Fighting Fantasy FAQ
Webmaster: Mark J. Popp

Disclaimer

This FAQ is not to be posted anywhere except FightingFantasy.com or modified without the permission of Mark J. Popp. Please submit your questions to the above email address, and I will try to answer and include them in the next update of the FAQ.

Original Sources
[Thanks to Everyone Who Has Contributed to the FAQ!]
 
Jesus
Sam Dodsworth
Shenley Court School
Svein B.
Brad Templeton
Industry Canada
Paul Mason
Tancred
Hugo Buddelmeijer
Tristan Taylor
Chris Page
Matthew Frederick
Clement De Seguins-Pazzis
Eborium
Chris Lawson
Akibon
Jason Harris
Patrick Griffith
Steve Jackson
J. Carlos Martins
Sagi Hed
Tommi A. Ojanpera
Robert Douglas

[FightingFantasy.com]

How often is FightingFantasy.com updated?

It's updated when there is enough new material to warrant an update. This is usually every 3-4 weeks.

Why isn't it updated on a regular basis?

There isn't really a need to update the website more often than every few weeks. There simply is not enough new material to add on a regular basis. But don't worry, work is always being done behind the scenes, whether it's reading the books, creating new sections, or gathering news. A typical update consists of reviews, solutions, news and survey results. Although the site undergoes constant changes (fixing broken links, doing cosmetic changes, etc.), I typically don't announce things like that in the What's New section. And if you are really bored, you can always make your own contribution to the site (see the Help Wanted page for more info).

Why haven't I seen FightingFantasy.com before?

The site has been moved numerous times since 1996. We have been hosted on AOL, GeoCities, The University of Calgary, and CADVision, before ending up at FightingFantasy.com. The page was originally called "Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks", then renamed to "The Scrolls of Titan" before becoming "FightingFantasy.com."

What has been done at FightingFantasy.com since its creation?

We have come a long way from having a few pages of text, including all the reviews and descriptions on one page to over 161 pages and growing. Some significant events in our history include:
 
9/1/96
FightingFantasy.com is born! Originally hosted on AOL.
12/31/96
The website moves to Area51/Vault on GeoCities.
10/24/97
The website moves again to The University of Calgary.
8/17/98
59 registered FF Fans.
8/26/98
The FF Trivia Contest is born. Counter added.
1/24/99
FF FAQ and mailing list are created.
2/16/99
The Fighting Fantasy Mailing List admits its 25th member.
3/28/99
FightingFantasy.com moves to CADVision.
3/30/99
100 registered FF Fans.
5/6/99
Robert LaVallie catalogs buyers & sellers requests.
6/3/99
The website moves to FightingFantasy.com
6/8/99
The Fighting Fantasy Mailing List admits its 50th member.
7/30/99
500th message posted on the Fighting Fantasy Mailing List.
8/8/99
The Fighting Fantasy Mailing List admits its 75th member.
9/7/99
1000th message posted on the Fighting Fantasy Mailing List.
11/5/99
The Fighting Fantasy Mailing List admits its 100th member.
12/12/99
1500th message posted on the Fighting Fantasy Mailing List.
3/18/00
The Fighting Fantasy Mailing List admits its 125th member.

How do I get on the Fighting Fantasy Mailing List?

You must be a FightingFantasy.com Secret Society Member before you can join the Fighting Fantasy Mailing List. The application can be found here. You will be denied membership if you don't answer all the questions truthfully and accurately.

What is the FightingFantasy.com Privacy Policy?

When you enter the world of Fighting Fantasy, you can be anyone you want, explore anywhere and everywhere, live by your own rules and push out as far as your imagination allows. At the same time, however, you are a regular person like the rest of us; you are bound by the laws of society, you work for a living, you pay your taxes and your conduct is probably not considered out of the ordinary.

You are free to use FightingFantasy.com in an anonymous manner. If you do decide to contribute to the website, you will be identified to the public only by your name. You are not under any obligation to contribute, but you are encouraged to do so. Your email address remains private unless you request that it be disclosed. No personal information is requested or required by the webmaster.

