#VoteYesAustralia

Posted by on Sep 16, 2017 in Announcements

Something a little different today, a guest blog. Nothing to do with SF or Fantasy, but a poignant letter from my sister, Jacqui. She and her partner, Alena, of 16 years are currently unable to get married because they live in Australia, it remains against the law. Citizens there soon have the option of a vote to change this. Here’s her story. As a child I never saw myself getting married, the whole white wedding was never for me. All that money, the stress of public speaking, the fanfare of fabric, hair, makeup, etc., frightening!! If two people love each other that should be enough I thought. Looking back, I guess I knew that I wouldn’t be getting married because deep down I knew I was different, and that my life wouldn’t follow the normal route of settling into happily married bliss with Mr. Right like my friends & family expected me to. It was only in my mid 20’s that I allowed myself to come out, first to myself (hard enough), then to close friends and family (much harder & extremely emotional). This journey was not an easy one, and there were some very dark, and very lonely moments. When you fear losing everyone you know & love, fear being rejected, displaced, ridiculed or worse. I did not choose to be gay, no-one does, who would choose to go through this? But I am, and I am now a much stronger & braver woman for going through this journey. I am so proud to be a part of this GLBTIQ 🏳️‍🌈 community that accepts not only me, but who are also so accepting & forgiving of those who have not always been so of us. I have been fortunate to find the most magnificent woman to share my life with, we have supportive friends & family around us, and have found the majority of people we have met during our time together, from all walks of life, from all around the world, to be accepting & non-judgemental of us. I count myself very lucky. And so I have found myself wanting to marry, but this has not been an option for us in Australia… Alena & I have been together for 16 years, and engaged for over 14 years, but we have not been able to celebrate this in the same ways as our straight siblings, because ‘it’s not legal so what’s the point’. Our politicians have continually denied us the right to choose this option, and the future of our beautiful relationship now lies with the people of Australia. Since this postal vote was announced, I have been walking around my neighbourhood, walking our dog around the park, passing locals & friendly faces, and can’t help thinking that every one of them will have a ‘vote’ on whether my relationship is acceptable to them, whether they consider my relationship...

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Elite Dangerous Premonition Launches!

Posted by on Jul 5, 2017 in Announcements

It’s eleven months to the day since I embarked on writing my second novel in the remarkable universe of Elite Dangerous. In truth, the preparation for it started quite some time before that in terms of pitches, discussions, outlines, plans and so on. The actual writing commenced in August 2016 and continued at pace until early May this year. But now, Premonition, the sequel to Reclamation (which was launched 3 years ago!) is out. A journey complete – and what a journey that has been! Frontier commissioned me to write the current story of Elite Dangerous and it was aimed to tell the behind the scenes story of the game, a glimpse behind PowerPlay, the factions and the politics and embracing the events that players took part in, and often, changed the course of. Here then is what was happening in-game in 3302 to 3303… This book involved a huge amount of collaboration with players and Frontier staff to whom I’m very much indebted for their support and assistance. The ‘thanks to’ page in the book is not insignificant! Within hours of it first appearing on the Frontier store I was amazed to find that folks had finished it. It’s not a short book at 155,000 words (Tolkien’s Return of the King is only 135,000!). Initial feedback has been hugely positive. You can get a taste of that here, and there’s a first in depth review on Goodreads already. It’s been a mammoth project and I’ve had a great time putting altogether, though it’s not been without a modicum of controversy. This was something quite new and ambitious. My huge thanks to all involved, and to the wider community at large for their support. With your help I was able to write on, Commanders!   FAQs What formats is the ebook available in? It’s available in .epub (generic ebook readers) .mobi (good for Kindles) and .pdf (good for pretty much anything). You get all three versions when you buy the book from Frontier. When is the Amazon / Google Play / iTunes version going to be available? They are coming later this year. I don’t have an exact date at the moment, but will post up on all the usual channels once I know more. For Kindle users, the .mobi version of the ebook from the Frontier store is compatible, you can upload it manually or email it to your Kindle. When is the physical version of the book going to available? This is being combined with the other digital channels above. As yet there is no firm date. Will there be an audiobook version? This is being considered by Fdev at the moment. If I have news I will advise. The more people who ask, the more likely it will be. 🙂 Will the book be translated into different languages? Nothing confirmed on this at present. Will there be...

