Saturday 30 April 2016

SHARKPUNK 2 - Call for submissions

For immediate release: 

Jonathan Green // Call for Submissions 

In May 2015 Snowbooks published SHARKPUNK, an anthology of twenty killer shark stories edited by Jonathan Green, inside a fantastic cover by comic book artist Simon Coleby. Such has been the interest in the book that we are already planning a second volume, to be published in 2017.

The inspiration behind SHARKPUNK is such classic shark movies as Jaws, Deep Blue Sea and The Reef (as well as such ludicrous delights as Sharknado, Sharktopus and Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus). The stories contained within SHARKPUNK are a mixture of rip-roaring page-turners, slow-build chillers, and darkly humorous comedies, which celebrate all things savage, pulp and selachian. For SHARKPUNK 2 we want more of the same.

The stories in SHARKPUNK 2 can – and indeed should – cover the whole range of speculative fiction genres, from horror and steampunk, through to science fiction and action-adventure; the only stipulation is that they must all feature sharks in some way. Alternate historical settings for stories are welcomed (there haven’t been any involving the Golden Age of Piracy yet, or medieval crusading knights braving the perils of the Mediterranean). I am also very happy that the stories feature recurring characters of your own creation, as long as including them in the anthology won’t infringe upon anyone’s copyright. (In other words, you need to own the rights to the character yourself, or have permission from the copyright owner to have them appear in SHARKPUNK 2 at no charge.) 

Stories need to be between 3,500 and 7,000 words in length (although there will be some flexibility with this, depending on the individual stories) and the deadline for first drafts is 1st July 2016SHARKPUNK (Volume 1) features stories involving space sharks, ghost sharks, Franken-sharks, psychological sharks, and “sharks with frikkin’ laser-beams attached to their heads” (just about). However, we’ve yet to read any stories about zombie sharks, Hawaiian were-sharks, alien sharks, or tales featuring vampires and sharks, for example, so please bear this in mind when you are working up your idea. I don’t mind if some themes are revisited, but obviously I don’t want an anthology of nothing but steam-powered sharks made out of brass and walnut panelling – heaven forbid!

The plan is to publish SHARKPUNK 2 in 2017 and I am going to be running a Kickstarter (either towards the end of 2016 or early 2017) to raise funds to produce the book and, just as importantly, to pay the contributors. If your story is selected for publication, subject to a successful Kickstarter, you will be paid £50 and will receive a physical copy of the book. However, you will also receive royalties from copies of the book sold outside of the initial Kickstarter, which will be paid on top of your fee. Not instead of, not offset against royalties, but as well as! One of the Kickstarter rewards will be a signed copy of the book and you need to be prepared to sign however many copies are required to fulfil this reward level.

In terms of rights, Snowbooks ask for exclusive World English language rights for six months from the date of publication, 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. They also require rights to special editions, omnibus editions or other anthology editions, where appropriate.

If you are interested in being a part of SHARKPUNK 2, then please read the submission guidelines below very carefully, as any submissions not adhering to them will be automatically rejected.

SHARKPUNK 2 submission guidelines 

1. Fonts – choose something easy on the eye for proofing, something like Palatino, Calibri or Times New Roman.

2. Dialogue – “double quote marks” around speech, ‘rather than single’, which can be used for quoting within speech.

3. Formatting – indent new paragraphs, rather than leave a single line break, but use two (or more) line breaks for a change of scene/time/point of view. Please use a single space between sentences rather than two spaces. Please leave a space after an ellipsis but not before one. Submit your story double line spaced.

4. Spelling – please use English spellings throughout, and ‘s’ over ‘z’ in words like ‘realise’.

5. Proof-reading – please proof-read your story carefully before you send it, and remember that a Spellchecker is your friend (although not infallible).

6. PoetrySHARKPUNK 2 is an anthology of short stories, not a poetry collection, so no poetry please.

7. Contact details – make sure your name and contacts details (including email) appear on the first page of your story.

8. Document name – this should include SHARKPUNK 2, the name of your story, and your name, for ease of identification.

9. Emailing your submission – send your submission to The subject of your email must include your name, story title, and the words ‘SHARKPUNK 2 submission’ in the subject line. For example, SHARKPUNK 2 submission – The Sharks of Wrath – Jonathan Green’. Please include your real name, your writing name (if different), the title of your story and a one sentence synopsis of your submission. Send your story as a document in .doc (Word) or .rtf (Rich Text) format as an attachment to your email, and not pasted into the body of the email itself. Submissions will only be accepted via email.

10. Reading period – the reading period will be from 1st July – 1st October 2016. 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.

I shall look forward to reading your submission in due course, but in the meantime my advice would be, stay out of the water…

Friday 29 April 2016

Gamebook Friday: The Kraken Released!

