Monday, 25 January 2021

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Scotland the Brave

Seeing as tonight is Burns' Night, it's time for my annual blog post reminding you that I wrote a book about Scotland once, called Scottish Miscellany: Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Scotland the Brave, that still sells very well in America, I'm pleased to say, eleven years after it was first published. It's even available in eBook format!

With Scottish Miscellany, author Jonathan Green lets you revel in the fun and fascinating explanations behind Scottish traditions and folklore, giving you the answers to questions you’ve always had — or never knew you had — and more as he covers all aspects of Scotland.

From Scottish culture to the ancient history of the country to modern pastimes, this book has all that and more. Learn why the thistle is the floral emblem of Scotland, how Scotch whisky is made, why the Scots celebrate Hogmanay, how to play the bagpipes, and much more. This delightful book is the perfect gift for anyone planning a visit to Scotland, with an interest in Scottish history, or a drop of Scottish blood. With 50 color illustrations.

"Well organized, easy to read, high interest but low enough vocabulary for a 10 or 12 yr old to read independently. Full of unexpected facts, good photos. All 'round 100%." ~

Friday, 22 January 2021

Gamebook Friday: HEOROT - Role-playing in the world of Beowulf Beastslayer

I am pleased to announce my next Kickstarter, which will be launching one week today, on Friday 29th January 2021.

HEOROT (pronounced 'Hay-or-ot') is a rules-lite RPG, designed to be picked up and played with minimal preparation. It is inspired by the Anglo-Saxon epic poem Beowulf, Viking legends, Norse mythology, and the Icelandic sagas, as well as my own ACE Gamebook Beowulf Beastslayer.

I am continuing the process, begun with 'TWAS - The Roleplaying Game Before Christmas, of turning my existing ACE Gamebook properties into other games*, in this case a classic tabletop RPG.

In HEOROT, players take on the role of noble heroes and their brave companions, who are guided through their adventure by the Skald (or Gamesmaster).

There are three different ways to enjoy the game but all involve an element of storytelling. For it is through telling tall tales of their heroic deeds that players increase their Wyrd, which in turn gives them the ability to perform heroic feats during their adventures that would otherwise be beyond the capabilities of mortal men.

The Storytelling Contest format will suit shorter gaming sessions, while longer ones are ideal for extended Heroic Sagas. Alternatively, you can play through the Songs of the Skalds - traditional scenarios and campaigns that have been designed specifically for the RPG.

HEOROT is part of Kickstarter's Make 100 initiative. Every January, the platform invites its creators to launch a campaign that offers a pledge level limited to 100 rewards.

For HEOROT, this is the Trollslayer reward, which comes with a PDF and print code for the RPG, one Grendel's Mother miniature, and a print code for the HEOROT-themed deck of playing cards, plus all unlocked stretch goals.

These two will soon be joined by the Mother of Monsters herself.

Watch this space for more information about the new RPG, or sign up to my Newsletter to be notified when HEOROT goes live on Kickstarter.

* Anybody would think I had a masterplan or something...

Thursday, 7 January 2021

Steampunk Thursday: Anno Frankenstein

Ten years ago*, Abaddon Books published by seventh Ulysses Quicksilver adventure, Anno Frankenstein. Here's the blurb taken from Amazon:

Ulysses Quicksilver, agent of the crown, jumps into a time vortex pursuing Daniel Dashwood, a madman bent on sharing modern technology with Hitler’s forces and changing history to suit his evil ends.

Rewind several decades, to the time of the Second Great War, to Darmstadt. The Nazis are battling the steampunk empire of Magna Britannia, cooking up necrotic super-soldiers in the gothic towers of Castle Frankenstein.

In the forests outside the castle, other forces are gathering. Ulysses’ father is there, proving that dashing good looks and a talent for swashbuckling adventures run in the family, and wondering why his British masters have partnered him with weakling scientist Dr. Jekyll. The ladies of the Monstrous Regiment are also there to help, but there may be other gothic monsters in the hills... 

“Jonathan Green gets mileage out of his monsters, with big action set-pieces that read like things we’d like to see in a rip-roaring summer movie.” - SFX Magazine

I had a lot of fun, riffing off the works of Mary Shelley, Robert Louis Stevenson, Stan Lee et al, and I think that comes through in the novel, which is the longest** Ulysses Quicksilver adventure in terms of page count.

