Wednesday 29 February 2012

Ian Livingstone and Rebecca Levene on Radio 4

Friday night's Front Row programme was all about the cultural snobbery concerning video games. Novelist and games writer Naomi Alderman interviewed various industry insiders about this issue, first and foremost among them Ian Livingstone (yes, that Ian Livingstone). However, I was thrilled to hear my friend Bex Levene discussing the current state of the games industry during the course of the programme as well.

It was also interesting to hear Rhianna Pratchett talking about how writers are all too often brought in too late in the development of a video game, almost as an afterthought, by which time there's very little the writer can do to save the game if it's already a mess. This is something which Tin Man Games have most certainly got the right way round, hence the recent spate of award nominations for my own Temple of the Spider God.

If you didn't hear the programme when it was broadcast, you can listen to it here and now.

An Extra Day

So today is 29 February, or Leap Day as it is also known, that extra day we get once every four years. It is on this day that women can propose to men, it is considered unlucky by many superstitious individuals, and it's also St Oswald's Day.

But what are you going to do with your extra day? Seeing as how I'm already married and not superstitious, and I won't be observing the feast of St Oswald, I'm going to fill my time in other ways.

First up, I'm preparing for a school visit I'm making tomorrow for World Book Day. I've also got some final tweaks to make to my Warhammer 40K gamebook Herald of Oblivion. Then there are the artist interviews I need to get started on for Artists' Month on this very blog. And that's before I write a pitch for a new Warhammer short story or get cracking on my next big writing project.

So, how are you going to be filling your time?

Tuesday 28 February 2012

JG in SciFiNow Magazine... kinda

So there's a piece about last November's Dragonmeet in the latest issue of SciFiNow Magazine, predominantly about Fighting Fantasy's overall contribution to the event.

The piece has been written by Jamie Fry - the latest incarnation of the Warlock, and who is currently working his magic on the official FF website - and what's nice is that both myself and Temple of the Spider God get a mention.

Warhammer brought to (e)Book

More and more out of print Black Library novels and short story collections are now becoming available thanks to the miracle of eBooks. My first novel, The Dead and the Damned, is already available but the latest Warhammer eBook release is Way of the Dead.

Way of the Dead was first published in 2003 and features my own short story Mark of the Beast, which in turn features Badenov's Band, who are the heroes (or at least protagonists) of The Dead and the Damned.

If you've enjoyed The Dead and the Damned, and you'd like to read another Badenov's Band story without buying the rest of the collection, you can buy Mark of the Beast by itself here.

Monday 27 February 2012

Thought for the Day

"Writing a novel is like heading out over the open sea in a small boat. It helps, if you have a plan and a course laid out."
~ John Gardner

Sunday 26 February 2012

More Phobophobia news

The Dean M Drinkel-edited horror anthology Phobophobia is the subject of a new newsletter. Cenobite Barbie Wilde's story gets a plug, there's a report on the London launch of the book, and a link to a review which tackles every story in turn.

Here's what Jim McLeod has to say about my own story Wiccaphobia:

This was another highlight of the candles anthology for me. Imagine the essence of Hammer's House of Horror distilled into a short story. Done that, then what you'll have is this story. Reading this story you won't be able to stop yourself from picturing a young Jenny Agutter being terrified out of her mind in a old English cottage.

You can pick up your copy of the anthology here. It's time to learn your A to Dread…

Fighting Fantazine #8 - available now!

Fighting Fantasy fans will be pleased to hear that issue 8 of Fighting Fantazine is available now.

Included within its pages is a news item about Tin Man Games Gamebook Adventures, a very flattering review of Temple of the Spider God, and a piece by Jamie Fry (current Warlock of the official FF website) which includes a picture of myself alongside the likes of Ian Livingstone and Graham Bottley.

It seems that even when I'm not in the Fantazine, I'm in the Fantazine.

Saturday 25 February 2012

Mission: Games Workshop - Newbury (a.k.a. Happy Birthday Warhammer 40K)

Okay, so in case you didn't know, today marked the official 25th birthday of the SF tabletop wargame Warhammer 40,000.

