Monday, 6 August 2012

A pint with some bloke called Ian

So, this Saturday there was a book signing at Forbidden Planet in London. A new Fighting Fantasy book called Blood of the Zombies was being launched, and the author, Ian Livingstone, was coming to sign copies at 3pm. Having no idea as to how crowded it would be, I resolved to show up at least an hour early, and therefore arrived at Forbidden Planet at 2:20. This turned out to be good timing, however, as minutes later Ian arrived. It was still fairly quiet and no-one else was approaching him, so I wandered over and said hello. As he shook my hand I nervously gibbered something about being a lifelong fan, and he asked me what the first FF book I ever read was. I immediately reverted to the persona of the excited 11 year old I was when I first opened the pages of House of Hell, and enthused about how wonderful it was that FF was back on the shelves. He mentioned that he recently saw Steve Jackson and he was trying to get him on board for another gamebook project - maybe 'the 40th anniversary'! Eventually a member of staff showed up to save Ian and ushered him into a back room for pre-signing stuff.

A queue soon began to form, so I grabbed my copy of Blood of the Zombies and joined it, looking for familiar faces. Before long I spotted Stuart Lloyd joining in. By the time I reached the front of the queue I had composed myself enough to ask Ian a couple of questions about the new book, relating to the decision to do away with SKILL and LUCK. He replied that he had tweaked the combat system to make it quicker, because 'people don't have time for combat' any more. Personally I don't mind dice-rolling, but I understand the sentiment. He stated that BotZ is easier to play, but tougher to win. If it's tough than Trial of Champions it's going to be a very long blog entry when it comes to that particular playthrough...

After the signing I was able to have a chat with Stuart (@slloyd14), Jamie Fry ('The Warlock' - @fightingfantasy) and creator of Tin Man Games, Neil Rennison (@TinManGames). We headed to the pub for a quick drink, and were delighted when Ian joined us for a swift half. All in all it was a great afternoon!

I haven't had a chance to play Blood of the Zombies yet, but I doubt I'll have the willpower to wait until I get that far by playing the books in order...


  1. Here's to a great weekend :)

  2. Talk about a successful luck test! I would give half my inventory to have a pint with Ian Livingstone. :)