Saturday 31 December 2011

Looking Forward to 2012

It's only a few short hours away until it's 2012, which it something of a landmark year for various reasons.

First off it's 2000AD's 35th anniversary.

Secondly it's Fighting Fantasy's 30th anniversary.

And lastly, it'll be 20 years since I received my first commission as a writer!

The Chrismologist's A to Z of Christmas

In case you missed it over at, here's a summary of this year's A to Z of Christmas...

Friday 30 December 2011

Iron Hands - available now from the Black Library

I popped onto the Black Library website today, only to be confronted by this!

First published in 2004, Iron Hands - my second Warhammer 40,000 novel - is available again as part of the Black Library's Print on Demand range, for only £13.99. (You'll also find The Armageddon Omnibus there.)

So why not treat yourself to a late Christmas/early New Year present to make up for all those socks grandma gave you this year?

With Abaddon the Despoiler’s Thirteenth Black Crusade engulfing the galaxy, Iron-Father Gdolkin and his company are pulled away from the defence of Medusa to honour an ancient oath to the Adeptus Mechanicus. A trail of clues leads Gdolkin to a long-lost world, home to an ancient weapon that might turn the tide of war in the Imperium’s favour. But for Gdolkin, the quest is personal, as this mysterious planet might also contain the answer to the oldest mystery of the Iron Hands Chapter... the resting place of the Primarch Ferrus Manus.

Thursday 29 December 2011

Vote House of Fear Anthology of the Year

House of Fear (edited by Jonathan Oliver and published by Solaris Books) is up for Anthology of the Year over at the This is Horror Awards 2011.

Voting closes at 12:01am GMT on Friday 30 December 2011, so you've still got a few hours in which to vote. And while you're there, why not vote for Dead Air by Jasper Bark, for best Short Story Collection of the Year, and The Caretakers by Adrian Chamberlin, for Novel of the Year?

Thursday 22 December 2011

Rabid Fan Boy of the Spider God

Okay, so as you'll see when you read the full review yourself, Mr Edwin McRae isn't anybody's rabid fan boy, but it made for such a great post title I just couldn't resist.

However, quotes like, "If Temple of the Spider God doesn’t get your book allergic teen reading, then I’m struggling to see what will" and "On the narrative structure front (the ‘make or break’ ingredient of interactive game books) I was really impressed to see three almost completely independent pathways for our hero" have made me one happy chappy this morning.

You can read the full review of Temple of the Spider God over on The Fiction Engine here. In the mean time, you can also buy Temple of the Spider God for your loved ones this festive season here at a knockdown price!

Tuesday 20 December 2011

Nomination of the Spider God

So news now from the Tin Man...

148Apps are running their Best App Ever Awards for 2011, and Temple of the Spider God is up this year in the following categories: Best Dice Game, Best RPG Game and Best E-reader App. If you enjoyed Temple of the Spider God then please follow this link to nominate it.

Tin Man Games are also going to be at the UK Games Expo next year in Birmingham (May 25th-27th). You can find out more about this here.

And lastly, since it's Christmas (well, almost) all of Tin Man Games’ Gamebook Adventures titles are currently on sale for $2.99 each.

Sunday 18 December 2011

Thought for the Day

“Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children the dragons can be killed.”
~ G.K. Chesterson

Friday 16 December 2011

Pandemonium: Stories of the Smoke

Coming in spring of 2012, Pandemonium: Stories of the Smoke brings you London as you've never seen it before - science fiction and fantasy in the great tradition of Charles Dickens.

Submissions are currently open for Stories of the Smoke and will close on 31 December 2011. Click here for our guidelines.

Thursday 15 December 2011

Pax Britannia - 'Best Ongoing Series'

Over at The Eloquent Page, Pablo Cheesecake has posted his review of 2011, in which he lists his favourite novel for each month and a couple of other categories.

And whaddya know? Pax Britannia has taken the 'Best Ongoing Series' title! As I posted earlier on Facebook...

