A little tidying up

Posted by on Oct 20, 2017 in Announcements

I’ve been giving the website something of a belated ‘spring clean’ of late. My intention is for it to be solely about my published books and associated events – various other stuff was cluttering it up. That’s now been pared back to the essentials and I’ll be focusing on that from now on. One of the major components of this was my Elite Dangerous Lore articles. After Reclamation was released back in 2013 I began collating information from the game and my own work, with the intent of producing a ‘close to definitive’ lore account of the game. Back then not much was available, these were the days before prominent youtubers and twitchers, before wikis and so on. As time went on this became more and more complex, and not helped by the frequent ‘retcons’ of what had gone before. Other folks began covering the lore and doing it more justice than I could. Time was also an issue, researching items and writing them up is very time-consuming – a luxury I can no longer afford if I’m going to keep writing my books! I need to concentrate on my own lore too. So, those articles have been transferred to the custodianship of, arguably, the most notable lore enthusiastic organisation in Elite Dangerous, Canonn Research. You can find my articles here. You may also wish to check out the recently released Elite Encounters RPG by Dave Hughes, as it contains a 50 page Elite Dangerous lore guide within it – far more comprehensive than anything I wrote. I can also wholeheartedly recommend Obsidian Ant’s youtube channel, DJTruthSayers Twitch Channel and the unofficial Elite Dangerous Wiki. Alongside all this was my previous fan-fiction work with the Oolite Saga. This was very much unofficial work. I never charged for it and always allowed it to be freely available. Unfortunately there are some issues with hosting unofficial content side by side with official content, so I’ve taken the step to only have my licensed, or professionally published books available and referenced from this site. You can still find the Oolite Saga from Ascorbius.com, or via Google Play and Smashwords – and probably thousands of other less reputable sites. 😉 Hopefully this isn’t too inconvenient for...

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Frontier Expo 2017

Posted by on Oct 9, 2017 in Announcements

There have been lots of community events organised around Frontier’s games; LaveCons, FantastiCons and EliteMeets to name the most obvious. Frontier had their original launch party too, but this was the first event they’d organised specifically to celebrate and promote themselves. Frontier Expo 2017 was held at ‘Here East’ in the Olympic Park at Stratford, London. Frontier have come a long way in a relatively short time, with new offices, new franchises and their own ability to publish games. The future looks bright indeed. 🙂 Jurassic World needs no introduction and, whilst it’s not really my thing, Planet Coaster is also a major source of excitement for many. It was clear though, from the cheer that went up, the the majority of folks were there for the most well known franchise – Elite Dangerous. The Expo itself was a portfolio, a showcase of both past and present, with a collection of past titles and current ones on display, counterpointed by a variety of talks. These were provided by some notable people, with a heavy scientific bent; Professor Brendan Walker, who has the exciting title of “Thrill Engineer”, Astrobiologist William Bains and famous palaeontologist John ‘Jack’ Horner.  There were second stage talks too. I’m sure all of these were excellent, but I can’t comment specifically as I never got into any of them during the day – I’m going to watch them online. Reasons for that later. 🙂 I was lucky enough to have a VIP pass, and thanks to the wonderful Bo Marit, I was able to avoid the main queue with my two sons after having a close up look at the scale Cobra Mk3 model outside. Within, having picked up a ‘Goodie bag’ it was time to say hello to friends old and new. Lots of streamers were already on duty in a special room. I managed a wave at the ones I knew. 🙂 We all crammed in to see the day kicked off by Ed Lewis and David Braben before a huge 4k screen (backlit too, not projected!). After that, effectively until 5pm, I was talking to folks and signing books. Premonition was on sale on the Frontier store itself, but many folks had brought my other books with them too. It was a great pleasure to do so. I’ve no idea how many I did sign – I quickly lost count, but it was great to put names to faces, or CMDR names in some cases. I was quite overwhelmed by the response at the Expo to both the books and the storytelling involved. There was huge warmth and affection for it all, which was so gratifying to hear. It was fascinating and humbling to hear how excited individuals and factions were at appearing in the story, even if very briefly. It seems I also got most of the details right too – something I was very...

