Friday 29 December 2023

Gamebook Friday: Review of the Year - 2023

2023 has been a busy year, for various reasons, in no small part because we moved house - again! - although hopefully we are now settled for the foreseeable. Another reason is because we got a dog.

His name is Conker and he's a one year-old Cavapoo.

I have never owned a dog before and wasn't particularly keen on getting one. However, my son found an apt meme online that goes along the lines of, 'There is no love like that between a grumpy, middle-aged man and the pet he said he didn't want.'

Therefore, this year will probably go down in my memory as the Year of the Dog, but in terms of writing, it has definitely been the Year of Aconyte Books. I started 2023 by writing my first Marvel gamebook for Aconyte - Moon Knight: Age of Anubis - and I've ended it putting the finishing touches to my first Arkham Horror gamebook, The Darkness Over Arkham.

I have only actually had two books published in the UK this year - the aforementioned Moon Knight: Age of Anubis and the second ACE Gamebooks Roleplay RPG Heorot - but I've actually written five. However, eight different overseas editions of my ACE Gamebooks have been published this year and three of my Fighting Fantasy gamebooks.

Sadly, this year, we lost Russ Nicholson, whose illustrations for The Warlock of Firetop Mountain helped set me on the path to becoming a gamebook author, and with whom I am immensely proud to have collaborated on the fourth ACE Gamebook Beowulf Beastslayer.

Russ's illustrations also appear in the Heorot RPG.

In 2023 I attended the UK Games Expo and Dragonmeet, as usual, and a couple of events local to me here in Taunton. I will certainly be attending the UK Games Expo again in 2024 but also hope to visit some other events outside of the UK.

I have plenty of writing plans for 2024 as well, including launching the Kickstarter campaign for the next ACE Gamebook, Shakespeare Vs. Cthulhu: What Dreams May Come.

But first, I need to put several projects to bed, not least of which is YOU ARE THE HERO: An Interactive History of Fighting Fantasy GamebooksYOU ARE THE HERO will be published later this year, as will Magic Realms: The Art of Fighting Fantasy.

And we also have Fighting Fantasy Fest 5 to look forward to in 2024.

Before I go, if you haven't signed up to my author newsletter, you can do so here, and I'll see you again in the New Year!

Friday 15 December 2023

Gamebook Friday: Howl of the Werewolf Playthrough

Over on the GoneHollowMedia YouTube channel, Sean and Emily have been working their way through my fifth Fighting Fantasy Gamebook Howl of the Werewolf. Their playthrough runs to seven parts, and you can watch the first part below.

Friday 8 December 2023

Gamebook Friday: ACE, Box, Anubis, and Shakespeare

We're just two and a half weeks away from Christmas and I, for one, haven't started my Christmas shopping yet.

If you have yet to do your Christmas shopping, have you considered buying someone on your present list a digital ACE Gamebooks or ACE Gamebooks Roleplay product this year?

Right now I have a sale on over on DriveThruRPG. You can buy a complete RPG - 'TWAS, one of its supplements, or Heorot - for just £5, while my ACE Gamebooks are just £2 each.

I am also currently running a crowdfunding campaign, over on Gamefound, to pay for more of Tony Hough's amazing artwork for The Box of Delights - The Roleplaying Game

But if you're looking for a physical gift to pop in someone's stocking, or put under the tree, how about my new Marvel: Multiverse Missions gamebook Moon Knight: Age of Anubis?

Looking ahead to the New Year, in 2024 I will be crowdfunding the eighth ACE Gamebook, Shakespeare Vs. Cthulhu: What Dreams May Come. To sign up to be notified of developments, follow this link.

Friday 24 November 2023

Gamebook Friday: Dragonmeet 2023

I will be attending Dragonmeet on Saturday 2nd December 2023. The event is taking place at the Novotel Hammersmith in West London. You will find me sharing a stand with Sir Ian Livingstone in the Lower Trade Hall, which will be open from 10:00am-6:00pm.

Click to enlarge.

I will have physical copies of the ACE Gamebooks Roleplay RPGs for sale, including HEOROT - Roleplaying in the World of Beowulf Beastslayer, 'TWAS - The Roleplaying Game Before Christmas, Christmas in July, and The 'TWAS Advent-ure Calendar.

