Saturday 31 January 2015

Short Story Saturday: SHARKPUNK

An anthology of killer shark stories

Sharks – the ultimate predators, masters of their watery domain, a world that is entirely alien and inhospitable to man. So many aspects of the shark are associated with humankind’s most primal fears. The tell-tale dorsal fin slicing through the water, the dead eyed-stare, the gaping jaws full to unforgiving teeth, the remorseless drive to kill and feed…

Inspired by such classic pulp movies as Jaws and Deep Blue Sea – as well as such ludicrous delights as Sharknado and Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus – the stories contained within are rip-roaring page-turners and slow-build chillers that celebrate all things savage, pulp and selachian.

Covering the whole range of speculative fiction genres, from horror and Steampunk, through to SF and WTF, these are stories with bite!

Come on in. The water’s fine…

Friday 30 January 2015

Gamebook Friday: Bloodbones reviewed

Reviews of Tin Man Games' version of my fourth Fighting Fantasy gamebook Bloodbones have been appearing steadily ever since the app was release. Here are just some of things people have been saying about it.

"Fast paced and challenging, this adventure is FF at it's best! J.Green expertly tells a story rich in detail and epic in scope. Traps and puzzles along the way all lead to a mighty chase and tough showdown with Cinnabar. Another fantastic game book from TMG with detailed maps, artwork and genuine love for source material. ★★★★★ Top notch!!"

"Bloodbones is the eighth classic Fighting Fantasy title that Tin Man Games have adapted, and this one is a glum little semi-horror adventure set in a dark pirate fantasy setting... Older folk who have fond memories of gamebooks before video games were anything more than bleeps and bloops in dingy arcades and who have somehow not yet played one of Tin Man Games' titles... well, you may as well start here." ~ 

"The right kind of pulp fantasy that makes for a real page turner of an experience."

"Jonathan Green's writing is strong throughout... the presentation is top notch, with attractive page turn transitions, and excellent audio design that both ratchets up the tension during fight sequences, and provides a spooky atmosphere that, smartly, never distracts from the act of reading." ~

"Great book :) Keep them coming Tin Man Games."

To download the app for your prized piece of tech of choice, follow this link.

Thursday 29 January 2015

Steampunk Thursday: Leviathan Rising auf Deutsch

Today is the official publication date of the German language paperback edition of Leviathan Rising, my second Ulysses Quicksilver Pax Britannia adventure.

The German translation (by Michael Knarr) has been published Luzifer-Verlag, the publishers who previously put out the German edition of Unnatural History. This new edition also features a brand new cover by the very talented Timo Kümmel.

In 80 Tagen um die Welt – mit Stil! Dieses vollmundige Versprechen der Carcharodon Shipping Company soll mit der Jungfernfahrt des neuesten und mehr als beeindruckenden Unterwasserkreuzfahrtschiffs Neptune auf die Probe gestellt werden.

Unter den Reisenden befindet sich auch Ulysses Quicksilver, der Dandy-Abenteurer und Held von Magna Britannia, um sich eine wohlverdiente Ruhepause nach den traumatischen Erlebnissen des 160. Thronjubiläums von Queen Victoria zu gönnen.

Doch bereits wenige Tage nach dem Besuch der Unterwasserstadt Pacifica kommt es zur Katastrophe. Ein brutaler Mord wird begangen, und kurz darauf wird die Neptune Opfer einer Sabotage, welche das Schiff in die bodenlose Tiefe des Meeres sinken lässt. Doch gefangen auf dem Meeresgrund, haben die Probleme für die Überlebenden gerade erst begonnen. Denn hier unten lauert ein jahrzehntealtes Geheimnis auf sie.

Der Leviathan ist erwacht und erhebt sich hungrig aus der Tiefe. Wenn er sich auf die Jagd begibt, wird niemand seiner urzeitlichen Wut entkommen …

If you read German and you enjoy Steampunk pulp page-turners, follow this link to pick up a copy for yourself.

