Tuesday 30 April 2013

Tie-in Tuesday: Cav Scott on the Importance of Tie-in Fiction

Things are a bit busy right now, in the lives of Family Green, so over the next few days I'll be handing over the blog to wiser minds than mine and sending you to read their blogs instead.

Today it's the turn of Cav Scott, who guest blogs here about the importance of tie-in fiction.

Monday 29 April 2013

Pax Britannia: A New Review from Across the Sea

How cool is this?

I received an email yesterday from a fan of my Pax Britannia books. It started like this:

"I wanted to drop you a quick line to say how much I am enjoying your Pax Britannia books."

Which was very pleasing. It then continued thus:

"My ship is currently deployed on operations in [REDACTED] and the rollicking adventures of that dandy adventurer [Ulysses Quicksilver] are keeping me most amused in my limited time off. I had deliberately not read them before and saved them up to enjoy on this extended foray. Aside from the intrigue and action, I particularly enjoy all the cross references you have to period literature, such as the Challenger Enclosure filled with dinosaurs at the London Zoo. Wonderful stuff!"

I've received missives from those in the Armed Forces before, but this one was a little different...

"I thought it might tickle you to know that the bookshelf in this Captain's Cabin is not filled with dusty, boring regulations but Quicksilver. Not quite as many difference engines and brass instruments as I would like, but I suppose one can't have everything! Thank you again for the wonderful stories and chuckles, just when I need them most."

Yes, you read that right. It turns out that this particular review came from the commanding officer of an honest to goodness battleship, currently deployed on operations.

So, like I say, how cool is that? :-)


One Happy Author


Thought for the Day

"Writing is a journey. You go to fact check something on the Internet and then you come back four hours later."

Sunday 28 April 2013

Michael Jecks: Busy, busy, busy

Things are a bit busy right now, in the lives of Family Green, so over the next few days I'll be handing over the blog to wiser minds than mine and sending you to read their blogs instead.

Today it's the turn of historical crime novelist Michael Jecks, who seems to be juggling about as many different projects as I am at the moment.

A Man's Game Of Thrones World

Saturday 27 April 2013

Guy Haley on Artificial Intelligence

Things are a bit busy right now, in the lives of Family Green, so over the next few days I'll be handing over the blog to wiser minds than mine and sending you to read their blogs instead.

Today it's the turn of Guy Haley, who discusses whether the creation of an AI would be a good or a bad thing.

Friday 26 April 2013

Gamebook Friday: 16 and counting...

The first book I ever had published was a gamebook, and my current project is also a gamebook. But, you may be wondering, how many are there in between?

Well here is a comprehensive list of all the gamebooks I've written* to date, by series.

Fighting Fantasy

Spellbreaker (1993)
Knights of Doom (1994)
Curse of the Mummy (1995)
Bloodbones (2006)
Howl of the Werewolf (2007)
Stormslayer (2009)
Night of the Necromancer (2010)

Sonic the Hedgehog

Theme Park Panic (1995)
Stormin' Sonic (1996)

Doctor Who

The Horror of Howling Hill (2008)

Star Wars The Clone Wars

Crisis on Coruscant (2010)

Gamebook Adventures

Temple of the Spider God (2011)
Codename: Crusader (TBA)

Warlock's Bounty

Revenge of the Sorcerer (2012)

Path to Victory

Herald of Oblivion (2012)
Shadows Over Sylvania (2013)

* Or am in the process of writing.

Thursday 25 April 2013

Steampunk Thursday: The Good, the Bad and the Infernal

Things are a bit busy right now, in the lives of Family Green, so over the next few days I'll be handing over the blog to wiser minds than mine and sending you to read their blogs instead.

Today, it's the turn of Guy Adams and the guest post he wrote for Fantastical Imaginations in which he attempets to answer the question, 'What’s My Book About Again?'

Wednesday 24 April 2013

Warhammer Wednesday: Nik Vincent (a.k.a. Nicola Vincent-Abnett)

Things are a bit busy right now, in the lives of Family Green, so over the next few days I'll be handing over the blog to wiser minds than mine and sending you to read their blogs instead.

Today it's the turn of Nicola Vincent-Abnett who discusses what it's like to have a partner who is as creative as you are.

