Monday, August 30, 2021

#15 - "The Rings of Kether" by Andrew Chapman (1985)

This time I have no flash of recognition nor eager swell of nostalgia - either I've never read this book or it made nil impression upon me. The cover may be a factor. What I can surmise is that YOU are a Space Guy who is interviewing for a job and you need to impress this chunky middle-manager in the regulation corporate skullcap. Perhaps it is inspired by author Andrew Chapman's experiences working in the Australian Bureau of Statisics.

Already this book is failing the quality test I established in my review of Space Assassin by the same author - i.e. that the title and cover should tell us everything about the book. I don't have a damn clue about this situation.

I get that it's in space. That much is conveyed. But the title - The Rings of Kether. For years I thought it was like "the rings of Saturn", an astronomical feature. NOPE! Maybe it's like "Shang Tsung and the Legend of the Ten Rings" and the doughy fellow staring us down is Lord Kether the Kantankerous, final boss of the book but his magic rings aren't pictured for some reason. Maybe they are covered by his elbow-length pinstripe gloves; which I would comment on, but, if I get started on homeboy's wardrobe: WE'LL BE HERE A WHILE.

So anyway I'll stop dancing around it - it's drug rings! There's a planet called Kether (in space), and there's just a bunch of drugs coming out of there, I guess somebody's gotta go bust these rings man! By which I mean "drug rings"! Go get it! (that's the plot)

I went looking for the U. S. cover of this book but sadly for the first time in 1985 they realised they could just use the same artwork as the UK - the bloke who always drew all those weirdos in the background was I suppose, let go, and in an immeasurable loss to the art world it seems he set down his pencil evermore. 

Hence, here is my alternative cover for The Rings of Kether, which I believe improves on the original by hewing much closer to the book's actual content.

At its peak, Miami Vice had so much influence on men's fashion that they probably COULD have got this skullcaps & pauldrons thing started, had they only tried.


The "mission briefing" is extremely prosaic so let's hustle through it. We're in space, there's a Galactic Federation comprising hundreds of worlds, they have a bunch of laws including certain drugs being banned. Presumably they have other laws too about how fast you can fly your spaceship and whatnot, but in the heavily implied but not actual words of Andrew Chapman: who gives a fuck, you don't need to know any of that

A large supply of the illicit drug "satophil-D" is emerging from the Aleph Cygni system. YOU are a "Grade 1 Investigator" in the "Federal Central (Vice)" department of the "Federal Police Force" and you get assigned to go to Aleph Cygni undercover as a travelling salesman and BUST DEM RINGS. In true Fighting Fantasy fashion, you will have zero support from anyone else!


Rolling Up My Dude

SKILL - 12
LUCK - 11

Pretty good rolls. You also get stats for your spaceship:


Rules for ship-to-ship combat are a little different and you also get two smart missiles which let you auto-win space fights, however ship-to-ship combat never came up in my play-through.
Both ship combat and "blaster combat" have variant rules where hitting the enemy depends entirely on rolling under your SKILL, rather than rolling against the enemy's SKILL test. The latter still applies for melee. This is a new but quite intuitive mechanic, reflecting the fact that a gunfight probably depends more on how good you are at pointing the gun, than how good the other bloke is at getting out of the way.

Like Space Assassin, for healz I have four futuristic pep pills instead of a kilo of beef jerky wrapped up in an old towel. Ironically, I think "pep pills" is originally slang for amphetamines so I wonder if this particular Grade 1 Investigator has been volunteering to lock up the evidence room after everyone else goes home...?

The Adventure

Paragraph 1 drops you straight out of hyperspace and into Alpha Cygni. The immediate info you have is that this solar system has one planet (Kether), which has a moon called Rispin's End, and there's an asteroid belt consisting of "hundreds of thousands of asteroids". Your first choice is to pick where to start your search - the planet, the moon, or the asteroid belt? To which I can only say: WOW. THEY REALLY GAVE YOU NOTHING, ZIPPITY-ZAP, NADA. YOU HAVE ZERO INTEL WHATSOEVER. Just: wow.
I chose to start my search on Kether itself because, frankly, landing on the moon and asking random little green men if they know where to score seemed crazy. And even the book makes fun of you if you decide to search the asteroid belt. It's like, what the heck dumbass, it would take twenty ships ten years to search all these asteroids - go land on the planet you dumbfuck. (That's a precis).

