Thursday, 31 August 2017

The Auction of Firetop Mountain

There are just two days to go until Fighting Fantasy Fest 2, which will culminate with a cosplay competition and an auction of rare FF items from the personal collections of Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone.

Items that will be up for auction include various promotional posters, mint copies of rare Fighting Fantasy gamebooks, and rare Fighting Fantasy computer games.

If you fancy owning one or more of these items, you know where you need to be on Saturday...

Sunday, 27 August 2017

Happy 35th Birthday to The Warlock of Firetop Mountain!

35 years ago today, The Warlock of Firetop Mountain, by Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone, was first published by Puffin Books.*

In 2002 the book was published again by Wizard Books, with a special hardback 25th anniversary version being released featuring Peter Andrew Jones' original artwork.

And now, in time for another landmark anniversary celebration there is another new edition out from Scholastic Books.

Since 1982 to 2017 there have been board game versions and various eBook or computer game versions too - some of which will feature at Fighting Fantasy Fest 2 in six days' time.

But that's not all! 2017 also sees the release of the first ever audio drama based on a Fighting Fantasy gamebook - The Warlock of Firetop Mountain: The Hero's Quest - which will premiere at FFF2 as well.

1982 - 2017
May your STAMINA never fail!

* You can read more about the origins of The Warlock of Firetop Mountain in YOU ARE THE HERO - A History of Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks.

Saturday, 26 August 2017

One week to go until Fighting Fantasy Fest 2!

One week today the doors open on Fighting Fantasy Fest 2!

Featuring a host of special guests, including Guests of Honour Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone, along with the likes of Iain McCaig, Marc Gascoigne, Malcolm Barter, and Jamie Thomson, it is going to be a 35th anniversary celebration to remember.

There will be talks, gaming sessions, comics, a cosplay competition, video game demonstrations, signings, and all manner of traders. On top of that, Snowbooks will be launching YOU ARE THE HERO Part 2 at the event.

With so much going on, you might find it helpful to have a look through the talks schedule for the day, which runs across two strands in two halls.

It's not too late to buy your ticket and make sure you don't miss out on the Fighting Fantasy event of the year!

Friday, 25 August 2017

The World's First Fighting Fantasy Pub Quiz

... is taking place one week today, on Friday 1 September, at the New Inn, Ealing.

The inaugural FF pub quiz is taking place as part of a special You Are The Beer-o pre-Fighting Fantasy Fest 2 meet-up and with the aim of raising as much money for Prostate Cancer UK as we can, in memory of original Freeway Fighter illustrator Kevin Bulmer.

To take part, you don't need to have an encyclopedic knowledge of Fighting Fantasy gamebooks, you just need to be up for a laugh. There will be picture rounds, a true and false round, and a round called 'Trail of Champions'. Teams of up to four may enter and can be arranged via the You Are The Beer-o: Stout of the Pit Facebook event page, or on the Fighting Fantasy (and other gamebooks) Facebook group page.

To find out more, and to book you ticket, follow this link.

And hopefully I'll see you next Friday!

Saturday, 19 August 2017

The Book Launch of Firetop Mountain

With only two weeks to go until Fighting Fantasy Fest 2, we're counting down the days until doors open on the second Convention of Firetop Mountain!

As well as a host of guests, including Guests of Honour Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone, and Special Guest Artist Iain McCaig, all manner of traders will be there, selling their wares on the day - everything from role-playing games and fantasy miniatures, to books and audio dramas.

One of the books that will be on sale at Fighting Fantasy Fest 2 is Part 2 of Jonathan Green's history of FF gamebooks, YOU ARE THE HERO, which is actually launching at the event.

The book covers developments since Part 1 was published back in 2014 but also delves into the history of Fighting Fantasy on TV and radio, looks at bands and musicians who have been inspired by the world's premier gamebook series, and profiles a number of individuals who have a passion for collecting Fighting Fantasy memorabilia.

The book will be on sale on the Snowbooks stand, opposite Fighting Fantasy Fest 2 reception, while the new editions of the FF books will be on sale at the Scholastic Books stand, which is also where Steve Jackson, Ian Livingstone, Iain McCaig and new cover artist Robert Ball will be signing during the day.

There are still tickets available, and since entry is by ticket only, make sure you grab yours today!

Friday, 18 August 2017

Fighting Fantasy in the press again

Two recent publications both feature Fighting Fantasy within their pages. First there's the new issue of SFX Magazine, which has not only an article about the history of Fighting Fantasy but also a glowing 4 out of 5 star review of the Freeway Fighter comic.

And then there's Tabletop Gaming, which includes a plug for the forthcoming Fighting Fantasy Fest 2!

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Iain McCaig to attend Fighting Fantasy Fest 2!

Breaking news! Ace Fighting Fantasy artist Iain McCaig will be attending Fighting Fantasy Fest 2 on Saturday 2 September!

Iain first made a name for himself working on the Fighting Fantasy gamebook series, illustrating two classic Livingstone titles - City of Thieves and Deathtrap Dungeon - and providing the cover art for The Forest of Doom and Island of the Lizard King as well.

In 1987 he collaborated with Ian Livingstone again on the puzzle quest book Casket of Souls, and some of his paintings for the book were later re-purposed as covers for The Zagor Chronicles novel quartet.

Iain also worked with Steve Jackson, providing art for Steve Jackson's Battle Cards.

But 2017 has seen McCaig and Livingstone reunited for The Port of Peril hardback collector's edition.

Today, Iain is an internationally recognised and award-winning artist and one of the motion picture industry’s leading conceptual designers. His exceptional command of human anatomy, character, emotional expression and visual narrative make him on of the most sought after artists working in the entertainment industry today.