Tuesday 23 April 2013

Sale of the Spider God

Temple of the Spider God - my celebrated gamebook app - is enjoying a half price sale at the moment, on both the App Store and Google Play.

So don't delay - download the digital version of your choice today!


The critically acclaimed gamebook series returns with gamebook legend, Jonathan Green at the helm! Jonathan Green is best known for his work on the Fighting Fantasy series, but has also been involved with gamebooks and novels based on SW Clone Wars, Doctor Who and Warhammer 40K!

•Pocket Gamer 2012 Awards Best Adventure/RPG Game nominee!

•Best App Ever Awards 2011 2nd place!

•#1 ranked iPad Dice Game in 10 countries and top #10 ranked iPad RPG Game in 15 countries.

•Top #5 ranked iPhone Dice Game in 16 countries and top #10 RPG Game in 7 countries including US, UK, Canada and Australia!

Happy St George's Day!

It's nice to know that Google have listened, after what happened the last time.

Anyway - Happy St George's Day!

Happy Death Day, Mr Shakespeare!

Monday 22 April 2013

The Imperial Fists get a right good Imperial...

... well you can see where I'm going with this.

On the Black Library blog today, a certain Graeme 'Tyger' discusses the BL editorial's team dislike of the Yellow Peril better known as the Imperial Fists Space Marines.

This is all because Ben Counter's new Imperial Fists novel Seventh Retribution is released in digital format today. And because of that, other BL products featuring the Imperial Fists have been given a plug today, including both my short story But Dust in the Wind* and my first Path to Victory gamebook Herald of Oblivion.

The funny thing is, when was commissioned to write Herald of Oblivion, I was asked to include Orks, Dark Eldar, Necrons and Tyranids, and to pit them all against the Imperial Fists. I was even told to kill as many of them as I liked, in all sorts of interesting ways, although I couldn't wipe out the entire Chapter.

Why are the Imperial Fists so despised? I have no idea. But play your cards right with Herald of Oblivion, and Brother Nabor can end up the hero of the hour.

* I so should have just called it Dust in the Wind, especially considering how my family read out the title.

Thought for the Day

Sunday 21 April 2013

Saturday 20 April 2013

Moshi Doctors

Seeing as how I've written for both Doctor Who and Moshi Monsters, this is a marriage made in heaven, as far as I'm concerned. ;-)

Friday 19 April 2013

Mission: Games Workshop - Bath

So, guess where three quarters of Family Green were yesterday...


That's right - the beautiful Georgian city of Bath.

While we were there, we popped into the local Games Workshop store, where we happened to meet up with Terri whom we had last met at the Cribbs Causeway store.

Terri in full-on teacher mode, inspiring the hobbyists of the future.
A great time was had by all, as you can see, and having perused the new Chaos Space Marines Codex at length, I now desperately want to write a story about a Mutilator.

So thanks to Terri for keeping us all amused, and to Dave Bradley for the chocolate. ;-)

Gamebook Friday: Die Coruscant-Krise

I stumbled across this on Amazon the other day* and until then I had no idea that my Star Wars The Clone Wars gamebook Crisis on Coruscant had been translated into German.

Flicking through the book I came across this passage, and it made me smile how much of the sentence I could understand.

Lehnst du dankend ab und wendest den Landgleiter, um eine alternative Route zu Jabbas Palast durch das Nörd-liche Dünenmeer einzuschlagen, geht es weiter bei 92.

As you can tell, I just had to order myself a copy. :-)

* No, seriously.

Zenn Scarlett by Christian Schoon

Zenn Scarlett is a bright, determined, occasionally a-little-too-smart-for-her-own-good 17-year-old girl training hard to become an exoveterinarian. That means she’s specialising in the treatment of exotic alien life forms, mostly large and generally dangerous.

Christian Schoon is a freelance writer who has worked for various film, home video and animation studios in Los Angeles, including the Walt Disney Company. Originally hailing from the American Midwest, after moving from LA to a farmstead in Iowa several years ago, he continues to freelance and also now helps rehabilitate wildlife and foster abused and neglected horses. He acquired his amateur-vet knowledge, and much of his inspiration for the Zenn Scarlett series of novels, as he learned about - and received an education from - these remarkable animals.

