Thursday 31 December 2015

Review of the Year - 2015

This time last year I posted a blog wondering what the future had in store for 2015. "Will it be the Year of Sharkpunk? The Year of The Warlock of Firetop Mountain? Or theYear of Steampunks vs Zombies? Only time will tell..."

Well, as it turned out, one of those projects has yet to materialise but what's funny, looking back now, is that Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland never even got a mention, because I hadn't come up with the idea at the time. It just goes to show what a difference a year can make.

2013 was the Year of Moshi Monsters, while 2014 was the Year of YOU ARE THE HERO, and 2015 will now go down in my memory as the Year of Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland. However, my gamebook re-imagining of Lewis Carroll's classic wasn't the only highlight of my writing year.

First off 2015 was the year I first edited and compiled a short story anthology, and not just one but two. May saw the launch of SHARKPUNK, a month before the 40th anniversary of the movie Jaws, and in August GAME OVER was published.

In 2015 LEGO was named the brand of the year, and 2015 also just happened to be the year I contributed to my first LEGO book and that I wrote my first Twelfth Doctor book, who ended up immortalised in LEGO this year too. 2015 was also the year my first work for World of Warriors saw print.

But December was the biggest month for me, with The Ulysses Quicksilver Omnibus Volume 2 seeing print, along with Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland and the spin-off adult colouring book, Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland Colouring Book.

I already have a number of new projects lined up for next year, so what will 2016 be remembered as? The Year of Robin of Sherwood? The Year of Shakespeare Vs Cthulhu? Or the Year of Dorothy's Nightmare in Oz*? Only time will tell...

* Or should I call it The Warmonger of Oz? I'm not sure...

Monday 28 December 2015

Thought for the Day

“I’ll call for pen and ink and write my mind.”
~ William Shakespeare

Wednesday 23 December 2015

Monday 21 December 2015

Shakespeare Vs Cthulhu launches on Kickstarter today!

Launching today, Monday 21st December 2015, at 1.00pm GMT is Shakespeare Vs Cthulhu.
Imagine if it had been William Shakespeare, England’s greatest playwright, who had discovered the truth about the Great Old Ones and the cosmic entity we know as Cthulhu, rather than the American author H P Lovecraft.
Imagine if Stratford’s favourite son had been the one to learn of the dangers of seeking after forbidden knowledge and of the war waged between the Elder Gods in the Outer Darkness, and had passed on that message, to those with the eyes to see it, through his plays and poetry.
Welcome to the world of Shakespearean Cthulhu!
You can find out more about the project here, and check out the Christmas Robin Early Bird backer rewards in particular. Get in there fast and you could grab yourself a bargain!

Thought for the Day

“Plots may be simple or complex; but suspense, and climactic progress from one incident to another, are essential.”
~ H P Lovecraft, Cthulhu's creator

Saturday 19 December 2015

Short Story Saturday: Shakespeare Vs Cthulhu - coming to Kickstarter very soon...

Check out the Shakespeare Vs Cthulhu Kickstarter preview page here, and set your alarm for 1.00pm GMT on Monday 21st December 2015 to make sure you grab yourself a cyclopean bargain!

Friday 18 December 2015

Gamebook Friday - Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland and Doctor Who: Night of the Kraken

Now available via Amazon, as well as direct from the publisher Snowbooks, is Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland, featuring the awesome artwork of Kev Crossley.

Several years after the events of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, Alice finds herself back in Wonderland and called upon to save the world of playing cards and talking animals from the increasingly deranged Queen of Hearts. But all is not as it first appears in the fluctuating dream world and soon Alice is battling to save herself from the nightmare that is rapidly overtaking the realm. 

Have you ever wondered what would have happened if Alice hadn’t drunk from the bottle labelled ‘Drink Me’, or if she hadn’t joined the Hatter, the March Hare, and the Dormouse for tea? Well now you can find out. In Alice’s Nightmare in Wonderland, YOU decide which route Alice should take, which perils to risk, and which of Wonderland’s strange denizens to fight. But be warned – whether Alice succeeds in her quest or meets a dire end as the nightmare escalates will be down to the choices YOU make. 

Are you ready to go back down the rabbit-hole?

In other gamebook-related news, I am very pleased to announce that next Spring will see the release of my latest Doctor Who book, Night of the Kraken.

It is the first in a brand new series of choose your path adventure gamebooks called Doctor Who - Choose the Future, in which, rather than play the part of a character who meets the Doctor during the course of one of his adventures*, you actually get to decide what the Doctor does next.

