Wednesday 31 December 2014

What does the future hold?

As another year comes to an end, I find myself wondering what the new year will bring. For me, 2013 was definitely the Year of Moshi Monsters, while 2014 was the Year of YOU ARE THE HERO. But what will 2015 be known as in years to come?

Will it be the Year of Sharkpunk? The Year of The Warlock of Firetop Mountain? Or the Year of Steampunks vs Zombies? Only time will tell...

Tuesday 30 December 2014

YOU ARE THE HERO Selfie Competition Winner

A while ago now, I ran a competition whereby I asked readers of YOU ARE THE HERO to send me their selfies. After much deliberation I am happy to announce that we have a winner!

Jam Hirons as Akharis the Accursed

Jam will be receiving a copy of Christmas Explained: Robins, Kings and Brussel Sprouts through the post as a prize, and an honourable mention must go to Buddy Love.

Lovin' the manicure!

Monday 29 December 2014

Haunted Holidays

You may have noticed that I'm giving away one of my short stories for Christmas. Well I'm not the only one. Josh Reynolds, creator of the Royal Occultist, is giving away five of his.

The Royal Occultist: Haunted Holidays contains four previously published stories – The Dreaming Dead, Krampusnacht, The Gotterdammerung Gavotte, Feast of Fools – and one all new, never before published story, The Riders of St. George, which sees St. Cyprian and his more than able assistant Ebe Gallowglass battle an army of undead knights on St. George’s Day.

If you would like to download your free copy of Haunted Holidays, you can do so by clicking this handy link.

Thought for the Day

“I know that words cannot move mountains, but they can move the multitude - we've proven that time and time again. People are more ready to fight and die for a word than for anything else. Words shape thought, stir feeling, and force action. They kill and revive, corrupt and cure.”

~ Dan Abnett, Horus Rising

Sunday 28 December 2014

A late Christmas present...

For everyone!

Now I know Krampusnacht was celebrated back on the 5th December and the Feast of Saint Nicholas was on the 6th December, but Family Green are away in the snowy Austrian Tyrol at the moment, and in a fit of seasonal generosity, inspired by the inspiring surroundings, I am giving away a story I wrote back in 2012.

You can download a pdf of Claws here.

If you enjoy Claws, and you like you future police enforcement Mega-City One-flavoured, then chances are you will also enjoy my latest seasonal Judge Dredd offering, You'd Better Be Good, For Goodness' Sake.

And of course you can find out all about the Krampus in my Christmas book Christmas Explained: Robins, Kings and Brussel Sprouts.

Thursday 25 December 2014

Wednesday 24 December 2014

An early Christmas present...

For Android users everywhere. Bloodbones the App is now available from Tin Man Games. Ho ho ho and a bottle of rum!

BBC Wiltshire's Mr Christmas

In case you missed it, here's my appearance on BBC Radio Wiltshire from this time last week...

Tuesday 23 December 2014

SHARKPUNK - coming your way next May!

Coming next May from Snowbooks...


A collection of unashamedly pulp page-turners by some of the best writers in the business. The one thing they all have in common? Sharks, and lots of them! Featuring brand new, original short stories by...

Kit Cox, author of the Major Jack Union stories

Den Patrick, author of the Erebus Sequence

David Lee Stone, creator of the Illmoor Chronicles, Gladiator Boy and the Undead Ed series

Jonathan Oliver, author and award-winning editor

Gary McMahon - "Firmly in the front ranks of the new wave of British horror" (The Guardian)

Andrew Lane, author of the Young Sherlock Holmes novels

Josh Reynolds, creator of the Royal Occultist stories and phenomenally prolific tie-in author

Toby Frost, author of the Space Captain Smith books

Laurel Sills, author and co-editor of Holdfast Magazine

Ian Whates, award-nominated author, editor and publisher of speculative fiction

Al Ewing & Sarah Peploe - Sarah is an author and illustrator, while Al is an author best known for his work for legendary British anthology comic 2000AD

Kim Lakin-Smith, award-nominated author of YA and speculative fiction

David Tallerman, author of the Easie Damasco novels and numerous short stories

Steven Savile, international best-selling author and prolific tie-in writer

and more still to be announced...

Check out and 'Like' the Facebook here, to receive regular updates of this forthcoming anthology here, and tell all your friends!

Monday 22 December 2014

What do you want in your stocking this year? Why, YOU ARE THE HERO and Christmas Explained, of course!

Don't forget, it's not too late to purchase a copy of YOU ARE THE HERO - A History of Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks and for it to be delivered in time for Christmas in the UK - which is also true of my new book Christmas Explained: Robins, Kings and Brussel Sprouts.

And if you do happen to find a copy of either book for you under the tree this year, please consider adding a brief review to the relevant Amazon page. ;-)

Thought for the Day

"Every day you don't write is a day you spend trying to remember how to write."

~ Sam Sykes, Fantasy author

Friday 19 December 2014

Gamebook Friday: Maps of Titan, the Fighting Fantasy world, by Scriptarium

Those thoroughly decent chaps over at Scriptarium (French publisher of the Advanced Fighting Fantasy RPG) recently sent me a copy of their translation of Titan. One of the highlights of the book is the set of maps that comes with it.