However, as a condition for joining the FightingFantasy.com Secret Society you must provide some demographic and personal information to the administrator. As always, this information is kept strictly confidential and not released to anyone under any circumstances. The data you provide is tabulated and used to identify the needs and wants of the users of this website. For the purposes of clarity, the information you provide is for internal use only, confidential and private. If you do not accept these terms, you are still free to use the website as permitted, but you will not be allowed to become a Secret Society Member, nor can you join the mailing list. In the future, other levels of membership will be provided for those who wish to remain completely anonymous.

[Games Workshop & FF Origin]

How is Games Workshop connected with Fighting Fantasy?

Jackson and Livingstone founded Games Workshop (GW), which specializes in fantasy and war games of all kinds, but later sold it to Bryan Ansell, who was responsible for the original price hikes, sharp trading practices, and 'dumbing down' for a younger audience. There was an outcry from the gaming community about how juvenile it was to have figures called 'snotlings'. Of course, the 'Chaos Mutant Toilet' didn't help... It was the new management who remade GW from primarily an importer and publisher of RPGs to minatures, which offered a better profit margin and a higher sales/display space ratio. Jackson and Livingstone, meanwhile, were making sufficient mony from Fighting Fantasy to retire to Spain for tax reasons.

Games Workshop still exists and is quite successful. Of course, Mr. Livingstone and Mr. Jackson are no longer involved with the organization, thus Games Workshop has nothing more to do with Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks.

How was the Fighting Fantasy concept created?

Ian Livingstone and Steve Jackson published Owl and Weasel games fanzine, producing classic games in wood, selling obscure games by mail order and doing artwork for Games and Puzzles magazine. Owl and Weasel fanzine became White Dwarf magazine in June 1977. The original print run was 4,000 copies and circulation is now around 65,000 copies per month worldwide. After meeting a Penguin editor at Games Day in 1980, the idea of a fantasy games book was created. A year later a contract was signed for The Magic Quest, a fantasy adventure gamebook which was to become known as The Warlock of Firetop Mountain, the first Fighting Fantasy Gamebook. The Warlock of Firetop Mountain was published in August 1982 and sold out of its first print run of 20,000 copies in a matter of weeks. Subsequent printings sold out even more quickly. The Citadel of Chaos and Forest of Doom were published in March 1983 and because sales were so strong, these three Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks occupied the top three places in the Sunday Times children's book charts for several weeks.

[FF Books]

Why do some Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks have maps, while others don't?

Over 20 books in the series have full-colour maps on their inside front cover. This practice was dropped for an unknown reason after #46 Tower of Destruction. Subsequently, any books that required a map had a black and white drawing placed somewhere within the rules-background section. Later printings of FF books #1-46 that previously had colour maps didn't have them at all. This created problems when the map was required to solve the book (e.g. #32 or #33). On a different note, Lone Wolf managed to survive having the colour maps deleted until 1997 (Book #25 - Trail of the Wolf). The publishers also jacked up the price at that time too. It was hardly worth paying $1 or so more for less quality!

How many different versions of Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks exist?

In "Big 4" countries alone, there are several versions including (in chronological order):

How many Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks were sold in each year?

Here's the running tally:
 

[1987/88]
Books #26(?)-32
Over 8 million copies sold worldwide!
[1988/89/90/91]
Books #33-45
Over 10 million copies sold worldwide!
[1991/92]
Books #46-51(?)
Over 12 million copies sold worldwide!
[1993/94]
Books #52(?)-55(?)
Over 13 million copies sold worldwide!
[1995]
Books #56(?)-59
Over 14 million copies sold worldwide!

Since book #51, Fighting Fantasy has been identified as the "World's Most Popular Adventure Gamebook Series."

What formatting irregularities exist?

