‘Absolutely not,’ Dan assures me. ‘For starters, the game’s creator, David Braben is an absolute stickler and his executive game producer Michael Brookes has personally had to vet each and every story before allowing the anthology to hold the authorised Elite logo. But more than that, when we took this project on, we deliberately raised the bar. Every story has been through our stringent editorial processes and we’ve had experts vet every word for credibility and consistency.’
But does credibility come into it? This is science fiction, after all. Dan tells me, ‘The Elite universe itself is built on the real one. When you’re in the Elite: Dangerous game you can fly through the Milky Way and explore the 400 billion star systems within. More familiar, though, you can fly over Mars, visit the rings of Saturn or visit Jupiter's Great Red Spot in our own star system. Mankind might not have implemented all the science yet, but it’s all based on the laws of physics and the real universe. There’s no magic in this collection. This is the science of the future.’
Certainly, the critics seem to agree. The new incarnation of the game has been 30 years in the making and has just won the prestigious, ‘Best of E3’ award at this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles, with many plaudits for its realism and scope. This accolade comes hot on the heels of an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list for the game’s creator, David Braben, for his contribution to the computer gaming industry. Certainly, the Elite game in its original 1984 version changed the face of computer gaming. At the time it was as big as Star Wars.
Elite: Tales from the Frontier is already gathering its own accolades, having been called 'Imaginative, well-constructed and very enjoyable'. Fantastic Books previous Elite release, Elite: Lave Revolution, was deemed, ‘worthy of the original Star Wars saga,’ and is now chasing Fantastic Books’ first two novels up the charts, with the anthology hot on its heels.
Certainly, Fantastic Books have produced an eclectic mix. Their first release was Elite: Mostly Harmless, by BBC TV presenter Kate Russell. Critics called it ‘hilariously, side-splittingly witty with twists where you least expect them.’ It was followed by Drew Wagar’s Elite: Reclamation, ‘an absolute belter of a space opera and a prime example of a story that is built on credible future science’.
Still to come from Fantastic Books is the final novel in their official Elite: Dangerous fiction collection, Elite: And Here the Wheel by New Zealand author John Harper.
The authors will be appearing at LaveCon in Kettering on the 5th and 6th July and FantastiCon on 16th August in Hull where Fantastic Books Publishing will be holding a fantasy, science fiction and gaming extravaganza featuring celebrities from the worlds of Elite, Star Wars and Dr Who. Included will be an official launch party for their Elite fiction. http://www.fantasticon.co.uk/
About the books: Elite: Tales from the Frontier has its own web presence at bit.ly/RightOn.
All 5 books are now available from Fantastic Books Publishing at https://www.fantasticbookspublishing.com/
About the game:
· Winning the Best of E3 award: http://frontier.co.uk/
· An OBE for David Braben: http://www.bbc.co.uk/
· Further information about Elite: Dangerous can be found in this interview where Elite author and BBC TV presenter, Kate Russell, talks to the game’s creator, David Braben: http://thenextweb.com/
· LaveCon details: http://laveradio.com/
· FantastiCon details: http://www.fantasticon.co.uk/
The authors are available for interview and can be contacted through Dan Grubb, CEO, Fantastic Books Publishing
Tel: 01964 671997