Happy. With. That.
'Best Ongoing Series'

Wednesday 14 December 2011

Steampunk by the coal scuttle-ful

Abaddon Books and its sister imprint Solaris Books are no strangers to steampunk. As you can see for yourself here.

Tuesday 13 December 2011

Red-Handed - the result!

Red-Handed, the first part of Pax Britannia: Time's Arrow, has been downloaded and read by... God knows how many people, who have, I'm pleased to say, loved it!

They've loved it so much that they've gone online in their droves and voted for how they want my latest Ulysses Quicksilver novel to continue.

Voting closed on Sunday. The votes have now been counted and verified and the result is... Well you'll just have to follow this link to find out!

Monday 12 December 2011

The Pax Britannia eBook 'Box' set

What do you get the eReader owner in your life, who doesn't already own the Pax Britannia novels in eBook form already? Why, the Pax Britannia eBook 'Box' set of course.

From now until the end of the December you can get 30% off the first three eBooks - Unnatural History, Leviathan Rising and Human Nature - when who purchase them together from the Sony Reader store.

Sunday 11 December 2011

Time's Arrow - Who Lives? Who Dies? YOU Decide!

Voting closes today to decide the fate of Ulysses Quicksilver in the latest Pax Britannia novel Time's Arrow.

Part 1 Red-Handed has been out for a couple of months now and fans have been reading of the British Agent of the Crown's latest exploits, then going online and voting for how they would like the story to continue in Part 2 Black Swan.

So if you've not yet voted, don't delay! Ulysses Quicksilver's fate lies in your hands!

Saturday 10 December 2011

Phobophobia launch at Forbidden Planet and the BFS Open Night

Why are book signings like London buses? Because you wait ages for one and then two come along at once.

So, having been to the Kitschies Steampunk Evening at Blackwell's on Charing Cross Road the night before, on Friday I found myself at Forbidden Planet (again) for the official launch of Dean M Drinkel's new horror anthology Phobophobia.

I arrived to find a pile of pre-orders needed signing and we then walked out to meet and greet horror fans at the event itself. The only thing that could have improved this was if we had walked out to Battle Without Honor or Humanity (from the Kill Bill soundtrack).

I was thrilled with how well-attended the signing was. We authors were kept busy well past 6.00pm (which is when the signing was supposed to end) but I was very jealous of Wayne Goodchild. It was his first book signing, so he now has an accurate record of how many books he's ever signed. How cool will that be when he gets to 1,000?

The signing gets underway.

The highlight for me was when Greg James (a.k.a. G R Yeates) passed me a book to sign 'To Doug'. I looked up and found Doug Bradley who played Pinhead in the Hellraiser movies staring back at me. Suddenly I was lost for words, and had to gather my thoughts again before writing a dedication in his copy of the anthology.

Doug 'Pinhead' Bradley, Yours Truly, Barbie 'Female Cenobite' Wilde.

Doug and Barbie in their more familiar guises in Hellraiser II.
(Please note, I do not appear in this photograph!)

After finishing up at Forbidden Planet, we headed over to the British Fantasy Society Open Night at the Mug House, Tooley Street, to join in the festivities there, whilst selling and signing more books. I always enjoy events like the BFS Open Night because there are just so many people there now that I know.

Anyway, to finish here's how things could have gone. This one's for Dean! Congratulations, sir!

Friday 9 December 2011

The Kitschies - A Steampunk Evening

On Thursday evening I was fortunate enough to be one of the guest authors at The Kitschies Steampunk Evening, held at Blackwell's bookshop on Charing Cross Road.

The Kitschies - promoting intelligent, progressive and entertaining genre literature.

The event was organised by Den Patrick, Jared Shurin and Anne Perry, and was sponsored by Kraken Rum - which, I have to say, is delicious!

Tom Pollock and China Mieville bump knuckles over a large pile of books.

