Wednesday 29 July 2015

Through the Funding Threshold and What Alice Found There

Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland now has just 120 hours left to run, so I thought it about time I addressed the subject of Stretch Goals and let you know about a new add-on that's been added... on... to the rewards available to backers.

The Fabled Lands: The Serpent King's Domain Kickstarter addressed the issue of Stretch Goals in an update a couple of weeks ago, and I have to say, I'm with them on this.

Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland has funded, which is brilliant, but it means people are now waiting to see what I have up my sleeve next. For those of you new to Kickstarter, Stretch Goals are a way for creators to keep funding something meaningful after achieving funding for the original product, such as features they really wanted to include, but had to cut to keep their budget small enough to achieve funding in the first place.

Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland has been conceived as a standalone gamebook. Just because this book has funded I am not going to commit to writing a second one, straight off the bat. And I don't want to promise extra rewards which it then becomes impossible to deliver, as the budget becomes squeezed more and more. (This has been a common problem with many Kickstarter projects.) I also don't want to do anything that's going to delay publication of the gamebook. (Been there, done that!)

However, in simple terms, the more money the Kickstarter makes the more awesome artwork can be included. What made Fighting Fantasy gamebooks so memorable to you as a child? The monsters, and the pictures of the monsters! I've seen gamebooks without illustrations and they just don't look like the real deal to me. So, rest assured, the more money the project makes, the more of Kev Crossley's astonishing art will adorn its pages.

How can you help make this happen? You might want to consider increasing your pledge, for a start. If you backed to receive a MARCH HARE paperback, why not make it a limited edition CHESHIRE CAT hardback? If you've already gone for the hardback option, why not make sure your name appears in the Acknowledges for all posterity, by upgrading to the GRYPHON level pledge?

Alternatively you might want to select one (or more) of the add-ons available, such as the KING OF HEARTS playing cards and dice set, or the DUCHESS level portrait, or maybe even the brand new KNAVE OF HEARTS ARU!

"What's an ARU?" I hear you cry.

ARU stands for All Rolled Up, an innovative, flexible and all-in-one solution for bringing your gaming to the table. A game roll that combines a gamebook pocket, pen tidy and dicebag 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, boardgame components, trading cards, wargame miniatures, stationery, make-up and more. No need to worry about forgetting anything - All Rolled Up has everything you need to be a prepared player or GM. And it's handmade in the UK! You can find out more about this award-winning product here.

The unique Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland All Rolled Up will feature Alice-themed fabrics, with a round coloured badge, and an Alice-themed charm attached to the loop. (Attendees of Fighting Fantasy Fest 2014 may remember the FF-themed ARUs that were on sale at the event.) Here's a digital mock-up of what the ARU will look like.

Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland All Rolled Up mock-up. (Not final artwork!)

 Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland All Rolled Up mock-up. (Not final artwork!)

Example of an Alice-themed charm.

Example of an Alice-themed charm.

To manage your pledge, simply log on to the Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland Kickstarter page and follow the instructions on-screen.

But whatever you do, keep spreading the word, posting links via social media and telling all your friends. Put simply, the harder you work to help plug this project the more impressive the finished book, that you will own, will be.

Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland - 5 days to go!

Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland has only 5 days left to run on Kickstarter. So if you've not backed it yet, pick your reward level and pledge today!

Tuesday 28 July 2015

Tie-in Tuesday: Frostgrave - Tales of the Frozen City

In a change from all the news about the Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland Kickstarter, I'm pleased to be able to announce that Frostgrave - Tales of the Frozen City is now available from Osprey Games.

Frostgrave is a fantasy skirmish wargame, set amidst the frozen ruins of an ancient city. Each player takes on the role of a wizard from one of ten schools of magic, and then builds a band of followers. Tales of the Frozen City is a new fiction anthology that collects together eleven stories of wizards and adventures as they venture into the ruins of the Frozen City.

I have contributed one of those stories - The Thief of Time - along with ten other authors, including Matt Ward, Sarah Newton, Ben Counter, David A McIntee, and Graeme Davis.

You can pick up your copy of Frostgrave - Tales of the Frozen City by clicking this link.

Monday 27 July 2015

Thought for the Day

For anyone who's ever said "I want to be a writer" but never actually gets round to writing anything.

Sunday 26 July 2015

Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland around the Web

You may have heard the news yesterday that Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland has passed its funding threshold. This is, of course, thanks to the 168 backers the project has (at the time of writing) but it is also thanks to various websites and bloggers who have written or hosted blogs about the forthcoming gamebook, or even interviewed me about the subject.

Here is a round-up of the all the ones I know of. If you know of any more, do let me know.

Alex Davis

Geek Pride

Geek Syndicate

Lloyd of Gamebooks


SF Signal


Starburst Magazine

Tony Cooper

Don't forget - you can still back Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland, up until 1.00pm on Monday 3rd August.

