"The modern master of the gamebook format" (Rob Sanders)... "Can do dark very well" (Jonathan Oliver)... "Green gets mileage out of his monsters" (SFX Magazine)... "It takes a firm editorial hand and a keen understanding of the tone of each piece to make a collection this diverse work, and Green makes it look effortless" (Starburst Magazine)
Today, Saturday 23rd April 2016, marks the 400th anniversary of the death of the English language's greatest ever playwright, William Shakespeare.
His impact on the English language, and indeed on our very culture (never mind tourism and the economy), is incalculable. For example, did you know that the Bard has been credited with introducing some 3,000 words into the English language? Or that at 27 letters 'honorificabilitudinitatibus' is the longest word in any of Shakespeare's works and is the longest word in the English language with alternating consonants and vowels? (It appears in Love's Labours Lost and means 'the state of being able to achieve honours'.) And did you know that Hamlet(Shakespeare’s longest play which, uncut, would take between 4 and 5 hours to perform, with the death-obsessed Prince of Denmark himself having the most lines of any character in Shakespeare, with 1530 in total) is the most widely performed play in the world? It is estimated that it is being performed somewhere every single minute of every day.
From a very personal point of view, Shakespeare has had been a massive influence on my own work - and that was before I came up with the concept of Shakespeare Vs Cthulhu.
Like many people, I first encountered Shakespeare whilst at school, reading Lamb's Tales From Shakespeare before studying plays such as Macbeth, The Tempest and Hamlet for GCSE and A-level. Later I went to university in Shakespeare's own county of Warwickshire.
My very first published book, the Fighting Fantasy adventure Spellbreaker, was heavily influenced by Macbeth, making, as it does, witches the main focus of the story. (The Bedlam Hags in particular are my take on Macbeth's Weird Sisters.)
My second book, Knights of Doom, used the driven war-hero-who-would-be-king, his fiend-like queen, and their castle home. There's even a very unsubtle reference to Banquo's ghost, in the form of Sir Connor of Achenbury.
Bloodbones (which is now available as an app from Tin Man Games, with its own soundtrack and everything!) was inspired, in part, by The Tempest, and features encounters with a monster called Balinac as well as a wizard's cell on a secluded, semi-magical island.
Night of the Necromancerdrew heavily on both Hamlet and Macbeth for inspiration, the castle you explore during the adventure being name Valsinore, and includes an encounter with your own ghostly father.
So tonight I'll be raising a glass to the Bard of Stratford whilst also battling with the running order of Shakespeare Vs Cthulhu.