Thursday 30 January 2014

Steampunk Thursday: Deutschland liebt Pax Britannia

What can I say? German readers have taken to Pax Britannia: Unnatural History like Steampunks to corsets and top hats. Here are just some of the latest, rave reviews from

"Gelungener Auftakt." (4 stars)

"Eine interessante Mischung." (5 stars)

"Ein rasantes Lesevergnügen." (4 stars)

"Spannend!" (5 stars)

To pick up your copy of the German translation, click here. To pick up a copy of the original English edition for FREE, click here.

Friday 24 January 2014

Gamebook Friday: Beyond the Pit

This arrived in the post today...

That's right - it's Arion Games' Kickstarter-funded Advanced Fighting Fantasy bestiary Beyond the Pit, featuring Terry Oakes' stunning airbrushed artwork on the cover.

Echoing the original edition of Out of the Pit (first published in 1985), Graham Bottley and Andrew Wright have created a very professional and appealing, not to mention useful, book of FF bestial lore that will sit very comfortably alongside the rest of any Fighting Fantasy fan's collection.

I've had great fun this evening flicking through the book, being reminded of adventures of yesteryear (as well as thinking which monsters it might be nice to bring back some time), and enjoying the artwork of masters such as Tony Hough, Brian Williams and Martin McKenna all over again. What's particularly pleasing is to see that one of my creations has made it into the book - namely the Giant Chameleon - as well as elements of world-building from some of my gamebooks, notably Curse of the Mummy.

Special mention must go to Steve Luxton's updated maps of Titan that appear in the book too. As Andrew Wright notes in his introduction, the Fighting Fantasy World has grown a very great deal since Out of the Pit was first published.

A few formatting and layout problems aside, Beyond the Pit is a worthy addition to the FF library and is a great purchase. Roll on Out of the Pit Volume 3!

Thursday 23 January 2014

Steampunk Thursday: The Sci-Fi Weekender

So the news is out... I shall be attending Sci-Fi Weekender 5 that is taking place in North Wales at the end of March. Archimedes the Steampunk Parrot will also be in attendance, as will other authors such as Gareth L. Powell, Sam Stone and Robert Rankin.

I shall be hosting various panels over the course of the weekend as well as selling my writerly wares, not to mention catching up with old friends (and probably making a few news ones, if previous years are anything to go by).

So, maybe I'll see you there...

Tuesday 21 January 2014

Public Lending Right loans - 2012/2013

This is the seventh year I've done this, so let's get started...

Here's the list of my top ten most library loaned books for July 2012 - June 2013 (with last year's placing in brackets):

1. (2) Monstrous Missions (Feb 12)
2. (1) The Horror of Howling Hill (Mar 08)
3. (-) The Night Before Twistmas (Sep 12)
4. (3) Crisis on Coruscant (Jan 10)
5. (-) Moshi Music Stars (Jan 13)
6. (4) Stormslayer (Sep 09)
7. (-) Zack Binspin (Mar 13)
8. (-) Resurrection Engines (Sep 12)
9. (6) Night of the Necromancer (Apr 10)
10. (5) Howl of the Werewolf (Sep 07)

Interestingly - from my point of view anyway - my most borrowed book this year wasn't my most lucrative, because I share the proceeds from loans for Monstrous Missions with Gary Russell who wrote the other story that appears in the book. That means that The Horror of Howling Hill is my highest earning loaner for the fifth year running.

The new big earners for me this last year were my Moshi Monster books, and with more registered since July 2013, I'm hoping this is a trend that will continue next year.

Despite not having had a new Fighting Fantasy gamebook published since 2010 (four years ago this April!) they still prove popular with library borrowers. For some reason Stormslayer is still my most borrowed FF gamebook, even though I feel that both Howl of the Werewolf and Night of the Necromancer are better. But here's now all seven compare with each other.

1. Stormslayer (Sep 09)
2. Night of the Necromancer (Apr 10)
3. Howl of the Werewolf (Sep 07)
4. Curse of the Mummy (Oct 95)
5. Spellbreaker (Jun 93)
6. Bloodbones (Sep 06)
7. Knights of Doom (Jun 94)

My Pax Britannia books appear to be just as popular with library goers as they are with Steampunk convention attendees (even though they've been bumped out of the Top Ten by my Moshi Monster books) although it's interesting to see Human Nature jump to the Number One slot, at least as far as Ulysses Quicksilver's adventures are concerned.

1. Human Nature (Dec 08)
2. Time's Arrow (Nov 12)
3. Evolution Expects (May 09)
4. Leviathan Rising (Mar 08)
5. Anno Frankenstein (May 11)
6. Dark Side (Oct 10)
7. Blood Royal (Jun 10)
8. Unnatural History (Feb 07)
9. The Ulysses Quicksilver Omnibus (Nov 10)

So, which will be the best loaners this time next year? And which new titles will have joined the list? ;-)

Monday 20 January 2014

Thought for the Day

"Don’t worry about what your mother thinks of your language."

~ Elmore Leonard

Tuesday 14 January 2014

Happy Birthday, Tony Hough!

Tony Hough is my some time collaborator, having worked together on the Fighting Fantasy adventure gamebooks Knights of Doom, in 1994, and Bloodbones in 2006. And, unbelievably, today he is celebrating his half century!