And the best news is, if the first books in the series do well enough, there will be more to come. So, watch this space...

* As long-time readers of this blog will know was the case with my previous Doctor Who gamebook The Horror of Howling Hill.

Thursday 17 December 2015

Robin of Sherwood: The Knights of the Apocalypse

On Tuesday I teased you with news of a new book of mine that will be out next Spring, and today I'm doing the same with regards to another book that will be out next Summer.

Now that the news has been released via the official Facebook page for the project, I am delighted to be able to announce that I will be writing the novelisation of Robin of Sherwood: The Knights of the Apocalypse, based on a script written by the creator of the iconic ITV show, Richard Carpenter.

You can read the official 'press release' here.

Tuesday 15 December 2015

Tie-in Tuesday - Doctor Who: Night of the Kraken

Coming in 2016...

In 18th-century England, the Twelfth Doctor meets a roguish time-smuggler and faces terrifying creatures from both the land and the sea. Will the Doctor find a way to save the world?

Monday 14 December 2015

Thought for the Day

"Never say no to adventures. Always say yes. Otherwise you will lead a very dull life."

~ Ian Fleming, creator of the James Bond novels

Sunday 13 December 2015

Anno Dracula - SFX #269 Book Club

SFX #269 is out now, in time for Christmas, and this month's Book Club feature is another piece by Yours Truly, this time about Kim Newman's sublime Anno Dracula (which might just have had a small impact on the creation of my own Pax Britannia universe).

This is my seventh Book Club piece. The complete list to date reads as follows:

SFX #219 - Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
SFX #225 - The Warlock of Firetop Mountain
SFX #232 - The Tripods Trilogy
SFX #239 - The Haunting of Toby Jugg
SFX #254 - The Iron Man
SFX #259 - On Stranger Tides
SFX #269 - Anno Dracula

So, what's next...

Saturday 12 December 2015

Short Story Saturday: Miracle on 34th and Peltzer

Subscriber copies of the bumper Christmas issue of 2000AD have arrived through festive postboxes the country over today. This year the prog just has a normal number, rather than being numbered after the year, but that aside, it's still 100 pages of festive F, SF and WTF fun.

In previous years, the Christmas edition of 2000AD's sister title The Judge Dredd Megazine has featured a Judge Dredd short story by Yours Truly. This year I have also written a festive Dredd - but it's appearing in Prog 1961 instead! :-)

The story - entitled Miracle on 34th and Peltzer - returns to the same location as last year's You'd Better Be Good For Goodness' Sake but is a very different beast. Rather than being a seasonal ghost story about a festive fiend, this time I've gone for something a lot more comic in tone that harks back to the early days of 2000AD. I hope Tooth readers enjoy it.

 My first short story in 2000AD! :-) Can you tell I'm pleased? ;-)

Liking the font choice here. :-)

And I'm in good company in Prog 1961. The comic also features the work of m'colleagues Dan Abnett, Gordon Rennie, Tiernen Trevallion (who illustrated my short story The Plague Pit in Inferno! magazine and who is hopefully going to be contributing to Shakespeare Vs Cthulhu), Clint Langley (who was responsible for the cover of my first novel The Dead and the Damned back in 2002), and Simon Davis (who illustrated my short story Mark of the Beast in Inferno! magazine).

Sunday 6 December 2015

Happy St Nicholas Day

In case you didn't already know, today is St Nicholas Day and for some children in Europe, that means that tonight is the equivalent of Christmas Eve, with the Big Man delivering their presents... if they've been good. But if they've been bad, they'll have the Krampus to deal with.

If you didn't see it last year, here's my own St Nicholas Day present to you. And on the subject of Krampus, you might want to check out the first of this year's new Christmas movie releases...

Saturday 5 December 2015

Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland launches at Dragonmeet 2015

Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland , my brand-new adventure gamebook, launches at Dragonmeet 2015 in London at 12.00pm today, Saturday 5 December, at Stand #1A. So whatever you do, don't be late for the Mad Hatter's Tea Party!

There will be cake, and books, and cake, and playing cards, and cake, and more books... And did I mention that there will be cake? And mince pies, but you'll need to bring your own tea.

I will also be selling signed hardback copies of YOU ARE THE HERO - A History of Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks, as well as the brand-new The Ulysses Quicksilver Omnibus - Volume 2!

