BREAKING NEWS (April 1st, 2014): Frontier Developments May Be Forced to Rename Elite: Dangerous

Frontier Developments found itself at the centre of a storm of controversy this morning as another internet pressure group stepped up its campaign to ‘clean up the gaming industry and make it safe for our children’ as Anole Biddy (‘I think I look 21, don’t you?’) of No Irresponsible Playing with Plastic Leisure Entertainment Systems (NIPPLES) was heard to say to reporters, before telling them to remove their boots from her ‘immaculately manicured lawn’.

It’s a Long Way…

Submit! Quotation rumoured to be from an internal Frontier draft memo, ‘Maintaining Correct Relations with the Minions’, Chapter Two, ‘How the Writers MUST See Us’:   ‘Yet across the gulf of space, minds that are to our minds as ours are to those of the beasts that perish, intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic… regarded this earth us with envious eyes, and slowly and surely drew their plans against us.’ H. G. Wells, The War of the Worlds. As other Elite: Dangerous writers finish with editing and prepare to face Frontier’s vast and cool and unsympathetic intellects, the forums echo with the sounds of rejoicing. Yet, the reverberations are falsely hearty, covering the drip, drip, drip of insidious fear and slight loss of bladder control.

Lave Radio Writer’s Interview

Is it the multi-media event of the decade? Probably not, but it is the first time I talk about my novel, Elite: Dangerous the game, and the upcoming fiction.  WRITER’S INTERVIEW 009 – T. JAMES Just click the piccy (You can download it from the playback screen. Right-click in a PC browser, or do the equivalent on Mac/mobile.) ∞ Many thanks to John Stabler for hosting and editing the podcast. ∞ Image Credit: I don’t know if ‘Lave Radio‘ is copyrighted, trademarked, or anything else legal, but don’t be a scum-bucket and use it without a credit. Audio Credit: As a creation of Lave Radio, this podcast is automatically copyrighted under UK law. Just be glad they are nice people and let you download it if you want to.

The Never-Ending Story?

The never-ending story ENDS! Yep, after over 116,000 words and half-a-million characters, I’m done, ecstatic, and done-in. Today was a marathon writing session. I set a new personal record of over 3000 words. The rough first draft is roughly finished. The ending summary has been provisionally OK’ed by Frontier today, which is great because it’s epic, or at least I think so. I’m nervously awaiting the reaction of my first readers. It should all be there: action, adventure, mystery, romance, twists, turns, memorable characters, familiar aspects of the Elite universe, new takes on the same. If you have as much fun reading it as I did writing it then I think you’ll be Happy-Backers. I don’t know if there will be Elite literary awards, but if there were then I may stand a chance in the ‘Most Improved’ section. From a promised 25-30K, it’s (pre-edits) at around four times that. That’s … Continue reading

What Makes a Good Ending?

How long is a piece of string? Does my bum look big in this? The answer to the question, ‘What makes a good ending?’ is as nebulous and subjective as they come. For some, an ending is only ‘good’ if the heroes win. For others, such an ending will always be trite and formulaic. Some writers will even avoid the question altogether, writing an ‘ending’ that is either so open or ambivalent that a reader has no hope of closure. Well, after five months of drafting, it’s now my turn to decide which ending will best suit this story.

‘Elite’ Game Remakes and Fan Fiction vs. The Official Version: Visions of a New Tomorrow

Rejoicing they flew: white lines, block-filled triangles, and shaded panes of colour; the sounds of the void beeping and burping in one ear before separating and enveloping them in textured audible reality. But they were cast into the outer darkness – for years nothing but a blanket of false hope to shield them from the coldness of uncertainty. It could have ended there, their humanity leached into the uncaring nothingness around them. Broken, cold. ‘We cannot die,’ a voice inside them said, ‘for if we die then The Dream will die with us as our Messiah sleeps, dreaming of rails and screaming children throwing up Slushies on the crowds 50m below. So, while He dreams of ticket sales and ice cream, we will attempt our own resurrection.’ And Alpha was born. Alpha was silent, ugly, temperamental. Alpha was no fun to play. So they emailed, forummed, read, and coded, and Beta was born. Beta was … Continue reading

First Encounters: Working with Frontier’s Indigenous Life Forms

  Over the last couple of weeks there has been a flurry of emails winging their way through the ether (sorry, that’s steampunk, wrong genre) discussing Out of the Darkness and how it fits into the Elite: Dangerous universe. One unforeseen, and very positive, outcome was that the lovely Frontier indigenous life forms (FILFs) have asked me to contribute some ideas for the game universe by compiling one of the E: D writer’s guides. Developers and writers will use the guides when creating content for the game and the fiction that goes with it. Of course, I jumped at the chance! Being given the opportunity to work with these talented FILFs is a privilege, but I imagine you are sitting there thinking, Why should I care? Well, it was the ideas for the backstory and setting for the book that they liked which means I seem to be on the right … Continue reading