There are quite a few, actually. All Green Stripe editions have the gamebook number in white on the cover, except #16 Seas of Blood which appears in black. On Gold Dragon versions, the books had a number on the top right of the front cover and on the spine. In later printings, the numbers were removed on the spines and on the covers of the gamebooks, but were subsequently added again in even later printings on the spines only. All Gold Dragon versions in the regular series contained bronze-foil print of "Steve Jackson & Ian Livingstone Present" until book 51, where it was replaced with regular black lettering.

There are also some differences in the puffin emblems that appear on the spine of the books. Most books sport a puffin on the lower spine below the ISBN number, but these are missing in some printings, including some first printings. Strangely, all known copies of #45 Spectral Stalkers have puffins that face left (towards the back cover), while all other books in the series have puffins which face right. Some older printings even have a penguin emblem replacing the puffin emblem. There is no correlation between lacking a puffin and lacking a number.

Gamebooks #1-7 and Sorcery! #1 and #2 originally had a cover image that wrapped around the spine to the back of the book. The original Warlock of Firetop Mountain had a blue background, cover and spine, which was replaced by a dull grey in the next printing. Unfortunately, when all the books were formatted uniformly with green or orange spines, the art detail around the spine and back of the books was lost. In addition, some versions of the gamebooks have different artwork; notably, The Warlock of Firetop Mountain and The Citadel of Chaos have at least two different covers.

What role did the illustrations and artwork play in the FF series?

Since the artwork became so integral to the Fighting Fantasy series, Steve & Ian personally approved every FF cover and all internal illustrations to ensure high artistic standards. Steve & Ian got to know many of the artists personally. The artists that contributed to Fighting Fantasy have also had their work appear on posters, role-playing games, jigsaws, computer games and even films. The covers that appear in The Fighting Fantasy Poster Book include many of Steve and Ian's personal favourites. A group of science fiction and fantasy artists represented by the Young Artists agency became heavily involved in painting Fighting Fantasy Gamebook covers, notably Les Edwards, Jim Burns, Terry Oakes, Ian Miller and Alan Craddock.

[Excerpt from the Introduction of The Fighting Fantasy Poster Book]

When the Fighting Fantasy series came into being we asked only two indulgences of our publishers. The first was that we should be able to choose our own subject matter. Puffin agreed to this. The second was that we could choose our own cover briefs.

Now this one was a little harder to swallow. Covers play a vital role in the sale of books and thus cover design is really the publisher's domain. Reluctantly, they agreed and we were given the freedom to approach some of the best artists of the genre and commission them for our covers. We would be the first to admit that book covers affect the popularity of books. We have been very pleased at the way the FF series has developed an 'image' (i.e. certain high standards of cover art) and it is interesting to note that in countries where these standards have not been maintained - the FF publishers concerned commissioned their own cover art - the series has done very poorly. This was the case in Holland and Israel, for example, but in countries where the UK covers were used, the story has been entirely different and the FF series duplicated its UK success.

Thus, the distinguished artists featured in this book can rightfully claim to play a vital role in the ongoing success story of the FF series. It is a fitting tribute to them that this book finally be published in celebration of their work. We would like to thank all the artists concerned for their contributions to the series.

May their stamina never fail.

Steve Jackson, Ian Livingstone

[FF Countries]

How many countries have Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks been marketed in?

The Fighting Fantasy series has sold more than 14 million copies to 17 different countries around the world in 23 languages. Some of the countries include:
 
United Kingdom
Australia
Canada
New Zealand
Denmark
France
Germany
Holland
Iceland
Israel
Italy
Japan
Norway
Portugal
Spain
Sweden
United States
Yugoslavia
Brazil
Czechoslovakia
Hungary
Finland
Singapore
 

Countries listed in red have been verified.

Are there any differences in the books between countries?

Yes there are. Unfortunately, I'm not an authority in this area because the books distributed in Canada, Britain, Australia and New Zealand (The Big Four) were identical, and since I live in Canada, I've never picked up any "foreign" versions. FF sales were better in these countries than anywhere else. In fact, they are probably the only four countries where the entire series of books was sold. Different artwork was used in other countries (both cover art and/or internal illustrations were changed), which may explain their failure in those locations. The artwork in Fighting Fantasy books is considered top-of-the-line and an integral part of the adventure by many readers. There is probably also a predisposition in some locations towards fantasy, science fiction, role-playing and reading in general that made FF more successful. Also of note, the authors were the last ones to be informed of any translations and thus were never involved.

