Thursday 26 May 2011

An artist's lot is not a happy one

Here's D'israeli of 2000AD fame (a.k.a. Matt Brooker) struggling to complete a piece of overdue artwork.

Citadel Finecast

Don't know if you've seen any of the promotional stuff from Games Workshop (and murmurs of discontent from certain corners of fandom) regarding the new range of Citadel Finecast miniatures, but I was rather thrilled to see that the first image on the webpage dedicated to the subject features a Black Templars Emperor's Champion. And not just any Black Templars Emperor's Champion.

This is the very miniature that inspired the character of Brother Ansgar who appeared in the first two volumes of my unfinished Armageddon trilogy.

So there you go.

Gamebook Adventures continue to gather more fans

It's only a matter of months now until my Gamebook Adventure Temple of the Spider God is released for your iDevice of choice, but all the attention at the moment is on GA5: Catacombs of the Undercity and GA6: The Wizard from Tarnath Tor - and quite rightly so, as both are garnering great reviews.

In fact you can read one here at GeekDad concerning Wizard, and one here at Digitally Downloaded for Catacombs.

Graham McNeill on writing novels... once again

Graham's been reviewed over at Civilian Reader about his recent releases, forthcoming novels and writerly working practices in general. And it makes for very interesting reading too.

To read the interview for yourself, follow this link.

Wednesday 25 May 2011

Fighting Fantasy at the UK Games Expo

The hotel's booked, the necessary weekend pass has been negotiated, so I can now confirm that I shall be attending this year's UK Games Expo in Birmingham (over the weekend of 4-5 June) helping Graham Bottley of Arion Games promote the Fighting Fantasy brand.

Graham will be there to talk about (and sell) the newly revised edition of the Advanced Fighting Fantasy RPG and between us we'll also have some Fighting Fantasy books to sell. So, if you want to see why people have been raving about the new AFF RPG, or you want to replace your dog-eared copies of Titan and Out of the Pit, or you want me to deface a book for you with my signature, or you just want to chat about the Good Old Days, then why not drop by on Saturday or Sunday and say "Hi!"

Maybe I'll see you there. Until then...

Sunday 22 May 2011

Dan Abnett on his writing routine

Another interview with Dan Abnett (recorded at Adepticon) but the reason I flag this one up is because of what Dan has to say about his writing routine from about 30 minutes in and onwards. Wise words indeed. It's why, when I'm writing a novel, I aim to write a chapter today, but what that actually means is I start a new chapter after lunch and finish it the following morning, thus keeping the momentum going.

China Miéville speaking at the British Library

M is for Monster but H is for House of Fear

When I was a young, aspiring writer, I never seriously considered becoming a horror writer. And yet, last week I sent my story for the House of Fear anthology to Jon Oliver at Solaris and am this week writing another horror story for a new short story collection about phobias. And then, of course, last year my explicit tale of horror Incubus appeared in M is for Monster.

Well, M is for Monster is available for sale again here and I'll sign every copy purchased. And if you need persuading, here's a review of my short story that appears in the collection:

Erotic with a seductively blasphemous undertone from the very outset, Green's sexually charged short throbs with a thick and somewhat unsettling tone of darkness... What gradually transpires is a powerfully unnerving tale of horror, with many unspoken questions left unanswered, creating an altogether more powerful tale. Certainly one of the most atmospheric and unsettling tales in the anthology - and for that, possibly one of the best additions.

But back to the subject of my short story for House of Fear (released in the UK and US this October by Solaris Books). It's called The Doll's House and is my take on the traditional haunted house tale. In it I set out to make a story set in a nondescript Edwardian terrace on a bright sunny day as unsettling as anything set at the witching hour on Halloween. My editor made very few changes and the only alteration I had to make was to add one word. This is almost unheard of, and I like to think it bodes well for how the story's going to be received elsewhere.

That said, it's not a nice story. Not at all. Here's what my editor wrote in his email after reading the story for himself for the first time. "Ooh, that's a right nasty little shocker." And from an editor inured to the ways of horror, that's got to be recommendation enough.

Dan Abnett at Adepticon

The guys at RHQ-TV recorded a great interview with Dan Abnett earlier this year at Adepticon. And you can watch it for yourself here...

The Infernal Device

Friday 20 May 2011

Anno Frankenstein - review round-up

It's been out just over a week, but there are already some great reviews of Anno Frankenstein coming in from the Bloggersphere.

So first up today is this review by Theresa Derwin of (You can read the whole thing here.)

Anno Frankenstein is my first outing with Quicksilver. But it certainly won’t be my last. This book is a rip roaring adventure that blatantly wears its Geek and Genre loving heart on its sleeve... this is the book that the film ‘The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen’ should have been.