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Aftermath

Posted by on Apr 30, 2017 in Announcements

Commander Salomé, ex-Senator and disgraced lady Kahina Tijani Loren of the empire, is dead. She was confirmed killed at 20:49 gametime on 29th April, 3303, succumbing to hostile fire from Commander Harry Potter. Some will accuse me of having scripted this event. Some will accuse me of seeding factions and sowing discord on the ..er.. discord. I would love to accept such a compliment, but I’m not that good. I can write a plot, but I cannot manipulate an entire playerbase to my whim. Salomé’s death was the result of you, the Elite Dangerous community, what you did and didn’t do. I set out to write your story. For good or for ill, for heroes and villains, for Elitists and for compatriots, for factions and lone-wolves, for griefers and carebears – this is the universe of Elite Dangerous and the book will be true to that zeitgeist. She survived, in open mode, being assailed by hostile commanders almost immediately, for 1 hour and 45 minutes due to a combination of strategy, practice and a measure of luck. She even had our start location advertised. I’ll agree, the odds were against her. Salomé got within 6 systems of our target, having fought her way across 600 lightyears of space. Her ship was battered and damaged. At the point Salomé was finally interdicted her hull was holding up well, but the modules within were shot. The FSD drive was failing to engage. Chaff and weapons were offline. We had an AFMU – we’d already used it completely – twice. We prioritised repairs to the FSD hull (not the hull as you can’t repair it! – my bad), shields and thrusters, hoping to limp on. We had stocked up on jumponium, but we had used it all in our flight. We suffered some client disconnects, but we never combat logged. She didn’t make it. Harry Potter dealt the death blow, but she was already dying by that point due to other interdictions by hostile players and our attempts to escape using emergency FSD drops. Contrary to rumours circulating, Commander Potter wasn’t part of Salomé’s wing at any point. A valiant proactive, reactive and strategic defense was managed by allied forces in an attempt to keep her alive. You can read about that here. When news of her death was confirmed there was silence. Deep meaningful silence. Then sobs and cries. Anger, vengeance and retribution followed. This was humanity – this was the aim. Yes, I had anticipated her death. Clearly that was a highly probable outcome. Personally I was hoping she would make it. She had a speech all ready to go – she liked speeches. That will never see the light of day now because you changed the story. But this wasn’t scripted, there was only preparation for as many eventualities as we could foresee. The logs in the Teorge system were revealed by the...

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29-04-3303 Your universe needs you, CMDR!

Posted by on Apr 26, 2017 in Announcements

With a lot of healthy speculation around the 29th event, some press coverage, various stream interviews and with the help of my fellow conspirators, I thought I’d provide a little more background to the structure of the event. Many thanks to CMDR Erimus in particular for his help here. The original event that we envisioned many months ago was a chase from A to B, across the frontier worlds and into the bubble. We looked to see if this was feasible and interesting enough given the game limitations and instancing mechanics. We came to the view that it wasn’t, at least not in such a simplistic manner. One of three things would occur with that scenario: All the protagonists would die in the first 5 minutes All of the protagonists would leave everyone in their wake and be gone in a flash The servers would melt with having so many people gathered in one location at one specific time (the Distant Worlds Sag-A* showed that is one scenario FD won’t appreciate!). So the event is designed to transpire as follows: The protagonists will leave 46 Eridani and attempt to reach their destinations somewhere central within in the core worlds (bubble), and those aligned to them, or opposed to them, are encouraged to spread out across the frontier and deploy fleets to areas that the protagonists will attempt to run through. People who want to help and be involved them can fight for superiority in those areas and prevent blockades and camps from forming, while those who are opposed to the protagonists can attempt to chase down and outmanoeuvre the fugitives, or gain control of the hotspot regions that allies will be patrolling. This allows several things. Firstly if players follow these guidelines, the event will be spread out over a larger area so the whole thing isn’t based on one single focal point and stressing the servers. It allows players on both sides to use some tactics and strategy to out manoeuvre each other, they can deploy scouts and use intel to spy on each other (which is already happening), they have an opportunity to use tactics, deception, and put some thought into ship loadouts other than simply taking the fastest thing they have. Rather than a simple chase, we have a series of factions, fleets and ships jockeying for position between 46 Eridani and the core. Groups and alliances have been forming for the last few weeks, on both sides. Individuals and lonewolf players are taking part and finding roles for themselves, be it scouting for either side, or infiltrating the various discords to gather intel that suits them if they’re an opportunist bounty hunter. Instancing remains an issue, but we can’t do anything about it on the technical level – hence the guidance here. Anything on this scale will always be at the mercy of that. In...