[Brazil] The books are known as Fantastic Adventures. The cover artwork is the same, except the title is translated to Portuguese, although most of the time they make a literal translation. Many of the books weren't published in Brazil, but they could still be published, since the last one was published in 1998. There are believed to be 29 books that were released. Most of them were published nine years after the originals were made. The order in which they released the books is totally different than the original order.

[Czechoslovakia] More titles (about 30) were translated here than in some other countries (like Holland). The books are slightly smaller and thinner, but contain the same pictures as the "Big 4" countries.

[Finland] Fighting Fantasy was published under the name "Taistelupeli", meaning "battle/fight-game." Only five books were published. The first three books were published by a Finnish publisher called Otava in 1987, with the last two in 1988. A board game, also titled Velhovuoren aarre, (The Warlock of Firetop Mountain), was also published around that time, along with other fantasy
board games, such as Talisman.

The books were pretty popular in 1987-1988. Then the Finnish version of Dungeons & Dragons Basic Set hit the shelves, along with some pretty laughable (but heartwarming) Finnish RPGs, such as Miekka ja Magia. A translation of Runequest soon followed. Roleplaying became quite popular in Finland around that time (although some people had been playing since the 1970s), and that was also when gamebooks pretty much disappeared.

The translated names of the books are as follows:
1. Velhovuoren aarre, 'The Treasure of the Warlock/Wizard Mountain'
2. Mustan tornin valtias, 'The Lord/Ruler of the Black Tower'
3. Kauhujen metsä, 'The Forest of Horrors'
4. Avaruuden vangit, 'Prisoners of Space'
5. Varkaiden kaupunki, 'City of Thieves'

Not many other gamebooks are believed to be published, although in 1988 most English/American gamebooks were available in game stores. The first two or three Choose Your Own Adventure gamebooks were translated and published in the mid-80s.

[France] All the major gamebooks (and a few obscure French ones) were not only bought, but exclusively published by Folio Junior (Gallimard). Perhaps earlier they had been unsuccessful separately and Folio eventually bought the rights to them. In the French Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks, the cover picture is sometimes different. The books are quite well translated. The translators need to know the book perfectly for obvious reasons. For example, in Creature of Havoc, they had to translate that weird speech in French (I mean it was still weird speech but, if you translated it with the code, then it was perfect French). In Knights of Doom, there's a coded message on a picture. In the French edition, they did change the picture so that the message could be read in French. In Deathmoor, they did not translate the code, so that leaves "GO" and "NO", and did not make sense at first because the usual practice was to have everything translated into French.

The Folio Junior series was revamped a couple of years ago, with a black cover bordered with a rainbow. The older editions are of a greenish color with an different icon depending on the series.
French gamebooks always used to have white spines with a little picture on it to represent what sort of gamebook it was (sword and shield for standard FF, sorcerer's hand for Sorcery, wolf for Lone Wolf, etc.). The advantage of later editions is that the FF number is indicated, contrary to older copies. French FF books can still be ordered from Renaud-Bray (North America) or Gallimard (Europe) for $8 - $10.

[Germany] Some of the titles were omitted (e.g. Freeway Fighter) and the covers were usually changed. They stopped publishing around book #25. Then they reappeared in paperback, but this time the series stopped running around book #15.

[Holland] At least six books have been published. They didn't sell very well, so they stopped translating and publishing them. All the covers are different, except #6 Deathtrap Dungeon. The books are a little thicker and in different colors. Unfortunately, there were some numerical errors which would lead to the wrong passage.

