Saturday 30 May 2015

Sharkpunk Saturday - Starburst Review

Another Sharkpunk Saturday and another glowing 9 out of 10 stars review of SHARKPUNK, this time courtesy of Starburst Magazine.

As an editor, it's great when reviewers don't notice the editor's involvement in an anthology. It means you've done your job properly, allowing the different authors' voices to shine through. However, it's also nice when reviewers do recognise your efforts, as Ed Fortune does here:

"The editor, Jonathan Green, has curated an interesting collection and has presented them in the best possible order; some of the tales are deep psychological horror, others are deeply silly parody. It takes a firm editorial hand and a keen understanding of the tone of each piece to make a collection this diverse work, and Green makes it look effortless."

Various stories get singled out for particular attention, as is most often the way in reviews of anthologies. You're rarely going to find a reader who likes everything equally, if you've managed to curate a range of different stories and styles. However, with SHARKPUNK it doesn't seem to be a case of people not enjoying any of the stories, it's just that they enjoy some more than others.

You can read the whole review for yourself here, and you can pick up a paperback or download the ebook edition of SHARKPUNK here.

Friday 29 May 2015

Gamebook Friday: Bloodbones the App, and YOU ARE THE HERO at the UK Games Expo

Let's start with the first thing in the heading of this blog post last, and the last thing first.

On Saturday and Sunday (30th and 31st May) I shall be attending the UK Games Expo at the NEC Metropole hotel outside Birmingham. I'll be sharing a table with Graham Bottley of Arion Games (table P41 in the Palace Suite) and I will have the last few boxes of hardbacks of the limited first edition print run of YOU ARE THE HERO - A History of Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks with me. So, if you've not yet picked up a copy, you know where to come.

In other Gamebook Friday-related news, Tin Man Games' ad-app-tation of Bloodbones has received another glowing review, this time courtesy of Pixel Perfect Gaming. In a nutshell, this is what you need to know:

"Needless to say, Bloodbones continues the long-standing quality that both the Fighting Fantasy series and Tin Man Games are known for – robust story elements, knuckle-whitening combat sequences, and solid game mechanics. If you haven’t already, add Bloodbones to your Android/iOS collection today; you won’t be disappointed."

If you've not yet downloaded the app to your device, and you think you might like to, click this link.

Wednesday 27 May 2015

New Fantasy Fiction on

I've tried something I've never tried before - I've submitted a short story of mine to a writing competition.

Who Walks With Death* has been entered into the Epic Worlds contest on, so if you'd like to read one of my fantasy short stories for free, simply follow this link. And if you like it, you can vote for it in the competition.

I have no idea how I'll get on, but it'll be an interesting experiment.

* The story first appeared in Legends: Stories in Honour of David Gemmell, edited by Ian Whates and published by Newcon Press, but I've given it a wash and brush-up for the competition.

Monday 25 May 2015


Just to report that I had a great weekend at the MCM ComicCon, introducing SHARKPUNK to the world at large. What was even better was how many people came by my stand specifically to pick up a copy.

SHARKPUNK at the MCM ComicCon.

Richard has some amazingly cool plans for his copy of SHARKPUNK . Watch this space...

 Real marine biologists getting very excited about SHARKPUNK.

Although at times it felt like we were in the Author Exclusion Zone rather than at the end of the Comic Village, Miss Emily Ladybird, Kit Cox, Robert Rankin and Rachel Rankin-Hayward are always good company.

Highlights of the weekend included meeting Sean Kelly from Storage Hunters, a very persistent Japanese gentleman who wanted to buy Archimedes the Steampunk Parrot (who's not for sale, by the way), meeting the screenwriter Hayley Nolan, somebody mishearing and thinking I was going to write a medieval gamebook version of Airwolf(?), playing the LEGO Jurassic Park demo on the PS4, seeing both the Batmobile from Arkham Knight and Mad Max's car, as well as catching up with the usual suspects (i.e. Herr Doktor, the Spindles Clan, et al).

Exchange of the Weekend
JG (on introducing my First Born in his cosplay get up): "He's ready for the Zombie Apocalypse."
Kit Cox: "I'm not sure the Zombie Apocalypse is ready for him."

