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30 August 2016 @ 10:43 am
Radio 4's Front Row is one of the BBC's most popular and well-regarded magazine shows on arts and entertainment, so it was pretty neat to be asked to come on and talk about writing for videogames for an audience of listeners who are likely to be outside the wheelhouse of most things games related...

This month has seen two big new releases in the video gaming world: the highly anticipated No Man Sky, which promises an infinite, constantly regenerating universe for players to discover, and the latest instalment in the sci-fi blockbuster franchise Deus Ex: Mankind Divided. From an economic perspective, games have outperformed other creative industries for years, and they're also nurturing the best creative writing talent.
So how do writers fit in to this multi-billion pound industry? Novelist and scriptwriter James Swallow, whose game writing credits include Deus Ex: Mankind Divided and No Man's Sky, and scriptwriter and story designer Rhianna Pratchett, whose credits include Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, discuss.

Samira Ahmed interviewed m'colleague Rhianna Pratchett and I on last Friday's show, where we talked about our work on the Tomb Raider and Deus Ex games, as well as the nature of narrative design and the future of game stories; check out the show here via this Link - Rhi and I are on from the 13:26 mark.

23 August 2016 @ 10:32 am
The wait is over; it's time to get augmented and return to the dark world of cyberpunk and conspiracy in Deus Ex: Mankind Divided....

The year is 2029, and mechanically augmented humans have now been deemed outcasts, living a live of segregation on the fringes of society. Adam Jensen is now an experienced covert operative, forced to work in a world that has grown to despise his kind. Armed with a new arsenal of state-of-the-art weapons and augmentations, he must find a path through a wilderness of secrets and learn who to trust, if he is to unravel the vast conspiracy that threatens to control the future of all humanity...

Back in 2008 I was recruited to work on Deus Ex: Human Revolution with the Eidos Montreal studio, starting a working relationship with the EM team that I am proud to still be a part of eight years on. DXHR was a hit that earned us great criticial acclaim, including several award nominations (among them a personal BAFTA nom for Best Story!); I got to follow that up with original fiction in the novel Deus Ex: Icarus Effect and the eBook novella Deus Ex: Fallen Angel, along with story work on the mobile title Deus Ex: The Fall.

But now the next iteration of stories in the Deus Ex world have arrived, and it has been my pleasure to contribute to the critical path storyline for Mankind Divided - available today on PC, Playstation 4 and XBox One platforms. Also officially available today is Deus Ex: Black Light, my original novel that spans the gap between DXHR and DXMD, and Deus Ex: Hard Line, an exclusive digital novella available with the DXMD Day One and Collector's Edition releases.

For more information about the world of Deus Ex, check out the official site Here.

Deus Ex: Black Light is available from Titan Books Here.

18 August 2016 @ 12:42 pm

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided hits next week on August 23rd, but that's also the official release date for Deus Ex: Black Light, the prequel novel I wrote that connects the storyline of the new game to the shattering conclusion of the previous game, Deus Ex: Human Revolution...

At the conclusion of Human Revolution, cybernetically-enhanced ex-cop Adam Jensen was driven to stop a global conspiracy against his fellow augmented - an act that plunged the world into turmoil and threw Jensen into an uncertain future. Months later, he awakens in secure medical facility with missing memories and new dangers to face.

Black Light takes Jensen back to where it all began, on the mean streets of Detroit, and sets up the events that will lead him into Mankind Divided...

The year is 2029, and the shining promise of a new age of human augmentation is in ruins in the wake of the devastating ‘Aug Incident’ – a horrific catastrophe triggered by a cabal of shadowy power brokers, where millions of cybernetically-enhanced people suffered a forced psychotic break.

Awakening in the aftermath of a changed world, with gaps in his memories and suspicion on all sides, augmented ex-cop and former security operative Adam Jensen struggles to piece his life back together, in a new reality where ‘Augs’ have become the targets of hatred, fear and violent discrimination.

Now the dark forces behind the Incident are gathering once again, reaching out to manipulate the course of global events through terror and intimidation. To find the answers that he seeks and the people who destroyed everything he knew, Jensen must return to the ashes of the past, reconnect with old allies, and risk all to expose a deadly conspiracy – but in a world shattered by secrets, can the truth be brought into the light?

Deus Ex: Black Light is published by Titan Books in the UK and US in both dead-tree and ebook editions on the 23rd (details Here), and Milady Books will be releasing a French-language edition a few days later on the 26th (details Here).

Check out a sneak peek at the first few chapters of Here, or if you'd like to see more of the work by the novel's cover artist (one of the senior concept artists at Eidos Montreal), visit the online portolio of Bruno Gauthier LeBlanc right Here.

15 August 2016 @ 11:17 am
We're just over a week away from the release of the next iteraton of the Deus Ex videogame franchise on August 23rd, and I've been very proud to be a part of the writing team behind Deus Ex: Mankind Divided! But working on the story and script for the game hasn't been my only contribution to the world of this conspiracy-laden cyberpunk future - the 23rd will also see the release of Deus Ex: Black Light, a prequel novel that fills in some of the missing time between the end of the previous game Human Revolution and the start of Mankind Divided.

But that's not all: I've also authored the new original eBook novella Deus Ex: Hard Line (featuring the backstory of the character Alex Vega) which will be available as part of the Collector's Edition and Day One Edition releases of DXMD.

