Saturday, 27 December 2008

Seriously Steampunk... or should that be Cyberpunk?




GOT THAT? GOOD! Then , if you're sitting comfortably...

For a variety of reasons I didn't view the Doctor Who Christmas special The Next Doctor until this evening. All I have to say is, how cool was the CyberKing?

The colossal steam-powered clockwork Cyberman stole the show and the final segment where the CyberKing walks on London was amazing. And how much better was it better than previous years' specials which tried to shoehorn as many Christmas references in as possible (with the exception of the Sycorax Leader being defeated by a tangerine - that was cool)? This story was simply set at Christmas time in Victorian London and featured a much more subtle Christmas reference.

If you've not seen The Next Doctor already for yourself, you may want to look away now. If you have, then here for your delectation again is the Rise of the CyberKing.

Thursday, 25 December 2008

Have yourself a very steampunk Christmas

Merry Christmas!
Yes, Christmas Day is here at last, and hopefully some of you are waking up this morning to find that Father Christmas has left you a copy of What is Myrrh Anyway? in your stocking - or maybe even the latest Pax Britannia adventure!

I hope you all have a wonderful day and remember you can listen to me, Dom Joly and Danny Wallace deconstructing the midwinter feast on Radio 5 Live from 12 noon.

So we keep the olden greeting
With its meaning deep and true,
And wish a merrie Christmas
And a happy New Year to you.

(Old English saying)

Sunday, 21 December 2008

Christmas Past

There's more news from Abaddon Books of a vaguely festive nature. However, what's probably of most interest to readers of this blog is that the fourth Pax Britannia novel (and the third featuring dandy adventurer Ulysses Quicksilver) is all ready for a January release. And what's more, Human Nature comes complete with an original novella, especially commissioned for the festive season, entitled Christmas Past.

As if that wasn't enough to to save you from those post-Christmas blues, you can also meet me on 9 January 2009 at the Shaftsbury Avenue Forbidden Planet store in London, where I will be signing copies of Human nature from 6.00pm to 7.00pm. Maybe I'll see you there.

Thursday, 4 December 2008

JG Forbidden Planet Pax Britannia signing

The book's in and edited, it's gone off to the printers and the news has been made public, so I can now tell you that I will be signing copies of my latest Pax Britannia novel from Abaddon Books, Human Nature, at the Forbidden Planet megastore - 179 Shaftesbury Avenue, London - on Friday 9 January, from 6.00pm - 7.00pm.

Come along and say hello, find out what I've got planned for the future of Pax Britannia, and get your copy of this brand new steampunk thriller signed by yours truly or, if you can't make it, order your signed copy now by following this link.

I look forward to seeing you there.

Meet Radio 5 Live's Christmologist - at Acton Christmas Fair

I will be at Acton Christmas Fair, this Saturday, 6 December, from 11.00am until 6.00pm, selling and signing copies of my book, What is Myrrh Anyway? Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Christmas.

I will also be happy to (try to) answer your Christmas questions. And you can hear me doing just that on Christmas Day, at midday, on Radio 5 Live's Dom and Danny Do Christmas.
So, maybe I'll see you there.

Friday, 28 November 2008

The Ghost of Christmas Past

Has finally been laid to rest. Confused? Well don't be.

Today I finished writing Christmas Past, the exclusive short story that will appear at the back of Human Nature, my next novel from Abaddon Books. It's a traditional festive tale of murder, mystery and mayhem and features, of course, dandy agent of the Crown, Ulysses Quicksilver.

And what's even more exciting is the fact that Human Nature can now go off to the printers and be out in time for a Pax Britannia book-signing at the Forbidden Planet store in London. I will of course update you regarding this event, via this blog, as and when I details have been finalised.

So, watch this space.

Monday, 24 November 2008

News from Abaddon

The front page of the Abaddon Books website has been updated and features both Human Nature and Evolution Expects.

There's also exciting news from the Abaddon blog that 12 titles have already been commissioned for release next year, which is four more than this year!

So, if you're a fan of The Afterblight Chronicles, Tomes of the Dead, Twilight of Kerberos or Pax Britannia, 2009 is the year you've been waiting for!

