Friday 30 September 2016

Gamebook Friday: 72 hours to go for The Wicked Wizard of Oz on Kickstarter!

There are just 72 hours to go for The Wicked Wizard of Oz on Kickstarter and a new reward has been announced.

As well as the new T-shirt reward, you can now download a summary of the rules and the opening of Dorothy Gale's new adventure in Oz from the Kickstarter project page. You can also find the sample sections here.

Thursday 29 September 2016

Steampunk Thursday: The Wicked Wizard of Oz

There are just 4 days left to run for The Wicked Wizard of Oz Kickstarter, and the project still needs your support if it is going to fund by 1.00pm GMT on Monday 3rd of OZtober.

So check out the rewards here and tell all your friends about the project. And if you've already backed, maybe consider upgrading your pledge.

Thank you.

Wednesday 28 September 2016

Warhammer Wednesday: Tales from the Black Crusades

Abaddon the Despoiler has returned, and the galaxy will burn…

Tales from the Black Crusades is a collection containing six novels and five short stories telling tales of Black Crusades and other battles featuring the Despoiler and his Black Legion. It's an essential collection of Chaos-tainted tales that includes my ever-popular 40K novel Iron Hands.

But you had better hurry! This is a limited time offer, so grab your eBook bundle from the Black Library today!

Happy 2000th 2000AD!

Borag Thungg!

Today marks a momentous occasion in comics publishing, in fact in any form of publishing, for today sees publication of the 2000th copy of 2000AD.

The current issue is a testament to all that is 2000AD - including its polystyrene-devouring, emerald-hued alien editor Tharg the Mighty - featuring many classic characters as well as a brand-new strip, all wrapped up inside an awesome Cliff Robinson cover with colours by Dylan Teague.

I didn't start collecting 2000AD on a regular basis until Prog 800, with its handy Series Index Micro-Guide, although I had bought it for the duration of Smith and Weston's Jack the Ripper Indigo Prime story Killing Time* and once when I was on holiday in Scotland. (All I can remember about that issue is that it featured a Rogue Trooper story.)

Since that time I have bought every single issue and now subscribe (to the weekly Prog and the Megazine) and am proud to have been a very small part of the ghafflebette publication, making into the weekly for the first time last Christmas.

I have also been fortunate enough to work with a number of 2000AD art droids in the past. Simon Davis (currently painting Slaine) illustrated my Warhammer short story Mark of the Beast, Steve Yeowell (who recently illustrated Black Shuck) joined me for The Tale of the Hound that was published in the Warhammer Comic, one of P J Holden's first published strips was my very own Slavebreak!, Paul Jeacock (sometimes Paul Staples) who painted Finn back in the day illustrated a Necromunda comic strip of mine called Kill Confirmed, Simon Coleby (producing phenomenal work for Jaegir) produced the cover for my first short story anthology SHARKPUNK,cover artist Neil Roberts produced an illustration for Shakespeare Vs Cthulhu, as did Absolom artist Tiernen Trevallion, and more recently I have been collaborating on gamebook projects with Kev Crossley, who has also painted covers for the House of Tharg. And then there are Pye Parr and Mark Harrison who have been in the Megazine and 2000AD and who both produced covers for my Pax Britannia novels. And not to forget Patrick Goddard, Dylan Teague and Lee Townsend who all worked on Ephrael Stern: Sister of Sigmar, and Clint Langley (of ABC Warriors fame) who produced the cover for my first ever novel The Dead and the Damned.

I own a number of original pages of art that has appeared in 2000AD, including Chris Weston's work on Canon Fodder. Colin MacNeil's work for Satanus Unchained, and Simon Fraser's line-art for Nikolai Dante.

But it's not only the artists I've worked with, I am fortunate enough to count many of the comic's script droids among my friends as well. Indeed, Ian Edginton recently wrote a story for me for Shakespeare Vs Cthulhu.

So florix grabundae to Tharg for all the zarjaz thrill-power over the years, and if you're a nonscrot who has yet to discover the delights of 2000AD, don't be a grexnix and get out there and buy one from your local thrill-merchant today.

And this isn't the end. There's still more to look forward to look forward to next year, namely 2000AD's 40th birthday party! Maybe I'll see you there. :-)

But for now, Splundig vur Thrigg, Squaxx dek Thargos!

Tuesday 27 September 2016

Tie-in Tuesday: Doctor Who and the Cybermen

The latest issue of Doctor Who Magazine (#504, November 2016) features the Doctor's second most hated/loved enemy, the Cybermen. It comes with four variant covers, but I had to go with #4, featuring the most up-to-date iterations of the alien cyborgs.

You will be upgraded!

Among the many Cyber-related features gracing its pages is a piece on the different types of Cyberman the Doctor has encountered during the last two millennium/53 years.

The steampunk CyberKing has to be one of my favourite Cyber-creations.
I can't imagine why.