It was also interesting how many people asked when my next Pax Britannia novel/the next Fighting Fantasy Fest would be happening. (Delete as applicable.)*

YOU ARE THE HERO also attracted a fair bit of attention, and my best-seller was my most recent FF gamebook Night of the Necromancer. If you're still to pick up a copy, remember that next weekend I'll be at the UK Games Expo at the NEC Hilton Metropole just outside Birmingham.

Maybe I'll see you there...

*It was also cool to be able to start to let people know about Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland.

Thought for the Day

Sunday 24 May 2015

Tanith Lee - 1947-2015

Today I was shocked and saddened to hear of the passing of Tanith Lee.

I was fortunate enough to meet Tanith at a Kitschies event back in 2012. Like many fantasy writers, I was influenced by her work, particularly Reigning Cats and Dogs.

In 2013 I had the even greater honour of appearing in an anthology of short stories in honour of David Gemmell alongside her.

So tonight I'll be raising a glass to a talent gone too soon and I think of her family and friends and all those who'll miss her.

Tanith Lee - 1947-2015

Saturday 23 May 2015

Sharkpunk Saturday: SHARKPUNK at the MCM Expo, London

I will be at the MCM Expo at London's Excel Centre this weekend, along with the killer shark story anthology SHARKPUNK. If you're new to SHARKPUNK, here's what you need to know...

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 SHARKPUNK 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!

So, stop by the authors area and you'll not only be able to pick up a copy of SHARKPUNK and have it signed by the editor, you'll also be able to get it signed by Kit Cox who has contributed a brand new Major Jack Union story to the anthology.

Now I can't say fairer than that, can I?

Friday 22 May 2015

Gamebook Friday: YOU ARE THE HERO at the MCM Expo, London

I will be at the Excel Centre in London again this weekend, attending the MCM Expo and will have some of the few remaining hardback copies of YOU ARE THE HERO - A History of Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks for sale.

If you're a fan of Fighting Fantasy gamebooks, the gamebook genre in general, or just great fantasy art, and you've not yet picked up a copy of YOU ARE THE HERO, you should really make the most of the opportunity to pick up one of the increasingly rare first edition copies of the book and get it signed while you're at it.

Thursday 21 May 2015

Steampunk Thursday: Pax Britannia at the MCM Expo, London

I shall be attending the MCM Expo again this weekend and, as usual, I will have some of my Pax Britannia books with me to sell.

If you've not picked up one of my Steampunk novels before, and you're going to be at London's Excel Centre on Saturday, why not stop by the authors area and grab yourself one?

Wednesday 20 May 2015

Warhammer Wednesday: The Third War for Armageddon

My Warhammer 40,000 story The Relic gets another outing this week, thanks to Black Library releasing The Third War for Armageddon eBook collection.

As Ghazghkull Thraka’s second invasion engulfs Armageddon, Dreadnought Brother Jarold leads warriors from the Black Templars Chapter in battle against the greenskins in the frozen Dead Lands. Following a distress beacon, they find another Dreadnought in the ice, buried for half a century. When the orks attack en masse, the two Dreadnoughts make a last stand against the bestial invaders. 

The Relic is a gun-toting tale of Black Templars Space Marines, Dreadnoughts, Orks and big alien war machines. So why not check it out?

Tuesday 19 May 2015

Tie-in Tuesday: My new claim to fame

The first comic strip I ever had commissioned was Kill Confirmed, which appeared in a special free issue of the Warhammer Monthly comic given away with Games Workshop’s White Dwarf magazine. It was a short tale of life and death in the Necromundan Underhive with a nasty twist in the tail.

The artist assigned to the strip was Paul Staples whose name was already familiar to me from his work on seminal British anthology comic 2000AD. His work on ‘Finn’ for the ‘Interventions’ had impressed me in particular. However, after illustrating Kill Confirmed he mysteriously became Paul Jeacock and worked for a time as part of Games Workshop’s art department. While there, he was particularly involved in developing the most recent editions of the Warhammer Wood Elves army and the new Ogre Kingdoms range.

So what's my claim to fame? Well, Paul Jeacock just also happens to be the man who designed the masks that feature in the new Max Max movie Fury Road. Like the one worn by the charming Immortan Joe.

And in case you're wondering what my old claim to fame was, it was that I once directed Colin Firth. Yes, the Colin Firth.


Monday 18 May 2015

Thought for the Day

"I hoard books. They are people who do not leave."