It's a brand new choose your own style adventure gamebook, it features the Twelfth Doctor, and there's my favourite submarine monster in it... What more do you need to know?

Thursday 28 April 2016

New Book Day! Doctor Who: Choose the Future: Night of the Kraken

In the same week that the Doctor's new companion was announced, a previously untold Twelfth Doctor story is unleashed upon the space-time continuum...

When one choice can lead to triumph or failure, life or death, glory or destruction . . . which will you choose? With Choose the Future, YOU decide how, when, where and with whom the Doctor will fight to save the world!

In this brand new adventure, Night of the Kraken, the Twelfth Doctor meets a roguish time-smuggler and faces a terrifying creature from the deep with a plan to destroy the Earth.

The fate of the Doctor and the universe he protects are in your hands...

Wednesday 27 April 2016

Forthcoming Events 2016

I am appearing at a number of different events up and down the country* over the next couple of months.

The Hooded Man II
Saturday 31st April - Sunday 1st May 2016
First of all, next weekend you'll find me attending the Robin of Sherwood fan convention in Chepstow. If you're there, feel free to ask me how my novelisation of Robin of Sherwood: The Knights of the Apocalypse is coming along. ;-)

The UK Games Expo 2016
Saturday 4th - Sunday 5th June 2016
I will be at the UK Games Expo again this year, at the Birmingham NEC. This time with Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland in tow. The book also just happens to be up for the Best RPG Award at this year's UKGE Awards.

The Tiverton Literary Festival
Saturday 11th - Sunday 12th June 2016
I am delighted to be able to say that I shall be one of the authors attending the Tiverton Literary Festival (the weekend after the UK Games Expo). This will be my first visit to TivLitFest which this year boasts such literary success stories as Katie Fforde, Michael Jecks and Jenny Kane. I shall be selling my books - mainly Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland - at a stall on the Saturday, and giving a talk, followed by a Q&A and signing, at the Mayoral Rooms in the Town Hall at 11.30 on the Sunday.

Simply click the blue titles above to find out more about the event in question, and if you'd like me to attend your event, why do drop a line via

* Well, Wales, the Midlands and Devon.

Tuesday 26 April 2016

Tie-in Tuesday: Doctor Who: Choose the Future: Night of the Kraken

There are only two days to go until my latest Doctor Who book is released.

First there was 2010's Night of the Humans...

Then there the 2013 minisode The Night of the Doctor...

And now there is the first in a brand new series of Doctor Who adventure gamebooks, Choose the Future: Night of the Kraken.

It's about time...

Saturday 23 April 2016

Shakespeare Saturday: Happy Deathday, Mr Shakespeare

Today, Saturday 23rd April 2016, marks the 400th anniversary of the death of the English language's greatest ever playwright, William Shakespeare.

Google's Doodle of the day to mark the occasion
Google's Doodle of the day to mark the occasion
His impact on the English language, and indeed on our very culture (never mind tourism and the economy), is incalculable. For example, did you know that the Bard has been credited with introducing some 3,000 words into the English language? Or that at 27 letters 'honorificabilitudinitatibus' is the longest word in any of Shakespeare's works and is the longest word in the English language with alternating consonants and vowels? (It appears in Love's Labours Lost and means 'the state of being able to achieve honours'.)

And did you know that Hamlet (Shakespeare’s longest play which, uncut, would take between 4 and 5 hours to perform, with the death-obsessed Prince of Denmark himself having the most lines of any character in Shakespeare, with 1530 in total) is the most widely performed play in the world? It is estimated that it is being performed somewhere every single minute of every day.

From a very personal point of view, Shakespeare has had been a massive influence on my own work - and that was before I came up with the concept of Shakespeare Vs Cthulhu.
Like many people, I first encountered Shakespeare whilst at school, reading Lamb's Tales From Shakespeare before studying plays such as MacbethThe Tempest and Hamlet for GCSE and A-level. Later I went to university in Shakespeare's own county of Warwickshire.
My very first published book, the Fighting Fantasy adventure Spellbreaker, was heavily influenced by Macbeth, making, as it does, witches the main focus of the story. (The Bedlam Hags in particular are my take on Macbeth's Weird Sisters.)
My second book, Knights of Doom, used the driven war-hero-who-would-be-king, his fiend-like queen, and their castle home. There's even a very unsubtle reference to Banquo's ghost, in the form of Sir Connor of Achenbury.
Bloodbones (which is now available as an app from Tin Man Games, with its own soundtrack and everything!) was inspired, in part, by The Tempest, and features encounters with a monster called Balinac as well as a wizard's cell on a secluded, semi-magical island.
Night of the Necromancer drew heavily on both Hamlet and Macbeth for inspiration, the castle you explore during the adventure being name Valsinore, and includes an encounter with your own ghostly father.
So tonight I'll be raising a glass to the Bard of Stratford whilst also battling with the running order of Shakespeare Vs Cthulhu.

