Friday, 22 July 2016

Gamebook Friday: YOU are the Colourist!

Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone present

Fighting Fantasy Colouring Books

Fighting Fantasy gamebooks have sold over 17 million books worldwide, in over 30 languages. YOU were the hero in stories such as Deathtrap DungeonThe Forest of Doom, The Warlock of Firetop Mountain, and City of Thieves, fighting monsters and foes with a pencil, two dice and an eraser. And now –

Bring your favourite wizards, monsters and fantastic settings to life, colouring the original emotive illustrations by artists Iain McCaigMalcolm Barter and Russ Nicholson.

About the authors

Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone co-founded iconic games company Games Workshop in 1975, launching Dungeons & Dragons and Warhammer in Europe. They co-authored The Warlock of Firetop Mountain,which was published in 1982, and went on to write over 20 titles in the best-selling Fighting Fantasy gamebook series. Ian became Executive Chairman of Eidos in 1995 where he launched global video games franchises includingLara Croft: Tomb Raider andHitman. Steve became a Director of Lionhead, the award-winning video games studio best known for developing Fable.

About the illustrators

Russ Nicholson is an illustrator of Fantasy, well known for his contribution to the Fighting Fantasy series, including the first such book, The Warlock of Firetop Mountain. He has also produced illustrations for Games Workshop publications, including White Dwarf Magazine, and more recently has worked with Le Grimoire, Scriptarium, and Tin Man Games, amongst others.

Malcolm Barter studied Illustration & Design at Ipswich School of Art. He has freelanced in Publishing, Editorial & Advertising, notably illustrating Ian Livingstone’s classic Fighting Fantasy gamebook The Forest of Doom. His recent work has included more Fighting Fantasy, having been tracked down and lured back by French publishers in 2013.

Iain McCaig is an award-winning artist and one of the most sought-after conceptual designers working in the entertainment industry today. His work includes the landmark designs for Queen Amidala and Darth Maul, for Lucasfilm, as well as several Fighting Fantasy covers, and the internal illustrations for the seminal City of Thieves and the bestselling Deathtrap Dungeon.

Martin McKenna has illustrated covers and internal illustrations for twenty-two of the Fighting Fantasy series from Puffin Books/Wizard Books. He also produces concept and production art for computer games, and film and television productions, which have included the BAFTA-nominated The Magician of Samarkand for the BBC and Gulliver's Travels for 20th Century Fox.

About the books

Available 28th July 2016  |  297 x 210 mm | Published by Snowbooks

Available worldwide from,, and all good bookshops

9781911390039 • The Warlock of Firetop Mountain Colouring Book • £9.99, $14.95 • paperback
9781911390046 • The Warlock of Firetop Mountain Colouring Book • £25, $40 • hardback

9781911390053 • The Forest of Doom Colouring Book • £9.99, $14.95 • paperback
9781911390060 • The Forest of Doom Colouring Book • £25, $40 • hardback

9781911390091 • Deathtrap Dungeon Colouring Book • £9.99, $14.95 • paperback
9781911390107 • Deathtrap Dungeon Colouring Book • £25, $40 • hardback

9781911390077 • City of Thieves Colouring Book • £9.99, $14.95 • paperback
9781911390084 • City of Thieves Colouring Book • £25, $40 • hardback

Pre-order at

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Shakespeare Sunday: Pat Kelleher - The Terrors of the Earth

The last story to be previewed from Shakespeare Vs Cthulhu is Pat Kelleher's The Terrors of the Earth. I first met Pat when we were both working for Abaddon Books, the imprint for which I created the Pax Britannia steampunk series and Pat wrote the No Man’s World trilogy.
Pat and I got chatting about Shakespeare Vs Cthulhu back at Edge-Lit last year, when I was there promoting my first short story anthology SHARKPUNK. Pat has taken King Lear as the inspiration for his story, The Terrors of the Earth, and here's an extract...

