Sunday 31 August 2014

Fighting Fantasy Fest 2014 - One week to go!

A week today, at 10.30am, the doors will open on the world's first ever convention dedicated to Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks. Here's what's in store for those attending Fighting Fantasy Fest...

10.30am - Event opens – Registration begins

11.15am – Welcome

11.30am – Tin Man Games presentation, with the first look at the Caverns of the Snow Witch app, and a glimpse of what they have in store for The Warlock of Firetop Mountain.

12.00pm – The History of Fighting Fantasy (Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone, with Philippa Dickinson)

1.00pm – Lunch – Why not join us for a pint of ale back at the Black Lobster Tavern?

2.00pm – The Art of Fighting Fantasy (The Fighting Fantasy artists, with Jonathan Green) 

3.00pm – Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks and YOUARE THE HERO mass signing

4.00pm – Fighting Fantasy Costume Competition, followed by the Fighting Fantasy Auction (with auctioneer Ian Livingstone) 

 – Your adventure ends here… Event closes

A host of other activities will be taking place throughout the day... 
  • Arion Games will be running a number of Advanced Fighting Fantasy gaming sessions throughout the day.
  • Inkle Studios will be running a Swindlestones tournament – simply visit the Inkle Studios table to take part. 
  • You will be able to have your fantasy-themed portrait taken by Legend Photography
  • Award-winning film-maker Martin Gooch, who has written the script for the Deathtrap Dungeon movie, will be in attendance.
  • Sean Riley, the man behind Turn to 400, the fantastic Fighting Fantasy documentary, will be along with his video camera, hoping to interview fans about FF and FFF.
  • See the Fighting Fantasy Exhibition, and meet the Fighting Fantasy artists.
  • Peruse the markets of Port Blacksand and share fond memories of FF with other seasoned adventurers over a flagon of Cloud Ale (or something similar) at the Black Lobster Tavern?

It's not too late to buy a ticket for Fighting Fantasy Fest. Get yours today!

Saturday 30 August 2014

Fighting Fantasy Fest 2014 - All Rolled Up

Among the traders attending Fighting Fantasy Fest 2014 is All Rolled Up. All Rolled Up produce unique accessories for gamers, called ARUs.

"ARU offers an innovative, flexible and all-in-one solution for bringing your gaming to the table. A game roll that combines pocket, pen tidy and dice bag into a single accessory - so that when you're All Rolled Up you're ready to game. But, it's not just for gamers... All Rolled Up can carry dice, eraser, index cards, sticky notes, beads, writing gear, drawing kit, board game components, trading cards, wargame miniatures, stationery, make-up and more."

All Rolled Up have produced a number of special ARUs especially for Fighting Fantasy Fest, featuring some classic FF cover art and Martin McKenna's cover painting for YOU ARE THE HERO.

To see more pictures, click this link. To buy your ticket to Fighting Fantasy Fest, click here.

Friday 29 August 2014

Gamebook Friday: YOU ARE THE HERO - A History of Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks - is here!

So yesterday, this happened...

If you're wondering, that's what half a tonne of books looks like. (I'm not kidding - it's actually slightly more than half a tonne!)

It's big.

In case you were wondering how big, here's YOU ARE THE HERO next to the 25th anniversary edition of The Warlock of Firetop Mountain.

In other news, Tin Man Games' app version of Steve Jackson's Appointment with F.E.A.R. was released on the 32nd anniversary of the publication of The Warlock of Firetop Mountain.

The official book launch of YOU ARE THE HERO - A History of Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks is taking place at FIGHTING FANTASY FEST 2014, the world's first convention dedicated to Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks. You can find out more details, and buy your ticket, here.

Wednesday 27 August 2014

Monday 25 August 2014

Fighting Fantasy Fest 2014 - Hits the headlines once again!

Fighting Fantasy Fest, along with YOU ARE THE HERO, has hit the big time - it's been mentioned on the BBC News magazine website.

