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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Triumffant

Tomorrow (October 1), Dan Abnett's original fiction debut hits the shelves of bookshops across the country. I have been among the privileged few who have already got to read it and you can read my review below...

Triumff: Her Majesty's Hero is Dan Abnett’s long-awaited and much-anticipated original fiction debut. He’s been writing for years, of course (which is patently apparent in Triumff), and is already a multi-million-selling author, but outside of 2000AD, Games Workshop and various other comic-writing and tie-in novelisation gigs, he is still, unbelievably a relative unknown. But all that is about to change with the publication of this truly original work of fiction.

The setting is the present day, only it’s a world very different to our own, the sun never having set on the glories of the first Elizabethan Age. In this alternate reality the Renaissance saw a re-emergence of the Magick Arts and hence the arresting of significant technological development. Against this backdrop of Shakespearean thesps, wily cardinals and duelling noblemen, Sir Rupert Triumff – dandy, drinker and dueller – is catapulted into a revenger’s tragedy’s worth of intrigue as he tries to uncover and put paid to a nefarious and damnably traitorous scheme.

Abnett’s world-building is assured and satisfyingly detailed, although none of this detail ever swamps the plot which moves at a rollicking rate. In fact, it reads like a Blackadder-inspired cinematic blockbuster. As a result, the alternate Elizabethan setting is instantly recognisable, populated with pastiches of historical figures as well as characters that have walked right out of your television set. There’s even a nod to hardcore Warhammer fans. Humour, action and intrigue abound in equal measure, and combine with Abnett’s idiosyncratic clockpunk stylings to create a wholly satisfying read.

To dismiss Triumff: Her Majesty's Hero as a Pratchett clone is to do it a disservice; this is classic Abnett. From the economy of description – which nonetheless conjures a vivid and fascinating backdrop – to the grand set-piece action scenes and frequent, pun-tastic humour – that extends to a scene right out of Bond – it could hardly be anything else.

If you want your buckles well and truly swashed and derring done, you know where to come. Triumff is, in a word, a triumph.

You can pick up a copy of Triumff: Her Majesty's Hero here! (You really should, you know.)

Primeval saved from extinction

Good news, fellow Primeval fans, the best thing on ITV (after Lewis) is coming back! So the team have obviously thwarted Helen Cutter's tampering with the past and got history back on track. Yaay!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Win the chance to appear in Night of the Necromancer

Just this weekend I finished the first draft of Night of the Necromancer, so I thought this was a good time to remind all you loyal blog followers that Wizard Books is running a competition tied to the book. The money-can't-buy prize on offer is the opportunity to actually appear within the brand new gamebook!

To put it simply, the winner will be immortalised in a brilliant Martin McKenna illustration which will feature inside Night of the Necromancer, due to be published in April 2010. All you have to do to be in with a chance of winning is send a photograph of yourself looking frightened out of your wits whilst holding a copy of Stormslayer! The judges will choose the winner based on the most scared-looking expression and the most imaginative picture.

Head on over to the official Fighting Fantasy website to find out more about how to enter this amazing competition.

Games Day 2009 - The Aftermath

For those of you who didn't know, yesterday was Games Day, and a very fine Games Day it was too. It started for me pulling up in the car park next to Rick and Lindsey Priestley, to find ace author James Swallow unfolding himself from their Mini. On the way into the NEC hall I happened to then meet up with Graham McNeill and got all the latest on his five week-old Mini-Me.

Next to join the ever-growing band was the very dapper Mathieu Saintout, French publisher of the Black Library books, and his aide Julien. I then bumped into Dan and Nik Abnett and managed to say 'Hi!' which was (unfortunately) all I managed all day.


The Black Library stand - busy as ever

So, then it was into the hall. I felt very privileged to meet the fan every author wants to meet, Lady Inquisitor Xhalax, although I'm told she was in fact dressed as a very specific character from the forthcoming Blood Pact by Dan Abnett.


Everyone's a critic...

I also caught up with my erstwhile editor Christian Dunn and had a very exciting chat with him, and editor-turned-author Nick Kyme, who was savouring a biscuit at the end of a long day when I caught up with him. I also got to admire Richard Williams' banner and book-stamp, admire Neil Roberts' cover artwork up close (big shout goes out to the Zoat!), said 'Hello!' to new(ish) editor Alex Davis and even caught Ben Counter entering the create a Chaos Champion competition.


'Just hang on a minute while I put my eyes in.'