Today, Christian takes over the blog as part of the Zenn-a-palooza blog tour, arranged by Amanda Rutter of Strange Chemistry books. So, over to Christian...

Zenn Scarlett: A Day in the Life
The day starts early and dark for Zenn, well before the sun clears the canyon wall here in the deep end of the Valles Marinaris. It’s usually the voice of Sister Hild, one of Zenn’s instructors, echoing up to her dorm room from the calefactory entrance that wakes her. Dressing in a patched pair of hand-me-down coveralls, and rolling up the pant legs to avoid tripping, Zenn heads downstairs and out into the cool Martian air, crossing the cloister grounds to the refectory hall and kitchen, where she wolfs down a quick amaranth muffin and a cup of hot, bitter chicory coffee. She has a dim, fading memory of the luxurious, silken taste of real coffee, but since the Rift with Earth, something as rare as coffee is no longer found on Mars; at least, not at the co-op in Arsia City where the cloister barters for supplies. Checking the v-film flickering on the kitchen wall for any last-minute updates from her uncle Otha about the day’s activities, she sets off down one of the packed gravel paths leading to the first task on her roster of early morning chores.

Some mornings, Hamish will scuttle out from between one of the outbuildings to lend her a hand. Well, a claw. An eight-foot-tall insectoid coleopt, Hamish is in his trial period as the cloister sexton, or all-around handyman (bug). He’s amiable enough, and pleasant company for Zenn, but has a maddening habit of being unable to take the initiative or think for himself in most matters. This, Zenn knows, is due to the severely regimented coleopt culture in which he was spawned and raised, but it still rankles her. But, growing up as the only child within the mud-brick walls of the Ciscan Cloister Exovet Clinic and training facility, Zenn is glad to have Hamish as a friend; actually, as her only friend. The xenophobic towners in the nearby village of Arsia City will have nothing to do with the cloister and its “diseased, unclean alien monsters.”

First chore of the day for Zenn is stopping outside the enclosure of their resident whalehound and taking a quick read of the animal’s vital signs. She then records the data for Otha to evaluate later. At the ‘hound’s pen, Zenn greets the 80-foot, eight-legged otter-like creature, who responds to her with his usual snuffling exhalation. She activates the remote sensor-film hanging on the chain link fence and downloads the information to the sleeve-screen stitched to her coveralls. Satisfied at the results, she climbs up the path, and heads over to the cloister’s collection of treatment pools, which now holds a recently arrived mating pair of Tanduan swamp sloos, long as battleships, snake-necked and sleek as prehistoric plesiosaurs. The female sloo raises her tubular, ant-eater-like snout into the air, waving it about to catch Zenn’s scent as she passes.

The rest of the morning is spent in checking off similar items on her list of chores. Grizelda, an ailing, single-celled cryptoplasmoid the size of a small truck, needs her weekly dose of mineral supplements. Ernie the yote, a buffalo-sized scavenger from the plains of Procyon, is due for his distemper booster. And, the highlight of the morning: a visit to the baby Kiran sunkiller floating in the huge interior of the clinic’s main infirmary building. Just a little over 60 feet long now, the sunkiller’s gas-filled manta-ray wings will eventually grow to span a distance of over 1,500 feet, enabling it to carry an entire sky-palace on its broad back. Sunkillers are, of course, considered holy creatures by the Kirans who live out their entire lives in the structures erected on the animals’ backs. Zenn fully appreciates the fact that treating one of these impressive beasts is a once-in-a-lifetime privilege for any exovet, let alone a novice. Accordingly, she spends as much free time as she can spare, which isn’t much, in the infirmary.

After a hastily consumed lunch back at the refectory, Zenn’s afternoon will be filled with books, v-films and memorization as she does her homework in classes like alien physiology, parasitology, planetary ecologies of the Local Systems Accord and other course work. Her evening chores might be interrupted by a chat with Liam Tucker, a towner boy who, uncharacteristically, has shown a sudden interest in Zenn. She finds this both puzzling and annoying. Towners are alien-hating bigots, for the most part, and she’s not sure Liam is really any different. Plus, she’s got end of term tests coming up and can’t afford to be distracted. Especially by a wise-cracking towner boy with a reputation for attracting both trouble and girls. Will her long-standing rule against forming friendships outside the cloister stand up to Liam’s annoying, distracting ways? Only time will tell.