People have been contacting me all day, asking if I've seen the piece. If you've not seen it yet, you can do so by clicking this link. And if you've not bought your ticket for Fighting Fantasy Fest yet, where YOU ARE THE HERO will be launching, you can do so here.

Thought for the Day

Sunday 24 August 2014

Fighting Fantasy Fest 2014 - Two weeks to go!

There are now only two weeks to go until a horde of Fighting Fantasy fans descend on the DoubleTree Hilton in Ealing for Fighting Fantasy Fest 2014 - the world's first convention dedicated to Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks.

It's not too late to buy a ticket and join in the fun. You can find out more about the event here, and buy tickets here.

Maybe I'll see you there...

Saturday 23 August 2014

Fighting Fantasy Fest 2014 - Tickets are selling out fast!

We're down to the last few tickets for Fighting Fantasy Fest now, so make sure you don't miss out on the interactive fiction event of the year - but yours today and join in the fun and nostalgia on Sunday 7 September.

It's About Time...

There not long to go now until the Twelfth Doctor gets his first proper outing on our TV screens. Apparently the person responsible for the following fan-made title credits sequence has helped the Beeb create the new titles for Peter Capaldi's Series 8 incarnation of everyone's favourite Time Lord.

(Although this one's quite cool too.)

I for one can't wait...

And then there's this quite freaky (and amazing) video which determines The Average Face of the Doctor!

Friday 22 August 2014

Fighting Fantasy Fest 2014 and the bustling markets of Port Blacksand

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to wander the markets of the infamous City of Thieves, whilst being jostled by Troll Guards, wary of pickpockets as you peruse the unusual wares on offer? Well you can experience something like it (minus the guards and the pickpockets) at Fighting Fantasy Fest 2014.

There are a number of traders coming along to tempt you with their fine wares, so best make sure there are plenty of gold pieces in your backpack on the day. Among the traders are:

  • Otherworld Miniatures - who have produced the highly collectible Zagor miniature that will be in every attendee's goodie bag.
  • Leisure Games - purveyors of only the finest board games.
  • Snowbooks - publishers of YOU ARE THE HERO - A History of Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks
  • - Jamie Fry will have FF gamebooks both old and new for sale on his stand.
  • Arion Games - publishers of Advanced Fighting Fantasy Second Edition.
  • All Rolled Up - suppliers of gamebook gaming accessories, who will have some very special, bespoke items for sale.
  • Scriptarium - French publishers of Advanced Fighting Fantasy.
  • Legend Photography - who will take your FF-themed portrait, props included.

You will also be able to chat to Martin Gooch about his plans to turn Deathtrap Dungeon into a live action movie, as well as the Tin Man himself, Neil Rennison, about Tin Man Games' plans for future FF apps, not to mention Inkle Studios about their Steve Jackson's Sorcery! apps.

So don't delay. There are barely two weeks to go. Buy your ticket today.

Gamebook Friday: Pod Your Own Adventure

There's nothing like hearing your work read aloud to realise how flawed it is. Having listened to the Pod Your Own Adventure Night of the Necromancer podcast, I now feel like throwing away my Adjective Thesaurus and starting again. Of course, the sarcastic comments by the guest didn't help. I just hope she never writes a book and has it read out as part of a podcast. And to top it all, apparently there's going to be a part two...

In other news, Fighting Fantasy Fest 2014 continues to be shaping up nicely. The exhibition is almost there, the schedule is now online, and tickets are still available for sale until the end of the month.

Maybe I'll see you there...

Thursday 21 August 2014

Fighting Fantasy Fest 2014 - The Fighting Fantasy Auction!

Have you ever fancied owning a rare (not to say one off) piece of Fighting Fantasy memorabilia? Well if you come to Fighting Fantasy Fest 2014 in Ealing on Sunday 7 September, you could walk away from the day with just that.

These are just some of the items that are up for auction on the day.

 Deathtrap Dungeon swords – A pair of swords, made in 1998, to promote Ian Livingstone's Deathtrap Dungeon PC game.

