Revealing some of Maelstrom's Edge's future authors including Alastair Reynolds!
Last summer several members of the team had the opportunity to attend WorldCon and give a sneak-peek of Maelstrom's Edge to some of the world's best science-fiction authors. The aim? To showcase our universe and convince them to lend their awesome storytelling talents to our project. Presenting the backdrop, artwork, and prototype models, it's no exaggeration to say that every author we pitched to came away impressed with both our vision and our commitment to building a long-lasting IP. Although we weren't able to snag every author we spoke to (largely on account of prior commitments--some of these folks are booked solid until late 2016!), we did manage to sign up a good mix of highly-acclaimed established voices and up-and-coming superstars.
So, we are delighted to announce that the following authors will be contributing original work to the Maelstrom's Edge universe:
With over a decade of experience as a professional astrophysicist to back up his writing chops, Alastair Reynolds is deservedly called the "reigning master of the intergalactic space opera", and brings a compelling edge of hard-SF to his unique brand of galaxy-spanning science fiction. Author of the Inhibitor trilogy that kicked off with the seismic Revelation Space and ended with the chilling Absolution Gap, Alastair's star has only risen over the last twenty years, and has been nominated for the prestigious Arthur C. Clarke Award three times.
Here's what he said about getting to play in the Maelstrom's Edge universe:
"Maelstrom's Edge is something different: an SF game universe put together with real originality and incorporating some genuinely clever and inventive thinking. There are enough worlds and stories waiting to be explored to last a lifetime..."
With his gritty blend of dark sci-fi, speculative science, and galaxy-spanning drama he is a perfect match for the Maelstrom's Edge universe and we're delighted to have him on board.
Aliette de Bodard
Nominated for multiple Hugo, Nebula, and BSFA awards, and winner of the Nebula and Locus awards, Aliette de Bodard is a highly-acclaimed author who will bring brilliant prose allied to poignant characters to the Maelstrom's Edge universe. Subverting the usual tropes for original twists, and substituting by-the-numbers heroes for vivid individuals deeply entwined with familial and cultural shackles, we are really excited to see what Aliette does with the apocalyptic backdrop of Maelstrom's Edge where some face utter calamity while others accrue riches beyond their wildest dreams.
In the Plague Year trilogy Jeff Carlson unleashed a nanoplague on humanity that killed all warm-blooded life below 10,000 feet. In his Frozen Sky novels humankind discovered a deadly species in the icy waters of Jupiter's ice moon, Europa. Who better than this Philip K. Dick Award Finalist to help bring the Maelstrom's Edge universe to gripping life? When we told him about the Maelstrom's Edge universe and invited him to spread his fictional wings he had the following to say:
"These days I write sci fi and tech thrillers that, I hope, are chock full of monsters and chills and cutting edge science. When I heard about Maelstrom’s Edge, I begged its designers to let me play in their sandbox. An unstoppable wave of hellish energy. Civilizations destroyed. Terraforming corporations, mech, refugees, cults, strange planets. Man, that’s what I do!!!!"
We've already had a sneak-peek at the story Jeff is planning, and it's shaping up to be something both beautiful and brutal.
With degrees in philosophy and artificial intelligence, a mother who was a gothic novelist, and a father who was a part-time conjurer, it is no exaggeration to say that Liz William's is one of the most original voices working in science fiction today. Short-listed for the Philip K. Dick Award for her novels no less than four times, Liz is also a master of the short form with her work appearing in many Year's Best anthologies. Writing dark and strange yet utterly compelling fiction, Liz's piece for our debut Maelstrom's Edge anthology is provisionally titled "Darkheart" and we can't wait to read it.
Author of the spectacular Seed, which Paolo Bacigalupi described as "A hungry beast of a book, rippling with slaughter and sex, powerhouse action, surreal post-human horrors and bigger-than-life heroes", Rob's work combines kinetic action, bleak landscapes, and characters drawn from the grimy underbelly of society. As such we think he is perfect to help us flesh out some of the stories happening at the margins of the Maelstrom's Edge universe, particularly those involving the Broken, our very own faction of survivalists who mix the high-tech and the squalid together with the violent and the tender.
Described by SFX Magazine as "A major new talent" on the release of her debut novel, Consorts of Heaven, Jaine Fenn has proceeded to flesh out her Hidden Empire series, charting seven-thousand years of future history as humankind adventures among the stars. Known for writing tense and fast-paced stories set in vivid locales, we felt Jaine would create the kind of gripping fiction perfectly suited to the universe of Maelstrom's Edge. For her first story in our universe, Jaine has set her sights on one of our currently unannounced factions - The Artarian Remnant.
Winner of a boatload of awards including Warner Aspect First Novel, Prix Aurora Award 2006, and Spectrum Award 2006, not to mention twice being shortlisted for the Philip K. Dick Award, Karin Lowachee's Warchild Universe explores the experience of fictionalised child soldiers learning to survive in a war-torn galaxy. When we asked her to expand on what drew her to Maelstrom's Edge universe she had the following to say:
"In a genre that can literally explore anything the imagination envisions, the opportunity to sink my teeth into a doomsday event of galactic proportions was too good to pass. Everything about Maelstrom's Edge speaks to my creative inclinations: high stakes, complex characters, an expansive setting, and a sense of wonder. The possibilities for exploration both external and internal are endless, and my fascination with the human condition—our frailties as well as our strengths—is something I will explore. A psychological close-up of what a random band of survivors on a frontier planet are willing and able to do to reach their destination—and presumably their saving grace to get off-world ahead of the Maelstrom—will take an unflinching look at the nature of selfishness, exploitation, compassion and love."
Karin's tale will explore a lawless, frontier-type world that has been abandoned by the corporations, leaving the population alone to face the coming Maelstrom.
Maelstrom's Edge has a comprehensive long term fiction plan which is receiving as much attention as the game itself. From day one we've been developing a universe which will grab the interest of anybody who has even a passing interest in Science Fiction, and with some of the best sci-fi authors in the world committing stories over the coming year, you can rest assured that Maelstrom's Edge will only be going from strength to strength.
"I just finished the second book & all I can say is wow... That was so much better than expected. You guys really made a top notch universe, on the level of infinity even, & I've only seen a glimpse. There's no way I'm not going in on the kick-starter if I can scrounge up the money. Really looking forward to more background! "
"I bought the first book out of curiosity and to throw a bit of support towards all the hard work you've all put in, but the world and writing are both really top notch stuff and will have me coming back for more. Even if I never play the game, the series will continue to be on the reading list"
"I finished up the first book yesterday and was quite impressed. I went in with the impression that it would have a good story, but be a bit pulpy and need some editing, but it's a nice tight story that didn't go overboard with jargon and re-iterating the same information over. Just ordered Sacrifice and will start on it tonight. "
We've got a bunch of short story compilations near completion and due out over the course of this year and the next, with a master compilation of stories by the authors listed in this update coming early next year too.
As with all of Maelstrom's Edge, we have poured our passion and excitement into everything we do, and cant wait to share more of our fiction with those of you who love to read! Thank you as always to all of our backers for your continued support and kind words.