NEVERLAND - Here Be Monsters!

Monday, 30 June 2014

John Blanche and Leo Hartas to attend Fighting Fantasy Fest 2014

Joining the already impressive roster of guests attending Fighting Fantasy Fest on Sunday 7 September 2014 at the DoubleTree Hilton in Ealing, West London, are Leo Hartas, the Fighting Fantasy cartographer, and John Blanche, the man who illustrated Steve Jackson's legendary Sorcery! series.

Both Leo's maps and John's artwork appear in YOU ARE THE HERO - A History of Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks, and if you're coming along to Fighting Fantasy Fest, you could ask them to sign the book for you. If you're not already attending Fighting Fantasy Fest, you can buy your ticket by clicking this link.



Thought for the Day

"Science fiction is the concerns of the present observed through the lens of the future."
~ Jonathan Green, Author


Saturday, 28 June 2014

Short Story Saturday: Sticks and Stones

It's been a while since I've had anything new out from the Black Library, but on Thursday this week my Orcs 'n' Empire story Sticks and Stones (or should that be Sticks 'n' Stones) was released as part of Warhammer Week.


It features the first appearance in fiction of a Rogue Idol of Gork (or should that be Mork?)* and that should be all you need to know to go out and download it for your eReader of choice. But in case you need a little more persuading, here's the blurb...

War against orcs and goblins is never easy for the soldiers of the Empire. Their foes are savage and brutal and revel in battle… and never more so than when a mighty idol of their gods marches to war alongside them, fuelled by magic and the power of the Waaagh! In the midst of battle, it falls to Rutger Erlang and his pistolier comrades to deal with the manifestation of Gork (or is it Mork?) and prevent the total destruction of the Empire army.

You can purchase Sticks and Stones by following this link. And if you like the story, then why not check out some of my other Warhammer tales and Black Library publications?



* Just as Sir Dagobert's Last Battle featured the first appearance in fiction of an Arachnarok Spider, with Shadows Over Sylvania** featuring the second. :-)

** I can't believe two years have passed since I wrote Shadows Over Sylvania!

Friday, 27 June 2014

Gamebook Friday: Five reasons why you need to be at Fighting Fantasy Fest 2014

If you've not already purchased your ticket for FIGHTING FANTASY FEST 2014 - the world's first convention dedicated to Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks - here's why you should.

1) You will not only get to listen to the Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone, the co-creators of Fighting Fantasy, give a talk about the history of their gaming and publishing phenomenon, you'll also be able to get your FF treasures signed by them, and even hang out in the Black Lobster Tavern with them!

2) The Adventurer's Backpack goodie bag that is included in the price of every ticket is chock full of awesome merchandise, with many of the items being exclusive to the event, such as the limited edition Zagor miniature and the collectible convention programme - not to mention the bag itself!

3) There are a host of special guests coming to FIGHTING FANTASY FEST, including legendary fantasy artists Chris Achilleos, Russ Nicholson, Malcolm Barter and Tony Hough. Tin Man Games and Inkle Studios will also be there to talk about their latest FF and Sorcery! app releases, and Tin Man are even generously giving away a download code to all attendees. And on top of that Arion Games will be running demo games of Advanced Fighting Fantasy!

4) One of the highlights of the day will be an auction of rare - and highly collectible - items of FF memorabilia from the Warlocks' own hoard, including a pair of swords made to promote the Deathtrap Dungeon video game and now hard-to-find classic Fighting Fantasy computer games.

5) Quite simply, Fighting Fantasy Fest is going to be a unique experience. There has never been an FF event like it before, and YOU ARE THE HERO - A History of Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks is going to launch on the day. Just think, when FF is celebrating it's 50th anniversary in 2032, you'll be able to look back and say, "I was there!"

So click this convenient link and buy your ticket today. And don't delay! The first 100 ticket buyers will receive a copy of the extremely hard to get hold of 25th hardback edition of The Warlock of Firetop Mountain.

And if you have bought your ticket, tell all your friends about FFF 2014, via email, your blog, Twitter (#FFF2014), Facebook, Tumblr, YouTube, Instagram, or whatever your social media networking tool of choice is.

And hopefully we'll see you on Sunday 7 September...


Monday, 23 June 2014

Thought for the Day

"I tend to find in writing that a lot of my characters can get quite forceful when I'm trying to create them. It's almost like they are fully formed and I'm just trying to figure out what they are."
~ Lucy Saxon, Novelist




 


Friday, 20 June 2014

Gamebook Friday: Fighting Fantasy Fest 2014 - Goodies galore!

