Review: The Official A Game Of Thrones Colouring Book

When my Mum informed me that she needed to borrow some of my Derwent colouring pencils, I was a bit surprised. Turns out, however, that adult colouring has taken the world by storm. Bookstores all over the world are now selling colouring books for adults, with themes from intricately drawn flower mandalas to cats.

And A Game of Thrones.

The Official A Game Of Thrones Colouring Book is an marvellous selection of intricate drawings that will keep any adult colouring extraordinaire busy for hours (and the rest of us for days).

Done very much in the style of decades’ worth of fan and professional art inspired by a fantasy book series – including art by the world-famous John Howe, who is renowned for his The Lord of the Rings artwork, and his subsequent heavy-involvement with The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movie trilogies – the nearly-50 original black and white drawings found inside cover everything from House crests, dragons, wolves, battles, and your favourite characters.

Even if you are just starting out into the world of adult colouring, this book will be an absolute blast – and all the more fun if you are a fan of A Game of Thrones.

Sequel to The War of the Worlds due January 2017

Gollancz have announced the acquisition of World rights to The Massacre of Mankind, a sequel to one of the most famous and influential science fiction books ever – The War of the Worlds, by H.G. Wells. The novel will be written by multi-award-winning author Stephen Baxter.

First published in 1897, The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells has been both popular (having never gone out of print) and influential, spawning half a dozen feature films, radio dramas, a record album, various comic book adaptations, and a television series.

In Stephen Baxter’s sequel, set in late 1920s London, the Martians return, and the war begins again. But the aliens do not repeat the mistakes of their last invasion. They know how they lost last time. They target Britain first, since we resisted them last time. The massacre of mankind has begun.

“HG Wells is the daddy of modern SF. He drew on deep traditions, for instance of scientific horror dating back to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818) and fantastic voyages such as Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels (1726). And he had important near-contemporaries such as Jules Verne. But Wells did more than any other writer to shape the form and themes of modern science fiction, and indeed through his wider work exerted a profound influence on the history of the twentieth century. Now it’s an honour for me to celebrate his enduring imaginative legacy, more than a hundred and fifty years after his birth,” said Steve Baxter.

The Massacre of Mankind will be published in hardback, £20, and eBook, £19.99, on the 19th January 2017.

Spotlight: CrossBack by Paul Proffet

This month’s book spotlight is on CrossBack by Paul Proffet.

A daemonic child-killer is on the loose, leaving dozens of shattered lives in its wake. After recovering from their mauling during the battle with The Pariah, Doyle and his companions are back in the hunt. Following the trail of supernatural destruction, they soon cross paths with a secretive warrior, lying in wait for her most hated enemy. Can they trust her? Or will her thirst for vengeance see them all dead?

CrossBack cover image
CrossBack cover image

You can find Paul Proffet on these channels

Crossback purchasing options

And you can purchase CrossBack from Amazon by clicking on the buttons below:

Spotlight: After the Fall (an anthology)

Technology has changed the world around us over the last century, and promises even more great things for the future. But what does that future look like without the marvels of the machine age? After the fall of technology, what lies ahead for humanity?

Purchase online – e-book at, paperback at

After the Fall (an anthology) cover

Featuring a new story from Adam Roberts, plus tales from Allen Ashley, Mike Chinn, Caren Gussoff, Amelia Mangan, Stephen Palmer, Rob Sanders, Simon Sylvester and many more.

Ed Ahern

Ed Ahern resumed writing after forty odd years in foreign intelligence and international sales. He has his original wife, but advises that after forty six years they are both out of warranty. Ed has had forty five stories published thus far.


Allen Ashley

Allen Ashley is no stranger to end of the world stories, having edited Catastrophia for PS Publishing in 2010. Allen runs Clockhouse London Writers and is the judge for the British Fantasy Society Short Story Competition. A writer, editor, poet, tutor and event host, his most recent book is Astrologica: Stories of the Zodiac (Alchemy Press, 2013) and has the following titles due in 2014: Sensorama (an anthology) and The Planet Suite (revised version of his breakthrough novel) – both from Eibonvale Press (UK).