If you've yet to read it yourself, the good news is that Anno Frankenstein is is in Rebellion Publishing's January ‘Time Travel’ eBook sale. The eBook is available worldwide, until the end of the month, for only 99p! However, please not that this discounted price is only valid on the Rebellion Publishing webshop.

So what are you waiting for? Why not download it today?

* Yes, you read that right. Ten. Years.

** If I'm remembering that rightly. If not, it's probably Human Nature.

Wednesday, 6 January 2021

Alice's Nightmare in Italy

Today is Twelfth Night, which in Italy is the time the kindly witch La Befana leaves gifts for good little boys and girls. Which is why the Italian language edition of Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland is released today.

L'incubo di Alice nel Paese delle Meraviglie was teased back in March, and was supposed to have launched last April at the Modena Play games festival, with Yours Truly there in person. However, the whole world was caught up in the COVID nightmare at the time* so publication was delayed until today.

As you can see, the Italian edition features two different covers - one that reuses the artwork from Mantikore-Verlag's German language edition and one that was inspired by the English paperback.

The inside of the dust jacket features a map of Wonderland by original artist Kev Crossley. The map was commissioned for the Italian edition but the team at Raven Distribution very kindly allowed me to use it in the 5th anniversary hardback, which just happened to come out first

And here's the back cover of the Italian hardback.

* As it is now.

Friday, 1 January 2021

Gamebook Friday: Alice's Nightmare in Japan

Today, the Japanese edition of Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland is released. If you are interested, you can find it here.

As far as I know*, this is the first book of mine that has appeared in Japanese. As a result I needed a little help understanding what was what on the cover, so my Japanese publisher kindly sent me this:

* You never can tell with some licensed work for hire stuff. For example, the first time I discovered Crisis on Coruscant, my Star Wars Clone Wars gamebook, had been published in German was when I was looking round a bookshop in Vienna, Austria.

Thursday, 31 December 2020

Review of the Year - 2020

Well, I think we all know what 2020 will be known as in the future. But for me as an author, 2020 will also be remembered as the Year of ACE Gamebooks Roleplay, which gives me a good catch-all term for both my gamebooks and RPG line.

Despite only having one major publication this year - 'TWAS - The Roleplaying Game Before Christmas* - new foreign editions of my ACE Gamebooks continued to be released, even though trips to Italy and Germany** were both cancelled.

The ACE Gamebooks website received an upgrade, there were numerous online live playthrough of my books, and I released a 5th anniversary edition of Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland, more in line with the hardbacks of the rest of the series.

I have also continued to work on Dracula - Curse of the Vampire, although the tragically premature death of Martin McKenna inevitably delayed the book and forced a search for a new illustrator. Fortunately Hauke Kock has agreed to take on the task of illustrating my longest gamebook yet. If you've not seen it yet elsewhere, here's one of his finished images for the adventure.

2020 saw the release of a number of audiobooks bearing my name, including The Doll's House, The Serpent's Egg, and Wonderland.

Behind the scenes I have also worked on some other interactive fiction-style projects, which I expect will see the light of day next year. I had hoped to submit various short stories to various anthologies, but unfortunately just didn't have the time.***

Currently I am trying to work out which Kickstarters to run when, in order to fund production of the next ACE Gamebook and ACE Gamebooks Roleplay RPG. And between them they are going to take you to different parts of the globe... Expect to see more news before the end of January.

And on that note I would like to wish you a Happy New Year, and here's hoping for a better 2021!

* Print versions of which are available now!

** Along with their associated book launches.

*** Writing a short story takes far longer than the limited word count might have you believe.

Friday, 25 December 2020

The 12 Days of Christmas - Day 12: Merry Christmas!

I would just like to wish you a very Merry Christmas and here's hoping for a better 2021!

And if you do happen to receive a copy of 'TWAS - The Krampus Night Before Christmas today, or have a chance to run a session of 'TWAS - The Roleplaying Game Before Christmas, do let me know, either here, or via Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.

And please leave a review as well, on DriveThruRPG, or Amazon, or anywhere else for that matter.

Happy Christmas!