The evening began with Den Patrick (in full steampunk gear) welcoming everyone to the event. Jared Shurin then took over, welcoming the guest authors, artists and other steampunk creators. Next up was Adam Roberts, author and professor of 19th century literature, waxing lyrical about the origins of the modern steampunk movement.

The Ulysses Quicksilver Omnibus and Anno Frankenstein alongside the other steampunk titles on sale at the evening.

One of the many nice touches that the organisers had arranged were name badges, with sub-titles inspired by the different authors' works. So, you could be a member of the Anti-Traction League from Philip Reeve's Mortal Engines series, a Brobdinagian from Adam Roberts' Swiftly, or even an Agent of the Crown, inspired by my own Ulysses Quicksilver Pax Britannia books.

(I heard a rumour that China Mieville was seen leaving with a copy of The Ulysses Quicksilver Omnibus in hand.)

Mark de Jager, James Long (of Orbit Books) and Den Patrick (steampunk facilitator).

Adam Roberts waxes lyrical.

The event was very well-attended!

The Steamies were out in force!

Jenni Hill (who edited Anno Frankenstein, and now of Orbit Books) displaying her own cephalopod companion.

Frances Hardinge, Philip Reeve and Yours Truly.

The steampunk creators encounter Plarchie the Squid.

The evening had many highlights for me - meeting Philip Reeve, chatting with China Mieville, catching up with my steampunk friends, catching up with the guys from Abaddon/Solaris - but one of the best was catching up with Alex Milway, who I had only actually met in person once before, four years ago, and yet who I've got to know much better online since.

Alex Milway and Gary Northfield.

Alex kindly gave me an embroidered badge inspired by his Mythical 9th Division books.

So all that remains for me to say is a huge thank you to Den, Jared, Anne, Blackwell's and last, but not least, Kraken Rum!

Black Library - Last Shipping Dates

Black Library have announced their last shipping dates before Christmas.

They're also offering free shipping on orders over £10. So if you're looking to buy a Loved One one of my Warhammer or Warhammer 40K novels or short stories for a bit of festive cheer, now is the perfect time to order. (You only need to order one of my Print on Demand titles to receive free shipping.) And of course there are eBooks too - which don't cost anything to post. Marvellous!

Here's the entirety of the JG catalogue currently available from Black Library.

Print on Demand titles
Daemonifuge (my comic strip Ephrael von Stern - Sister of Sigmar is reprinted within)

The Dead and the Damned (my first Warhammer 'novel')
Hammer & Bolter #9 (featuring my short story Sir Dagobert's Last Battle)
The Relic (Black Templars short story)
But Dust in the Wind (Imperial Fists short story)

Thursday 8 December 2011

Fans of the Spider God

Temple of the Spider God has been reviewed by G*M*S Magazine (who interviewed Neil Rennison and me at Dragonmeet at the end of November). And you know what? I think they like it.

The story is just fantastic, the writing is very appropriate, without being pedantic nor sloppy, provides with plenty of descriptions clear enough to help create a good visual reference in your mind of where you are and what’s happening. And it is a lot deeper than you expect too. It was only after the first time I rushed to the end, and the book begun to ask me if I had items I should have collected in the way, that I realised how much more to it there was. And I had to start again. With pleasure.

You can read the whole review here.

Neil and the other Tin Man, Ben Britten Smith, also appear in the latest GamePron interview here, during which I get a mention along side Judge Dredd!

A Steampunk Evening and the Phobophobia launch

Just a quick reminder to let you know that I shall be attending A Steampunk Evening, at Blackwell's Charring Cross alongside such luminaries as Kim Lakin-Smith, China Miéville, Philip Reeve, Adam Roberts, Lavie Tidhar and Plarchie the Squid this evening (Thursday 8 December).

And then tomorrow (Friday 9 December) you'll find me at the Forbidden Planet Megastore, and later at the British Fantasy Society open night at the Mug House, for the launch of Dean M Drinkel's Phobophobia horror anthology (published by Dark Continents).