I also got to meet the new enfant terrible of the Black Library, the very cool and double-barrelled Aaron Dembski-Bowden - who said some very kind things about my Black Templar Armageddon books - and his delightful girlfriend Katie. I'm only sorry I couldn't go back to Bugman's with them to share a pint only dad-duty called.


The astonishingly well-off author Aaron Dembski-Bowden and his gorgeous girlfriend Katie.
(Only one of these statements is true.)

Outside of the Black Library I got to catch up with ace artist Adrian Smith (whose painting of Gerhard Brennend adores my office wall) and salivate over his brilliant new Space Wolves artwork, and finally got to meet the legendary John Blanche, who reminisced with me about Fighting Fantasy and Sorcery! in particular.



Ace artist Adrian Smith


I think that's probably enough names dropped for now. The only thing I'll add is that I also had an amazing Friday and was somewhere where many FF fans would kill to be. Suffice to say I got to see an original copy of the very first White Dwarf magazine and the original flowchart for Deathtrap Dungeon. I'm not boasting or gloating, I'm just rather excited, that's all. ;-)

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Famous last words

Not so long ago I was interviewed for the new Fighting Fantasy fanzine Fighting Fantazine. One of the questions - and my answer - went as follows...


I finished my first draft of Night of the Necromancer earlier this afternoon and it's come in at 450 paragraphs! So, like I said, famous last words...

You'll be able to see what I've done with those extra 50 paragraphs when the book is published in April next year.

Games Day 2009


It's tomorrow, Sunday 27 September. I'll be there, celebrating the fact that I've just finished the first draft of Night of the Necromancer. Will you?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Pax Britannia: Evolution Expects reviewed at 2000AD Review

Stumbled across this the other day - a rather pleasing review by Richmond Clements of Evolution Expects. You can read it here, at the 2000AD Review website.

The only real quibble/query/question I have regarding it is I have no idea what Mr Clements is referring to when he writes 'the villain’s Big Scheme is a bit familiar to both a certain superhero movie as well as a story from the pages of 2000AD.'

If anyone knows which film he means or which 2000AD story, please drop me a line and let me know. Thanks.

JG interviewed on Sci-Fi Online

I recently took part in an interview with Sci-Fi Online, the UK's leading telefantasy and cult website. I was mainly sharing my experiences of writing for the Fighting Fantasy series of gamebooks, Sci-Fi Online having recently posted a storming review of my new book Stormslayer on their site.

To read the interview, click here. To read the review, click here. To check out the official Fighting Fantasy website for exciting news about how you can literally appear in my next FF outing Night of the Necromancer, click here.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Writing Adventure Gamebooks at Ealing Library

Saturday 19 September saw the hordes of Ealing descend on the town's Central Library to hear me talk about writing adventure gamebooks and Stormslayer in particular. The audience were very attentive and asked some insightful questions.






The most popular topic up for discussion was the monsters, the thing which appealed to me about the Fighting Fantasy series when I was young - and still does today!

As well as listening to me talk, those who came on the day designed their own monsters and some even had a go at writing their own Fighting Fantasy adventures. There was even a sneak preview of Night of the Necromancer. And everybody went home with a very special Jonathan Green Author blog pencil!



A big shout goes out to Benjamin and his Dad (one of the original FF fans, like me), Nathan, his brother and his mum (who confessed that she can't wait to read Nathan's copy of Stormslayer after he's finished), as well as Nours, Alex, Kiran and Piero - FF artists in the making.




I would like to thank Linda, Colleen and everyone at Ealing Library for their help in arranging the day, and of course everybody who came as well. It wouldn't have been the same without you!









Saturday, September 19, 2009

Win copies of STORMSLAYER at Sci-Fi Online

The UK's leading telefantasy and cult website Sci-Fi Online, in conjunction with Review Graveyard, has copies of Stormslayer up for grabs (along with the other newly re-released Fighting Fantasy adventures The Warlock of Firetop Mountain, Citadel of Chaos and Deathtrap Dungeon). To enter the mind-bogglingly easy competition, follow this link.

And keep an eye on Sci-Fi Online over the weekend and you may just see an interview with a certain FF author pop up there at some point.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Way of the Barefoot Zombie - a short film by Jasper Bark

Check out renowned author, playboy and gerbil pimp, Jasper Bark's new film about his latest book, Way of the Barefoot Zombie. But be warned, it's not for the squeamish - or for children! - but it is for those with an enlightened view of the world and those who like their humour black!