Friday, 21 November 2008

Doctor Who Day at Ealing Library

Just to remind you... I will be at Ealing Central Library tomorrow, Saturday 22 November, taking part in their Doctor Who Day, selling and signing copies of my Doctor Who Decide Your Destiny book The Horror of Howling Hill.

(Did you know, over 100,000 Doctor Who Decide Your Destiny titles have been sold so far?)

I will also have copies of my new Christmas book What is Myrrh Anyway? available to buy.

You'll be able to meet a Dalek at 10.00am-12.00pm and 2.00pm-4.00pm, and also at 2.00pm author Nick Griffiths will be talking about his book Dalek I Loved You. There will be games, quizzes, and competitions to take part in as well.

So maybe I'll see you there...

Monday, 3 November 2008

Saturday, 1 November 2008

Ampney Crucis Investigates

Starting in 2000AD prog is a brand new Thrill, Ampney Crucis Investigates, created by the redoubtable Ian Edginton and Simon Davis. The two have previously worked together most notably on the Stone Island books, and it looks like we can expect more of the same gruesome goings on within a real world setting with the opening story Vile Bodies.

This is right up my street, with Davis' macabre and colourful art perfectly complimenting Edginton's unpleasant imaginings. After only five pages of strip and one teaser pic there's not much to go on, but I'm guessing Mr Crucis himself is going to be something of a Lord Peter Wimsey/Noel Coward-type character, and in some ways he already rather resembles Ulysses Quicksilver.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to more of this and am already (optimistically) hoping that there will be more to come after the conclusion of this opening adventure.

By the way, Ampney Crucis gets his name from an actual village in Gloucestershire.

Evolution Expects - the cover revealed

And a nasty piece of work it is too. Here, see for yourself...

Of course, when I say it's a nasty piece of work, I mean it's another fantastic piece of work from esteemed Abaddon artist Mark Harrison, but even I have to admit that the cover image is rather... well... unpleasant.

But that's nothing compared to what Mark's wife thought of it - and then my wife pointed out that I was the one who had come up with the image in the first place!

To find out more about the poor tortured soul who appears on the cover of Evolution Expects, you'll have to wait until April 2009, I'm afraid, when the fifth book in the Pax Britannia series will be released in the UK (the US release date is still to be confirmed).

And for those of you who've been paying attention to earlier posts, here's Mark's concept rough for the final cover design.

Friday, 31 October 2008

Whitby welcomes Gothic guests

If you have a thing for Dracula (or vampires in general), or you're what might be termed as a Goth, or you're even just a fan of the North Yorkshire fishing town of Whitby, you might be interested to know that this weekend is Whitby Gothic Weekend.

Having visited Whitby a couple of times myself, I know how much Dracula-themed stuff is available there on a daily basis and the place is certainly something of a Mecca for fans of Bram Stoker's eponymous blood-sucker, so God-only-knows what it's like at the feast of Halloween.

The reason I mention this event in particular, however, is because two-thirds of Human Nature (my latest Pax Britannia adventure, out in December) is set in and around Whitby. The majority of places mentioned in the book also exist in real life, so if you can't get there this weekend, why not wait until the book's out and then check out the locations mentioned in the novel? And yes, there are a couple of nods to Stoker's Dracula, of course.

Sunday, 26 October 2008

Where the magic happens

This week I travelled up to Oxford to meet with the guys at Abaddon Books to talk about all things Pax Britannian. I had a good chat with editor Jon Oliver during which we discussed the next Ulysses Quicksilver novella, and story arcs for the next (censored!) books in the series. We also met with head honcho Jason Kingsley and talked about a possible Pax Britannia (censored!)! It was an inspiring conversation indeed.

Where the magic happens

While I was in Oxford I also took the opportunity to do a little research for the story I'm going to be writing next - yes, I do research my books, you know - which took me to the Oxford University Museum of Natural History. If you've not been, you really should. It's an incredible building with some interesting exhibits, including one all about the Oxford Dodo. And even better than that, it is attached to the Pitt Rivers Museum (although that part closed until 2009 for refurbishment, as I only discovered when I got there on the day).

The main exhibition hall of the OUMNH, with a statue of the Prince Consort in view, along with the skeleton of a Tyrannosaurus Rex

The Gentleman's Emporium

If you fancy yourself as something of a Neo-Victorian dandy (rather like the hero of my Pax Britannia stories Ulysses Quicksilver), then you might like to check out the Gentleman's Emporium, to get hold of your own Victorian and Edwardian outfits.