I have always preferred the Cybermen to the Daleks (the #1 Doctor Who villain, although I love Davros) and particularly enjoyed the Tenth Doctor Christmas Special The Next Doctor. If I get the opportunity to write another Doctor Who Choose the Future gamebook, I want it to feature the Cybermen and I have the perfect story for them. So, fingers crossed.

Doctor Who: Choose the Future - Night of the Kraken
If this one sells well, there may be more Choose the Future books in the... future.

As an aside, it is frustrating that DWM doesn't review the Puffin Doctor Who books, while a book about Worzel Gummidge is, just because it starred John Pertwee post-Who. As far as I am aware the magazine doesn't even include the Puffin titles in the 'Coming Soon' section.

It's frustrating not only because the Doctor Who books I've written are all for Puffin but also because a few more reviews and increased exposure who doubtless help boost sales. It's as if they're not considered real Doctor Who books, whereas everything I submit has to be approved by the Cardiff production office, just like the Big Finish audios or Ebury's DW novels.

So come on DWM - how about featuring the Puffin titles in future?

Monday 26 September 2016

The Wicked Wizard of Oz ends one week today!

At 1.00pm GMT one week from today, The Wicked Wizard of Oz reaches the end of its run, on Monday 3rd Oztober.

Will it fund? Who knows. What I do know is that currently over £200 needs to be pledged every day until the end of the Kickstarter's run otherwise it most definitely won't happen.

So if you think a grimdark gamebook inspired by L. Frank Baum's children's classic could be your thing, or if you know of someone else you would enjoy it, then check out the Kickstarter project page and spread the word!

Thank you.

Thought for the Day

"When first drafting, quality should not be the prime concern. It's like being sick. Just get it out. You can clean it up later."
~ Joe Abercrombie, fantasy author.

Friday 23 September 2016

Gamebook Friday: The Wicked Wizard of Oz

There is just over a week to go until the funding period for The Wicked Wizard of Oz ends and there is still almost £2,000 to raise.

If you're a fan of Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland, or my Fighting Fantasy gamebooks, then you'll want to back The Wicked Wizard of Oz.

Kev Crossley, who will be illustrating the book, has finished the line-art for his version of Dorothy, and Oz backer, Kevin Abbotts has already coloured it digitally.

Kev Crossley's line-art of Dorothy Gale.

Kevin Abbotts digital colouring of Kev's line-art.

Remember, one of the rewards is to receive a colouring book of artwork from The Wicked Wizard of Oz, which you can either select by itself or add to any other pledge. Check out the POLYCHROME reward - and tell all your friends!

Wednesday 21 September 2016

Wellsian Wednesday: Happy Birthday, H G Wells!

Today marks the 150th anniversary of the birth of the British Father of Science Fiction, Herbert George Wells. Wells is, of course, most well known, in the modern era, for his novels The Time Machine (1895) and The War of the Worlds (1898).

Wells' original stories have been adapted time and time again, and have inspired countless other tales, including my own. I have an idea for a spin-off from The War of the Worlds that I would like to start work on in the next year or two, but The Time Machine has already massively influenced an already published work of mine - or should I say works?

What started off as a fun idea for a one-off short story expanding the world of Pax Britannia, back in 2008, ended up becoming the core element of trio of Ulysses Quicksilver novels - Dark Side (2010), Anno Frankenstein (2011) and Time's Arrow (2012). I hadn't realised just how much The Time Machine had influenced Anno Frakenstein in particular until I re-watched the 2002 movie version recently, as I introduced it to my children for the first time.

My Wellsian celebrations will continue today with Jeff Wayne's musical version of The War of the Worlds on today's playlist, and possibly a viewing of the 2005 movie adaptation later this evening.

If you happen to be the Woking area today, watch the skies!

Saturday 17 September 2016

The Wicked Wizard of Oz two weeks in

The Wicked Wizard of Oz Kickstarter has now been running for two weeks, and with just over half the time left for the project to run we are almost three-quarters funded.

The Wicked Wizard of Oz has been receiving some love online recently from numerous sources. SFX Magazine tweeted about the project on Wednesday.

On Thursday both Starburst Magazine and the guys at Geek Syndicate gave the project a plug, with the Geek Syndicate piece being particularly complimentary about my previous crowdfunded gamebook, Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland. The project also got a plug at the end of this week's Nerd Vs World podcast (at around the 37:50 mark).

Thanks are also due to Megara Entertainment, for sharing the project with their own gamebook backers and, of course, a special mention must go to, who previewed the project before it even launched on Kickstarter.

Remember, Kickstarters only succeed if enough people get to hear about them, so please consider backing the project yourself, but even if it's not your thing, please spread it among your friends, because it might just be theirs.

Thank you.

