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A 'coffee table' book celebrating 30 years of Fighting Fantasy, the publishing phenomenon created by Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone.

BREAKING NEWS! If we reach £23,000 before the end of the Kickstarter, then ALL physical copies of the limited edition print run of YOU ARE THE HERO will be hardbacks rather than softbacks! DON'T DELAY - PLEDGE TODAY!

*** The SPIDER reward level has been upgraded! Pledge an extra £10 and you'll now receive Tin Man Games' Gamebook Adventures 1-7 for your Mac or PC! ***

The £15,000 funding goal has been achieved so more new rewards have been announced! SAPPHIRE, EMERALD and DIAMOND.

*** NEW REWARDS ADDED including COMPANION, SPIDER, ZOMBIE, CHRISTMAS, QUICKSILVER and BLOODBONES! ***

2012 marks the 30th anniversary of the publication of the first FIGHTING FANTASY gamebook, The Warlock of Firetop Mountain, by Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone.

The Warlock of Firetop Mountain
The Warlock of Firetop Mountain

They didn’t realise it at the time, but Steve and Ian had kick-started a role-playing games phenomenon. YOU ARE THE HERO will tell the story of that phenomenon.

My name is Jonathan Green and I am a freelance writer with more than 40 books to my name. Among them are seven Fighting Fantasy gamebooks, including the critically acclaimed Howl of the Werewolf and Night of the Necromancer.

Howl of the Werewolf and Night of the Necromancer, by Jonathan Green
Howl of the Werewolf and Night of the Necromancer, by Jonathan Green

I remember picking up one of the very first copies of The Warlock of Firetop Mountain when it was published in 1982. Here was a book in which YOU, the reader, were the hero. You chose the course of the adventure, deciding which paths to take, which traps to risk, and which monsters to fight. I had never read anything like it before, and so began a life-long love affair with Fighting Fantasy gamebooks.

Earlier this year I wrote a piece about the history of Fighting Fantasy for SFX magazine. But the more I researched the story behind the creation of the world’s premier gamebook series, the more story I realised there was still to tell. To do the subject justice I needed to write a book – and so the idea that was to become YOU ARE THE HERO was born.

The Legacy of Firetop Mountain, in the SFX Fantasy Special
The Legacy of Firetop Mountain, in the SFX Fantasy Special

YOU ARE THE HERO will tell the story of Fighting Fantasy gamebooks, from the early days of Games Workshop right up to the present day, and beyond. I have already interviewed the creators of the Fighting Fantasy series – Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone – who are both keen to have their story told. In fact, Steve Jackson once said to me, "You are the perfect person to write this book."

I would like to point out at this point that this is MY project and Steve and Ian are NOT sharing in any of the profits from YOU ARE THE HERO. They are merely co-operating - and their co-operation is greatly appreciated.

Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone, creators of the Fighting Fantasy phenomenon
Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone, creators of the Fighting Fantasy phenomenon

I have also interviewed many other people who’ve been involved with Fighting Fantasy over the years. These include authors and editors – such as Dave Morris, Robin Waterfield and Marc Gascoigne – the artists – people like Russ Nicholson, Martin McKenna, John Sibbick and Leo Hartas – and fans of the series, such as New York Times bestselling author Graham McNeill, founder of Tin Man Games Neil Rennison, and author, actor and comedian Charlie Higson.

Charlie Higson and Ian Livingstone
Charlie Higson and Ian Livingstone

I want YOU ARE THE HERO to be something special, a book worthy of commemorating such an extraordinary achievement and the impact Fighting Fantasy gamebooks have had on the world. I want it to look like the kind of artefact you might hope to find in the Warlock’s own treasure hoard.

As a result the first print run of YOU ARE THE HERO will be a limited edition. The book will feature brand new, specially-commissioned cover art by Martin McKenna, as well as original artwork from the series, and a foreword written by Steve and Ian themselves.

Not only will YOU ARE THE HERO tell the amazing story of how Fighting Fantasy gamebooks changed the world, it will also cover everything from spin-off novels and puzzle books, to foreign editions, board games and video games. It will even delve into such areas as the gamebooks that never were, the myths and legends surrounding the series, and how Ian Livingstone’s newest gamebook – Blood of the Zombies – almost never happened.

Blood of the Zombies, by Ian Livingstone
Blood of the Zombies, by Ian Livingstone

Thanks to Kickstarter we have a once in a lifetime opportunity to create a book about the history of Fighting Fantasy. But now it’s up to YOU!

The more you pledge, the more impressive this book will be – with more artwork, higher spec production values and more content. I would love this first limited edition to be a hardback, and with your help it could be. But without your support YOU ARE THE HERO can never happen.

If you have any interest whatsoever in the British games industry, adventure gamebooks or fantasy fiction, then this book is for you.

Check out the rewards in the sidebar and pledge your support today! We already have a number of stretch goals worked out and some fantastic rewards are waiting to be unlocked, if the initial target of £15,000 is achieved. So once you've pledged your support, LIKE our Facebook page, and then go tell all your friends.

Only YOU can make this book happen, because, thanks to Kickstarter, YOU ARE THE HERO!

* * * * * * * * * BREAKING NEWS! * * * * * * * * *

YOU ARE THE HERO has entered into a cross-promotion with Arcana Agency: The Thief of Memories Deluxe Gamebook. Find out more here.

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

The greatest risk of all is that this project won't get funded, which means, quite simply that we will have missed out on this unique opportunity to tell the story of Fighting Fantasy on the occasion of its 30th anniversary.