He has worked for Lucasfilm as one of the principal designers on Star Wars Episode One: The Phantom Menace, Star Wars Episode Two: Attack of the ClonesStar Wars Episode Three: Revenge of the Sith and Star Wars Episode Seven: The Force Awakens. His work includes the landmark designs for Queen Amidala and Darth Maul.

His other film credits include: James Cameron's Terminator II, Steven Spielberg's Hook, Francis Ford Coppola's Dracula, Neil Jordan’s Interview With the Vampire, Sony/Revolution/Universal’s Peter Pan, and Warner Brothers’ Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. He is also Co-Producer and Concept Design Director on Ascendant Pictures’ science-fiction epic Outlander.

Iain is rarely in the UK so if you are a fan of his work you will not want to miss Fighting Fantasy Fest 2! (Tickets are still available.) He will be giving a talk and taking part in a Q and A, and will also be signing copies of The Port of Peril with Ian Livingstone.

Other confirmed guests* are Steve Jackson, Ian Livingstone, Marc Gascoigne, Peter Darvill-Evans, Jamie Thomson, Malcolm Barter, Alan Langford, Tony Hough, Leo Hartas, Jim Burns, Pete Knifton, Andi Ewington, Simon Coleby, Robert M Ball, Keith Phillips and Jonathan Green.

The cast and crew of the new Fighting Fantasy audio drama The Warlock of Firetop Mountain: The Hero's Quest will also be there, as will the designers and developers of the FF video games Fighting Fantasy Legends and Steve Jackson's Sorcery!

* Health and work commitments permitting.

Saturday, 12 August 2017

The Audio Drama of Firetop Mountain

There are now just three weeks to go until Fighting Fantasy Fest 2.

As well as a host of special guests - including authors, artists and games designers - the event features a number of exclusives, such as the release of the brand new Fighting Fantasy audio drama The Warlock of Firetop Mountain: The Hero's Quest.

Listen to the just-released trailer for the audio drama here!

This brand new audio drama is brought to you by FoxYason Productions, whose previous post production credits include Warhammer, Stargate, Robin Hood, Terrahawks, The Avengers, plus over forty titles in Big Finish’s Doctor Who range.

The Warlock of Firetop Mountain: The Hero’s Quest is a 60 minute audio drama inspired by the very first gamebook in the Fighting Fantasy range:

"When a Warlock lays claim to the Dwavern caverns beneath Firetop Mountain, an Elven adventurer is sent to end his reign of evil."

The Warlock is played by Toby Longworth, probably best known for being the voice of Judge Dredd in numerous productions, or for his voice roles in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace.

The heroine of the piece, Vale Moonwing, is played by Rachel Atkins, best known for her voice work on computers games franchises such as Final Fantasy, Broken Sword, Dragon Age and Warhammer.

The hero of the adventure, Cassius Stormblade, is played by Tim Treloar, probably best known for playing the third Doctor in Big Finish’s Doctor Who range.

The production team had one key rule when producing this drama: they wanted to be absolutely faithful to all of the original characters and creations, but not spoil the gameplay of the original book for anyone who reads it afterwards.

Listeners will encounter lots of familiar characters, such as the Warlock, the Ferryman, the Minotaur, the Orc Chieftain and a pair of daring adventurers… but often in new and unexpected ways.

"Simply put, our goal was to bring the fantasy world we loved to life, with a new – but very familiar – adventure story," explains writer David N. Smith.

The production team will be at Fighting Fantasy Fest 2 to answer all your questions, along with Toby Longworth, who provides the voice of Zagor. They will be giving a short seminar about the production, as well as selling some advance copies of the Limited Edition CD, before the official launch on the 3rd September.

For further updates on the project, you can follow FoxYason Productions on Facebook. Pre-orders are being taken now for the Limited Edition CD and Download, which can be purchased at:

And, of course, if enough fans purchase this pilot episode, the hope is that a full series will follow. So, if you would like to hear more audio dramas based upon Fighting Fantasy gamebooks, pre-order your copy today, and help to spread the word!

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Freeway Fighter #4 released today!

The fourth and final part* of Ian Livingstone's FREEWAY FIGHTER is out today from Titan Comics.

Cover A, by Ben Oliver

This four-part mini-series has been wonderfully crafted by Andi Ewington (writer), Simon Coleby (inks), Len O'Grady (colours) and Jim Campbell (letters).

If you missed the Forbidden Planet signing that launched the comic, you can meet the creators Andi Ewington and Simon Coleby, along with Ian Livingstone himself, at Fighting Fantasy Fest 2, which is taking place on Saturday 2nd September at the University of West London in Ealing.

Cover B, by Simon Coleby & Len O'Grady

 Cover C, by Tazio Bettin & Luis Guerrero

Are you ready to meet the Animal?

The Animal, by Simon Coleby

* Unless, of course, the collected trade paperback of this first series sells well enough, in which case there could easily be more.

Monday, 7 August 2017

The Signing of Firetop Mountain

Last Friday, 4th August 2017, a number of the faithful gathered at the shrine to geekdom known as Forbidden Planet in London to beg audience with the masters of Firetop Mountain themselves, Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone.

As you can see from the pictographic images here (and the ones reproduced within the esoteric Book of Face) the signing brought forth all manner of fans, including those who first discovered Fighting Fantasy back in the 1980s and '90s and newer devotees of the gamebook cult. There were also a few familiar faces spotted among the hordes, as well as celebrity fan Matt Holness*.

If you were unable to attend the Forbidden Planet signing, the next opportunity you'll have to meet Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone will be at Fighting Fantasy Fest 2 in September, where Scholastic Books will be selling the limited edition, signed hardback of Ian Livingstone's brand new FF gamebook The Port of Peril.

* An actor best known for his portrayl of fictional '80s horror writer Garth Marenghi in Garth Marenghi's Darkplace.