Fighting Fantasy - classics reignited
Thirty-five years ago, before the world of computer gaming, Fighting Fantasy set fire to traditional reading by creating a series that made the reader the hero of every story. This classic series of adventure gamebooks is now about to be republished in 2017 for a new generation, along with a brand-new gamebook by Ian Livingstone for readers aged 8+, The Port of Peril (Scholastic). Future titles are also planned for 2018.
Almost 20 million copies of Fighting Fantasy have been sold worldwide in nearly 30 languages and the series has a legion of high-profile fans, including Charlie Higson: 'Before there were video games, before kids could get lost in the labyrinth that is the Internet, before The Lord Of The Rings films, Game of Thrones and the reboot of Doctor Who turned everyone onto fantasy and sci-fi, there were the Fighting Fantasy books. A new way of telling stories and in many ways the birth of modern gaming, these books captured the imagination of a generation of kids - and locked them in the Deathtrap Dungeons. It's great to think that a new generation of kids are going to be similarly captivated.'
Creative and entrepreneurial from a young age, Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone co-founded the iconic Games Workshop in 1975 launching Dungeons and Dragons and Warhammer in Europe. Together they then co-authored The Warlock of Firetop Mountain launching the Fighting Fantasy in 1982 with Puffin Books and becoming best-selling authors overnight. They went on to develop individual success in digital gaming, with Steve co-founding Lionhead Studios with Peter Molyneux and Ian becoming Executive Chairman and then Creative Director of Eidos plc. Both have also forged roles in education and the digital economy: Steve became Professor of Games Design at Brunel University and Ian co-authored the influential Livingstone-Hope Next Gen review recommending changes in UK ICT education policy.
Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone are thrilled to see their Fighting Fantasy series relaunched with Scholastic for the 21st Century. With appeal for fans of high-octane fantasy brands from Percy Jackson to Assassin's Creed, Fighting Fantasy gamebooks also spark ever-more important skills of problem-solving, critical thinking and creativity. The focus on the new editions of the series are for today's readers who respond to less traditional forms of narrative. Reluctant readers who often need a different gateway into books are also not forgotten. As Lauren Fortune, Editorial Director of Scholastic says: 'There is so much to appeal to young readers: the best monsters, the chance to create your own pathway through the story, the empowering, compelling set-up that in the Fighting Fantasy world, YOU are the hero.'
A glittering mosaic of a book . . .
After ten years of research and writing, award-winning historian, author and broadcaster Dr Bettany Hughes' Istanbul: A Tale of Three Cities is finally out this month. Described as a "glittering mosaic of a book", Weidenfeld and Nicholson will publish Istanbul in the UK. There have been major rights deals in America, China and Taiwan to date.
In Istanbul, Bettany Hughes takes us from the earliest settlement in 6000 BC to the present day - from Byzantium to Constantinople to Istanbul - providing a captivating portrait of the momentous life of this city. This is narrative history at its finest, and who better to tell this story than an author who has devoted the last twenty-five years to the vibrant communication of the past. A Scholar from Oxford University, her speciality is ancient and mediaeval history and culture, and she has taught at Oxford and Cambridge Universities and lectured at Cornell, Bristol, UCL, Maastricht, Utrecht and Manchester.
The reviews say it all:
A passionate retelling of Istanbul's history and its impact on the world today. (Financial Times)
A particular stroke of genius . . .The book is littered with historical echoes that are impossible to ignore (Richard Spencer, The Times)
Award-winning historian Bettany Hughes pieces together the history of Istanbul in a riveting biography of a brilliant, bloodied city. (Madeleine Keane, Sunday Independent (Ireland))
Istanbul is a visceral, pulsating city. In Bettany Hughes's life-filled and life-affirming history, steeped in romance and written with verve, it has found a sympathetic and engaging champion. (Guardian)
A major publicity and marketing plan is place for this spectacular book. Not only will there be a series of high profile events at literary festivals in the UK and abroad - Oxford Literary Festival, Hay, Chalke Valley, Edinburgh, Cheltenham, Dublin International and the Emirates Festival to name but a few - but Bettany will also be visiting bookshops across the country throughout January and February in 2017. Look out for the author talking about, and signing copies of, Istanbul at Waterstones Piccadilly, Blackwell's in Oxford, Daunts and many more, and listen to her on BBC radio 3, 4, 5, 6, World Service and Newstalk in the coming months.