Thursday, 31 January 2013

Steampunk Thursday: The Curse of the Baskervilles

Well the cat, as they say, is well and truly out of the bag now. Or should that be the dog is out of the bag?

In case you haven't got a clue what I'm talking about, here's the press release from Fringeworks:

Sherlock Holmes, the pipe-smoking, cocaine-taking detective whose adventures were faithfully recounted by his loyal companion Dr Watson, is undergoing something of a make-over. Just as the BBC reinvented him for a modern television audience, now Fringeworks will be reinventing him as a steampunk hero, bringing him to life in the first of an ongoing series of novels revisiting the original canon of Sherlock Holmes. Known as The Moriarty Paradigm, the series will be set in an alternate British Empire created by the genius of James Moriarty, time traveller.

The most famous of all Sherlock Holmes novels, The Hound of the Baskervilles, will be re-imagined as The Curse of the Baskervilles by Jonathan Green, the King of British Steampulp and creator of Abaddon’s Pax Britannia series and Her Majesty knows how many gamebooks. It will be published later in 2013.

You can read a brief interview with me on the Fringeworks blog.

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Warhammer Wednesday: Gaunt's Ghosts a la Lego

As long time readers of this blog will already know, I am a fan of Dan Abnett's writing. Never was this more true that when it comes to his Black Library Inquisitor novels and the Gaunt's Ghosts series.

I didn't think it was possible to love the Ghosts more than I do already, and then I came across this via Dan's blog.

Enjoy!

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Coming February 2013


Tie-in Tuesday: Avebury

I don't know if you heard the news the other week, but Avebury in Wiltshire has been named the second best heritage site in the world for visitors by a panel of experts in Which? Travel magazine.

I love Avebury - it's much more impressive than Stonehenge. I've visited the village within a stone circle ever since I was a child and now my own children love exploring this ancient, almost magical, landscape as much as I ever did.

It is a hugely inspirational place, and I'm clearly not the only one to think so. Take the makers of the '70s TV show Children of the Stones. I only caught five minutes of Children of the Stones when it was originally broadcast in 1976 but that brief exposure haunted me and I've watched the whole series on DVD only recently to exorcise those particular demons.

Avebury - or at least the ancient Wiltshire countryside - has cropped up again and again in my own books over the years. It's most obviously apparent in my Doctor Who Decide Your Destiny gamebook The Horror of Howling Hill but it's also appeared in everything from my first ever published book Spellbreaker through to my short story Fear to Tread that was first published in 2011.

I've explored Avebury in all weathers, most recently in the snow, and as a result I now have an idea for a new story, in which the village will become one of the main characters. I will, of course, let you know how I get on with that one in due course.

Until that time, here are some photographs...



Sunday, 27 January 2013

Have you ever wanted to ride a giant robot?



Look, let's be honest - who hasn't?

Ulysses Quicksilver got to in Pax Britannia: Dark Side, and so did BBC Click reporter Spencer Kelly here.

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Short Story Saturday: Resurrection Engines

Scott Harrison's Resurrection Engines (which features my steampunk-inspired take on Moby Dick, entitled There Leviathan) has been reviewed by James Lovegrove in the FT! Yes, that's right, the actual Financial Times! And here is the review in question.


Resurrection Engines sees an assortment of authors reimagine literary classics through the prism of steampunk (a subgenre of science fiction that celebrates Victorian invention and technology in a knowing, retro-futuristic style).

Robots abound. Dr Jekyll’s monstrous alter-ego is a sentient military exoskeleton, Peter Pan creates his own scrap-metal Lost Boys, and Silas Marner, in a moving tale by Alison Littlewood, adopts an artificial Eppie.Resurrection Engines sees an assortment of authors reimagine literary classics through the prism of steampunk (a subgenre of science fiction that celebrates Victorian invention and technology in a knowing, retro-futuristic style).

The contributors who stray furthest from the brief bring back the richest rewards. Juliet E McKenna’s feminist rewrite of She is cunning and funny, and Philip Palmer adds aliens to The Woman in White to great effect. Adam Roberts’s delirious “The Crime of the Ancient Mariner” replaces Coleridge’s sea voyage with time travel, and works a treat.