And secondly, here's what Pablo Cheesecake of The Eloquent Page has to say about the book.

Ulysses Quicksilver vs The Third Reich!

I always hope that a Ulysses Quicksilver novel will be a frenetic action packed affair. The good news is that this latest chapter certainly delivers. There are chases and fights galore all wrapped up in the outlandish sights and sounds of the Pax Britannia universe. From the outset we have everything from zeppelin chases, Russian vampires agents, philosophical lab made men to steam-powered robot pachyderms...

I have to admit that I am always a little wary of the use of time travel in novels as I think there is a potential to lose track of the plot if things get over complicated. Fortunately, in this case everything is kept nice and simple and the events in this novel fit seamlessly into the existing time line created in previous installments...

Green's enthusiasm for the subject matter is evident on every page, you can tell that he has a blast writing these novels...

(You can read this review in full here.)

And then of course, there was this one by Falcata Times' Gareth Wilson.

You can pick up your own copy of Anno Frankenstein here. And once you've read it, why not write your own review and send it to me at

Thursday 19 May 2011

The Behemoth from Bloodbones

Ace artist Tony Hough's been at it with Photoshop again, this time colouring the Behemoth from my fourth Fighting Fantasy gamebook Bloodbones.

I always loved this particular image. I imagined this sea monster as looking like something drawn in the ocean of some Renaissance map of the world and Tony got the look spot on with his design - and the crow's nest and splintered mast stuck between the leviathan's teeth finished it off nicely.

You can see more of Tony's coloured Bloodbones images here, and don't forget you can buy his artbook Fragments here.

Blood Royal - another cracking review!

David Drage of Pulp Zen! (and formerly of Dial P for Pulp!) has been in touch to let me know that he's finally got round to reading and reviewing Pax Britannia: Blood Royal. And what a great review it is too!

In fact, he's clearly been so inspired and enthused by the book that he's already started on Pax Britannia: Dark Side with Pax Britannia: Anno Frankenstein to come after that.

Anyway, here are just a few choice morsels from the fine banquet that is his review, which you can read in full here.

This book was one of the most gripping and fun reads I have had in a long time...

There are plots within plots and no-one gives anyone the full story until the very end...

The set piece battle around the “Transylvanian” castle is just wonderful (the most fun I’ve had while commuting for a long time – I usually read while travelling to work)...

Fine praise indeed, I'm sure you'll agree.

The Wizard from Tarnath Tor

Tin Man Games' sixth Gamebook Adventures app is available now for your favourite iDevice. And just to whet your appetite, here's a trailer for the new app...

Wednesday 18 May 2011

The Role of Fiction

"Fiction is to the grown man what play is to the child."
~ Robert Louis Stevenson ~

Tuesday 17 May 2011

Anno Frankenstein - the first review!

It's officially been out less than a week, but the first review of Anno Frankenstein is already up on Amazon. And a very pleasing review it is too.

One of Abaddon's most inventive series out there is the Pax Britannia and no one does it so well as main author Jonathan Green. You get Steampunk, you get a dandy Flashman like hero and above all else you get a series with a story arc that is not only exciting but one that you just can't put down...

As usual with the author the prose is neat and snappy, the characters a lot of fun to hang around and above all else the dialogue and tips of the hat to modern interpretations alongside other Steampunk outings make this series what it is.

So thanks to Gareth Wilson of Falcata Times for another great review and follow this link to read the rest of it for yourself.

Anno Frankenstein - in the Coventry Telegraph

My new Pax Britannia novel Anno Frankenstein has been getting a fair bit of coverage since its release last week (as well as before) but I was pleased and surprised to find a link to the Coventry Telegraph blog promoting the book.

To find out more, click this link.

Monday 16 May 2011

Mission: Games Workshop - Winchester

So, this weekend, quite by chance I found myself in Winchester. Making the most of this unlikely turn of events I popped into the local Games Workshop store and introduced myself to Adam, the very friendly and enthusiastic manager.

I am about to commence re-writes on a brand new Warhammer tale I've written for Hammer & Bolter, and one of the models in the shop's display cabinet was of something that appears in the story. It was even the right colour. However, to find out exactly what it was you'll have to wait until Sir Dagobert's Last Battle is released at some point in the future.

Friday 13 May 2011

Writers on writing

Because you love 'em, here are some more links to writers talking (and writing) about writing.

1) Aaron Dembski-Bowden talks about writing for the Black Library.

5) Here's a rare interview with ace 2000AD letterers Ellie de Ville and Annie Parkhouse.