I happened to be in Newbury today and stopped by with my own Noise Marines-in-the-making at the GW store there. We were given a very warm welcome by Quinn the Store Manager and soon got to talking about all things Black Library.

Quinn, as it turns out, is a huge Black Library fan and was asking me for recommendations from among the current range of titles available. We also got to discussing eBooks and how the advent of digital publishing has made out of print titles available again. I also teased him with snippets of info concerning my new 40K gamebook Herald of Oblivion (which is into the final tweaks stage).

So I'd just like to thank Quinn again for making the Adeptus Viridis so welcome and, if the Newbury store is your local GW store, then keep an eye out for news about something that might be happening there some time in the summer...

In the grim darkness of the far future, there is only war

Today marks the 25th anniversary of the Warhammer 40,000 game. To find out how Black Library is marking this momentous occasion follow this link. And in other 40K-related news...

To hear about how Dan Abnett found the experience of writing his latest Horus Heresy novel Know No Fear, click here. (The interview starts at about 01.45.)

And there's an interesting insight into the writing process here by another Horus Heresy author, James Swallow.

Tony Hough, who illustrated my books Knights of Doom and Bloodbones, also illustrated the 40K universe in the early days. And he just so happens to be selling some of those illustrations here.

And lastly, I discovered the other day that The Armageddon Omnibus and Iron Hands (my 40K novels available again as Direct Exclusives from Black Library) are BL's two best-selling PoD reprint titles. Which is nice.

I first wrote for the 40K universe before the foundation of Black Library, contributing colour text to Codex: Tyranids, Codex: Chaos, Codex: Angels of Death, and Epic 40,000. My very first piece for Inferno! Magazine (one of BL's early publications) was a 40K story called Salvation.

If you're curious about my other 40K fiction contributions, click here. And of course this summer sees the publication of Herald of Oblivion, my first Warhammer 40K gamebook.

Friday 24 February 2012

Adoration of the Spider God

Some more lovely reviews for Temple of the Spider God for you today.

First up there's this one from the UK App Store:

"Brilliant. I'm loving the gamebook series. I've now got all 7 and every single one of them is great, you can tell that each book had been made with a love for the genre as the level of detail and polish is excellent. I remember loving Choose Your Own Adventure books when I was younger and the gamebook series does an amazing job of bringing them to modern day standards."

The second is not so much a review as a series of recommendations from who made Spider God their Featured Game for the week of 5 February 2012, and their Game of the Day for 6 February. Thanks, guys!

You can find out more about Temple of the Spider God here.

Thursday 23 February 2012

Christopher Fowler on the stories we tell

"When a nation is strong it tells stories of the future. When it's weak it tells stories of the past. Check out your TV schedule."
~ Christopher Fowler

This is precisely why I believe Steampunk is flavour of the month at the moment. Discuss.

You'll find Chris's blog here, and you can buy his latest book Hell Train here.

Wednesday 22 February 2012

Journal of the Spider-Queen

Yes, loyal followers, you read that right. Spider-Queen, not Spider God.

For those of you who follow this blog because of my connection to the Fighting Fantasy phenomenon, you may well already recognise the image on the front of this jotter journal.

That's right - it's Aranaea the Spider-Queen from my sixth Fighting Fantasy adventure gamebook Howl of the Werewolf, as illustrated by Martin McKenna. Martin has made a number of his illustrations available as prints in various formats - including the Big Bad Wolf from the cover of the book - through Cafepress.

Checking out Martin's (at long last) updated blog, I'm always amazed to discover in how many different places the Werewolf painting turns up. I mean, I know it's a generic werewolf, but that painting was specifically created for a book which I wrote. I've seen it reproduced on magazine covers, gig posters for Heavy Metal bands, and now it's surfaced once again, only this time etched into human flesh. Yes, that's right, someone's had it turned into a tattoo!

I used to be a werewolf, but I'm alright noooooooow!

Bet that smarts.