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Deep in the Formidine Rift…

Posted by on Apr 18, 2017 in Announcements

In the early hours of this morning, the combined efforts of uncounted numbers of Elite Dangerous players came to a head with the discovery of an abandoned ‘mega’ ship far out in the depths of the galactic void. Clues to this discovery date back to January 2014 when I put the finishing touches to my original Elite Dangerous book “Reclamation“. Now, through a series of unravelled clues, player investigations, long searches and sheer hard work by the player community, the mystery alluded to within has unravelled. First it was an off-hand conversation, a passing mention of something called the “Formidine Rift” by an old lady in a hospital. Later a vague trajectory plot found in secret Imperial data banks. “Take a line from Reorte to Riedquat to the edge of the arm … and keep going.” Players went looking, triangulating the course as they uncovered other clues. Beacons, bases, puzzles, obfuscation and misdirection… 3 years have passed. Players also changed the outcome, and have yet to decide the resolution of this particular premonition. I may have written this story, but it was brought to life by the incredible development team at Frontier Developments. Voice acting (provided by the amazing Amelia Tyler and Jay Britton), music, sound effects and the amazing ship model itself were created to bring the story to life in such a grander way than mere text can convey. Spoilers ahead then, so avoid if you want to visit the ship yourself. Video courtesy of CMDR Shabooka of the...

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The official Elite Dangerous Novel, Elite Dangerous: Premonition

Posted by on Aug 12, 2016 in Announcements

It gives me enormous pleasure to announce that, yes, once again, I am embarking on the writing of an official Elite Dangerous novel. In fact, it’s not “An official Elite Dangerous novel”, it is “The official Elite Dangerous novel.” – a little more on that later. The book will be called Elite Dangerous: Premonition and it is planned to be available in mid 2017. So is it a sequel to Reclamation? Yes… and no. 😉 Premonition will definitely follow on from Reclamation, so if you haven’t read the earlier story you’ll be missing out on the background to some of the characters and the mysteries that will unravel. Characters from Reclamation will reprise their roles. You will not be surprised to find that Lady Kahina will make a return alongside some of the other characters from Reclamation. However this is going to be a rather bigger story and no longer concerns just the Prism system. This will be a galaxy-spanning epic. I’ve had the opportunity to work much more closely with Frontier Developments on aspects of the story this time around and will continue to do so throughout the novel’s creation. We’re trying something that’s not been done before; writing a story which will evolve and morph depending on what happens in the game. What will it be about? First and foremost, the book will be far more intrinsically linked to the game than before. This time, the book won’t be a ‘point in time’ or a story tangentially linked to Elite Dangerous – it will be ‘the story’. What Frontier have asked me to write is the ‘behind the scenes’ view of what is happening in-game and I’ll be writing it as it happens. All those disparate story-line threads you’ve seen: Halsey, Artefacts, Probes, Barnacles, Permit locks, The Rift, Imperial politics, Federal machinations, the secretiveness of the Alliance and those ‘Shadowy Figures’ – yes, they’re all connected and this will explain how – in a way that just can’t be done in depth in-game. I’ll be able to incorporate player activities. Elite Dangerous wasn’t available when I wrote Reclamation. Now things are very different. As part of the story, there are various points along the way where players will affect the narrative via CGs, in-game events and players just doing their own thing in response to those events.  Your collective actions in the game over the next few months will genuinely have an impact on what I end up writing. As part of that I’ve been allowed to see what has been planned and contribute some of my own ideas into the game via Galnet, CGs and so on. I’ve been working with the Elite Dangerous developers to bring alive various points in the story, adding additional content, which will allow you to take part in that story, and be mentioned as a result for your contribution. I need you to solve...

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