FIGHTING FANTASY — THE WORLD'S MOST POPULAR ADVENTURE GAMEBOOK SERIES "... The book you hold in your hands is a gateway to a world in which YOU are the HERO!
You decide which route to take, which dangers to risk, and which creatures to fight. But be warned – it will also be YOU who has to live or die by the consequences of your actions..." "...Two dice, a pencil and an eraser are all you need to make your journey. YOU decide which route to take, which creatures to fight and which dangers to risk....
" Creation of Fighting Fantasy The book was first conceived in 1980, when Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone met Geraldine Cooke, a Penguin Books editor, at the Games Workshop's annual Games Day exhibition at the Royal Horticultural Halls in London. Initially Cooke was interested in publishing a "how-to-do-it" book on fantasy role-playing games (similar to what the pair would write individually with Fighting Fantasy - The Introductory Role-playing Game and Dicing with Dragons respectively) but when creating the synopsis, Jackson and Livingstone became less inclined to write a technical manual. Instead they fused basic role-playing rules and fantasy adventure plots so that the reader would be able to take part in the book as a single-player role-playing game; the gamebook concept.
The pair began work on the project in 1980, initially titled The Magic Quest, and spent much of the time formulating the mechanics of how it would work. Cooke was sent the manuscript and she asked whether it was to be aimed at adults or children. Although the two authors believed it should be both, Tony Lacey, head of Puffin Books (Penguin's imprint for children) suggested that a targeted demographic of nine-to-twelve-year-old's would result in the highest sales. Also, the original synopsis was mainly pictures with text at the bottom such as "Do you want to fight this ogre? Turn to page ..." Although Penguin said they would like to go with it, it would have to be without all the pictures because it would cost a fortune. After over six months of frustrating waiting, Jackson and Livingstone were commissioned to write the book in August 1981. Although both authors disliked the working title of The Magic Quest, after "endless debates" they could not come up with an alternative. Eventually the two came up with a compromise. Livingstone, who wrote the first part, had mentioned in the opening paragraph that the whole adventure took place in Firetop Mountain. Jackson, who wrote the final part, had created a climatic battle with a powerful warlock. On the day the book was handed in it was agreed that the two elements would be combined to create the final title: The Warlock of Firetop Mountain. Ian Livingstone also came up with the brand name "Fighting Fantasy" when prompted by Puffin to do so.
The books editor, Philippa Dickinson, was thorough. She highlighted inconsistencies, made suggestions over formatting, and had much to do with the final combat system that was used. She also pointed out the difference in writing styles for the first and second halves was clear and this ended up requiring a second draft. Each author had written half of the adventure each (Livingstone wrote the first half, up to the river crossing, which made a convenient hand-over point, and Jackson wrote the climax of the adventure), and the writing style noticeably changed part way through the book - so Jackson re-wrote Livingstone's part of the book in his own style. The finished book was made up of a clean 400 numbered references, which set the standard for the books that followed. This was, however a coincidence. When Jackson and Livingstone combined the two halves of the adventure it transpired that the numbered references, when added together, made a sum of 399. A fake key reference was added to bring to total up to 400. In August 1982 the first Fighting Fantasy gamebook, titled The Warlock of Firetop Mountain, finally appeared and went on to sell out its first print run in a matter of weeks, helped in no small part to the Puffin Book Club and articles in the White Dwarf magazine. It eventually sold over a million copies in fifteen languages..
Descriptions and information were gathered from several sites: Titannica Wiki! http://fightingfantasy.wikia.com/ The Official Fighting Fantasy™ website http://fightingfantasy.com/ Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fighting_Fantasy Demian's Gamebook Web Page http://www.gamebooks.org/index.php Fighting Fantasy Collector http://www.fightingfantasycollector.co.uk/