Sunday, 20 January 2013

The Six Rules of Steampunk Fashion

Everyone's gone Steampunk mad since an IBM supercomputer decided that the retro-futuristic Victorian-inspired science-fiction sub-genre is The Next Big Thing.

If you've ever considered dressing as a character from one of my Pax Britannia steampunk stories, then you should check out these Six Rules of Steampunk Fashion.

Friday, 18 January 2013

Steampunk - the genre to watch!

At least according to an IBM number-crunching supercomputer it is.

"Retailers attending the National Retail Federation Convention in New York yesterday (Jan. 14) got an ear-load, and eye-load, from researchers about the next big trend steaming toward the retail industry. Based on an analysis of more than half a billion public posts on message boards, blogs, social media sites and news sources, IBM predicted that ''steampunk" will be the next major trend to bubble up and take hold of the retail industry."

You may have heard that I've done my bit to promote steampunk culture, via the medium of action-packed page-turning novels.

You can find out more here (on the Abaddon Books blog) or here. And you can peruse all my Pax Britannia steampunk titles here.

A number of you have been asking what's next from me steampunk-wise. Well last week I received my author copies of Resurrection Engines (a steampunk anthology I feature in), I've got a new Spring-Heeled Jack steampunk story coming out this year, and at least three other steampunk-related projects in the offing - if not four actually, now I come to think about it.

So keep your articulating monocle focused on this spot or, to put it another way, watch this space...

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Steampunk Thursday: Resurrection Engines

So, these arrived on Tuesday in the post...

Resurrection Engines - a steampunk reinvention of classic novels of the past, edited by Scott Harrison. My contribution to the anthology is a short story called There Leviathan, which gives a steampunk twist to the great American novel Moby Dick.

Featuring stories by Alison Littlewood, Adam Roberts, Kim Lakin-Smith and Cavan Scott (as well as Yours Truly), you can pick up your own copy of Resurrection Engines here.

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Who's a pretty boy then?

Can't wait to tell you more about this current work in progress - a work in progress by Herr Doktor!

Monday, 7 January 2013

The YOU ARE THE HERO Kickstarter - The Aftermath

I feel strange today. Slightly bereft. My email inbox is missing those 'New Backer Alert!' messages.

That's right, today I'm on the come down from running my first ever Kickstarter project.

YOU ARE THE HERO - A History of Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks - achieved funding at 3.02pm GMT yesterday, Sunday 6 January. It had been a crazy, stressful month, during which it felt like I did very little other than promote and run my Kickstarter. And it probably felt like that for a lot of other people too. But at the end of the day, the project funded. All I have to do now is write the book!

Thank you to YOU if you pledged your support, or retweeted my messages, or blogged about the project, mentioned it on message boards, interviewed me, allowed me to guest post on your blog...

I learnt a lot from the experience - not all of it good* - and made new friend and contacts - which is always good!

  • The project ended up with 449 backers overall who pledged, on average, £47.71 - which was just under the VAMPIRE pledge level of £50.

  • Almost a third of the money raised came directly through people checking out Kickstarter.

  • A total of 2,278 people watched the Kickstarter video, which means that in the end, just under 20% of those people actually backed the project. (1,289 people also 'Liked' the project on Facebook.)

  • The three most profitable days (in decreasing order) were Day 1 (£1,971**), Day 3 (£1,579) and Day 25 (£1,536).

  • As predicted, the most popular pledge level was TROLL (£25 for a copy of the book) and second was CYCLOPS (£30 for a copy of the book but with a dedication in the acknowledgements),

  • 44 people backed at the MINOTAUR level (£100 for a copy of the book signed by Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone, as well as myself, and various other accessories).

  • A total of 10 fans will be interviewed for the book and five of them will be going for lunch with Steve, Ian and myself.

So what will happens now? Well after I've had a little lie down, I need to arrange further interviews and then get back to collating information for the book.

If you pledged but forgot to add post and packing, you can now do so via the Paypal button at the top of the sidebar on the right of the YOU ARE THE HERO blog here.

One question remains... Would I do it again?

Yes, I would!

In fact, I'm already planning my next Kickstarter, and have ideas for one or two I'd like to run after that. But don't worry, I'm going to leave you all in peace for a month or so... Well, a couple of weeks at least. ;-)

* I've never been accused of spamming before but I've made up for it now. More than once, too, unfortunately!