Kether only has one spaceport, which is on the "continental land-mass" and nearby the "capital city" - I already noticed in Space Assassin also that Andrew Chapman was pretty frugal with proper nouns. Not a huge deal, but as a part-time Dungeon Master who relishes inventing names, it kind of bothers me nonetheless.
Ah yes, the iconic duo known to everyone as "two men".

Some Customs officers show up when you land and search your ship for "contraband technology" - your "spy beam" is confiscated, and you're instructed to cross it off your inventory.  Which is fine, since it's not on your inventory, and it never comes up in play. Nice editing, team! Your cargo hold is full of authentic space bananas which you stock-piled to support the cover story that you're a merchant but disappointingly, they don't bother to search it. They just wanted that sweet spy beam - which I'm guessing is a ray gun that lets you hear what people are saying when you shoot it at them
Pretty suspicious behaviour for Customs Officers TBH, but I blithely ignored that important clue as I sauntered out of baggage retrieval, pondering how to begin my investigation. Well, as for leads: I have no leads. The options given are:

1) Just start bailing up random people in the airport like: WHERE ARE THE DRUGS COME ON CREEP DONT HOLD OUT ON ME DO U WANNA GO TO JAIL CREEP GIVE UP THE GOODS etc
2) Go ask for help at the nearest police station - might be sensible but the intro implies that local authorities could be corrupt, so, maybe not.
3)  Hit up the local dive bars.
Since I've got nothing, I figured I needed to work my way up from street level so I decided go for #3. This would also satisfy the requirement in 1985 that any police investigation involve at least one visit to a strip club.  

Given the chance to write some about hard-boiled extraterrestrial night life, Chapman abruptly does a hand-brake turn into literary extravagance and lets his spirit soar. I'll reproduce paragraph 299 in its entirety since I lack the mental wherewithal to even attempt a summary.

The canteen you find is advertised by a gaudy crypto-fluorescent animated sign, depicting a large 'Crush' class stellar battleship diving into a foaming glass of undefined liquid. The sound-effects are defeaning, full of fusion-motor roars, laser zaps and dam-size splashes. Looks promising.
Entering the premises, you find the joint packed with drunken flotsam and jetsam; there is hearty laughter, the obligatory fight in the corner, and it is all very, very noisy. A small sign over the bar announces that no aliens are allowed. Very promising.
Will you approach one of the barmaids for a tip about who in the bar might best be approached for a bit of underworld largesse (turn to 30), or just mingle to see what you can find out (turn to 362)?
That's quite a passage. I can't fathom what I might have derived from it when I was eight years old.
But one thing is clear - anyone swanning up to the barmaid asking about "underworld largesse" is unmistakably a HUGE NARC.
Dang, what gave me away, was it the outfit or the personalised license plate on my Porsche 911

Racking your brain in the heat of the moment, you position yourself as a recently arrived chemist looking for "easy money". I don't think the barmaid is remotely fooled but she sees an opportunity to extract a bribe so offers to help for 3000 kopecks which is... probably a lot? She has a wry instinct for mischief - after I pony up for the Barmaid's Annual Charity Ball, she steers me towards the only other undercover in the pub. 

You sit down at his table and the bloke allows you a few moments to disgrace yourself by asking for "the down-low on some Tangy Fruits" or whatever the same mind that spewed out "underworld largesse" can come up with. Then he laughs in your face and tells you plainly that he's made you, BUT: He is quick to reassure you. Leaning closer, he whispers, 'We can't talk here. Meet me in two hours at the Hotel Miramar, room 1201.'  Then he pounds the rest of his Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster and wanders off.

So that's definitely a lead! Or a casual sex thing. But's let's suppose it's a lead. I have no useful information at all, hence, let's go meet this stranger in his hotel room. 

Upon the appointed hour of our tete-a-tete, I arrive at the Hotel Miramar and have to take the stairs to the 12th floor becasuse the elevator's out. (Sidenote - that's not super science-fictiony is it? But I guess stairs are one of those technologies that have really endured over the centuries). You see a shifty looking bloke exit room 1201 as you arrive and are given the option to tail him - seems likely my informant has just been murdered but I figure if dash in there quickly enough I might just be able to catch the last twenty minutes of his dying words.

The door is locked and I can hear my guy probably dying on the other side - the book gives me a second chance to rush after the suspected killer, which proves too tempting so I dash down the stairs. But thanks to my dithering, he has gotten away scot free. Overdubbed from off screen I hear a cry of "Yikes, murder!" and the cops are apparently there immediately with four helijets. I lay low since I don't trust the local fuzz. I'm at a dead end and unsure what to do next - fortunately, the book takes the wheel.
Next day, you head off the to the City Central Library to see if anything can be found out about the man you saw running down the stairs - at least you know what he looks like. Sure, that makes a lot of sense. I know what he looks like... so I will go and look him up, in the library. 