The guys at Scriptarium consulted me on various regions of Titan that I developed, primarily the Old World kingdom of Ruddlestone, but also the Giant's Teeth chain of islands (from the long defunct Saga of the Stormchaser proposal*).


The Giant's Teeth

One of the coolest maps is one of the entire FF world with the gamebooks that take place there connected to their relevant locations. (Most of mine appear in the same corner of the map.)

If you're a fan of FF then you should really pick up a copy of Titan, just so that you can get your hands on these wonderful maps.

* To find out more about that you'll have to read YOU ARE THE HERO - A History of Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks.

Thursday 18 December 2014

What do you buy the RPG/Gamebook fan in your life for Christmas?

Why YOU ARE THE HERO - A History of Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks, of course! And what better gift than a limited edition hardback copy of the book signed by the author himself?

If you live in the UK and would like to give this unique gift to your loved one (or yourself) this Christmas, then email me on before 6.00pm on Friday (GMT) and Santa's little helper will see what he can do.

Ho ho ho, may your STAMINA never fail.

(And don't forget to send me you YOU ARE THE HERO selfies to be in with a chance of winning a copy of my new book Christmas Explained: Robins, Kings and Brussel Sprouts.)

Wednesday 17 December 2014

Warhammer Wednesday: Eaten by Rats

My Warhammer short story Sticks and Stones is now available as part of the Eaten by Rats eBook collection. You can download yours here.

Monday 15 December 2014

Send me your Selfies!

Want to win a copy of my new Christmas book Christmas Explained: Robins, Kings and Brussel Sprouts? Of course you do! Then read on...

There's a week of shopping left until Christmas and I would like your help in giving sales of YOU ARE THE HERO - A History of Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks a bit of a boost in the run up to the festive feast. What I want you to do is post a selfie of yourself (obviously) holding a copy of YOU ARE THE HERO, along with the following message and link:

YOU ARE THE HERO - A History of Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks, a must buy for Christmas! 

If you do so on Facebook please tag the YOU ARE THE HERO Facebook page (and send me a link at just to be sure) and if you do so on Twitter, make sure you add @You_Are_TheHero at the beginning of your missive (otherwise I may well miss it), like this (only with a better photo attached).

Now when I say 'selfie' feel free to go to town on this. You might want to dress up, choose a suitably atmospheric location for your photo, or Photoshop yourself and a copy of YOU ARE THE HERO into another appropriate picture. This important thing is that you appear in the picture, along with YOU ARE THE HERO, and that the all important Amazon link is attached too.

According to Amazon, if you order by 7.00pm on Tuesday 23rd December 2014, you can have your parcel delivered by 1.00pm on Christmas Eve (if you live in the UK), so the competition is going to stay open until then (so there's no immediate rush if you want to take a bit of trouble over your entry*).

Competition closes 19:00 hrs GMT, Tuesday 23rd December!

I shall look forward to seeing your YOU ARE THE HERO selfies. Choice of winner will be completely arbitrary (and quite possibly based on names out of a hat) and the judge's decision is final.

Good luck!

* Unless you're reading this at 6.55pm on Tuesday 23rd December, of course.

Thought for the Day

People who read fiction tend to be more empathic towards others.

To find out more about this story, click this link.

Saturday 13 December 2014

Short Story Saturday: You'd Better Be Good, For Goodness' Sake

Is it really two years ago that I posted news about having my first Judge Dredd story published? Well the new festive issue is out today (not that it is particularly festive) and I'm in it again. :-)

My first published Dredd story was about a juve called Simon with latent psi-powers unleashed as a consequence of the Chaos Bug. My second Dredd story, a two-parter, was about a Judge going rogue, motivated by the desperate desire for justice for his family.

My latest offering was always intended to be a festive treat and features something to do with the holiday season that I've written about before... And that's all I'm saying, other than, "Happy Christmas, Stephen Volk!"

I was tempted to go with "'Twas the night before Christmas," but didn't think I'd get away with it. That said, how many other Christmas references can you spot in You'd Better Be Good, For Goodness' Sake...?

To know what the hell I'm talking about, you'd better pick up your copy of the Judge Dredd Megazine #355 when it comes out later this week.

YOU ARE THE HERO - A Top Pick for Christmas!

YOU ARE THE HERO - A History of Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks, has been named as one of the Best Little Bookshop's Top 50 Picks for Christmas alongside titles such as Build Your Own Chocolate Factory, H P Lovecraft, Lego Architecture, and Terry Pratchett's Dragons of Crumbling Castle.

If you have yet to pick up a copy, you can do so here from the Best Little Bookshop.

Friday 12 December 2014

Gamebook Friday: Bloodbones Sets Sail Again...

... Soon!

The first non-Steve Jackson or Ian Livingstone FF app, ably illustrated by Tony Hough, will be putting into port soon (as in before the end of the month). Watch this space for more details.

PS - In case I didn't already mention it, the soundtrack is awesome! It even gives the likes of Pirates of the Caribbean and Assassin's Creed: Black Flag a run for their money!