Tickets for FIGHTING FANTASY FEST 2014 - the world's first ever convention dedicated to Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks - are on sale now. Guests of Honour Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone will be giving a talk about how FF first came to be, artists Chris Achilleos, Russ Nicholson, Malcolm Barter and Tony Hough are guests, and the event will also feature the official book launch of YOU ARE THE HERO - A History of Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks. But that's not all...

Every full price paying guest will also receive a complimentary Adventurer's Backpack. (We want everyone who attends FIGHTING FANTASY FEST to feel like a VIP.)
So what's in this Adventurer's Backpack? What, you mean apart from a collectible convention programme, Tin Man Games app download code, a poster and the bag itself (which is sure to become a collector's item in its own right)?

How about a limited edition metal miniature of Zagor, the Warlock of Firetop Mountain himself? How about a Pax Britannia novel by Yours Truly? And how about a Fighting Fantasy gamebook? Not only that, but if you're one of the first 100 people to buy a ticket for FIGHTING FANTASY FEST that gamebook will be none other than the much sought after, limited edition hardback of The Warlock of Firetop Mountain, including a solution and map, and a host of other fascinating snippets of information.

And as if that wasn't enough to tempt you, everyone who buys a ticket for FIGHTING FANTASY FEST will be entered into a draw to win the chance to have their name appear in a forthcoming Fighting Fantasy app from Tin Man Games.

Aside from the Adventurer's Backpack, and the money-can't-buy prize on offer, we also have all of the following planned for Sunday 7 September 2014:
  • Arion Games will be running sessions of the Advanced Fighting Fantasy RPG
  • Tin Man Games and Inkle Studios will be talking about their app adaptations of Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks and Steve Jackson's Sorcery! epic
  • Trade stands
  • Book signings
  • Panels and talks
  • An exhibition of rare Fighting Fantasy memorabilia
  • A Fighting Fantasy auction
Among the items being auctioned at FIGHTING FANTASY FEST will be two swords, currently owned by Ian Livingstone, made to promote the Deathtrap Dungeon video game, and seen here in the hands of the Warlocks of Firetop Mountain.

If you think this sounds like something you would like to be involved in, don't delay - click this link and purchase your ticket today!


Tuesday, 17 June 2014

FIGHTING FANTASY FEST around the Internet - Part 4

More on FIGHTING FANTASY FEST from the World Wide Web.

Fighting Fantasy was the focus of the Friday Five on Pornokitsch on Friday (funnily enough)...

On Saturday, backers of the YOU ARE THE HERO Kickstarter got the first look at Martin McKenna's wraparound cover art for the book...




Monday, 16 June 2014

Malcolm Barter now attending Fighting Fantasy Fest 2014

I am pleased to be able to announce that The Forest of Doom artist Malcolm Barter is also going to be attending FIGHTING FANTASY FEST 2014 on Sunday 7 September.

Malcolm's illustrations of the Fire Demon, Yaztromo's Tower, the Werewolf, and the like, are well known to Fighting Fantasy fans, and have recently had colour added for the Tin Man Games' app version of the gamebook.



If you first experienced Malcolm's work when you were a child, you could introduce your own child to the man himself, by purchasing one of the Adult and Child tickets that are now available (in strictly limited numbers).

To find out more, click this link.

Thought for the Day



Sunday, 15 June 2014

Happy Father's Day!

Remember how your father used to inspire you by sharing with you all the things that he enjoyed as a child? My dad shared with me his love of books, and his keenness for constructing plastic Airfix kits.

For many of us growing up in the 1980s and '90s, Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks were a massive part of our lives, and now it's time to pass that love on to our children. And what better way to do so than at FIGHTING FANTASY FEST 2014, the world's first ever convention dedicated to Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks?


Meet the co-creators of the series, Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone, along with fantasy art legends Russ Nicholson, Malcolm Barter, Chris Achilleos and Tony Hough. Enjoy book signings, talks, an exhibition of rare FF collectibles, the official book launch of YOU ARE THE HERO - A History of Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks, an auction of items from the Jackson and Livingstone archive, and the chance to drink at the Black Lobster Tavern. (Soft drinks are available for the children.)


So head over to the Eventbrite ticketing site and order your Adult and Child ticket today. (You will receive one Adventurer's Backpack, while your child will receive a free Fighting Fantasy gamebook which they will be able to get signed during the day.) There are limited numbers of Adult and Child tickets available, so book now to avoid disappointment later.

We shall look forward to seeing you both there.

Oh, and Happy Father's Day!


Friday, 13 June 2014

Gamebook Friday: DestinyQuest - Unlucky for some

It can't have escaped your notice that today is Friday the 13th, and for one gamebook series, this week certainly seems to have come with more than its fair share of bad luck.