And if you enjoyed that, try these...





And then for dessert, try swallowing this!



And zombie snails? Whatever next?!? (Gruesome!)

How to write a Fighting Fantasy adventure...

A last reminder that I shall be at Ealing Central Library tomorrow, Saturday 19 September, from 2-4pm talking about writing adventure gamebooks.

Find out how I set about writing the brand new Fighting Fantasy adventure Stormslayer and get a special sneak preview of the forthcoming Night of the Necromancer. As well as the talk, there will be a range of activities for children of all ages to take part it and you can buy copies of Stormslayer on the day, and of course get them signed by me.

I've even had some new pencils made especially for the occasion, and the guys at Wizard Books have sent me a suitably ghoulish Creature of Havoc cut-out to set the tone for the afternoon.

And if you do happen to pop along, don't be afraid to say 'Hi!' and tell me The Blog sent you!

The Warlock of Firetop Mountain DS trailer

Check out the trailer for The Warlock of Firetop Mountain on the DS!


Thursday, September 17, 2009

Ukranian Sand Animation

Check this out! (And thanks to Simon Bestwick for the link.)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Night of the Necromancer competition announced!

This afternoon, the official Fighting Fantasy website posted news of a brand new competition that Wizard Books is running. The money-can't-buy prize on offer is the opportunity to actually appear within the brand new gamebook I'm writing right now - that's right, in person!

To put it simply, the winner will be immortalised in a brilliant Martin McKenna illustration which will feature inside Night of the Necromancer, due to be published in April 2010. All you have to do to be in with a chance of winning is send a photograph of yourself looking frightened out of your wits whilst holding a copy of Stormslayer! The judges will choose the winner based on the most scared-looking expression and the most imaginative picture.

Head on over to the official Fighting Fantasy website to find out more about how to enter this amazing competition, and if you need any inspiration, check out the grotesque images below that look like something straight out of a Hammer horror movie!

The Author looking suitably horrified at what he is about to unleash upon the world.


You want Night of the Necromancer finished by when?

Monday, September 14, 2009

Wisdom from the Spurrierverse

Si Spurrier has a way with words, that's why he's a writer. But these two blog-thoughts in particular grabbed my attention today.

Universal law of Novel-writing: If you had a productive day yesterday and are feeling Ahead Of The Game, today will suck badgerxxxxx*.

Amen to that, brother!

And then there's this...

Only 39% of Americans believe in evolution. That means that out of every 5 people, God deliberately designed 3 to be xxxxing* idiots.

* All prudish censorship carried out by the editor of this blog, i.e. me.

Zanbar Bone lives!

This rather cool pic of Zanbar Bone the Night Prince - the villain behind Ian Livingstone's City of Thieves - has been posted online by budding computer artist Nat the Rat. Check it out!

Stormslayer reviewed at Sci-Fi Online

Stormslayer has received a storming review over at the UK's leading telefantasy and cult website Sci-Fi Online, receiving an astonishing 9 out of 10 and coming second only to Citadel of Chaos!


You can read it for yourself here.

And if you've read Stormslayer and enjoyed it, why not post your own review here or on Amazon (or any other appropriate book-selling or reviewing site) and send me the link?

Night of the Necromancer news

That enough alliteration for you on a Monday morning? Anyway, to business.

Watch the Official Fighting Fantasy website closely today for news on how YOU could appear in the next exciting Fighting Fantasy adventure gamebook Night of the Necromancer, due out April 2010.

JG appearing at Ealing Library next weekend!

Just a reminder that I shall be at Ealing Central Library next Saturday 19 September from 2-4pm talking about writing adventure gamebooks.

Find out more about the secrets of Stormslayer and how to set about the task of writing a Fighting Fantasy adventure gamebook, and meet me into the bargain.

And if you do happen to pop along, don't be afraid to say 'Hi!' and tell me The Blog sent you!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Evolution Expects reviewed in Death Ray magazine

Death Ray #21 came out on Thursday and in it is reviewed a whole glut of Abaddon Books, including Pax Britannia: Evolution Expects. It's not a bad review, but my favourite line has to be this one:

It's pleasingly bonkers and never less than entertaining

Oh, and these two words made me happy for the rest of the day:

More please

And congratulations to Simon Bestwick on receiving 4 stars for Tomes of the Dead: Tide of Souls. Well done that man!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Stormslayer competition

Wizard Books and games maker Eidos have teamed up with booksellers Waterstone's to offer an amazing prize for one lucky Fighting Fantasy fan!