Tuesday 9 December 2014

Tie-in Tuesday: Judge Dredd Megazine #355

Coming soon...

And check out the announcement below (for what should be #355 of the Meg), creeps*...

* Just kiddin'. ;-)

Monday 8 December 2014

Thought for the Day

"Growing up is highly overrated. Just be an author."
~ Neil Gaiman, Author

Sunday 7 December 2014

YOU ARE THE HERO at Dragonmeet 2014

I can't believe that it's three months since Fighting Fantasy Fest 2014, where YOU ARE THE HERO - A History of Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks was launched, and I realised yesterday, whilst at the 15th Dragonmeet convention, that it was two years since I launched the Kickstarter* to fund the creation of the book in the first place.

What was great about yesterday was the number of YOU ARE THE HERO backers and Fighting Fantasy Fest attendees who stopped by my stable to say (a) how much they had enjoyed the book, and (b) asking if there would be another Fighting Fantasy Fest in 2015.

Several people who have already read YOU ARE THE HERO also persuaded their friends to pick up a copy on the day. As to the other matter, discussions will be taking place in the new year...

I always enjoy attending cons because it's a chance to catch up with friends in the gaming community (in the case of Dragonmeet) and it was good to see Tony Hough, Graham Bottley, James Wallis, Dom McDowall, Jamie Fry, Stuart Lloyd, Daniel Gooch, Sarah Newton, Mark Crew, Helena Nash (check out her new Choose Your Own Adventure style story here) and many others. It was also good to properly meet Chris Birch (who, along with his team, did a great job of organising his first Dragonmeet), Michele Howe**, Pete Wood, Sam Ockham and Andrew Harman, who was wowing everyone with Frankenstein's Bodies.***

Dr Frankenstein (a.k.a. Andrew Harman) and his latest test subject.

I also met Pookie, who posted this recent review of YOU ARE THE HERO online. And the most unlikely meetings of the day was with Alex Day off of YouTube (who was promoting his Sopio Cards), and the Krankies, who had parked next to us in the car park! (I don't think they were attending Dragonmeet, but I could be wrong.)

Ian and Steve stopped by after their Top 10 games talk, to sign books (including a couple of copies of YOU ARE THE HERO), which was nice, and they were joined by ace artist Tony Hough.

Steve, Ian and Tony signing for the FF fans.

Thanks to all the organisers, everyone who stopped by my table, as well as Linda, Nimrod and Thea who kept the Greens company during the day (and an eye on all our stuff from time to time). Here's to Dragonmeet 2015!

My stand and my minions. (They're actually getting quite useful now.)

* Talking of Kickstarters, I might be running another one next year. Watch this space...

** A special thank you to Michele's friend (I'm sorry but I don't remember his name) who told me a great fact about reindeer that will have to go in a future edition of Christmas Explained

*** Talking of which, I really need to get my Steampunk dice game sorted out.

Friday 5 December 2014

Gamebook Friday: YOU ARE THE HERO at Dragonmeet 2014

I shall be at Dragonmeet 2014 tomorrow, attending as a guest author, and I shall have a few remaining hardback copies of YOU ARE THE HERO - A History of Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks with me. Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone are also going to be in attendance, and will be signing copies of the book after 2pm. I'm also hoping that FF illustrator and long-time collaborator Tony Hough that will be there as well.

If you would like to pick one up, make sure you drop by the Author area. I'll also have some badges and dice for sale. After all, Dragonmeet wouldn't be Dragonmeet without the dice. And remember, if you are planning on popping along, this year Dragonmeet is being held at the Ibis Hotel Earls Court and ILEC Convention Centre (47 Lillie Road, London, SW6 1UD).

Maybe I'll see you there...

Tuesday 2 December 2014

YOU ARE THE HERO at Dragonmeet '14

I shall be at Dragonmeet at the ILEC Convention Centre, London, this Saturday 6th December, along with the few last hardback copies of YOU ARE THE HERO - A History of Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks. 

Tickets are just £8 until Friday night, and £10 on the day. It's free entry for children under 16 attending with an adult and there's are free local parking. (You can find out more at

Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone are also going to be in attendance. They will be giving a talk about their Top 10 Games at 1.00pm and afterwards (at around 2.00pm) they will be stopping by my table to sign copies of YOU ARE THE HERO. So if you've yet to pick up a copy and missed Fighting Fantasy Fest 2014, why not pop along on Saturday?

Monday 1 December 2014

Fighting Fantasy Fest 2014

It is almost three months since the world's first international Fighting Fantasy convetion was held in London but two videos from the day have just been uploaded to YouTube by Fighting Fantasy Fest attendee, and YOU ARE THE HERO Kickstarter backer, James Aukett.

The first is Steve and Ian's excellent talk with Philippa Dickinson and Geraldine Cooke about the origins of Fighting Fantasy. The second is the Art of Fighting Fantasy panel that I hosted.

If you were there, they will doubtless bring back fond memories of the day. If you weren't this is the moment you've been waiting for. Enjoy.

Thought for the Day