Yeah, I'll just get on the microfiche and look at every photo in the last ten years' issues of  The Kether Star-Herald on the off-chance that I recognise the SPACE ASSASSIN I glimpsed last night.

Smash cut to - INT. SPACE LIBRARY. It is the next day. 

Being an eerily prescient science fiction guy isn't that easy. William Gibson's embarassment that people were using pay-phones in Neuromancer is on the record. Andrew Chapman has a go at imagining the role and nature of the library in a high-tech culture boasting faster-than-light travel, and he decides that it's a huge complex that's mostly empty because people usally get the information they need sent to them "by cable" which... kind of sounds like the internet actually? Not bad! That's some pretty decent prognostication, right up there with Star Trek: The Next Generation's anticipation of the touchscreen tablet. Try to imagine the high technology of hundreds of years in the future, and you might just land on something that's ten to twenty years off.

So anyway I jump on a public terminal and spend several hours trawling through old crime reports in the public media.  There's basically nothing about the drug trade, except for a single reference to a court date from 4 years ago which reads - Central Criminal Court 3: State vs. Z. Gross and B. "Blaster" Babbett. Before Justic Zark. Charge: trafficking in illicit organic substances (Satophil-D). Sitting 10:30 am.
There are no other references to the case or any ruling - so I look up Z. Gross and B. Babbet in the "vidiphone directory" - and Blaster B has his address listed in the goddamn phone book! I tell ya, you can forget your fukken spy rays and what have you, ain't nothing beat old school traditional detective work! Pounding the streets! Nosing about strip clubs! Looking up perps in the phone book! Classic stuff!

Nevertheless - as a lead it still feels pretty thin. So rather than going straight over there and kicking the door in, I decide my next move is to check the "State Computer File Centre" for more information. "Hello", I resolve to tell them: "I need to examine your computer files". Steeling myself for any manner of bureaucratic nonsense, off I go.
I'm picturing something like the giant building from Rogue One wot had all the tapes in it.

Sadly, the State Computer File Centre is mostly inaccessible to the public, and I don't appear to have any official authority. So I wait 'til nightfall, climb a drainpipe up on the roof and drop through a skylight. "Teehee", I think to myself, "what if the precinct captain could see me now! 'You're a real loose cannon mate, you better straighten up and do things by the bloody book or whatever': I bet that's what he'd say!"

Such whimsical thoughts are quickly cast aside as I drop to the floor, directly into the torch-beam of a patrolling guard (having failed a Luck test).

He has some sick Oakleys and a little pew-pew gun.

I decide to add assault to my list of infractions in the line of duty and violently subdue him without much difficulty. Hopefully he's not dead? The book doesn't say. Stepping over his crumpled form, I access a terminal that's right there under the skylight I dropped through and I just log into it without a password or anything. However, weirdly I only have access to government files about transportation, so I can't look up anything to do with State v. Z. Gross & B. "Blaster" Babbet (BTW I love that the prosecutors decided to use his nick-name in the official records).

I quickly pick up that there are suspicious gaps in the air traffic control records, so my investigation takes yet another 90 degree turn and I decide to go bail up the Chief of Air Traffic Control. You go to the main heli-port where the Air-Traffic Chief works - clearly an unremarkable place, not worthy of a description of its "crypto-fluorescent" signage or the suchlike. It's round about knock-off time, so I'm given the option of either tailing the chief home from work, or waiting for him to leave and breaking into his office. Given the flair for cat-burglary I've already shown, I opt for the latter.

This proves to be a matter of looking up the building directory to find the guy's office, then going in there. Sneaky. There's a 50/50 chance that the Chief is still in his office, but in my universe he was not. I immediately delve into his "private computer files" and find a reference to a large amount of unauthorised traffic between Kether and a rock in the asteroid field named C230. Somebody's coming so I bail out of the office and head back to my spaceship to immediately chase down this extremely tenuous lead!
Cue travel montage!
So, space asteroid C230 is a real trip y'all. I zip in there in my wee spacecraft and space-walk over to a vent, since crawling through the vents Die Hard-style seems to be very in line with my character at this point. Peeping through the first grille I encounter, there's like a "guttering red flame" in an otherwise empty room. This is some bizarrely Conan the Barbarian type shit to come across in the midst of my sci-fi detective story so of course I can't resist checking it out.