The Gentleman's Emporium - authentic products and old-fashioned service.

Mysterious Malaysian Mermaid

Act One of the forthcoming Pax Britannia adventure Human Nature is entitled 'The Curious Case of the Whitby Mermaid'.

Well what you see here is a mermaid supposedly washed up in Teluk Bahang, Malaysia. Or should that be a supposed mermaid? Personally I've seen more convincing monsters on Doctor Who, but I'll let you make up your own minds.

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

A Gentlemen's Duel

A gentlemen's duel, with Steampunk stylings, from Blur Studio, who also happen to have done some work for Warhammer Online. Enjoy...

Monday, 13 October 2008

Expect the unexpected

Having put Human Nature to bed, I'm now preparing to get started on my tenth - yes, tenth! - novel, the fourth of Ulysses Quicksilver's Pax Britannia adventures and the culmination of the first story arc. (Yes, there is a master plan behind the whole thing!)

And it's not only me who's been getting ready for the next alternative history Victorian-esque action thriller; ace Abaddon cover artist Mark Harrison has as well. He's produced four cover roughs for the next book Evolution Expects (out April 2009), featuring three very different characters from the book.
The powers that be at Abaddon Books and myself have mulled over Mark's designs, throwing ideas back and forth, and have settled on one, but I won't say which one just yet. However, I can give you a glimpse of each of the four cover concepts. (Mark's comments spoken by the various characters had me in stitches!)

On top of that, Mark has produced a concept sketch for one of the characters from the book which is phenomenal - good enough to be a cover all by itself, as it stands! And in time I hope to reveal more here, but again, not just yet.

In the meantime, it's certainly going to help me when it comes to having some visual reference when I come to write the relevant sections of the book.

So cheers, Mark!

Important note: Abaddon Books, the Pax Britannia setting, all text and artwork from the novels are © & ™ Rebellion A/S and reproduced here with kind permission.

Human Nature is coming...

At 11.45pm Friday night I emailed my editor the completed manuscript of Human Nature - my third Pax Britannia adventure, ninth novel and twenty-first book!

But now it's Monday morning and it's back to work. There's a new novel to start, short stories to plot and pitches to write, but for the moment at least I'm basking in the warm afterglow of knowing that it's another job well done. (It also means that, come December, I will have passed the 1.3 million published words mark!)

Human Nature is out this December from Abaddon Books. You can reserve your copy here.

Saturday, 4 October 2008

What every fashionable Magna Britannian is wearing this season

Do you consider yourself something of a steampunk aficionado? Do you revel in the idea of living out the adventures of your personal steampunk heroes? Do you ever dress up as said characters? Would you ever consider doing so?

Well, if you would like to know more about steampunk fashion, why not pay a respectful visit to
Lt. Regan T. McAllister's Steampunk Fashion blog?

Thursday, 2 October 2008

What is Myrrh Anyway? Released today!

Yes, it's like all your Christmases have come at once - What is Myrrh Anyway? is finally released today!

It should be in all good bookshops now or, failing that, you can buy it online.

And in case you're new to this blog and wondering where the title of the book comes from, click the video link below.

Tuesday, 30 September 2008

New from LEGO - the Steampunk Series

I wish!

As a self-confessed fan of all things LEGO (especially the Xbox games) and steampunk, I think this is just superb!

All I need to know now is when the rest of the Pax Britannia sets are going to be released. ;-)

Monday, 29 September 2008

Steampunk Iron Man

Now, I for one loved this year's blockbuster Iron Man movie. It was everything I had hoped for... That is, until I saw this.

Now this is the Iron Man that I want to see made into a steampunk genre sci-fi actioner!

Sunday, 28 September 2008

More news from Abaddon

Abaddon editor and all round top bloke Jonathan Oliver has posted a comprehensive missive about the part he played in the recent Fantasycon and Abaddon's plans for the Twilight of Kerberos series. So, if you want to find out what red wine, red faces, Operation Motherland and a quartet of trilogies have in common, then click here.

What is Myrrh Anyway? Out this week!