Wednesday 28 January 2015

Warhammer Wednesday: Necrons - The Everliving Legion

Rising from the depths of their tomb worlds, the ancient Necrons are returning to claim the stars - and Warhammer 40,000 - for their own.

Deathless warriors of living metal march forth in lockstep legions under the pitiless gaze of their Overlords. For millennia the Necron dynasties have slumbered beneath desolate wildernesses and the unsuspecting populations of planets across the galaxy for the last 60 million years, but now they are awakening.

Armed with impossible technologies and the science of another age, the Necrons spread out across the void to reclaim their empire. Before their relentless advance civilisations crumble and armies fall, the burning cities of their enemies reflected in the cold, glittering eyes of this ancient menace.

The Everliving Legion is a new eBook anthology from the Black Library featuring seven Necron short stories set across the galaxy of the 41st millennium. As well as being great stories, this collection is also a great overview of the sinister threat of this ancient xenos race upon the galaxy, and it just so happens to include one of my short stories, But Dust in the Wind.

Follow this link to download your copy today.

Monday 26 January 2015

Thought for the Day

"We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be."
~ Kurt Vonnegut

Saturday 24 January 2015

Short Story Saturday: 2015 - The Year of the Shark

As we're almost a month into the new year, I thought it was timely to pass on some Sharkpunk news and to ask a couple of favours of you, the future fans and evangelists of the phenomenon that is SHARKPUNK.

First off, all the stories for this selachian-inspired short story anthology are in and I am delighted to be able to tell you that we have secured the services of a totally awesome cover artist, the identity of whom we will be announcing soon, alongside the first reveal of his frankly fantastic Sharkpunk cover art.

It you're on Twitter, please follow @Sharkpunked and share the handle on #ff Follow Friday. Also, if you ever happen to Tweet about Sharkpunk, please use the hashtag #Sharkpunk.

Sharkpunk also has its own Facebook page, which you can access here. Please 'Like' this and ask all of your friends and followers to 'Like' it too. The more buzz we can create about the book before it's released the better. (It would be brilliant if we could hit 1,000 Facebook 'Likes' before the book cruises into warmer waters this coming May.)

Please spread the word about Sharkpunk however you see fit, and I'll see you again soon. (Just so long as I remember to stay out of the water.)

Tuesday 20 January 2015

Tie-in Tuesday: Public Lending Right loans - 2013/2014

I'm now in my eighth year of doing this, so here's the list of my top ten most library-loaned books for July 2013 - June 2014 (with last year's placings in brackets):

1. (3) The Night Before Twistmas (Sep 12)
2. (1) Monstrous Missions (Feb 12)
3. (7) Zack Binspin (Mar 13)
4. (2) The Horror of Howling Hill (Mar 08)
5. (-) The Great Moshling Egg (Dec 13)
6. (5) Moshi Music Stars (Jan 13)
7. (4) Crisis on Coruscant (Jan 10)
8. (6) Stormslayer (Sep 09)
9. (-) Moshi Monsters: Moshipedia (Nov 13)
10. (9) Night of the Necromancer (Apr 10)

This last year has been my most successful year Public Lending Rights-wise. Thank the Lord for tie-in titles, that's what I say. (Only one of my tie-in books didn't appear in my top ten this year, and that was the 2010 Official Doctor Who Annual which I ended up writing most of.)

My Fighting Fantasy titles continue to prove popular, even though some of them were written years ago. Once again, Stormslayer is my most borrowed FF gamebook. (There are nine titles on the following list, because several of the books appear in more than one edition.)

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

My Pax Britannia books are also good loaners, with the newest title Time's Arrow moving into pole position this year.

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

Monday 19 January 2015

Thought for the Day

"Talent is extremely common. What is rare is the willingness to endure the life of the writer."