As I approach, the flame flares up into a "hellish purple" and I think better of meddling with things beyond my ken and head for the exit- but the doors slam closed in my face. Turning back to the flame - here is what I am confronted with:
Oh no! No, no no. Nope. Noooooooo thank you.

If that awful image were to be animated, you would see that the abberation also turns blue and keeps sprouting new appendages in front of your gaping eyes.  


You can shoot at it or talk to it. I don't like my chances drawing down on this fucking Lovecraft monster, so I wrack my brain for a suitable question to ask. The book gives you 3 options:



3) Hi there! Know anything about the "Rings of Kether"? By which I mean drug rings, I'm looking for them. I appear to have taken a wrong turn, sorry!

Question #1 seems like the most relatable and best role-playing option, however at this point I very clearly need a lot of help with my detective work so I went with Question #3. And against all expectation, the unimaginable cosmic Thing rocks back on its maggot-like haunches, thinks for a moment and busts out a dubious Yoda impression.

In the wrong place, you are.

Misled, you have been.

With the Customs officials, you should be. 

Then it telekentically hurtles you out of the room and slams the door.  "Well sir," I think to myself as I gingerly rub the bruises on my butt, "this is about the darnedest police investigation I ever did embark upon.

Seems like this particular eldritch blashpemy is now my star informant though - remember those dodgy Customs guys who confiscated my super cool spy raywhen I arrived on Kether? The ones I didn't give a second thought? In retrospect: that was kind of suspicious, wasn't it?

You can further explore the space station but I didn't see much point and headed back to the airport (again), wondering if these little jaunts out to the asteroid belt were taking weeks or months, as they might in any realistic space travel scenario. Maybe that's why I packed so many space bananas. The book gives no indication.

Before I push this narrative into its final, unedifying phase, I bet you're wondering WTF that monster was. Me too, so I took a peek at the answers to the other questions. What is it? In its own words: a mind parasite, one of the great old ones from ancient Kyth, so yeah, very much an surprise veer into Lovecraft homage in this sci-fi gumshoe story. And the space station itself is a monastery dedicated to the merciless Thuvald of Kyth, which is scarcely information worth getting Jazzy Jeffed out the door. Thus I'm glad I asked for a clue instead (but probably could have ask for the bloody Lotto numbers am I right??!?!)

To investigation Customs, you have options of intimidation, bribery or sneaking about eavesdropping. Stealth has pretty much been established as my character's MO at this point so I slink into the freight depot and hide in a locker. Conveniently, a group of corrupt officials take receipt of a consignment of Satophil-D right in front of me, loudly proclaiming things like "This must be the stuff - you know, Satophil-D - dope, stuff, dust" before stamping the crates as approved for export. I spring forth brandishing a blaster and enact an on-the-spot interrogation. 

"Who's in charge of this racket?" I bellow, holding my little pew-pew gun sideways in a gangsta grip for added intimidation points. My fearsome posture is too effective, if anything, and they respond in a series of mangled sentence fragments that I reproduce here:

'The Isosceles Tower...' says one Customs official.

' the city...' says another.

' floor...' says the last.

'...and don't forget the communications satellite in the L16 orbit...' gasps (?!) the helicopter pilot.

'No... we won't,' say the others.

I then arrest the group - or is the better word kidnap? - locking them up in my spaceship, without troubling with any follow-up questions or further clarification of that string of nonsense. I have the option of going to Isosceles Tower or checking out the satellite. It seems I have an unerring instinct for wasting my time in this adventure, so I fly up to the satellite, risk my life in a spacewalk over to it (couple of SKILL checks you need to pass), and learn that it's a comms uplink, basically a clue that points directly back to Isosceles Tower again! 

Incidentally, you can choose to blow up the satellite instead of spacewalking to it, which results in a failure ending because you have "destroyed your last clue" - seems like a flaw in the book since I already knew about Isosceles Tower. Anyway the satellite was pointless so I head off to Isosceles Tower just a little bit older and stupider than I would have been otherwise.

