Friday 28 October 2022

Gamebook Friday: Il Malvagio Mago di Oz launching at Lucca Comics and Games 2022

The Italian language edition of The Wicked Wizard of Oz - Il Malvagio Mago di Oz - is launching this weekend at the Lucca Comics and Games fair.

I'm told there will be two different cover formats, one featuring Kev Crossley's original artwork for the book, and another that reworks the art Mantikore-Verlag commissions for the German translation.

I'm very excited to be a guest of the Lucca Comics and Games 2022, as I have never been to Lucca before but also because this trip was originally supposed to happen in 2020.

However, while I am there, I am hoping to be able to drop in to The Rookery's first birthday celebrations, which will be taking place on Sunday 30th October at 7:00pm GMT.

Tuesday 25 October 2022

Tie-in Tuesday: 100 Years of the BBC

I know I'm a little late to the party, sharing what 100 years of the BBC means to me, but it took Sunday night's episode of Doctor Who - Jodie Whittaker's last as the Thirteenth Doctor - to prompt me into action.

I have not been a fan of Thirteen's run for one major reason, the poor quality of the writing. There have been some great scenarios, but Chris Chibnall never seemed to make the pay off worthy of the set up. And don't get me started on how he messed with the lore*.

Every series has had its dud episodes and, in my opinion, your typical season is roughly 50% good and 50% bad, apart from a few standout series, notably Season 3. (But more on that later.) However, in the case of Thirteen there were barely any episodes that could be considered good across all three series.

Having slept on it, I think that The Power of the Doctor was the best Jodie Whittaker episode of them all, with some lovely nods to Classic Who and past companions, as well as past Doctors.

Warning! Some of what comes next could be considered spoilers, so if you've not watched The Power of the Doctor yet and you intend to, best stop reading now...

Still here? Okay, but don't say I didn't warn you.

My favourite bits included:

  • The return of Ashad.
  • The return of Graham.
  • "And if that's not enough, I was an air hostess in the early Eighties."
  • "Nitro 999."
  • "Tag, you're it!"
  • "I know these teeth."
  • Durdle Door**

I feel that the most consistently strong series was David Tennant's second as the Tenth Doctor, i.e. Season 3. Which is why I'm excited to see what Russell T Davies comes up with for the 60th anniversary next year.

Season 3 is special to me for another reason - it's when I started writing tie-in fiction for Doctor Who. First was The Horror of Howling Hill, a Decide Your Destiny gamebook featuring the Tenth Doctor and Martha Jones, published in 2008.

I wrote the lion's share of The Official Doctor Who Annual 2010, and in 2012 my Eleventh Doctor novel, Terrible Lizards, was published***.

I was back in 2015 with the Doctor Who: Time Lord Quiz Quest, and 2016 saw publication of my Twelfth Doctor Choose the Future gamebook, Night of the Kraken.

Who knows whether I will return to Doctor Who in the future, but I would never turn down an opportunity to write for TV's favourite Time Lord. 

But the BBC means more to me than just Doctor Who. Its programmes have inspired me over the years and will have inevitably influenced the content of the stories I have told. And to top it all, once I was interviewed about Fighting Fantasy gamebooks for Radio 4.

So thank you, BBC, and here's to the next 100 years!

* I hope not irrevocably.

** Just up the coast from Broadchurch. May Jodie or Chibs have a house down there in Dorest.

*** Originally as part of the Monstrous Missions compendium.

Friday 21 October 2022

Gamebook Friday: Interactive Fiction and Gamebooks Takeover

In November, I will be taking over the Interactive Fiction & Gamebooks Facebook group to do a deep dive on my latest ACE Gamebook, RONIN 47. I may also give some hints as to what's coming next. ;-)

So, if you have any burning questions about the first SF-themed ACE Gamebook, make sure you stop by the Interactive Fiction & Gamebooks Facebook group during the month of November.

Thursday 20 October 2022

Dracula is back!

When Dracula - Curse of the Vampire was published last year, the response to the sixth ACE Gamebook was massive. So massive, in fact, that it completely sold out of its initial print run.

I'm delighted to be able to report that, as of today, Dracula - Curse of the Vampire is available once again, now in a print on demand edition from Amazon. And this one has cover quotes!

Over 160,000 words, spread out over 1,000 sections, you can play as the Vampire-Hunters Jonathan Harker, Mina Murray, and Doctor Seward, or you can play as the vampire Count Dracula himself.

