Tempora mutantur, nos et mutamur in illis
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 the Engineers’ dialogue (Elvira’s flirty prose was one of mine 😉 ) – has been to simply entertain. If I’ve managed that I consider my contribution a success. I’d like to thank everyone who has helped and encouraged me along the way. There truly are too many to list. The passion and the enthusiasm of the community still shines through it all. The sheer dedication and application of effort is staggering.
There is an infinite amount of space out there, both literally and figuratively. Space for more stories, space for other authors to make their mark on the lore and begin new adventures in the void.
Would I write another Elite Dangerous book? I’d certainly consider it. Trilogies are always good and I’d like it to be a 3 book set. Perhaps ‘Elite Dangerous : Retaliation’ as we fight back against the Thargoids, or even ‘Elite Dangerous : Revelation’ – something about the elusive mystery of Raxxla? It would have to end in ‘tion’ whatever happens. 😉 I’ve jotted down a few ideas. We’ll see what the future brings.
For now though, I’m continuing to develop my own SF and Fantasy stories and working on other projects. So, if you like my brand of story-telling, look out for the upcoming Lords of Midnight and the remainder of the Shadeward Saga in 2018 and 2019. I’m actually a little behind on those, in part due to the work on Elite Dangerous, so need to make up time.
Unfortunately this also means that I no longer have spare time to curate my lore pages, so I’ve caveated them with a warning that they won’t be updated post v2.4. If you want content from them please grab it in the next few weeks before they are archived or you’ll have to use the Wayback machine. Frontier are now posting lore direct on the official forum, and most folks are now aware of Obsidian Ant’s excellent videos, so their original purpose has been superceded. Of course, if you want to ask me a question please feel free, I’ll do my best to answer.
I’ll also be taking down my unofficial fan-fic series, the Oolite Saga, towards the end of the year. So if you want a copy of those ebooks (they’re free), please grab them soon.
I’m sure the game itself will continue to go from strength to strength from this point forward. Personally, I’m looking forward to landing on the shore of an unnamed lake on some undiscovered Earth-like world whilst watching the star set on a panoramic alien landscape from the bridge of my old ship…
So thanks to all of you, particularly those who ‘remember’. As you’ll doubtless recall, Elite combateers always …. always make a difference.
Right on, Commanders.