Gamebook store

Friday, 9 February 2018

Snakes alive!

It's here at last. The Serpent King's Domain, that is, seventh in the Fabled Lands gamebook series. This one takes you south of the Violet Ocean to Ankon-Konu and it's a whopper, slithering in at a juicy 1200 sections. Illustrated by Russ Nicholson, of course, and with a new cover painting by Star Wars and Marvel concept artist Kev Jenkins.

There are two editions. The large format (8x10 inch) paperback matches the original 1990s books and has the regional map in full colour on the back, as well as six special starting characters based on the principal backers of Megara Entertainment's Kickstarter campaign. The regular paperback (5x8 inches) matches the new 2010 editions, and the map is in black and white.

You'll find the map and six other starting characters, old friends indeed, HERE.

There you go, FL fans. And it only took 22 years and the invention of crowdfunding to get us here. Enjoy.




Both editions are also on Amazon's French and Italian and German sites. And all over the world; just search locally. Oh, and I know I always say this but it really, really helps us when readers leave reviews on Amazon. Even just one sentence and a rating. If you do that right now, you'll be helping to ensure there's a book 8 almost as surely as if you pledged for it on Kickstarter.

The image at the top of the post is not book 7. Well spotted. It's actually the cover of the forthcoming Italian edition of The War-Torn Kingdom, art by Shen Fei. You can see more, including the cover of the first Blood Sword book, on the publisher's website.

16 comments:

  1. Purchased and reviewed twice over. I was reading back over an old post and I saw a reference to you guys considering bringing out the original cover art as large posters. Is that an idea that may become a reality ever?

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    1. Those could be extras if we were ever to run a Kickstarter, maybe.

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  2. I have ordered a large format copy. Tremendous!

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  3. I've already ordered, received and am happily playing the softcover. I've also ordered the large format just to get that cool map. I'm currently waiting for the Kickstarter hardcover to arrive but my need has decreased from desperate longing to mild surprise if/when it ever gets here. It'll look nice on a shelf, but I have the book I really need/want. So, about Book 8...

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    1. Paul Gresty has lots of ideas and notes for another book, and possibly Jamie would pitch in on that one too. They'd have to figure out how to squeeze enough out of a KS campaign to pay Richard a fair amount for editing and playtesting, though; I think he pretty much did that and ran the campaign single-handed for not much more than a thank-you. That's devotion, but we can't ask him to do it twice.

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  4. The smaller paperback is already "temporarily out of stock" at Amazon UK - here's hoping that's temporary indeed! (The larger format still available.)

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    1. I've been furiously emailing Createspace (the print company) to get that fixed. Hopefully it will be back on sale in a day or two. I've also modified the map (which in the smaller edition is in black and white) to make it easier to read.

      Btw there's a downloadable hi-res colour map of the Feathered Lands on Spark Furnace - hit the link underneath the thumbnail version:

      http://www.sparkfurnace.com/fabled-lands/fl-extras/the-feathered-lands-map-for-book-7/

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  5. Fantastic news, Dave! I'm gonna buy it today - in large format, of course, as I'm a proud owner of the originals! Curiously enough, the new Italian translation hasn't been available on Amazon for some time, and I missed the first batch.

    I have one unrelated question, if you can answer. It's about the Italian edition of Blood Sword, soon to be published. We can't agree if Selentine is an adjective for the Empire and the people of Selentium, or it's the actual name of the empire and Selentium is just the name of its capital. Can you enlighten us? It would be great to not have errors in this new edition. Thanks!

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    1. Selentine is an adjective, Efrem. The empire is always called the Selentine Empire or sometimes, poetically, "Selentium" (in the same way that "Roman" and "Rome" or "Byzantine" and "Byzantium" were used). People in my gasomeone to say "the Selentines" when talking about the people, and "Selentium" or "the Empire" when talking about the political entity.

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    2. Autocorrect being auto-awkward there! "In my gasomeone to say" should read "in my games we tend to say"...