Hark, I am the bearer of glad tidings, to you and all your kin. For lo, What is Myrrh Anyway? is out this week!

So that's all your Christmas shopping needs sorted, in one easy to read, easy to wrap book, that's the ideal size to fit inside your Christmas stocking!

What is Myrrh Anyway? hits the shops this Thursday, but you can already order it online at Amazon.

Ho, ho, ho.

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Evolution Expects

I've been dropping hints for a while now (some more subtle than others) but, as of today, I can exclusively reveal that the fifth book in Abaddon's Pax Britannia line is to be Evolution Expects, the fourth Ulysses Quicksilver adventure and the concluding novel of the first UQ story arc.

There's no front cover image yet, but here's the blurb I've written for the back cover of the book.

After more than 150 years as the supreme power on the planet, the British Empire has become a corpulent, stagnating monster. At its heart lies Londinium Maximum, a city festering under a near-permanent cloud of noxious smog. More than ever before, the realm of Magna Britannia needs a saviour – a man like new Prime Minister, Devlin Valentine.

But while London prepares for the launch of the Jupiter Station – the seeming answer to everyone’s prayers – there are those who want this longed-for change to come about more quickly; people who are even prepared to give evolution a helping hand.

None of this, however, is Ulysses Quicksilver’s concern. Back in London, after the horrific events that befell him in Yorkshire, the dandy adventurer has more pressing matters of his own to attend to. But when a deadly legacy returns, Ulysses finds himself drawn into that pit of madness and despair known as Bedlam.

A storm is brewing over London and this time – with a dangerous, masked vigilante stalking the streets, a monster from Jewish myth on the loose in the East End, and rival gangs fighting for control of the city’s underworld – when that storm breaks there may be nothing even Ulysses Quicksilver can do to prevent a catastrophic metamorphosis.

Don't worry - this may be the final story of the first story arc, but it's not the end of Pax Britannia, not by a long way!

Evolution Expects will be published by Abaddon Books in May 2009.

Steampunk is making a comeback - apparently

'Automata, clattering railway carriages, hansom cabs and 'pea soupers', gas lit streets and the doffing of caps, gruff policemen, mad scientists, arrogant industrialists, seances, pentagrams, addictions to laudanum and a few ravening zombies...'

Sound familiar? Well, how about this?

'Welcome to the bizarre and dangerous world of Victorian London, a city teetering on the edge of revolution. Its people are ushering in a new era of technology, dazzled each day by new inventions. Airships soar in the skies over the city, whilst ground trains rumble through the streets and clockwork automatons are programmed to carry out menial tasks in the offices of lawyers, policemen and journalists. But beneath this shiny veneer of progress lurks a sinister side. For this is also a world where lycanthropy is a rampant disease that plagues the dirty whorehouses of Whitechapel, where poltergeist infestations create havoc in old country seats, where cadavers can rise from the dead and where nobody ever goes near the Natural History Museum.'

No, it's not the latest Ulysses Quicksilver Pax Britannia adventure - it is, in fact, an entirely different steampunk extravaganza entitled The Affinity Bridge from author George Mann.

According to one reviewer, 'Steampunk is making a comeback, and with this novel Mann is leading the charge.'

Well, as someone who has been leading the charge since February 2007 (having first envisaged the world of Pax Britannia nearly three years ago, back in October 2005) I for one can't wait to read it!

Friday, 12 September 2008

What is Myrrh Anyway?

Much excitement in the Green househould this morning, as my author copies of What is Myrrh Anyway? have arrived. And for what started out as a relatively short stocking filler of a book, it's actually turned out to be quite a weighty little book on the subject of Christmas and its traditions.So if you've always wondered why Christmas Day falls on 25 December (and not the 15 Augcember, for anyone who's seen the new series of Harry and Paul on BBC1), or can't understand why Brussels sprouts are always on the menu for Christmas dinner, then this little Christmas cracker of a book is the one for you.

The book isn't officially published by Icon Books until 2 October, but it is available to pre-order over on Amazon. And you can discover more fun and fascinating facts about the festive season over on the dedicated What is Myrrh Anyway? blog.

Ho, ho, ho.