Delphine Boswell

Delphine Boswell expresses her love of writing in the words of John Steinbeck, “I nearly always write just as I nearly always breathe.” Delphine has had numerous short stories published, several in anthologies, as well as a chapter excerpt from a dystopian trilogy that she is presently working on and a chapter excerpt from a mystery novel that she has completed. When not writing, she teaches a thesis completion course to university graduate students. More info can be found on her website:


Gary Budgen

Gary Budgen grew up and still lives in London. His fiction has been published in a number of magazines and anthologies including Interzone, Theaker’s Quarterly and Sein und Werden. Recently he has had stories in the Breaking the Rules, Where Are We Going? And the Urban Green Mananthologies. He is a member of London Clockhouse Writers. His website is:


Daniel Carpenter

Daniel Carpenter has had his words on Metazen, Rainy City Stories and was featured in the National Flash Fiction anthology Jawbreakers alongside Ali Smith and Ian Rankin. Most recently his short story “Skin” was a runner up in the Manchester Climate Change Short Story Competition. He tweets at @dancarpenter85 and blogs on


Megan Chee

Megan Chee has lived in Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan, and is currently entering her first year at Cornell University. She spends an inordinate amount of time dreaming up stories, which has resulted in an unfortunate tendency to mutter under her breath in inopportune situations.


Mike Chinn

Mike Chinn has published over 40 short stories, from Westerns to Lovecraftian fiction; with all shades of Fantasy, Horror, Science Fiction and Pulp Adventure in between. He’s scripted comic strips for DC Thompson’s Beano and late-lamented Starblazer digest; along with two books on how to write comics/graphic novels – which saw translation into several languages. The Alchemy Press published a collection of his Damian Paladin fiction in 1998,whilst he has edited SWORDS AGAINST THE MILLENNIUM (2000) and THE ALCHEMY PRESS BOOK OF PULP HEROES (2012) and THE ALCHEMY PRESS BOOK OF PULP HEROES 2 (2013) for the same imprint. He is presently working on a third volume in the PULP HEROES series, along with a Sherlock Holmes Steampunk mash-up for Fringeworks – in which he gets to send the famous detective to the Moon.


Helen Ellwood

Over the last ten years, Helen Ellwood has had two plays staged, has cowritten and directed two short films, both shown at QUAD in Derby, been a member of the script writing team for two BBC funded docudramas and has had two short stories broadcast on BBC Radio Derby.

Parts 1 and 2 of her co-written fantasy trilogy, Taranor, are available on Amazon. To break this weird run of twos, Helen is writing the third novel of the trilogy, aiming for publication early next year.


Caren Gussoff

Caren Gussoff is a SF writer living in Seattle, WA. The author of Homecoming (2000), and The Wave and Other Stories (2003), first published by Serpent’s Tail/High Risk Books, Gussoff’s been published in anthologies by Seal Press, and Prime Books, as well as in Abyss & Apex, Cabinet des Fées and Fantasy Magazine. She received her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and in 2008 was the Carl Brandon Society’s Octavia E. Butler Scholar at Clarion West. Her new novel, The Birthday Problem, will be published by Pink Narcissus Press in July 2014. Find her online at @spitkitten,, and at


David Hartley

David Hartley is a writer, blogger and performer based in Manchester. He writes tricksy tales about strange and wonderful things, some of which have been published, some of which have been banished to the distant reaches of a forgotten computer file. His first book of flash fiction, Threshold, was published by Gumbo Press in 2013 and is available via all good search engines. His blog is and he can also be found on twitter: @DhartleyWriter


Andrew Kells

Andrew Kells has written radio adverts, short stories, scripts, and two novels; and has performed his work at literature events across the East Midlands. He is currently writing a contemporary urban fairytale, as well as developing his successful workshop for younger writers, “Your Epic Starts Here!”, which featured as part of Nottingham’s Festival Of Words and Nottingham Children’s Book Festival in 2013.