Tuesday 21 February 2012

The First Surrey Steampunk Convivial

The first Surrey Steampunk Convivial is taking place this coming Saturday 25 February, at Worcester Park in Surrey.

The gathering will start with a history walk of the road that HG Wells lived in when he wrote the Time Machine, hosted by Clive Popkin, a poet and descendant of Vlad the Impaler. This will be followed by food at the HG Wells pub, and a full day programme of features and entertainment including snail racing (subject to availability) tea duelling, a shadow puppet workshop and an alternative steampunk mini-market. There will be live music in the evening, including Steampunk artists Tom Slatter and Moth and a few special guests, with projections by Prof. Kit Krakenspine in stunning monochrome. There is even talk of an Edwardian photo booth and there will also be the Wonderful Cake Competition, not to mention an interactive steampunk theatre performance interwoven through the event.

To find out more, follow this link.

Monday 20 February 2012

Thought for the Day

"If you start with a bang, you won't end with a whimper."
~ T. S. Eliot

Sunday 19 February 2012

To George, Love Steve

Believe it or not, there was a time when Jaws was more popular than Star Wars. However, when the SF phenomenon overtook the world’s most fearsome killer fish in the theatres, director Steven Spielberg published a congratulatory open letter to George Lucas in the December 2nd, 1977 issue of Variety.


Saturday 18 February 2012

And They Shall Know No Fear...

Calth awaits...

Did you know that today is Know No Fear Day? No? Well you do now.

Inspired by Dan Abnett's latest Horus Heresy novel, Know No Fear, Games Workshop stores all over the world are running campaigns in which the forces of Chaos, spearheaded by the Word Bearers Legion, will attempt to destroy the Ultramarines Chapter once and for all.

Here in the UK a number of stores are running Know No Fear-themed campaigns for half term week too, so get yourself over the Games Workshop site and check out what's happening near you.

By the way, the Word Bearers are also the villains of my second Warhammer 40K novel Iron Hands, which is available again now as a Direct Exclusive from Black Library.

Friday 17 February 2012

JG in SFX Magazine

In case you hadn't already discovered it for yourself, I'm in the latest issue of SFX Magazine (#219 if you're keeping score - the one with Bilbo Baggins on the front). But just for once it's not a review of one of my books; it is in fact a book review written by me. Of a classic.

That's right, I've had the temerity of reviewing Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. It somehow seemed appropriate, after the book inspired me to write the Pax Britannia novella White Rabbit and, naturally, because of its Victorian connection.

In the same issue, fellow steampunk author* Lavie Tidhar, the 'emerging master' behind The Bookman Histories, gets a double-page spread! (Well one page and a whopping great photo.)

So if you haven't had a copy arrive already through the post, get down to your local newsagent tomorrow and pick one up!


I'm on today, or at least my latest Doctor Who story is. Monstrous Missions gets 3 stars out of a possible 5 overall, with the reviewer describing Terrible Lizards as 'action-packed, but bland.' Naturally, I disagree, but then I guess you can't win 'em all.

*He'll love me for calling him that!

Frankenstein 1910

Thursday 16 February 2012

If you are a member of the British Fantasy Society...

... then we will no doubt already know that voting for the British Fantasy Awards is now open and will close on 31 March 2012.

Each member may put forward up to three Recommendations in any category, expressed in preferential order. All Recommendations should ideally be accompanied with publication details: year of publication, publisher, and title of collection, magazine, editor, etc, if applicable. The four titles or names with the highest number of Recommendations will go forward to form the shortlist of nominations.

You're also able to vote if you attended last year's FantasyCon in Brighton or are booked to attend FantasyCon 2012.

And in case you didn't know, I had a few things out last year that might just qualify...

Wednesday 15 February 2012

Could this be the best review ever?

"Just finished reading Anno Frankenstein... Nazis, Vampires, Werewolves, Time Travel, Steampunk, Mr Hyde, and tons more... Jonathan Green, my good man, you are a fecking genius."

You can order your copy of Anno Frankenstein here.