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

The Steampunk Debate

There seems to have been something of a revival of the steampunk genre over the last few years, driven, it seems, not so much by literary endeavours as other media altogether, from computer games (think Bioshock) and comic books (Alan Moore's The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and Stickleback in 2000AD), to film (Hellboy II has some fantastic steampunk elements to it, specifically the Golden Army itself).

This has provoked some discussion in certain literary circles as to whether, bizarrely, steampunk has had its day. Now looking at the list of releases from the last two years or so I would have to argue that the genre has never been more popular! In children's fiction you have Stewart & Riddell's Barnaby Grimes: The Curse of the Nightwolf and Catherine Webb's Adventures of Horatio Lyle, and of course Philip Pullman's Dark Materials trilogy, while in adult fiction there have been a number of reinventions of the Victorian world giving the Age of Steam an extra technological dimension, or fantasy creations that owe just as much to that period of British History.

There have been Stephen Hunt's The Court of the Air and The Kingdom Beneath the Waves, the books of China Mieville, and of course a whole new steampunk world as revealed through the books of Abaddon's Pax Britannia series. And now we have two forthcoming anthologies of steampunk short fiction, one from Tachyon edited by Jeff and Ann Vandermeer, and Extraordinary Engines to be published by Solaris this October.

So, to my mind, the steampunk genre has never been healthier.

And if you're desperate to find out what happens to Ulysses Quicksilver and his faithful manservant next, Human Nature is out this December from Abaddon, while next spring the fifth Pax Britannia novel will be published, entitled Evolution Expects. I know that I, for one, can't wait!

Friday, 22 August 2008

More news from Abaddon

Abaddon Books, publishers of my Pax Britannia series, have more news regarding releases from their imprint for this autumn and next year.

Click the following link to find out more about Arrowhead and The Light of Heaven.

The Big Science Read

The Oscars seemed to pass by this year with less of a bang than a whimper and now Britain is celebrated unprecedented medal success at the Olympics but, you'll be pleased to hear that once the dust from Beijing 2008 settles, there is still another awards ceremony to look forward to.

Launched at Jodrell Bank’s literary weekend, 13th - 14th June 2008, the Big Science Read is a campaign that invites you to explore, re-discover and get excited about science-themed books. Members of the public are invited to vote for their favourite science-themed read - any book that you have found life-changing, inspirational or revelatory in some way. The book can be either factual or fictional in genre, as long as it explores science or technology as a core theme.

Now, none of my science fiction novels appear on the recommended list (as yet) but it could be argued that the Pax Britannia series deals with some modern scientific and technological issues and certainly the first story arc is driven by a certain scientific discovery. So, in theory at least, you could vote for Unnatural History or Leviathan Rising to be on the final shortlist. ;-)

To find out more about the Big Science Read, follow this link.

Monday, 4 August 2008

A Steampunk Superhero

If you're anything like me, then from time to time you've thought that it would be fun to create your own superhero. Well, now you can - at the click of a mouse.
If you head over to you can try out their HeroMachine 2.5 software. You can choose the pose of your character, gender, hairstyle, companion, costume... pretty much everything!
So, in part inspired by the new Batman movie The Dark Knight and in part inspired by my preparations for the next Pax Britannia novel (that's the one after Human Nature), I would like to present Spring-Heeled Jack, a steampunk superhero.

But in all seriousness, I could see a tool like this proving very useful when it comes to creating new characters. You simply design their look using HeroMachine, print it out and then you have a consistent image to refer back to during the writing process. I know it will help me, certainly.

Monday, 21 July 2008

Ulysses Quicksilver and the mystery of the Fortean premonition

I was in central London on Friday to promote Match Wits with the Kids but managed to make time to visit my favourite store - Forbidden Planet.

Whilst there (as well as checking whether they had any of my books in - which they did) I picked up a copy of Fortean Times (a magazine I dip into from time to time). To my amazement, right there, slap bang on the cover, was mention of two things that I am combining in my next Pax Britannia adventure (that being the one after Human Nature, which I'm writing at the moment).

What are the chances of that? Obviously Ulysses Quicksilver and the Denver Space Cadets meet the Earliest Americans was meant to be!

Sunday, 13 July 2008

Work in progress

As any regular (or even intermittent) reader of this blog will know by now, I am currently writing the fourth novel in the Pax Britannia line, entitled Human Nature.

