Thursday, 27 December 2012

YOU ARE THE HERO - A History of Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks - UPDATE!

YOU ARE THE HERO is now past the two-thirds mark and with ten days left to run is heading towards fully funding on 6 January.

Progress is going well, but we still need to raise on average £500 a day to make our £15,000 target.

So if you've not backed the project yet, but you've been meaning to, click this link and pledge your support today.

If you have already pledged, thank you - but please check that you've added the correct amount of postage. And then blog about it, post on Facebook and Tweet all your friends.

With YOUR support a copy of YOU ARE THE HERO could be in your hands by this time next year!

Thank you.

Monday, 24 December 2012

The Next Big Thing: YOU ARE THE HERO

I know I've been tagged by the Next Big Thing meme before, but it's happened again - and it really couldn't have come at a better time. So, here we go.

What is the working title of your next book?
YOU ARE THE HERO – A History of Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks.

Where did the idea come from for the book?
My love of Fighting Fantasy gamebooks. The fact that 2012 marks 30 years since the publication of the first one, The Warlock of Firetop Mountain, and 20 years since my first commission, which was also for a Fighting Fantasy gamebook – Spellbreaker. And because I wrote a piece on the subject for SFX Magazine in the year, which I soon discovered barely scratched the surface of the story waiting to be told.

What genre does your book fall under?
Non-fiction, but non-fiction about the gamebook genre, specifically fantasy adventures.
What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
I guess Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone would have to play themselves, as any such movie would need to be a documentary.

What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?
A 'coffee table' book celebrating 30 years of Fighting Fantasy, the publishing phenomenon created by Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone, written by gamebook guru Jonathan Green.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Chronicle City is actually going to publish the book, as long as the Kickstarter raises the necessary funds.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
I’ve not written it yet, but I’m anticipating it will take a couple of weeks. It will be the interviews and preparing the book for publication that will take up much the time.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
None. This book is unique. So back the Kickstarter today and make the fantasy a reality!

Who or what inspired you to write this book?
Steve Jackson, Ian Livingstone and Fighting Fantasy gamebooks, of course.

What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?
YOU ARE THEHERO will tell the story of Fighting Fantasy gamebooks, from the early days of Games Workshopright up to the present day, and beyond. I have already interviewed the creators of the Fighting Fantasyseries – Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone – who are both keen to have their story told. In fact, Steve Jackson once said to me, "You are the perfect person to write this book."

I have also interviewed many other people who’ve been involved with Fighting Fantasy over the years. These include authors and editors – such as Dave Morris, Robin Waterfield and Marc Gascoigne – the artists – people like Russ Nicholson, Martin McKenna, John Sibbick and Leo Hartas – and fans of the series, such as New York Times bestselling author Graham McNeill, founder of Tin Man Games Neil Rennison, and author, actor and comedian Charlie Higson.
I want YOU ARE THEHERO to be something special, a book worthy of commemorating such an extraordinary achievement and the impact Fighting Fantasy gamebooks have had on the world. As a result, the first print run of YOU ARE THE HERO will be a limited edition. The book will feature brand new, specially-commissioned cover art by Martin McKenna, as well as original artwork from the series, and a foreword written by Steve and Ian themselves.

Not only will YOU ARETHE HERO tell the amazing story of how Fighting Fantasy gamebooks changed the world, it will also cover everything from spin-off novels and puzzle books, to foreign editions, board games and video games. It will even delve into such areas as the gamebooks that never were, the myths and legends surrounding the series, and how Ian Livingstone’s newest gamebook – Blood of the Zombies– almost never happened.

Thanks to Kickstarter we have a once in a lifetime opportunity to create a book about the history of Fighting Fantasy. But now it’s up to YOU! The more YOU pledge, the more impressive this book will be –with more artwork, higher spec production values and more content. I would love this first limited edition to be a hardback, and with YOUR help it could be. But without your support YOUARE THE HERO can never happen.

If you have any interest whatsoever in the British games industry, adventure gamebooks or fantasy fiction, then this book is for you. Check out the rewards on the YOU ARE THEHERO Kickstarter page and pledge your support today!

Remember – only YOU can make this book happen, because, thanks to Kickstarter, YOU ARE THE HERO!

You can find out more (and pledge your support) by clicking this link.

Saturday, 22 December 2012

YOU ARE THE HERO - Halfway there!

The YOU ARE THE HERO Kickstarter is now passed the halfway mark (in terms of the time it has to run), has already raised over £9,000 and is well on the way to being two thirds funded.

If you've been thinking about backing but haven't committed yet, then watch the pitch video below and then click this link to pledge.

And if you're still not convinced after watching that, then watch this!

Thursday, 20 December 2012

A new Time's Arrow review

This one's from Gareth Wilson, of Falcata Times, and very pleasing it is too.

I'm a huge fan of the Ulysses Quicksilver titles from Abaddon yet whist continuing in the same vein, this book is something that is totally unique - it was crafted by the author following the readers' wishes as to what would happen in various parts. It's cleverly done, works wonders for the advancement of the world and with so many different options, it really does go to show the author's skills in allowing the reader to direct it whilst allowing it to appear organic alongside planned.

Add to this some wonderful twists, cracking prose and of course a storyline that just keeps you gripped. All in a cracking novel with a concept that could well catch on. Great stuff.

Remember, you can pick up a copy of Pax Britannia: Time's Arrow - Ulysses Quicksilver's eighth novel-length adventure - here.

Friday, 14 December 2012

Time's Arrow - review and giveaway!

"This is silly fun at its best, and it gets to the heart of the steampunk genre. It doesn’t take itself seriously, isn’t at all bothered about history and simply exists to be the wildest tale it can be."

That's what Ed Fortune has to say over at the Starburst Magazine website about Pax Britannia: Time's Arrow. But I think he likes the book since he's also given it 9 out of 10 stars.

You can read Ed's review in its entirety here, and if after reading it it makes you want to read the book, then you might be interested in Upcoming4's giveaway here.

Thursday, 13 December 2012

The Great Detective

It's less than a fortnight until Christmas, which means that it's less than a fortnight until Doctor Who returns for what looks like it might be one of his most steampunk adventures yet. So roll on 25 December!

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Jonathan Green and Bryan Talbot talk Steampunk on the Radio

That's right, you read that right, I'm going to be on the radio, talking about the cult of Steampunk with legendary British comic creator Bryan Talbot - tonight!

If you're in the London area, you can tune in to the one hour live show on Atomic Bark! at 9.00pm this evening on 104.4FM, and live on the net too at

The show will also be repeated tomorrow, Thursday 13 December, from 11.00am to 12.00pm, with podcasts to follow a few weeks after that.

So if you're in London, and able to tune in tonight or tomorrow, let me know what you thought of our discussions via the usual channels.

Until next time...