Failure, and Death

Well, an isosceles triangle is where two lines of equal length meet in an acute angle, but the Isosceles Tower is where Yours Truly meets an obtuse fate. On the 50th floor I find the office of "Z. Gross & Associates, Import/Export" - Z. Gross being the person charged alongside "Blaster" Babbet in the old court records I found earlier. The office is unlocked, and venturing inside I am confronted with the first and only T-junction of my adventure - truly a sign of what an unusual FF gamebook this one is. I head right, entering a room where two "brutish-looking characters" are shredding paper files and chucking magnetic tapes into an incinerator. "This must be a museum showcasing office technologies of the late 20th Century", I think to myself before hitting the deck cos these naughty boys are drawing down on me. I finally get to have a shoot-out and I drop them without difficulty thanks to my excellent but underutilised SKILL score. One of them had a pew-pew gun with full-auto mode, which I get to keep (for the remaining few seconds of my lifespan). 

Heading into the next room, I am ambushed by a "tall, gangly bureaucrat" who brains me with a paperweight (another of the museum's exhibits I suppose). Instakill on a failed Luck test - that's all she wrote :(

Notable Encounters

Who could forget the mind-parasite from ancient Kith? What the hell was it doing in this book? Other than that, most of the encounters are vanilla henchmen, security guards and the like. So not too much to say here. But flicking through the book, there is this guy, ARCTURIAN VANQUE: 

Wait, is that.... electrified underpants that he's holding???

There's also a robot dog that someone has loving pasted fur onto... 

I suppose the gross hole in its neck is where the charging cable plugs in.

...and TV's Richard Karn makes a cameo as "Mr. Samuel", a beleaguered member of Kether's Vice Squad and the only straight cop in Kether.

Mr. Sammy shows up if you attempt to contact the local authorities in the beginning.


You wouldn't expect SKELETONS in a sci-fi book about busting drug-runners, but then you wouldn't expect a giant fiery snake with the face of a middle-aged school-teacher and spindly little chitinous arms poking out of its neck either, and we sure as shit got one of those. But sadly, the author's derangement did not extend so far as to have SKELETON GUARDS at Blaster Babbet's stash house or anything like that.

Final Thoughts

The idea at the heart of Rings is interesting, in that you are working through an investigation rather than exploring a dungeon or similar adventure location. Conceptually, the "map" of this gamebook is a bunch of investigative options, which have "exits" towards other leads that may put you closer or further away to closing in on the drug ring. Certain sections, such as the "GO TO THE LIBRARY" bit seem to be fall-backs for when you've made the wrong decisions elsewhere. The book feels very rushed in many areas and as such the concept doesn't quite come together, especially if you take a very sub-optimal path as I did. Make no mistake - my investigation was a real dog's fukken breakfast. Let's recap it quickly:

  • turned up on Kether with five thousand kopecks, ten thousand space bananas, and zero fucking clues
  • went to a bar, embarassed myself talking some shit about "underworld largesse", then bribed a waitress with some ridiculous amount amount of money (like, she probably would have done it for HALF what I offered)
  • guy she introduced me to immediately made me for a narc, then got killed before I could learn anything from him
  • went to the library to (apparently) "research" the killer I saw leaving the hotel room (?!?)
  • found a couple of random names in the court records, looked them up in the phone book but ignored what I found
  • broke into government archives, possibly murdered a guard, looked up the space traffic records and found something faintly dodgy, but totally unconnected to the drug trade
  • broke into the office of the Chief of Air Traffic Control and found references to some random asteriod in connection with the same bum lead
  • went to said asteroid, which turned out to be a freaky space monastery somehow parachuted in from a different genre 
  • met a Cthulhu monster who took pity on me and dropped a hint that I should be investigating Customs
  • hid in a locker in the Customs freight depot for a while, then jumped out and scared some guys with my gun (BTW we must assume these guys are dead from starvation now because I locked them up on my starship and never came back)
  • acting immediately on the first mangled garbage that dropped from their mouths, I fly up to a satellite and risk my life doing EVAs to learn nothing new whatsoever
  • go to Isosceles tower, kill two guys in a shoot-out and then get my skull renovated by some pencil-neck from the Accounts Payable department of a front company
  • die miserably

It doesn't exactly read like one of Sam Spade's finest. At this point, I have to ask - was I even really a cop??? I had no support, seemingly no official authority - looking at the things I did, several of them were actual crimes and I could very reasonably have been sent to jail myself. Basically the only smart thing I did was ask the non-Euclidean ululating space menace to tell me what to do, and that bitch might have been a hallucination all along. Could it be... in true Fighting Fantasy fashion... I was just another wandering, homicidal lunatic???


Makes ya think.