~ Anne Sexton, American Poet

Saturday 16 May 2015

Sharkpunk Saturday - The first reviews

SHARKPUNK has been out for a couple of weeks now, and had its official launch at Forbidden Planet last Saturday, so plenty of people have had a chance to read the 20 short stories contained within, and here's what some of them have been saying.

"There is something for everyone here. Each of the talented authors involved has put their own unique twist on the concept of sharkpunk which contains literally every kind of shark you can imagine, and some you can't." ~ Geek Planet Online

"This collection is well worthy of your time. Every story is a winner in my opinion and they are all a great deal of fun. In all honesty I’d have great difficulty picking a favourite." ~ The Eloquent Page

"Each story will haunt you in a different way and may even change your opinion about sharks." ~ Ginger Nuts of Horror

You can pick up your copy of SHARKPUNK here, and if you come along to Edge-Lit 4 in Derby on Saturday 11th July, I'll even sign it for you, as will Kim Lakin-Smith, author of the short story Goblin, who will also be in attendance on the day.

Friday 15 May 2015

Gamebook Friday: YOU ARE THE HERO at the UK Games Expo

Surfacing again after a couple of weeks of intense SHARKPUNK promotion, I just wanted to let you know that I shall be attending the UK Games Expo this year, on Saturday 30th and Sunday 31st May 2015, and I shall be bringing the last few boxes of the YOU ARE THE HERO hardback with me.

YOU ARE THE HERO was nominated in the UK Games Expo Awards best RPG supplement category. However because you can't actually play YOU ARE THE HERO it is not eligible for the award. That said, the judging panel are considering giving the book an honourable mention, so watch this space...

In other news, PJ Montgomery and Gavin Mitchell have released a new page of artwork from Steve Jackson's The Trolltooth Wars, featuring a couple of characters who will be very familiar to fans of Citadel of Chaos...

Artwork by Gavin Mitchell

... which also just so happens to have been the inspiration behind a song written by a friend of mine and his band Groan.

(I can see a couple of new chapters are going to be needed for the 40th anniversary edition of YOU ARE THE HERO.)

Tuesday 12 May 2015

Sharks by numbers

6 inches - The size of the smallest shark, the Dwarf Lantern Shark.

40 feet - The length of the biggest, the Whale Shark, which weighs up to 20 tonnes.

46 mph - The top speed of the fastest species, the Mako Shark, known as 'the torpedo with teeth'.

250,000 - Mobula Rays, members of the shark family, have been seen somersaulting in the air in balletic courtship displays. The biggest belly floppers have the best chance of attracting a mate.

20 - The number of killer shark stories in SHARKPUNK.

22 - The number of authors who have contributed to SHARKPUNK.

Grab your copy (paperback or ebook) today.

 Dwarf Lantern Shark

 Whale Shark

  Mako Shark

Mobula Ray

Monday 11 May 2015

Thought for the Day

"Fantasy is an exercise bicycle for the mind. It might not take you anywhere, but it tones up the muscles that can."
~ Sir Terry Pratchett (1948-2015)

Sunday 10 May 2015

The Official SHARKPUNK Launch at Forbidden Planet, London

So yesterday this happened...

Not quite knowing how the event would pan out - there were eleven authors in attendance and myself - I prepared a few words but, as it turned out, the signing yesterday wasn't the place for them, so I'm going to post them here instead.

First of all, I want to say a big thank you to everyone who came along, keeping us all busy signing copies of SHARKPUNK, thank you to Snowbooks, particularly for the banner which everyone signed, and thank you to Forbidden Planet for hosting the event. There were shark-themed tablecloths, rubber sharks, shark teeth, shark cakes, shark biscuits, and even a huge flying shark which spent most of the time menacing the Starship Enterprise.

But most of all, I want to say thank you to the writers who contributed to SHARKPUNK - those who weren't able to attend the Forbidden Planet launch, as well as those who were - for taking a crazy idea and running with it.

SHARKPUNK contributors - Al Ewing, Alec Worley, Laurel Sills, Den Patrick, Rob Spalding, Andy Taylor, Andrew Lane, Kim Lakin-Smith, Ian Whates, Jenni Hill and Jonathan Oliver.

Who would have thought that a throwaway comment on Facebook about calling the genre of terrible shark movies (like Sharknado) Sharkpunk would have brought us to this moment, a month from Jaws' 40th birthday, with an anthology of shark-related stories receiving rave reviews all over the Internet?

