Thursday 28 February 2013

JG at the Sci-Fi Weekender

I'm setting off for the wilds of North Wales today, heading to the Sci-Fi Weekender.

I shall be moderating and taking part in various panels, selling my books and signing at the Black Library stand. As of writing, the timings for my panels are as follows:

Friday 1 March - 4.00-5.00pm
No Airships Required: Creating Steampunk Worlds. With Robert Rankin, Sam Stone, Raven Dane and Ian Crichton.

Saturday 2 March - 4.00-5.00pm
Shared Worlds: Writing into a known universe.With Gav Thorpe and Graham McNeill.

If you've going to the Sci-Fi Weekender as well, do drop by the Author Zone and say hello, just make sure you keep an eye out for dragons on the way.

Maybe I'll see you there...

Steampunk Thursday: Time's Arrow

A new review of my eighth Pax Britannia novel Time's Arrow appeared recently on

It doesn't start off in the most flattering manner (you can read the whole review here) but then the reviewer goes on to say:

I have to say the lad is back on form again, and I look forward to more of the same. The plot? Well there's another super-villain or two, a super-heroine, more marvellous machines, monsters, death and destruction, and temporal confusion. In short, the mixture as before. Buy some!

Which is nice.

You can buy your copy of Time's Arrow (if you haven't already done so) here.

Wednesday 27 February 2013

Nazi Zombie Army: Götterdämmerung

It's Wednesday and, oh look, I've got another book out. Well, okay, maybe book is exaggerating things a little. It's an eBook and the story's about 10,000 words long, but it only costs 77p!

Following in the well-trodden footsteps of fellow Abaddon authors Jasper Bark and Scott K Andrews, I have written a story set within the world of Sniper Elite, Rebellion Developments' flagship World War Two first-person shooter.

My story is a prequel to the new game Nazi Zombie Army*. Götterdämmerung tells the story of a team of British soldiers sent behind enemy lines towards the end of the war, to discover precisely what it is the Nazi Occult Division are up to and to put a stop to it.

Here's the blurb from the book's Amazon page:

The Nazis, desperate for victory at all costs, explored every avenue open to science, including some long forgotten... and some best left dead. But what if they had succeeded?

In the obscure village of Totenstadt, a team of the Reich's best minds, under the terrible Colonel von Teufel, are blending technology and the occult to create a new and terrible weapon, to test the boundary between life and death itself.

Elite British snipers Joe Randall, George "Ginger" Gibbs and Harry Atkins are sent deep into enemy lines to locate and destroy the facility. The mission will test their courage - and their sanity - to the limits...

You can pick up a copy of Götterdämmerung (published by Abaddon Books) for your Kindle here. You can purchase a copy of the game Nazi Zombie Army on Steam here.

Warning! The following video contains scenes of gore, Nazis and the occult!

* Goodness knows what sort of hits this blog is going to receive now that I've got the words 'Nazi', 'Zombie' and 'Army' in the title of a post.

Warhammer Wednesday: Vampires, vampires, vampires

They get everywhere, don't they? But before 1897, and the publication of Bram Stoker's Dracula, there weren't actually that many instances of undead bloodsuckers appearing in English literature.

Of course Dracula changed all that, although one reviewer at the time completely misjudged the impact that book would have on the world.

I have written about vampires on numerous occasions and my latest gamebook publication Shadows Over Sylvania doesn't only feature a host of the foul fiends, you get to play the part of one yourself!

You can pick up a copy of Shadows Over Sylvania here, or you could wait until the Sci-Fi Weekender and pick one up from the Black Library stand where I shall be signing copies during the course of the weekend.

Tuesday 26 February 2013

Clemency Slaughter and the Legacy of D'Eath

It's alive!

You can pledge your support for this project today by following this handy link.

JG interviewed on

I was recently interview by Magda Knight of about writing gamebooks - specifically Fighting Fantasy titles and Gamebook Adventures.

The interview is now live and you can read it in its entirety here.

Tie-in Tuesday: Resurrection of the Classic Doctor Who Monsters ran a great piece at the weekend about classic Doctor Who monsters that should make a return to the revamped version of the show. I'm with the guys at SFX on their number one choice too.

Monday 25 February 2013

Clemency Slaughter and the Legacy of D'Eath - coming soon to Kickstarter

It's been a busy weekend, but hopefully a profitable one. Or to put it another way, I've submitted Clemency Slaughter and the Legacy of D'Eath to Kickstarter for approval. Once that's been received, artist Tom Brown, publisher Ian Whates, and myself, can all put our finishing touches to the project (unique rewards, examples of brand new artwork, and the like) and then plan the big launch.

