Who are you?

Hi, I’m Chris Farnell and this is my website.

I write stories. Some of those stories are in books. Some of them have been part of live experiences. Some of them have been in games. I’ve also written articles on subjects ranging from mind reading to Minecraft to whether your mind is actually just a simulation.
If you have a story that you'd like me to write or help with something you're already working on I'm always keen to chat. Just click through here and I'll see what I can do to help.

Okay, but who are you?

You want the whole life story?

I was hatched from a vat in 2002 when I immediately went to study English Literature with Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia. On graduating in 2005 I received my first book deal for the YA science fiction novel, Mark II.
I’ve written for the National Science Museum, Wired magazine, Warner Bros Studios, Den of Geek and many, many other places. I’ve also given talks and run writing workshops for schools, adult education and fan conventions, including Nine Worlds 2015 where I somehow persuaded a room of 50 people to write an entire novella within an hour and 15 minutes.

Sure, but what can you do for me?

If you want words written, I can write those words for you!

I can write for all kinds of styles and formats and deliver work on time and to a brief. I’ve collaborated with designers, other writers and editors, both on location and remotely using skype, slack, and google docs. I’ve written storylines, story hooks, in-world flavour text, rules mechanics, essays and articles to spec and to a deadline. Please get in touch if you need content writing for:

  • Print or digital magazine
  • Web content
  • Tabletop RPGs
  • Live games and events
  • Talks
  • Writing workshops
  • B2B journalism and copy

Portfolio

Over the last decade I’ve written a lot of articles

Geeky stuff

I’ve written for a number of outlets about all things science fictional, fantastical and videogame-ish. Here are some of my favourite bits:

Rock, Paper, Shotgun

I’ve reviewed games for Rock, Paper, Shotgun.

Rock, Paper, Shotgun

The Literary Platform

The Literary Platform looks at new platforms for fiction. I’ve written them a Choose Your Own Adventure about Choose Your Own Adventures, mediations of the longevity of the zombie genre, a review of the Discworld app, and more.

The Literary Platform

Den of Geek

I’ve written for Den of Geek about canon in Doctor Who, the world building of pre-school TV, and the use of allegory in science fiction.

Den of Geek

SparkLife

I’ve written a number of geeky and pop-culture based articles for the SparkNotes website, covering comic book crossovers, remakes of 90s TV shows and the horrifying real science behind your favourite children’s books.

SparkLife

PC World

I’ve written for PC World about videogames that are like a second job (in a good way!) and how to turn your mobile phone into a functional Star Trek tricorder.

PC World

print Media

As well as online publication, I’ve been a contributor to Wired magazine, Minecraft World, and Hack Circus magazine.

Live Events

The Trial for the Science Museum w/ Serious Business

I wrote a large amount of the support material for this game/exhibit that took place during the Science Museum’s Zombie Lab event. Set in the aftermath of a zombie apocalypse following the discovery of a “zombie cure”, participants were asked to review evidence and witness testimony to decide the fate of two individuals, a survivor who had killed zombies, and a “cured” zombie who had killed people. The event was covered in the New Scientist and BBC news.

The Trial

Starship Hack Circus

A tie in event for the “First Contact” themed issue of Hack Circus Magazine. I helped turn the event into an actual live (fake) space mission. I planned out the “story” for the space mission, and wrote much of the supporting material, including the alien “radio transmissions” the audience would be hearing, along with text for posters and associated social media.

I’ve spoke numerous times at Hack Circus’s live events, including this talk on time travel logic, and an explanation of why you might be a brain in a jar (I brought the jar).

Starship Hack Circus

Nine Worlds

In 2015 I ran the Apocalypse track for the Nine Worlds fan convention, arranging speakers, chairing panels and running workshops. That same year I also ran “NanoSessionMo”, an attempt to get a room of nearly 50 people to write an entire novella within 75 minutes, which was covered in the Guardian. I’ve also given talks and run workshops here on time travel logic, writing aliens, and looking at what writing stories about existing technology can teach you about science fiction.

Nine Worlds

Business-to-Business Writing

As well as writing about various geekery, I’m also an established B2B journalist whose articles have appeared in a number of publications.

Motor Finance

I’ve written a number of articles for Motor Finance magazine, covering everything from caravans to vehicle remarketing.