I will also have copies of RONIN 47 with me and several more of my ACE Gamebooks.

At 2:30pm, I will be at the Aconyte Books stand signing copies of my new Marvel Multiverse Missions gamebook Moon Knight: Age of Anubis, so, if you're around, do stop by and say hello.

Thursday 23 November 2023

Doctor Who at 60

I couldn't let the landmark 60th anniversary of the world's longest running science ficiton TV show go without a mention.

Ten years ago I was watching The Day of the Doctor at the cinema with my kids. Today, I've watched a couple of old episodes from the Third Doctor's era*. And at the weekend I will sit down to watch the first of the 60th anniversary specials.

Tom Baker was my first Doctor, although I later saw quite a few of John Pertwee's adventures when they were repeated on BBC2. I have been a fan ever since. I found things to enjoy about every era, and while I didn't appreciate Chris Chibnall's stint as showrunner, I still watched every episode. But I am optimistic for David Tennant's return and whatever comes after.

When Doctor Who wasn't on TV, I read Virgin Books New Adventures. I even pitched one, although it was politely rejected.

My involvement with Doctor Who as an author didn't begin until 2007, when I contacted Puffin Books about writing a Decide Your Destiny Doctor Who gamebook. This lead to me being commissioned to write The Horror of Howling Hill. Over the next decade I wrote for the Tenth, Eleventh and Twelfth Doctors, and contributed to Doctor Who: 100 Illustrated Adventures and wrote the lion's share of the Doctor Who Annual 2010.

Doctor Who: Decide Your Destiny: The Horror of Howling Hill (2008)

The Official Doctor Who Annual 2010 (2010)

Time Lord Quiz Quest (2015)

Terrible Lizards (2016)**

Doctor Who: Choose the Future: Night of the Kraken (2016)

Doctor Who: 100 Illustrated Adventures (2017)

My involvement with Doctor Who also lead to me meeting numerous Daleks and one Steven Moffat.

Who knows if I'll ever write anything for Doctor Who again, but if the chance does arise, I would love to. After all, it's Doctor Who, isn't it?

* It's interesting how many episodes' cliffhanger endings involve someone pointing a gun at the Doctor.

** First published as part of Monstrous Missions (2012).

Moon Knight: Age of Anubis - out today in the UK!

Moon Knight: Age of Anubis is out in paperback in the UK today!

When N’Kantu, the Living Mummy, escapes his sarcophagus and steals an artifact that turns swaths of mankind into zombies, Moon Knight steps in to save the day… But is hampered by an eager Egyptologist whose choices seem to influence his personalities and strengths. As Moon Knight and the Egyptologist chase N’Kantu from the streets of New York to navigating traps, tricks, and riddles within an ancient temple in Egypt, the two uncover an evil ritual that will begin a battle between gods over the power of life and death. Only the Egyptologist holds the key to unraveling the dark plot… everybody’s lives are in their hands!

“If you loved gamebooks, solo adventures, Moon Knight, ancient Egypt or just want to kill a bit of time in a fun and engaging way this is the book for you!”
A Reader Lives a Thousand Lives

“This was an absolute joy to read (over and over again) and I think even when you've perfected the route, you could easily come back to this one later on and do it all over again with the same enjoyment!”

“Jonathan Green's skillful storytelling, the interactive gameplay elements, and the incorporation of the Marvel universe make it a must-read for those seeking an immersive and interactive reading experience.”

To buy your copy of Moon Knight: Age of Anubis follow this link.

Friday 17 November 2023

Gamebook Friday: Black Friday Week Sale

For some reason, Black Friday has gone from being one day, to a whole weekend, and now a full week. So, in anticipation that you might want to grab yourself a bargain before Christmas, the ACE Gamebooks' Black Friday Sale is on now at DriveThruRPG!

Friday 10 November 2023

GamebookFriday: Moon Knight, a Conclave of Dragons, and William Shakespeare

My author copies of Moon Knight: Age of Anubis arrived this week and I'm delighted with how my first Marvel gamebook has turned out. Remember, the paperback is available now in the US and is released in the UK on 23rd November 2023, but the global eBook is available everywhere now.