On Wednesday, Michael J Ward announced that Gollancz have called time on his DestinyQuest series, and that development of Book 4 is now enjoying an indefinite hiatus. DestinyQuest had been one of the gamebook success stories of recent years, re-inventing the genre for the Xbox generation and securely a print publication deal with a major genre publishing house.

But what does the cancellation of the DestinyQuest series mean for the future of gamebooks and print gamebooks in particular? While my forthcoming YOU ARE THE HERO looks back to the creation of the gamebook genre, it also considers its future. And as I have various interactive fiction ideas in development, I have a vested interest in what DestinyQuest's fate means for the future of gamebooks.

Can print gamebooks only work now as crowd-funded projects, supported by a small, but loyal and dedicated, fanbase? Does their future lie in apps only, such as Warlock's Bounty, and Temple of the Spider God? What do you think?

And while we're considering the future, consider this.


Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Warhammer Wednesday: Orks Ebundle

The latest eBook bundle from Black Library is all about the brutal greenskins of the Warhammer 40,000 universe, and one of the short stories that's included is my very own Black Templars story The Relic.

You can pick up seven novels, four novellas and nine short stories in total for £50 here.


Tuesday, 10 June 2014

YOU ARE THE HERO and the problem with Kickstarter projects

I often find myself feeling guilty that YOU ARE THE HERO is six months overdue and still not out yet, although I feel less guilty than I used to, especially when I've been doing this all evening...


And when we have something akin to a publication date in place...


I think many people underestimate how long it will take them to (a) run their Kickstarter campaign, (b) finish their project, and (c) get the thing made/published/downloaded so that everyone who pledged to the project can enjoy the finished product. I know I certainly did. Which got me thinking about all the various Kickstarters I backed in the run-up to launching the YOU ARE THE HERO campaign, during it and since it successfully funded.

So here are some fun, throwaway stats for you:

  • To date, via Kickstarter, I have run 2 projects. One funded, raising 142% of its target funding goal. One failed to fund, only achieving 40% of its target before it ran out of both time and steam.
  • However, I have backed 31 projects. Of these, one was cancelled and one failed to fund. 
  • Of the remaining 26, 9 I supported without asking for any reward. That leaves 17.
  • Of those 17, I have received the finished product from 10. 
  • That still leaves another 7 unaccounted for. Of those 7, all but one are overdue, the worst by over a year.

YOU ARE THE HERO is going to be about 8-9 months late by the time it comes out, but at least it is coming out, and it's ended up being three times the length originally anticipated. And you could join myself, Steve Jackson, Ian Livingstone, Russ Nicholson, Chris Achilleos, Tony Hough and Philippa Dickinson at the official launch of the on Sunday 7 September.

May I'll see you there...


FIGHTING FANTASY FEST around the Internet - Part 2

Word continues to spread about FIGHTING FANTASY FEST.


There's a piece here on Geek Syndicate...

Another post here on Lloyd of Gamebooks...

A mention here on Reddit...

And a post here on the Fighting Fantazine blog.


Check out the links, buy a ticket, and tell all your friends to buy a ticket too. ;-)

Monday, 9 June 2014

Thought for the Day

"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read."
~ Groucho Marx

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Fighting Fantasy Fest - Be a part of Fighting Fantasy history!

FIGHTING FANTASY FEST 2014 is a unique event, the like of which has never been held before in the 32 year history of Fighting Fantasy. By attending you will become a part of that history - and possibly even a reference in the 40th anniversary edition of YOU ARE THE HERO ;-) - but you'll need to purchase your ticket.


There are three important things you should know about tickets for FIGHTING FANTASY FEST:
     1) They are only on sale for a limited time.
     2) There are only 300. No more will be released nearer the date of the event.
     3) You need to buy yours soon.

So if you're thinking of coming to FIGHTING FANTASY FEST, don't delay - buy your ticket today! Then you'll know what you're doing on Sunday 7 September, and be able to make plans accordingly, and there'll be no chance of you missing out on what it going to be a truly fantastic festival of fantasy writing and artwork.


Friday, 6 June 2014

Gamebook Friday: Fighting Fantasy Fest 2014

In case you haven't already heard, tickets for FIGHTING FANTASY FEST 2014 - the first dedicated Fighting Fantasy convention - are on sale now. Guests of Honour Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone will be giving a talk about how Fighting Fantasy first came to be, and the event will also feature the official book launch of YOU ARE THE HERO.