And in other news, I handed Part 2 of Time's Arrow - Black Swan - to Abaddon's dark editing overlords this very afternoon.

I, Robot

I don't usually post pieces about screenplays, partly because this isn't an area I am focusing on myself at this time. However, there is a very interesting piece here about how the screenplay for I, Robot (or should that be Hardwired?) came about.

Tuesday 14 February 2012

I love Doctor Who

Seeing as how it's St Valentine's Day, here's a loving homage to everyone's favourite Doctor.

Remember, you can buy my latest Doctor Who story
Terrible Lizards here along with Gary Russell's Horror of the Space Snakes, as part of Monstrous Missions.

Monday 13 February 2012

Thought for the Day

"Imagination is more important than knowledge."
~ Albert Einstein

Sunday 12 February 2012

Iron Hands - Fracking Awesome!

Here's what readers are saying about the re-issue of my Warhammer 40K novel Iron Hands:

"Iron Hands is fracking awesome , space marine novel, I loved it from start to finish."

"This is a great book and well worth the read I have a copy of when it first came out and I am now re-reading it again. It's just as good if not better the second time around."

Isn't it about time you read Iron Hands?

Friday 10 February 2012

Human Nature - a new review

Thanks to David Kenyon for this:

Another exciting chapter in the Pax Britannia series by Jonathan Green... Yet again I wasn't let down by a fast paced novel full of action set pieces. I wasn't sure what to expect from this one to be truthful as the first act deals with the theft of the Whitby mermaid and offers some great action as Quicksilver searches for the thief in a pastiche of 'Oliver', but with monkeys and some Holmesian references as well...which I enjoyed.

Jonathan is like a magpie, collecting gems of literature and giving them a steampunk twist... I adored the second act and read it very quickly as I couldn't put it down. I've always loved a monster story and love body horror and this series has given me some great monsters to visualize in my mind.

The author also does some abominable things to his hero... What I loved about this act was that my favourite character Nimrod had a chance to shine...

As I've said before, if you want some fabulous monster writing in a world of steampunk, dashing and daring characters you will love this series. I'm already into the next book Evolution Expects and it's gotten off to a great start.

You can pick up your copy of Human Nature here, or buy it along with Unnatural History and Leviathan Rising as part of The Ulysses Quicksilver Omnibus here.

Thursday 9 February 2012

Update of the Spider God

Temple of the Spider God - my first digital gamebook - has received a update (Version 1.1), made up of some minor content updates and bug fixes. But most importantly, as requested by the fans, the number '7' has been added to the title and icon, just as with the earliest Gamebook Adventures.

And there's been another interesting development regarding Spider God that you can read about via the Tin Man Games blog here.

Wednesday 8 February 2012

Mission: Games Workshop - Stratford

On my way to north Wales for the SFX Weekender 3, I stopped off in Stratford and, while I was there, popped into the local GW store (as is my wont). I was met by a very welcoming Adam Townsend (the store manager) who proceeded to enthuse about everything the Black Library does all how wonderful it is. Which was nice.

There was also plenty in the store to impress me, but most of all it was the Rat Ogres and the Imperial Fists that attracted my attention. After all, the former appear in my short story Sir Dagobert's Last Battle and the latter in my forthcoming 40K gamebook, Herald of Oblivion.

Rat Ogres are cool

Imperial Fists - also cool

Tuesday 7 February 2012

Happy Birthday, Mr Dickens!

Today is the bicentenary of Charles Dickens' birth. Naturally there are all sorts of celebrations taking place in and around London, and across the media to mark this momentous occasion, throughout the year.

My own tribute will appear in Stories of the Smoke, to be published by Pandemonium Fiction in April. This anthology also features tales by Adam Roberts, Archie Black, Sarah Lotz, Rebecca Levene, Aliette de Bodard, David Bryher, Alexis Kennedy, James Wallis, Sarah Anne Langton, Jenni van der Merwe, David Thomas Moore, Lavie Tidhar, Kaaron Warren, Michelle Godlsmith, Esther Saxey and Glen Mehn. Not to mention an introduction by Christopher Fowler and illustrations by Gary Northfield.