In three weeks' time, I will be attending Dragonmeet, at the Novotel London West, on Saturday 2nd December 2023, sharing a table with Sir Ian Livingstone. I will also be signing copies of Moon Knight: Age of Anubis at the Aconyte Books stand while I am there.

And last of all this week, in case you missed the announcement on Wednesday, the next ACE Gamebook is going to be Shakespeare Vs. Cthulhu: What Dreams May Come. Sign up here to be kept up to date with developments.

Wednesday 8 November 2023

Shakespeare Vs. Cthulhu: What Dreams May Come

Today marks the 400th anniversary of the printing of the First Folio.

Published in 1623, seven years after the death of its author, it was the first printed edition of Shakespeare’s collected plays. Without this achievement, we would have lost half of his dramatic work. 

The 400th birthday of this foundational book seems as good a time as any to announce my next ACE Gamebook which will be coming to Kickstarter next year - Shakespeare Vs. Cthulhu: What Dreams May Come.

Some of you may remember the Shakespeare Vs. Cthulhu anthology of short stories I edited back in 2016. At the time I teased the gamebook, saying that it would be coming to Patreon. But plans change and now I will be funding production of the book via Kickstarter.

To sign up to be notified of future developments, please click on the image below.

Friday 3 November 2023

Gamebook Friday: DestinyQuest Raiders

Michael J Ward's latest DestinyQuest project is currently funding on Kickstarter. DestinyQuest Raiders: Tides of Terror is different from the previous five Destiny gamebooks because you lead a team of four adventurers through the story and there are no dice to roll.

To find out more, follow this link to the Kickstarter.

Friday 27 October 2023

Gamebook Friday: Spooky Halloween Reads

It's Halloween on Tuesday, so now seems like the perfect time to remind you of my various horror-related reads that you can enjoy at this time of year.

First of all there is the ultimate horror ACE Gamebook, Dracula: Curse of the Vampire.

1897 ~ In the wolf-haunted Carpathian Mountains, a young solicitor, Jonathan Harker, travels to an isolated castle to assist a mysterious Count with purchasing a number of properties in England. But what he witnesses there drives him to the edge of madness…

Meanwhile, in Whitby, Harker’s fiancée, Mina Murray, visits her dear friend Lucy Westenra. But during her stay, Lucy is attacked and becomes seriously ill…

In London, Lucy’s suitor and physician, Dr John Seward, becomes preoccupied with the case of a certain Mr Renfield, an inmate at his lunatic asylum, who seeks to collect lives for his master, having not long returned from a trip to Transylvania…

And so, the pieces for the game are set. For they are all pawns in a plan devised centuries ago by the Voivode of Wallachia, Vlad Tepes, a cruel tyrant whom history remembers as ‘the Son of the Devil,’ his bloodthirsty deeds having earned him another name…


And then there is my Cthulhu Mythos novella, The Serpent's Egg, and my ghost story, The Doll's House, both of which are available as audiobooks.

Friday 20 October 2023

Gamebook Friday: O Maligno Mágico de Oz

The Wicked Wizard of Oz is now available in Brazil, in a Portuguese language edition, from Jambô Editora.

Here's my unboxing video of O Maligno Mágico de Oz.

In other news, last Saturday's International Gamebook Day was a great success. If you missed any of the interviews that were broadcast on the day, you can watch them at your leisure here, on The Storymaster's Tales YouTube channel, including one with gamebook godfather Sir Ian Livingstone himself!

Friday 13 October 2023

Gamebook Friday: International Gamebook Day 2023

Tomorrow, Saturday 14th October 2023, is International Gamebook Day, and the schedule has been announced.

Our host is Olly Mc, of The Storymaster's Tales fame, and the Guest of Honour is Sir Ian Livingstone, whose interview will go live at 7:00pm BST.

If you check out the Facebook event page, you will see that the links for the video interviews have been posted already.

I will also be making an appearance, at 6:00pm BST, talking about my horror-themed ACE Gamebooks and my Marvel Multiverse Missions gamebook Moon Knight: Age of Anubis.

So, maybe I'll see you tomorrow...

Wednesday 4 October 2023

Warhammer Wednesday: Warhammer eBooks

Monday saw the release of Krakenbane's Curse, a new Age of Sigmar short story by Yours Truly. 