A foreword from the editor, contextualising the stories, would have been welcome. Nonetheless, this anthology is both varied and consistently entertaining.


Go us!

You can pick up a copy of Resurrection Engines here.

Friday, 25 January 2013

Gamebook Friday: Beowulf Beastslayer


While I was running my YOU ARE THE HERO Kickstarter, a number of people asked about the possibility of new gamebook content. Well, following on from the success of YOU ARE THE HERO, I'm planning on crowd-funding a brand new gamebook, based on the epic Anglo-Saxon poem Beowulf.

In BEOWULF BEASTSLAYER you will play the part of the eponymous hero - the first superhero of the English literary tradition - battling such monsters as Grendel, Grendel's mother and a dragon, as well as sea serpents and all manner of other creatures along the way. Will your adventure follow the course of the original story or will you carve out a new epic all of your own?


To express your interest in this project, please visit the BEOWULF BEASTSLAYER Facebook page, click 'Like', and share the link with all your friends.

So, until next time...


Thursday, 24 January 2013

Steampunk Thursday: Steampunk is the genre to watch

At least according to an IBM number-crunching supercomputer it is.

"Retailers attending the National Retail Federation Convention in New York yesterday (Jan. 14) got an ear-load, and eye-load, from researchers about the next big trend steaming toward the retail industry. Based on an analysis of more than half a billion public posts on message boards, blogs, social media sites and news sources, IBM predicted that ''steampunk" will be the next major trend to bubble up and take hold of the retail industry."

You may have heard that I've done my bit to promote steampunk culture, via the medium of action-packed page-turning novels.

You can find out more here (on the Abaddon Books blog) or here. And you can peruse all my Pax Britannia steampunk titles here.

A number of you have been asking what's next from me steampunk-wise. Well last week I received my author copies of Resurrection Engines (a steampunk anthology I feature in), I've got a new Spring-Heeled Jack steampunk story coming out this year, and at least three other steampunk-related projects in the offing - if not four actually, now I come to think about it.

So keep your articulating monocle focused on this spot or, to put it another way, watch this space...

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Tie-in Tuesday: Psimple Psimon - The Director's Cut

Just before Christmas I had my first Judge Dredd story published in the Judge Dredd Megazine. However, the story that was published was not quite the story that was written. That was in the present tense, whereas  what finally saw print was written in the past tense, as that fitted the style of the other stories that had gone before.

So here, for your delectation, is Psimple Psimon as it was originally intended to be read.



Judge Dredd: Psimple Psimon

by Jonathan Green



‘Control to all units vicinity of Charley Rogers Block,’ a voice crackles over his helmet comm. ‘We have multiple leapers. Repeat, mass suicide attempt at Charley Rogers. Judges Hardy and Roach at the scene request assistance. Meat wagons already en route.’

The grim expression etched on his granite features doesn’t alter as he swings the Lawmaster off the skedway and onto the intersked, heading for City Bottom.
‘Dredd responding.’


The body hitting the rockrete in front of him forces Dredd to slam on the brakes, the bike skidding to a halt.
‘Drokk!’
            He peers up at the cyclopean city block, its designation picked out in letters three storeys high. And there, half a kilometre above him, he sees…
             It’s little more than a speck to beginning with. Then he hears the scream of terror, sees the flailing arms, his eyes zooming in on the plummeting figure. And now he sees the uniform, the helmet, the badge.
He swears again.
The Judge hits the pedway nine seconds later, travelling at a speed of more than fifty metres per second.
                ‘Control, Dredd,’ he barks into the comm, revving the Lawmaster’s engine into life again. ‘Have arrived at Charley Rogers Block. Tell those meat wagons they’re going to need to break out their buckets and spades.’
He can’t help running over the mess of blood and impact traumatised tissue covering the pedway as he steers the bike towards the block entrance. Behind him another cit makes landfall with a sound like breaking eggs.
                It never rains, he thinks and heads for the lifts.