The tentative start date is 13th March, to end on 13th April 2013. So watch this space...

Thought for the Day

"When I’m thinking up a book, the first thing to come is the plot. A plot isn’t a story. It’s a procession of events and occurrences. A plot only becomes a story when you add the people, and think about why those things are happening, what it means to the people who make them happen or they happen to, and what happens to those people during and after those occurrences."

~ David Barnett, author of the Gideon Smith stories

Sunday 24 February 2013

Who do you think's coming for Easter?

Doctor Who returns to our screens in April...

Are you excited yet?

Saturday 23 February 2013

Meet Archimedes the Steampunk Robot Parrot

I popped along to the Second Surrey Steampunk Convivial, held at The Royal Oak in New Malden, today. As well as catching up with the likes of Mr Kit Cox and Herr Doktor, I got to meet Archimedes the Robot Parrot for the first time.

In case you're wondering (and you've read Pax Britannia: Time's Arrow already), yes, Archimedes is based upon Gustav Lumière's invention as he appears in the book.

He bent down and retrieved something that had rolled under the desk.

It was the golden parrot. It was still attached to its perch but it was badly dented, having been partially crushed.

Ulysses peered into the automaton bird’s glittering crystal eyes.

“Could this be repaired, do you think?” he asked. “I mean, I don’t know how much you know about electronics and audiology–”

“Enough,” she said, taking the broken object from him.

“What was it?” Ulysses asked. “His pet or something?”

Cadence shot him a scolding glance. “Archimedes is a state-of-the-art automaton.”

“Called Archimedes.”

“Yes, what of it? Uncle Gustav liked the company.”

“Well, when you start naming the state-of-the-art automaton that you keep around your apartment for company, it’s what we call a pet.”

Archimedes has been fabricated by the talented Herr Doktor himself, and caused quite a stir at the Convivial.

If you're going to the Sci-Fi Weekender (1-3 March) then you too will be able to meet Archimedes, and pick up a copy of Time's Arrow while you're about it. :-)

Short Story Saturday: Six Things Prose Writers Can Learn From Television

So, today Short Story Saturday isn't restricted to short stories but is about prose writing in general.

If you want to be a better writer, read this article now.

That is all. Goodbye.

Friday 22 February 2013

JG at the Sci-Fi Weekender

One week today I shall be at the Sci-Fi Weekender in North Wales, along with some of you, I hope.

You're best to check the timetables there (in case of any last minute changes) but I'm currently chairing two panels. As of writing, the timing for these is as follows:

Friday 1 March - 4.00-5.00pm
No Airships Required: Creating Steampunk Worlds. With Robert Rankin, Sam Stone and Raven Dane.

Saturday 2 March - 4.00-5.00pm
Shared Worlds: Writing into a known universe. With Gav Thorpe and Graham McNeill.

I will also be signing copies of my new Path to Victory gamebook Shadows Over Sylvania at the Black Library stand over the course of the weekend and selling my Pax Britannia titles at my own little table. I am also down to conduct a Q&A session with a certain 'star'.

If you see me, stop me and say hello, and if you see me at my stand, drop by and buy a book (or even a badge).

Maybe I'll see you there...

Thursday 21 February 2013

Steampunk Thursday: SF Signal Mind Meld

I was recently asked to give my opinion of what will be the Next Big Thing in SFF for the SF Signal Mind Meld. The piece is now online and you can read it here.

I'm one of several contributors and it probably won't surprise you that I predicted that Steampunk will be the Next Big Thing. However, what's interesting is how many of the other contributors also mention Steampunk...

Maybe I'm on to something after all...

Wednesday 20 February 2013

Mission: Games Workshop - Exeter & Cribbs Causeway

It's been a while, but I made up for not having been to a new Games Workshop store since 2012 by visiting two today.

The first was the Exeter store, where key timer Andy kindly gave my Second Born a quick lesson in how to paint Blood Angels.

I took the chance to check out the new Dark Angels Codex and Warriors of Chaos Army book. I was particularly interested in seeing the new codex, since I wrote the background for the Dark Angels for the ancient Angels of Death codex back in the 1990s.

The second store was the Cribbs Causeway store (just outside Bristol) where key timer Terri showed off some awesome tanks and scenery.