 Fighting Fantasy 50s – Seven of the hard-to-find FF adventures published between 1992 and 1995, all of them in either excellent or mint condition. (One lot.)

The Warlock of Firetop Mountain (Nintendo DS game) – A copy of the Nintendo DS The Warlock of Firetop Mountain, never released in Europe.

 Ian Livingstone's Deathtrap Dungeon – A limited edition copy of the Ian Livingstone's Deathtrap Dungeon PC game, from 1998, complete with a copy of the gamebook and card game of the same name.

 Casket of Souls – A rare, mint condition copy of the hardback edition of Ian Livingstone’s Casket of Souls, published in 1987.

The Warlock of Firetop Mountain poster – A rare, framed, promotional poster for The Warlock of Firetop Mountain, produced by Puffin Books in 1982, signed by Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone.

Dicing with Dragons – rate US editions of Ian Livingstone’s book, one hardback and one paperback.

So don't delay, grab your ticket today, while there's still time!

Steampunk Thursday: Unnatural History - a new review

It might be more than seven years since my first Ulysses Quicksilver novel was published, but there are still readers discovering it for the first time. One such is Black Library fan Abhinav Jain.

"Unnatural History is an extremely fun and fast-paced action-adventure... We have Charles Babbage’s difference engines. The Challenger Enclosure at the London Zoo (reference to the Lost World!), and more such things. There is an Overground instead of the Underground in London. You’ve got car chases and dirigibles and what not. There’s a lot to take in here and Jonathan also takes the time to point out the more era-related stuff as well, especially with regards to the whole... Britishness of the whole thing, I suppose. That’s what really completes the novel I think."

You can read his full review here, but what I've taken away from the review are two things in particular. The first is that he scored the book 8.5/10*! The other was this:

"Unnatural History itself proved to be a far better novel than I had expected, considering my ambivalence towards Jonathan’s Warhammer work for Black Library, and that’s a good thing because he did manage to surprise me and made me a fan in the end."

So, someone who wasn't particularly a fan of mine, converted to the joys of JG books by the steam-powered world of Pax Britannia. Happy. With. That.

You can pick up Pax Britannia: Unnatural History for your eReader (for free) here, or you can buy it in the tried and tested processed tree carcass format as part of The Ulysses Quicksilver Omnibus: Volume 1.

* And if he liked Unnatural History he's going to love the books that come after.

Wednesday 20 August 2014

Happy Birthday, H P Lovecraft!

H P Lovecraft, creator of the Cthulhu Mythos, was born on 20 August 1890. He has inspired hundreds of writers since, including Yours Truly.

To date I have written two Cthulhu Mythos stories, The Scottish Patient* (which appears in the World War Cthulhu fiction anthology) and The Serpent's Egg (a novella first published as part of Dreaming in Darkness).

20 August was also my father's birthday, and he was another great inspiration to me and supported my early writing career whole-heartedly.

So here's to both of them - H P Lovecraft and my Dad!

* The Scottish Patient received a special mention in this review of World War Cthulhu: "What makes the volume particularly interesting is the way the authors blend history and mythos. One might expect stories of perfidious Nazis performing obscene occult rituals to call forth the Lovecraftian unnameables and enlist their effort in defeating the Allies. And they are there, as in John Llewellyn Prober’s ghastly “The Death House.” But Oliver—and Cthulhu—does not play favorites. Almost as intriguing and certainly as uncomfortable are those in which the Allies succumb to temptation…and themselves seek the services of darkness. Jonathan Green’s “The Scottish Patient,” set in a dream-like England, explores this possibility."

Fighting Fantasy Fest 2014 - Featuring 'Turn to 400' documentary maker Sean Riley and his camera!

Great news! Sean Riley, the man behind the fantastic 'Turn to 400' Fighting Fantasy documentary Kickstarter project, is going to be at Fighting Fantasy Fest 2014 - with his camera!

Sean is hoping to gather some footage with a view to restarting the film project, and he's also going to be asking for people's input as to what they would want to see in terms of rewards, if he decides to go the crowd-funding route again.

