Saturday 31 October 2015

Short Story Saturday: Halloween Thrills - SHARKPUNK and GAME OVER

If you're looking for some chilling reads this Halloween you could do a lot worse than to check out these two titles...

As one reviewer has said of SHARKPUNK, "Once you bite, you’ll be hooked."

And James Lovegrove in the Financial Times described GAME OVER as "An anthology with byte."

You can buy both books direct from the publisher Snowbooks.

And also coming very soon from Snowbooks is Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland, the title of which tells you all you need to know really.

Friday 30 October 2015

Gamebook Friday: The Warlock of Firetop Mountain

Exciting news, Fighting Fantasy fans... It's here at last!

That's right, Tin Man Games' Kickstarter to complete work on The Warlock of Firetop Mountain* is now live, and in under 24 hours has already raised almost half its funding target of $15,000AUD.

I'm sure you'll agree that that's an amazing achievement and if you are a fan of Fighting Fantasy, RPGs, or Tin Man Games' previous gamebook apps, then you will want to be a part of this! 

Rewards on offer include having your name appear in the credits, unique digital miniatures to use in the game (which also unlock additional content and story), and even having your name appear on the wall in Zagor's crypt!

* I might have had my own small part to play in this project.

Wednesday 28 October 2015

Warhammer Wednesday: Herald of Oblivion reviews

My first Warhammer 40K gamebook/app has been out for a while now and has garnered some great reviews, including a Silver Award from Pocket Gamer*. So here's what people have been saying about Legacy of Dorn: Herald of Oblivion.

"There's a gore-sodden wallop to Legacy of Dorn: Herald of Oblivion that makes it difficult to dislike. And if you know your Storm Bolter from your Lightning Claws you're going to absolutely love it... Another solid turn from Tin Man, Legacy of Dorn uses its licence well, and shakes things up enough to make it feel fresh. 8/10" (Pocket Gamer)

"Legacy of Dorn: Herald of Oblivion is an enjoyable, creepy adventure with a great setting and a fun combat system. It's steeped in its license... it's an easy recommendation to Warhammer 40K fans, those who like sci-fi horror stories, and players who enjoy battle-heavy gamebooks. General RPG fans will likely appreciate the battle system more than the usual gamebook fare, too. Even though I'm not a big fan of the wider Warhammer 40K universe, I'll definitely be looking forward to further installments in this series. 4/5" (Touch Arcade)

"I bought this product with a big risk but what I have found in it is unbelievable. Keep up the good work and I do recommend this title to anyone that loves WH40K, kill the mutant, burn the heretic, purge the unclean... 5 stars" (Google Play)

"If you love 40K and space hulks then this will be a gem. Instabuy for me... Great writing, and fighting is quite fun. Also, you get to fight all Xenos... even necrons and Eldar... been awhile since I've seen these factions in a 40K game so they're very welcome! Lovin' it! 5 stars" (iTunes)

"This is a big step forward for Tin Man Games over their other gamebooks. The polish on the graphics and the audio is much improved and the new combat system gives additional choice. I especially like the soundtrack in Herald of Oblivion, it's a definite space theme with hints from the Alien movie soundtrack which really set the mood of exploring and battling on a ancient space hulk! The graphics for combatants are excellent. I do like the painted art in other titles but being a 40K story the computerised pict graphics really work with the storyline which is right up there with the good work done in the Horus Heresy novels. 5 stars" (Google Play)

"Interesting combat mechanics with dark story and quality 3D graphics and artwork. This game book is a great step forward for TMG. Keep up the good work. 5 stars" (Google Play)

You can download your copy of Legacy of Dorn: Herald of Oblivion here.

* To go with the one I got for Temple of the Spider God.

Tuesday 27 October 2015

Tie-in Tuesday: World of Warriors Official Sticker Book

It's New Book Day again for me on Thursday, when the World of Warriors Official Sticker Book is released.

The book is full of stuff like this...