6) Legendary Warhammer author Bill King talks about returning to the Black Library fold.

7) Gav Thorpe on the problem of maintaining momentum in writing (something I know about all too well).

Thursday 12 May 2011

Anno Frankenstein - It's alive!

Author Jonathan Green gets a little over excited on learning that Anno Frankenstein is published today.

Wednesday 11 May 2011

Anno Frankenstein - 1 day to go

There's only one day to go before the release of Pax Britannia: Anno Frankenstein, so there's just time for one more exclusive extract...

* * * *

The muffled pistol shot made Henry Jekyll start.

For a split second he was in another place, another time, the sound of a pistol shot echoing through his mind, accompanied by knowledge that he had been pointing the gun at himself. And then it was gone again.

Jekyll grasped the arms of the chair to which he had been chained, knuckles whitening as he tugged at the wood, biting his lip against the pain as the metal cuffs bit into the sparse flesh of his wrists.

His pulse leapt, his mind awash with questions. Who had fired the gun? Who had been shot? Was this the first sign of a rescue attempt? Or was it the first execution?

He cursed the moment Hercules Quicksilver had ever taken him from the facility in Edinburgh.

He pulled frantically at the chains securing him again, blinking tears of fear from his eyes as a whimper of desperation escaped his lips. If only…

No! He stopped himself with a thought; he couldn’t allow himself to think like that. After all, as he knew all too well, that way madness lay.

The sudden bang of the basement door opening made him start all over again.

Standing in the open doorway was the crow-like silhouette of the man who had had Jekyll and the unconscious Quicksilver brought here; the one the soldiers had addressed as Herr Kaufman.

“So.” Kaufman peered at Jekyll through his glasses with a hungry, hawkish stare. “Doctor Jekyll, wasn’t it?”

The man’s English was good but spoken with an unmistakeable guttural accent.

Jekyll made another feeble attempt to free himself from his bonds.

“Planning on going somewhere?” the German mocked him, pulling up another chair and sitting down.

“I warn you,” Jekyll said, his breathing fast and shallow, his heart pounding in fear now, “you don’t want to make me angry.” His warning had sounded less assured than he might have hoped.

“Angry?” Kaufman said, his bloodless lips stretching into a thin smile. “You’re not angry, doctor. You’re terrified. I can almost smell your fear, or have you just soiled yourself?”

The slap came out of nowhere. Jekyll reeled from the blow, shocked into inaction.

“How are you feeling now?” Kaufman asked and hit him again. And again.

“How about now?”

A fourth time.

A fifth.

The agent opened his mouth, ready with another goading comment, but then hesitated, brows knitting, as he thought he caught a flash of green fire in the black pits of the doctor’s pupils. It seemed to Kaufman that the temperature in the cellar had suddenly dropped and there was a frisson of some untold power in the air.

When Jekyll spoke again his voice was like steel and had dropped an octave.

“You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry,” he growled as emerald lighting crackled across his eyeballs.

* * * *

Don't forget, you can order your copy of Pax Britannia: Anno Frankenstein here.

Tuesday 10 May 2011

Anno Frankenstein - 2 days to go

There are only two days to go until Anno Frankenstein is unleashed upon the world, so why not decorate your desktop with one of these fantastic free Anno Frankenstein wallpapers produced by Abaddon Books. They've been put together by Pye Parr, who created the Vitruvian Frankenstein that appears inside the book.

As David Moore of Abaddon's editorial team says, "Do you know what the problem is with the current desktop on your PC? It's not an Abaddon Books PAX BRITANNIA: ANNO FRANKENSTEIN "Vitruvian Frankenstein" Parchment Wallpaper desktop, that's what! So sort it out!"

And you can do just that here!

Monday 9 May 2011

2000AD Prog #1733

My subscriber copy of 2000AD Prog #1733 arrived this morning, bearing the following ad on the back...

There's really not long to go now!

Anno Frankenstein - 3 days to go

Today I'm proud to present another exclusive extract from Pax Britannia: Anno Frankenstein. Enjoy!

* * * *

“How far now?” Hercules Quicksilver asked the pilot as he stared out of the glass cockpit at the front of the dirigible’s gondola.

“Eight miles, sir,” the young woman at the flight controls replied, peering resolutely ahead through her tinted goggles at the lightening landscape below.

“Dawn’s here. Damn!” Hercules cursed.

The plan had been to come in over the drop site just before dawn, using the twilight to mask their arrival. Travelling on board a purloined Nazi airship would only get them so far. Up close, chances were that they would soon be found out.