I want to take this opportunity to thank you for the support you have already shown YOU ARE THE HERO and to say that you should in no way feel obliged to support FIGHTING FANTASY FEST as well. That said, I know that many of you responded to my initial poll regarding the running of such an event saying that you would like to be part of this momentous occasion.
Guest artists who have already confirmed include Russ Nicholson, Chris Achilleos and Tony Hough. We are also hoping to have some other very special guests attend on the day, but more on that later.
And if that wasn't enough we also have the following planned for Sunday 7 September 2014:
  • Arion Games will be running sessions of the Advanced Fighting Fantasy RPG
  • Tin Man Games and Inkle Studios will be talking about their app adaptations of Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks and Steve Jackson's Sorcery! epic
  • Trade stands
  • Book signings
  • Panels and talks
  • An exhibition of rare Fighting Fantasy memorabilia
  • A Fighting Fantasy auction
If you think this sounds like something you would like to be involved in, click this link and purchase your ticket today.

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Fighting Fantasy 2014 - Official Press Release

For immediate release!

Fighting Fantasy Fest 2014
The first dedicated Fighting Fantasy convention, with Special Guests of Honour Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone, featuring the official launch of YOU ARE THE HERO – A History of Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks by Jonathan Green.

Sunday 7 September 2014 will see the first dedicated Fighting Fantasy convention take place at the DoubleTree Hilton Hotel in Ealing, West London. Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone, co-creators of the publishing and gaming phenomenon that is Fighting Fantasy, will be Special Guests of Honour at the event, where they will be joined by legendary fantasy artists Russ NicholsonChris Achilleos and Tony Hough. A highlight of the day will be Steve and Ian’s own talk on the History of Fighting Fantasy.

Fighting Fantasy Fest will see the official launch of Jonathan Green’s YOU ARE THE HERO – A History of Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks, along with an exhibition of rare FF memorabilia – including original artwork and other more obscure artefacts connected to the series – as well as trade stands, and an auction of Fighting Fantasy treasures. Arion Games will be running Advanced Fighting Fantasy role-playing game sessions during the day, while Tin Man Games and Inkle Studios will also be in attendance, talking about their digital versions of such classic gamebooks as Ian Livingstone’s The Forest of Doom and Steve Jackson’s Sorcery! epic.

Tickets for the event cost £50 each, and every attendee will receive an event-exclusive Adventurer’s Backpack containing various Fighting Fantasy Fest and YOU ARE THE HERO goodies.

“The success of the YOU ARE THE HERO Kickstarter project demonstrated that there is still an active community of Fighting Fantasy fans out in the world who would relish the chance to not only meet their heroes, but to get together and share their stories of battling the horrors of Deathtrap Dungeon or braving the perils of KharĂ© – Cityport of Traps,” says Jonathan Green, author of the History of Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks, “ideally whilst quaffing a flagon of ale in Port Blacksand’s infamous Black Lobster Tavern.” (The event will even feature a themed bar!)

Ian Livingstone, co-creator of Fighting Fantasy said, “It’s crazy really that it’s taken 32 years for a dedicated Fighting Fantasy event to take place!  But that’s going to make it all the more special. It will be brilliant to see old friends, artists, authors and fans again after all this time. I’m going to bring along some special Fighting Fantasy items that have never been seen in public before. It certainly will be a Return to Firetop Mountain! I can’t wait.”

Steve Jackson, who is famed for his Sorcery! series, said, “Amazing to think it’s almost 40 years since the first Games Day was held, at Seymour Hall and Baths in Central London. There was a great buzz at that event. Visitors – and organisers – felt they were attending a special occasion. I’m sure it will be the same kind of buzz at Fighting Fantasy Fest. FF celebrities will be there, dealers and memorabilia, game demos and a special auction of items from the Jackson and Livingstone personal archives. This will be an event not to be missed by FF readers. I’m really looking forward to it.”

For more information, or to arrange interviews with the organisers of Fighting Fantasy Fest, please email Jonathan Green at info@jonathangreenauthor.com.

@fightingfantasy @stevejacksonuk @ian_livingstone @jonathangreen @You_Are_TheHero #FightingFantasyFest2014

Sunday 7 September 2014  The DoubleTree Hilton, Ealing, London, UK
Artists • Panels • Book Signings • Games • Exhibition • Special Guests • Auction

www.FightingFantasy.com




Wednesday, 4 June 2014

FIGHTING FANTASY FEST around the Internet

Word is spreading about FIGHTING FANTASY FEST 2014.

It's cropped up here, at The Trollish Delver...

Here, at Farsight Blogger...

Over at the Wonky Spanner...

And here, at RPG.net...

And on Fantasy Faction...


Check out the links, buy a ticket, and tell all your friends to buy a ticket too. ;-)