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This has been a busy month for my backlist: "Accelerando" has just been published in French for the first time, and "Halting State" is due out in Italian really soon ...

But there's something new on the horizon.

The Phantom League, which came out in 2010, is a space-trading board game in the lineage of "Elite"; you're the captain of a merchant spaceship, exploring new star systems, establishing trade routes, engaging in acts of piracy and otherwise trying to get one up on your rival players. It's a whole lot of fun, and the game has evolved over the past five years, with several expansion packs and updates.

Well, I'm pleased to announce that the forthcoming second edition is going to be based in the universe of Singularity Sky and Iron Sunrise! In the new game you take a role of an individual, with ambition and a ship, not an Admiral of some mighty armada, conquering planets. It's all personal: your goal is to become the most famous (or infamous) spaceship captain in the whole galaxy—whatever it takes. Here's the Announcement; you can sign up to a newsletter for further updates as the game gets closer to release.



So this is like an almost-kinda-orthogonal sequel?



"... not an Admiral of some mighty armada, conquering planets."

There goes Plan A re: dreams of universe domination ... sigh.


I want to have a corner on the factories that manufacture the q-bits that enable causal / instantaneous communications channels. Wouldn't hurt to have an interest in the fast STL cargo packets that deliver them to destinations either.


Would be fun to feature causality violation in a boardgame. To have fellows to play such games with!


I would not want to try it in a board game. I would work better in a computer game where the computer could keep track of the state information for every turn, and so affecting previous turns becomes a lot easier with the computer handling all the bookkeeping.


Anything that persists the Eschaton universe gets a thumbs up from me!

@Charlie how much work does this mean for you? I had a quick search on the blog to see if you mention your universe building techniques, but didn't see much. Do you have a huge sheaf of notes to get in order? I'm presuming they would predate your use of scrivener? How much control (if any) do you intend to exert over the books canon compared to how the Board game universe evolves?


I tried writing one of those once. The code worked but the game failed to be much fun unfortunately. It got quite difficult to visualise WTF was going on.

Maybe it's time to give it another go with the benefit of more modern graphics.

Essentially the design I went for was a simplified 4-x strategy that played out between fairly dim AI players, and the human players could travel to specific points and intervene. Dr Who style.

The entire history of the universe from that point would be recalculated with each move. You could also nobble enemies at earlier moves and knock out parts of their future timelines.

It seemed good on paper but wasn't actually playable.


There is no technical difficulty nowadays in embedding a computer into a board. If you want it semi-automatic, getting reliable sensors would be a bit trickier, but doable. I suspect that dpb has the right of it - constraining the acausality enough to make the game playable but not so much as to emasculate the facility, would be the real problem.


re translations.

Mein freundin very much enjoyed 'halting state' auf deutsch ('du bist tot') (translator Kiausch), but I was disheartened to read poor reviews of the german translations of 'the atrocity archives', suggesting translator Barth didn't really take to the diversion from her usual art/fashion/crime work.

Kiausch does much of the other scifi work, Barth not .. is there any input to choosing translators ?

  • I have no input into the choice of translators. None whatsoever.

  • Heyne didn't do well with "Atrocity Archives" so I can't see them publishing the rest of the series. And no other publisher will touch a series where book 1 has already been translated and sold badly. So the Laundry Files are probably out of the German market for the foreseeable future (unless they make a major sales breakthrough, prompting Heyne to look again).

  • 11:

    Related to The Laundry, here is a 3d printed guitar made to evoke the style of HR Giger. Made me think of Mo's violin



    but Heyne have, like, german market rights, is it ? ...


    Since Tor is starting a german branch, might future german translations of your books be published there?



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    This page contains a single entry by Charlie Stross published on May 11, 2015 11:59 AM.

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