~ Kurt Vonnegut, American writer

Friday 16 January 2015

Gamebook Friday: YOU ARE THE HERO - 'A cultural roadmap of an '80s childhood'

That's what Jes Bickham, current editor of White Dwarf magazine and the man who commissioned my original History of Fighting Fantasy piece for an SFX Fantasy special back in 2012 says, more or less. Here's Jes in his own words:

"I read You Are The Hero over Christmas and what a treat it was... Not only was the book an absorbing account of a phenomenon, it also acted as a strange cultural roadmap for my childhood/adolescence - like you, I grew up with GW and now I find myself editing my favourite magazine from when I was 13! Lovely stuff, and very well done sir."

If you haven't got hold of a copy yourself yet, you can acquire a strictly limited edition signed hardback here.

* * * * *

In other gamebook-related news, Bloodbones the App appears to be going down a storm and has certainly created some buzz online, such as here, and here (even if Pocket Gamer don't actually know who wrote it).

The Tin Man himself has this to say about his company's latest release:

"Jonathan Green has become the modern standard bearer for Fighting Fantasy, having recently written You Are The Hero, a history of the series. I’m really thrilled to have one of Jon’s titles as part of our FF library and Bloodbones is truly an epic adventure – one of our biggest yet!"

Illustrator Tony Hough gets a mention too:

"Veteran fantasy and science-fiction artist, Tony Hough, has also returned to add some colour to his original black and white artwork, which can still be viewed by playing in an added retro mode."

Reviews have already appeared on 148apps and Playboard, with the latter saying:

"This one is from Tin Man Games. Almost all of their gamebooks were awesome and this one is even better - fantastic story and just so much fun!"

Don't forget you can download Bloodbones for the smartphone of your choice via the portal here.

Thursday 15 January 2015

Steampunk Thursday: Redemption 15

In case this hasn't come onto your radar yet... just over a month, I shall be one of the guests attending Redemption '15, the Multimedia Science Fiction Convention that's taking place on 20-22 February at the Britannia Hotel in Coventry*.

Among the panels that may possibly be taking place during the course of the weekend is 'Is Steampunk History?' So if you'd like to see me make a total fool of myself trying to defend the sub-genre of good manners, top hats, corsets, cog-laden goggles, steam-powered ray guns, and tea duelling, why not pop along?

You can find out more about the con here, and regular news updates are posted on the Red 15 Facebook page.

* I spent four years at the University of Warwick on the borders of Coventry, and it's been a while since I've been back there.

Wednesday 14 January 2015

Warhammer Wednesday: Rise of the Skaven

Black Library have been making much of their Skaven stories of late, what with the Rise of the Horned Rat in the Old World with the coming of the End Times. The chittering denizens of the Under-Empire have appeared in various of my Black Library stories including Sir Dagobert's Last Battle, the Badenov's Band story The Nagenhof Bell, and quite extensively in my Path to Victory gamebook Shadows Over Sylvania.

All of the above are available direct from Black Library, Sir Dagobert's Last Battle as part of Hammer and Bolter Issue #9, The Nagenhof Bell as part of Swords of the Empire, and Shadows Over Sylvania as its own print on demand title. Just follow the links to find out more and purchase them.

Bloodbones the App - available for iOS from today!

Having been available for Android users since Christmas Eve, Bloodbones, the app version of my fourth Fighting Fantasy gamebook put together by Tin Man Games, is available for iOS devices from today.

"The dreaded pirate-lord Cinnabar, scourge of the twelve seas, plagued the seafarers of the Old World in a bloody reign of terror until a brave adventurer put an end to his evil. But now he is back from the dead, seeking revenge, with the dark powers of voodoo at his command."

To be honest, the app is worth downloading for the soundtrack alone. So what are you waiting for? You can download all the different versions of the app here.

Tuesday 13 January 2015

Fighting Fantazine #14 available now!

Issue #14 of the hugely popular and highly professionally put together Fighting Fantasy fanzine Fighting Fantazine is now available for download - for FREE!

I have been particularly looking forward to this issue, because not one, not two, but three of my projects feature within its 104 pages!