Maybe I'll see you at one, or t'other... or both!

Am Writing...

Work continues apace on the latest project. Seen here is the author with his assistant/apprentice/researcher.

Wednesday 7 December 2011

On Books

“There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island.”
~ Walt Disney

Tuesday 6 December 2011

An Angry Update

From Angry Robot Books that is, or rather Marc Gascoigne. You can read an interview with my World Fantasy Award-winning former landlord here at Left Lion.

Small world, isn't it?

Monday 5 December 2011

Thought for the Day - The Goblins of Self-Doubt

'Writing is a joy. When it works. When you're in the zone. When you're not and those goblins of self-doubt are sitting on your shoulder, let's face it, it's pretty bloody horrible.'

~ Jonathan Oliver, author of the novels The Call of Kerberos and The Wrath of Kerberos.

Sunday 4 December 2011

The A to Z of Christmas

The A to Z of Christmas is now well underway over at Don't forget to check it out every day (of the working week) for the next update.

In the meantime, if you've not checked it out already, here's what you've missed so far.

Time's Arrow - one week to go!

That's right - voting closes next Sunday, 11 December, so you've only got a week in which to download Time's Arrow: Red-Handed and then vote for how you would like the story to continue in Time's Arrow: Black Swan.

And in case you're still wavering as to whether you should buy it for your Kindle (or other eReader of your choice), then here's another tasty snippet from early on in the adventure...

The thunderous hammering came again, the impatience and ire in the voice rising from below growing in intensity.
“This is your last chance! This is the police! Open the door or I’ll have it broken down!” There was a tremendous crash from somewhere at street level. The owner of the voice was making good on his promise.
Staggering to his feet Ulysses scoured the room for anything that might enable him to escape.
There were only two ways out of the garret room – through the door or through the window.
For the briefest moment Ulysses wondered whether he should simply open the door and wait for the gendarmes to find him, and then worry about trying to explain to them how he came to be there, alongside a dead body.
But then what was he thinking? Who was going to believe that he had travelled through space and time to end up here? And what would they make of the scorch-marks on the floorboards, let alone the corpse lying in a pool of its own congealing blood.
He took a step backwards and caught his reflection in the cracked glass above the wash bowl.
He was in a worse state than the room. He was still wearing the scruffy suit he had purloined from Castle Frankenstein. His right hand was wet with blood, as were the knees of his trousers. The eye-patch and a few days growth of stubble didn’t help either.
He no longer looked like the bachelor once voted ‘Best Dressed Man of the Decade’ by The Strand magazine. If he had been a French policeman and had walked into the attic and found a stranger looking like that – with a dead man’s blood on his hands and the victim lying next to him – he would have pronounced him guilty as soon as the next man.
Worst case? The gendarmes would shoot first and ask questions later.
He looked at the door, noticing the key in the lock for the first time. Stumbling over, he tried the handle.
The door was locked.

Saturday 3 December 2011

Writers on writing

Yes, it's time for another round-up of what other writers are saying about the process that gives them their raison d'être.

First up we've got James Swallow on how bad cover art can scupper sales of your magnum opus.*

Then we have William King on the distractions of the internet.

Next up is my editor Jonathan Oliver talking about the insecurities we all suffer as writers.

Rachel Aaron then feeds even more fuel into the fires of our insecurities with this blog post about how she went from writing 2,000 words a day to writing 10,000 words a day!

And to top it all we've got Matt Forbeck talking about the time he wrote a novel (91,000 words long) in two weeks!

Sheesh! The guy must be a machine!

I'll leave you with Rob Sanders on the subject of bad sex.**

* Note to self: really must put together a blog post on this subject myself some time.

** If I have the guts I'll produce a blog post on this myself... one day.

Friday 2 December 2011

73 is the magic number

Or rather star number. But I'm getting ahead of myself...