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  6. I received my copy on Saturday, and started playing it yesterday with a very high rank character that's already been through the other books. So far, I'm very pleased with it.
    I've noticed a bunch of people asking about book 8, but I'm rather curious about a book nine. I've played the fan made version and think it is quite good. Would it be possible to use any material from it if a ninth book ever were to be made?
    Seth

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    1. We'd have to talk that over with the author or authors of that book. Hard to judge as Jamie and I have avoided looking at fan-created content (except for the brilliant Pace's Journal) in case it influences us too much. Anyway, book 9 is some way off yet!

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  7. Hi Dave, I got The Serpent King's Domain two weeks ago and read through it. It is a great book and Paul is a strong writer. I would like to back Book 8 in the future and at a relatively high level. One comment - in my opinion, the fee paid to Kevin Jenkins for the cover of Book 7 was not worth it. It seems to have generated the most rancor during the process of writing Book 7, and in the end all we got was half the cover of the previous books. The only criticism of Mikael's that resonated with me was the money that was used to pay for the cover of Book 7 could have been redirected to the editor/writer/publisher. If, in the future, it comes down to having a Book 8 and cheap cover art (and maybe even no interior art) or not having Book 8 at all, I'd think most of the fans of the series would opt for the former. Anyway, just my two cents. I am enjoying the serious, mature writing style of Book 7. Thanks for reviving the series in its original form (gamebook).

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    1. Mikael's point was irrelevant. What he completely ignored was that we had agreed with Kevin in advance of the Kickstarter how much of the art budget would go to him, and we used his name and reputation to promote the campaign. To go back on that later would have meant breaking our agreement, and I was not prepared to stand by and allow a creative partner treated in bad faith that way. Mikael's opinion as to whether Kevin's cover was worth the money was not relevant, and stating it publicly was unnecessary and unhelpful. He then asserted that Jamie and I paid Kevin what we had agreed because he's a friend of ours, which is not true; I've met him once in my life, Jamie never has. We simply believe that if you promise to do a thing you should do it.

      Sorry, I'm not having a go at you there, I just wanted to clarify what really happened about that cover after all the accusations Mikael threw around. Certainly you're right that we would need to spend a lot less on art if we did a Kickstarter for FL8. A cover and map are unavoidable, and we'd need some filler art for layout purposes, but I'd rather see the money spent on the writers and editor. In the case of FL7, Paul and Richard had to work for peanuts and that's not acceptable or sustainable.

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    2. Thanks for the clarification. I apologize if some of the points you made were already public knowledge (I haven't followed this matter from the very beginning, though I did sense that there was a lot of unstated context behind his post). To be clear, the rest of his points did not seem fair to me, especially the public airing of grievances and general unwillingness to compromise.

      Agree entirely re: the writers and editors needing to be paid fairly for good quality work. And hopefully most fans feel as I do, that the writing takes precedence over art (which is always nice to have, but not critical in my opinion).

      Based on the way the fundraising went, an amount significantly higher than what was raised seems necessary to come close to replicating the full content of one of the books in the original series. This is sobering thought for people like me who have no experience in the publishing industry.

      Anyway, Book 7 is great and seems to exceed the quality of most Kickstarter projects in my opinion. I can tell that Paul put his heart into the writing.

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    3. I'm still baffled as to how anybody can fund a book via a Kickstarter campaign. I don't know how long it took Paul to write FL7. Probably four man-months at least. And Richard's editing didn't just cover spelling and grammar, he created an Excel sheet to test for game balance too. That must be getting on for another 6 man-weeks. And laying the book out and setting it up for print-on-demand -- well, I did that, but if you were paying somebody it'd be a minimum of two man-weeks. And yet most of the money raised in a book KS goes on paying print and shipping costs, so there's nowhere near enough to pay all those people a proper wage. Jamie and Paul are talking about doing a Kickstarter for FL8 but I don't see how they can make it work as anything other than a hobby activity. Still, I just spent an entire year writing and publishing a book that will probably make me about one month's income if that, so I'm not one to talk!

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