What Shall We Do with a Stylish Blogger?

So Stuart, over at Lloyd of Gamebooks, picked this fledgling blog for the above award. The award comes with the following rules:

1. Thank and link back to the person giving you the award.
2. Share seven things about yourself.
3. Select 10-15 blogs who you think deserve this award.
4. Contact these bloggers and let them know about the award.

1. Done. Do I need to say anymore? Oh, alright... Stuart is busy blogging about gamebooks and what makes them tick. Head over and let the man know what you make of his thoughts.

2. Seven things? I've not even sure there are seven things to know about me, but we'll give it a go.

1. I'm a huge fan of Doctor Who and have been since I joined the local fan club at the end of 1989.
2. My favourite colour is green.
3. I've not met a single person who hasn't described my taste in music as being rubbish. Pick a band/singer you hate and there is a good chance I'll like a song of theirs (as long as I've actually heard of them).
4. I'm a Liverpool supporter.
5. I've recently taken up karate (orange belt here I come).
6. Worked as a porter/chef in the UK and as an English teacher in Japan.
7. I'm a fan of The Goon Show.

3. 10-15 blogs! I'm sort of new to this...

1. Jetsam

That'll do.

Next post will probably be announcing the release of issue #6...

You Have to Start Somewhere

My "Editor's hat" is telling me this should really be an entry in the new "The Magic Quest" column, but I figure since I'm only going to cover a small moment in my journey as a Fighting Fantasy fan that I'm okay and won't have to growl at myself for giving it all away on this blog.

City of Thieves was my first encounter with the Fighting Fantasy series, having been allowed to pluck it from the local bookshop (now a shoe store) shelf in January 1987 for my birthday. Presumably I must have been eyeing up the books before then, otherwise I'm unsure as to why I would have picked the book. 1987 would also be the year I started buying the Target Doctor Who novelisations, but that is a whole different story... Those were great days, with this huge display shelf full of books seemingly aimed at me filled to the brim with Doctor Who, Fighting Fantasy, Lone Wolf etc.

So, book in hand, I entered the world of Titan and like so many others was quickly enamoured of the artwork of Iain McCaig. The nubile body of the Serpent Queen had an interesting (!) effect on my young male mind, as did the fetching Vampiress elsewhere in the book, and I spent forever at school scribbling away on pieces of paper fruitlessly trying to replicate McCaig's mastery of skulls (evidence of my failure to master them myself is easily seen in my art for Resurrection of the Dead in issue #1). I assume it is because art so immediately grabs one's attention that I tried my hand at that first, as I don't recall any attempts to pen my own adventures at this stage.

The adventure itself was played repeatedly, over and over again. If I recall correctly it was the Hag's hair that eluded me for the longest time till I finally found that entrance to the sewer. Of course, then I needed a Potion of Mind Control... Suffice it to say, the book didn't survive the year. Having been so well loved and read, and its poor spine so utterly creased (which happens when you need to lay the book flat to write on the Adventure Sheet), the book fell apart into chunks. I employed sticky tape to prolong the life of the book, but, after limping along on such life support for a few more months, I finally conceded that the book was indeed beyond salvation. Luckily, I was given a new copy of the same book exactly a year after the first, for the following birthday. It was time to slay Zanbar Bone all over again...

The Wall of Books

Ah, time for a post to reveal just how much of a fan collector I am (although this is probably nothing on Jamie's collection).

Top row: The Warlock of Firetop Mountain (wraparound cover - 1st edition); Puffin #1~7 (coloured star versions); Puffin #1~24 (zig-zag versions) with a second copy of The Citadel of Chaos with the Ian Miller cover and a copy of House of Hell without the excised illustration. There follows Puffin books #5, 6, 8~21 (Golden Dragon versions with number on front cover).

Second row: Golden Dragon with number cover versions continues with books #22~36; then the Puffin versions with no numbers in the Golden Dragon format with books #4, 7, 10, 13, 15, 21, 24, 27, 30, 37~39; then the Golden Dragon versions with the number only on the spine for books #1~3, 7, 9~12, 15, 16, 18~24, 26, 28~30.

Third row: The Puffin Golden Dragon number only spine versions continue with books #31, 33, 35~51 along with a second version of Master of Chaos with the map by Leo Hartas. The comes the final Puffin editions which are the Golden Dragon format without the foil for which I have books #1~4, 10~14, 17, 22, 24, 33, 42, 44, 46~58.

Fourth row: The final Puffin book Curse of the Mummy; followed by the Clash of the Princes box set; the coloured star and Golden Dragon with foil versions of Fighting Fantasy – The Role-playing Game; and the zig-zag version of The Riddling Reaver. The follows Wizard Books versions from "Series 1" beginning with the "Sample Version" of The Warlock of Firetop Mountain; and continuing with the "Standard Editions" of books #1~6, 8~10, 15, 17, 20, 21, 26; then the "Special Editions" of books #3~12, 16, 18, 19, 22~29; and then the 25th Anniversary Edition of The Warlock of Firetop Mountain. The row ends with the foil version of the first three novels from Puffin.

Bottom row: The UK versions of all 4 Adventures of Goldhawk and the US version of book #2 The Demon Spider; then the 10th Anniversary Yearbook; the Sorcery! boxset of The Shamutanti Hills and The Sorcery Spell Book; followed by the "coloured triangle" version of The Shamutanti Hills and the edition of the Spell Book that was sold seperately; with the zig-zag versions of all 4 Sorcery! books next. There follows the B5-sized versions of Out of the Pit and Titan and the three Advanced Fighting Fantasy books (the first two being the foil versions). My only novel from The Zagor Chronicles quartet is next along with the Deathtrap Dungeon Card Game. Then is the Wizard Books "Series 2" editions of which I have books #1~9, 11~16. Winding up this post and the final row is the paperback and hardback versions of The Tasks of Tantalon, the A4-sized editions of Out of the Pit and Titan and Warlock magazine issues #1~13.
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