Many of the original Fighting Fantasy artists have kindly agreed to have their work featured in YOU ARE THE HERO - including Russ Nicholson, Iain McCaig, Martin McKenna, Tony Hough, Mel Grant, Les Edwards, Ian Miller and Rodney Matthews. These people are professionals and, quite rightly, we need to pay them for the right to use their art in the book. And just imagine a book about the history of Fighting Fantasy that didn't feature their artwork... I know, neither can I!

I have a publisher already on board, and I have plenty more interviews lined up, but without your support YOU ARE THE HERO will not happen. So pledge your support today. Your reward will be our heartfelt thanks and (if you pledge enough) a beautiful artefact of a book will be yours.

Treat yourself, or a loved one, this Christmas and receive this unique gift in time for Christmas 2013!

FAQ

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    8 backers

    ORC - Thank you for your support in getting this project off the ground. YOU really are a Hero!

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    11 backers

    SPIDER - Receive a copy of GAMEBOOK ADVENTURES 7: TEMPLE OF SPIDER GOD digital gamebook app written by Jonathan Green and created by Tin Man Games. The app will be available in two versions that will work on PC or Mac. Tin Man Games will also throw in GA1: An Assassin in Orlandes and GA2: The Siege of the Necromancer! (Add this reward to any other simply by adding £10 to your existing pledge level.)

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    60 backers

    OGRE - You will receive a PDF version of YOU ARE THE HERO upon the book's publication.

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    CHRISTMAS - Receive a copy of WHAT IS MYRRH ANYWAY? EVERYTHING YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT CHRISTMAS signed by the author, Jonathan Green. (Add this reward to any other simply by adding £20 to your existing pledge.)

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    120 backers

    TROLL - You will receive one limited edition copy of YOU ARE THE HERO. (You may order additional copies of the book at £25 per book. P&P will have to be paid separately on all books at a rate of £5 for the UK, £9 for Europe, and £16 for Rest of the World, per book.)

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    ZOMBIE - Receive a BLOOD OF THE ZOMBIES poster signed by Ian Livingstone himself. (Add this reward to any other simply by adding £25 to your existing pledge and selecting this reward level.)

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    1 backer

    BLOODBONES - Receive a scanned set of the original illustrations produced for the Fighting Fantasy gamebook BLOODBONES back in 1996. (Add this reward to any other simply by adding £30 to your existing pledge.)

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    108 backers

    CYCLOPS - As Troll, but your name will appear in the acknowledgements section of the book, as a thank you for helping make this project happen.

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    40 backers

    WEREWOLF - As Cyclops, but you will also receive an Adventurer’s Gaming Set (2 custom-made YOU ARE THE HERO dice, as well as a YOU ARE THE HERO pencil, eraser and badge. You may order additional gaming sets at £8 per set.)

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    5 backers All gone!

    COMPANION - As VAMPIRE, but you will also receive a download code for the full Gamebook Companion on iOS!

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    25 backers

    VAMPIRE - As Werewolf, but your copy of YOU ARE THE HERO will be signed by the author Jonathan Green. (You may order additional unsigned copies of the book at £25 per book, or additional signed copies at £40 per book.)

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    2 backers All gone!

    QUICKSILVER - Receive a complete set of the Ulysses Quicksilver PAX BRITANNIA steampunk novels signed by the author, Jonathan Green. (Add this reward to any other simply by adding £60 to your existing pledge.)

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    7 backers

    GHOUL - As Vampire, but you will also receive a special Fighting Fantasy art print. Prints available to choose from include Martin McKenna’s cover art for YOU ARE THE HERO, a Deathtrap Dungeon illustration by Iain McCaig, a Bloodbones illustration by Tony Hough, and a newly-commissioned Russ Nicholson illustration. (You may order additional prints of your choice at £10 per print.)

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    44 backers

    MINOTAUR - As Ghoul, but your copy of YOU ARE THE HERO will also be signed by Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone. (We would like to make it clear that Steve and Ian are signing FOR FREE. The cost of this pledge level is to help raise the funds to make this book happen, with your support. You may order additional unsigned copies of the book at £25 per book, or additional copies signed by Jonathan Green at £40 per book, or additional copies signed by Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone as well at £80 per book.)

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    5 backers Limited (5 left of 10)

    DRAGON - As Minotaur, but prior to publication of the book you will be interviewed by Jonathan Green, by email, about your experiences of being a Fighting Fantasy fan. The answers you give will appear, along with your name, within the text of the book. (For editorial reasons, some of your answers may need to be edited or omitted. However some of your comments and your name will definitely appear in the book.)

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    5 backers Limited (5 left of 10)

    WARLOCK - As Dragon, but you will also enjoy a relaxed lunch with Steve Jackson, Ian Livingstone and Jonathan Green, at which you will be able to take part in a Q&A session, as well as listen to anecdotes about Steve and Ian’s careers in the UK games industry. (Lunch will be for a group of no more than ten fans and will take place on one occasion in London, UK. Travel is not included.)

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    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    SAPPHIRE - Artist Iain McCaig will produce one black and white illustration of YOU as a character in a typical Fighting Fantasy interior illustration (of Iain's choice). (Add this reward to any other simply by selecting this reward and adding £1000 to your existing pledge.)

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    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    EMERALD - Artist Iain McCaig will produce one digital colour illustration of YOU as a character in a typical Fighting Fantasy interior illustration, giving you the choice of a range of characters or situations. (Add this reward to any other simply by selecting this reward and adding £2500 to your existing pledge.)

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    DIAMOND - Artist Iain McCaig will produce one traditional painting, the subject matter to be chosen by YOU in discussion with Iain, and as long as it fits within the FF world, anything goes! (Add this reward to any other simply by selecting this reward and adding £5000 to your existing pledge.)

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Funding period

- (30 days)