If you weren't able to attend the launch, you can order your own signed copy from Forbidden Planet here.

Saturday 9 May 2015

Sharkpunk Saturday - Sharkpunk launches today at Forbidden Planet!

SHARKPUNK officially launches today at Forbidden Planet, London, between 1.00pm and 2.00pm GMT today.

I will be there along with publisher Emma Barnes and twelve very talented writers:

David Lee Stone - author of the Illmoor Chronicles
Andrew Lane - author of Young Sherlock Holmes
Ian Whates - award-winning publisher, editor and author 
Al Ewing - comic book master and celebrated novelist
Toby Frost - creator of Space Captain Smith
Jonathan Oliver - award-winning editor and author
Kim Lakin-Smith - award-winning YA and SF author
Alec Worley - comics writer and film reviewer
Jenni Hill - renowned editor and author
Laurel Sills - editor of holdfast magazine and BFS Award judge
Robert Spalding - popular pulp horror writer
Den Patrick - popular fantasy author

Hopefully we'll see you there.

Friday 8 May 2015

Sharkpunk on Pornokitsch

Today, Pornokitsch - the geek culture championing website - has played host to my SHARKPUNK-related ramblings, allowing me to submit my five favourite sharks from the silver screen for their weekly Friday Five.

You can check out my list, and add your own suggestions, here.

And don't forget, the official SHARKPUNK launch is taking place on Saturday, at Forbidden Planet in London, at 1.00pm. And there may be cake...

Wednesday 6 May 2015

SHARKPUNK - The Official Launch at Forbidden Planet

SHARKPUNK - the anthology of killer shark stories I've put together and published by Snowbooks - will be launching at Forbidden Planet, London, on Saturday 9th May at 1.00pm GMT.

I shall be there along with publisher Emma Barnes and these very talented writers:

• Andrew Lane
• Ian Whates
• Al Ewing
• Toby Frost
• Jonathan Oliver
• Kim Lakin-Smith
• Alec Worley
• Jenni Hill
• Laurel Sills
• Robert Spalding
• Den Patrick

(Please note, unfortunately Steven Savile and David Lee Stone are no longer able to attend.)

Please share the Facebook event page, tell all your friends, and if you're in London on Saturday, why not stop by the Shaftesbury Avenue store and grab a signed book! :-)

Monday 4 May 2015

GAME OVER - Call for Submissions

For immediate release: 

Jonathan Green // Call for Submissions 


This is an anthology of brand new material, to be published later this year by Snowbooks.

We are seeking original horror stories inspired by classic arcade games, between 5,000 and 10,000 words in length.

Rights required are exclusive World English language rights for six months, dropping to non-exclusive World English language rights thereafter, with an option for foreign language translation within the anthology should offers be made for overseas editions.

Delivery: 1st June 2015. Submissions will only be accepted by email, in Word doc format.

Payment: A share of royalties.

We want stories inspired by arcade games such as Space Invaders, Asteroids, Ghost and Goblins, Q*bert, Pitfall, Breakout and Pole Position. The stories must not impinge on any IP. For example, you could write a story about an alien invasion, or mention the arcade machine Q*bert in a story set in the real world, but don’t write a story featuring a character called Pac-Man.

We already have a number of well-known horror and games writers on board. Arcade classics to steer clear of are Frogger, Centipede, Pac-Man, Gauntlet, Tetris, Rampage, and Donkey Kong, as we already have stories based on those games.

Due to the quick turnaround on this project, formal feedback will not be given on submissions (unless they are accepted for publication), and discussions will not be entered into regarding reasons for rejection.

Please do not submit your story anywhere else, until you know of our decision, and if you are not happy working to the terms outlined above, please do not submit.

We shall look forward to receiving your stories. Please email your submission, with your Word document as an attachment, to, and include your name, story title, and the words ‘GAME OVER Submission’ in the subject line.

May the Fourth be with you

Five years ago my first (and so far only) Star Wars adventure gamebook, Crisis on Coruscant, was published. And it's still available today to buy on Amazon.

Hmm... I wonder which one I'll go for...

Thought for the Day

"A good editor is part shrink, part bullying older sibling, part sycophantic fan, and part Santa Claus."

~ Si Spencer, writer and sometime editor