First up is Bloodbones, or more specifically, Tin Man Games' adaptation of my fourth Fighting Fantasy adventure which was on hiatus for ten years until it was finally published by Wizard Books nine years ago*.

Bloodbones gets bigged up.

Second up is a report on Fighting Fantasy Fest 2014, written by Andrew Jones...

It's nice to see some pictures from the Fest from the other side of the table.

...and third is another glowing review of YOU ARE THE HERO, this time by Stuart Lloyd.

According to Stuart's review, if you're reading this you should also own a copy of YOU ARE THE HERO. 

The issue also includes a brand new Lone Wolf adventure this time, and an in depth interview with Marc Gascoigne, who was consultant editor on the series when I started writing for Fighting Fantasy... almost 23 years ago**!

Congratulations to Editor Alex Ballingall and the team, for another fantastic issue, and you can download your FREE copy by clicking this link.

* Crikey! Has it really been that long?

** It's actually nearer 25 years*** since I first started pitching ideas to Marc.

*** That's a quarter of a century!

Friday 9 January 2015

Gamebook Friday: All I wanted for Christmas was... YOU ARE THE HERO!

So Black Friday has been and gone, Christmas has been and gone, the New Year sales are as good as over, and still no one has bought you a copy of the critically-acclaimed* YOU ARE THE HERO - A History of Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks. What's a gamebook fan to do?

Simple answer is drop me a line at and I'll sort you out with one of the few remaining hardback copies of YOU ARE THE HERO, and I'll even sign it for you. Now I can't say fairer than that, can I?

The hardback and the softback editions of YOU ARE THE HERO side by side.

The books cost £40.00 each, which includes post and packing within the UK. (Overseas readers will need to pay a little bit more to acquire their signed copies.) I shall look forward to hearing from you.

* 38 five-star reviews on Amazon, at the last count.

Wednesday 7 January 2015

Warhammer Wednesday: Free Shipping Ends Today!

Christmas has been and gone but Black Library's free shipping offer is still going - just. On top of that, it turns out that a couple of my Direct Exclusive titles are down to the last few copies and aren't going to be reprinted.

So if you fancy picking up a copy of the Warhammer 40,000 novel Iron Hands (there are less than 5 copies left!) or The Armageddon Omnibus* (there's a few more of those, but not many more) then follow this link.

* I'm also in the Necromunda Omnibus 2, but I don't get any royalties from sales of that particular title.