The things is, I've just noticed that this blog now has 73 followers. This is a good thing. For a long time it has had to make do with thirty or so, but recently the number of followers has shot up. (If this is because you* have linked to this blog or promoted it online elsewhere, then thank you. But back to the matter in hand.)

It's interesting that I've noticed this today is because 73 is a special number or, to give it its technical, mathematical name, a star number.

73 is also the 21st prime number. And of course the mirror of 73, is 37 - the 12th prime number. The number 21 has among its factors the number 7 and the number 3.

73 in binary, 1001001, is palindrome. In addition, of the 7 binary digits representing 73, there are 3 ones. Also, 37+12=49 (seven squared) and 73+21=94=47*2, 47+2 also being equal to seven squared.

It is also a sexy prime. No seriously.**

Do you think it's a coincidence that Sandi Tostvig and friends lived at No. 73?

Of course tomorrow this blog could have 74 followers, or more, and the days of star numbers and reversible primes will be but a happy memory...

* Yes, you.

** This should so be over on the Match Wits blog.

Thursday 1 December 2011

Gamebook Adventures on the G*M*S Magazine Podcast

As anybody who's dropped by the blog in the last week will know, last Saturday I attended Dragonmeet with Neil Rennison - the Tin Man's mortal minion - to promote Gamebook Adventures and Temple of the Spider God in particular.

Whilst we were there, we were both interviewed for the G*M*S Magazine Podcast which is now live over here. You can hear Neil and I talking between around 33 and 39 minutes (me for rather longer than I recalled doing so).

It's a great podcast all round and I'll definitely be checking out future editions.

SFX - The Full Interview

I was interviewed for SFX magazine back in October and the piece appeared last month in the latest issue, which I blogged about here.

However, what finally saw print was only a fraction of the entire interview, which has now been posted on

If you point your mouse here and click this link, you can read it in its entirety. As well as Pax Britannia, I talk about every from my newest gamebook Temple of the Spider God, to Fighting Fantasy and Warhammer 40K.

Time's Arrow - 10 days to go

There's only ten days to go now (or possibly less by the time you read this) before the polls close and I start writing Part 2 of Pax Britannia: Time's Arrow - a.k.a. Black Swan - based on how the public voted they would like the story to continue.

So, if you're yet to download Part 1, Red-Handed, he's a little taster to help you take that final step to making a purchase.

Gasping for breath, Ulysses took a moment to wipe away the moisture that had collected in the hollow behind his eye-patch.
And that was when he saw it.
It was emerging from the fourth floor window of a building at the end of the shadowed cul-de-sac. Eight feet tall, with arms like great sides of beef covered in thick black hair, it swung from the open window with startling grace and agility, launching itself towards the rungs of a fire escape another floor up, and reaching it with ease. From there the beast swung itself up onto the roof.
The massive ape landed not ten feet from him, its sledgehammer fists sending clouds of dust rising.
Ulysses froze.
The beast snorted and then its beady black stare fell on the exhausted, injured man, the atmosphere thickening between them. Ulysses’ heart thumped against the cage of his ribs, the bullet wound pulsing in unkind sympathy.
So palpable was the tension, he could feel it crackling from the beast and setting his hairs on end, like static electricity.

Follow this link to purchase your own copy of Red-Handed. Then, once you've read it, go here to vote for how you think Time's Arrow should continue.

Tuesday 29 November 2011

Dragonmeet - The Aftermath

A few photos are starting to appear online now, podcasts are going live and others are blogging about their experiences of this year's Dragonmeet.

The Official Fighting Fantasy Website has a piece on the front page, in which the Warlock name-checks me. There is a link to a recording of James Wallis's interview with Ian Livingstone, in which I also get name-checked (and you can actually hear me at about 55:30).

And Sarah Newton's posted some photos of our panel here. (Just don't ask why I appear to be crooning and whistling!)