Gazing out through rheumy eyes at his three daughters, gathered courtiers, nobles and servants, Great Leyh’r, son of Bladud, son of Lud, King of the ancient Isle of Albion, sat throned in Troynovant’s Great Hall.  
Outwardly, he bore the stately manner of a King of Albion. Inside he howled like a man condemned, beating at the confines of his cell, unable to escape his fate; a fate thrust upon him by Divine Right of Succession and the Blood of Albion that ran in his veins. He had seen some fourscore years, threescore of those upon the throne of Albion, the previous score in the company of his father, King Bladud, and his dark obsession, of which the rule of the kingdom was but the least of it. 
Leyh’r felt the ineffable yoke of his office press down upon him like the years on his back that weakened his sinews, agued his bones and misted his sight. If he could bear it a little longer he might yet do some good, even though he must still carry the heavier portion of that burden alone toward death.

Pat Kelleher is a freelance writer. He served his time writing a wide variety of TV licensed characters, across a bewildering array of media, has several non-fiction books to his credit and a collection of children’s stories published by Bloomsbury. His No Man’s World series of pulp sci-fi novels is published by Abaddon Books, along with his Gods and Monsters e-novella,Drag Hunt. He also worked on Sniper Elite 3, the latest in the video game series from Rebellion and has short stories published by Tickety Boo Press and the award-winning Fox Spirit Books.

Friday, 15 July 2016

Gamebook Friday: Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland

As it's Gamebook Friday, I thought it appropriate to share some recent reviews of Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland with you.

"I don't even play adventure games books as a rule but I liked this one: the story is very strong (creepy!!) and the images are fab. Lots of twists and turns so I cheated (I'm sure this is very bad form) and read all sorts of possible options without even rolling the dice. I'm bad, I know but it was too tempting which just shows how well written it is! Very enjoyable."

"Thoroughly entertaining, ‘Alice’s Nightmare in Wonderland’ is highly imaginative whilst keeping to the flavour of the original."

It's also interesting that one reviewer had this to say about the book:

"Personally I’m not generally a fan of adventure gamebooks written in the third person feeling that it loses some of the interactive immersion offered by being written in the second person. In this case, though, it keeps that feel of the original source material and maintains that lightly ironic sense of humour that permeates Carroll."

This is something I'm battling with at the moment with The Wicked Wizard of Oz, which is currently in the planning stages; do I write it in the third person, as in Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland, or do I write it in the second person? Decisions, decisions...

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Steampunk Thursday: Time's Arrow

Happy Bastille Day, to all my French readers - and there are a few, thanks to my Fighting Fantasy gamebooks, and some of my Warhammer novels, having been translated into French.

As it's Bastille Day, and as it's Steampunk Thursday, it seems only right to plug the eighth Ulysses Quicksilver adventure to date, Time's Arrow. The whole story takes place in France - Paris to be precise - and even features a steampunk King Kong.

According to one reviewer, "the wonderful spark of Jonathan Green's writing still shines through and you have to love his wonderful use of tried and tested tropes in a way that just sings like a melody when in his hands."

You can pick up a copy for yourself here.

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Dr John Dee, Queen Elizabeth I's pet sorcerer

Did you know that today is the birthday of Dr John Dee - alchemist, cosmologist, mathematician, occult philosopher, and occasional adviser to Queen Elizabeth I?

John Dee's life reads like a work of the most incredible fiction, and it has certainly inspired many authors over the years. Only last year I read Phil Rickman's The Bones of Avalon, which casts Dee in the role of sleuth, sent to solve a mysterious murder in the town of Glastonbury.

Dee also appears in John Reynolds' A Tiger's Heart, A Player's Hide, which will be published in about a month's time in my new short story anthology Shakespeare Vs Cthulhu.

And Dee will also be making an appearance in a story of my own, hopefully within the next year...

Monday, 11 July 2016

Thought for the Day

"I'm only really alive when I'm writing."
~ Tennessee Williams