Monday 5 January 2015

Thought for the Day

13 New Year’s Resolutions for Writers

  1. Write what you’re called to write. Your job is not to pander or entertain. It’s to create, to share stuff from the soul as you are moved. If others are moved, well, then that is merely coincidental. Consider it “gravy.” Your job is to write. Leave the results to the readers.
  2. Tell the truth. No matter what, regardless of what is at stake, we must write what is true — true to us and true to the world. Anything deviating from that standard is a farce.
  3. Write from the heart. Nothing stirs up the emotions of a reader quite like writing that comes straight from the heart. So don’t hold back now. This is the year where you show all your scars.
  4. Don’t take yourself so seriously. Good writing is funny. It makes the reader laugh. If all you’re writing is the facts without bits of fun thrown in, you’re acting like a reporter, not a writer. Which is fine, unless you’re called to create something that tests the boundaries of the status quo. In that case, you better start having fun.
  5. Try a new genre. Are you a business advice writer? Try memoir. A novelist? Consider writing a journalism piece. Whatever you are comfortable with will ultimately cause your art to stagnate. So honor your calling as a creative and test the boundaries a little. Push yourself and see how you grow.
  6. Write when you don’t feel like it. No excuses now. We’re counting on you to do the work. Don’t disappoint us or make excuses. Show up — at the keyboard, every day, without fail. If you do this, you’ll do what so few are able to do: turn your passion into a discipline. And then, who knows? We might actually start listening.
  7. Do your research. Read a frickin’ book, for crying out loud. It won’t kill you. And God knows we could use a few more writers in this world who aren’t merely pontificating. Tell us something that doesn’t come straight from your idea closet. We all might actually learn something.
  8. Rewrite until it hurts. Face it: you’re not that brilliant on the first draft. And the second one kinda sucks, too. That’s okay, because this is a marathon, not a sprint. Don’t consider yourself done until you’ve put in at least several hours and a few drafts. At that point, you’re really writing; everything else is prologue.
  9. Shut up. Take some time and listen: to what people are saying, to what you’re reading, to what you’re writing. It’s all trying to teach you something. Pay attention, shut that big mouth of yours, and open your ears. You might learn a thing or two from your surroundings.
  10. Read widely. This isn’t just research, it’s practice. Honing your craft. Studying the masters who came before. Pick a book or two that didn’t just pop up on your Amazon referrals list; read a classic or something that has absolutely nothing to do with your chosen field. We base our careers on words, so the best thing you can do is absorb as many of them as possible from as many different sources as you can.
  11. Focus on the writing. Get off Twitter or Instagram and spend a few hours a week writing. Not your platform or your growing contingent of Internet followers, but the the thing that really matters: the writing. No one will thank you for this, which is precisely why it’s important. You will feel better, and the work will improve (promise).
  12. Break a rule. Maybe write in an unusual voice or depart from a norm you’re used to. Do something that causes others — and yourself — to feel uncomfortable. Because in the discomfort, we grow. So mess with the status quo, and see what happens. It could be good, really good.
  13. Quit stalling and get writing already! Stop reading this post or rechecking your email for the umpteenth time. Turn the phone to silent and unplug from the world for an hour and just write. It’s the simplest, hardest, scariest thing for a writer to do. Not think about writing or talk about writing, but actually write. Imagine that.

Saturday 3 January 2015

Happy New Year, Happy New Writing Career?

Could 2015 be the year you make it as a freelance writer, or that you get to create a fantasy or SF world of your own for the first time (like that of Pax Britannia), or you get to write for one of the biggest SF (and fantasy) publishers in the world?

If that sounds like the kind of Happy New Year you would like to enjoy, then check out both Abaddon Books' and the Black Library's open submissions windows now!

The Abaddon Books submission window is open from midnight GMT on 14th January 2015, and closes at midnight GMT on 15th February 2015, while the Black Library is already accepting submissions for Deathwatch stories, and will be until midnight GMT on Monday 26th January.

So don't delay - get writing today!

PS - Matt Sylvester has written a comprehensive piece on his blog about why you should follow publisher guidelines during open submission periods very carefully.

Friday 2 January 2015

Gamebook Friday: YOU ARE THE HERO at Christmas

One of the joys that Christmas brought this time was people posting pictures of the copies of YOU ARE THE HERO they received for Christmas on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, along with kind words in many cases. Here are just a few of them...

"Christmas just got better! Many thanks to Jonathan Green, Steve Jackson & Ian Livingstone!"

"Guy Francis Haley and Jonathan Green - Santa brought me some fine reading. Happy Christmas everyone!"

"Thank you Father Christmas! @jonathangreen - I think I have the best bookmark too courtesy of @ian_livingstone!"

"How did Santa know?! #dungeonsanddragons #starwars #fightingfantasy #DnD5 #books #xmas"

"Now this is what I call a present!! Great book Jonathan! Thanks!"

Christmas also brought a new 5-star review, bringing the current total to 35.

"I can honestly say this is a magnificent book and will take any fan of the original books on a warm fuzzy trip down memory lane."

In other news, Bloodbones the App is now available to Android users*, and as of writing this blog post, four people have already rated it 5 stars!

* The iOS version is coming soon.

Thursday 1 January 2015

Steampunk Thursday: Luzifer Verlag

Steffen Janssen, publisher of the German editions of my Pax Britannia books Unnatural History and Leviathan Rising, would like some feedback on the books from German language readers. So, if you happen to have read my books in German, why not drop him a line here?

Oh, and Happy New Year.

Happy New Year!