[Israel] The first books to be published in Israel were Space Assassin, Starship Traveller, Warlock of Firetop Mountain and Clash of the Princes. I'm not certain about the specific dates, but Space Assassin was printed in 1992 and CotP in 1988 so its around that time. The books didn't necessarily come out in the same order as the Big 4 versions, though WOFM likely came first. They were pocket size, a tad smaller than the originals. All covers except for CotP, were changed to something quite ugly (and cheap obviously). Puzzles were translated carelessly... the one in Space Assassin for
example, was not solvable in Hebrew.

The second wave was from a different publisher and had a totally different format. All books were over-sized, and they all had the original cover + a unique color in the back. They started with Sorcery, and then moved on completely without order. The entire series was named Sorcery (even beyond the four Sorcery books). Note that ALL the books had absolutely NO mention of the words "Fighting Fantasy". Regardless, they seemed quite successful, though going from Sorcery to the rest was considered a downfall. They stopped after thirteen books (and this includes Sorcery and 2 AFF books). This second attempt seemed to be a more effective marketing effort of FF in Israel.

[Japan] Books #1 (Warlock of Firetop Mountain) to #33 (Sky Lord) were available. From around 1990, economic depression has made Japanese publication circumstances bad. Publication stopped halfway through on many gamebook series. Appointment With F.E.A.R. Japanese title: Cyborg o taose! The Japanese means, "Strike Cyborg!". Slaves of the Abyss. Japanese title: Naraku no teiou. The Japanese means, "The Emperor of Abyss". The Citadel of Chaos. Japanese title: Balthus no yousai. The Japanese means, "Balthus's Citadel". The Japanese translations are considered poor, especially in books where riddles are involved.

[Norway] The first three FF books were published in Norwegian by Schibsted in 1985-86, and more books were planned, but these plans were put on hold for some reason (possibly low sales?).

[Portugal] The books are published by Editorial Verbo. The cover artwork is the same, except the title is translated to Portuguese, although most of the time a literal translation was made. 34 books have been published so far (the last was Legend of the Shadow Warriors). The Portuguese versions, albeit in the same language, are *different* from the Brazilian FF books.

[Singapore] The series sold very well for the price of around S$6-S$9 per book.

[Spain] Only seventeen volumes were translated and published. They´re excellently translated – anyone with a medium level in Spanish will enjoy them, and no anomalies between Spanish and English versions have been reported. The publisher was "Ediciones Altea", but from book #15 it changed to "Altea, Taurus, Alfaguara, S.A." (Altea was fusioned with the other ones). Unfortunately, Altea may not exist anymore so it is difficult to find Fighting Fantasy books. The books were in the "serie libro juego" (gamebook series), because Altea also published Grail Quest (full), Lone Wolf (11 books), Sorcery (full) and Cretan Chronicles (full). The Fighting Fantasy series was called "Lucha-Ficción" (Fighting-Fiction) and Sorcery "Brujos y Guerreros".

The artwork of the Sorcery! series is similar to the English version, but the pictures are made by Spanish artists. Shamutanti & Khare have almost the same cover, 7 Serpents & Crown of Kings are a little more different but the style is almost the same. FF has the same covers as the English version, Ediciones Altea only changed the covers for Sorcery, Grailquest & Lone Wolf (and I think Cretan Chronicles too); they all were by Spanish artists.

[Sweden] Books 1-6 were published (translated of course) in 1983-1986 by a company called Rabén & Sjögren, but this may not be the correct name.

[United States] Books 1-21 were published by Dell/Laurel Leaf. The cover art was changed to depict a composite collage of many monsters and scenes from the original internal illustrations.

[FF People]

Who is Steve Jackson?

Steve Jackson was born in Manchester in 1951. He attended primary school in Canada and then completed his education in England, graduating from Keele University in Biology and Psychology. He went to the same school as Ian Livingstone. They became friends after leaving school. Steve and Ian used to frequent the same pub and discovered they shared an interest in games. Both went their separate ways for several years, but then came together again when they moved to London and ended up sharing a flat. After graduation, Steve worked in a market garden, then as a technician in a comprehensive school in Manchester before leaving to travel around the USA. He eventually returned to London in 1974 and the Games Workshop came into being the next year.

