YOU ARE THE HERO Part 2 is now funding on Kickstarter

Thursday, 31 July 2014

Fighting Fantasy 2014 - Deadline for tickets sales extended!

Good news! Today was supposed to be the very last day when you could buy tickets for Fighting Fantasy Fest 2014, but due to popular demand (and because we have been able to renegotiate the lead times needed to produce various items) we have been able to extend the ticket sales deadline to Sunday 10 August!

So, if you were hoping to come to Fighting Fantasy Fest 2014 but funds were too tight at the end of July or the timing of ticket sales just didn't quite work for you, you now have an extra 10 days in which to secure your place at the world's first dedicated Fighting Fantasy convention.

Keep spreading the word about the event and make sure you've got your ticket, and prepare for the gaming event of the year!


Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Fighting Fantasy Fest 2014 - Featuring the Warlock of Firetop Mountain

There is now just 1 day left in which you can buy tickets for Fighting Fantasy Fest 2014...

A number of people who are already attending have asked if they can come in costume. The answer is, of course you can, and there has been so much interest in dressing up as a Fighting Fantasy adventurer, or one of your favourite villains from the books, that we've introduced a brand new event to the schedule for the day.

Fighting Fantasy Fest 2014 is going to feature a costume competition, voted for by those attending, and with the prize of a framed, signed Blood of the Zombies poster on offer.

So what are you waiting for? Purchase your ticket for Fighting Fantasy Fest 2014 and start preparing your Zagor costume today!


Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Fighting Fantasy Fest 2014 - Featuring Guests of Honour, Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone

There are now just 2 days left in which to buy your tickets for Fighting Fantasy Fest 2014...

 Fighting Fantasy Fest 2014, and the launch of YOU ARE THE HERO - A History of Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks, wouldn't be happening if it wasn't for two individuals who, since their humble beginnings at Altrincham Grammar School, have grown to become veritable gaming legends in their own lifetime - Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone!

Earlier this year, Steve and Ian were inducted into the UK Games Expo Hall of Fame, adding yet enough award to the prestigious collection the two of them have between them (including a Professorship and a CBE).

Steve and Ian are the Guests of Honour at this September's Fighting Fantasy Fest 2014 - the first dedicated FF convention in the world - where they will be speaking about the history of Fighting Fantasy, as well as running an auction, and another very special surprise event! And best of all, attendees at the con will be able to hang out with them at Port Blacksand's Black Lobster Tavern!

Also appearing on the day is Russ Nicholson, the artist who illustrated Steve and Ian's first ever gamebook - The Warlock of Firetop Mountain - as well as Steve's first solo outing, The Citadel of Chaos. So buy your ticket today (before it's too late) and come and meet the guys on Sunday 7 September. You might even be persuaded to buy them a pint. ;-)




There's never been an event like it, so book your place at Fighting Fantasy Fest 2014 today! And tell all your friends!

Monday, 28 July 2014

Fighting Fantasy Fest 2014 - Featuring Malcolm Barter and the Fighting Fantasy Exhibition

There are now just 3 days left in which to buy your tickets for Fighting Fantasy Fest 2014...

In yet another coup for Fighting Fantasy Fest 2014The Forest of Doom artist Malcolm Barter is going to be joining us at the DoubleTree Hilton, Ealing, on Sunday 7 September.

Malcolm's unique artwork appears in YOU ARE THE HERO - A History of Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks, which has a whole chunk of one chapter given over to Ian Livingstone's The Forest of Doom and which will be launching at the event. So why not come along and get Malcolm to sign your copy on the day?


Another of the highlights of the day is going to be an exhibition of rare and unique items from the history of Fighting Fantasy - everything from original artwork, to miniatures, to hand-written manuscripts!

There's never been an event like it, so book your place at Fighting Fantasy Fest 2014 today! And tell all your friends!

Thought for the Day

"We use words to understand each other and even, sometimes, to find each other."

~ Jose Saramago, Portuguese writer and recipient of the 1998 Nobel Prize in Literature

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Fighting Fantasy Fest 2014 - Featuring guest artist John Blanche

There are now just 4 days left in which to buy your tickets for Fighting Fantasy Fest 2014...

In what has to be quite some coup for Fighting Fantasy Fest 2014Sorcery! and Clash of the Princes artist John Blanche is going to be joining us in Ealing on Sunday 7 September.

Yes - the John Blanche, whose mind now works feverishly to create the quasi-Medieval worlds of Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000.

John's unique artwork appears in YOU ARE THE HERO - A History of Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks, which has a whole chapter given over to the Sorcery! series, and which will be launching at the event. So why not come along and get John to sign your copy on the day?