“Do you not know that a man is not dead while his name is still spoken?”  ― Terry Pratchett, Going Postal
“Do you not know that a man is not dead while his name is still spoken?” ― Terry Pratchett, Going Postal

Friday 22 April 2016

Gamebook Friday: Lloyd of Gamebooks April A to Z

Unless you're a hardcore gamebook fan, you may not be aware of the Lloyd of Gamebooks blog. At the moment, Stuart Lloyd (the proprietor) is interviewing gamebook developers and posting interviews within them during April.

My interview appeared a couple of weeks ago under 'G is for Jon Green'. If you would like to read my interview - in which I talk about Fighting Fantasy, Pax Britannia, Doctor Who and Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland - then simply click this link.

Thursday 21 April 2016

Steampunk Thursday: Long to reign over us...

Today marks another milestone achieved by our beloved monarch Queen Elizabeth II. Not only is she the longest-reigning monarch of the United Kingdom ever, she is also 90 years-old today.

Of course, in the world of Pax Britannia, in 1998 (which is as far as we've got so far in that alternate reality) Queen Victoria is still on the throne. If you've not caught up on all the adventures in print so far, you could do a lot worse than pick up the two ominbuses currently in print.

I sometimes wonder if anyone famous has read any of my books, someone in the royal family, perhaps, who enjoys my alternate steampunk universe. So, just in case someone does...

Happy Birthday, your Majesty!

God save the Queen!

Wednesday 20 April 2016

Warhammer Wednesday: Want to work for Games Workshop?

Do you enjoy delving into the worlds of Warhammer Age of Sigmar or Warhammer 40,000? Are you a budding novelist, or do you prefer writing content for rule books and background text?

Well, if you've just answered 'Yes' to either of these questions, then you might want to check out the current opportunities going at Games Workshop.

The games company founded by Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone is currently looking for a Background Writer to work alongside their game designers, and their publishing wing Black Library is currently looking for new recruits as well.

So don't delay - apply today!

Tuesday 19 April 2016

Tie-in Tuesday: Doctor Who - Choose the Future

My editor at Penguin posted these photos online last week of the first advance copies of my new Doctor Who book.

Notice that '1' on the spine of the book? That's right - Night of the Kraken is the first in a new series of Doctor Who gamebooks. :-)

Friday 15 April 2016

Gamebook Friday: The Warlock of Firetop Mountain

As regular readers of this blog may already know, I was part of the design team on Tin Man Games' re-imagined The Warlock of Firetop Mountain app.

In the latest update, the Tin Man himself Neil Rennison posted some of the brand new artwork that Russ Nicholson has produced for the app, in the style of his original illustrations for the book, and a couple of them feature things that I added to the game.

So we have a hall of Dwarven statues...

A terrified acolyte fleeing from the School of Sorcery...

(The figure on the right is Oriana the Soulkeeper. Not one of my creations, but she looks awesome!)

And another sorcerous apprentice cowering in fear in the corner of a potions laboratory...

(The figure on the left is Sindla, the Goddess of Luck and Chance.)

You can keep up to date with the latest updates regarding The Warlock of Firetop Mountain via the project's Kickstarter page, as well as via Tin Man Games' Facebook page, and courtesy of Tin Man Games' own blog.

Thursday 14 April 2016

The London Book Fair 2016

Yesterday I attended the London Book Fair. This was my second visit, so I had a much better idea of what to expect, compared to last year.

The London Book Fair. It's massive! (This is just one hall of many.)

What I didn't expect was to be greeted by someone who I had only previously met via Facebook, by name. So thanks to Simon Frith* of Panini comics for introducing himself.

Purely by chance, I then found myself at the Funny Books talk, organised by my friend Alex Milway (the man behind the 'This Book is Funny!' campaign), which featured Gary Northfield, Philip Ardagh, and Kate Davies (senior editor at Walker Books).

Gary Northfield sniffing the water, just to be sure.

Some of Alex Milway's books at the fair.

Some of my books were also there!

Since 23rd April 2016 marks the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare, there was a significant focus on the Bard, including a pop-up Globe Theatre.

The Globe in all its glory!

Adult colouring books were everywhere as well, but you won't find me complaining about that! ;-)

This is where the real work happens at the London Book Fair, in the International Rights Centre.

I had a few meetings to attend after that, and it was good to meet up with Lydia Gittins again (formerly with Rebellion Publishing but now with Titan Books).

But at the end of the day I found myself at the Snowbooks stand, just in time for the Independent Publishers Guild drinks. Which was nice.

And who should I bump into there, but Tim Bayley, who has contributed a very special story to the Shakespeare Vs Cthulhu Kickstarter. More drinks at the pub followed, so all in all a very successful day. :-)

* Simon is another life-long devotee of Fighting Fantasy gamebooks!