To pick up your copy in time for Halloween, click here.

Friday 14 October 2022

Gamebook Friday: Gamebook News

This Gamebook Friday, I have three pieces of Gamebooks News for you.

First of all, we've updated the cover art on some of the 'TWAS RPG supplements, so that they all feature their own artwork, rather than just re-using the art from the Core Rulebook. Mark Stoneham has done a great job and Tony Hough's art hits the spot as always.

Secondly, the Kickstarter for YOU ARE THE HERO - An Interactive History of Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks is going - as the young people would put it - gangbusters. It's been live for almost a week, and is approaching 200% funded, which is, quite frankly, incredible. Thank you, if you've pledged your support already, and if you haven't, you can check it out here.

And lastly, I will be at the Exeter Comic Con and Gaming Festival this weekend - Saturday 15th and Sunday 16th October, from 10:00am-4:30pm - at the Westpoint Arena. So, if you're in the area, why not stop by?

Wednesday 12 October 2022

Warhammer Wednesday: Empire at War

Empire at War is the latest Warhammer Chronicles omnibus to be published by the Black Library.

Here's the blurb from the back cover:

The Empire is the largest and most powerful realm in the Old World. Founded by the warrior-god Sigmar, it is built up of city-states and provinces that are now bound together under the rule of the Emperor Karl Franz. Only through the actions of its valiant heroes has it repelled the numerous invasions brought against it. And in the far north stands Kislev, one of the Empire’s staunchest allies and the first bastion against the rampaging Chaos hordes beyond…

This omnibus edition collects together three tales of heroism and sacrifice focusing on the dour but courageous Winged Lancers of Kislev, the doughty rank and file of the Imperial halberdiers and the pious warrior-priests of the Sigmarite faith. Also included are an array of short stories focusing on the many fighters of the Empire.

As well as featuring novels by Dan Abnett, Nick Kyme and Darius Hinks, Empire at War also includes a reprint of a short story of my own featuring the Kislevite mercenaries known as Badenov's Band, who were the stars of my first published novel The Dead and the Damned.

Monday 10 October 2022

Forthcoming Events

It feels like I am attending an unprecedented number of events between now and Christmas, so here's where you can find me and when.

Tuesday 11th October - The Super Relaxed Fantasy Club
7:00pm at The Star of Kings pub, near King's Cross, London.

Saturday 15th - Sunday 16th October - Exeter Comic Con and Gaming Festival Autumn
10:00am-4:30pm daily, at the Westpoint Arena.

Friday 28th October - Tuesday 1st November - Lucca Comics & Games 2022
Precise dates of attendance and times to be confirmed, Lucca, Italy. The Italian language edition of The Wicked Wizard of Oz will be launching at this event.

Saturday 19th - Sunday 20th November - Steampunks in Space
10:00am-5:00pm daily, at The National Space Centre, Leicester.

Saturday 3rd December - Dragonmeet
10:00am-6:00pm, at the Novotel Hammersmith, London.

Wednesday 5 October 2022

Warhammer Wednesday: The Emperor's Champion

This Saturday, 8th October 2022, is Warhammer Day, and is focused on celebrating 35 years of the tabletop miniatures game Warhammer 40,000.

To mark this occasion, Games Workshop is releasing a new Emperor's Champion miniature/diorama. Although it's entitled Bayard’s Revenge, the model of an Emperor’s Champion triumphing over a mighty Ork Nob, reminded by of my Warhammer 40K novel Crusade for Armageddon, which just happens to features an Emperor's Champion of the Black Templars Chapter triumphing over multiple Ork Nobs.

Although Crusade for Armageddon is no longer in print, and not available as an eBook either, my popular short story The Relic, that features many of the same characters from that particular novel, is available in both Legends of the Space Marines and War for Armageddon: The Omnibus.

Tuesday 4 October 2022

JG at the Super Relaxed Fantasy Club

Just a heads up to let you know that I will be one of the guests taking part in next Tuesday's Super Relaxed Fantasy Club meeting at The Star of Kings pub near King's Cross in London. Proceedings begin at 7:00pm and we should be all done by 9:00pm.

So, if you're in the vicinity, and would like to hear me read something I have written, do pop along on Tuesday 11 October 2022, and come armed with some questions to ask as well.