Friday, 29 May 2020

Gamebook Friday: Alice's Nightmare in the Czech Republic

The Czech Republic was the first country outside of the UK to have its own translation of my first ACE Gamebook, Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland, and the reviewers there appear to love it just as much as anyone else. Here's what one reviewer had to say about the book:

Beware, but this is not a copy of the original Lewis Carroll Alice or some ordinary sequel. Jonathan Green allows you to decide where to go, what to think, what to eat or drink. Alice's Nightmare is a Gamebook...

Alice's Nightmare, although a little book, is definitely not fun for a train trip or an afternoon. It will offer you a new task in Wonderland and lots of ways to solve it. You can slip through the Empire quite deftly or turn an eleven-year-old girl into Conan and simply cut through the Wonderland with a crab shell in one hand and scissors in the other. It's up to you which way you try or if you end up playing them all. I definitely don't have them all behind me yet, but I still enjoy Alice's Nightmare... 

But what I do know is that Alice's Nightmare is one of the most successful gamebooks that have appeared in our country recently and is definitely worth reading.

The good news for Czech fans is that a translation of The Wicked Wizard of Oz is coming soon...

I should have been at the UK Games Expo this weekend, but as I'm not, I'm selling a limited number of signed ACE Gamebooks via my website. If you would like one, follow this link.

Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Warhammer Wednesday: #New40K

In case you haven't heard already, the big announcement from Games Workshop at the weekend was that a new edition* of Warhammer 40,000 is on the way. The news broke with this rather wonderful cinematic trailer.

What I personally found quite exciting about this is that the Necrons** are front and centre, which gives me the perfect excuse to plug two of my short stories that are available as digital downloads from the Black Library, seeing as how they both feature the ancient Necrontyr.

On an artificial world far from the light of any son, three sorcerers of the Thousand Sons emerge from a portal, Together, this trio will face ancient horrors – but the prize that awaits them is worth any danger, Long have these three sought the Godstar, piecing together its location from scattered scraps of knowledge. The immortal guardians of the place sleep, but it is not undefended, and the children of Prospero will pay a heavy price for that which they seek as they delve deep into the ancient mysteries of the necrons.

Investigating a distress signal from an ice-shrouded mining colony, Space Marines of the Imperial Fists find themselves outnumbered and surrounded by the soulless necrons. Facing impossible odds, the Imperial Fists struggle desperately to find a way to survive.

* The ninth!

** Or 'murder-robots' as I saw them described on the Warhammer Community website.

Monday, 25 May 2020

Signed ACE Gamebooks for sale!

This Thursday I was supposed to have been travelling to the NEC to set up for the UK Games Expo, a fun three-day family gaming convention that is one of only two fixtures (along with Dragonmeet) in my annual event calendar. However, due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the event has been cancelled for this year and is going online at the end of August.

So as an alternative to the UK Games Expo, I have set up a small online shop, selling signed paperbacks and hardback book bundles that all come with interesting exclusives. If you missed the original Kickstarters, you will not want to miss this sale.

So don't delay, check it out today!

Thought for the Day

“Generally speaking, I do not think that one should ever take another person's advice in the things of life that really matter, but follow the dictates of the still small something in one's innermost self.”
~ Rosemary Sutcliff

Saturday, 23 May 2020

Short Story Saturday: SHARKPUNK the Audiobook

I've you've not yet picked up the audiobook edition of SHARKPUNK, the first short story anthology I edited, now is the perfect time to grab a digital download of the book from Circle of Spears for £17.99, plus get a 15% discount with checkout code STAYSAFE.

Sharks – the ultimate predators, masters of their watery domain, a world that is entirely alien and inhospitable to man. So many aspects of the shark are associated with humankind’s most primal fears. The tell-tale dorsal fin slicing through the water, the dead eyed-stare, the gaping jaws full to unforgiving teeth, the remorseless drive to kill and feed…

Inspired by such classic pulp movies as Jaws and Deep Blue Sea – as well as such ludicrous delights as Sharknado and Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus – the stories contained within are rip-roaring page-turners and slow-build chillers that celebrate all things savage, pulp and selachian. Covering the whole range of speculative fiction genres, from horror and Steampunk, through to SF and WTF, these are stories with bite! Come on in. The water’s fine…

Pick up your digital download of SHARKPUNK here.

Friday, 22 May 2020

Gamebook Friday: World Goth Day

Today is World Goth Day, so it's rather good timing that yesterday I finished writing Dracula - Curse of the Vampire from the point of view of the Vampire-Hunters. Of course, I still need to write the adventure from Count Dracula's perspective, as well as edit what I have already written, but I've already reached section 793 of the manuscript, having written over 161,000 words.

At that moment I am struggling to decide which scenes, characters and monsters I want to have illustrated by Martin McKenna. The problem is I want all of them illustrated but have to think about how to best use the budget I have for the book.

What would help is if people who didn't back the original Kickstarter placed a Late Pledge now, as any money raised in this way will help to boost the project's coffers. If you would like to place a Late Pledge, click this link.

Monday, 18 May 2020

Dracula: Happy Publication Day?

Did you know that the play of Bram Stoker's Dracula was staged before the book was actually published?

Until 1968 it was necessary, under the terms of the Stage Licensing Act of 1737, and the Theatres Act of 1843, for all plays intended for public performance to be submitted to the Lord Chamberlain’s Office for approval and licensing. The script of the theatre version of Dracula, which Bram Stoker submitted to the Lord Chamberlain’s Office in May 1897, provides a fascinating insight into the world of the late-Victorian stage as well as offering a glimpse into the origins of Count Dracula and the way in which Stoker explored the dramatic potential of his characters.

The script for the play consists of a mixture of Stoker’s own handwriting and printed extracts cut and pasted from a galley proof* of the novel. Originally titled Dracula: or The Un-Dead, the play was hastily put together by Stoker in order to protect the dramatic rights to his book. By submitting the play to the Lord Chamberlain’s Office he was effectively ensuring he retained copyright over the characters and the plot of his novel in so far as their use on the stage was concerned. The performance itself, held on the morning of 18 May 1897 at the Lyceum Theatre, London, consisted of a dramatic reading carried out by members of the Lyceum’s resident company of actors. The novel was published eight days later on 26 May.

As was usual for copyright readings, playbills advertising the performance were only put up outside the theatre half an hour prior to the time the play was due to commence. Unsurprisingly, given the deliberate lack of advertising, only two people bought tickets to sit in attendance alongside the Lyceum’s backstage staff and crew.

The play comprises of a prologue and five acts, containing over forty scenes in total, and probably took six hours to read. Of those taking the roles in the play, the most famous was Edith Craig who took the role of Mina Murray. She was the daughter of the actress Ellen Terry and an important pioneer of the women’s suffrage movement in England.

To Stoker’s disappointment, the actor Henry Irving took no part in the production. Irving was widely considered to be one of Stoker’s inspirations for the Count, due to his dark, brooding charisma and his gift for playing other-worldly figures such as Mephistopheles from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s Faust. Legend has it that when Stoker asked Irving what he thought of the play the great actor replied with a single word – ‘dreadful’.

Did you know...?
It's not too late to place a Late Pledge to Dracula - Curse of the Vampire. And if you're quick, you might even be able to get your portrait included in one of the gamebook's illustrations.

* A preliminary printing of a text on which authors, editors and publishers can add corrections and amendments.