Thursday, 19 July 2018

Steampunk Thursday: Alice's Nightmare in the Czech Republic and Steampunk International in Finnish

Pictured are two of the most recent foreign editions of my work.

The one on the left is the Czech edition of Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland, and the one on the right is the Finnish edition of Steampunk International which features my new Pax Britannia short story Reckless Engineering.

They join the German translations of my Pax Britannia novels. So what will be next?

Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Steampunk International: Reckless Engineering

Available now from Newcon Press is Steampunk International, an anthology of new steampunk stories from Finland, Portugal and the UK.

My contribution is entitled Reckless Engineering, and is the first story to move the Pax Britannia timeline forward properly since 2012's Time's Arrow.

Following a break-in at the top secret Whitehall facility known as 'Think Tank', agent of the crown Ulysses Quicksilver and his trusty manservant Nimrod set off in pursuit of the perpetrator. It is a chase that will take them from the railway sheds of London to the dockyards of Bristol, and an encounter with a long-dead engineering genius.

The book is, of course, also available in Finnish and Portuguese language editions.


Monday, 16 July 2018

Friday, 13 July 2018

Gamebook Friday: Alice's Day 2018

Last Saturday, I visited Oxford to join in with the Alice's Day celebrations.

For anyone who doesn't already know, Alice's Day commemorates and celebrates the first time Lewis Carroll told the tale that would eventually become that classic of children's literature, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Museums, shops and libraries all over the city hold workshops, host lectures, and arrange unique displays, in a joint venture organised by The Story Museum and The Lewis Carroll Society.

I was intrigued to see what went on during Alice's Day, and also to see if my own take on Carroll's classic might have a place within future events. So you can imagine my delight when I visited Alice's Shop to find that they already had Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland in stock!

I dutifully signed the copies they had there, and posed for photos with the staff, before heading off to Christ Church College, where Lewis Carroll taught mathematics, in the guise of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson.

You can see more photos from my Alice's Day in Oxford here, and you can pick up a copy of Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland here.

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

YOU ARE THE HERO Part 2 - Summer Sale!

I have a few hardback copies of YOU ARE THE HERO Part 2 left. If you would like a signed copy, drop me a line at

It costs £40 for a signed hardback, and that includes post and packing within the UK. (Packages going abroad will need a little extra postage paying for.)

Monday, 9 July 2018

Thought for the Day

"There should be a circle of hell for writers' in-jokes."

~ Dave Morris, gamebook author

Saturday, 7 July 2018


Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of the legendary literary phenomenon Sherlock Holmes, died 88 years ago today. The reason I mention this is because he also wrote The Lost World, in which Professor George Challenger and his companions discover dinosaurs (and other supposedly extinct creatures) alive and well on top of a mesa in the Amazon basin of South America.

I have spent the last few weeks editing NEVERLAND - Here Be Monsters! And while it is clearing inspired by J. M. Barrie's Peter Pan, the gamebook is as much influenced by Conan Doyle's The Lost World. During the course of the adventure, you can explore much of the Skull Island-esque Neverland, which has called for me producing a map of the place.

Just like the adventure itself, there's still a fair bit to do before it's finished, but I've really enjoyed indulging my inner cartographer again after so many years.

To get an idea of what it is like on an island lost in time, inhabited by all manner of prehistoric beasts that want to kill you (or kill you and eat you), you can now play through Tiger Lily's introduction to the adventure, which also contains another Conan Doyle reference, by downloading the extract here.

Friday, 6 July 2018

Riddle of the Runes Unleashing

I was fortunate to be among the guests who attended the launch of Dr Janina Ramirez's first* children's book, Riddle of the Runes, at Hatchards on Piccadilly last night.

When I arrived, I climbed flight after flight of stairs, following the sound of much merriment and excitement, to the top floor, where I was welcomed by the team from Oxford University Press with a glass of something cold and sparkling, which was nice.**

As well as Dr J, her family, friends and colleagues, others in attendance included Professor Kate Williams, Helen Czerski, Bettany Hughes, and Neil Gaiman, who literally popped in a minute.***

Following speeches by Liz Cross, Head of Children's Publishing at Oxford University Press, and the author herself...

Janina then spent the rest of her time sat behind a desk, signing books...

And patiently posing for photos, like this one...

Achievement unlocked: Dr Janina Ramirez calls you a legend.****

I was interested to learn that writing fiction is what Janina has always wanted to do, and was the reason she studied English Literature at Oxford. Everything else that has happened since, including her medievalist history and art history studies - not to mention her broadcasting career! - were simply a deviation from her original plan. But now she's back on track and celebrating being a bestselling children's author.

Then it was off to the pub for more merriment and lots of chat.

Much as I am enjoying Riddle of the Runes, and as thrilled as my own shield maiden is to have received her own signed copy, those of you who are still patiently awaiting Beowulf Beastslayer will no doubt be as intrigued as I am about Janina's next book, due out next March.

* Of many, I am sure!