To find out more, check out the Official Fighting Fantasy website here. This will ultimately direct you to the Waterstone's competition page here.

I have to say, I'm a little miffed that Waterstone's are promoting this as an opportunity to 'have lunch with the authors of Stormslayer'*. It would have been better if they'd said have lunch with the creators of Fighting Fantasy, as it's all about the brand now anyway.

But, other than that, its a cool competition, so why not enter yourself? After all, what have you got to lose?


*You could have them under the trade descriptions act for that.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Free mince pie!

Drop by my Christmas Miscellany blog now and receive a mince pie, absolutely free!


And keep an eye on the Christmas Miscellany blog over the coming weeks as people the world over start to prepare for the big day.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

From Mice to... Yetis?

Exciting news from the Mousehunter camp - a.k.a. ace author/illustrator Alex Milway. Hot on the heels of the phenomenally popular Mousehunter trilogy, Alex has a new series coming out next year, starting in June 2010 with this...


To find out more, check out his blog.

Doctor Who update

First up, which Doctor are you?




VS





Find out for yourself here.

Also, Richard Curtis (he of Blackadder, Four Weddings, and The Vicar of Dibley fame) is to pen an episode of Stephen Moffat's new Who.

And this is what they're saying about the Official Doctor Who Annual 2010 over at Unique Magazines:

Sonic screwdrivers at the ready! This year's official annual is a stellar 96 pages, packed with comic strips, stories, activities, fun features, posters and even a section on The Sarah Jane Adventures. Filled with monsters and adventures from the series, this will keep any budding Doctor busy!

So why not go out there - or over here - and get one?

Monday, September 7, 2009

Are you ready for Night of the Necromancer?

Death is not the end...

YOU are a knightly warrior, returning to your ancestral castle home having been away for a number of years fighting a crusade against the forces of darkness in the Mauristatian principality of Bathoria. You are just within sight of home when you are struck down by a band of murderers.


Driven by the need to know why you have been killed, and on whose orders, you rise again as a ghost. This is where your adventure begins, as you set out to solve the mystery of your own murder. All that follows occurs during the course of one night...


Coming April 2010!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

New FF spine designs


A lot of thought and effort has gone into preparing the new FF editions for the re-launch - and they look fantastic! As well as the embossing, funky colours and metallic pantone applied to the covers, the spines are a uniform silver and include a reproduction of the central cover image. As a result, on the shelf next to each other they look great and unmistakeably part of one series!


The very generous people at Wizard Books have sent me one of each of the new editions (along with my author copies of Stormslayer) and despite the best efforts of the Royal Mail (including ripping open the package containing them on the way to my house) they are now safely ensconced on a suitable bookshelf.


If you're yet to pick up a copy of Stormslayer, you can get hold of one here. And if you have, and can't wait for more, I'm currently working on Night of the Necromancer ready for 2010. Judging by the evidence I'd say that FF's on an all time high!


Night of the Necromancer cover mock-up, top left

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Time for an update

It's been a while since I updated my biog, so today I have done just that. No longer a teacher (although I'm still heavily involved with schools) I am now a full-time writer (when I'm not playing the part of Daddy Daycare).

Check out the side bar for more information.

T-Rex going (not so) cheap


Ever fancied owning your own genuine T-Rex? Then why not head on over to Las Vegas next month?

Friday, September 4, 2009

Black Library - Hereitc Tomes

The truth is out...

As of January 2010, the Black Library will be launching a range of Print on Demand titles which will allow them to bring back classic and fan-favourite novels, graphic novels and even artbooks that have been out of print for some years now.

Most of these titles will be brought back through this special service whilst a few will have minor edits to reflect changes to the background of the Warhammer and Warhammer 40000 worlds. But there are a few books that were written in a different time and place, when the worlds of Warhammer and 40K were different from what they are now. These books will be available under the Heretic Tomes banner.

For more information, click here.

Stormslayer is here!

Thanks to my local independent bookshop The Owl and the Pussycat I now have a copy of Stormslayer.


Wizard Books kindly sent out author copies ten days ago but thanks to postal strikes and the bank holiday they haven't turned up yet. I could have travelled into Wizard's offices and collected them myself quicker. And now that Martin McKenna's got his contributor copies of The Warlock of Firetop Mountain (for which he produced the new cover) I'm starting to suspect that the staff at the local sorting office are too busy playing Stormslayer to actually deliver any post!

