Tuesday 28 February 2017

Tickets for Fighting Fantasy Fest 2 go on sale on Thursday 2nd March 2017

Yes, it's the news fans of Fighting Fantasy gamebooks have been waiting for - tickets for Fighting Fantasy Fest 2 go on sale on Thursday 2nd March 2017 at 9:00AM, via www.FightingFantasy.com!

Fighting Fantasy Fest 2 is an epic day-long celebration of all things Fighting Fantasy, taking place at the University of West London in Ealing, on Saturday 2nd September 2017, to mark the 35th anniversary of the world's premier gamebook series. Doors open at 9:00AM and the venue will close again, eleven hours later, at 8:00PM.

In the interim there will be all manner of talks, game demos, book signings, role-playing sessions, an exhibition of Fighting Fantasy art, and a host of trade stands to peruse. Guests of honour will be Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone, the co-creators of the Fighting Fantasy series, but there will also be numerous artists, writers and other special guests in attendance.

Ealing itself is easily accessible by road, is well served by public transport links, and is only half an hour from both Heathrow Airport and Central London.

The University of West London offers a much larger convention space than the hotel which housed the first Fighting Fantasy Fest back in 2014, and boasts a lecture hall with tiered seating for 300 people. The venue also has its own cafe and bar, and both food and drink will be available throughout the event.

200 Early Bird Adult Tickets will go on sale on Thursday morning, at a cost of £35 each. These tickets will give you access to the entire event, including the trading hall, the full range of talks, guest signings, demo games, and art exhibition, for the whole day.

There will also be 50 Child Tickets on sale at £20 each. (Please note that children must be under 14 years of age on Saturday 2nd September 2017 and must be accompanied by a paying adult ticket-holder.)

Price of entry includes a collectible programme and autograph book. However, you may also wish to pre-order a separate Adventurer's Backpack containing unique merchandise, such as a Fighting Fantasy Fest 2 lanyard and event-exclusive t-shirt, at an additional cost of £25.

So make sure you instruct your goblin minions, or cast an enchantment (or, alternatively, set an alarm) to remind you to purchase your tickets at 9:00AM on Thursday 2nd March 2017 - via the official Fighting Fantasy website www.FightingFantasy.com - and maybe I'll see you on Saturday 2nd September 2017 at Fighting Fantasy Fest 2!

Monday 27 February 2017

Thought for the Day

"The aim of good prose words is to mean what they say. The aim of good poetical words is to mean what they do not say."

~ G K Chesterton

Saturday 25 February 2017

Sharkpunk Saturday: SHARKPUNK 2 Kickstarter cancelled

Unfortunately, I have had to pull the plug on the SHARKPUNK 2 Kickstarter. Despite the months of hard work, from the 26 contributing authors and myself, including some financial outlay, in four weeks the Kickstarter has only attracted 31 backers and not even raised 10% of its funding target.

I don't know what it was about the project but it just didn't gain any traction, despite the host of awesome authors involved. And although some of the support I was hoping for never actually materialised, I thought we had a great concept and some fantastic stories to share with the world.

So it was with a heavy heart that I pulled the plug today, but it needed to be done as 'Cancelled' looks better than 'Unsuccessful' on Kickstarter, and I have other projects I would like to crowdfund in the future.

But where does this leave SHARKPUNK 2? To be honest, right now, I don't know. I am considering re-running the Kickstarter later in the year, with slightly adjusted reward levels, and someone has suggested doing the anthology as an eBook through Amazon, but the fact of the matter is that I can't pay the contributing authors for their work without raising the money upfront via crowdfunding.

If you have any feedback regarding why you think the Kickstarter failed then do please comment on this post, whether you backed the project yourself or not, but please bear in mind that I ran a Kickstarter for the Shakespeare Vs Cthulhu anthology last year, which was a success.

So until next time...

Thursday 23 February 2017

Steampunk Thursday: Steampunk Author Showcase at the Essex Book Festival

I shall be appearing at the Essex Book Festival in Chelmsford, on Saturday 25th March 2017, as part of the Steampunk Author Showcase, along with m'colleagues Toby Frost and Raven Dane.

If you're in the area, why not stop by? The event will be taking place from 2:30pm - 3:45pm but I shall also be selling my wares on the day, include my Pax Britannia books, as well as my steampunk-inspired Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland.

To find out more, and to book tickets, follow this link, down the rabbit-hole...