Happy Birthday, Tony! Here's to working with you again in the future...

Monday 13 January 2014

Thought for the Day

"Writing is like a sport, it’s like athletics. If you don’t practice, you don’t get any better."

~ Rick Riordan, author

Friday 10 January 2014

Gamebook Friday: Shadows Over Sylvania

Shadows Over Sylvania recently received a new review on Black Library review site The Founding Fields.

“A vibrant tale of bloodshed which should satisfy many a Vampire Counts fan.” - Bellarius, The Founding Fields

You can read the review in its entirety here, while you can order your own copy of my most recently published gamebook Shadows Over Sylvania here.

Thursday 9 January 2014

Steampunk Thursday: Steampunk Free Day

It's been a week since we saw in the New Year and two weeks since Christmas, so it's quite possible you might be suffering from the January blues right about now (especially considering the miserable weather we've been having here in the UK).

So what better way might there be to cheer yourself up than to download a free eBook or two onto your brand new Kindle Fire*?

Interested? Of course you are.

Rebellion Publishing are giving away two of my titles to help alleviate those post-Christmas blues, my Second World War Zombie thriller Götterdämmerung and the first Pax Britannia novel Unnatural History, which was first published in processed tree carcass form back in 2007**!

So don't delay - download them today! (And if you enjoy them, why not send me a brief review?)

* Other eReaders are available.

** That's almost seven years ago!

Monday 6 January 2014

Thought for the Day

"Writing is a habitual practice; the more you do it, the easier and more necessary it becomes."

~ Brian Rathbone, Fantasy Author

Not so sure about the 'easier' bit*, but I'd agree wholeheartedly with the 'necessary'.

* Sometimes I think writing becomes harder the more I do it.

Sunday 5 January 2014

Match Wits With The Kids

It's been more than five years since my revision guide Match Wits With The Kids was published, but some are still discovering the book for the first time. The latest review appeared back in November last year.

"I bought this book because I like learning new facts and also as an aid to encourage my ageing brain to exercise its little grey calls. The book is attractive, the range of topics it covers is immense and the book is written in an easy and pleasing style. My daughter has a 5 year old son and she is already having to search her brain to answer some of his questions and she worried what would happen in a few years time. I have bought her a copy and I know she will enjoy it for its own sake but also it will mean she is more confident when answering the walking question mark in a few years' time."

I love the phrase 'walking question mark'... If you'd like to pick up a copy of Match Wits With The Kids, click this link.

Saturday 4 January 2014

Short Story Saturday: There is Only War

I could just have easily waited until Warhammer Wednesday to post this update, but seeing as the book arrived today (on Short Story Saturday) now seemed like as good a time as any.

There is Only War is the latest Space Marine mega-anthology from Black Library and features that old favourite short of mine The Relic, featuring everyone's favourite religious fanatics the Black Templars.

The Relic has been published before, of course, and is currently also available as an eShort and as part of The Armageddon Omnibus available here.

There is Only War is also available as an eBook and as part of The Space Marines 2013 eBundle, which contains several novels and numerous short stories!

Short Story Saturday: World's Collider

There's a great new review of the shared world anthology World's Collider, edited by Richard Salter, here. The bit that's particularly pertinent to me is this:

"I was thoroughly involved in this ghastly scenario from the first story on. “Wraith Lights”, by Jonathan Green, sets the stage effectively from the first page, as he plunges us directly into terror before the first rather innocuous effects are even fully realized."

You can pick up a copy of World's Collider here. My story, Wraith Lights, also appears in my short story collection Dark Heart, which you can pick up here.

Wednesday 1 January 2014

2013 - The Year in Review

As a number of people have remarked on various social networking sites over the last few days, many will be glad to see the back of 2013. It's not been the easiest year for Family Green either but it's also been a year of firsts for Jonathan Green, Author, including writing my first movie novelisation, attending my first movie premiere and running my first Kickstarter project. So following the example set by several of my writing colleagues, here's my writing year in review.

In 2013 I wrote a couple of pieces for SFX Magazine, five short stories and a novella - The Serpent's Egg - which were all published this year. I also wrote three Moshi Monsters books, one of which was the novelisation of the new Moshi Monsters Movie.

2013 also saw the publication of my first Warhammer Path to Victory Gamebook Shadows Over Sylvania, and my Tin Man Games app Temple of the Spider God ported to Android devices. Spider God also came out in French, as did my most recently published Fighting Fantasy gamebooks, Night of the Necromancer and Stormslayer, while my first Steampunk Pax Britannia novel Unnatural History appeared in German.

I also attended a number of events up and down the country, including The Sci-Fi Weekender, Steampunk Doncaster, the first ever Geekfest, Weekend at the Asylum, the MCM London ComicCon, World FantasyCon, and Dragonmeet.

However, my writing year was mainly filled with writing YOU ARE THE HERO - A History of Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks (the aforementioned Kickstarter project) and prepping a number of other projects for the New Year. So what does 2014 have in store?

Well, all being well, as well as the publication of YOU ARE THE HERO, there's a new novel in the works, a new gamebook and a short story anthology, but more on that another time.

So all that remains to be said is to wish you all a Happy New Year and very best wishes for 2014. May it be better than 2013.