So where's next? If you're the manager of a Games Workshop store and you'd like me to pop in to do a signing, drop me a line via

Warhammer Wednesday: Signing at the Sci-Fi Weekender

Yours Truly and Shadows Over Sylvania will be at this year's Sci-Fi Weekender, at the Hafan y Mor Holiday Park, North Wales, from 1-3 March.

I'm going to be hosting various panels but I shall also be signing copies of my brand new Path to Victory gamebook at the Black Library stand.

So if you're coming along, check with the BL guys and hopefully I can deface your copy of Shadows for you (or even Herald, if you'd like).

Tuesday 19 February 2013

Tie-in Tuesday: The Night Before Twistmas

I've never received so many reviews for one book (37 at the time of writing) and 24 of them 5 star reviews!

Don't forget, two more of my Moshi Monster titles are available for sale now - Moshi Monsters: Music Stars and Moshi Monsters C.L.O.N.C Sticker Activity book.

Monday 18 February 2013

Clemency Slaughter and the Legacy of D'Eath

I thought some of you* might like to see what artist Tom Brown and I have been working on since we met at last year's Weekend at the Asylum.

Check out the new blog, check out the Facebook page, click the 'Like' button, and start to spread the word. This is going to be something special...

* Especially all you fans of Steampunk and the Gothic.

Thought for the Day

"Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life."
~ Confucius

Sunday 17 February 2013

Libraries 'have had their day', says Horrible Histories author Terry Deary

Schoolphobic Horrible Histories author Terry Deary has set the cat among the pigeons this week, by claiming that 'libraries have had their day'.

As one of the most popular library authors – his books were borrowed more than 500,000 times during 2011/12 – Deary will have received the maximum amount possible for a writer from the Public Lending Right scheme, an amount capped at £6,600.

"If I sold the book I'd get 30p per book. I get six grand, and I should be getting £180,000. But never mind my selfish author perception – what about the bookshops? The libraries are doing nothing for the book industry. They give nothing back, whereas bookshops are selling the book, and the author and the publisher get paid, which is as it should be. What other entertainment do we expect to get for free?" he asked.

Well, do you know what? A fair number of the books I've written earn me no royalties whatsoever*. As a result, bookshop sales make no difference to my earnings (apart from, I suppose, if a book sells well there might be more chance of future commissions). However, when one of those books is borrowed from a public library, they can earn me money again. It's not a lot, but - as a certain supermarket chain is so fond of saying - every little helps!

Between you and me, my Doctor Who books will probably end up making me more through the PLR scheme than the original commissions did, and seeing as how I'm not a million-selling author, I'm very grateful for that. And that's just my selfish author perception.

What about libraries being repositories of knowledge where anyone can better themselves, regardless of socio-economic background? What about that Terry Deary, or does that sound too much like competition?

Terry Deary - perhaps not as nice as you might have first thought.

* Confession time - a fair majority of my writing work, including my Doctor Who and the Moshi Monster books, are work for hire. No rights, no royalties.

Saturday 16 February 2013

Short Story Saturday: 1853

1853 is the chapbook accompanying Pandemonium Fiction's A Town Called Pandemonium and it features stories by Laura Graham, Marc Aplin and Yours Truly. And it's coming soon...

Another author who has had been published by Pandemonium Fiction is Den Patrick, who has just had his debut trilogy signed by Gollancz in a significant six figure deal. So congrats to Den, who talks about how it all began here.

Friday 15 February 2013

Gamebook Friday: Shadows Over Sylvania

My second Path to Victory gamebook (and my first Warhammer gamebook) Shadows Over Sylvania has been out for a week now, and has already received some very pleasing comments.

In case you missed it, I cropped up on the BL blog as well, where I wrote about the experience of writing Shadows. If you would like to read the piece for yourself, click this link.

"Vampires are badass. And Warhammer vampires are the most badass of them all."

Thursday 14 February 2013

Steampunk Thursday: JG interviewed in Morpheus Tales

During the YOU ARE THE HERO Kickstarter campaign I was interviewed by Morpheus Tales, and one of the things I was interviewed about was my steampunk Pax Britannia novels.

Well you can now download the issue featuring my interview for free here. Think of it as a Valentine's gift from me to you. ;-)

Tuesday 12 February 2013

JG in SFX Magazine

My Book Club piece on John Christopher's The Tripods Trilogy features in the latest issue of SFX Magazine (issue 232, if you're counting).

Why not check it out and let me know what you think of it here?

Monday 11 February 2013

Saturday 9 February 2013

Short Story Saturday: World's Collider

Another brace of glowing reviews of World's Collider, edited by Richard Salter.