Saturday, 26 July 2014

Fighting Fantasy Fest 2014 - Featuring Leo Hartas and a Warlock's hoard of goodies

There are now just 5 days left in which to buy your tickets for Fighting Fantasy Fest 2014...

One of the artists joining us on the day is the man responsible for a host of beautiful maps - everything from painted charts of Gallantaria to black and white plans of Allansian towns - Leo Hartas!

There are several pages given over to Leo's exqusite cartography in YOU ARE THE HERO - A History of Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks, which will be launching at the event. So why not come along and get Leo to sign your copy on the day?


Attendees who snap up a full price ticket now will also receive a goodie bag, stuff full of goodies, including the following:
  • A Fighting Fantasy gamebook (with the first 100 to buy their tickets receiving the highly sought after 25th anniversary edition of The Warlock of Firetop Mountain, signed by Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone).
  • A Pax Britannia novel by Yours Truly.
  • A download code for a Tin Man Games app.
  • A limited edition poster.
  • The highly collectible 'Adventurer's Backpack' itself.
  • A commemorative convention programme.
  • And a 32mm miniature of Zagor the Warlock, especially sculpted for this event by Paul Muller and cast by Otherworld Miniatures.


In addition to all of the above, every attendee buying a full price ticket will be entered into a raffle to win the chance to have their name appear in a forthcoming Tin Man Games Fighting Fantasy app!

So what are you waiting for?


Iain McCaig, who illustrated Ian Livingstone's City of Thieves, has a number of pieces of work in YOU ARE THE HERO - A History of Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks, including two especially commissioned for the book and his first FF-related illustration work in years!

Friday, 25 July 2014

Gamebook Friday: Fighting Fantasy Fest 2014 - Featuring the Fighting Fantasy Auction

There are now just 6 days left in which to buy your tickets for Fighting Fantasy Fest 2014...

Amongst the events taking place on the day is an auction of rare items from the vaults of the Warlocks of Firetop Mountain, Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone - the first of its kind.

Included among the auction lots are the following:

  • Two swords created to promote Ian Livingstone's Deathtrap Dungeon video game
  • A rare copy of White Dwarf issue #1 in excellent condition
  • Issues #1-9 of the Japanese version of Warlock magazine
  • A rare promotional poster for The Warlock of Firetop Mountain, signed by Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone
  • A first edition of the original Dungeoneer Advanced Fighting Fantasy title, complete with letter of authentication
  • A copy of the Nintendo DS The Warlock of Firetop Mountain, which was never released in Europe
  • A limited edition copy of the Deathtrap Dungeon video game, complete with a copy of the gamebook and card game of the same name.


To be in with a chance of adding some truly unique and rare items to your Fighting Fantasy collection, you know what you need to do. Buy your ticket today!


Thursday, 24 July 2014

Fighting Fantasy Fest 2014 - Featuring Arion Games and Inkle Studios

There are now only 7 days left in which to buy your tickets for Fighting Fantasy Fest 2014...

Amongst the traders and guests attending the event are Arion Games, publishers of Advanced Fighting Fantasy Second Edition, and Inkle Studios, who are in the process of converting Steve Jackson's Sorcery! books for the iPad.

Inkle will be demoing their latest apps, while Arion will be running games of AFF during the day for attendees to sign up for and take part in.

So what are you waiting for? Buy your ticket for the gaming event of the year today!


Tin Man Games will also be attending Fighting Fantasy Fest 2014 and one of their more recent FF adaptations is Island of the Lizard King, illustrated by Alan Langford, whose illustrations appear in YOU ARE THE HERO - A History of Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks.

Steampunk Thursday: Lucy Saxon Competition - We have a winner!

Recently I ran a competition offering readers of this blog the chance to win a copy of Lucy Saxon's debut, Steampunk-inspired novel, Take Back the Skies, asking from where did the author take her pen name?

Well the answer is, the name of the Master's wife in the 2007 series of Doctor Who.

Everyone who entered the competition answered the question correctly, but the lucky individual who had their name pulled out of the proverbial hat is...

Amy Cotterill

Congratulations, Amy! Your copy of Take Back the Skies will be winging its way to you from Bloomsbury Books very soon.

To the rest of you who entered, better luck next time, eh?

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Fighting Fantasy Fest 2014 - Featuring Zagor the Warlock

There are now only 8 days left in which to buy your tickets for Fighting Fantasy Fest 2014.