Apart from playing and designing games, which is still his avid passion, Steve Jackson has a video
studio and a recording studio at home. He produces videos and plays guitar and keyboards. He also
plays softball for the Regent’s Park Raiders, a team he founded with Ian Livingstone. In 1989 Steve set up Abandon Art, a unique art gallery in Richmond, Surrey, specialising in science fiction and fantasy art. Abandon Art publishes limited edition prints of works by several Fighting Fantasy artists

Reportedly extremely wealthy, Mr. Jackson could retire in comfort after his work in Fighting Fantasy, but instead is currently working in the computer industry (much like Mr. Livingstone) at Lionhead Studios since 1997. He publishes Steve Jackson's Lionhead Daily. Lionhead was founded by Peter Molyneux, former Bullfrog game designer and founder.
 
Steve Jackson's Books | Letters from Steve Jackson

Who is Ian Livingstone?

Ian Livingstone was born in 1949. He did White Dwarf editorial for a while, before retiring from the genre. He's the chairman of EIDOS now, having released the PC version of Deathtrap Dungeon, which is based on the 6th FF book of the same name. He wrote it after an inspirational trip to Thailand (many of the names in the book are Thai) and it's his favourite. When asked in a magazine interview about the Deathtrap Dungeon computer game and if he was going to do anymore gamebooks, Ian Livingstone was quoted, "Don't make me."
 
Ian Livingstone's Books | Biography

Who is Jim Bambra?

Mr. Bambra is currently working for Pumpkin Studios in Bath, England as Director of Projects. Pumpkin Studios specializes in fast-action strategy games that combine state-of-the-art graphical effects with speedy game play, highly developed Artificial Intelligence systems, and exhilarating full
motion video (FMV) cut scenes. Their first game was Warzone 2100. Mr. Bambra formerly worked for Microprose.

Who is Marc Gascoigne?

Here is some information from an interview with Puffin.

Place & Date of Birth: Dover, Kent; July 1967
Favourite Book: Anything by Jonathan Carroll, or Iain Banks, or...
Most Treasured Possession: Margaret Sheehan's phone number
Favourite Song: 'Headlights on the Parade' by the Blue Nile
Favourite Film: Wings of Desire directed by Wim Wenders

Who is Iain McCaig?

Iain McCaig has been a (self proclaimed) "children's illustrator" for over 15 years. That being said, he is one of the best illustrators in the Fighting Fantasy world. In addition to doing illustrations for FF books (notably City of Thieves and Deathtrap Dungeon), he has done "Around the World in Eighty Days," "Alice in Wonderland," and "The Casket of Souls." The progressive rock group Jethro Tull features his work on their 1982 album cover - 'Broadsword and the Beast'. There is also a T-Shirt that was designed by McCaig with a gigantic (!) reproduction of the strange Dwarvish creature featured on Broadsword.

Iain started with covers of White Dwarf magazine and then game box covers for Games Workshop. Iain McCaig is also a confirmed FightingFantasy.com fan, and he told me what he's been up to since his work in the Fighting Fantasy world (see the letters section). He most recently worked as a concept artist on Star Wars Episode One: The Phantom Menace, notably, he designed the character of Darth Maul. Also check out his interview with starwars.com.
 
Iain McCaig's Books | Letters from Iain McCaig | Biography & Portfolio

Who is Paul Mason?

Paul Mason is also a fan of FightingFantasy.com and a regular contributor on the Fighting Fantasy Mailing List. Mr. Mason's books were supposed to occur chronologically and to a loose extent, interlinked. He considers his FF books to be autobiographical. Black Vein Prophecy explains how he met Keiko before moving to Japan to get married. Mage Hunter describes the culture shock he experienced while living there. Mr. Mason admits to bending the FF guidelines specifying a 30,000 word maximum by routinely going up to the 40,000 word range.