Dredd makes it to the top of the block.
‘Psi-Judge Mesmer is on his way,’ the voice of Control buzzes in his ear again.
                A psi-judge? Of course. When Judges start jumping Grand Hall is bound to get jumpy too, especially considering how their numbers have been so drastically depleted since Chaos Day.
                ‘Understood.’
He kicks open the door to the roof, his lawgiver already in his hand. He takes in the scene that greets him at a practised glance.
Lined up on the edge of the roof are a dozen cits or more. At the head of the line is the other Judge already attending the Charley Rogers Block leaping frenzy.
Lined up like that they look like an iso-cube execution detail. Only the expressions on their faces betray them, and they all have exactly the same expression; one of abject terror.
There’s only one person on the roof who doesn’t look terrified and that’s the juve ten paces away to Dredd’s right. He can’t be more than eighteen. A look of sheer delight twinkles in the boy’s eyes, as he utters the words, ‘Simon says, jump!’
With a scream of rage and fear, the Judge hurls herself into the yawning gulf beyond the top of the tower to join her partner as a gory puddle on the pedway below.
                Dredd has the juve in his sights in an instant.
‘Freeze, creep!’
The boy turns then, acknowledging the Senior Street Judge for the first time. ‘You didn’t say, “Simon says”.’
                He’s given the creep a chance. Hershey’s No-Kill Policy doesn’t apply here. The juve’s already killed two judges now, and Grud alone knows how many others. Zero tolerance. It’s the only answer in this situation. It’s his judgement call.
                ‘Standard execution,’ Dredd growls, passing sentence.
                Pulling the trigger is like instinct; he doesn’t even have to think about it. It’s automatic.
                ‘Don’t you want to know why?’
                But the perp’s still alive. And he’s still talking. Dredd’s lawgiver remains undischarged.
The simple action of pulling the trigger suddenly feels like trying to push a Fattie uphill without a belly-wheel. Sweat beads on his brow.
                ‘Aren’t you even just a little bit curious?’
                ‘Your confession, creep,’ Dredd mutters through gritted teeth. He can feel the perp inside his head now, taunting him, mocking his inability to execute his duty, to see justice carried out.
                The rezzies lined up along the edge of the roof remain where they are, whimpering, the wind tugging at their clothes and hair. Not one of them moves a muscle. Not one of them is capable of doing so.
                ‘I used to be the block idiot, you know. Butt of everyone’s jokes. You wouldn’t believe it now, would you?’
                Looking at him, Dredd can detect the hint of mental retardation in the high forehead and the spacing of the eyes.
                ‘Oh, I don’t know. I’d call what you’re doing here pretty stupid.’
                The boy gives a bark of mirthless laughter. ‘Do you know what they called me? Simple Simon! They made my life a misery – my family’s too – with their constant jibes and the regularly beatings they dished out.’
                ‘So what changed?’ Dredd can feel his finger slowly tightening on the trigger. If he keeps the creep talking he might weaken the boy’s focus enough to break his concentration.
                ‘Chaos Day,’ Simple Simon replies. ‘Charley Rogers was locked down, but it was too late for us; my family and me. My father was already infected. My whole family succumbed to the bug. I had to watch them all bleed out through their eyes and die.’
                ‘But not you.’ Dredd feels the trigger ease back a fraction more.
                ‘Turns out I’m one of the lucky two per cent. No, I didn’t die. Instead, I went to bed an imbecile and woke up the following morning a drokking genius. Chaos Day changed me.’
                ‘Changed us all.’ Another millimetre.
                ‘Ah, but can you do this?’
                The juve turns his attention from Dredd to the queue of waiting victims again. ‘Simon says, jump.’
                With a shrill scream of hopeless terror a woman – the next in line – throws herself from the top of the block. And there’s nothing Dredd can do to save her.
                ‘Not one of them ever had a kind word for me. Not ever!’
                ‘You think you’re so special?’ Dredd growls, the sweat pouring down inside his helmet now.
                ‘I know I am,’ the juve snaps. It’s a bitter, desperate sound, like that made by a cornered animal fully expecting to be put down. ‘Otherwise how else could I do this?’
                He turns eyes blazing with the fires of injustice on Dredd, who meets the creep’s gaze with a flint hard stare of his own.
                ‘Shoot yourself in the head.’
                The Judge has faced down everything from zombies, to alien oppressors, to extra-dimensional super-fiends. Some upstart psi isn’t going to get the better of him. Not today.
Gritting his teeth, Dredd continues to resist.
                Simple Simon’s mad stare bores into him, the juve focusing all his rage and hatred upon the Judge. But Dredd sees something else there in those wild eyes now.
                Fear.
                The creep’s never met anyone capable of resisting his powers before. Judge Roach certainly hadn’t been able to, nor Judge Hardy, and the ennui-addled residents of Charley Rogers hadn’t had a hope.
                ‘What?’ the boy gasps, unwittingly giving voice to his surprise, his once indomitable will weakening still further. ‘Shoot yourself in the head!’
                Still Dredd resists.
                ‘How can this be happening? Why won’t you do as you’re told?’
                He hears the crunch of boots on the gravel of the rooftop behind him, and something distracts the boy for a moment.
In that instant Dredd feels the force of the juve’s willpower loses focus. The tension in his finger fades. He pulls the trigger, even as the new arrival gasps in horror.
                A single round explodes from the barrel of the gun and hits the boy square in the centre of his forehead. As it punches out again through the top of his skull, Simple Simon falls to the ground.
Dredd regards the limp body, looking so like a marionette with its strings cut.
                ‘You didn’t say “Simon says”.’


