Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Doctor Who rocks Glastonbury

How cool is this?

WARNING! Contains strobe lighting and wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey stuff.

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Monday, June 28, 2010

Moffat on Moffat

I love hearing writers talk about their craft and one of the most articulate (and most frequently on the telly talking about his stuff at the moment) is Steven Moffat. If you're like me then I think you'll enjoy this offering, filmed by Moffat's son.

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Abaddon Books' Pax Britannia Podcast

On Thursday I headed over to Oxford, specifically to the Abaddon Books dungeon, to record next month's (or maybe it was this month's) Abaddon/Solaris podcast. This time the focus is on the Pax Britannia line, so I found myself answering various questions about the genesis of the series and my thoughts about steampunk in general.

Al Ewing was also there, as the only other author to have contributed to the Pax Britannia line to date. Al, Jon Oliver (Abaddon's editor-in-chief) and I had a great time recording the interview (and adding a couple of Jackanory-style extract readings); I only hope there was enough usable material to create something that can be posted on iTunes.

Al Ewing - Abaddon's Mr Sex
(don't ask)

M.C. and Abaddon Overlord Jon Oliver

We certainly managed to fill the interrogation chamber with our 'Geek miasma' (as Jon O put it) and it was great to hear about Al's plans for El Sombra, Doc Thunder and the world of Pax Britannia.

Al and I and the whole of the Abaddon editorial team were then released - blinking, into the light - to take some sustenance and discuss the future of PB - which included mention of heat rays, Andy Warhol and howling commandos. It was great to catch up with Jon, Jenni and David and a discussion with Al (whilst giving him a lift to the station) about dinosaurs and King Arthur gave my creative gears the kick they needed for another future project.

Where the magic happens... Jenni, Jon and David mastermind the Abaddon/Solaris takeover of the publishing world

As you can see, much important thinking took place on Thursday

The latest Pax Britannia novel Blood Royal is out now, while Al's Gods of Manhattan is out in July. To get an idea of just how good this book is, you should read editor Jenni's blog-spurge here, on the Abaddon news page.

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Friday, June 18, 2010

The (First) Ulysses Quicksilver Omnibus

So, as regular readers of this blog will already be aware, this Christmas sees the publication of The Ulysses Quicksilver Omnibus.

I have been asked by my editor to provide an introduction to the book - so what do you want to know about Ulysses Quicksilver, the creation of the world of Pax Britannia, or the books themselves?

Over to you...

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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Scottish Miscellany - four months and counting...

I can hardly believe it's only about four months now until my next non-fiction title - Scottish Miscellany - is published by Skyhorse Publishing.

If you liked What is Myrrh Anyway? (a.k.a. Christmas Miscellany in the States) then you'll love this book too. From Scottish culture to the ancient history of the country to modern pastimes, this book has all this and more.

Find out why the thistle is the floral emblem of Scotland, how Scotch whisky is made, why the Scots celebrate Hogmanay, how to play the bagpipes, and much more. This delightful book is the perfect gift for anyone planning a visit to Scotland, with an interest in Scottish history, or a drop of Scottish blood.

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Legends of the Space Marines - The Relic

Legends of the Space Marines, the latest 40K short story anthology, is going down a storm, and one of the stories published within is my story The Relic.

It focuses on a pair of Space Marine Dreadnoughts, one of them - the Black Templar Brother Jarold - being one of my most popular creations, it would seem.

Anyway, talking of Dreadnoughts, I came across this the other day on Graham McNeill's Weblog and thought I'd share it with you.

That's right, it's a space marine ready for insertion into a Dreadnought sarcophagus. How cool is that?

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Monday, June 14, 2010

On axe, Zombie Executioner!

The other day, Tiago Perretto (over on the Yahoo Fighting Fantasy group) posted about how much he enjoyed Night of the Necromancer.

One of his comments struck me in particular:

The Zombie Executioner, not only is a fine name for a band, but he also could be playing that axe like a guitar.

That got me thinking, so here's a promotional flyer for Zombie Executioner's first release!

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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Blood Royal is here!

Blood will out!

Magna Britannia reels from the events that saw some of its citizens mutated into hideous insect hybrids. The streets are awash with rumours of a twisted new religion created from the destruction surrounding St Paul's Cathedral. In Europe, the spectre of war rears its ugly head, a war fought by unnatural beings. In the centre of the chaos, hero of the Empire, Ulysses Quicksilver, must maintain his calm, while madness reigns and he fights to protect civilisation itself. From the insect-haunted streets of a shattered London, to the cold snowy wastes of Russia, Ulysses finds himself on an adventure into the heart of a dark and bloody empire.

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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Star Trek - Lethal Atmosphere

I know I shouldn't find this funny... but I do.

And then there's this...

And this...