Anyway, at least I have a copy now - after a fair number of you, by the sounds of things. So the final score is, Local Bookshop - one, Royal Mail - nil!

Unseen Academicals take to the pitch

Unseen Academicals is the new Terry Pratchett book publishing this October.

Football has come to the ancient city of Ankh-Morpork - not the old fashioned, grubby pushing and shoving, but the new, fast football with pointy hats for goalposts and balls that go gloing when you drop them.

Waterstone's are giving those signed up to their Cardholders scheme the chance to attend the launch of Unseen Academicals, a very special football match in Wincanton, Somerset, which Terry will be attending, and to get a football shirt signed by the author.

A must for all Pratchett fans, to be in with a chance of winning simply enter the prize draw here.

The football match will take place on Saturday 10th October.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

More exciting news from the Official Fighting Fantasy site!

The FF re-launch only officially started today - with the release of brand spanking new title Stormslayer - and already on the Official Fighting Fantasy website there is news regarding which titles are going to be re-released in the re-vamped style in 2010, including my zombie-pirate fest Bloodbones!


Those beady-eyed individuals amongst you will have also noted that there is another brand new title amongst those presented, and that's Night of the Necromancer - by me! To find out more about this brand new adventure, watch this space and keep an eye on the Official FF website to find out how you could make an appearance within its ghost-haunted pages.

Just remember, death is not the end...

Abaddon acquire Solaris

Well, technically it's the Abaddon mothership Rebellion Developments that have beamed Solaris aboard, but it's exciting news nonetheless. You can read more about it here.

Stormslayer - released today, Thursday 3 September 2009

From this day forward, 3 September shall go down in history as the day on which World War Two began, the day that eBay was founded, the day on which TV presenter Fearne Cotton was born and now, as the day that Stormslayer was unleashed upon the world.



There are dark powers at work in the kingdom of Femphrey. Magic more fearsome than you have ever seen has somehow harnessed the destructive might of Nature.

With time running out, you must uncover the oldest truths about the lore of the elements – only then can you command earth, wind, fire and water and venture into the terrifying eye of the storm.

And you can pick up your copy here.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Howl of the Werewolf

Tomorrow, Stormslayer is released upon an unsuspecting public. It is the first brand new Fighting Fantasy adventure gamebook since Howl of the Werewolf was published in September 2007.

In case you've forgotten how much fun that last adventure was, or you've yet to experience its pleasures (and pains), I've put together a movie-style trailer for the book.

Enjoy.

Stormslayer - released tomorrow

For those of you who can't wait for the postman to arrive tomorrow morning (myself included) or for the chance to get down to your local bookshop, I've prepared a little teaser trailer...

New Fighting Fantasy website launches today!


In time for the FF re-launch of The Warlock of Firetop Mountain, Citadel of Chaos and Deathtrap Dungeon, along with the publication of brand new adventure Stormslayer (by yours truly), Wizard Books have launched their brand new Fighting Fantasy website. Check it out for yourself here.

2000AD - it's back!

I know, I know, it hasn't really been away, but the website that us fans used to know and love has. But now it's back, with creator and strip databases intact and it's like an old friend has returned to hearth and home after months travelling the globe.

And to top it all, prog 1650 (this summer's jumping on issue) is stunning. When Shakara first came out I thought it was a one-trick pony, but how wrong I was. I love Henry Flint's alien designs on this strip and Robbie Morrison manages to surprise us once again.

Then there's Kingdom, by Dan Abnett and Richard Elson. What not to love there, from Them, to Gene the Hackman getting whet, to the ruins of Sydney? And of course Judge Dredd by John Wagner - the master wordsmith - illustrated by Colin MacNeil - the master pensmith.

So, what are you waiting for? Check it out now!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

FIghting Fantazine - out now!

I am very pleased to pass on the good news that the inaugural issue of the brand new Fighting Fantasy fanzine - appropriately called Fighting Fantazine - is out now!

Inside you'll find an original mini FF adventure, Resurrection of the Dead by Alexander Ballingall, an article called the Fact of Fiction about the classic Steve Jackson gamebook Appointment with F.E.A.R. and an interview with me.

In fact it's the first part of a two-part interview. (My interviewer was very thorough.) So if you want to find out more about the process of creating a Fighting Fantasy gamebook or about my other current projects follow this link to download Fighting Fantazine #1.

Please direct any feedback about Fighting Fantazine to:

fightingfantazine@gmail.com