Emma Lannie

Emma J. Lannie grew up in Manchester and now lives and writes in Derby. Her work has appeared in a number of anthologies and journals, and her first short story collection Behind a Wardrobe in Atlantis was recently published by Mantle Lane Press. You can read some of her stories (and ramblings about time travel, buildings, and naps) at


LD Lapinski

LD Lapinski is a writer of fantasy, science fiction and short story flash.She recently completed her MA in Creative Writing at Nottingham Trent University. She is currently working on her first novel. @ldlapinski


Amelia Mangan

Amelia Mangan was born in London in 1983 and currently lives in Sydney, Australia. Her writing is featured in many anthologies and magazines, among them X7: An Anthology of Seven Deadly Sins,No Monsters Allowed and Worms (all ed. Alex Davis), The Bestiarum Vocabulum andPhobophobias (both ed. Dean M. Drinkel), Blood Type: An Anthology of Vampire SF On the Cutting Edge (ed. Robert S. Wilson), and Attic Toys (ed. Jeremy C. Shipp). Her story, “Blue Highway,” won the first annual Yen Magazine Short Story competition in 2013, and was published in Yen #65.


MP Neal

MP Neal writes speculative fiction, mostly fantasy, science fiction or suspense where the characters at the centre of the story are often under threat. Her short stories, published or about to appear, are entitled “Last” in Strange Fortune (Knightwatch Press) and “The Unbinding” soon to be available in an anthology After the Fall (Boo Books). She has just finished her first novel The Dark Age. She is a mother who started out as a space scientist before becoming a writer. Her website can be found at


Stephen Palmer

Stephen Palmer is the author of eight novels: Memory Seed (Orbit 1996; Infinity Plus ebooks 2013),Glass (Orbit 1997; Infinity Plus ebooks 2013), Flowercrash (Wildside 2002; Infinity Plus ebooks 2013), Muezzinland (Wildside 2003; Infinity Plus ebooks 2011), Hallucinating (Wildside 2004; Infinity Plus ebooks 2011), The Rat And The Serpent (Prime Books 2005; Infinity Plus ebooks 2012) and Urbis Morpheos (PS Publishing 2010; Infinity Plus ebooks 2014). His eighth novel, the surreal and fast-paced Hairy London, is published as a paperback and an ebook in 2014. His short stories have been published by Spectrum SF, Wildside, NewCon, Unspoken Water, Rocket Science, Solaris, Theakers, Boo Books and Eibonvale, with more forthcoming for 2014. He lives and works in Shropshire, UK.


Adam Roberts

Adam Roberts is a writer and academic who lives some way west of London. His latest books are Jack Glass (2013), Twenty Trillion Leagues Under the Sea (with Mahendra Singh; 2014) and Bête (2014).


Rob Sanders

Rob Sanders is the author of six science fiction and fantasy novels, as well as numerous short stories, novellas, audio dramas and comics. His fiction has appeared on the New York Times Best Seller list and has won national writing competitions. He lives off the beaten track in the small city of Lincoln, UK.


Cameron Suey

Cameron Suey is a California native living in San Francisco with his wife and daughter. He works as a writer in the games industry, and along with several other talented writers, won the WGA Award for Videogame Writing in 2009 for “Star Wars: The Force Unleashed.” His work has appeared on the Pseudopod Podcast, several anthologies including A Quick Bite of Flesh and Historic History, and is featured in the first issue of Jamais Vu: The Journal of Strange Among the Familiar. He can be found on the web at, where he writes about writing, horror, and other influences, and on twitter as @josefkstories.


Simon Sylvester

Simon Sylvester is a writer, teacher and filmmaker. He has written more than a thousand flash stories on Twitter and his first novel, The Visitors, will be published by Quercus Books in June 2014. Simon lives in Cumbria with the painter Monica Metsers and their daughter Dora.

Competition: Win a copy of The Devil’s Detective by Simon Kurt Unsworth

The Devil's Detective book cover imageWelcome to hell… … where skinless demons patrol the lakes and the waves of Limbo wash against the outer walls, while the souls of the Damned float on their surface, waiting to be collected. When an unidentified, brutalised body is discovered, the case is assigned to Thomas Fool, one of Hell’s detectives, known as ‘Information Men’. But how do you investigate a murder where death is commonplace and everyone is guilty of something?

Those lovely people at Penguin Random House UK have given us 3 copies of The Devil’s Detective to give away. The competition is open to UK residents only  and here is how you can enter:

Simply tweet @FanBooRev with the name of the book you are currently reading and as many words from the first chapter as you can fit into 140 characters. For example:

@FanBooRev The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien
When Mr. Bilbo Baggins of Bag End announced that he would shortly be celebrating his…

The competition will close this Friday (March 6, 2015) and winners will be notified via Twitter and their UK mail address will be requested, so that a winning copy can be dispatched.