Tuesday 12 April 2016

Monday 11 April 2016

Thought for the Day

"Writers possess a strange combination of confidence and fear. Fear that we're not good enough and confidence that we can tell stories people want to hear. The confidence drives us to write, the fear makes us terrified of sending the work out."

Steve Turnbull, self-published steampunk author

Friday 8 April 2016

Gamebook Friday: YOU ARE THE HERO

Although not receiving as many reviews as it has in the UK, YOU ARE THE HERO has proved popular in America as well. Here's what just some of the reviews have had to say about my history of Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks.

This book came out of 2012 Kickstarter campaign which I supported. It exceeded expectations... So for all those who ever wanted to design your own "choose your own adventure," this is a great read.

The hardcover book is large and weighty - think coffee table book. It's very thoroughly researched, and with a lot of material that has not yet been published in FF fandom. It's the definitive history of FF, and that will stand for a long time, I'm sure. The graphic design and illustrations are also top notch, showing original art collections, movie appearances by Ian Livingstone (who knew?) and hundreds of other little known factoids. I recommend this for any true fan of FF.

Any fan of Interactive Fiction/Gamebooks will not be disappointed. This is an incredible book that is a delight to read.

Remember, you can still buy YOU ARE THE HERO both here in the UK and via Amazon in the US. Or, if you prefer, you can go direct to the publisher Snowbooks.

Tuesday 5 April 2016

Tie-in Tuesday: Miracle on 34th and Peltzer

Okay, so it's not Christmas, and it's not even Easter anymore, but I chanced upon this review of my most recent festive Dredd story the other day and thought I'd share it with you.

Miracle on 34th and Peltzer
A bit of prose to make this gigantic issue an even more well-rounded affair!
‘Miracle’ was a smartly written bit of fiction by Jonathan Green. The tale takes place in a number of locations, all of which are unknowingly tied to one another. Terrorists take Weather Control hostage, eldsters careen towards their final Christmas on the Ho Ho Ho Express, a man volunteers in a soup kitchen, and some reindeer pulled tree meat soars through the skies above Mega City One. Oh, and Judge Dredd on a powerboard!

Monday 4 April 2016

Thought for the Day

"Thank heaven, one of the few mistakes I haven't made is to talk about the unwritten book."
~ John le Carré, British author of espionage novels

Sunday 3 April 2016

Shakespeare Sunday: Star-Crossed

The vast majority of the stories in Shakespeare Vs Cthulhu either take place during the lifetime of William Shakespeare or are contemporaneous with the settings of the plays they were inspired by. However, there are a couple of notable exceptions and one of those is Jonathan Oliver's Star-Crossed*.
I first met Jon when he was commissioning editor of Abaddon Books and he took a punt on an idea for a new steampunk series called Pax Britannia. Eight novels and numerous short stories later, the tables were turned when I invited Jon to contribute to my first editing gig SHARKPUNK. As it turns out (and I only just realised this as I was typing this update) Jon is the only author to date to have contributed to all three of my short story anthologies, having had a story feature in GAME OVER too.
He is a highly skilled writer of short fiction, masterfully building a creeping atmosphere of dread with every page, which is perfect for Star-Crossed...
“What are you reading?”
The boy sitting opposite her on one of the ratty armchairs that filled the student lounge had fine mousy hair cut in an unfashionable style, and was dressed in a way that said not so much hipster as failed 1950s’ beat poet.
“Sorry?” Jasmine said.
“What are you reading?” He leaned forward, his gaze on the book rather than her.
“Oh, this? Just a history book. It’s a bit boring actually.”
“May I?” He thrust out his hand abruptly, making Jasmine flinch.
“I’m sorry. You are...?”
“Oh.” The hand was withdrawn, a confused expression on the boy’s face as though he had forgotten himself. “I’m Richard. May I?”
The hand was back again.
“Look. The thing is that it’s really quite fragile. And it isn’t mine, so I really shouldn’t. I’m Jasmine, by the way.”
“I see,” Richard said, got to his feet and left the lounge.
Jasmine blinked and looked back down at the book. She realised it would take time to make friends at the new college, but she hadn’t expected to immediately attract the resident weirdo.

Jonathan Oliver is the author of two sword and sorcery novels, a plethora of short fiction and the twice British Fantasy Award-winning editor of The End of the LineMagicHouse of FearEnd of the RoadDangerous Games and the forthcoming, Five Stories High. He has also twice been nominated for the World Fantasy Award and was a nominee for the Shirley Jackson Award. ‘Star-Crossed’ is his first foray into explicitly Lovecraftian fiction, though a thread of the weird runs through all his fiction. He lives in Abingdon, Oxfordshire with his wife, two daughters and a cat called Fudge.

* No prizes for guessing which play inspired Jon's story!