‘You didn’t have to shoot him in the head, you know?’ Judge Mesmer says as the stretcher bearing the boy is lifted into the med wagon. The clean-up crews have almost finished hosing down the pedway outside Charley Rogers Block.
                ‘Didn’t I?’ Dredd growls, the stony expression on his face unchanging.
                ‘Medics say he’ll live,’ Mesmer goes on, one hand stroking the excessively groomed greying goatee on his chin, ‘but that shot of yours took out most of his prefrontal cortex. He’s even more of a gibbering idiot now than he was before the Chaos Bug unlocked his latent psi-talents and gave him a genius level IQ.’
                ‘Aim must’ve been off for some reason.’
                Psi-Judge Mesmer gives a weary sigh as Dredd mounts his Lawmaster once again. ‘It’s a shame you had to lobotomise the lad. Psi-Division could doubtless have learnt a lot from him.’
The Senior Street Judge fixes the other with a stare so cold it could freeze magma.
‘Haven’t you heard, Mesmer?’ he says, revving the bike’s idling engine into life. ‘Ignorance is bliss.’

The End

Monday, 21 January 2013

Not-So-Blue Monday

According to peddlers of pseudo-science* today is Blue Monday. Life for Family Green is not straightforward at the moment and has actually been very stressful of late**, but I'm actually starting to feel quite chipper again today.

I'm writing, which is always good, the Kickstarter money for YOU ARE THE HERO will be heading into a bank account with my name on it any minute now, and I've just started spreading the news about another crowd-funding project I have planned for 2013.

On top of all that I'm writing another gamebook app for Tin Man Games, I've a contract for a new novel sitting on my desk waiting for my signature, and in only a few short weeks Shadows over Sylvania (my first Warhammer Path to Victory gamebook) will be released.

So far 2013 is looking like it's going to be a pretty cool year.

But if you are feeling a little down in the dumps today, why not cheer yourself up by purchasing one of the following?


Dark Heart - A Collection of Short Horror Fiction.

Herald of Oblivion - A Warhammer 40,000 Path to Victory Gamebook.

Pax Britannia: Time's Arrow - Ulysses Quicksilver's eighth novelised adventure.

Moshi Monsters: Music Stars - Get all the goss on the stars of the Music Rox album!

Night of the Necromancer - Play as one of the undead in my most recent Fighting Fantasy Gamebook.

Temple of the Spider God - A classic, old school fantasy adventure, with a hi-tech twist.



* Or 'non-science' as you may prefer to call it.

** Apologies, I don't normally bother you all with Woe-Is-Me style posts. But today is Blue Monday after all.

Thought for the Day

“You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.”
~ Ray Bradbury

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Public Lending Right loans - 2011/2012


Yes, it's that time of year again. The votes are in and have been counted and verified...