So if you'd like to see the 'Turn to 400' documentary get made at long last, then get yourself along to Fighting Fantasy Fest 2014 and who knows - you might even end up in the finished film!

Tickets are on sale until the end of August here.

Warhammer Wednesday: Black Templars Quick Reads Collection

Black Library have released another of their eBook Quick Reads collections, this time for the crusading Black Templars chapter.

Two of my Warhammer 40K stories really seemed to have captured readers' imaginations over the years. One is my first published Space Marine story Salvation, and the other is The Relic, which is included in this collection.

So why not download the Black Templars: Quick Reads Collection today?

Monday 18 August 2014

Fighting Fantasy Fest 2014 - The Schedule!

Here at is at last, what you've all been waiting for, the schedule for Fighting Fantasy Fest 2014, taking place on Sunday 7 September at the DoubleTree Hilton Hotel in Ealing, West London.

~ ~ ~

10.30am – The event opens and Registration begins.

11.15am – Welcome to the event you've all been waiting for...

11.30am Tin Man Games presentation - A very special preview of some of Tin Man Games' forthcoming FF apps.

12.00pm – The History of Fighting Fantasy - A talk by Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone, with Philippa Dickinson, their editor on the original FF gamebook, The Warlock of Firetop Mountain.

1.00pm – Lunch - Join us for a flagon of Cloud Ale at the Black Lobster Tavern.

2.00pm – The Art of Fighting Fantasy - The Fighting Fantasy artists, in conversation with Jonathan Green.

3.00pm – Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks and YOU ARE THE HERO mass signing.

4.00pm – Fighting Fantasy Costume Competition, followed by the Fighting Fantasy Auction (with auctioneer Ian Livingstone).

5.00pm – Your adventure ends here… The event closes.

~ ~ ~

During the day you will also be able to enjoy Advanced Fighting Fantasy gaming sessions, courtesy of Arion Games, take part in a Swindlestones tournament, with Inkle Studios, and have your fantasy-themed portrait taken by Legend Photography.

Traders who will be there on the day include Otherworld Miniatures, board games specialists Leisure Games,, French AFF publishers Scriptarium, purveyors of gaming accessories All Rolled Up, Pure Evil Miniatures, and Snowbooks, publishers of YOU ARE THE HERO - A History of Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks (which will also be launching on the day).

If you've not bought your ticket yet, you can do so here.

Thought for the Day

Sunday 17 August 2014

Fighting Fantasy Fest 2014 - 3 weeks to go!

There are just 3 weeks to go until  FIGHTING FANTASY FEST 2014 takes place at the DoubleTree Hilton in Ealing, West London, and 2 weeks left to buy your tickets.

For those attending we have all of the following on offer:

6 Fighting Fantasy artists - including Russ Nicholson, John Blanche, Chris Achilleos, Malcolm Barter, Tony Hough and Leo Hartas.

3 Fighting Fantasy authors - Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone, co-creators of the Fighting Fantasy series, and Jonathan Green, author of seven FF gamebooks.

An extremely collectible goodie bag, including a Fighting Fantasy gamebook, a poster, a novel, a Tin Man Games download app code, and a ZAGOR THE WARLOCK miniature, only available to those FF fans attending FIGHTING FANTASY FEST and based on this piece of artwork by Russ Nicholson!

A talk on the early days of Fighting Fantasy by Steve and Ian, with special guest Philippa Dickinson, the editor who first worked on The Warlock of Firetop Mountain.

Arion Games running Advanced Fighting Fantasy sessions throughout the day.

Tin Man Games talking about and demonstrating their latest FF apps.

Inkle Studios talking about their Sorcery! apps.

Various others traders, offering books for sale, wargaming miniatures, dice and gaming equipment, and more!

The official book launch of YOU ARE THE HERO - A History of Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks, written by Jonathan Green and supported by hundreds of FF fans through the Kickstarter crowd-funding website.

An exhibition of never-before-seen and highly-collectible items from FF's history.

An auction of rare Fighting Fantasy memorabilia from the vaults of the Warlocks of Firetop Mountain themselves.