Although only expecting to be in Japan for a couple of years, Mr. Mason has been living there since 1991 with no current plans to move. He is currently working as a university lecturer and freelance editor/translator. He also works on his novel (based on the real historical character Judge Bao, and set in China in the Song Dynasty); fanzine; RPG (Outlaws of the Water Margin Chinese RPG, which is currently more or less freeware); and various other RPG projects. Unfortunately, none of them are connected with Fighting Fantasy.
 
Paul Mason's Books | Letters from Paul Mason

Is there more than one Steve Jackson?

Yes, of course. There are probably dozens of Steve Jacksons on the planet; Jackson is a common name, and first names are always common... Seriously, there is some confusion here because two Steve Jacksons have worked under the Fighting Fantasy name.

Not everyone knows that Steve Jackson of Steve Jackson Games is not the same guy who created Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks with Ian Livingstone. A lot of people still think Steve moved on to set up his company in the States and is involved with GURPS. Actually, Steve Jackson Games is run by a different Steve Jackson. In the good old days of White Dwarf, they used to dub them 'Steve Jackson UK' and 'Steve Jackson US'. Steve Jackson is the working name of US writer Steven Gary Jackson.

One way to tell the difference between the two writers is the formatting of the gamebook. On the books that were written by Steve Jackson UK, only his name appears on the cover. Steve Jackson US books are treated like any other sub-author's: with their name appearing on the copyright page, and "Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone Present" on the cover.

From the Steve Jackson US Biography: "He still writes, when he finds the time. In the 1980s, he tried his hand at interactive books or "game novels" (his first, Scorpion Swamp, was published by Penguin and spent six months on the British children's bestseller list)." The biography says he set up his own company (Steve Jackson Games Inc.), which is responsible for hits like Car Wars and GURPS (Generic Universal Roleplaying System). Steve Jackson US also gained some unwanted fame by having his office raided by the Secret Service.
 
Name
Steve Jackson
Steve Jackson (2)
Nationality
UK
US
Company
Games Workshop
Steve Jackson Games

In short, yes, there are two Steve Jacksons.

[FF Future]

Are Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks out of production?

Unfortunately, it seems like these books have reached their conclusion. After 59 exciting titles and many more related gaming books, the series was cancelled by the publisher (Penguin Books) and Steve and Ian are focusing on other projects. The existing books have also been out of print since 1998 because sales had reduced to a few thousand. It is believed that the series wasn't promoted as actively as it could have been by Penguin, and sales declined as a result. One theory posits that gamebooks were a thing of the 80s, and were replaced by computer games. Another mentions that the core Fighting Fantasy audience of young teenage boys simply grew out of them, and no one took their place. Interestingly, not only are Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks out of production, but the entire gamebook genre doesn't exist anymore.

According to author Paul Mason, Fighting Fantasy is dead in English speaking countries. When asked in a magazine interview about the Deathtrap Dungeon computer game and if he was going to do anymore gamebooks, Ian Livingstone was quoted, "Don't make me." I guess that meant no. There are also several letters from previous authors, illustrators and publisher Penguin dealing with this topic.

Does Fighting Fantasy Gamebook #60 Bloodbones exist?

Every item of Fighting Fantasy merchandise that is currently known is listed on the main page or the Other Fighting Fantasy Merchandise page. If you know of any other merchandise, please e-mail me with a description. In regards to Bloodbones, I found a website (possibly the official one) in 1996 that listed the entire Fighting Fantasy series. This included #60 Bloodbones. At the time, I assumed it was a published title. Unfortunately, it's never been seen or read by anyone, and likely doesn't exist anywhere, except maybe in prototype. Unfortunately, the website disappeared shortly after I grabbed the list. If you are hanging on to the dim hope that the book exists, you can also check out the Bloodbones page for the most current information.

Where can I buy Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks?

Probably the vast majority of email I get is of this type. Please don't e-mail me asking where to find a particular book. I don't have any special connections and I likely cannot help you. No new Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks are being produced. The series is also out of print. This means it's unlikely you'll find them at new bookstores. I have learned that in the UK at least, it is possible to still buy the FF books in new bookstores. Puffin has 20 or so available, mostly in the #20 to #50 range. These can be specially ordered. This is likely a temporary arrangement until warehouse inventory has been depleted, so it would be wise to take advantage of this opportunity.