Hercules adjusted the officer’s jacket he was wearing. It felt strange to be got up like one of the enemy. As an agent of the crown, he didn’t often find himself in uniform. The stiff jacket, the iron eagle pin and the swastika-emblazoned armband lent him an unmistakeable feeling of efficiency and authority. He wondered if it had the same effect on the German military personnel, and supposed it did.

The problem was that the wind had been against them as they crossed the Eifel range. Then they had run into a squall that had forced them off course and added precious minutes to their journey time.

He turned his attention from his jackboots and the stiff, grey-coloured cap in his hands to the steadily brightening view beyond the cockpit once more.

“What’s that?” he asked, leaning forward to get a better look at the jagged shadow looming ahead of them on the horizon.

“Er, we have incoming, sir,” the pilot suddenly announced, her voice loud over the drone of the aero-engines.

Hercules followed her gaze out of the glass bubble of the cockpit. A flock of black shapes, eight in all, were rising from the still-dark turrets of a crumbling castle, anonymous silhouettes against the salmon pink sky.

“But they’re only birds,” Hercules said.

The flapping forms immediately began to move towards them. As the gondola and the flock closed on one another, however, he could see that they were very large birds and even caught the glint of sunlight on their machined parts.

“With all due respect, sir, they’re not just birds. They’re weaponised cyber-eagles. We’ve been found out.”

“Damn!” Hercules cursed.

“Your orders, sir?” the pilot said desperately, hands on the zeppelin’s control levers, body tensed, ready for action.

Hercules watched as the cyber-eagles continued to close on the airship with a ruthless, unnatural determination. “Evasive action – now!”

The pilot pulled back on a control lever. The pitch of the port-side aero-engine dropped perceptibly and the airship rolled sideways.

The approaching birds wheeled and turned in response, matching the manoeuvre.

The pilot pushed forward on another lever and the nose of the airship dipped sharply towards the indiscernible trees, hills and structures that were just shadows against the still-dark ground below. Hercules grabbed hold of a railing and hung on, bracing his legs.

With a screeching cry that could be heard even over the scream of the engines, as they were pushed to their utmost limit, the eagles turned again – and struck.

Folding back their wings, the cyber-eagles dived at the dirigible. And then, as they came within reach of the reinforced aluminium and canvas outer skin, they spread wide their wings again, the feathered pinions acting as natural air-brakes, swinging their talons forward as they did so. Brass-tipped points as sharp as surgical instruments tore at the thinly-armoured surface of the zeppelin. Stabbing steel beaks puncturing the sheet steel as the birds’ dreadful claws ripped their way through, like the savage Stymphalian birds of myth.

Impotent inside the gondola slung beneath the massive gas balloon, there was nothing Hercules could do but hang on for dear life as the cabin began to tilt along its horizontal axis. They were going down.

There was only one thing for it now.

Clinging onto whatever handholds he could find, Hercules began drag himself back up through the cabin. Secure in its cradle at the rear of the gondola, the large, coffin-like cryogenic pod rattled and jolted as the pilot jinked the craft left and right in an attempt to counter the effects of the eagles’ assault.

The pod hummed, drawing power from a coupling with the airship’s own steam-furnace to ensure its occupant remained on ice. Beneath the ice-frosted glass panel in the front of the capsule Dr Henry Jekyll slept, while all about him was chaos and confusion.

The pod’s thermostatic controls were sunk into a recess on its hinged edge. It wasn’t hard to work out how to activate them. At Hercules’ interference, cryogenic gas began to vent through an outlet in the side of the pod, filling the cabin with ethereal vapour.

“Sir, what do you think you’re doing?” the pilot called back, a look of horror on her fine-as-porcelain features.

“You just worry about getting us down in one piece!” Hercules shouted back.

The airship lurched again, Hercules losing his grip on the slippery, frost-rimed capsule. The angry screeching of their avian attackers rang through the gondola again as the pilot physically fought to keep control of the craft.

Exerting himself, Hercules grabbed hold of a frozen length of piping, wincing as the cold of the metal burnt the soft flesh of his palm, and set to work on the pod’s control panel again regardless.

The regular ping of a chime sounded from somewhere inside the pod and the needles on the ice-rimed dials at the side of the device began to move, detecting a change of temperature within.

“Sir!” the pilot shouted. “Our orders were to deliver the package to the target before defrosting.”

“And if I don’t defrost the good doctor now, and we crash, he may well die!” Hercules bellowed back over the protestations of the airship’s engines.

With a depressurising pop, the container’s seal was broken and the lid levered upwards, automatic systems opening the front of the coffin-like chamber. There lay the slight form of Dr Henry Jekyll, his naked skin prickled with ice crystals.