Motor Finance

The Digital Banking Club

Working with Credit Strategy magazine I’ve written white papers on a number of the Digital Banking Club’s roundtable discussions, including how technology can disrupt the collections industry, and what the industry must do to support vulnerable customers.

Business Focus Magazine

I’m the Senior Editor of Business Focus Magazine, performing interviews, writing content and planning features for the B2B magazine.

Business Focus Magazine

Books

Books by Me

Knock! Knock! Who's There? Joke Book

Climb aboard the TARDIS for a journey through space, time, and comedy in the official Doctor Who joke book!

-What do we want?

-TIME TRAVEL!

-When do we want it?

-THAT’S IRRELEVANT!

Packed with a dimensionally transcendent TARDIS-load amount of jokes, gags and riddles, this is the official Doctor Who joke book! Remember: it’s funnier on the inside!

Dirty Work

“I don’t normally talk about work.”

A call handler for an insurance company that offers out of this world cover, a broker of Faustian pacts, the best man at a doomed stag night, a PR consultant who’s way out of his depth, and a ninja: everyone has a job to do. Eight stories, eight people, eight jobs: some find their work takes them just beyond reality; for others, “beyond reality” is just another day at the office.

Mark II

Phil still calls for his best friend every day on his way to school, despite Mark’s recent death. Then one morning Mark is back: a clone created by Laz-R-UsT. Without Phil to teach Mark II the basics of life – the proper way to wear a school shirt and tie, why it’s best not to back-chat playground bullies, that perhaps he’s not good enough for footy practice – he seems unlikely to survive, let alone convince anyone he really is Mark. But soon they feel like best mates again, hanging out doing everyday stuff together . . . until an awful accident makes us realise that no one’s heard the last of Mark I, or the odd circumstances behind his death. Told with teenage energy, Mark II takes a deft, witty approach to mortality and grief. Philosophical, accessible and intriguing, it also has strong appeal for adult readers.

Available in Italian as Mark 2.0.

The Wasteland Almanac

The Wasteland Almanac for Legacy: Life Among the Ruins Second Edition gives you 60 gobbets of post-apocalyptic weirdness to put in your wasteland, divided up into strange settlements, reality-warping devices and monstrous threats. Each entry offers suggestions of how to use it in your game – and how to mutate it as time passes. If you’re looking for inspiration for your Wasteland, in Legacy or any other post-apocalyptic RPG, look no further!

Books I've Contributed to

Strata: A Spire RPG Source Book

The first full-length hardback sourcebook for the critically-acclaimed Spire RPG. Contains more info on the richest and poorest districts in Spire, two new classes, ten scenarios, loads of extra advances and beautiful art from Adrian Stone.

Legacy: Life Among the Ruins - The Engine of Life

The Fall has come, and devastated the World Before. But it’s not like we haven’t suffered catastrophes before. Every time our world falls apart, we’ve found a way to survive – and not just survive, but work together with friends new and old to build a new life.

In this 120-page hardcover book, you’ll find many ways to point your Legacy: Life Among the Ruins campaign towards an eventual rebirth.

Den of Eek 2: Urban Legends

A collection of 14 brand new horror short stories from authors such as Sarah Pinborough, Neil Jones, James Moran, Rosie Fletcher and James Henry.

Proceeds from the book go to support cancer charities, as part of DenOfGeek.com’s Geeks Vs Cancer appeal. Each story deals with the theme of urban legends. And they’re best not read before bedtime…

You can hear the stories read here (my story is at 7.15).

Phantom of the Space Opera

Gamma is a reclusive cyborg who has shunned human contact to hide in the engine room of a vast starship. She loves only two things – opera, and L.Y.D.I, the ship’s AI. But when an ambitious new captain plans an upgrade that will destroy the AI’s very essence, Gamma must leave the engine room to go on an epic quest throughout the ship, making some strange allies along the way…

This book was written as part of 2015’s Nineworlds convention in an attempt that was covered by The Guardian. 29 writers and an artist came up with an idea for, plotted, wrote and designed the cover for a book all within 75 minutes. You can download the finished book here.

If you want to speak to me you can email me at

Alternatively you can also find me on twitter at