** Not to mention most welcome. It was very hot.

*** How rock and roll is that?

**** Which is right up there with the time Charlie Higson publicly called me one of the world's leading experts in the gamebook genre.

Gamebook Friday: Tiger Lily, Heroic Hunter

As I said on Facebook at the weekend, the character who has undergone the biggest reinvention in NEVERLAND - Here Be Monsters! is Tiger Lily.

In the adventure, she is a heroic hunter, aspiring to join the warrior cadre of the Accala tribe. She rides a Sabretooth called Fang, and is deadly with her spear and tomahawk.

She's also the only starting character who can take on dinosaurs, and you can read her opening to the adventure by clicking on the image below.


Thursday, 5 July 2018

Steampunk Thursday: Steampunk International/Internacional

There's not to go now until Steampunk International is published here in the UK, and this week, editor Ian Whates posted some photos of the books which have indeed now been printed.

However, both the Finnish and Portuguese editions are already available to buy! I have an order in for the Finnish one myself, as I have never had anything of mine published in Finland before.

Steampunk International officially goes on sale on 17th July and features the brand new Ulysses Quicksilver short story Reckless Engineering.

Monday, 2 July 2018

Thought for the Day

"There always has to be a lapse of time after the accomplishment of a piece of creative work before you can in any way evaluate it."

~ Agatha Christie

Monday, 25 June 2018

Thought for the Day

"Good advice is always certain to be ignored, but that's no reason not to give it."

~ Agatha Christie

Friday, 22 June 2018

Gamebook Friday: Wendy Darling, Shipwreck Survivor

I am well into editing NEVERLAND - Here Be Monsters! now and thought you might like to have a sneak peek at one of the four different openings of the adventure - that of shipwreck survivor Wendy Darling.

Click on the first page of the extract below, and you will be taken to a web-page where you can download the first 16 sections of the adventure. Please note that these are obviously not muddled up yet, and haven't been proof-read either, but the extract should give you an idea of what to expect when the entire adventure is finished and fully edited.


Click the image above to download the extract.

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

It's 43 years since you thought it safe to go back into the water

43 years ago today, Jaws was released upon unsuspecting cinema-goers for the first time!

Which means that 3 years ago, this happened.

SHARKPUNK - an anthology of killer shark stories - is still available from Snowbooks in both pulped tree format and as one of those new-fangled electronic books. You can even listen to it in the bath or in the car!

Come on in. The water's fine....

You've gotta love that original Simon Coleby cover!

Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Space Invaders turns 40

Space Invaders has turned 40. Possibly the most iconic arcade game of all time, it was first released in 1978, and in the years since has gone on to influence the entirety of culture. Its consequences have been felt not only in games, but across various media, including speculative fiction.

It was certainly an influence on the creation of the short story anthology GAME OVER that I edited, and that came out in 2015, even if no-one actually wrote a story about an alien invasion for the book.

GAME OVER is still available in both processed tree carcass format and as a collection of zeroes and ones, and can be purchased here.

Saturday, 16 June 2018

Free RPG Day 2018

Saturday 16th June 2018 is Free RPG Day, and as a special treat to all you role-players out there, Snowbooks are offering a FREE eBook edition of either of my ACE Gamebooks, Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland or The Wicked Wizard of Oz.

All you have to do to receive yours is email today!


Friday, 15 June 2018

Steampunk International is available to pre-order on Kindle

You may have seen my post about Steampunk International last month. Well, if you prefer your reading material as a series of zeroes and ones, rather than in the more traditional processed tree carcass format, you will be pleased to hear that the anthology is now available to pre-order on Kindle here.

Steampunk International officially goes on sale on 17th July and features a brand new Ulysses Quicksilver short story entitled Reckless Engineering.

Don't forget that the previous Pax Britannia short story Worthless Remains features in Clockwork Cairo, which is also available for your Kindle.

Friday, 8 June 2018

Gamebook Friday: ACE Gamebooks at the UK Games Expo

Last weekend, I spent a very rewarding three days at the UK Games Expo.

I first attended the convention when it was held at the Clarendon Suites in Edgbaston, and its incredible to consider what Tony Hyams and Richard Denning have achieved, when you think that this year the Expo took over both Hall 1 and Hall 2 of the NEC as well as the Hilton hotel.

I was based in Hall 2, along with Ian Livingstone, and I had a fine array of Snowbooks-published books to sell, including my YOU ARE THE HERO histories and the ACE Gamebooks Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland and The Wicked Wizard of Oz.

I had a great time meeting Facebook friends, Kickstarter backers, and John Robertson of The Dark Room fame. I even caught up with an old university friend who I'd not seen in 22 years, as well as fellow author and editor George Mann and ace artist, and former collaborator, Ralph Horsley.

The Wicked Wizard of Oz was very well received, and plenty of people were still keen to pick up a copy of Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland as well.

The UK Games Expo is one of my favourite conventions and I'll already looking forward to next year's event, as well as planning what I'm going to take with me, which will definitely include NEVERLAND - Here Be Monsters!