  1. Of all of the Mind Parasite's sprouting appendages, I think I like the udders the least.

    Surely it should be stylised as MIND PARASITE, anyway? Another mistake by the editors of this book.

    (Great fun as always, BOM).

    1. Good thought, surprisingly it didn't occur to me to capitalise it either. Perhaps because you can't fight it, it doesn't have a SKILL and STAMINA score... It's a phenomenon existing outside of our natural laws

  2. The book is kind of an odd hybrid of hard-boiled detective mixed with sci-fi. Rather fun though. I agree with your suggestion that your character probably wasn't a real federal investigator (though he definitely THOUGHT that he was). Maybe paragraph 400 reveals that the whole escapade was a drug induced psychos experienced by a sad wretch in the terminal phase of Satophil-D addiction; then delivers a stern but wholesome lecture on the dangers of substance misuse? It would beat the ending of Space Assassin anyway.
    BOM BOM and once again BOM

  3. Hilarious as ever.

    A flawed book, but entertaining (not always in ways the author intended). Some of the character names border on Pythonesque - on a different path you could have discovered that your murdered lead was called Arthur Flange.

    Someone at Puffin evidently thought like you about a couple of aspects of the book, because later print runs deleted the shenanigans with the confiscated spy beam and changed pep pills to energy tablets.


  4. Great stuff, as ever! I appreciate the laughs. This blog's making me consider getting into FF collecting, but none of my friends have wine boxes full of FF books to give me, which seem to be the way Dan from "Fighting Dantasy" and you both got into it. Maybe I need to get new friends?

  5. BOM please keep the goodies coming! One of the least memorable FF books, I think I completed it first go back in 1985 and thought little of it. Blaster Babbett turns up and he's a crap final boss.

  6. Great review Murray as always! Loved the use of microfiche but getting the word obtuse in when talking about the isosceles tower is pure genius!

    1. Thanks... That Isosceles Tower line was one for the Real Headz!

      Hey when are you gonna get RSS working on your log my man? I want it to come up in my feed when you update

    2. Well I have tried but I suspect unsuccessfully! However my blog was just to fill the empty void that was left when you were gone. Now you are back I feel it has served its purpose. Plus it takes bloody ages to do them haha.

    3. Nah come on, keep going!
      Do you think it's coincidence that I picked this up again after you started?

    4. Well if you insist -

  7. This is an FF Deep Cut, often forgotten. The Fantastic Fights podcast played it recently and liked it better than you seemed to.

  8. oh man, when i started this blog podcasts weren't even a thing! And now not only do they exist, they have overtaken me in the sequence of Fighting Fantasy books.

    Truly I am a terrible procrastinator.

  9. I think Fatso on the cover isn't a 'he'. I think that's Zera Gross, one of the two big bads of the book. I also seem to recall that if you fight her, it's an auto-loss and she beats you to a pulp. She's kinda like Marvel's Kingpin but with hairier legs.

  10. Yay you're back! been waiting like 5 years for you to pick this back up! Great to hear from you again!

  11. Never read this one. Thanks for taking one for the team.

  12. Fantastic (pun intended) readthrough/playthrough, as ever. It's pretty impressive that Chapman got to pump out two titles in a row for Puffin...especially since they dropped him like a hot brick pretty soon after...

    1. He got into a stoush about authorship credits apparently. Tells a few stories about the old days on his blog quite interesting.

    2. Fascinating. I always wondered what the sub-authors thought of Puffin's attribution stranglehold, having that LIVINGSTONE/JACKSON PRESENTS banner blitzed all over their labours. Turns out they were none too pleased with it. By the way, I don't mean my casual use of capitals to imply that Steve and Ian are monsters, but you can kind of see the opposing point of view...

  13. So are you going to continue this most excellent blog?

  14. I'm glad to read that (albeit a bit concerned about the question mark)! This is a truly excellent blog about the favorite gamebook series of my youth, and I very much enjoy your entries. By the way, did you know that in the U.K., on September 1st, they are releasing two new Fighting Fantasy books by the original authors? "Secrets of Salamonis" by Steve Jackson, and "Shadow of the Giants" by Ian Livingstone!

    1. Yeah it's a bit sad that these old codgers can get new books out faster than I make blog posts!
      Anyway I intend to continue but you can see my track record - next one could be a ways off!

    2. Seeaaaaaasssssssssssssss ooooooofffffffffffffffffffffffffffff Blooooooooooooooooodddddddddddddd!!!

    3. Come on Murray, I am in danger of having to think of something original, perish the thought!