Keep in mind that Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks were not successful in all countries. For example, the series died quickly in countries like the United States and Israel where the artwork was changed. This will make it difficult locating the books in these locations. Fortunately, there are a few other avenues open to you. Depending on where you live, you can try checking used bookstores. You'll eventually uncover quite a few titles. You can also visit the Fighting Fantasy Marketplace for some suggestions for buyers and view a list of items that are currently for sale.

How can I write for the FF series?

You can't, since the series has been discontinued, but there is a list of revised guidelines available in a letter from Marc Gascoigne before the decision was made to stop production. The letter mentions that new gamebooks should be only 300 paragraphs (as opposed to 400) and 30,000 words in length.

[Copyright]

The following copyright information is for educational purposes only; it is not intended to be used as legal advice. I am not a lawyer and I do not represent any official parties. Please do not contact me regarding legal advice. Please do not contact me and offer your legal opinions: I am not interested. The only exception applies to lawyers, judges, public officials and any other relevant professionals, from whom I would appreciate additional information regarding copyright, or any critiques, clarification and comments. If you don't fall into the above category, please feel free to use the mailing list to voice your opinion on this issue.

What is copyright?

A copyright - the right to copy - means that an owner is the only person who may copy his or her work or permit someone else to do so. The kinds of works covered include: books, maps, lyrics, musical scores, sculptures, paintings, photographs, films, tapes, computer programs and databases. When you create an original work, you will automatically have copyright protection provided that, at the time of creation, you were: a citizen or subject of, or a person ordinarily resident in, a Berne Copyright Convention country, or a Universal Copyright Convention country, or a country that is a member of the WTO.

How long does copyright last?

Generally, copyright lasts for the life of the author and 50 years following the author's death. Copyright protection always expires December 31 of the last calender year of protection. After that, the work goes into the public domain. For example, Shakespeare's plays are part of the public domain; everyone has an equal right to produce or publish them. In the case of joint authorship: Copyright exists for the life of the author who dies last and 50 years following the end of that calendar year. And no, none of the Fighting Fantasy copyright owners are dead (to my knowledge), so you'll have to wait at least 50 years before copyright expires.

What countries are copyright laws valid in?

Copyright is valid in all countries that belong to either:

1) The Berne Copyright Convention
2) The Universal Copyright Convention
3) The World Trade Organization

In effect, if your country isn't a member of any of those organizations than copyright restrictions do not apply to you. However, bringing any such material into your country may already be illegal.

Can I distribute copyrighted works if I don't charge for it?

No. Whether you charge for copyrighted materials can affect the damages awarded in court, but that's essentially the only difference. It's still a violation if you give it away -- and there can still be heavy damages if you hurt the commercial value of the property.

Is copyright still in effect when material is out of print or unavailable or the the original publisher or copyright owner are no longer in existence?

Copyright is still in effect. In the case of Fighting Fantasy, it doesn't matter if the books are never published again or if Penguin Books or Games Workshop go out of business. See How long does copyright last? for more info.

What happens if copyright is not defended?

Although copyrights can be weakened or lost if not defended, this almost never happens. Don't go looking for a fight: corporations and governments have almost unlimited resources to fight you, and the law is not on your side.

What happens if I do get permission to copy from the copyright owner?

All the power to you! However, there are some things to keep in mind. Make sure the person you got permission from is the real (and current) copyright holder and be sure to retain the original copy of their written, signed permission, so you can demonstrate proof if a lawsuit is ever brought against you.

Isn't there a free 24 hour evaluation period for copyrighted material?

No. Isn't it amazing how sites that offer copyrighted material such as software on their websites almost never have their own server, identify their company name or the name of anyone involved? Unless the copyright owner says otherwise, it's not legal to "test" out any material!


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