Saturday 26 September 2015

The European Day of Languages 2015

At the initiative of the Council of Europe, Strasbourg, the European Day of Languages has been celebrated every year since 2001 on 26 September.

To mark the occasion here at I thought I would revisit some of the more recent foreign languages editions of my books.

Back in June, twenty years after it was first published in English, my third published Fighting Fantasy Gamebook (and my third published book) Curse of the Mummy was been published in a French translation by Gallimard Jeunesse.

In January, my second Pax Britannia novel Leviathan Rising was published in German.

In July last year, my Dickens-inspired ghost story Necropolis saw print in Russian, of all things.

In May last year, my most popular gamebook to date, Howl of the Werewolf, was published in Spanish.

And in March 2014 the horror anthology DIABOLOS MMXIV, which includes a German translation of my story The Doll's House, saw print.

Friday 25 September 2015

Gamebook Friday: Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland update

It's been a while since I updated you all on the progress I've been making with Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland. There are now just three weeks to go to final delivery and things are really starting to pick up pace.

The manuscript itself is complete, and is being pored over by a host of proof-readers and play-testers*, Kev Crossley is furiously producing the artwork for the book, and the playing card rewards are being designed even as I type.

And there's not really much more to tell you, other than that. So to end with here are some of Kev's rough sketches** to enjoy.

* Well twenty of them, anyway.

** He calls them rough sketches. I call them little works of art!

Monday 21 September 2015

Thought for the Day

“I like good strong words that mean something.”
~ Louisa May Alcott 

Saturday 19 September 2015

Pirate Who?

Duh-duh-duh-der! Duh-duh-duh-der! Duh-duh-duh-der! Dih-dih-dih-dee!
Duh-duh-duh-der! Duh-duh-duh-der! Duh-duh-duh-der! Woo-ee-oooo!

Yes, that's right, it's Talk Like a Pirate Day. I mean, it's Doctor Who Day. (I've even got my Gallifrey t-shirt on to mark the occasion.)

Did I ever tell you about the time I didn't write a Doctor Who story featuring pirates? It was when I was invited to pitch an Eleventh Doctor story to the tie-in fiction editorial team at Puffin. I was told that the content had to appeal to boys in particular and the first two things I came up with were dinosaurs and pirates.

Then I thought, "What won't they do on TV because of budget limitations? I know a pirate ship and loads of dinosaurs!"

And so I submitted my proposal in which Blackbeard searches for the Fountain of Youth in the Florida Everglades* but ends up finding Jurassic Park instead**. Feedback came through from Cardiff - they loved the story but could I change the pirates please. The reason? Because Lord Grantham was bound for Treasure Island***. And so the pirates became Victorian explorers, travelling aboard The Venture****.

But an idea, as they say, is never wasted. Even now a different take on the whole Blackbeard vs Dinosaurs thing is forming within the primordial creative soup that is my mind. And guess what - it's another gamebook! ;-)

Next time: How I would have done Missy differently.

* By the way, have your read Tim Powers' On Stranger Tides?

** In a nutshell.

*** Sort of.

*** Do you see what I did there?

Friday 18 September 2015

Gamebook Friday: Legend Quests Live...Is now live!

If you're a fan of Fighting Fantasy, gamebooks, Knightmare, theatre, The Lord of the Rings, YOU ARE THE HERO, Dungeons and Dragons, or the movie Labyrinth, then you need to back this Kickstarter today.

Thursday 17 September 2015

Steampunk Thursday: The Countess of Computing

Ada Lovelace Day maybe still be almost a month away, but fans of Steampunk and Pax Britannia should check out BBC Four at 9.00pm tonight. Calculating Ada: The Countess of Computing tells the story of 'mad, bad and dangerous to know' Lord Byron's daughter, Ada Lovelace, who is recognised today as the world's first computer programmer.

When Charles Babbage designed the world's first steam-powered computers, most famously the analytical engine, it was Ada who realised the full potential of these machines. And she went on to inspire other computer pioneers like Alan Turing.

Fans of my Pax Britannia books will already recognise the influence that all of these individuals have played on the development of my Steampunk world, so I for one will be tuning in at 9.00pm tonight.