Monday 20 February 2017

Thought for the Day

"Effort only fully releases its reward after a person refuses to quit."

~ Napoleon Hill

Friday 17 February 2017

Gamebook Friday: Alice and Oz updates

Wouldn't it be nice if, in this week of exciting Pax Britannia news, I could tell you that I was writing a new steampunk-inspired gamebook?

Well, I can't, but I can update you on Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland (which has steampunk elements) and The Wicked Wizard of Oz (which has dieselpunk elements).

First there's this new review of Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland:

"As usual Jon Green starts from a very clear and coherent background concept (in this case a mash-up of Alice and gothic-horror-steampunk literary canons) and builds on this a great interactive fiction with brilliant literary skill and stringent internal logic (in this case it is the logic of illogic!!). The result is fantastic and will bring joy both to gamebooks fans and to Alice's fans. What else can we ask???"

Which was nice.

And in The Wicked Wizard of Oz news, the book is finished and currently with the proof-readers and play-testers, and Kev Crossley is hard at work on the illustrations.

Here are his sketches for a couple of the characters you may meet when you return to Oz this May.

Thursday 16 February 2017

Steampunk Thursday: Pax Britannia - Worthless Remains

Having marked the 10th anniversary of the Pax Britannia series on this blog yesterday, today I am delighted to announce that Ulysses Quicksilver returns for a one-off short story in Matthew Bright's Clockwork Cairo - an anthology of steampunk stories with an Egyptian connection - later this year.

One of the great things about the anthology is that each story comes with its own piece of artwork, and here's the title page illustration for my own story Worthless Remains.

Clockwork Cairo will be published in May by Twopenny Books.

Wednesday 15 February 2017

10 years of Pax Britannia!

Did you know, according to the Rebellion Publishing website, Unnatural History, the first Pax Britannia novel, was published ten years ago today?

I first pitched the idea for what would become Abaddon Books' Steampunk science fantasy series, when Jonathan Oliver - now Editor-in-Chief of Abaddon, Solaris and Ravenstone Books - put out the call for authors, but the kernel of the idea had been knocking around in my mind for years before that.

The oldest notes I can find that would be recognisable as the basic outline of what would become Unnatural History are dated 1990. (I wouldn't be published for the first time until 1993.) The dinosaurs in the Challenger Enclosure at Regent's Park Zoo get a mention, as does Queen Victoria being in a life support throne. There's even a line about bases on the Moon and Mars, but the protagonist is one Mandeville Sachs, Gentleman Adventurer, rather than Ulysses Quicksilver.

So although later today, I'll be raising a glass to Ulysses Quicksilver and toasting the Pax Britannia series as a whole, the idea is actually at least 27 years old, making it older than my writing career (which is 25 years old this July)!

And what's lovely is that people are still discovering the series for the first time and, I'm pleased to say, enjoying it. And who knows, maybe one day I'll get to bring Ulysses Quicksilver's story to a conclusion.

Monday 13 February 2017

Thought for the Day

"A person is a fool to become a writer. His only compensation is absolute freedom."
~ Roald Dahl

Monday 6 February 2017

Thought for the Day

"A poet must never make a statement simply because it is sounds poetically exciting; he must also believe it to be true."

~ W.H. Auden (1907-73)

Friday 3 February 2017

Gamebook Friday: The Wicked Wizard of Oz

If you backed the Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland Kickstarter back in 2015, you may remember how you pledged to receive a 400-reference gamebook but ended up with a 520-reference gamebook. This increase in length was in part a consequence of the rules system I developed for the book, and partly because of the epic maze I plonked in the middle of the adventure.
Having learnt from my mistakes with that previous project, when I pitched The Wicked Wizard of Oz you may remember that I announced that you would be backing the Kickstarter to receive a 500-reference gamebook. I also said that you would be able to play as one of four different characters, and a fifth bonus character if you pledged at the Wicked Witch reward level. And then this happened...
This afternoon I finally finished the manuscript for The Wicked Wizard of Oz, almost six months to the day after I first set fingers to keyboard. (I actually started writing the gamebook on Thursday 4th August 2016.)
Now all that there remains for me to do is re-number the entire adventure by hand - all 850 references of it! - and then re-structure it before sending it out to the proof-readers and play-testers.
But before I can do that I need to work out which sections have to relate to a specific number (as a result of being the answer to a puzzle, for example) and where all the illustrations are going to go.
Best get started then!