And if all that wasn't enough you'll be able to have a drink with the creators of Fighting Fantasy at the Black Lobster Tavern, from Port Blacksand, City of Thieves, themed bar!

If you've not bought your ticket yet you can do so here. Please tell all your friends via social media and any other means at your disposal (such as telephone, email, carrier pigeon, smoke signals, sorcery...) and we'll look forward to seeing you in September!

Thursday 14 August 2014

Loncon 3 - a.k.a. The 72nd World Science Fiction Convention

Loncon 3 kicks off today, and runs all weekend until Monday. As well as a host of famous guests and the Hugo Awards, I shall be appearing at Loncon on Friday - incredibly on two panels!

Here are the details of the two panels I'm on.

I may also be at the SFX/Tor/Jo Fletcher Books do at the pub later that evening (dependent upon my two noise minions).

So maybe I'll see you there...

Wednesday 13 August 2014

Warhammer Wednesday: Imperial Fists Digital Downloads

This month, Black Library has released one of their ever increasing number of Quick Reads Collections, this time featuring the Imperial Fists Chapter of Space Marines.

As a result, my short story But Dust in the Wind has resurfaced again. And while we're talking of Imperial Fists stories by Yours Truly, my Warhammer 40K gamebook Herald of Oblivion is still available as well.

You can pick up the Imperial Fists: Quick Reads Collection here and Herald of Oblivion here.

Monday 11 August 2014

Good news! Tickets for Fighting Fantasy Fest 2014 will remain on sale until the end of August!

A number of people have let me know that they would still like to attend Fighting Fantasy Fest 2014, but are unable to commit a month before the event actually takes place. As a result, I have taken the decision to commit to making the maximum number of goodie bags and leaving tickets on sale until the end of the month.

So, if you've not bought your ticket yet, you have until 11:59pm on Sunday 31 August 2014 to do so. If you have bought your ticket, please also continue to plug the event and tell all your friends to buy their tickets too. If you are unable to attend, please let everyone else know about Fighting Fantasy Fest anyway.

Thank you.

Thought for the Day

"When writers die they become books, which is, after all, not too bad an incarnation."

~ Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986)

Sunday 10 August 2014

Fighting Fantasy Fest 2014 - Grab your ticket today!

Today is the last day to buy your ticket for Fighting Fantasy Fest and secure your exclusive goodie bag, including goodies to the value of £50!

The 'Adventurer's Backpack' contains...
  • A Fighting Fantasy gamebook
  • A Pax Britannia novel
  • A download code for a Tin Man Games app
  • A limited edition poster
  • A commemorative convention programme
  • And a 32mm miniature of Zagor the Warlock, especially sculpted for this event by Paul Muller and cast by Otherworld Miniatures

Don't delay, buy your ticket today!

Saturday 9 August 2014

Fighting Fantasy Fest 2014 - Hitting the Headlines!

Well, the geek press anyway.

YOU ARE THE HERO and FIGHTING FANTASY FEST both get a mention in the latest issues of SFX and SciFiNow magazines.

In SFX, FFF 2014 appears in the 'Event Horizon' part of the mag*, while SciFiNow features a full interview and six-page article with Messrs Jackson and Livingstone**.

Ian Livingstone on Blood of the Zombies, Fighting Fantasy Fest, and Karen Gillan. Obviously.

Perhaps you've stumbled across this very blog because of the aforementioned magazines. Well, have no fear, tickets for FIGHTING FANTASY FEST are still on sale here, and you will soon be able to pre-order your very own copy of YOU ARE THE HERO - A History of Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks (all 270 pages of it!), which now has an official publication date of Sunday 7 September - the same day as FIGHTING FANTASY FEST!

YOU ARE THE HERO in big, bold letters. Cool. 

Curse of the Mummy features one of the ten nastiest deaths in Fighting Fantasy, apparently. 

* Although the piece was written by the work experience girl and features one glaring inaccuracy.

** And Curse of the Mummy even gets a mention!