Friday, June 20, 2008

Fighting Fantasy is alive and well

If you've been reading this blog for a while, you have heard me mention Fighting Fantasy from time to time. But it occurred to me that the casual reader may not know what Fighting Fantasy or thought that it was only something that was around when they were a child.

To put it simply, Fighting Fantasy was (and still is) the definitive solo adventure gamebook series, created by those demigods of the gaming industry Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone. In other words, it's a book in which you are the hero and in which you have to battle terrible monsters, figure out fiendish conundrums and make challenging choices. Inspired by games like Dungeons & Dragons, and yet so much more than that, it was the first such series, the best-selling and the longest lived.

The first FF adventure gamebook, The Warlock of Firetop Mountain, was published in 1982 by Puffin Books and the most recent, Howl of the Werewolf, was published in September 2007 by Wizard Books. That means that, in terms of solo adventure gamebooks alone (so ignoring those which appeared in other books and magazines, advanced rules and novels) there have been 62 published to date.

And Fighting Fantasy is still alive and well today, 26 years on! Last year a special 25th anniversary edition of Warlock was published and its success proved that there is still a dedicated fan base out there as well as a burgeoning new readership.

To keep up to date with all things FF, and to discuss old favourites with other nostalgia lovers, as well as the new crop of classics in the making, why not pop over to the Fighting Fantasy Forum, here.

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Blogger Mataeus said...

Fighting Fantasy and the Commodore 64 are THE two most defining experiences from my childhood, teenage years and thanks to Wizard Books and the wonders of emulation my adult life too. I was only 14 when Curse of the Mummy was released so got it for a reasonable price too. Something you've never mentioned as far as I remember: How does it make you feel when you see eBay listings of Spellbreaker, Knights of Doom and Curse of the Mummy going for £20 - £30 each? Considering the fact that your recent projects and now full-time author status mark you out as a 'newer' author (despite your past works in a niche market), it must feel pretty good to know that you're already collectible :)

June 20, 2008 at 11:29 PM  
Blogger Jonathan Green said...

I'd never thought about it like that.

Of course you never make any real money until you're dead!

June 21, 2008 at 12:40 AM  
Blogger Larni said...

Hi Jon, just read HotWW and I'm really impressed with writting and mechanics. During the reading I was reminded of the better works of Kim Newman in you writting style. Hope you take this as compliment as that's how it's meant.

Along with Mateus I also count FF, (although I had a speccy) as defining points in my childhood.

I'm going to try Bloodbones soon. Thanks for all your efforts.


August 9, 2008 at 12:48 AM  
Blogger Jonathan Green said...

Thanks Larni.

That is one serious compliment! I love Kim Newman's easy, fluid writing style and Anno Dracula has to be one of my favourite post-modernist horror stories (along with The Bloody Red Baron as well, of course).

He also once wrote Warhammer fiction, like me, but when you read about how quickly he wrote them (something like a week a book) and then come to read them and see the quality of his writing, plotting, originality of ideas and all the rest, it makes you baulk.

And I had a Spectrum too. ;-)

August 9, 2008 at 10:14 AM  

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