Friday, 15 December 2017

Gamebook Friday: Bloodbones washes up in Brazil

Thanks to a Brazilian fan, I discovered this week that last month Jambô Editora published a new Portuguese translation of my most pirate-themed gamebook to date*. Now entitled Ossos Sangrentos (which translates as 'Bloody Bones') it has a rather splendid new cover.

For any Brazilian fans out there, here's the cover blurb:

O temido lorde pirata Cinnabar — ou “Ossos Sangrentos” para aqueles que o temiam — foi o flagelo dos doze mares. Agora de volta da morte, e munido com os poderes sombrios do vodu, ele busca vingança.
Mas você tem sua própria vingança em mente — quando você era criança, Cinnabar assassinou sua família. Só você pode evitar um novo reinado de terror ao destruir o capitão pirata e sua tripulação de assassinos. Atravessando o inferno ou singrando as marés, Ossos Sangrentos deve ser parado!

One of the fun things about the book is that my original map has also been 'dubbed' into Portuguese!

You can pick up a copy of Ossos Sangrentos here, the English version of Bloodbones here, or the app adaptation by Tin Man Games here.

* NEVERLAND - Here Be Monsters! doesn't come out until next year. Talking of which, I wonder if Jambô Editora would be interested in published Portuguese language versions of my ACE Gamebooks...

Monday, 11 December 2017

Thought for the Day

"I never ask a man what his business is, for it never interest me . What I ask him about are his thoughts and dreams."
~ H P Lovecraft

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Steampunk Thursday: Clockwork Cairo

I recently received my author copy of Clockwork Cairo, the anthology of Egyptian-themed steampunk short stories that features my Pax Britannia story Worthless Remains, and a hefty beast it is too!

You can pick up your copy of Clockwork Cairo here. And once you've read it, why not post a review on Amazon?

Monday, 4 December 2017

Thought for the Day

"We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect."
~ Anaïs Nin

Sunday, 3 December 2017

Dragonmeet 2017

On Saturday I was at Dragonmeet 2017 in London. Dragonmeet is one of those fixtures in my con calendar that I always look forward to* partly because it's such a sociable convention.

It was great to catch up with a number of people I had seen in a while, including James Wallis - who was launching Alas Vegas at Dragonmeet - John Dodd, Pookie, Brian Edwards, Richard Williams (and his wife Fiona), Matt Zitron, Jonny Nexus and Magnus Anderson, as well as those who I see more regularly, such as Colin Oaten, Steven Dean and Gary Loveridge. And then there were those people who I met for the first (or second) time, including Kickstarter backers Rene Batsford, Simon Smith, and Steve Britton, who presented me with an exquisite miniature he had made to thank me for writing the YOU ARE THE HERO books!

The level of detail in Steve's miniature is astonishing!

My stand was sandwiched between Ian Livingstone's - who gave a talk and did a signing with Steve Jackson - and Fox Yason Audio, producers of The Warlock of Firetop Mountain audio drama.

Fox Yason Audio

Ian Livingstone at Dragonmeet 2017

Steve Jackson signing at Dragonmeet 2017

My best-seller of the day was my ACE Gamebook The Wicked Wizard of Oz. I was kept busy all day, which is much better than being bored, but I did manage to have a quick scooch round and pick up a few choice items myself, including a bit of Christmas shopping.

Dragonmeet 2017 stash

And look what was waiting for me when I got home...

* Along with the UK Games Expo.

NEVERLAND - Here Be Monsters! - Late Pledges

If you missed the Kickstarter for my latest ACE Gamebook NEVERLAND - Here Be Monsters!, or couldn't afford to back the project during its run, have no fear - you can still put in a Late Pledge*.

Here's what you need to do if you would like to make a Late Pledge to the Kickstarter:

  1. Look through the list of reward levels below and select the one you would like.
  2. Look through the list of add-ons and decide if you would like to add any of these to your pledge.
  3. Add the cost of any add-ons to the cost of the reward level you have selected, finally adding the correct postage for your country, to calculate the total amount you will need to pay.
  4. Email, making the title of your email 'NEVERLAND Late Pledge' and listing the reward and add-ons you have selected, along with the amount of money you will need to pay, including postage. I will then get back to you with details of how to make your payment via PayPal.

Please note - you can find out more about precisely what comes with each reward level by visiting the NEVERLAND - Here Be Monsters! project page here.

 (No postage required)

 (No postage required)

 (No postage required)

 (Post and packing: UK £6 - European Union £16 - Rest of World £22)

  (Post and packing: UK £6 - European Union £16 - Rest of World £22)

   (Post and packing: UK £6 - European Union £17 - Rest of World £24)

   (Post and packing: Free in the UK or if included with another reward - European Union £6 - Rest of World £8)

    (Post and packing: Free in the UK or if included with another reward - European Union £6 - Rest of World £8)

    (Post and packing: Free in the UK or if included with another reward - European Union £6 - Rest of World £8)

    (Post and packing: Free in the UK or if included with another reward - European Union £6 - Rest of World £8)

* Probably until the end of January. I will inform everyone when Late Pledges are closing.