So if you're visiting the convention today, why not stop by Stand #1A and say hi?

If you can't make it to Dragonmeet, you can order your copy of Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland - and the spin-off Colouring Book, featuring Kev Crossley's incredible illustrations - here.

Friday 4 December 2015

Gamebook Friday: Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland

Tomorrow sees the launch of Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland at Dragonmeet 2015 in London. And what began as an optimistic Kickstarter project 5 months ago today, is now an actual thing!

You can order your copy of Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland - and the spin-off Colouring Book, featuring Kev Crossley's incredible illustrations - here.

Thursday 3 December 2015

Steampunk Thursday: The Ulysses Quicksilver Omnibus - Vol. 2

I've got three books out this week, and they're all Steampunk-related - Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland the gamebook, the Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland Colouring Book, and The Ulysses Quicksilver Omnibus Volume 2!

In his ongoing adventures in the services of the Empire, Ulysses Quicksilver - hero and dandy - is increasingly confronted with the darkness at the heart of Britannia.
This worthy tome collects three tales of desperation:

Tuesday 1 December 2015

Christmas Explained, from A(dvent) to Z(oophagous)

It's 1st December again, the night's have drawn in, there's a distinct chill in the air, and what better way is there to prepare yourself for the coming of Christmas than to dip into Christmas Explained - Robins, Kings and Brussel Sprouts every day in Advent.

You'll discover all sorts of fascinating Yuletide facts, including the origins of the Advent calendar, the origins of Yule, and the origins of the traditional family pantomime.

Christmas Explained is available now from Snowbooks (appropriately enough) and via Amazon.

Oh, and if you'll able to (and up early enough), why not tune in to BBC Radio Wiltshire this morning between 8.00am and 8.30am, when I will be making an 'appearance' on Ben Prater's show?

Monday 30 November 2015

Happy St Andrew's Day from Scottish Miscellany!

Seeing as how it's St Andrew's Day - hello to all my Scottish fans - I thought it worth reminding you that I wrote a book about all things Scottish, once upon a time.

And do you know what's really good about this book? My Scottish Miscellany is now in a new edition - and yes, you did read that right, it does say that I'm the best-selling author of Skyhorse Publishing's Christmas Miscellany. Speaking of which, it's 1st December tomorrow...

The Warhammer 40,000 Fifty Quick Reads eBundle

Continuing the Cyber Monday madness, Black Library are offering - for one day only! - this amazing eBundle, featuring 50 Warhammer 40K short stories, by 38 different authors, with my own Black Templars story The Relic making yet another appearance.

So don't delay - download today!

Cyber Monday Madness

It's Cyber Monday, so why not considering purchasing a Pax Britannia eBook, or the Temple of the Spider God gamebook app, or Warlock's Bounty: Revenge of the Sorcerer over on Google Play, or even GAME OVER - a book all about cyber-related shenanigans?

Thought for the Day

The Doctor is such a familiar character, do kids think you're actually him?

"It's lovely. I'm still Peter, but when I walk into a room I get all the smiles the Doctor would get. The other day I had a little girl come up to me and throw her arms around my neck, crying: 'Doctor Who, Doctor Who.' 

"It's very easy to make people happy when they're automatically glad to see you and you just have to be nice to them in return. Which is a pretty good rule for life. Just show up and don't be horrible, and you'd be surprised how much people like it."

~ Peter Capaldi, the Twelfth Doctor

Sunday 29 November 2015

The Warlock of Firetop Mountain - The Eleventh Hour!*

There are only eleven hours to go until The Warlock of Firetop Mountain Kickstarter funds (at 11.00pm on Sunday, UK time). If you've not backed it yet, don't miss out on this unique opportunity.

You can read about my involvement in the project here.

* And don't worry, I know that's not what the expression 'eleventh hour' means, it was just too good a phrase not to use it. ;-)

Saturday 28 November 2015

Dragonmeet 2015 - one week to go!

There's only one week to go until Dragonmeet, where I will be launching my brand new, choose your path adventure gamebook Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland. The launch itself will happen at 12.00pm - after the Jackson and Livingstone signing at the Fighting Fantasy stand that is next door to mine.

Click image to enlarge.

Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland is going to feature in the event programme too, partly in the form of this rather fine advert...

... and partly in a piece I've written about converting Lewis Carroll's classic children's book.

So if you're in the West London/Ibis Hotel Earls Court area, why not stop by and say hello? Just look for this banner!