As the sun drops below the western canyon wall, Zenn will sit down, exhausted from evening chores, to a hot supper, prepared alternately by either Otha or Sister Hild. The huge calefactory hall will echo with their voices, perhaps prompting Otha to reminisce about the days when Zenn wasn’t the sole student at the cloister school; a time before the Rift with Earth, when the voices of dozens of novices and acolyte exovet trainees filled the hall. Then, after helping clear the table, Zenn will return to her dormitory room, review the day’s notes and prepare for bed. Katie, her pet rikkaset, will most likely already be curled up on the bed. The little raccoon-like marsupial, deaf since birth but highly intelligent, will sit up long enough to silently sign to Zenn, using her deft, long-fingered paws to say “Sleep now? Friend-Zenn goes to sleep? Katie too.”
You can find out more about Christian Schoon and Zenn Scarlett here, or you can pre-order a copy of the book here.

Wednesday 17 April 2013

Warhammer Wednesday: Work in Progress

This project is no longer quite the surprise it was originally intended to be, but...

Hopefully I'll have more to show you in... ooh... maybe a couple of months or so?

Tuesday 16 April 2013

Tie-in Tuesday: Dalek found in pond

A Dalek from Doctor Who was found submerged in a pond by volunteers enlisted to clear it of rubbish. You can read more about this story here.

(What I like about this story is how The Telegraph feels the need to explain that it was a Doctor Who Dalek. Like there's any other kind...)

Tie-in Tuesday: Monstrous Biographies - Zack Binspin

My author copies of this arrived the other day...

Or should that be Ruby Scribblez author copies, seeing as how she wrote the book?

Yes, that's right. I can add another alter ego to the growing list - Ruby Sribblez, editor of Shrillboard Magazine and friend to the gooperstars.

Anyway, you can pick up your copy of Zack Binspin's Monstrous Biography here.

Monday 15 April 2013

Thought for the Day

"Sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast."
~ Lewis Carroll (in Through the Looking Glass)

Saturday 13 April 2013

The sweet smell of success, the bitter taste of defeat

So, as far as Kickstarters go, that's one successfully funded and one failed project.

After the resounding success that was the YOU ARE THE HERO Kickstarter I had great hopes for Clemency Slaughter and the Legacy of D'Eath, partly because it was a collaboration (so should reach a wider audience), partly because I thought various communities on Facebook would get behind it (which they didn't), and partly because we were asking for less money than I had with YOU ARE THE HERO. However, it was not to be.

The publisher Ian Whates and myself have already discussed running the Kickstarter again, in a couple of months time (possibly to coincide with the Nine Worlds Geek Fest), and the artist Tom Brown has said he hopes to work on some more of the artwork for the project between commissions.

Some fans of the project have suggested Unbound as a possible funding source but that's not something we've had a chance to discuss yet. And we did end up with 90 backers, many of whom were very passionate about the project.

Thank you, if you were one of them, and hang on in there - Clemency Slaughter's not dead and buried yet...

Clemency Slaughter - The Last Hour

The Clemency Slaughter and the Legacy of D'Eath Kickstarter has one hour to run and clearly isn't going to make its £7,500 funding level.

But the good news is that more people are discovery Clemency all the time which means the likelihood of us trying this again in a few weeks or months is ever more likely.

So keep spreading the word and hopefully, one day, Clemency Slaughter and the Legacy of D'Eath will see the light of day after all...

Short Story Saturday: The Demonologia Biblica

I popped up on Tracie McBride's blog Exquisite Corpse yesterday, talking about my contribution to Dean M Drinkel's horror anthology The Demonologia Biblica.

You can read the guest post here, and order a copy of The Demonologia Biblica here.

Short Story Saturday: 1853

1853, the collection of short stories that contains my very own Mexican vampire story, is now available from Amazon for free! So don't delay, grab your copy of this Pandemonium Fiction anthology today!