Saturday, 2 December 2017

NEVERLAND - Here Be Monsters! finishes on Kickstarter TODAY!

At 10pm tonight!

In case you haven't already heard, the Kickstarter has exceeded its funding goal, so if you've been hesitating about backing, in case the project didn't actually happen, there is no need to hesitate any longer - NEVERLAND - Here Be Monsters! is happening!

I will be at Dragonmeet today (maybe grabbing a few last backers while I'm there) and if you're going to be there do come along and say hello. But don't forget to pledge your support to NEVERLAND - Here Be Monsters! as today is your last chance to get involved.

Friday, 1 December 2017

Gamebook Friday: Dragons and Dinosaurs

Dragonmeet 2017

I shall be at Dragonmeet tomorrow (Saturday 2nd December), sandwiched between Ian Livingstone and Fox Yason Audio (producers of The Warlock of Firetop Mountain audio drama), selling copies of YOU ARE THE HERO Parts 1 and 2, as well as my ACE Gamebook The Wicked Wizard of Oz. You'll find me on stand K6 in the main trading hall.

Click to enlarge

I'm also hoping to pick up a few final backers for my latest Kickstarter-funded gamebook. Talking of which...

NEVERLAND - Here Be Monsters!

NEVERLAND - Here Be Monsters! is down to its final 48 hours of funding on Kickstarter. If you've yet to back my new ACE Gamebook make sure you don't miss out and back it today, as the Kickstarter has already surpassed its funding goal but concludes at 10:00pm on Saturday!

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Happy St Andrew's Day!

Seeing as how it is the date in the calendar which is dedicated to the patron saint of Scotland, here's a quick plug for my non-fiction book Scottish Miscellany: Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Scotland the Brave, which is published by Skyhorse Publishing.

Also available now from Skyhorse Publishing is a brand-new edition of my perennially popular Christmas Miscellany.

Steampunk Thursday: NEVERLAND - Here Be Monsters! Final 48 hours!

NEVERLAND - Here Be Monsters! is down to its last two days of funding. If you've yet to back my new gamebook - which merges J. M. Barrie's Peter Pan and Wendy with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World, and gives the whole a steampunk twist - make sure you don't miss out and back today!

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Joe Dever - For Sommerlund and the Kai

Today marks one year since Lone Wolf creator Joe Dever sadly passed away all too soon. Here is the blog entry I posted the day after, when I had heard the news that rocked the gamebook and RPG community myself...

Joe Dever - 1956-2016

I met Joe Dever, for the first time, at Dragonmeet three years ago.

Joe Dever at Dragonmeet 2013.

Today I discovered that he passed away yesterday morning, after battling with ill-health for a long time. He was 60 years old.

If you are reading this blog, then you probably already know that Joe was the creator and writer of the Lone Wolf series of adventure gamebooks, which were set in the incredibly well-developed world of Magnamund.

Although I only met Joe in 2013, I had been aware of his works since the 1980s. I owned a few Lone Wolf adventures, but I personally preferred the Fighting Fantasy range because they provided the reader with more choices. I felt that Lone Wolf books were more like solo RPGs that wanted to be novels. This is probably why I actually preferred reading the Legends of Lone Wolf (co-authored with John Grant).

However, as I grew older I began to appreciate all the more what an incredible, and richly detailed, creation of the world of Magnamund was. Where the Fighting Fantasy world of Titan was a fantasy realm created by a committee who never met, and who rarely seemed to even speak to one another, Magnamund and Lone Wolf were the vision of one man, developed over decades.

Joe Dever at the UK Games Expo 2016.

When I did finally meet Joe, I found him to be affable and encouraging, always willing to chat about all things gamebook-related and pose for a photograph.

Joe Dever at Dragonmeet 2015.

From then on I caught up with Joe once or twice a year - usually at Dragonmeet and the UK Games Expo - and he was always interested in what I was working on, and I'm pleased to say I was able to give him a copy of Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland on its launch day.

Dragonmeet will be a strange place without him this Saturday and he will be sadly missed by many, right around the world.

But although the man himself is lost to us - and there are still three uncompleted Lone Wolf adventures, which he was still working on up until Monday night - his work endures, and that is quite some legacy.

Or, to put it in the words of another much missed author: “No one is actually dead until the ripples they cause in the world die away...” ~ Terry Pratchett, Reaper Man

For Sommerlund and the Kai - RIP Joe Dever.

Friday, 24 November 2017

Gamebook Friday: Heroes, Freeway Fighers, and Pirates Vs Dinosaurs

There's all sorts of stuff happening this Gamebook Black Friday. First off, I have a special offer running from today until Cyber Monday, whereby if you buy a signed hardback copy of YOU ARE THE HERO or YOU ARE THE HERO Part 2 from me direct, you will receive a signed copy of Christmas Explained: Robins, Kings and Brussel Sprouts, absolutely FREE! To place your order simply follow the instructions at the end of this link.

