Magic Realms cover image

Magic Realms

February 9, 2024

books rpg

After griping about delays on Unbound and Kickstarter projects a year and a bit ago, I've succumbed to another... A follow-up of sorts to Dice Men, Magic Realms by Ian Livingstone and Jonathan Green purports to be "the definitive collection of iconic art from the worldwide phenomenon of Fighting Fantasy."

The Fighting Fantasy books were for me an early introduction to the classic covers and black and white line art by the likes of Tony Ackland, Dave Andrews, John Blanche, Paul Bonner, Les Edwards, Iain McCaig, Russ Nicholson, and of course, Ian Miller (one of the best). I hope this book contains as many of the classics as possible...

The initial pledge window and the supporters list are both now closed, but you can pre-order Magic Realms on Unbound right now. An abridged synopsis of the upcoming tome follows:

In August 1982, Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone’s first Fighting Fantasy gamebook was published by Penguin Books under their children’s imprint, Puffin Books. It was an innovative branching narrative fantasy adventure and had a simple game system and the intriguing title of The Warlock of Firetop Mountain. What followed was nothing less than a publishing phenomenon. By the 40th anniversary of The Warlock of Firetop Mountain, more than 20 million Fighting Fantasy gamebooks had been sold worldwide in over 30 languages.

Over the years, the one thing that the books, as well as the spin-off novels, role-playing games, comics, board games, miniature figurines, and video games all had in common was the incredible artwork which helped define Fighting Fantasy. From the heroes to the characters, to the settings, to the legions of terrifying monsters, the world of Fighting Fantasy was brought to life by a succession of hugely talented artists.

The Art of Fighting Fantasy is a book which celebrates the incredible art of the brilliant and highly respected fantasy and science fiction artists who, over the years, worked with the Fighting Fantasy authors to bring their interactive adventures to life. Written by Fighting Fantasy co-creator Ian Livingstone and Fighting Fantasy historian Jonathan Green, The Art of Fighting Fantasy is a who’s who of fantasy art.

Packed with illustrations from four decades of Fighting Fantasy gamebooks and featuring fascinating insights into their work from the artists themselves, The Art of Fighting Fantasy is a collector’s item which is destined to take pride of place on the bookshelves of gamebook fans and lovers of fantasy art the world over.

Image is "Dragon Spell" by Chris Achilléos, which graced the cover of the Advanced Fighting Fantasy world sourcebook, "Titan". Image © House of Achilléos.