A few of the short stories I have written for Black Library over the years are available as digital eShorts and three of the six novels I have written set within the Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000 universes as eBooks. Why not check out one of them today?


Tuesday 3 October 2023

ACE Gamebooks news from Sweden and Poland

First up today, I am thrilled to announce that Swedish company Sound Realms (who are currently crowdfunding The Fortress of Death on Kickstarter) and ACE Gamebooks are collaborating to bring you Dracula: Curse of the Vampire the audio adventure!

Sound Realms are very proud and excited to announce a collaboration with ACE Gamebooks and author Jonathan Green to create an audio adventure version of Dracula: Curse of the Vampire (2021) for the Sound Realms platform. 
Oscar Carlquist: "We are very pleased to present the next upcoming addition to Sound Realms and I can't wait to start creating some truly haunting and immersive soundscapes for Dracula: Curse of the Vampire. The interactive gamebook version of Bram Stoker's classic is masterfully written by Jon Green and taking this into the audio realm will be as much of an honour as a challenge that we here at Sound Realms are ready to embrace with enthusiasm and dedication!"
Jonathan Green: "I am thrilled that Sound Realms are turning Dracula: Curse of the Vampire into the first audio ACE Gamebook and can't wait to hear how they bring the horror to life through the use of soundscapes and top-notch voice talent. It's going to be bloodcurdlingly brilliant!"

Secondly, NEVERLAND - Here Be Monsters! is now available in Poland, from Muduko.

Thirsty for adventure? We invite you to Neverland, where as shipwreck survivor Wendy Darling, the mechanical avenger Peter Pan, the fearless hunter Tiger Lily or the ruthless pirate Captain Hook, you will discover many of the island's secrets and face nightmarish monsters!

In this gamebook, you make choices for your characters, discovering dark paths leading to many different endings. NEVERLAND - Here Be Monsters! is another part of the paragraph series of books by Jonathan Green, which is inspired by the classics of children's literature.

Also available, but only from the publisher's own webstore, is a special edition of the book that comes with dice, a bookmark, a pencil and a game bag.

Monday 2 October 2023

Krakenbane's Curse - A Warhammer Age of Sigmar story

Today sees the launch of the Warhammer Age of Sigmar eShorts Subscription, which includes my first, and probably only, Age of Sigmar short story. Not only that, but from today you can buy Krakenbane's Curse as a standalone story.

"The forces of Death and Order clash on the high seas of the Mortal Realms."

I wouldn't read the story synopsis on the Black Library website if I were you, as it gives away one of the major twists of the story.

My last Black Library short story was published three years ago, almost to the day, and that was the Necromunda-set Paradise. The reason why it has taken so long for another tale to appear is a story in and of itself.

Ten months bfore Paradise was published, my Warhammer 40,000 short story Journey of the Magi appeared, and that was my first new Black Library story for six years. However, because of the leadtime for Black Library publications, I actually started pitching stories for Warhammer Age of Sigmar towards the end of 2019, and from a list of three, one was selected to go forward to full submission.

To give you an idea of how stories can change, the title went from Gloomtide to Scourgetide, to Black Tide, until finally settling on Krakenbane's Curse, with the outline of the story changing slightly every time as well. 

The story was commissioned in March 2020, just as Covid-19 hit. In no time at all, the UK was in lockdown and the vast majority of businesses went into a form of stasis, including Games Workshop. I submitted the first draft of Krakenbane's Curse at the end of April 2020. And then I waited.

As a direct consequence of the Covid-19 lockdown, priorities changed at GW and Black Library, and I didn't receive feedback on my story until the start of September 2021. It went through three sets of revisions and was finally passed as finished at the start of December 2021. At the time I was told my story would appear in a forthcoming Age of Sigmar anthology. And then I waited.

And here we are today, at the start of October 2023, with Krakenbane's Curse being the first title to be released as part of the Warhammer Age of Sigmar eShorts Subscription, which will be available until 8:00am BST on Monday 16th October 2023 (although the individual eShorts will remain available for individual purchase after that).

I'm please to see that one of the other releases this week is by me old mucker C L Werner, and has the intriguing title of The Abominations of Kriik Weirdpaw.