Saturday, April 14, 2012

M: Morris, Dave

The other half of the Fabled Lands team (in addition to Jamie Thomson, who I spoke about last week), Dave Morris is a British gamebook author with a truly impressive list of titles to his name.

Dave Morris might be my favorite gamebook author to-date. Admittedly, he wasn't in the team that wrote Talisman of Death (childhood favorite), that was his friend, Jamie Thomson, with another collaborator, but he pushes the boundaries of what gamebooks can do. Furthermore, he is, at least by my definitions, a literary author, not just a gamebook or fantasy author. He writes Mirabilis, Years of Wonder, a comic book epic that mixes fantasy, young adult fiction, and edwardian england. He wrote Heart of Ice, one of the most thoughtful gamebooks to date, with an intriguing, post-apocalyptic setting. And recently, he put out Frankenstein--an interactive re-visioning of Mary Shelley's classic, in which the reader interacts with the text not by stepping into the shoes of a lead character, but by speaking directly to the lead characters. Sometimes, they say no!

To my knowledge, no one has ever done that before. It appears not to be to everyone's liking, judging by some mixed reviews, but I think it's fascinating.

He recently had Minotaur at the Savoy available for free via kindle, and it's still a very reasonable price for a good read.

I find that many gamebook authors are game-designers first, and not as adept as writers. Alternately, many authors are writers first and don't really know how to include an engaging, balanced game into their story. Dave Morris is one of those treasures who can do both.

Check out his blogs at or


  1. I love Heart of Ice - it is pioneering in the gamebook world. There is lots of interaction between yourself and NPCs, I love the setting and the endings are brilliant.

  2. I still need to go back through it and try some of the other endings. I think my favorite thing about it is just how evocative the setting is. But you're right, the characters are great. It's closer to being a regular novel than most gamebooks, without sacrificing interactivity.