One of the highlights of attending Fighting Fantasy Fest, for gamers, modellers, paints and collectors alike, is the fact that attendees will receive a brand new miniature of Zagor, the Warlock of Firetop Mountain himself, sculpted by Paul Muller and produced especially for the event by Otherworld Miniatures.




Paul began work as a miniature painter with Games Workshop in the mid-1990s, before trying his hand at sculpting. In recent years, he has produced work for several miniatures companies, including Wyrd Miniatures, Heresy, and Reaper. He sculpted Otherworld's first model, the 'Demon Idol' in 2006, and has produced many of the miniatures in Otherworld's Giants, Dungeon Monsters and Undead ranges since then.


Otherworld had this to say about their unusual commission: "Paul is pleasantly surprised to be working on a Fighting Fantasy miniature, so many years after spending birthday present book tokens and paper-round wages on the original FF books (with The Forest of Doom and Seas of Blood being particular favourites)."

Paul Muller hard at work turning Russ Nicholson's original illustration in a three dimensional miniature. 

Otherworld Miniatures will be at Fighting Fantasy Fest 2014 on the day as well a number of other traders, so make sure you don't miss out and purchase your ticket today.


Fighting Fantasy Fest 2014 will also see the launch of YOU ARE THE HERO - A History of Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks, which features original artwork from Duncan Smith, illustrator of Scorpion Swamp.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Fighting Fantasy Fest 2014 - Featuring artist Tony Hough

There are now just 9 days left for you to purchase your ticket for Fighting Fantasy Fest 2014, so best buy yours before it's too late.

One of our artist guests at the event is Tony Hough, who has been illustrating Fighting Fantasy gamebooks since 1991, including two of my own gamebooks - Knights of Doom and Bloodbones. He has also contributed brand new filler pictures to YOU ARE THE HERO - A History of Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks, which is launching at Fighting Fantasy Fest 2014.

Come along on the day, and not only could you get Tony to sign YOU ARE THE HERO for you, you might also be able to buy an original piece of FF art from his portfolio. Now that would be some collector's item!

Tony's art features a number of times in YOU ARE THE HERO, just as does the work of Les Edwards - the man who painted both different versions of the UK cover of Caverns of the Snow Witch - and so does the artwork of the artists responsible for the internals black and white illustrations on Caverns, Edward Crosby and Gary Ward.

Monday, 21 July 2014

Fighting Fantasy Fest 2014 - Featuring Tin Man Games

There are now just 10 days left for you to purchase your ticket for Fighting Fantasy Fest 2014, which is causing a stir all over the Internet - such as Charlie Higson's tweet below:


One of the guests attending Fighting Fantasy Fest 2014 will be Neil Rennison, the Tin Man's flesh avatar from Tin Man Games. He will be there showing off all the latest FF apps and talking about his experience of converting classic gamebooks, such as House of Hell, for digital platforms.

Tin Man Games have also very generously donated a free download code for everyone attending FFF 2014, so don't delay, buy your ticket today!

Thought for the Day

“I learned to write fiction the way I learned to read fiction - by skipping the parts that bored me.”

~ Jonathan Lethem, American novelist

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Fighting Fantasy Fest 2014 - Featuring Russ Nicholson

There are just 11 days left to buy your ticket for Fighting Fantasy Fest. One of our guests at the event is the man who first established the look of the Fighting Fantasy world, Russ Nicholson.

His interweaving pen and ink illustrations have adorned FF gamebooks since 1982 and Russ even has a brand new piece of artwork in YOU ARE THE HERO - A History of Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks which is launching at Fighting Fantasy Fest (and where the softback edition will be on sale for the first time).

His work for FF includes the gamebooks The Citadel of Chaos, Masks of Mayhem, Magehunter and Deathmoor. He also illustrated Steve Jackson's novel The Trolltooth Wars, Ian Livingstone's Adventures of Goldhawk, and both the AFF books Blacksand! and Allansia.

So head over to the DoubleTree Hilton Hotel in Ealing, West London, on Sunday 7 September, and get your copy of YOU ARE THE HERO signed by Russ himself!

Of course, whilst Russ produced the internal black and white illustrations for The Warlock of Firetop Mountain, Peter Andrew Jones painted the cover, and he also painted the cover of FF #11 Talisman of Death.

Friday, 18 July 2014

Gamebook Friday: Fighting Fantasy Fest 2014 featuring the official book launch of YOU ARE THE HERO...

... A History of Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks.

There are now just 13 days left in which you can purchase your ticket for Fighting Fantasy Fest 2014, which is attracting guests from all over the world (quite literally).