Saturday 25 July 2015

Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland has funded!

I am delighted to be able to report that at 10.20am BST this morning, Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland passed its funding threshold. Since then yet more backers have joined us down the rabbit-hole, so it's time to start thinking about Stretch Goals.

But for now I just wanted to thank each and every one of you who has already pledged to the support the project. Quite simply, I couldn't have done this without you.

Experience tells me that some people won't back a project until they know it's actually going to happen, so now that we've passed funding I expect that we will pick up some more people before the end. There are still 8 days to go until the project closes at 1.00pm BST on Monday 3rd August, so keep spreading the word and let all your friends know that Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland is happening!

What do you mean, you haven't backed the Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland Kickstarter yet?

Friday 24 July 2015

Gamebook Friday: So, what is a gamebook?

So maybe you're wondering about backing the Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland Kickstarter (which has just 10 days left to run), but you're not entirely sure what a gamebook is.

A gamebook (or interactive novel) is a story in which you control the course of the narrative as a result of the choices, and sometimes the dice rolls, you make. (You might have come across Choose Your Own Adventure or Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks in the past.)

In the case of Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland, you guide the eponymous heroine through Wonderland, deciding which route she should take, which perils to risk, and which of the unreal dream world's bizarre 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.

So, what are you waiting for? It's time to enter the rabbit-hole...

Thursday 23 July 2015

Steampunk Thursday: Feel like a Duchess

One of the add-ons offered as part of the Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland is to have your portrait painted into a scene from the book by a top artist.

"But who is that artist?" I hear you say.

Well, gentle reader, that top artist is none other than the highly talented Kate Burmak.

The Art of Kate Burmak (click to enlarge)

Now who wouldn't want Kate to paint a portrait of them meeting the Cheshire Cat, or having tea with the Hatter and his friends? (You can check out more of her amazing artwork here.)

Remember - the DUCHESS pledge is a blue add-on; you can either select it by itself, or add it to any of the red pledges, from MOCK TURTLE right through to ALICE!

Wednesday 22 July 2015

Roboteer Book Launch

If I wasn't currently in Norway's capital city, I would definitely be going to the launch of Alex Lamb's debut novel, Roboteer*. The launch is taking place at Forbidden Planet in London, tonight, at 6.00pm, and you can find out more about it here.

* Alex and I went to school together and caught up for the first time in 25 years at this year's Eastercon. He hadn't changed a bit!

Tuesday 21 July 2015

YOU ARE THE HERO makes the shortlist for the British Fantasy Awards 2015!

Having spent the day exploring the land of the Vikings, I was delighted to return to the Information Age this evening to discover that YOU ARE THE HERO - A History of Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks has made the shortlist for the British Fantasy Awards 2015.

It's also great to see how many of m'colleagues have been nominated in various categories, including FF artist Les Edwards, SHARKPUNK contributors Gary McMahon, Ian Whates, Laurel Sills and Den Patrick, and of course Lavie Tidhar - and in more than one category!

In other news, the guys at Starburst Magazine have uploaded an interview I did with them about Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland, as well as the podcast I recorded with Ed Fortune, Adrian Tchaikovksy, Producer Al and an audience of... half a dozen, at Edge-Lit 4, and Alex Davis (the organiser of Edge-Lit) also has a guest post on his blog from me today.

And last of all, Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland now has less than £1,000 to raise to achieve funding.

Monday 20 July 2015

Thought for the Day

(Let's just pretend there's an apostrophe before the 's' and after 'writer'. Okay?)

Sunday 19 July 2015

The Kickstarter's halfway through, so what are you going to do?


‘Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

“Now back the Kickstarter, my son!
Beware of missing out, and shun
Mere trifles – don’t think twice!”

He took his credit card in hand:
Long time the right reward he sought –
So rested he, on Tweedledee,
“An eBook’s fine,” he thought.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

“You want a hardback,” quoth the beast,
And while you’re there, I do declare,
A signed one’s not too costly.”

One two! One two! And through and through
The frantic mouse went click-‘n’-clack!
He used his smarts – picked Queen of Hearts –
And went galumphing back.

“And hast thou backed the Kickstarter?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
Oh frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!”
He chortled in his joy.

‘Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble on the knoll.

By Jonathan Green, after Lewis Carroll

Saturday 18 July 2015

Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland - halfway there!

The Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland Kickstarter has now been running for 15 days, meaning that there are only another 15 left to go, and as of writing this, we are around the 80% funded mark.

This is astonishing, and I want to thank everyone who has pledged their support so far and helped to spread the word far and wide around the Internet.

And if you haven't pledged yet, what are you waiting for? It's a gamebook, it's Steampunk, it's a book by Jonathan Green, and you could end up walking away with one of these amazing rewards!