However, I am also plotting out the next novel after that. As you can see from the attached photograph I am going through my copious notes as I compose the novel synopsis.

I always find this a challenging yet exciting stage in the novel-writing process, challenging (and at times infuriating) as I struggle to fit all of my ideas into something that is in any way recognisable as a comprehensible plot, and exciting... for pretty much the same reason.

It's so satisfying when, as Hannibal Smith from the A-Team would say, 'a plan comes together' and I discover what's going to happen next myself. Then I get excited all over again at the prospect of extracting these ideas and situations that my imagination has created and revealing them piece by piece through the course of the novel.

The sharp-eyed amongst you may also get an inkling as to what the next book (due in 2009) is going to be about...

The Massive Match Wits Giveaway!

How would you like to have a copy of Match Wits with the Kids, signed by the author... and for free?

Well, if you would, then make sure you're outside the Department for Children, Schools and Families (Sanctuary Buildings, Great Smith Street, London, SW1P 3BT) between 8.00am and 10.00am this Friday 18 July 2008.

Icon Books are going to be giving away 500 free copies of Match Wits with the Kids and I'll be there to sign them as well. All those involved in the giveaway will be wearing Match Wits t-shirts and will be happy to explain why this is the most important book of the summer.

Match Wits with the Kids - a little learning for all the family!

Saturday, 12 July 2008

JG on BBC London 94.9

Tomorrow morning, Sunday 13 July (in case you're reading this any time other than Saturday night) I am going to be on the Sunday Schedule, with Lesley Joseph and Roland Rivron, on BBC London radio 94.9FM.

If you're able to, why not tune in at around 10.30am to hear about, not only Match Wits with the Kids, but also an event linked to the book that will be taking place in central London this coming Tuesday. You really don't want to miss this!

Friday, 11 July 2008

Unnatural History review at

Angela Schuch (a.k.a. SciFiChick) has posted a review of Unnatural History (the first Pax Britannia adventure and the dandy Ulysses Quicksilver's first outing) on her website - and very complimentary she is too. To read more for yourself click here.

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Abaddon Update

Over at Abaddon Books blog, editor Jonathan Oliver has posted an update regarding the delights that are soon to be forthcoming from Abaddon Books over the next few months. Al Ewing's I, Zombie gets a mention, as does Rebecca Levene's Anno Mortis. And then there's something called Human Nature, whatever that is. ;-)

Sunday, 6 July 2008

Human Nature

My next Pax Britannia novel Human Nature is now up on the front page of Abaddon Books website, along with a detailed blurb giving fans of the Pax Britannia series an idea of what to expect come December.

The Whitby Mermaid, prize exhibit of Cruickshanks’ Cabinet of Curiosities, has been stolen. But have no fear; consulting detective Gabriel Wraith is on the case. And he’s not the only one, for wherever there is a mystery to be solved, Ulysses Quicksilver is never very far away. What does the theft of what would appear to be a poorly-conceived fake have to do with the mysterious House of Monkeys? And what of the enigmatic criminal known only as the Magpie?

When Ulysses probes further into the case, he finds himself embarking upon an adventure that will take him to the industrially-polluted North of England and the fishing town where the curious creature was supposedly caught. But there are worse things awaiting him there than mermaids. The moors of Ghestdale are haunted by the savage Barghest beast, while in the abandoned mines beneath the Umbridge estate, impossible abominations lurk in the darkness, waiting. And yet Ulysses Quicksilver is about to discover that the worst horrors are those spawned by Man’s own selfish nature. Trapped within the very heart of darkness, with his body and sanity threatened, can he escape a fate worse than death with both still intact before one man’s insane quest for immortality comes to fruition?

To reserve your copy now, follow the link my own webstore at the top of the sidebar.

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Visit my new Pax Britannia bookshop

I have recently created my own online store, with the aid of Amazon Associates, so if you would like to purchase any of the books written by myself simply follow the link at the top of the sidebar, or click here.

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Clive Barker on fantasy

Anybody who has picked up an Abaddon Books publication or checked out their website will have probably seen this quote from Clive Barker already:

Well fans of the renowned horror and fantasy writer may be interested to read what he has to say about the art of fantasy here.