He looked dead. Hercules studied the body critically for a moment. Had he indeed been too hasty? Rather than revive the doctor, had he in fact killed him?

A wisp of icy-mist suddenly escaped the man’s motionless lips and Hercules saw his chest rise and fall, almost imperceptibly.

He let out his own pent-up breath in a relieved sigh. Doctor Jekyll was alive! Now Hercules just had to keep him that way.

The cabin rocked again and this time, for a split second, Hercules’ stomach leapt into his mouth, as if he had gone into free-fall. The portside engine spluttered and suddenly died.

“We’re going down, sir!” the pilot cried.

“Tell me something I don’t know,” Hercules muttered.

The zeppelin had gone into an uncontrollable spin, the centrifugal force created by the one remaining over-compensating engine whirling the dirigible around with frightening force.

Jekyll still lay motionless in the coffin-like cryogenic pod.

“We have to bail out while we still can, sir!”

Suddenly abandoning the controls, she ran for the exit hatch, only hesitating to pull on one of the two parachutes that hung from hooks beside the cabin door.

Clipping the pack tight across her chest, the pilot opened the door. Wind howled into the gondola, louder than the scream of the starboard engine.

Hercules looked from the pilot and the crashing cabin door to Jekyll’s still half-frozen form. He didn’t have time to wait for the thaw to finish.

Reaching into the pod he tried to move the ice-stiff body but it wouldn’t budge. The doctor’s limbs were locked and there was nothing Hercules could do to manoeuvre the man out of the restraints in which he was secured, other than to break all four of his limbs.

“Come on, sir! There isn’t time, and the parachute won’t take the weight of two!”

It might, Hercules thought, but there was no way he could manhandle Jekyll as things stood. Despite his selfless actions, it had all been for naught. The zeppelin was going down and all he could do was try to save himself and then, if he managed that, try to come up with an alternative strategy once he was safely on the ground.

No! That was unacceptable. There had to be another way.

“Stop!” he shouted after the pilot. “There must be a way we can land this thing!” But it was no good; the pilot had made her decision.

His curses carried away by the wind howling through the cockpit, whipping the ethereal nitrogen mist away with it, Hercules scrambled for the door as the pilot disappeared through the hatch, arms and legs splayed, ready to be caught by the wind and pulled clear of the whirling vessel, the parachute ripcord clenched tightly in one hand.

The airship continued to spin, the note of the whirling engine rising in pitch with every dizzying rotation. Hercules had no idea how high up they were, or how close to the ground, only that every second counted.

Pulling on the parachute pack, his cold-numbed hands struggling to buckle the harness across his chest, he struggled against the tilting, dizzying flight of the zeppelin, trying to make his way back to the pilot’s position. Surely he could do something to land this thing.

The craft lurched violently, and suddenly Hercules was no longer in contact with the floor. He tumbled backwards unable to stop himself and then suddenly there was the exit hatch behind him. As he fell through it, he eyes fell on the cryo-pod in time to see the doctor’s ice-flecked eyelashes flicker open.

And then he was sailing out of the cabin, screaming in rage as he was forced to leave Jekyll to his fate.

* * * *

If you like what you've just read, you can order your copy of Pax Britannia: Anno Frankenstein here.

Sunday 8 May 2011

Who's who in the world of Pax Britannia 2

Anno Frankenstein is launched on an unsuspecting world next Thursday and, to help get you in the mood, here are a couple of characters from the book realised in Lego. But which characters are they?

Only time - and a thorough read of the book - will tell...

Anno Frankenstein - 4 days to go

Saturday 7 May 2011

Free Comic Book Day

So, today being Free Comic Book Day, I headed up to Gosh! Comics in London to catch up with Dan Abnett and Al Ewing, and to say "Hi!" to Robbie Morrison.

Managed to pick up a couple of freebies too, mainly for JG Junior, who is starting to show an interest in 'proper' comics and who has a bit of a thing for Thor, having seen the Branagh-helmed blockbuster last weekend.

It's always good to catch up with the guys but today it was especially good as it's been a little hard going this week ('it' being this thing I call 'being a freelance writer') and Dan's pep talk was just what I needed to get my motivation going again. So, Dan, if you're reading this - thanks!

It was also good to catch up with Mark de Jager of the My Favourite Books blog whose top tip for today was Two Steps From Hell. And thanks to his recommendation I've now purchased their album Invincible.

Mission: Games Workshop - Plaza and Covent Garden

My mission to visit as many Games Workshop stores as I can, continues... Today I was in London (catching up with Dan Abnett and Al Ewing at Gosh! Comics) and so took the opportunity to pop into the Plaza store as well as the one in Covent Garden.