First up there's this...

Fascinating book. I was hooked from the start, each story carried the narrative along, and I was desperate to find out how it all ended, highly recommended!

And then there's this!

World's Collider was not only the best anthology that I read in 2012, but it's the most remarkable story collection that I've ever read to date.

Remember, you can pick up your copy here.

Friday 8 February 2013

Gamebook Friday: Shadows over Sylvania - released today!

Those of you who follow the Black Library blog as well as this one will have seen yesterday that not only is Shadows over Sylvania released today, but you are also going to be able to play the opening of my brand new Path to Victory gamebook online via Facebook.

In the book you play the part of a vampire, but which bloodline will you choose? Von Carstein, Blood Dragon or Lahmian? Follow this link now and help decide! And then keep checking the Black Library Facebook page during the course of the day to see how the adventure unfolds...

You can order your own copy of the book (and doesn't it look gothically gorgeous?) direct from the Black Library.

As it says on the Black Library Facebook page... Normally a bat fighting a dragon would be a foregone conclusion. But what if they're both zombies and the bat is massive?

Wednesday 6 February 2013

Warhammer Wednesday: Shadows over Sylvania - 2 days to go!


Blood Dragon

Once noble, mortal paladins, these warrior vampires owe their inhuman immortal nature to Abhorash, first of the Blood Dragons.

Abhorash was the greatest among the captains of Prince Lahmizzar of Lahmia, in ancient Nehekhara, and unlike the rest of the Deathless Court, he preyed only on those deserving of death. When Lahmia fell to the forces of Alcadizaar the Conqueror, Abhorash turned his back on humanity and set off north, vowing to be revenged upon all humankind.

Accompanied by only a few faithful followers, Abhorash went into exile carrying only his weapons and armour. He set about teaching his vampiric vassals that skill in close combat and honour in battle were the only true measures of greatness and that they should only drink from great fighters, claiming that only the impure fed on the weak.

Many years later, atop a great mountain wreathed in eternal flame, Abhorash battled a mighty red dragon. The two monsters fought from nightfall to moments before sunrise, and in the end it was the vampire who was victorious.

Drinking deeply of the dragon’s blood Abhorash rid himself of the need to drink fresh blood. He was now the ultimate warrior, a creature with the strength of a vampire but not cursed with the insatiable thirst shared by his blood-sucking kin. He commanded his brothers to go out into the world and hone their skills in combat until they were strong enough to defeat a dragon. His favourite, Walach Harkon, defeated an entire order of knights of the Ordo Draconis, turning those who fought well into vampires and slaughtering the rest. And so was born the Order of the Blood Dragons.

All Blood Dragon vampire knights seek to emulate their blood-father Abhorash by seeking out the most worthy opponents, to prove both their martial prowess and that they still seek honour in battle, rather than revelling in outright bestial slaughter.

Tuesday 5 February 2013

Another Thought for Another Day

This makes me feel better about myself - although I am 41.

Sunday 3 February 2013

Shadows over Sylvania - 5 days to go!


Von Carstein

Little is known and yet many legends are told about the origins of the von Carstein bloodline. Some say that Vlad von Carstein, first Vampire Lord of cursed Sylvania, was the progeny of Neferata’s husband Vashanesh. Others go so far as to claim that Vashanesh and Vlad were one and the same, but there are none alive who can confirm or deny this now, except perhaps for the Dark Queen Neferata herself.

What is known is that in the Imperial year 1797, as Otto von Drak – the last of the mad von Drak Counts of Sylvania – lay dying, with no male heir to succeed him, a great black coach stopped outside Castle Drakenhof and out stepped a towering figure with a mane of black hair and piercing eyes. Introducing himself as one Vlad von Carstein, he recited the list of his noble antecedents and claimed the hand of Otto’s daughter Isabella. The marriage was performed immediately and dominion of the lands of Sylvania passed from the von Drak family to Vlad von Carstein.

Many of the other aristocratic families of the region objected to being ruled by an outsider, but any such dissidents were soon silenced. In fact, the new count seemed less oppressive than the von Draks of old. People readily turned a blind eye to Vlad’s eccentricities and ignored the cloaked strangers that were always visiting the castle, along with the foreigners from the east that steadily replaced the Drakenhof household. Soon Vlad held Sylvania in a strong grip and the province prospered.

Vampires of the von Carstein line are the true aristocracy of the night, possessed of an aura of dark majesty. The bestial side of their vampiric natures also grants them a particularly close affinity to the creatures of the night, such as wolves and bats.