The event will feature the official book launch of YOU ARE THE HERO - A History of Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks, which in turn features the artwork of Jim Burns (amongst many others). Jim provided cover art for Freeway Fighter, not once but twice, and also painted the Legend of Zagor box art.

Jim also has his own art book out. Called Hyperluminal, it's out this September from Titan Books. The softback edition of YOU ARE THE HERO will be out in September too and the first place it will be available is Fighting Fantasy Fest 2014.


Also appearing at Fighting Fantasy Fest 2014 will be Ian Livingstone CBE, author of Freeway Fighter, along with Steve Jackson, co-creator the the Fighting Fantasy series of gamebooks.

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Fighting Fantasy Fest 2014 - Featuring Chris Achilleos

There are 14 days left to buy your ticket for Fighting Fantasy Fest (so that we have enough time to produce all the fantastic goodies that will be available for attendees on the day) so if you've been holding off from buying your ticket, now would be a good time to do so.

One of our guests at the event is fantasy art legend Chris Achilleos. Well known for painting everything from Doctor Who novel covers to beautiful fantasy-themed ladies, a number of pieces of Chris's art appear in YOU ARE THE HERO - A History of Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks which is launching at Fighting Fantasy Fest.

His work for FF includes the covers Steve Jackson's novel The Trolltooth Wars, Ian Livingstone's gamebooks Temple of Terror and Armies of Death, at the covers of the background books Out of the Pit and Titan - The Fighting Fantasy World.


So head over to the DoubleTree Hilton Hotel in Ealing, West London, on Sunday 7 September, and get your copy of YOU ARE THE HERO signed by Chris himself!

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Warhammer Wednesday: Mission Games Workshop - Chiswick

After utterly failing to get into the London Film and Comic Con on Saturday, I took a stroll through West London, eventually finding myself at the Chiswick Games Workshop store.

Jake the store manager was there, just as he was the last time I was in the branch, only it turned out he'd been to Bromley and back in the interim! Anyway, Jake had nice things to say about my Black Templar stories and The Relic, so here are some pictures of some of the minis on show this week.

Black Templars and Crimson Fists.

An impressive-looking gun.

A downed Drop Pod.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

My Annotated Workspace - July 2014

Back in February I posted this, in which I annotated my workspace and explained what all the projects were I was working on at the time. Well I'm going to do it again, five months on, so here we go...


1) I've been proof-reading YOU ARE THE HERO - A History of Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks. Here you can see art by Martin McKenna, Les Edwards and Pete Knifton.

2) The 350th issue of the Judge Dredd Megazine - I've had a couple of short stories in this over the last couple of years and it's time I came up with some more story proposals. 

3) Christmas Books - I'm re-vamping What is Myrrh Anyway? Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Christmas in time for Christmas 2014, including additional content. The new edition of the book will go by the name A History of Christmas.

4) My laptop, open at the Eventbrite ticket page for Fighting Fantasy Fest 2014. Buy your ticket today!

5) Sharkpunk is an anthology I'm editing for Snowbooks, that will be published in May 2015. The story you can see here is by David Tallerman.

6) The 250th issue of SFX Magazine and a commissioning form for a piece I'm writing for a future issue about Ted Hughes' The Iron Man.

7) Take Back the Skies by Lucy Saxon - I've recently reviewed this book and there's even a competition to win a copy of the book. Check it out!

Monday, 14 July 2014

Thought for the Day

"My greatest luxury is to have nothing to do all day but sit around and read."

~ Ken Follett, author

Friday, 11 July 2014

Gamebook Friday: Steam Golems, Stormslayers and Sunday the Seventh of September

As a result of being tagged in a recent post on the British Steampunk Community Facebook page, I discovered Micro Art Studio's Steampunk miniatures, amongst which I found this Security Golem...


After reminding me that I need to write a piece for SFX magazine about Ted Hughes' The Iron Man, the miniature made me think of my own Steam Golem from Stormslayer...


Stephen Player, the artist who illustrated Stormslayer, teaches an illustration class and has used the art brief for the book with his students. As a result, every once in a while new interpretations of his original illustrations appear online, usually over on DeviantArt, such as these...





The last of these images is by the artist Emerson Tung. Emerson also created an alternative image of the Eye of the Storm (the giant fish-shaped brass flying machine) from the book, which appears in YOU ARE THE HERO - A History of Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks.

And of course YOU ARE THE HERO is going to have its official launch at FIGHTING FANTASY FEST 2014 on Sunday 7 September. Buy your ticket now and become a part of Fighting Fantasy history yourself.