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Monday, June 7, 2010

UK Games Expo 2010

I had a very enjoyable weekend up in Birmingham at the 2010 UK Games Expo. This was my first visit, and I was taken aback by the size and accomplishment of the event. As well as the expected traders, demo games and tournaments, there were no less than three Daleks, three different Doctors, stormtroopers and Darth Vadar, as well as Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone!

In fact, Fighting Fantasy had a notable presence at the event. Not only was there an FF stand, hosted by Wizard Books, and the aforementioned Jackson and Livingstone, there were also fans, old and new, by the score, and me. And best of all, the cover of the programme was Emerson Tung's glorious painting of the Eye of the Storm from Stormslayer! That gave me a real buzz, I can tell you.

One of the highlights of the weekend was the talk on Saturday give by Steve and Ian about the history of Games Workshop and Fighting Fantasy. It was very amusing and not only because of all the photos from the 70s. I even got an honourable mention and a round of applause - which was nice.

Steve Jackson, Ian Livingstone and their stalker (at least that's how it appeared in some of the other photos).

The crowds waiting to meet Steve and Ian (the queue went out the door!) whilst Gav Thorpe and Alessio Cavatore sign too.

FF editor Nick Sidwell proudly displaying his wares.

His wares - the brand-spanking-new FF gamebooks!

I also caught up with Ralph Horsley (who I collaborated with a couple of times back in the day), chatted jungle maintenance and work avoidance tactics with Gav Thorpe, and met Alessio Cavatore who was there promoting his new board game Shuuro (which I heard a punter describe as 'Chesshammer').

Ralph Horsley surrounded by his phenomenal body of (vibrantly colourful) work.

Alessio demonstrates Shuuro.

So all that remains now is for me to thank all those who organised the weekend (Tony and his team), everyone who dropped by and said "Hi!" and let me deface their new books, and Nick Sidwell, the FF editor, who manned the stand all weekend, doing sterling work, and who scored me a pass for the event.

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V is for Vapid

What is it about the letter 'V'? Or, more specifically, what is it about Doctor Who and the letter 'V'?

I am talking, of course, about the new series and the - shall we say - bad apples in the barrel. Victory of the Daleks - didn't live up to the potential. Vampires in Venice - tedious, inconsistent, re-treading the same old vampiric trash. Vincent and the Doctor - schmaltzy.

Thank goodness next week's episode is called The Lodger - although, judging by the trailer, it could go the way of Fear Her, and (to top it all) it's got James Corden in it.

But the weaker episodes only go to highlight what a fantastic show Doctor Who Confidential is, since in these instances the programme is still enjoyable, fascinating and educational, even though the programme it's based on isn't the best in the first place. So here's to Confidential!


Pax Britannia - Blood Royal

It's here, at long last! And here's the fantastic ad from the back of the current issue of 2000AD to prove it.

You can get hold of your copy of Pax Britannia: Blood Royal right here. So, what are you waiting for?

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Siege of the Necromancer is here!

The long-anticipated second Gamebook Adventure from Tin Man Games is here at last! So pop over to the Apple App Store and search for Siege of the Necromancer now!

To read more about the latest GA release, follow this link.

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Thursday, June 3, 2010

Ghosts of Manhattan

I should start this post by saying that I haven't read George Mann's Ghosts of Manhattan (although I do fully intend to read Al Ewing's Gods of Manhattan). However, this review made interesting reading.

Now to pick up on a few points...

Steampowered cars. Check. Golems. Check. A dank Noir NYC. Check. Twisted people. Check. Strange gadgets. Check...

And then there's this review, which has the following...

Ghosts of Manhattan is an unashamed homage to Batman.

Sorry, which book are we talking about here? Pax Britannia: Evolution Expects (published a full year before Ghosts) features the aforementioned steam-powered cars, a golems, twisted people, strange gadgets and is an unashamed homage to Batman. The only thing it's lacking is the dank Noir NYC setting.

Now, call me paranoid but...

Or perhaps it's simply a case of, great minds think alike... fools rarely differ.

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UK Games Expo 2010

Thought some of you might like to know that I'll be at the UK Games Expo 2010 this weekend, dropping by the Fighting Fantasy stand from time to time, and the bar as well, I expect.

You might also be interested to know that Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone will be there on the Saturday, signing books as well as giving a talk...

An illustrated history of Games Workshop and Fighting Fantasy

We are delighted to have a visit from Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone, co-creators of the Fighting Fantasy Books who are also exhibiting at UK Games Expo. Steve and Ian will be signing books and will give a talk about the Fighting Fantasy Books. After their talks they will also sign copies of Family Games: The Top 100

I'll also be there on the Sunday, so if you're around why not pop by the FF stand and say 'Hi!'

Maybe I'll see you there...

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