GW Plaza

GW Covent Garden

So thanks to the guys who made me feel so welcome and who knows, maybe in the future I'll be back to do a signing at one or both of them.

So... where next?

Anno Frankenstein - 5 days to go

Today I'm proud to present an exclusive extract from Pax Britannia: Anno Frankenstein. Enjoy!

* * * *

Eric Baer shivered, and this time it wasn’t solely down to the bone-numbing cold. The mere thought of them made his flesh crawl. The official line was that they would be the Fatherland’s salvation but to Eric Baer’s mind they were the unholy spawn of a science that was little better than necromancy. When a man died he should stay dead, that was the natural order of things; not be brought back as part of some horrific amalgam such as they.

Eric Baer gripped his rifle closely to him. It was the only thing that made him feel safe; and it wasn’t the enemy he was afraid of.

An unnatural stillness had fallen over the no man’s land of the decimated forest. It was as if the combined French and Belgian forces had some inkling of what the German soldiers already knew; as if Mother Nature herself was holding her breath, aware that something contrary to the natural order of things was about to be unleashed upon the world.

The dead should stay dead, it was as simple as that, and yet here was Man – in the form of the Frankenstein Corps, carrying on the work of the legendary scientist himself – about to commit the ultimate hubris without even giving it a second thought. God Himself had rarely brought people back from the other side; only a smattering of saints and His own son, of course.

Supposedly only the top brass were party to the top secret documentation; it hadn’t been passed on to the rank and file. All they had been told officially by their commanders was that today they would lead the offensive and that they would be supported by members of the mysterious Frankenstein Corps.

But news like that couldn’t stay secret for long, threat of execution by firing squad or no. Eric Baer, like many others, had heard the rumours – the stories of the horrific, ungodly things that went on in the bowels of the castle overlooking the town of Darmstadt.

A gust of chill wind blew across the grey, muddied wastes of no man’s land, carrying with it an eddy of dancing black leaves – remnants of the dead forest – and the anxious murmurings and disbelieving gasps of the French forces arrayed before them half a mile away on the other side of the pot-holed field, ready to repel the German advance one last time. But then they could see what Eric Baer and his fellow German soldiers could not.

Eric felt the tremor of their lumbering steps and fought to resist the urge to turn around and see for himself what the flesh-smiths of Castle Frankenstein had created.

It was like an itch at the base of his skull, an unbearable need to know, no matter what the cost, but married to a fear that penetrated right to the very core of his being, a fear of that which should not be. There was a reason why the dead should stay dead after all. What the Führer and his supporters did for the good of the war effort seemed too high a price to pay. After all, if they were fighting for humanity in the face of oppression, following the First Great European War, what was the point if they only threw away what humanity they had left by committing such acts against nature?

Wasn’t there a saying that went something along those lines that he had heard once? Just because you could, didn’t mean you should?

Science was capable of many amazing and wonderfully life-changing things, but it was also the one thing Mankind had that could ensure its own destruction by its own hand.

The ground shook under the thud, thud, thud of their regimented advance, almost as if they were following Lovelacian algorithms like the automaton armies of Magna Britannia.

Another gust of wind and the sounds coming from the enemy lines were murmurings no longer, but agonised gasps of shock and fear. The terror tactics of the Corps were working. The new battle company were already having an effect on the enemy and they hadn’t even engaged them in combat yet. The enemy were terrified and Eric Baer couldn’t blame them. In fact, he pitied them; but not as much as he pitied the things now bolstering the German lines, the monsters that were about to be unleashed on the enemy on this auspicious day.

The top brass’s strategy was working. It looked to Eric like the French line was faltering, and the signal to attack still hadn’t been given.

He could almost smell their fear – or was it, in fact, the Corps’ creations he could smell?

That was it. The battlefield scents of wet mud, stale gunpowder and discharged cordite had merged with another aroma; a mixture of formaldehyde, sickly sweet putrefaction and axle grease. But more than anything, it was the smell of death defeated, of overreaching ambition, of the hubris of Man.

In the face of the terrified reaction of the French troops and the shuddering tremors of their massed lumbering steps, as they marched ever closer, Eric Baer could hold out no longer. He turned.

His own gasp of horror caught in his throat as he laid eyes on the Corps’ creations for the first time.

They were even worse in the flesh than they had been in the darkest corners of his imagination. During the dark dreams that had disturbed the brief snatches of sleep he had managed to achieve, they had been giants all, manufactured from stolen flesh.

