Elite : Reclamation - Update Fifteen
Our first stretch goal achieved!
Huge thanks to all who have pledged and continue to back this project. Achieving this first goal means we can engage with a professional editing and publishing outfit. This will guarantee a story which is dramatically more polished than we would otherwise be able to achieve.
I already have a publisher lined up, and they’re very interested in the project. I’ve worked with them before, one of my short stories was featured in one of their recent anthologies. If you want to get hold of a copy it’s on Amazon, entitled ‘Fusion’. 10% of the proceeds of that go to Cancer Research too, so it’s all in a good cause.
This publisher is also a specialist in sci-fi and fantasy, which is also key to success. It means they’re already fans of the genre, they get the need for technology and the like and, crucially, they know how to promote and present the story with a view to the sci-fi oriented audience. Sci-fi fans can be a demanding bunch… ;)
As I mentioned in a previous update, editing is incredibly important. Ensuring that we have this kind of support behind us gives me a much greater degree of confidence we’ll end up with a fantastic book at the end of it. There’s a bunch of (very welcome!) competition out there now and I want to make Elite : Reclamation the standard by which all others are judged - including the official sequel to ‘The Dark Wheel’!
So, I promised you a little information on the plot and the characters. Hopefully you’ll have seen the trailer – it’s here if not. That’s only given you a teaser; not the story.
I will be writing a synopsis for the publisher. That allows them to help me tweak the plot, ensure I’ve got enough story arcs and avoid clichés and the like. Will you get to see this? No.
Disappointed? Don’t be. The synopsis is a dry blow-by-blow detailed breakdown of the book, it tells the story without all the dialogue. It helps the writer and the publisher craft the story. It’s a plot summary effectively. If you read it there will be no surprises, no anticipation and you’ll already know the ending. (Waves hand in a Jedi-like way) You don’t want to read the synopsis…
So what can I tell you?
Here’s what I’ve found out from Michael Brookes at Frontier, research wise.
Elite : Dangerous is going to be set post Frontier First Encounters. That means the year 3250 onwards. For reference, Frontier was set in 3200 and I’ve estimated in the past that Elite was set around 3125 or thereabouts. Quite a bit of time has passed.
We also know the Thargoids are still around. I’m guessing that Michael and some of the other authors may be heading in that direction. I’ve already ‘done’ the Thargoids in my Oolite Saga, so I’m not going that way.
We also know that the political structure from Frontier is still intact. That means we have a ‘Federation’ centred on Earth and its solar system, an ‘Empire’ based around the Achenar star system and the ‘Alliance’, a group of independent systems based around the Alioth star system.
We know that politics is a big part of the E:D universe from David Braben’s talk on how players will be able to influence the interactions between systems. All this gives me the background to plot my story.
I’m going to create a closed set of star systems (currently called the ‘Trapezium’ after the stars in the Orion Nebula – though I may change the name). They will be nestled uncomfortably between the Alliance and the Empire, along a disputed border.
I am working out the background at the moment, but in short, these systems will be rich in trade (or some finite resource) and thus desirable to both sides. Currently an indifferent and over privileged royal dynasty, indirectly supported by the Empire, controls the Trapezium. An insurgency, encouraged and supplied by the Alliance, aims to dissolve this dynasty and turn the Trapezium toward the Alliance. Neither of the major powers can be seen to directly influence the outcome without declaring another undesirable and costly galactic war, so the Trapezium is being manipulated and teased in various directions. Diplomatic tensions run high.
As our story opens the insurgency makes its move and the dynasty falls…
I have four main characters so far. They aren’t fully formed or named yet, but I can give you some hints and insights.
Unusually, this book will be based around the antagonist (bad guy – not that we use that term!) rather than the protagonists. This character is a member of the ousted Dynasty, left bereft and bitter at the treatment meted out by the Insurgency. They are treated poorly, which in turns fans their anger and resentment, resulting in a dramatic desire for restoration, revenge and, yes, you guessed it – Reclamation. As mentioned early, this character is a woman.
Another character is a senior figure in the insurgency. This person believes in the overall aim of the insurgents, even if some of their methods are undesirable and regarded as a necessary evil. They are manipulative, taking a longer view of actions and consequences. This will be an older character, careworn and cynical to a degree. An accomplished communicator, they will be instrumental in playing of the Empire against the Alliance for local benefit and willing to go beyond the law in taking matters into their own hands.
You may have noticed from my other books that I like to play with religious ideas. No surprise that I will have a religious character in the story, a foil for our antagonist, perhaps appealing to their better nature and challenging their behaviour. Frontier had whole systems devoted to ‘isolationist religion enclaves’, so I foresee having something like that in the story.
I also want to include two classic ‘Elite’ types. The rookie impecunious trader, just starting out with barely 100 credits to their name and hoping to make their mark. A more established trader as well, with more money than they can ever spend, who now uses money to amuse themselves by manipulating others, buying and selling opportunity and salvation.
Minor characters will be added to the mix as we go through; members of the insurgency, representatives of the Alliance; agents of the Empire. There will be station docking areas, outfitters, space bars and the like, along with more interesting locations such as shipyards, the religious centres and military listening posts. I intend to ‘construct’ some big artefacts for you to be able to visit in the game, having read about them in the book.
So that’s where we are right now.
Our next goal is to shoot for a paperback production run. It’s a stretch, but it’s doable. My publisher has also suggested a model whereby we go with the ebook in the first instance, and if it sells sufficiently, we can go with a print run later. Everything still to play for! Thanks, once again, to all who have pledged.
This has, and will be, an amazing adventure.
Write on, Commanders!