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Tempora mutantur, nos et mutamur in illis

Posted by on Oct 5, 2017 in Announcements

As most of you know I’ve been involved with Elite (in its various forms) for a quite some time. I played the original game back on a friend’s BBC Micro shortly after it came out on the 20th of September 1984. I was given it as a Christmas present in 1985 for my trusty ZX Spectrum home computer. I distinctly remember seeing the Kickstarter for Elite Dangerous appear out of the blue on the BBC website – and that date was the 6th of November 2012. My direct involvement with Elite Dangerous began on the 21st of November 2012 when I launched my own infamous ‘Kickstarter to fund a Kickstarter‘ in order to write one of the first official Elite Dangerous books. Quite a lot has happened since. 😉 Most of it has been positive. I was able, with a lot of help from the community and permission from Frontier, to write two full length novels set in the Elite Dangerous universe (so far!) and create some memorable, if controversial, characters. This has been a great springboard for my own writing ‘career’. There have been conventions, podcasts, interviews, twitch streams, community events, official events, in-game events and hundreds of emails. These have all been special, occasionally even moving and emotional. High points included LaveCons and FantastiCons, the various charity events, the official launch event at Duxford, Amelia and Jay performing Salomé and Patreus. I’m sure the Expo will be fun too. Fans even named a section of the Elite Dangerous galaxy after me and I have a ‘Galaxy’ hanging in my hall as a result thanks to the Children of Raxxla and the Galactic Mapping Expedition. I have met a large number of people, many of which have become friends as a result. The ‘Elite’ part of my social circle is wide and diverse. Friendships forged there will be retained. The blunt edge of criticism (some of it fair) for the things I tried did dull my enthusiasm for a time, but a bit of vitriol and disgruntled feedback is part and parcel of being a writer, of course. With the Salomé event, I tried something that hadn’t been tried before. It was certainly something which has yet to be matched; I’ll leave time to judge whether it was a success or not. The game is very much established now. It’s an amazing creation, which is still breath-taking in scope and execution.  I’ve been able to make a contribution to its evolution that would have amazed my wide-eyed 13 year old self back in 1984. I tried very hard to put into the game a bit of the elusive ‘content’ that folks asked for. Writing for Elite Dangerous has been a fascinating experience that I will recall with great fondness. It’s been, well, a 5-year mission! My aim all along – aside from the mechanics of writing books, mission text, GalNet articles and some of...

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At the Frontier Expo

Posted by on Sep 29, 2017 in Announcements

A quick update, as time is pressing – a week to go! Frontier have confirmed that there will be 150 paperback copies of Premonition available at the Expo. I have no idea how popular they will be but the usual ‘when they’re gone, they’re gone’ applies! I’ll be at the Expo all day, but watching the events during the morning and late pm. If you would like to have a chat, get a book signed or similar, Frontier have kindly given me a spot alongside the streamers, vloggers and radio shows in the community booth area during the afternoon from 1pm-4pm, so catch me there. You can see all who is doing what here. We seem to be almost set, so look forward to seeing you there to learn more about the future of Elite Dangerous (and some stuff about dinosaurs and roller coasters 😉 ) and of course… Right on,...

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He thinks again…

Posted by on Sep 21, 2017 in Progress Report

Chris and I have been working on the novelization of the Lords of Midnight for some time now, infact it was back in June 2016 I started on the project. With Chris’ help on the lore I have made excellent progress on the novel and I’m getting closer to a good solid first draft. We’re currently at 97,088 words. It happens to be the Autumn Equinox today, as good a time as ever to give an update. However, I’m afraid we have a delay. To cut a long story short, with Chris’ and my publisher’s blessing I have taken the decision to postpone the publication date. As you know, I wanted to have the book available on the 21st of Dec 2017, to mark the Winter Solstice as per the starting point of the game narrative. Due to a number of factors progress has been delayed during the writing. I might be able to push it across the line in time, but I’d start to compromise on quality and content – Chris and I simply won’t do that. Mike Singleton’s legacy deserves the best we can produce – it means we need more time to get it right. So how much of a delay? A revised timeline has the book being published at the end of March 2018, around a 3 month delay overall. I think this is realistic based on current workload and my publisher concurs. I completely understand this isn’t the best of news, and it will be frustrating to those who are eagerly awaiting the story, particularly in time for Christmas. I hope that by letting you know as soon as I can and with a commitment to finish according to a revised plan you’ll understand the situation. The detail on the delays? As you know, I was working on my previous novel, the official Elite Dangerous book : Premonition. This featured a few …er… ‘novel’ scenarios, not least having to take part in and organize some in-game activity which would impact the end of the book. I underestimated the time required for this quite badly. My contingency time was eaten up and I still hadn’t finished with Elite Dangerous. The editing demands of that story were also considerably higher than expected. I also underestimated the emotional and physical drain involved in putting all that content together, and coping with some of the unexpected and undesirable aspects of the outcome. This was combined with a stressful period in my day job where we were under threat of redundancy throughout this entire period. In short, I got rather burnt out. It took a toll on both me and my family. Thus it took me a little time to regain equilibrium and get back on track with writing Lords of Midnight. The work situation has improved since and a summer break recharged the synapses. I’ve been trying, but...

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