Secondly, tomorrow there is a Fighting Fantasy signing event at Forbidden Planet in London, where Ian Livingstone and Jim Burns (and hopefully artist Simon Coleby) will be signing copies of the collected trade paperback of Titan Comics' Ian Livingstone's FREEWAY FIGHTER. Unfortunately, writer Andi Ewington, letterer Jim Campbell and myself are not able to make it, but Andi and I have both signed book plates that will be available at the event from 1-2pm on Saturday.

Lastly, NEVERLAND - Here Be Monsters! has just one week left to run and it needs a bit of a push to get it over the finish line. If you've been thinking about pledging, now would be a great time to commit. And if you have already backed the project, please continue to spread the word to all and sundry. Remember, the more money the Kickstarter raises, the more impressive the finished book will be, and you won't be charged a penny until the Kickstarter ends at 10pm on Saturday 2nd December (and event then, only if the project actually funds).

Thank you for your support. :-)

Black Library Friday

Seeing as how it's Black Friday, and the Black Library still have several of my stories on sale, as either eBooks or Print on Demand titles, why not pop along to their website and buy one?


Thursday, 23 November 2017

Thanksgiving Thursday: Wishing you a Black River Christmas

Seeing as it's Thanksgiving today in the US, I thought it appropriate to focus on a couple of titles published by US publishers that I have had a hand in.

The first is Book 2 - or rather Level 2 - in The Black River Chronicles series by m'colleague David Tallerman (he of SHARKPUNK fame). I was thrilled when David asked me to write the introduction to his new book, The Ursvaal Exchange, and so, having had a sneak peek at the manuscript, that is precisely what I did.

Here's what Amazon has to say about the book, which is published by Digital Fantasy Fiction:

Student ranger Durren Flintrand had thought he was settling in at the Black River Academy for Swordcraft and Spellcraft. But when rebellious rogue Tia Locke uncovers a horrifying secret in the dungeons beneath the school, Durren quickly realises that the challenges he's faced so far were scant preparation for what lies ahead. Along with magic-averse wizard Arein and blunt but good-hearted fighter Hule, he and Tia find themselves on Black River's first student exchange program: they're being sent to the Shadow Mountain Academy in the dank and dismal land of Ursvaal, and they're going whether they like it or not.

At Shadow Mountain, things are done differently. No longer is Durren a ranger but a bard, despite his lacking the slightest notion of what being a bard involves. And not only that but Tia is acting even more strangely than usual, Hule is taking being a paladin awfully seriously, and Arein has a new party member with ideas very different to her own to contend with, in the shape of irascible cleric Cailliper Ancrux - who wants nothing less than to be involved with Shadow Mountain's unpopular newcomers.

The four Black River students will have to relearn everything they thought they knew; but the threats surrounding them aren't about to wait. Can they hope to survive an uprising of the dead, the winged horror that haunts this desolate land, and an ancient plot risen from the blackest depths of Ursvaal's history? And even if the somehow should, can Durren possibly overcome his tone deafness and learn to play the lute?

The second title I'm going to mention is one of mine. It's not a new book but rather a new edition of an old book.

Having already brought out a second edition of my Scottish Miscellany, which has always been popular in the States, this month Skyhorse Publishing is releasing a new edition of my Christmas Miscellany.

Have you ever wondered why we celebrate Christmas the way we do? In this whimsical book, Jonathan Green tells you all about the fascinating stories behind our most beloved holiday traditions. Make yourself cozy by the fireplace, open up this fully illustrated treasure trove, and learn:

  • Why we sing carols
  • Why we burn Yule logs
  • Why we hang stockings
  • Why we kiss under the mistletoe
  • Why we send greeting cards
  • Why there are twelve days of Christmas
  • And what is figgy pudding?

  • Each chapter explores a different custom and its history: when and where it started, how it has changed over the centuries, and why we still love to recreate it today. You’ll learn why holly and ivy are important symbols, who Good King Wenceslas was, and why we eat turkey for Christmas dinner. Additional fun facts and trivia are sprinkled throughout, accompanied by classic illustrations. This is the perfect gift or stocking stuffer for curious-minded friends and family this holiday season!

    Christmas Miscellany: Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Christmas is released by Skyhorse Publishing a week today, on Thursday 30th November.

    Happy 54th Birthday, Doctor Who!

    It's crazy to think that since the epic 50th anniversary The Day of the Doctor event four years have passed, during which time I have had not only the Doctor Who: Time Lord Quiz Quest published but also my second Doctor Who Choose the Future gamebook, Night of the Kraken.*


    And the most recent Doctor Who-related release that I have contributed to is Doctor Who: 100 Illustrated Adventures, which makes the perfect Christmas gift for the Doctor Who fan(s) in your family.

    * Not to mention Terrible Lizards being published as a standalone story.