I love this moody, noir-inspired cover for Hard Line by Nicolas Lizotte, one of the senior concept artists at Eidos Montreal! You can see more of Nicolas's work Here at his online portfolio.

You can learn more about everything else in the Deus Ex: Mankind Divided Collector's Edition by checking out this unboxing video with producer Jean-Francois Dugas Here.

09 August 2016 @ 10:00 am
No Man's Sky is here!

Today's that day the hype becomes real and the gateway to a galaxy of 18 quintillion explorable planets opens; I've been fortunate enough to write some of the lore for No Man's Sky, contributing key text to the game itself and writing "Ashes & Iron", an original short story for Adventures In No Man's Sky, a pulp SF collection that comes packaged with the game's Limited Edition release - and I am hugely excited to have been part of this ambitious new gameworld.

Check out my earlier posts about working on the project Here and Here.

You can pick up No Man's Sky on the PS4 in the ordinary or Limited Edition versions Here, via Steam for the PC Here, or get the exclusive Explorer's Edition Here.

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01 August 2016 @ 07:08 pm

August is going to be a packed month for cool videogame releases (certainly for me!), and it kicks off next week with the arrival of No Man’s Sky, the hotly-anticipated science-fiction exploration epic from Hello Games.

I’ve talked about NMS previously, because of my involvement with Adventures in No Man’s Sky, an original fiction collection published by Dark Horse Comics that comes packaged with the game’s PlayStation 4 Limited Edition collection.

I was lucky enough to be invited to contribute to the lore of the NMS universe along with famous artists like Angus McKie and Dave Gibbons.I got to write a short story called “Ashes & Iron”, for which Dave has drawn some fantastic illustrations in the style of the old classic SF pulp magazines like Galaxy, Astounding and Amazing Stories.

But what I haven’t talked about until now is that I was also invited by Hello Games producer Sean Murray to join his team and contribute some writing to the game itself.

The universe of No Man’s Sky contains many mysteries for players to unravel and much to explore – I am reliably informed that the game contains 184446744073709551616 planets. As much as that number looks like I just mashed my hand on the keypad, I am assured it is accurate (!)

I got to write a little of the material that intrepid explorers will find in abandoned locations across these myriad worlds, as well as lore that will peel back some of the unknowns around the strange phenomena known as the Atlas – and I can’t wait to get in there myself and start visiting some alien vistas.

No Man’s Sky is out on PS4 on August 9th, and PC a few days later. Check out the official website here.

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28 July 2016 @ 12:11 pm
04 July 2016 @ 01:06 pm

It's been a month now since my new thriller novel Nomad hit bookstores and I'm pleased to say it's doing well! Three weeks to date in the Sunday Times hardcover bestseller list (charting highest at #5) and making the top six Kindle titles on Amazon's Crime & Thriller list means a lot of people have been giving it a read, and to one and all I would like to say a heartfelt thank you!

Nomad was a real roll of the dice for me as a genre writer to try something new in the thriller mould and it's been great to see the surge in audience interest. My thanks to the team at Bonnier Zaffre and United Agents for all their hard work on the launch - and more so to all my friends, family and colleagues who have been so supportive in these past few weeks; I <3 you guys!

Around the launch of Nomad, I did a few blogs, Q&A's and the like - and so for your interest, here's a full list...

I talk about inspiration with the Writing.IE website.

I share my Top 5 Fictional Espionage Agencies with Nudge.

Here's a transcript of the Live Twitter Q&A I did with Bonnier Zaffre Books.

I discuss the Enduring Appeal of Espionage Fiction with Foyles.

Another Q&A, this time with the Bibliomaniac blog.

This guest post at The Civilian Reader blog talks about the music of Nomad.

I talk about some of the Exotic Tech in Nomad with The Crime Warp blog.

Over here I chat to the Irish Times about writing locations.

And of course, if you'd like to buy a copy of Nomad, look for it in your local bookstore, supermarket or right Here!

22 June 2016 @ 09:39 am
New book day is always the best day!

Check out the cover art for Adventures In No Man's Sky, an exclusive anthology featuring the comic strip "Cargo" by industry legends Dave Gibbons and Angus McKie, and the prose story "Ashes & Iron" by me...

Adventures In No Man's Sky will be available as part of the No Man's Sky Limited Edition release for the PlayStation 4, and you can learn more about that Here.

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14 June 2016 @ 04:36 pm
I don't think I've deluged all you good people with quite enough promo madness for my new novel just yet; and so I've got a couple more updates for your entertainment...

First, Here I am appearing on my good friend Adam Rosser's Game On show talking about Nomad (even reading a bit) and a little about Deus Ex: Mankind Divided.

Then, Here's me talking to The Irish Times about the importance of locations in writing and when writing.

And however you want to slice it, it seems that all this bloggage has been doing the trick, because I am very pleased to say that Nomad has leapt from the #12 slot in last week's hardcover bestseller list to #5 for this week (and #6 in the Sunday Times!)

So to everyone out there who bought my book, please accept a big thank you from me! You support is very much appreciated!

(And for anyone who hasn't yet picked up a copy, allow me to gently remind you that Nomad is available online and at all good bookstores!)

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