Now, in this waking nightmare in which he found himself trapped, he saw that they were in fact an amalgamation of man and machine. No two were completely alike in shape or form, but all were united by the scars they bore; marks that were testament to the nature of their unnatural creation.

The Frankenstein Corps; dead soldiers re-united piecemeal, their lifeless flesh reanimated that they might fight again. A terror weapon, cannon fodder, soldiers who could never truly die, as long as there was someone to put them back together again in new and interesting ways once the battle was over.

Eric Baer turned from his observations of the resurrected cyber-organic soldiers and caught the look in the eye of the trembling soldier standing next to him.

“Hans,” he said, addressing the nervous wretch with the familiarity of men who have fought together, side by side, and seen their fellows fall in the same fashion.

“I know,” the other replied. “They scare the hell out of me too.”

“No, it’s not that,” Eric said.

“What then?”

“If I should fall today, will you promise me something? If I should die today, or, even if I’m only maimed, if I look like I’m going to lose my legs or something…”

He broke off, watching the dead leaves pirouette across the churned grey sludge in front of him. As the wind carried the dancing debris away he turned back to face his friend.

“Blow my brains out, would you? Shoot me in the head, my friend. I don’t want to end up like that.” He nodded towards the advancing monsters behind them. “If it’s my time to die, I want to stay dead. Do you understand?”

Hans Richter smiled at him grimly. “Only if you do the same for me.”

A shrill whistle pierced the air, sending a shiver down Eric’s spine. The signal had been given.
“This is it,” he said. “Good luck, my friend.”

Hans Richter threw him a sharp salute. “For Germany and the Third Reich!”

“For the Fatherland! Charge!

* * * *

And if that's whetted your appetite, you can order your copy of Pax Britannia: Anno Frankenstein here.

Friday 6 May 2011

Iron Hands - update

I know that some of you had a bit of a shock the other day, after following up my post about Iron Hands being made available again, due to it being listed as costing £20.00.

Well the Black Library website has been updated with Iron Hands' new cover and the correct price - £13.99 - which I'm sure you'll agree is much more agreeable.

So, what are you waiting for? With original copies of Iron Hands retailing for up to £60.00 elsewhere order your copy from Black Library's Print on Demand range here.

Anno Frankenstein - 6 days to go

When I started plotting Anno Frankenstein in detail last year, I was inspired by early promotional pictures of Zack Snyder's Sucker Punch, showing the heroines Baby Doll, Sweet Pea, Blondie, Rocket and Amber in all their fetishistic glory.

As a result I created the Monstrous Regiment who play an integral part in the proceedings (but who aren't so objectified as the girls are in Sucker Punch*).

I didn't actually get to see Sucker Punch until earlier this week, the same day that my author copies of Anno Frankenstein appeared in the post, as it happens. So imagine my delight when during the map sequence in the movie our heroines go up against steam- and clockwork-powered zombie Germans, which is not dissimilar to what happens to the Monstrous Regiment in Anno Frankenstein.

If you've not seen the movie yourself, feast your eyes on this animated short.

* At least I hope not!

Thursday 5 May 2011

Pax Britannia: Dark Side - new review

With the release of Pax Britannia: Anno Frankenstein only days away, I was delighted to read this review of the previous Ulysses Quicksilver adventure Pax Britannia: Dark Side from Mass Movement Magazine.

Once again, Jon Green takes us back to the world of Pax Britannia, the steam-punk powered alternate world where the Victorian Empire still exists at the end of the twentieth century and technological progress has ensured that man has taken great strides to conquer his immediate celestial surroundings, and once again, we’re in good company as we embark on another rip roaring adventure with Ulysses Quicksilver, agent by Royal Proclamation and defender of Her Majesty’s interests and realm, and his manservant Nimrod. This time, Quicksilver is on holiday, of sorts, to find his wayward brother who has taken himself off to the Moon in order to escape his gambling debts and creditors. Or so we, and Ulysses, are led to believe. However, holidays and Quicksilver don’t make the most comfortable of bedfellows, and from the moment the star liner sets off from Earth, our hero finds himself caught up in the machinations of crazed industrialists and Nazis, whilst battling killer robots, trying to discover a murderer, stumbling across alien civilisations and desperately attempting to save reality from the warping effects of a time machine that he thought he’d already destroyed. This is pulp fiction for the twenty first century, and Green is a master of the art form, combining high adventure and story with a literary flourish, dropping tantalising titbits and treats for fans of the genre into the story throughout its duration, crafting a tale that Wells and Verne or Howard and Lovecraft, his predecessors in the realms of science fantasy and fiction would have been proud to call their own. Pure, undiluted steam-punk fantasy at it’s finest… (Tim Cundle, Mass Movement Magazine)

Jonathan Green, Author

In case you're new to this blog (having stumbled across it due to the A to Z Blogging challenge or the promotional posts posted in the lead up to the release of Pax Britannia: Anno Frankenstein), here's a round-up of all the different books I've written.