Stories of the Smoke is edited by Anne C. Perry and Jared Shurin. A portion of the proceeds from all sales of Stories of the Smoke is donated to English PEN, and you can pre-order your limited edition hardback now.

Monday 6 February 2012

JG at the SFX Weekender 3

In case you've been snowed in or were without the Internet for the past few days, like me*, then you may not know that this past weekend somewhere in the region of 6,000 SF and Fantasy fans invaded Prestatyn Sands holiday camp** to celebrate their love of all things genre - from movie screenings and celebrity appearances, to author panels and young ladies wearing stilts (and not much else).

A packed pub for the Abaddon/Solaris Fun (or should that be 'Pun'?) Hour

If I had to sum up my 67 hours in Prestatyn in one word it would have to be 'Awesome'***. Alternatively I could write screeds about all the wonderful people I met, new fans and old friends, all the bizarre and totally unreal things I witnessed****, and all the debates embarked upon. But the next Pax Britannia book won't write itself and, having spoken to a number of fans over the course of the weekend, I know that there are a lot of people already desperate to get their hands on Time's Arrow Part 2*****.

The 'How do you put the punk into steampunk?' panel

So instead I'll just say a massive thank you to Dave Bradley, Rich Edwards, Jordan Farley, Dave Golder, Nick Setchfield and the rest of the SFX team for a fantastic event; to Jon Oliver, David Moore, Keith Richardson, Pye Parr and James Newton for doing such a good job of selling my Pax Britannia books; to my fellow steampunk panelists; and to everyone who stopped me to say hello over the course of the weekend. Hopefully we can do it all again next year.

Yours Truly signing with Guy 'I never thought I'd be Craig Charles's back dancer' Haley on the Abaddon/Solaris stand

In the mean time, here's my Top Ten list of things I didn't know before the SFX Weekender 3, but which I do know now.

1) If you're a big name you don't have to queue in the freezing cold. (My name was big enough to qualify. Which was nice.)
2) Darth Vader won't serve Rose Tyler alcohol without photo ID.
3) Some of the recently refurbished chalets at Pontin's come with interesting internal water features.
4) When the Zombiepocalypse****** comes, lock yourself in the loo.
5) Lavie Tidhar is so steampunk he [blank] cogs.*******
6) Designers address people as 'Dude'.
7) Being Human appeals to BBC 3's Twilight crowd, allegedly.
8) Craig Charles finished filming the new series of Red Dwarf at 7.00pm on Saturday evening.
9) Brian Blessed is a fully trained cosmonaut.
10) Apparently, I am the King of Steampunk.

* Nightmare!

** Or, as author Simon Bestwick put it, "the housing estate from Mordor."

*** Although 'Flooded' came a close second.

**** Which are totally normal for the SFX Weekender, of course.

***** A.k.a Black Swan.

****** Copyright and Trademark Jonathan Green, 2012!

******* You can work this one out for yourself. After all children read this blog, you know.

Thought for the Day

"When in doubt, have a man come through the door with a gun in his hand."
~ Raymond Chandler

Sunday 5 February 2012

The best advice? Don't give any advice

At least that's what the author of this piece - Ten Bits of Advice Writers Should Stop Giving Aspiring Writers - seems to be saying.

But then it's always been the purview of those who have reached a certain level of success to offer advice, although just because they're a multi-millionaire bestseller doesn't mean you have to take said advice.

Saturday 4 February 2012

Angry Robot Open Submissions Month

It happened last year and it's happening again in 2012.

However, this year the Angry Robot overlords are narrowing the focus and are specifically looking for classic fantasy (high, epic, medieval, magical, etc), and Strange Chemistry (their new YA imprint) will be looking for all forms of SF and fantasy YA.

The doors will be open from April 16th through April 30th. You can find out more details here.

Friday 3 February 2012

Thought for the Day

“There's no point in reading a book, because if it's any good it will be made into a film.”
— Vic Reeves