Welcome to the Great Wizard's Exclusives Page. The artwork created by Fighting Fantasy artists has always been spectacular, and so are Wizard Books' new range of covers. These have no doubt inspired many of you to create your own images depicting your favourite monsters, characters and scenes from the series. Here we present our exclusive look at unseen artwork and sketches, as well as short interviews we've had with the cover artists themselves.
The following information was originally published on the unofficial AdvancedFightingFantasy.com detailing at the time exclusive unseen discussions and material from the original Puffin Fighting Fantasy series. At the time I was fortunate to perform many interviews with many of the original Fighting Fantasy contributors, authors and artists and they were kind enough to reveal much about their work for the genre. In a number of these interviews via email, mail and telephone I presented and revealed information regarding unseen Gamebooks, proposals and artwork that has never seen the light of day. These included details on unpublished titles that Puffin was considering for publication at the time namely; 60 Saga of the Stormchaser by Jonathan Green, 61 The Thief of Arantis by Dave Morris, 62 The Wailing World by Paul Mason, 63 Pirates of the Black Skull by Jonathan Green, 64 Deathlord by Andrew Chapman & Martin Allen, Deathtrap Dungeon 3 by Dave Morris, 65 Night of the Creature by Marc Gascoinge and 66 The Keeper of the Seven Keys by Dave Morris & Jamie Thomson. Other titles such as the [Redacted] plot known as [Redacted] by [Redacted], Labyrinth of Death by Dave Morris & Jamie Thomson, a Sequel to Curse of the Mummy by Jonathan Green and [Redacted] also by [Redacted]. As originally presented on AdvancedFightingFantasy.com here is the information as provided by the brilliant Paul Mason on his unfortunately unpublished proposal for The Wailing World.
Exclusive 3: The Wailing World - Paul Mason
During a recent conversation with Paul Mason he revealed some curious information regarding a lost gamebook known as the Wailing World. This is what he had to say.
The book was set in Lagash. It arose from a combination of things. The first was the art rough that Ian Miller did for Magehunter. It was rather forced on me by Peter Darvill-Evans, and didn't suit the book at all (it also contradicted one of the interior illustrations, something I _hate_ in books). Through sheer stubbornness I managed to get them to change this, but I felt sorry for Ian, who'd drawn an interesting picture. I decided to write a new book which would allow that rough to be developed into a new cover.
The second thing I decided was to correct my many previous mistakes. My books were too sprawling. There was too much traipsing around the countryside in them. Moreover they were always too difficult (a mistake deriving from the fact that all the correspondence we received at Warlock said that difficult books were best...).
I decided to return to the dungeon, which I'd forsworn years earlier as one of the more stupid D&D decorations. I'd got more interested in the possibilities of the dungeon from playing the Empire of the Petal Throne role-playing game. I also wanted to try to capture more of the 'mythic' feel of the fantasy literature I liked.
So the book was going to be very tight. It was all going to take place in or beneath Lagash, and it was going to all fit into a couple of days.
The basic mission was to rescue a prince from a sorcerer, but that was more the maguffin than the true plot. You were going to end up in the Wailing World, a cave labyrinth far, far, beneath the surface, inhabited by spiny creatures which required a constant droning sound to vibrate their spines and keep them alive. Exposure to the droning sound would soon lead to madness, so getting out of the Wailing World would become a race against time.
Another detail of the book was that you were going to be able to choose from 4 personae: a standard hero, a trickster, a renegade and a sidekick (who was impersonating the recently deceased legendary hero).
I suspect that like most of my books, it would have actually been a little different to mainstream FF. Slaves of the Abyss, Black Vein Prophecy, The Crimson Tide, The Riddling Reaver were all great books! Sadly I never read MageHunter and will try and get hold of it eventually! Magehunter is the only one I can read nowadays. The flaws of the others annoy me too much. I think of the earlier books, the Robin of Sherwood Gamebooks I did with Graham Staplehurst were better, though they, too have drawn poor Reviews from aficionadoes. Magehunter was designed to be easier (Wailing World was also going to be easier) but still drew complaints about being too difficult.