(SIGNAL FEED ACTIVE)
Here we are.
I’ve been called many things by many people – pirate, scoundrel, thief, to name a few of the nicer ones, but let’s keep it simple.
You can call me Garry.
I’m in charge of the Garry pirate clan. We steal stuff and sell it, hopefully to those that need it. I make money, struggling colonies get to eat, everybody wins, except the corporations. But they can go to the Fates for all I care. I have a good bunch of guys around me. They’re like my little brothers and sisters. They mean the world to me. I don’t necessarily have to kill when I plunder starships, but if you try and hurt my family, I’ll destroy you, plain and simple.
But enough about me. This is about you. Well, everyone. Humanity.
We’re in the future. Knocking on the door of the 34th Century.
A lot has happened since your time. A Third World War. The terraforming of Mars – modifying the air of the planet from the ground up, so to speak, to make it breathable and pleasant. A pretty solid effort really.
Then we discovered hyperspace. It allows spaceships to travel faster than the speed of light. A lot faster. Suddenly the galaxy was opened up to mankind. So off we went, taking all our old world problems with us. Greed, distrust, hatred. Only now they’re on a larger stage. We’re not fighting over continents anymore. We’re fighting over planets and star systems, with weapons of war equal to the task. Planets like Villist were bombed to shreds from orbit. Can you imagine a whole planet being destroyed? I still have nightmares about it.
Despite it all though, the galaxy can be a beautiful place. And a lonely one. There are some big empty areas between the stars you can get lost in. Many planets have space stations in orbit and starports on the surface where ships can land, engage in commerce, enjoy the attractions and leave.
Trade, as you can imagine, is big business. We don’t have oil tankers crossing the Pacific Ocean. We have fleets of bulk carriers travelling between the stars, taking food and textiles to planet A and bringing back machinery, robots and oxygen synthesizers to planet B. It’s pretty damn cool really, especially for a pirate.
There are also military taskforces, merchant fleets and lone-wolf traders, peddling out a meagre existence on their own terms at their own speed. Lone wolves aren’t worth the effort of interdicting (jamming their hyperdrive and shooting the shit out of their shields until they surrender). I prefer bigger, juicier targets.
But if you think it’s all wild-west lawlessness out there, think again. People are watching. The two old dogs – The Federation (based on Earth) and the Empire (based on Achenar) hate each other and have been testing each others’ borders for a millennium. The young upstart – the Alliance of Independent States, is a lot like 20th Century Israel. Surrounded by enemies, their motto is ‘know first, act first’. They’ve done a pretty good job by the looks of it. Certainly good pickings for a pirate over there.
It’s not the police forces I’m terribly worried about though. It’s the secret police. Yes, all the governments have them. Yes, they all deny their existence. The Federation’s Special Operations Division – we call them the Morticians, the Alliance’s Alioth Intelligence Service – the Accers, and the scariest of the lot, the Empire’s Imperial Internal Security Service. Think Mossad, but clones on steroids. So, yeah, the Mossad. Very dangerous.
But there are other groups out there too. More dangerous, more fanatical, more lethal. Have you ever heard the expression ‘Who watches the watchers?’ I pray I never find out. But I think I’m about to.
Elite:And Here The Wheel is an officially licensed tie-in novel for the computer game Elite:Dangerous, published in May 2014 and can be purchased in ebook and audiobook at the Fantastic Book Store, Amazon and Audible.
I developed a lot of backstory during the process of writing ‘And Here The Wheel’ Much of it would have appeared in an appendices to the novel, but this hasn’t happened and I am now making some of it available here:
The story of Elite:Dangerous goes back thirty years to the original Elite, a game that gave the player the freedom to be whatever they wanted to be in the a dark and dangerous universe of space travel. Elite:And Here The Wheel is born out of the same raw material along with a passion that I have carried with me since I was six years old playing Elite on the Atari ST.
I love Elite. There are no heroes that you dreamed of being the side kick of. YOU are the hero. It’s your ship and you can do whatever you want, go wherever you want, heck even kill whoever you want (though there are consequences). Elite gave me a passion for science fiction, celestial mechanics, maths and economics. It is part of who I am and to be able to write an official novel set in the Elite universe is a dream. I remind myself that I am living my dream and I still can’t comprehend it.
It’s that big for me.
I’m not trying to show off, I’m trying to show you how important Elite is to me. That is the passion that is being fed into this novel. I’m a pretty decent writer backed up with a fantastic publisher and editor. (Fantastic Books Publishing) So what, that combination occurs a million times around the globe. What do I have that is different?
I lived and breathed Elite for a significant fraction of my life. I’m not doing this for money (though sales would be great!) I’m doing this because I want to do it. I’m putting in extremely stupid hours to make this novel the best it can be, to market it the best I can and to make sure you the reader get the best experience you can.
I hope you like it. It’s the kind of story I want to read. Adventure, action, thriller and a little bit of romance. It balances character development with exciting action with enough twists to be interesting without being overly complicated.
It’s not political intrigue, its not a who-dunnit, it’s not a hard boiled, noir detective story. Its a story about a man with a wretched past who must help save the galaxy when his greatest enemy is himself.
Thanks for your interest. If you want to drop me a line you can contact me at john_at_andherethewheel_dot_com.