Monday 14 September 2015

Thought for the Day

“Real writers write because of their artistic need above all. It is a great and miraculous calling and its pursuit deserves all of one’s energy and imagination.” 

~ Warren Adler, American Author

Friday 11 September 2015

Gamebook Friday: Legend Quests Live!

Imagine playing through your favourite adventure gamebook. Awesome, isn't it?

Now imagine being able to enter the adventure yourself, braving the dungeon and all its attend perils. Well, if a certain Kickstarter project achieves funding, you won't have to imagine any longer...

Launching soon is a brand new Kickstarter project that I am quietly confident many of you will be keen to back. Legend Quests, the "Live" Fantasy Dungeon Adventure Game, is the brain child of Oliver McNeil, the man behind Legend Photography. Those of you who were able to attend Fighting Fantasy Fest last year will know him as the goblin who was strolling around the Double Tree Hilton, and some of you even had your photographs taken by him, which probably ended up looking rather like the one below.

Legend Quests, the "Live" Fantasy Dungeon Adventure Game, is a unique team theatre experience. As the curtains open on the show, any number of dungeon environments will have been created by the crew. Members of the audience will be invited to enter the stage area and take part in encounter scenes, interacting with actors. As the adventure unfolds, new scenes will be created in this versatile space for audience members to enter and enjoy. The audience are therefore the players in a thrilling, interactive 2 hour adventure.
Fighting Fantasy co-creator Ian Livingstone is on board as project advisor, and it also features Tom Baker as the Voice of the Dungeon! Oh, and I might have a little something to do with it too, as does my fellow gamebook author Jamie Thomson.
To find out more, and to sign up to be notified when the project goes live, click this link.

Monday 7 September 2015

Thought for the Day

"The gift of writing was stolen from a wizard, who cast a curse in revenge. From that day on, every novel might be improved by one more edit."

~ Rod Duncan, Author

Sunday 6 September 2015

National Read A Book Day

Did you know that today is National Read A Book Day?

So why not mark the occasion by picking up one of my Pax Britannia books,which are going for a steal at the moment in ebook format, or one of my anthologies - SHARKPUNK or GAME OVER?

Saturday 5 September 2015

Short Story Saturday: "An anthology with byte" - GAME OVER reviewed in the Financial Times

I am very pleased to be able to report that GAME OVER, my second anthology as editor, has been reviewed by James Lovegrove in the Financial Times.

"The theme is classic arcade games, which will appeal to anyone with fond memories of spending countless 10p pieces on Space Invaders, Pac-Man and the like. The authors Green has selected, though not household names, are respected in their fields or notable up-and-comers, and their stories delve beneath the clunky graphics to find paranoia, madness, murder and ghosts."

To read the rest of the review, click this link.

To pick up a copy of GAME OVER, click this link.

Thursday 3 September 2015

Steampunk Thursday: Top 10 Best Steampunk Games...

Allegedly. I mean, Fable III doesn't even appear on the list!

New Book Day! I am the Doctor!

It seems like I have a new book being published every month at the moment*, and September is no exception.

Today sees the publication of Doctor Who: Time Lord Quiz Quest.

Written by the Twelfth Doctor himself, this is the ultimate book of Doctor Who puzzles and quizzes! 

Packed with tricky activities and quiz questions, Time Lord Quiz Quest is a book to sort the pudding-brained humans from the actually quite handy ones. Can you solve a pressing problem like a true Time Lord? Do you know your Slitheen from your Silurians? And just how high is your Who IQ? With challenges devised by the Twelfth Doctor, this book is the perfect test for any intrepid Doctor Who fan! 

Yes, you read that correctly - 'Written by the Twelfth Doctor himself'. But it's my new book, therefore I must actually be Doctor Who!

You can pick up a copy of Doctor Who: Time Lord Quiz Quest for the would-be Doctor's companion in your life here.

* The books in question have been written or compiled over the last 12 months**, they just happen to be coming out so close together.

** Apart from one, coming in December, which is an omnibus of three books published years ago!