Crammed to bursting with historical facts...

And all manner of puzzles too...

You can pre-order your copy of World of Warriors Official Sticker Book here and have it arrive on the day of publication*.

* Hopefully.

Monday 26 October 2015

Thought for the Day

“If a character that you have written comes to life, this is unnatural and an abomination in the eyes of God. As its author, it is your duty to destroy the creature before it is able to escape and wreak unfathomable havoc upon the world. And believe me, it will try to escape. They always do.”

~ Jonathan Franzen, Author

Sunday 25 October 2015

The BFS Awards 2015

I suppose I should have guessed how today was going to go when I was refused breakfast for wearing jeans...

Anyway, leaving London I headed to Nottingham by train, to attend the last day of FantasyCon and, more particularly, the BFS Awards. I usually drive to such events, but this time I thought I would get the train, so that I could do some work on the journey and enjoy a drink with friends at FCon after the awards. Next time I'll drive.

Screaming toddlers are not conducive to a productive working atmosphere and as it turned out, the event was a very sober one for me, so I may as well have driven after all. At least that way I could have got back home earlier and seen the family, rather than have to wait at Nottingham station for my allotted train.

As I understand it, FantasyCon 2015 was a resounding success and people had a great time. I was not one of them. All I'll say is, it was a long way to go to not win an award and then not catch up with anybody in the bar afterwards.

The trouble was I arrived at 1.45pm, in time for the BFS Awards but not in time to register, as it turned out. With registration closed there was no way of getting hold of my attendee badge. It also turned out that guest goodie bags had run out the day before. I had paid for a Sunday day pass (although there was no one on duty to check that I had) so there should have been bags left for people who couldn't turn up until the Sunday.

I'll admit it - I was disappointed that YOU ARE THE HERO didn't win in the Best Non-Fiction category. (Thanks to everyone who gave a whoop when it was read out on the shortlist, though.) I didn't really expect it to, but then a part of you starts to wonder, "What if?" and so you psyche yourself up, in case you do win, and then have to deal with the comedown when you don't. And I would have been annoyed if I'd been nominated, not attended, and then won.

That aside, I was looking forward to catching up with various people afterwards but it turned out that many had left before the awards and the rest left pretty promptly afterwards. Deciding to make the best of the situation and get some work done, I was then asked to leave the convention centre as they were closing because FCon was over. It was just one of those days, I guess.

Congratulations to all the winners - especially SHARKPUNK and GAME OVER contributor Laurel Sills who, along with Lucy Smee, won the award for Best Magazine for Holdfast Magazine.

But have no fear, I'll bounce back. After all, next year both SHARKPUNK and GAME OVER will be eligible to be nominated in the Best Anthology category, and all the stories that featured within them will be eligible for the Best Short Story award.

So, watch this space...

Monday 19 October 2015

Thought for the Day

“The writer has to force himself to work. He has to make his own hours and if he doesn’t go to his desk at all there is nobody to scold him.”

~ Roald Dahl (1916-1990)

Friday 16 October 2015

Gamebook Friday: Herald of Oblivion and Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland

Herald of Oblivion

In case you hadn't already heard, Herald of Oblivion is back - and this time it's appearing as the first part of a trilogy of Imperial Fists gamebook apps.

Legacy of Dorn: Herald of Oblivion is available now, on all good platforms, from Tin Man Games.

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

In other gamebook-related news, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland has been typeset, and is being proof-read, even as you read this.

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?

Wednesday 14 October 2015

Warhammer Wednesday: Herald of Oblivion

Legacy of Dorn: Herald of Oblivion

Tomorrow (15 October 2015) Tin Man Games will be releasing their very first Warhammer 40,000 licensed digital gamebook, Herald of Oblivion. It will be hitting the iOS App Store, Google Play and Amazon Appstore all at the same time!

Tin Man have taken the tale of Brother Nabor of the Imperial Fists Chapter and given it the Tin Man treatment. When you play the app, it will turn your digital device into a cogitator, complete with a holographic combat simulator.

This new feature removes the dice-rolling elements of the original gamebook and turns them into a turn-based, first-person combat scenario, where your placement in the battle arena (4-axis movement), weapon choice (ranged or melee) and the decisions of the enemies can impact the outcome of the fight.

This is a completely new departure for Tin Man Games, but one which the team felt would really enhance the experience of battling the denizens of a space hulk. It looks awesome, and reminds me that I need to crack on with Legacy of Dorn Part 2 - Pits of Commorragh...

Monday 12 October 2015

Thought for the Day

“Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.”

~ Anton Chekhov (1860-1904)

Thursday 8 October 2015

Steampunk Thursday: Abaddon X, Tempus Fugit, and The Ulysses Quicksilver Omnibus Volume 2!

Two weeks ago* I was fortunate enough to attend Abaddon Books' 10th birthday party, although unfortunately I was also late enough to miss the speeches at the start. On the up side there was cake, great company, and copies of Abaddon X available to the guests, a slim volume that features my first new Ulysses Quicksilver story in three years, Tempus Fugit.

 And lo, there was cake. With little Abaddon 'A's on top.

Writers, editors and their ilk. A sober bunch.

Pax Britannia: Tempus Fugit.

You can read more about the event here, as well as see a rather embarrassing photograph of Yours Truly. Apart from catching up with the likes Pat Kelleher, Lavie Tidhar, Jonathan Oliver, Jasper Bark, Jenni Hill, Scott Andrews and Rob Power (to name but a few) one of the highlights of the evening was meeting long-time Pax Britannia fan Matt Zitron.

Matt and Pat.

In other Steampunk Thursday-related news, this has been seen in the wild. Or rather, in captivity at the Abaddon offices.

Now that's one chunky book!

And that's a whole lotta Steampunk action right there!

The Ulysses Quicksilver Omnibus: Volume 2 will be published on 3 December 2015.

* On a Steampunk Thursday, as it so happens.

Monday 5 October 2015

Thought for the Day

“If you write one story, it may be bad; if you write a hundred, you have the odds in your favor.”

~ Edgar Rice Burroughs (1875-1950)

Sunday 4 October 2015

The Snowbooks Super September Sale Spectcular - still on in October!

Snowbooks - publishers of YOU ARE THE HERO, Christmas Explained, and the forthcoming Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland - are currently have a sale on all eBooks, which means that you can pick up both SHAKRPUNK and GAME OVER for your Kindle, or other eReader of your choice, for only £1.99 each!

So what are you waiting for? Go here now!

Saturday 3 October 2015

Short Story Saturday: Time for more short stories

The short stories in question being my first brand new Pax Britannia short story in three years, Tempus Fugit...

Pax Britannia: Tempus Fugit

... and The Thief of Time, my contribution to Frostgrave: Tales of the Frozen City, which is available now in both print format and as an eBook, direct from Osprey Publishing.

Frostgrave: The Thief of Time

Thursday 1 October 2015

New Book Day! I Love That Minifigure!

Meet the most sought-after LEGO® minifigures of all time, I Love That Minifigure brings together 200 of the coolest, rarest and most collectible minifigures.
I Love That Minifigure is your indispensable guide to the LEGO® world's unique characters. Whether you want to check your collection or read-up on all your favourite LEGO® minifiguresI Love That Minifigure covers more than 35 years of LEGO history, and comes with its own new and exclusive LEGO minifigure for your collection.
Find out the key features of each minifigure, their original availability and rarity rating perfect for any budding LEGO minifigure collectors.
And I wrote about a quarter of it. :-)

 Skeleton Guy - one of the new Series 14 Monsters LEGO minifigures - posing in front of the book he appears in.

My first credit in a Dorling Kindersley book, as well as my first credit in a LEGO book.

 I wrote this...

 And this...

  And this!

All published since May 2015.