For those of you who may be interested, here's the list of my top ten most borrowed books for July 2011 - June 2012 (with last year's placing in brackets):

1. (1) The Horror of Howling Hill (Mar 08)
2. (-) Monstrous Missions (Feb 12)
3. (2) Crisis on Coruscant (Jan 10)
4. (5) Stormslayer (Sep 09)
5. (6) Howl of the Werewolf (Sep 07)
6. (3) Night of the Necromancer (Apr 10)
7. (20) Dark Side (Oct 10)
8. (13) Evolution Expects (Feb 10)
9. (11) What is Myrrh Anyway? (Oct 08)
10. (24) Anno Frankenstein (May 11)

The Horror of Howling Hill was borrowed almost 800 times less than 2010-2011 but my first Doctor Who book is still my top grossing title. Second is my second Doctor Who book Monstrous Missions (but I share the PLR money on this title with Gary Russell). And then third is my Star Wars The Clone Wars gamebook Crisis on Coruscant. It's a times like this that you really appreciate the opportunities that writing tie-in fiction brings.

Fighting Fantasy continues to make a strong showing (with Stormslayer rising another place up the rankings, having done the same thing last year) and the placing of three Pax Britannia titles in the top ten really reflects the growing popularity of my premier steampunk series.

So what will next year bring? Some Moshi Monster titles in the top ten? More Pax Britannia? The Horror of Howling Hill still at #1? We'll just have to wait and see...

My Top 3 most borrowed books 2011-2012

My Top 3 most borrowed Fighting Fantasy gamebooks 2011-2012

 My Top 3 most borrowed Pax Britannia novels 2011-2012

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Short Story Saturday: John Steinbeck's advice to aspiring writers

I realise that Steinbeck is talking about tackling a novel in this extract, but many novelists start out as short story writers*. And they're useful points to bear in mind when it comes to any form of writing.



ON GETTING STARTED

It is usual that the moment you write for publication—I mean one of course—one stiffens in exactly the same way one does when one is being photographed. The simplest way to overcome this is to write it to someone, like me. Write it as a letter aimed at one person. This removes the vague terror of addressing the large and faceless audience and it also, you will find, will give a sense of freedom and a lack of self-consciousness.

            Now let me give you the benefit of my experience in facing 400 pages of blank stock—the appalling stuff that must be filled. I know that no one really wants the benefit of anyone's experience which is probably why it is so freely offered. But the following are some of the things I have had to do to keep from going nuts.

            1. Abandon the idea that you are ever going to finish. Lose track of the 400 pages and write just one page for each day, it helps. Then when it gets finished, you are always surprised.

            2. Write freely and as rapidly as possible and throw the whole thing on paper. Never correct or rewrite until the whole thing is down. Rewrite in process is usually found to be an excuse for not going on. It also interferes with flow and rhythm which can only come from a kind of unconscious association with the material.

            3. Forget your generalized audience. In the first place, the nameless, faceless audience will scare you to death and in the second place, unlike the theater, it doesn't exist. In writing, your audience is one single reader. I have found that sometimes it helps to pick out one person—a real person you know, or an imagined person and write to that one.

            4. If a scene or a section gets the better of you and you still think you want it—bypass it and go on. When you have finished the whole you can come back to it and then you may find that the reason it gave trouble is because it didn't belong there.

            5. Beware of a scene that becomes too dear to you, dearer than the rest. It will usually be found that it is out of drawing.

            6. If you are using dialogue—say it aloud as you write it. Only then will it have the sound of speech.


John Steinbeck - American writer (1902-68)


* I did after a fashion. In fact I'm writing another short story at the moment.

Friday, 18 January 2013

Gamebook Friday: Latest news from LeGrimoire.net


This set of dice contains two 6-sided dice (black and white figures) numbered from 2 to 6, with the 1 replaced by a skull and crossbones.

Perfect for when you're playing Fighting Fantasy adventure gamebooks like Night of the Necromancer and Bloodbones!

Order yours today.




Thursday, 17 January 2013

Steampunk Thursday: Resurrection Engines

So, these arrived on Tuesday in the post...


Resurrection Engines - a steampunk reinvention of classic novels of the past, edited by Scott Harrison. My contribution to the anthology is a short story called There Leviathan, which gives a steampunk twist to the great American novel Moby Dick.


Featuring stories by Alison Littlewood, Adam Roberts, Kim Lakin-Smith and Cavan Scott (as well as Yours Truly), you can pick up your own copy of Resurrection Engines here.


Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Warhammer Wednesday: A Word to the Wise

An Extract from
The Great Book of Banishment


Chapter X

Being a Description of the Diverse Artifacts with which the Righteous shall Equip themselves against the Undead

 
The Book
Keepest thou the sacred book with thee always, so none that are unclean may come nigh unto it. And its pages shall be of vellum, inscribed in the high tongue. And the leather bindings shall be graven with all the marks of Sigmar. When thou reciteth from the book, speakest thou with authority, that the evil-doer may tremble at thy words and shrink back from thee, for they cannot show their faces to righteousness.

The Stake & The Hammer
Seek the holy tree of Sigmar and from its staves, cut thee sturdy stakes. Harden then the spike in the holy flame, while reciting the words of banishment. Take thou thine hammer, like unto that which holy Sigmar wielded on his day of valour. Let it be graven with his holy sigil, against which nothing that is unclean may prevail. And know ye that the unclean shall be dispatched with but three strikes of the hammer upon the stake. And the stake will penetrateth the heart of the evil one and accomplish the banishment for all eternity. And when thou striketh, say the prayer of Sigmar.

The Mirror
Take thou a mirror of polished silver which cometh out of the Dwarf realms and tarnisheth not. Behold, it is incorruptible metal and revealeth the souls of men. Keep it discreetly and let not anyone see it in the palm of thine hand. Whosoever shall have no reflection in the mirror ye shall deliver unto them the holy stake of banishment.

The Sacred Water
And thou shalt have with thee a phial and the sacred water of the well of Sigmar shall be within it. Draw thou this from the holy temple upon his feast day. Behold the sacred water burneth the flesh of the Undead and causeth them to recoil from thee.

The Sign of Sigmar
And this shall be the mark of the witch hunter. He shall wear the sign of Sigmar which is the Twin-Tailed Comet. By this sign his foes may know that the power of holy Sigmar is with him. And none shall withstand the wrath of holy Sigmar, who cometh to save the righteous from the depredations of evil. And whosoever maketh the sign of Sigmar with his hand, he also shall be protected.


Coming soon...

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Short Story Tuesday: The Demonologia Biblica

Okay, I know, it should be Short Story Saturday, or Tie-in Tuesday, but I just had to share this bit of news with you all!

The Demonologia Biblica is a horror anthology (in case you hadn't already guessed) edited by Mr Dean M Drinkel. I've been in a couple of Dean's anthos before, and I'm in this one too, filed under 'J' for 'Jerobaal'.

Here's the front cover...


And here's the back cover, including the full list of authors appearing within...



More news as and when... :-)

Monday, 14 January 2013

Thought for the Day - P D James' Rules for Writing

1) Increase your word power. Words are the raw material of our craft. The greater your vocabulary the more ­effective your writing. We who write in English are fortunate to have the richest and most versatile language in the world. Respect it.

2) Read widely and with discrimination. Bad writing is contagious.

3) Don't just plan to write – write. It is only by writing, not dreaming about it, that we develop our own style.

4) Write what you need to write, not what is currently popular or what you think will sell.

5) Open your mind to new experiences, particularly to the study of other ­people. Nothing that happens to a writer – however happy, however tragic – is ever wasted.


You can read more writers' rules for writing here.

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Short Story Saturday: Ain't No Sanity Clause

Theresa Derwin's first anthology as editor, Ain't No Sanity Clause, was published by Fringeworks in time for Christmas last year, and has already received some rave reviews on Amazon.

Here's what one of them had to say about my contribution Claws:

"It is of no surprise to any science fiction fan that Jonathan Green has done what he does best; create a magnificently entertaining and elusive piece of holiday hori-fiction. The touches of old language in his dialogue make for such wizardly entertainment and the new twist on an old fairy tale works throughout the whole piece with delightful suspense. Another target hit by Jonathan Green."

You can buy yourself a copy of Ain't No Sanity Clause here.

And don't forget, my first collection of horror fiction Dark Heart is available now as well.


Friday, 11 January 2013

Gamebook Friday: YOU ARE THE HERO has funded!

In case you missed the news* last Sunday YOU ARE THE HERO - A History of Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks - funded on Kickstarter. And Family Green recorded the moment for posterity.



I'll be getting to work on the book in a month or so's time in order to have it ready for Autumn/Winter this year. Wish me luck!