** Bizarrely (and entirely coincidentally I am sure) 1971 is the year I was born.

Sunday, 6 January 2013

YOU ARE THE HERO has funded on Kickstarter!

At just after 3.00pm this afternoon, YOU ARE THE HERO - A History of Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks, funded on Kickstarter!

I have to say I am delighted and thank you to everyone who pledged and gave their support in so many ways.

I will post again in more detail, but for now I think I'm just going to collapse in a heap somewhere and wait for my heartrate to return to normal.

But the best news is that YOU ARE THE HERO is definitely going to happen!

Now I just have to write the thing... ;-)

YOU ARE THE HERO - 6 Hours to go!

It's 9.00am GMT which means we've only got 6 hours to go until the YOU ARE THE HERO Kickstarter comes to an end.

We've also taken the bold move of announcing a second stretch goal of £23,000 and if we achieve it in time, every physical copy of YOU ARE THE HERO will be a hardback rather than a softback.

So please do all you can to push this project to the last, and help make YOU ARE THE HERO - A History of Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks - the magical artefact all of us want it to be!

Thank you.

Read about YOU ARE THE HERO on the Forbidden Planet International blog.

YOU ARE THE HERO on The Trollish Delver.

YOU ARE THE HERO on Kicktraq.

YOU ARE THE HERO on the Fighting Fantasy Project.

YOU ARE THE HERO on Titan - The Fighting Fantazine Blog.

YOU ARE THE HERO on RPG Kickstarters.

YOU ARE THE HERO ends today!

The YOU ARE THE HERO Kickstarter ends at 3.00pm GMT today!

It's still not too late to back the project yourself - or to up your reward level if you've already pledged - so check out the YOU ARE THE HERO page today and help make this the very best book it can be!

Thank you. :-)

Saturday, 5 January 2013

YOU ARE THE HERO - 24 hours to go!

That's right, we're down to the last day of the YOU ARE THE HERO Kickstarter, which means there's not long left in which to make sure you're a part of history. The History of Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks!

Tell all your friends, blog about it, post on Facebook and Twitter, and make sure you've pledged to receive one of the unique rewards on offer. Oh, and don't forget to add the correct amount of postage. ;-)

See you again at 3.00pm GMT tomorrow!

Friday, 4 January 2013

YOU ARE THE HERO - 54 hours to go!

That's right, there's only two days left until the YOU ARE THE HERO Kickstarter comes to an end. If you've been umm-ing and ahh-ing about pledging (or wondering about upping your existing pledge) here why you really should do so today.

1) This is a once in a lifetime opportunity! YOU ARE THE HERO is likely to become a collector's item, even more so if it's signed by gaming legends Ian Livingstone and Steve Jackson (which is what you'll get with the MINOTAUR level reward).

2) The majority of the art prints available with the GHOUL level reward have not been available as prints before and will not be again!

3) The Adventurer's set available from the WEREWOLF level is unique to this project; it will never be made again, so make sure you don't miss out.

4) YOU ARE THE HERO is going to be the definitive history of Fighting Fantasy gamebooks. Imagine not only owning such a book but actually featuring within its pages. Well that's what will happen if you pledge at the DRAGON reward level.

5) For many of us Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone were childhood heroes, their books impacting upon and even shaping the course of our adult lives. So imagine sitting down for a relaxed lunch with the two of them, being able to ask them face to face about their experiences of writing The Warlock of Firetop Mountain, or about the early days of Games Workshop. Well that's what the WARLOCK level will get you - and there are still places available!

6) Iain McCaig is a legend in his own lifetime. He illustrated Deathtrap Dungeon and painted the iconic images of the Shapechanger from The Forest of Doom, the Bloodbeast from Deathtrap Dungeon, and the Lizard King from Island of the Lizard King. He was also the artist behind City of Thieves and Casket of Souls. And as if that wasn't enough, he created Darth Maul from Star Wars: The Phantom Menace! And now you could have him paint your portrait! (Check out the SAPPHIRE, EMERALD and DIAMOND level rewards.) Come on, you know you want him to. Besides, you only live once.

So don't delay - pledge today! And tell all your friends, and Tweet about it, and post on Facebook...

Let's give YOU ARE THE HERO one final push to ensure that it becomes the book all of us want it to be!

Thank you.