Civilization Battle Royale: The Novel – Chapter 2

Hi there folks, slightly early today on account of me heading out this evening during the normal launch window. Chapter 2 of the novel, for your reading pleasure. As always, the latest chapter is available over on the page for the project. Note that Britain’s clocks go back an hour on October 30th, so the next release will be at 18:00 GMT rather than BST.


Review: The Wheel of Time

Where to begin? There are no beginnings nor endings to the Wheel of Time. Summarising this was never going to be easy, but here we go. In Tolkien-esque fashion, history fades to myth, myth fades to legend- but because time is circular in the Wheel of Time, legend fades to prophecy because the age that gave birth to it will one day come again.

Our civilization will continue to advance as the wheel rolls on, our civilization one day discovering magic and entering into a period known as “The Age of Legends”, with unprecedented prosperity and peace for mankind. Ultimately the Age of Legends will end in catastrophe, with mankind discovering an imprisoned source of energy known as “The True Power”, breaking the seal on the prison and ultimately releasing the Dark One and his power into the world. In the ensuing war, mankind became scattered and divided, the very continents thrown apart and civilization left in ruin. The Dark One was ultimately cast back into his prison by a man known as the Dragon, but at terrible cost.

The survivors of this conflict were reduced to swords and hand tools- but retained a limited knowledge of magic. These last people attempt to rebuild the world with what little they have and their fragments of the lost knowledge from the age before- while knowing that one day the Dragon will be reborn, the Dark One’s prison will give way, and the world will be plunged into chaos once again.

For those of you who have yet to read the Wheel of Time, my my. The series started with the release of The Eye of the World in 1990, and rapidly evolved into one of the most detailed fantasy worlds in all of literature. The author Robert Jordan tragically passed away in 2007, leaving extensive notes for the final installments which would be completed by Brandon Sanderson. With the posthumous conclusion of A Memory of Light in 2013, the epic cycle was completed, and dear god is it a good read. One of the best series I have ever read, and a strong recommendation to any fantasy lovers out there.

Civilization Battle Royale: The Novel – Chapter 1

Chapter 1 of the Civilization Battle Royale novel is indeed out. now hosts up-to-date PDFs and eBook formats of the novel- you can read the whole book in one place for free over on the page for the project.

Civilization Battle Royale: The Novel

Finally, a big shout out to the mighty Dawkinzz, who has made an impressive audiobook version of the prologue! You can view that over here:

Personally, I found the audio absolutely amazing. I listened to it on my lunch break at work today, and found myself unable to stop grinning for the remainder of the day.

Site overhaul, first Civilization Battle Royale Chapter tomorrow


The first chapter of Civilization Battle Royale: The Novel launches tomorrow, hot on the heels of the prologue last week. From here on out, I’ll be hosting eBook editions of the full novel on here, updated each week. Ahead of this launch, I’ve redesigned the books page, inspired somewhat by Brandon Sanderson’s website- and my my, it looks nice.

Civilization Battle Royale: The Novel

coversmallGreetings folks. A new project emerges- I’m going to be handling the official (free!) novelization of Civilization: Battle Royale.

The novel will be posted online for free, chapter by chapter over the coming weeks. The prologue was launched Wednesday 12th, and you can read that here. From there we will do a chapter every Wednesday. For those who haven’t heard of Civilization: Battle Royale, it’s a simulation that has 61 AIs battling it out for global domination using all the economic, political, religious and military might civilization can offer, running on Sid Meier’s Civilization V. They’ve been fighting for over a year and are still at it- and now I will be bringing the novelization into being. Delicious politics, gritty warfare and all of the chaotic goings-on of our beautiful world.

Don’t you worry about this delaying my other projects like Tales from Aquis, those are still very much at the fore and have been racing ahead. I recently completed a full proof-read of Aquis, and have all kinds of juicy ideas bubbling up for that one.



Escalion Cover Breakdown


Thought you folks might enjoy this- a breakdown of how the wonderful Phanuchanat Chareonsap and I put together the cover for The Clouds of Escalion. It’s been about six months since the second book launched, and I’m still overawed by the cover sometimes.

Here is our process- from tiny thumbnail in my omnipresent notebook to loose sketches and eventually final painting. Slightly attached to that notebook- in addition to the cover sketches for Escalion, it also contains pages and pages of notes from editing Children of the Crater in 2013, the as yet unreleased Tales from Aquis and a whole host of other illustrations.

The Last Echo, and Just a Minor Malfunction

1708380905Hey there folks, some good news!

A short story of mine, The Last Echo is going to be included in the second issue of Ohio based sci-fi magazine JAMM (Just a Minor Malfunction). Over the last few weeks I’ve been tweaking the text, and my it packs a punch. The Last Echo has never been publicly released, until now.

JAMM #1 (left) launched back in May with contributions from a dozen authors, so I’m proud to be included in the second issue. #2 should be hitting shelves in November, I’ll keep you posted with more info as we roll forwards on that one. Keep an eye on the Indiegogo for the second issue over here as other authors are announced for the volume.

Review: The Stormlight Archive 1 & 2

So, I recently finished reading The Way of Kings (2010) and Words of Radiance (2014), the first two books of what will be a much longer series when completed. The Stormlight Archive is an epic fantasy series from prolific author Brandon Sanderson, a writer I admire somewhat for his detailed magic systems and mechanics.

Much of the books deal with a war taking place on the Shattered Plains, a huge battlefield crisscrossed with huge stone chasms. With armies marching from plateau to plateau over bridges, it leads to some really interesting tactics coming into the fore. Throw into the mix a small number of weapons known as shardblades- capable of cutting through anything, even the soul- and we have a potent cocktail of warfare.

Stormlight is a rich, detailed world, with plenty of factions, political wrangling and military action. I almost consider this series to be Sanderson’s answer to The Wheel of Time, that 80-million-copies epic of Robert Jordan. Sanderson completed the series after Jordan’s untimely passing, based on the notes of the late author- and I feel that Sanderson’s already potent skill has grown for doing so. Here we have a lengthy series so thoroughly fleshed out that it’s in danger of rearing up and attacking the reader- well worth a look into.

I’ll be doing a few more of these review sections as we move forwards, so as always, keep your eyes peeled. Not literally though. Put the peeler down. PUT IT DOWN.

Moving House!

It’s that time again. Recently got a new job teaching games design in Southampton, so it’s time to pack up all the gore and viscera that plaster our walls and get them into a moving van. A stressful affair perhaps, but I am looking forward to our new house. We’ve the money now to go for a bit of an upgrade, so we will actually have a dedicated office room- all the more space for creating that dastardly content you love.

An Update on Tales from Aquis

Hey there folks, a quick update on my progress with Tales from Aquis.

Writing work on the project has accelerated over the past few months.  Seeing as this book will be a little longer than the others I have mentally split it into three ‘Acts’, of which the first one is already complete. The last few weeks have seen me build up my plans for the next two acts, writing detailed chapter breakdowns ahead of the main writing pass. With Aquis I’m going to be juggling a lot more in the way of characters and intrigue, so it should be a wonderful read when complete. I first started this project in 2012 when Children of the Crater was still only halfway written, and so it has about four years of world-building thought going into it.