GUEST BLOG Fighting Fantasy Fest 2014

With his You Are The Hero history book and the first official convention, Jonathan Green celebrates Fighting Fantasy game books!

This is a guest blog by author Jonathan Green...

I have been passionate about Fighting Fantasy game books ever since I picked up the The Warlock Of Firetop Mountain in a bookshop at the age of 10. It was that passion that led me to write my own Fighting Fantasy adventures, and ultimately to become a published author. So when the 30th anniversary of the publication of Warlock came around, I felt that I was in as good a position as anybody to chronicle the last three decades of solo role-playing game history.

The problem was that once I began to scratch the surface, and interview those involved in putting The Warlock Of Firetop Mountain together, I soon realised just how little I knew, and how much more there was to discover. So I set about planning a book on the subject – funding it via Kickstarter, the crowd-funding website – so that I might create my own homage to the life-changing, not to say world-changing, phenomenon that is Fighting Fantasy.

Once again, the story grew in the telling, with the book tripling in size to become a 100,000 word beast containing more than 400 images, including never-before-published photographs and original artwork from the series by such fantasy art legends as John Blanche, Chris Achilleos, Rodney Matthews, Russ Nicholson and Iain McCaig, all wrapped up in a brand new, digitally-painted cover by my sometime FF collaborator Martin McKenna.

With over 400 people having backed the Kickstarter project in the first place, and close to 100 authors, artists, editors and celebrity fans interviewed for the book, I felt that a fitting climax to the You Are The Hero story would be to give the book an appropriately fantastic launch, bringing together all those people who had helped make it happen. Just as with the original book, the idea grew in the planning until rather than a book launch, I was planning the first dedicated Fighting Fantasy convention.

Fighting Fantasy Fest 2014 is a way of saying thank you to all the people who have contributed so much to the Fighting Fantasy adventure over the last 32 years (as it is now) – a true celebration of all things FF. Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone, the co-creators of Fighting Fantasy, are Guests of Honour, and a number of those artists who illustrated the books over the years will be in attendance, including Chris Achilleos, Russ Nicholson, Tony Hough, and Malcolm Barter. Philippa Dickinson, who edited The Warlock Of Firetop Mountain , is going to be there, as are a host of people who continue to develop the FF brand, including app designers and role-playing game creators.

There is going to be an exhibition of rare and never-before-seen-in-public items and artwork, an auction of pieces from Jackson and Livingstone’s personal collections, panels and talks, demonstration games, signings, trade stands, and, of course, the official launch of You Are The Hero . To top it all, attendees will also receive a unique, event-exclusive Adventurer’s Backpack, containing all manner of goodies that are sure to become collector’s items in their own right.

Fighting Fantasy Fest 2014 is taking place on Sunday 7 September 2014, at the DoubleTree Hilton, Ealing, West London, and runs from 10.30am to 5.00pm. To find out more, and purchase your ticket for this unique event, simply log on to www.FightingFantasy.com . And may your STAMINA never fail!

Jonathan Green

Will you be attending Fighting Fantasy Fest 2014 in September? Book your tickets now ! Find out more at its official Kickstarter page , its Facebook page , and of course the Fighting Fantasy page itself. And look out for the book You Are The Hero ! Follow Jonathan Green, who regularly contributes to SFX 's Book Club , on Twitter .