite warband. It then follows the main protagonist, a Blood Gorgons line marine, with his Dark Eldar on a leash, which turns out to be disappointingly devoid of homoerotic tension. Then the thing that happens to the Cardinal in Flesh and Iron, happens to the sorcerer and his buddies: Blood Gorgons make a come back and wreck shit. 2 out of 3 victories, not bad when compared with some other chaos forces. As a bonus, the cover art was so badass, the Blood Gorgons became the cover boys for the Chaos Space Marines for a whole edition.