Thursday, 24 July 2014

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 Skiesasking 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?

Friday, 18 July 2014

A new review of The Ulysses Quicksilver Omnibus

This recently surfaced on

By chance I met Mr Green at the Frome Steampunk Event on May 31st. My friends had taken me there to amuse me - it did amuse me! 

I bought this book as something to read that night in the hotel. I could not put it down. I stayed awake in delight reading into the early hours to discover if my guess about the villain was correct - no I did not 'get it' immediately, but it dawned on me as I read onward. The whole reminded me of the adventure movies I used to watch in the late 1950's on a Saturday morning when I was a child. I loved it. 

Well done, Mr Green. I shall now look for the next book with interest. 5 stars!

If you're yet to pick up a copy of The Ulysses Quicksilver Omnibus, Volume 1, follow this link.

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Take Back the Skies, by Lucy Saxon

Take Back the Skies is the impressive YA debut of 19 year-old novelist Lucy Saxon*.

It tells the story of Catherine Hunter, born into privilege, who to escape her regimented existence as the daughter of a government official in the land of Anglya, cuts her hair, disguises herself as a boy and becomes Cat, escaping her former life by stowing away on board the tyrium-powered skyship Stormdancer. She soon learns that what she has been told about the world beyond the borders of Angyla is a lie, and that she is the one who possesses the knowledge that could bring a crumbling and corrupt empire to its knees, if only she has the courage to initiate such dramatic change.

So far, so familiar, but the plot that develops - whilst being overwhelmed at times by the will-they-won't-they relationship of then two young leads** and lacking tension at others - is something unexpected, rich in world-building detail, politically complex, and full of twists and turns that will keep the reader gripped right up until the story's dark denouement.

The book's Steampunk influences are clear but, despite all the different interpretations of Steampunk that already exist in literature, they are given a new spin here by Saxon. And to have such a book as your first published piece of work is impressive indeed.

Thanks to those kind people at Bloomsbury Books, I have one copy of Take Back the Skies to give away. To be in with a chance of winning it, simply answer this simple question.

From where did Lucy Saxon take her pen name?

Simply email me at with your answer, your name and your address and you answer be put into the proverbial hat with all the other hopefuls. The draw will take place two weeks today, on Sunday 20 July 2014 at midday (BST).

Good luck!

Lucy Saxon signing at the London MCM Expo, May 2014.

* Many reviews make much of the fact that Lucy is 19, and was only 16 when she wrote the first draft of Take Back the Skies. I can only put this down to sour grapes. (My own first book, Spellbreaker, was published when I was 21.)

** But then this is a YA novel.

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Atomic Bark!

A year and a half ago (on the 12th day, of the 12th month, of the 12th year of the 21st century) I appeared on the Atomic Bark radio show along with legendary graphic novel creator Bryan Talbot. Well the show has finally been uploaded to YouTube and you can listen to it here. (I appear at about the 12:40 mark.)

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Five reasons why you need to be at Fighting Fantasy Fest 2014

If you've not already purchased your ticket for FIGHTING FANTASY FEST 2014 - the world's first convention dedicated to Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks - here's why you should.

1) You will not only get to listen to the Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone, the co-creators of Fighting Fantasy, give a talk about the history of their gaming and publishing phenomenon, you'll also be able to get your FF treasures signed by them, and even hang out in the Black Lobster Tavern with them!

2) The Adventurer's Backpack goodie bag that is included in the price of every ticket is chock full of awesome merchandise, with many of the items being exclusive to the event, such as the limited edition Zagor miniature and the collectible convention programme - not to mention the bag itself!

3) There are a host of special guests coming to FIGHTING FANTASY FEST, including legendary fantasy artists Chris Achilleos, Russ Nicholson, Malcolm Barter and Tony Hough. Tin Man Games and Inkle Studios will also be there to talk about their latest FF and Sorcery! app releases, and Tin Man are even generously giving away a download code to all attendees. And on top of that Arion Games will be running demo games of Advanced Fighting Fantasy!

4) One of the highlights of the day will be an auction of rare - and highly collectible - items of FF memorabilia from the Warlocks' own hoard, including a pair of swords made to promote the Deathtrap Dungeon video game and now hard-to-find classic Fighting Fantasy computer games.

5) Quite simply, Fighting Fantasy Fest is going to be a unique experience. There has never been an FF event like it before, and YOU ARE THE HERO - A History of Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks is going to launch on the day. Just think, when FF is celebrating it's 50th anniversary in 2032, you'll be able to look back and say, "I was there!"