Good luck to all who enter.

For more information on The Devil’s Detective and its author Simon Kurt Unsworth, and to read an excerpt, visit the Del Rey UK website.

Celebrating #libraryshelfie day

January 28 was #libraryshelfie day. A day to celebrate books, reading and your own precious bookshelves. Here at Fantasy Book Review a bunch of us reviewers got out our camera phones and snapped our pride and joy, the number one bookcase, containing all those books we have read and loved over the years.

The celebration was carried out on Twitter, Facebook and Google+ but it was so much fun, and the images so memorable, that we have brought everything together in this post.

As the day began we found ourselves in Australia with three long-time reviewers, Josh, Ryan and Fergus (who is a Northern Irishman living abroad).

As you can see, Josh loves his books and he is deservedly proud of them!

Impressed by the organisation, UK reviewer Michelle tweeted her own three mighty bookshelves.

Staying in Australia but moving into black-and-white photography Fergus shows his incredibly neat, tidy (and if rumour is true, alphabetised) bookshelves.

And Ryan shows his horizontal approach to book stacking. I will quiz him about this next time we speak – there will be reasoning  behind his actions.

Next we visited travelswithadiplomat in Thailand, and the crate full of classics he takes everywhere with him.

At this time a great photo came in from @jankensan on Twitter, who is studying abroad in Japan.

Back in a chilly, snow crusted UK we were treated to Cat’s fantasy books within a lovely old bookcase.

And I got to show off my favourite book shelf, guarded by the terrifying Bagpuss.

And then @DanMoran89 won the not-so-tidy bookshelf award.

Jo unveiled her Terry Pratchett shrine.

Before her Zen Pencils framed art proved to be the most popular tweet of the day.

And then, as dusk began to fall, we welcomed our latest reviewer Sam Wood and her extremely heavy looking bookcases.

And @RRakato42 posted us this lovely #libraryshelfie to bring the day to a perfect end.

I would just like to thank all who took part in our #libraryshelfie celebration. It’s good to love books.

Aldi removes copies of Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes

Revolting Rhymes book cover imageScarcely three weeks since I wrote my review of Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes, praising the book for its dark humour and wonderfully twisted takes on Fairy tales, Aldi, the German supermarket chain removed copies of Revolting Rhymes from its shelves in Australia for the use of the word “slut” in Cinderella.

A report by The Guardian newspaper on this story can be found here.

I do not feel the need to praise Dahl’s attributes as an author once again, indeed how exceptional Dahl’s writing is should be evident to a concussed flee. What I find more worrying is that Dahl’s use of a single word in the sentence “The prince cried who’s this filthy slut, off with her nut, off with her nut!”, according to some whistle blower on Facebook trumps all of those good attributes, that one single word which one person finds objectionable is enough to deny Dahl’s book to all children. That Aldi, presumably afraid of being sued or causing offense, preferred to remove all copies of the book than even question the validity of the complaint or stand up for the right of readers to make their own choice.

I am fairly certain that Dahl, as a child of the early 20th century meant “slut” in its original context, as referring to a grubby scullery made with no sexual element whatsoever, a word deriving from the same route as “slattern” and no more offensive in the context Dahl meant it than a term such as “wench”. However it is the response I find disturbing rather than the validity (or lack of), of this complaint.

Back in 1953 Ray Bradbury in Fahrenheit 451 imagined a world in which firemen burnt books, not because they threatened subversive thoughts, or expressed bad opinions, but because books were simply deemed to be “disturbing, to trouble the regular order of people’s lives”. This banning of a book on a single word simply because one person happened to disagree seems a frightening step in the direction of the world Bradbury was portraying, and is something which all lovers of literature, and especially fantastic literature should very much resist, whether in books for children or adults. Indeed, in our increasingly sanitized and circumscribed world, a world dominated by the unholy trinity of big business, ego and security, any literature which expands the imagination and allows the freedom and exploration of possibility seems of even more crucial importance, whether Roald Dahl’s none traditional takes on fairy tales, or the most experimental and artistic of literary creations.

Indeed, when children are increasingly insulated and fed on a bland and sugary diet of inoffensiveness, Roald Dahl’s dark and surreal voice seems one we should be especially encouraging, not trying to stifle, and especially for such a paltry reason as one person’s umbrage at a single word.

