Friday, 23 March 2018

Gamebook Friday: Forthcoming Events

If you missed me at Bath Comic-Con last weekend, you may be interested to learn that I am taking part in a number of other events over the next couple of months.

Festival of Steam and Transport
Sunday 1st - Monday 2nd April 2018

Over the Easter weekend you will find me at the Chatham Dockyard Festival of Steam and Transport. I will be one of the guest authors lurking within the Steampunk Village, along with m'colleague Mr Kit Cox.

So if you're looking for something different to do on Easter Sunday or Bank Holiday Monday, why not pop along? You can find out more about the event here.

The Publishing Innovation Conference
Thursday 26th April 2018

I have been invited to speak at the 14th Annual Publishing Innovation event at the London College of Communication. This is an annual event that gathers together students and industry professionals to explore emerging issues in publishing across all sectors.

This year, the theme of the event is Redefining Storytelling, and I will be taking part in the second panel, entitled “Beyond Print: Redefining Storytelling.”

UK Games Expo 2018
Friday 1st - Sunday 3rd June 2018

The UK Games Expo has become the biggest event in my con calendar of recent years*. Since it moved venues from central Birmingham to the NEC I have attended each year, for just two days to begin with, but now for the whole weekend.

It is a fantastic family event and this year I will be there with copies of my ACE Gamebooks to sell, specifically The Wicked Wizard of Oz**. But I will also have hardback copies of YOU ARE THE HERO Parts 1 and 2 with me, and seeing as Ian Livingstone is also attending the Expo, you'll even be able to get copies purchased at the event signed by the great man himself.

* Not including Fighting Fantasy Fest, which I organise myself and is not an annual event.

** Which was supposed to launch at the UK Games Expo last year.

Monday, 19 March 2018

Thought for the Day

"Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls."
~ Joseph Campbell

Friday, 16 March 2018

Gamebook Friday: Bath Comic-Con

I will be at Bath Comic-Con tomorrow, Saturday 17th March 2018*. The event is being held at the Bath Pavilion, and opens to Early Bird ticket holders at 10:00am, with general entry from 11:00am. Last entries are at 3:00pm and the event will finish at 5:00pm.

I will be bringing along copies of The Wicked Wizard of Oz, and YOU ARE THE HERO Parts 1 & 2 to sell, and will happily regale anyone who asks about my next ACE Gamebook, NEVERLAND - Here Be Monsters!

This will be the first time that I have attended an event in Bath, which is strange when you consider that I attended school there for ten years back in the '80s. It will be great to be back in the Georgian city and hopefully I might meet some of my readers from the West Country.

If you are stopping by to have your photograph taken with Hannah Spearritt and the Raptor, do stop by and sell hello. Even better, stop by, say hello, and buy a book!

Maybe I'll see you there. :-)

* Apologies but in a previous post I said I would also be there on the Sunday, but it turns out the event is only running on the Saturday.

Gamebook Friday: Fighting Fantasy Classics

After a number of months in development, Tin Man Games have finally released the much anticipated Fighting Fantasy Classics, which is now available to download from the App Store.

Fighting Fantasy Classics is a brand new library app for iOS that will also be released on Android and PC/Mac very soon. The app will ultimately collect together many of your favourite Fighting Fantasy gamebooks from the 1980s until now!

The app is free to download and the Tin Man has very generously included the app of my pirate-themed adventure Bloodbones for FREE.

Other FF game apps, such as The Warlock of Firetop MountainThe Citadel of ChaosCity of ThievesThe Forest of DoomCaverns of the Snow Witch, and Island of the Lizard King, are available to buy for just $1.99USD for a limited time!

There are plenty more releases to look forward to as well, including Deathtrap DungeonFreeway FighterSword of the SamuraiTrial of ChampionsTemple of Terror, and many more. Tin Man Games will also be re-releasing House of HellStarship TravellerAppointment with F.E.A.R. and Blood of the Zombies in this new/old format!

To find out more, simply follow this link to the Tin Man Games blog.

Talking of pirate-themed gamebooks, I am currently writing a certain Captain James Hook's introductory scenes for my third ACE Gamebook, NEVERLAND - Here Be Monsters!

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Steampunk Thursday: Mad Science in Pax Britannia

Seeing as how this week is British Science Week, it seemed like as good a time as any to plug my Pax Britannia steampunk books.

Early on in writing the series I made the decision not to include anything supernatural or magical in the books. Yes there are vampires and werewolves, but these are a form of genetic mutation.

However, having said there's no magic, there's actually magic aplenty in the books, it just goes under the catch-all term of 'mad science'. The crazy inventions and experiments of various characters have the same affect as magic on the narrative, helping to drive the plot into unexpected places and generally causing Ulysses Quicksilver and his friends no end of grief.

If you've not tried the books out for yourself yet, there are eight in total, plus various short stories, and the first six novels have been collected in two omnibuses.


Talking of mad science, Mary Shelley's original Frankenstein* text is published today, complete with husband Percy’s corrections of her misspellings.

Frankenstein inspired Stan Lee when he was creating the Incredible Hulk, and both of them inspired my own take on the Creature that appears in the Weird War Two adventure Anno Frankenstein.

* And first published 200 years ago this year.

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Thought for the Day

“Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious. And however difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at. It matters that you don't just give up.”

~ Professor Stephen Hawking (1942-2018)

Monday, 12 March 2018

Thought for the Day

"There is something old and true in fantasy that speaks to something deep within us, to the child who dreamt that one day he would hunt the forests of the night, and feast beneath the hollow hills, and find a love to last forever somewhere south of Oz and north of Shangri-La."
~ George R R Martin