So click this convenient link and buy your ticket today. And don't delay! The first 100 ticket buyers will receive a copy of the extremely hard to get hold of 25th hardback edition of The Warlock of Firetop Mountain.

And if you have bought your ticket, tell all your friends about FFF 2014, via email, your blog, Twitter (#FFF2014), Facebook, Tumblr, YouTube, Instagram, or whatever your social media networking tool of choice is.

And hopefully we'll see you on Sunday 7 September...

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Fighting Fantasy 2014 - Official Press Release

For immediate release!

Fighting Fantasy Fest 2014
The first dedicated Fighting Fantasy convention, with Special Guests of Honour Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone, featuring the official launch of YOU ARE THE HERO – A History of Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks by Jonathan Green.

Sunday 7 September 2014 will see the first dedicated Fighting Fantasy convention take place at the DoubleTree Hilton Hotel in Ealing, West London. Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone, co-creators of the publishing and gaming phenomenon that is Fighting Fantasy, will be Special Guests of Honour at the event, where they will be joined by legendary fantasy artists Russ NicholsonChris Achilleos and Tony Hough. A highlight of the day will be Steve and Ian’s own talk on the History of Fighting Fantasy.

Fighting Fantasy Fest will see the official launch of Jonathan Green’s YOU ARE THE HERO – A History of Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks, along with an exhibition of rare FF memorabilia – including original artwork and other more obscure artefacts connected to the series – as well as trade stands, and an auction of Fighting Fantasy treasures. Arion Games will be running Advanced Fighting Fantasy role-playing game sessions during the day, while Tin Man Games and Inkle Studios will also be in attendance, talking about their digital versions of such classic gamebooks as Ian Livingstone’s The Forest of Doom and Steve Jackson’s Sorcery! epic.

Tickets for the event cost £50 each, and every attendee will receive an event-exclusive Adventurer’s Backpack containing various Fighting Fantasy Fest and YOU ARE THE HERO goodies.

“The success of the YOU ARE THE HERO Kickstarter project demonstrated that there is still an active community of Fighting Fantasy fans out in the world who would relish the chance to not only meet their heroes, but to get together and share their stories of battling the horrors of Deathtrap Dungeon or braving the perils of KharĂ© – Cityport of Traps,” says Jonathan Green, author of the History of Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks, “ideally whilst quaffing a flagon of ale in Port Blacksand’s infamous Black Lobster Tavern.” (The event will even feature a themed bar!)

Ian Livingstone, co-creator of Fighting Fantasy said, “It’s crazy really that it’s taken 32 years for a dedicated Fighting Fantasy event to take place!  But that’s going to make it all the more special. It will be brilliant to see old friends, artists, authors and fans again after all this time. I’m going to bring along some special Fighting Fantasy items that have never been seen in public before. It certainly will be a Return to Firetop Mountain! I can’t wait.”

Steve Jackson, who is famed for his Sorcery! series, said, “Amazing to think it’s almost 40 years since the first Games Day was held, at Seymour Hall and Baths in Central London. There was a great buzz at that event. Visitors – and organisers – felt they were attending a special occasion. I’m sure it will be the same kind of buzz at Fighting Fantasy Fest. FF celebrities will be there, dealers and memorabilia, game demos and a special auction of items from the Jackson and Livingstone personal archives. This will be an event not to be missed by FF readers. I’m really looking forward to it.”

For more information, or to arrange interviews with the organisers of Fighting Fantasy Fest, please email Jonathan Green at

@fightingfantasy @stevejacksonuk @ian_livingstone @jonathangreen @You_Are_TheHero #FightingFantasyFest2014

Sunday 7 September 2014  The DoubleTree Hilton, Ealing, London, UK
Artists • Panels • Book Signings • Games • Exhibition • Special Guests • Auction

Friday, 30 May 2014

Frome Steampunk Extravaganza II

Just a quick reminder that I shall be attending the Frome Steampunk Extravaganza this weekend, along with Archimedes the Steampunk Robot Parrot* and my various Pax Britannia books - not to mention my now legendary Steampunk Tombola and Book Lucky Dip!

You'll find me in the Cheese & Grain on both Saturday and Sunday, and I'll be giving a talk about my work, along with a reading from one of my books, on Sunday at 12.00pm.

If you're coming along for the weekend, do stop by and say "Hello!" I shall look forward to seeing you there.

* The original and still the best!