* And if you follow this blog, or my Twitter feed, or check out my Facebook account from time to time, I find that very hard to believe.

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Steampunk Thursday: Who's a pretty boy then?

Can't wait to tell you more about this current work in progress - a work in progress by Herr Doktor, nonetheless!


Monday, 7 January 2013

The YOU ARE THE HERO Kickstarter - The Aftermath


I feel strange today. Slightly bereft. My email inbox is missing those 'New Backer Alert!' messages.

That's right, today I'm on the come down from running my first ever Kickstarter project.

YOU ARE THE HERO - A History of Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks - achieved funding at 3.02pm GMT yesterday, Sunday 6 January. It had been a crazy, stressful month, during which it felt like I did very little other than promote and run my Kickstarter. And it probably felt like that for a lot of other people too. But at the end of the day, the project funded. All I have to do now is write the book!

Thank you to YOU if you pledged your support, or retweeted my messages, or blogged about the project, mentioned it on message boards, interviewed me, allowed me to guest post on your blog...

I learnt a lot from the experience - not all of it good* - and made new friend and contacts - which is always good!

  • The project ended up with 449 backers overall who pledged, on average, £47.71 - which was just under the VAMPIRE pledge level of £50.

  • Almost a third of the money raised came directly through people checking out Kickstarter.

  • A total of 2,278 people watched the Kickstarter video, which means that in the end, just under 20% of those people actually backed the project. (1,289 people also 'Liked' the project on Facebook.)

  • The three most profitable days (in decreasing order) were Day 1 (£1,971**), Day 3 (£1,579) and Day 25 (£1,536).

  • As predicted, the most popular pledge level was TROLL (£25 for a copy of the book) and second was CYCLOPS (£30 for a copy of the book but with a dedication in the acknowledgements).

  • 44 people backed at the MINOTAUR level (£100 for a copy of the book signed by Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone, as well as myself, and various other accessories).

  • A total of 10 fans will be interviewed for the book and five of them will be going for lunch with Steve, Ian and myself.

So what will happen now? Well after I've had a little lie down, I need to arrange further interviews and then get back to collating information for the book.

If you pledged but forgot to add post and packing, you can now do so via the Paypal button at the top of the sidebar on the right of the YOU ARE THE HERO blog here.

One question remains... Would I do it again?

Yes, I would!

In fact, I'm already planning my next Kickstarter, and have ideas for one or two I'd like to run after that. But don't worry, I'm going to leave you all in peace for a month or so... Well, a couple of weeks at least. ;-)



* I've never been accused of spamming before but I've made up for it now. More than once, too, unfortunately!

** Bizarrely (and entirely coincidentally I am sure) 1971 is the year I was born.

Thought for the Day

"A book burrows into your life in a very profound way because the experience of reading is not passive."

~ Erica Jong

Sunday, 6 January 2013

YOU ARE THE HERO has funded on Kickstarter!


As of about 30 minutes ago, YOU ARE THE HERO - A History of Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks, funded on Kickstarter!

I have to say I am delighted and thank you to everyone who pledged and gave their support in so many ways.

I will post again in more detail, but for now I think I'm just going to collapse in a heap somewhere and wait for my heartrate to return to normal.

But the best news is that YOU ARE THE HERO is definitely going to happen!

Now I just have to write the thing... ;-)

YOU ARE THE HERO - 6 Hours to go!


It's 9.00am GMT which means we've only got 6 hours to go until the YOU ARE THE HERO Kickstarter comes to an end.

We've also taken the bold move of announcing a second stretch goal of £23,000 and if we achieve it in time, every physical copy of YOU ARE THE HERO will be a hardback rather than a softback.

So please do all you can to push this project to the last, and help make YOU ARE THE HERO - A History of Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks - the magical artefact all of us want it to be!

Thank you.


Read about YOU ARE THE HERO on the Forbidden Planet International blog.

YOU ARE THE HERO on The Trollish Delver.

YOU ARE THE HERO on Kicktraq.

YOU ARE THE HERO on the Fighting Fantasy Project.

YOU ARE THE HERO on Titan - The Fighting Fantazine Blog.

YOU ARE THE HERO on RPG Kickstarters.