Tuesday 13 September 2016

Roald Dahl 100

"A person is a fool to become a writer. His only compensation is absolute freedom. He has no master except his own soul, and that, I am sure, is why he does it."

~ Roald Dahl, author (1916-1990)

Monday 12 September 2016

Friday 9 September 2016

Wednesday 7 September 2016

Two years ago today...

This happened!

We packed out the venue!

Jonathan Green, Geraldine Cooke, Zagor the Warlock, Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone.

Warhammer Wednesday: The New/Old White Dwarf

They say, what's old is new and what's new is old. Well they couldn't have said a truer word about the new White Dwarf Magazine.

I subscribed to White Dwarf for many years, even when I was no longer writing for the Black Library, but when the old monthly split to become Warhammer Visions and the weekly I called it a day. I am not a hobbyist and so Visions did not appeal. I didn't dislike the weekly White Dwarf, it was just that as it was only available in stores, it was too tricky to get hold of on a regular basis.

But now the old monthly mag is back - as the new monthly mag. And as far as I can see, it's a return to form. One of the things I used to like the most about the old incarnation of White Dwarf were the articles about the lore of the Warhammer World and the ones that added depth to the Warhammer 40,000 universe of the 41st millennium. The good news is that elements of those background articles have returned, notably in 'Illuminations' (this month focusing on the Deathwatch) and 'The Ultimate Guide To...' (the Kightly Houses, in this particular issue).

The old familiar favourites are all there, including battle reports and painting guides, but there is also a new section called 'Temporal Distort' which looks back to an old issues of the mag. On this occasion the issue is question is WD202, published in October 1996.

This is the issue that featured the two new armies in the 5th edition of Warhammer - the Lizardmen and the Bretonnians - but it also a memorable one for me for another reason.

In August 1996 I had moved from Nottingham (where I had been doing freelance work for Games Workshop, amongst other things) to live and work in West London. October 1996 found me writing my first short story for Inferno! magazine - fan-favourite 'Salvation'. That first story led to more and more, and then to novels, and, in a big way, to where I am now writing-wise.

So, to sum up, as it says on the cover, the new White Dwarf is bigger and better, and I may just have to renew my subscription.

Monday 5 September 2016

Thought for the Day

And then you die.

Happy writing!

Saturday 3 September 2016

The Wicked Wizard of Oz goes live today!

The Wicked Wizard of Oz Kickstarter goes live at 1.00pm GMT today!

The Wicked Wizard of Oz is a nightmarish solo-RPG gamebook inspired by The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum, but with a dark Dieselpunk twist. The book is written by Jonathan Green and illustrated by Kev Crossley, the team behind Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland.

Play as Dorothy...

The Scarecrow... 

The Tin Woodman...

And the Lion...

Or even play as the Wicked Witch of the West herself!

So check out the rewards, tell all your friends about the project, and pledge your support today.

Friday 2 September 2016

Gamebook Friday: The Wicked Wizard of Oz

At 1.00pm tomorrow (Saturday 3rd September) The Wicked Wizard of Oz launches on Kickstarter.

There are a number of rewards that are limited in number, which offer gamebook fans some rather special opportunities.

Thursday 1 September 2016

Steampunk Thursday: The Wicked Dieselpunk Wizard of Oz

In two days' time, THE WICKED WIZARD OF OZ launches on Kickstarter.

In THE WICKED WIZARD OF OZ you step into Dorothy’s silver shoes and become the hero of the story, taking on the role of either Dorothy Gale herself, the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman, or the Lion. You decide which path to take, which risks to brave, and even which of the strange inhabitants of Oz, you will meet along the way, to engage in battle.

Success is by no means certain and you may well fail to complete the adventure at your first attempt. However, with experience, skill, and maybe even a little luck, each new attempt should bring you closer to your ultimate goal.

THE WICKED WIZARD OF OZ will be illustrated by Kev Crossley, a very talented artist already known to fans of ALICE'S NIGHTMARE IN WONDERLAND, who is moving away from Alice's Steampunk aesthetic to more of a Dieselpunk look for this book.

Dorothy Gale reimagined by Kev Crossley
Dorothy Gale reimagined by Kev Crossley
Kev's character designs and penmanship are remarkable, and we are very lucky - and thrilled! - to have him joining us on our journey to the Marvellous Land of Oz! Just check out these sketches for the Tin Woodman, the Scarecrow, and the Lion.

In addition, the first 20 people who pledge to receive a physical copy of the THE WICKED WIZARD OF OZ at the DOROTHY reward level or above (so not including the WIZARD orSCRAPS level rewards, unless they are selected as add-ons) will receive a pair of Emerald City-style, green-tinted, Dieselpunk goggles!
They're what everyone's wearing in the Emerald City these days!

They're what everyone's wearing in the Emerald City these days!
So put 1.00pm on Saturday 3rd September in your diary, and maybe I'll see you, somewhere over the rainbow...