Gollancz acquire world rights to Robot Overlords novelisation

Gollancz has announced the acquisition of World Rights to publish ROBOT OVERLORDS, the fully authorised tie-in novel which will be written by the scriptwriter and co-creator of the science-fiction movie, Mark Stay.

Robot Overlords stars Gillian Anderson, Ben Kingsley and Callan McAuliffe. The film is co-written by British script-writers Mark Stay and Jon Wright, and produced by Piers Tempest. The film follows a group of teenagers in the wake of Earth’s invasion by Robots, and their regime which confined the human survivors to their homes. No one knows why – or what they want. There is only one clear message: Robots never lie. Nor do they show mercy…

The novel targets a cross-over readership, particularly readers aged 9-14. Like the film, there will be edge-of-your-seat action from the very beginning, but the novelisation also includes extra scenes, bonus material for attentive readers and fans of the film, and illustrations.

Mark Stay, screenplay co-writer and author of the novelisation, said: ‘Piers, Jon and I talked about a book from the very beginning, and we’re huge fans of those classic 80’s movie tie-in novels. I couldn’t be more excited that Gollancz are the publishers. If you want the world to share in your fun, action and robot carnage, you go to the best SF publisher in the business.’

Robot Overlords poster

The novel will be published as a B-format paperback with a movie tie-in cover to mark the film’s release.

Gollancz Publishing Director, Gillian Redfearn said: ‘I’m so delighted to work with Mark Stay as a novelist, on a project that we’ve had the fortune to watch develop from a glimmer in his eye to an incredible British film production. It’s genuinely exciting to work with such a great UK team, and to be publishing such a cracking story – one which might literally blow your socks off.’

Robot Overlords, Mark Stay, Early 2015, Gollancz, MMP £7.99 / eBook £4.99

New multimedia fairytale app looking for public support

Writer Alex Nicholson and musician Pam Shaffer know a thing or two about fairytale romances. They have been working for nearly a year on Metalalia, the new storytelling app that would bring them back together, from half a world away. Now, they have been reunited, and their Kickstarter has gone live.

“Metalalia was formed when Pam started writing accompaniments to my original fairytales,” says Alex, writer and co-manager of the project. “She lives in L.A. and I live in Staffordshire, so it was a way of feeling closer to each other while we were apart.”

“We were inspired by the lithographs of William Blake,” Pam says. “We wanted to update the format for modern technology, to present favourite myths and fairytales in a new way, and serve the needs of our 21st century society.”

Writer Alex Nicholson and musician Pam Shaffer

Now, together, they are creating stories that take traditional tales and give them a speculative twist, rebuilding them in new worlds, while also infusing them with Metalalia’s ideology of diversity and agency.

A screenshot from the Metalalia app

“Metalalia wants that feeling of confidence, of power, of ‘protagonism’, to be available to everyone,” says Alex. “Harry Potter and Luke Skywalker are all well and good, but there are other kinds of people in the world, and all deserve to have their stories told.”

You can visit the official Metalalia website here –

Sequel to classic Wastelands anthology due out 2015

2008’s Wastelands: Stories of the Apocalypse was an anthology of post-apocalyptic and dystopian short stories written by a collection of the world’s finest authors. I read it whilst on holiday the summer just gone and I absolutely loved it, every story was good while some of them were wonderful, amongst the best I have read in this most fascinating of sub-genres.

So the news today that 2015 will see the publication of Wastelands 2 was music to my ears. The sequel to the anthology will feature stories by George R. R. Martin, Hugh Howey, Junot Diaz, Ann Aguirre, Cory Doctorow and Nancy Kress, and will once again edited by John Joseph Adams.

"In many ways, post-apocalyptic fiction is the most chilling kind of fiction there is, because the more plausible the horrific story, the scarier it is," Adams said. "Demons and supernatural monsters can be entertaining, but deep down I don’t find them particularly frightening, because I’m pretty certain those things don’t—and never will—exist. The end of the world, however? That could happen."

If you’re yet to read the anthology I cannot recommend it highly enough to fans of post-apocalyptic stories.

Edited by John Joseph Adams
ISBN: 9781783291502
eBook ISBN: 9781783291526
February 2015

I’ll be reading and reviewing the new anthology as soon as I possibly can. Until then, the cover: