Sunday, 31 October 2010

Night of the Necromancer

Some kind words via my YouTube video channel regarding my most recent Fighting Fantasy title Night of the Necromancer for Halloween night...

Played the book a couple of times and it's very good. Better than Werewolf I'd say, though similar in the respect you can gain special abilities throughout the game rather than pick a few at the start as in past gamebooks. Also I think this is the only FF book that doesn't involve any item collection. (Pretty difficult when you're a ghost...) The codewords system is used to good effect instead of the 'If you have a certain item' style mechanic. Anyway, the book is certainly recommended!

Welcome to the Dark Millennium

The Way of the Warrior

Own it you must!

Out in October... and next in November

It's the end of the month so time for a quick summary of new books, and stories, out this month from yours truly...

Happy Halloween!

From ghoulies and ghosties
And long-leggedy beasties
And things that go bump in the night,
Good Lord, deliver us!

Traditional Scottish saying

M is for Monster - featuring I is for Incubus, by yours truly - is available now from Amazon, in both a traditional processed tree carcass format and a creepy Kindle edition.

Saturday, 30 October 2010

Fighting Fantasy Fans

A quick update concerning all things relating to Fighting Fantasy fandom.

Issue 4 of the Fighting Fantasy fanzine Fighting Fantazine is out now, and you can download a copy for free here.

And if you are an avid collector of all things Fighting Fantasy, you could do a lot worse than pick up a copy of Jamie Fry's Fighting Fantasy Books Checklist & Price Guide 2010 here.

And, lastly, for all you fans of Curse of the Mummy out there, the new, improved edition of COTM will be able from February 2011.

Win a walk-on part in Pax Britannia: Anno Frankenstein

I love Lego and I love steampunk, so I'm a sucker for this sort of stuff...

... which got me thinking...

It's not long before I commence work on my next Pax Britannia novel Anno Frankenstein. And it could feature YOU!

The Prize
A walk on part in the next Ulysses Quicksilver Pax Britannia novel Anno Frankenstein, due to be published by Abaddon Books in 2011. It will be up to me how you appear in the book and whether you're a hero, a villain or a name on a tombstone, but your name will appear somewhere within the book.

How to Enter
All you have to do to qualify is create your own Pax Britannia scene - out of Lego! It can be from any of the already published Pax Britannia novels (mine or Al Ewing's) or the forthcoming Dark Side (which is out soon). It could even be from the as yet unwritten Anno Frankenstein, using Mark Harrison's stunning cover for inspiration.

So, if you're up to the challenge here's what you need to do:

1) Create your Lego model.
2) Take a photograph of it.
3) Email your photograph, along with your name, to
4) Do all of this by 31 October 2010.

Good Luck!

Pax Britannia: Dark Side

My latest Pax Britannia title Dark Side is available now from Abaddon Books.

Why not order yours today via the link on this page?

Scottish Miscellany - Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Scotland the Brave

The brand new Scottish Miscellany is available now from Skyhorse Publishing. Order yours via the link on this page today!

Friday, 29 October 2010

Anno Frankenstein

Another quick reminder that there's only a few days left in which to enter the latest Pax Britannia adventure in which you can win a walk-on part in Anno Frankenstein.

Follow this link to enter the competition. The deadline is midnight on October 31st!

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Scottish Miscellany

Just a quick update to let you know that my new non-fiction book is out today. Scottish Miscellany Is published by Skyhorse Books.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Anno Frankenstein

I'm about to start work on my next magnum opus (which also happens to be my seventh Pax Britannia novel and my thirteenth novel overall) Anno Frankenstein.

Here's what my editor had to say after reading the synopsis: 'Yes, I like this a lot.'

And don't forget, you could be a part of the action too, if you enter the competition I'm currently running. There's only ten days left in which you can enter, so get out that Lego and get modelling now!

The First Men in the Moon

Last night I enjoyed Mark Gatiss's sublime adaptation of H G Wells's The First Men in the Moon. Anyone who enjoys the Pax Britannia books or steampunk in general should watch this.

And coming later this month is Pax Britannia: Dark Side, which includes my own homage to the Father of Science Fiction's classic 'scientific romance'.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Age ain't nothing but a number

If you follow me on Facebook, it may not have escaped your attention that it's my birthday today. And if you follow other Black Library authors, you may have also noticed that three of us share a birthday - myself, the mighty Dan Abnett and vampire master Steven Savile. (Oh, and Aaron Rosenberg's birthday's tomorrow.)

Coincidence, or proof that the malignant machinations of the Warp are at work here? Might I suggest that you read our books and make up your own mind? I like to think of it as a good omen...

Oh, and I saw something on TV last night that made me feel old. One of the kids I used to teach (when he was about 8 and I was still a teacher) was on University Challenge last night!

New Bloodbones review

Another review of Bloodbones has appeared on Amazon - and a very pleasing review it is too...

This is is a tremendously exciting book. The narrative grips you from the start with its exciting storyline and the illustrative backstory and characterisation mean that you really care about the unfolding plot. I particularly like the 'codeword' system which means that the book is constantly monitoring your progress and gives it a non-linear feel. I also liked the fact that the battle sequences were not overly complex - yet the author still added unique touches every now and then to certain creatures where appropriate which heightened the sense of realism and immersion. The book was brilliantly structured - having a definite 3 act beginning, middle and end (often lacking in many gamebooks) - and what an ending! - be prepared for a rollercoaster ride! Congratulations to the author on reinvigorating this series - I really look forward to more books from him.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Fighting Fantasy on Amazon

If you search for Curse of the Mummy on Amazon, you'll find these other titles to consider...

And you can find all of them available for sale here.

As of February 2011, five of my seven Fighting Fantasy gamebook titles will be available in the new bigger Wizard format with pre-generated characters in the back and a taste of another adventure to come.

Who knows what 2012 might bring?

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Airship Ambassador

Stumbled across the Airship Ambassador website the other day and was delighted to see all of the Pax Britannia books listed in their Literature section, which you can find here.

But that's not all you'll find there. There's also information on all aspects of Steampunk, along with news of forthcoming steampunky events. So why not check it out for yourself?

Ultramarines the Movie

SFX are at NY Comic Con at the moment, along with the likes of Dan Abnett. In fact they caught up with Dan the Man and quizzed him about the forthcoming Ultramarines movie...

Empire have an exclusive first look at the movie here...

And if you go here, you can pre-order a copy of the movie in a very special collector's edition format.

Friday, 8 October 2010

Curse of the Mummy - The Mummy Returns

I am very excited to be able to announce that my third Fighting Fantasy gamebook Curse of the Mummy will be getting the makeover treatment and coming out in a new edition in February 2011. Forest of Doom will be released in the same format at the same time, with Appointment with F.E.A.R. and Armies of Death coming two weeks after that in April 2011.

Here's a sneak peak of both the re-designed covers.

I also recently came across frankly a quite remarkable map for Curse of the Mummy and was sorely tempted to post it here - I mean, it's just so lovely to look at - but then decided against it as it contains massive* spoilers for anybody who's not read the book yet.

If you'd like to see it for yourself, it won't take you long to find with the help of Google.

* And I mean MASSIVE!

Black Library Digital is here!

I was lucky enough to attend Games Day this year and so got a peak at what's planned for Black Library Digital but today it's launched on the masses...

And to celebrate the launch of Black Library Digital, October 8th and the following four Fridays have been designated Free eBook Fridays. Head over to the BL website at noon GMT on each of those days and you'll find a gem from the BL back catalogue – or digital exclusive – available for the princely sum of zero Earth pounds, dollars, yen or Imperial crowns.

Today's freebie is Dan Abnett's masterly First & Only - the first book in the Gaunt's Ghosts series (but, fortunately, not the only one).

And talking of Dan the Man, he gets a whole double-page profile to himself in this month's SFX!

And talking of the Black Library, if you've ever fancied yourself as one of the Emperor's editors, then here's the opportunity you've been crying out for!

The Unofficial Fighting Fantasy Forum

Looking for somewhere to debate all the latest Fighting Fantasy news (or lack of) and discuss the range (in all its incarnations)?

Then you need the Unofficial Fighting Forum. It's been up and running for a year now so go check it out for yourselves!

Thursday, 7 October 2010

National Poetry Day 2010

Today - Thursday 7 October - is National Poetry Day, here in the UK.
When I was still teaching I would regularly teach poetry lessons and in doing so was inspired to write a few poems of my own. So, as it's National Poetry Day, here's one of them.

A Thousand Hairy Cannibals
by Jonathan Green

A thousand hairy cannibals
Went running through the zoo.
They gobbled up the animals
Then ate each other too.

(c) Jonathan Green, 2010

Which reminds me of a joke.

Two cannibals are sitting in the jungle eating a clown. One turns to the other and says, "Does this taste funny to you?"

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

The Appeal of Warhammer 40K

If you want to discover why the likes of James Swallow, Graham McNeill, Nick Kyme, Gav Thorpe and Dan Abnett all love reading and writing books set within the 40k universe, then simply follow this link to SF Signal's Mind Meld feature on that very topic.

Children's Book Week and The Way of the Warrior

In case you didn't already know, this week is Children's Book Week. And so it is with rather opportune timing that my latest book has also been launched this week.

"Launched?" I hear you say. Yes, launched.

The Way of the Warrior is one of those books that you can personalise for the child of your choice. Such books have been around for a while now, but what makes this one different is that it's the first Star Wars book of its kind. And I wrote it (he says proudly).

To find out more, and to order one for that special small person in your life (and it's suitable for girls or boys as well as budding Jedi or Sith), follow this link to the Penwizard website.

Children's Book Week runs from 4-10 October and you can find out more about it at the Booktrust website.

33 Richmond reading - the aftermath

So, it was the 33 author reading at Richmond Library last night...

Bobby Nayyar, Pat Binding and Susannah Rickards all gave excellent readings from their short stories. I, on the other hand, tried something a little different.

My story for the anthology, I Love Richmond, was something of an experiment as it's all told via Twitter. The reading last night was something of an experiment too, with the story unfolding in real time as if the two Tweeters (is that the right term?) were typing replies to each other's missives as they went along. The ones reading the 'story' were the audience.

Like I say - it was experiment. A couple of people had very nice things to say about it at the end. (Apparently I nearly made one audience member cry, but I didn't think it was that bad!) However, others weren't backwards in coming forwards and making it plain that they hadn't got a clue what was going on. Maybe that's a failing of me as a writer, or of the way I presented the story, but I prefer to put it down to the fact that the audience was slightly - how should I put this - closer to collecting their bus passes than me.

Anyway, like I said, ignoring my multimedia effort for a moment, the stories were very well received and Bobby had even sold out of books by the end of the event!

Thanks to Jonas and Peggy for making us so welcome, and thank you to those who came. Apparently Bobby videoed part of my presentation, which might make it onto here at some point - and, then again, might not.

What you need to do now is follow this link to Susannah Rickards publisher, to read more about this amazing author, or go here to buy her new short story anthology, the fabulously titled, Hot Kitchen Snow.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

33 Author Reading at Richmond Library tonight!

Just a quick reminder that I shall be at Richmond Library tonight reading an extract from my short story that appears in 33. The event kicks off at 6.30pm and I'll be there along with Patrick Binding, Susannah Rickards and publisher Bobby Nayyar.

Here's what the mayor of London himself, Boris Johnson, has to say about this unique short story anthology:

‎'I want Londoners to open the door and step in. These stories are a fascinating insight into the lives, behaviour and experiences of ordinary people, set against the backdrop of an amazing, multi-dimensional, innovative and world class city – London'

Gamebook Adventures: Slaves of Rema - the promo trailer

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Being a good writer...

The Cruel Fate of Jared Shurin

As followers of this blog will already know, Jared Shurin (he of Pornokitsch fame) won a walk-on part in the forthcoming Pax Britannia: Dark Side. That walk-on part turned into a major role in the novel, as you can read for yourself later this month.

Last night I was very lucky to attend a special presentation for Jared's recent birthday, for which his wife had produced a unique anthology of works based upon a story Jared wrote as a child. I had contributed a short story, as had as author Rebecca Levene and editor-cum-author Jonathan Oliver.

Jared is desperate to learn the fate of his namesake in Dark Side but I didn't give anything away, tempted as I was all the same. And you, like Jared can discover what happens when the book is published later this month.

Pax Britannia: Blood Royal

UK readers have been able to enjoy the delights of Pax Britannia: Blood Royal for some months now but, as yet, readers in the US have been denied those pleasures... but not for much longer!

Pax Britannia: Blood Royal is released in the US on 12 October, which just happens to be my birthday! So consider it a birthday present, sent from me to you!

Friday, 1 October 2010

Pax Britannia - breaking news!

There's been an update on the Abaddon Books' website today regarding forthcoming Pax Britannia releases and with the brand new, first look at the re-formatted cover for Dark Side.

To read more about this, Al Ewing's Gods of Manhattan and the first Ulysses Quicksilver Omnibus, follow this link.