Fighting Fantasy
This series of gamebooks is where my writing career began and to date I've written seven Fighting Fantasy titles. Howl of the Werewolf topped a recent fan survey as the fan favourite whilst my most recent, Night of the Necromancer, has garnered great reviews from all over the place.

Black Library
I've written six novels in total for the Black Library - three Warhammer and three 40K, two of which have recently been re-issued as The Armageddon Omnibus. To date I have also written sixteen short stories set within the two Games Workshop universes.

Pax Britannia
I'm recently started writing the eighth Ulysses Quicksilver adventure, which - along with the six novellas I've written - will bring my contribution to the steampunk alternative history sci-fi series I created to close on three quarters of a million words.

Doctor Who
I've recently finished my second official Doctor Who tie-in. The first, The Horror of Howling Hill was a gamebook (of sorts) but Terrible Lizards is a fully-fledged chapter book.

Other tie-in work
I've also written for Star Wars The Clone Wars, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Sonic the Hedgehog.

I've penned four non-fiction books so far (with hopefully more to come) that have been published in different editions around the world. I'm probably most well-known in this field for my Christmas books.

So there you go. And don't forget, if you have any pressing questions you'd like answered about the writing process or the books I've written, you can do so here.

Fighting Fantazine #6

The sixth issue of the phenomenal Fighting Fantasy fanzine Fighting Fantazine is out now. You can download it from here and what's even better is that it's free!

We have a winner!

As promised earlier today, I'm pleased to be able to announce the winner of the Pax Britannia: Anno Frankenstein caption competition, as voted by you, the loyal blog readers, and it is


with his motto for the Frankenstein Corps of 'Prometheus Rising' with 52% of the vote.

Now the problem is, I don't know who Eric is and have no way of contacting him. So, if you're reading this, Eric, please can you drop me a line at along with your snail mail address and I'll get your goodies in the post forthwith.

Anno Frankenstein - 7 days to go

There's only a week to go until Anno Frankenstein is unleashed upon an unsuspecting world, and so over the next seven days - just to up the ante even more - I'm going to be posting a few tasty titbits, including some exclusive extracts from the book.

And I'm going to be starting later today by announcing the winner of the Frankenstein Corps caption competition.

Wednesday 4 May 2011

Iron Hands - available again!

Iron Hands - my second Warhammer 40,000 novel, first published in 2004 - is available again as part of the Black Library's Print on Demand range.

The book's been given a face lift and you can order it direct from the publisher here. And in case Adrian Smith's fantastic artwork isn't enough to sell it to you, here's the blurb from the back cover:

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.

Tuesday 3 May 2011

On Characterisation...

Christopher Eccleston on acting:

'Find the hero in the villain and the villain in the hero.'

Goes for characterisation in half-decent stories too.

It's alive!

Having evaded border patrols and armed checkpoints, the package finally arrived this morning via covert operative. Now safely secured within the Department Q bunker I can at last reveal to the world the monster I was busy building for around four months between October last and February this year.

And here it is...

I'm really pleased with how the book's turned out and anyone curious to know how Simon Parr's Vitruvian Steamfrank has been used need wonder no longer...

Anno Frankenstein really is a beast of a book. In fact, it's so long that there wasn't any room at the back for an exclusive short story this time. But have no fear, Favoured Son will appear coupled with the eighth Ulysses Quicksilver adventure Time's Arrow (but more on that another time).

All that remains for me to say here is congratulations once again to Adam Sparshott (whose Lego masterpiece earned him a not insignificant role in the book) and if you've not already seen it, here's the promo trailer that should wet your appetite for the adventure to come.

Don't forget, you can pre-order your own copy of Anno Frankenstein here.

Monday 2 May 2011

A couple of reminders

My latest Ulysses Quicksilver Pax Britannia adventure Anno Frankenstein is unleashed upon the world in less than ten days time, and it's already garnering some interest. Here's Geek Syndicate's post about it and you can watch the movie-style trailer for the book here.

You've got about a week to go until I record my next Vlog in which I'll answer any more of those pressing questions you've got about all things writerly or what's coming up next from the House of Green. So, if you've got anything you'd like to ask, don't forget to post here or on my Facebook page.

And there's two days left until voting closes on Anno Frankenstein caption competition shortlist. Don't miss your chance to have your say!