Champion gamebook brand Fighting Fantasy celebrates thirty-five years of almost single-handedly fuelling global sales of “two dice, a pencil and an eraser” with a massive resurgence of interest in, and appreciation for, the series that adventured far beyond the ‘playground craze’ of the early 1980s.
In addition to a second dedicated Fighting Fantasy convention (Return to the Convention of Firetop Mountain, scheduled for 02 September 2017), the publication of a four-part comic adaptation of Ian Livingstone’s Freeway Fighter (forthcoming from Titan Comics on 17 May 2017), a vibrant new digital tabletop roleplaying game version of The Warlock of Firetop Mountain (superbly realised by the Gamebook Adventures team at Tin Man Games) plus the recently announced Fighting Fantasy Legends computer game (from Cheshire-based Nomad games), the year will also see the publication of an all-new Fighting Fantasy gamebook written by Ian Livingstone (currently an even money bet to be a sequel to either The Forest of Doom or City of Thieves). Jostling amidst this fantastically unruly horde, Jonathan Green’s companion volume to his ground-breaking tome of 2014, YOU ARE THE HERO: A History of Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks (Part 1).
Himself an author of seven Fighting Fantasy gamebooks – including Spellbreaker (1993), Knights of Doom (1994), Curse of the Mummy (1995), Bloodbones (2006), Howl of the Werewolf (2007), Stormslayer (2009), and Night of the Necromancer (2010) – Green, who currently occupies the role of Fighting Fantasy ‘Warlock’ or honorary custodian-historian, says that his companion volume comes five years earlier than anticipated.
“I always planned on writing an update of YOU ARE THE HERO for the fortieth anniversary in 2022 and so have been collecting material for that ever since the first book was published in 2014. However, so much has happened recently in the worlds of Fighting Fantasy, and I had already collected so much material, that the thirty-fifth anniversary seemed a good time to write a companion volume to the first one, rather than an update.”
Of the book itself, Green asserts: “In terms of layout and writing style it will be very similar to YOU ARE THE HERO, but the important difference is that it will feature all new material – twelve chapters’ worth!”
The proposed table of contents outlines chapters on the scribes, illuminators, sculptors, troubadours, curators, and masters ‘of Firetop Mountain’, plus sections on fanzines, computer game and other adaptations, broadcasting history, sequential art, and the first Fighting Fantasy Fest of 2014.
Legendary fantasy artist Chris Achilleos has come out of semi-retirement to paint the cover artwork for part two of YOU ARE THE HERO, and there are efforts underway to ensure that a full-colour A4 art print of John Blanche’s iconic painting of Kharé is also available to various backers. The Kickstarter offers rudimentary pledge levels like Ape-Dog (£1) and Dog-Ape (£5), all the way up to The Black Tower (£250) which rewards backers with multiple signed books and the myriad other glories of support plus a seat at the top table for an exclusive luncheon (consisting of homemade vittles and aardwolf joint followed by fresh bomba fruit, naturally!) with Fighting Fantasy creators Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone.
Launched on 11 March 2017, the Kickstarter campaign for the companion volume to YOU ARE THE HERO achieved its initial funding target of £7,995 in a little more than 21 hours. Since then there has been a concerted push towards various stretch goals, a number of which have been achieved. You can pledge your support to Jonathan Green and his impressive efforts for a few days yet – the Kickstarter closes this Sunday 02 April 2017.
GS Blogger: Paul Hardacre
Source: You Are Hero Part 2