Well, Gencon has come and gone, and it looks like the Legacy anthology sold really well. Also received word on a project I worked on is going ahead, but I'll talk about it later when its closer to being published. I've talked to a couple of people in the know who were at Gencon about the future of Battletech fiction, and while nothing has been set in stone, there are plans to make fiction an important part of the line. There's too much that hasn't been decided yet to say anything more than that. But there will be new fiction in some form.
Since I haven't been around this blog as much as I should have, I left a question or two hanging, like this one from David B. who posted it in the comments section back in May:
Hi Craig. We're approaching 4 months since your last post. I was wondering if you could provide us with your perspective on how the game influences Battletech fiction, if at all.Sorry I didn't get answer this sooner, David. The answer is that both fiction influences the game and vice versa. They are interconnected so closely, they feed off each other. The novels and stories are referenced when writing sourcebooks and other Battletech products, just as authors reference the game's products for the fiction. One acts as background for the other.
Battletech, as I have said before, is unique in that it has a single timeline. There has been well over several million words written about this universe, covering a thousands years. It hasn't been the work of one person, but dozen of people over the years, each one building on what other did before them. Yes, there are a few fuzzy areas (The subject of "FASA economics," still make a few people twitch), but generally, the universe holds together by it's own set of rules, something that the reader accepts as a matter of course.
The thing is, the story fiction hold a slightly higher position than the sourcebook fiction. Story fiction is what actually happened, the "reality," of the events. Sourcebook fiction is told from the POV of a scholar, or historian, people were were most likely never there to witness the events first hand. They are using second hand sources, have their own biases, and are often writing years or centuries after the events they write about. When reading about the same event from a story and a sourcebook, story fiction always trumps sourcebook fiction.
But a writer cannot go about changing events in sourcebook fiction through the story fiction. They can put their spin on events, create reasons to explain a mistake on a sourcebook, or fill in blanks in the narrative. But they cannot contradict established major events, or alter established details.
At the same time, the novels, especially the "Spine Novels," lay the basics for where the timeline is going and the people who are involved. They end up in sourcebooks, a part of the fabric of the Battletech universe. The Gray Death Legion, Avanti's Angels, and other units first appeared in novels before they showed up in sourcebooks. Details go from novels to sourcebooks back to novels and back to sourcebooks. An example is the background for my story, The Blood of Man, is in the Total Chaos sourcebook in the European Theater sidebar. I was lucky enough to write that sidebar, so it all fit together.
In my case, I've used the sourcebooks to write between the events, to generate background for my stories and ideas for the story themselves. for example, my Battlecorps story, Kurodenkou, the major battle is from a scenario book, supplying location, the forces, and the circumstances for my story. I had to create the characters and write the battle scene, but otherwise, I used what was given in the scenario.The location and background for The Lance Killer came for a couple of paragraphs in the Fed-Com war sourcebook.
There is so much in place in the way of background and events, that all I have to do is supply the story idea and the characters. The framework is there and as long as I stay within that framework, I can write any story I want. But I must be mindful of where the limits are and not to exceed them.
I hope that answers your question, David.