Having finally recovered from the Elite: Dangerous premiere, we thought it was about time we shared our thoughts on a Fantastic weekend.
Picture the scene…
We arrive at the Imperial War Museum, Duxford (even more fitting for the event as creator David Braben is thought to harbour Imperial leanings in game) and joined a huge queue of fans, buzzing with anticipation. We have been to launch parties before and expected something similar. Lots of pictures of the product (the game in this case), perhaps a few stacks of leaflets and the obligatory table of sausage rolls… how wrong we were…
On arriving in the hangar (yes, the event was held in a HUGE aircraft hanger that was filled with the cream of the world’s aviation including a Typhoon and a Concorde), we were greeted by signs for ‘Duxford Station’ and a large wall, chopping the hangar in two. Then the sound started. A deep, bass-filled sound that had everyone in the crowd suddenly up on their toes, looking around like alerted meerkats. This was the in game sound of a ship leaving hyperspace and cruising towards a station. Duxford station. It all started to make sense.
The wall broke open and started to pull back revealing lots of smoke, lasers and coloured lights. As the smoke cleared, we were all greeted with the tanoy message ‘Ladies and Gentleman, the Cobra Mark Three’. And suddenly there it was. A beautiful, 1:6 scale model of the iconic spacecraft from the game.
Next came the welcome announcement from David Braben himself, welcoming us all to the event. Here’s where it gets even more exciting. As David was about to leave the stage, our CEO Dan (in full cosplay) found himself face to face with this wonderful man for the first time. He wanted to express his appreciation for the game and all the team’s hard work. He wanted to shake him by the hand and thank him for reigniting his passion for the game after so many years. All he actually managed to say to him was ‘Stay right there Commander!’.
This was the reason. The Elite community (never a finer bunch of folks will you meet) all clubbed together to get David and the team something for all their hard work. But, as Kate Russell’s thank you speech echoed, ‘what do you get a man who has 400 billion star systems to play around in and who is known as The Creator’? The answer? Nothing. The two forms of ‘nothing’ were a pair of cheques, one to each of Frontier Development’s preferred gaming charities. One is Special Effect (Kate Russell’s charitable book contribution also gives to this charity, more about that later) and the other is Games Aid. Go and check out these charities, they do wonderful work and are always looking for help and donations to help them continue.
A note about the cheques. Each was for exactly £1104.92, making the total fro both £2209.84. This number has a special significance to the community as the 22nd September 1984 was the date the original game was released!
Of course, we had to get David and the Frontier Developments team something to remind them how much we appreciate them so Commander Iain McNeil, along with Jedi organiser Mike Snoswell and a handful of other Commanders created a commemorative plaque. It reads ‘Thank you for making the whole galaxy our playground’. He also received a book of thanks that had been passed around and was full of encouraging and heartfelt messages from the community.
Next come our superstar authors who, without dear Kate (who was doing some very important TV sofa stuff with the Creator and Michael Brookes elsewhere at the event) did a wonderful job chatting to the camera, talking about their books and generally looking about as slick and professional as a publisher could ever wish for. Thanks guys, you were all Fantastic!
We even managed to get ourselves snapped alongside this unruly looking bunch!
Now, David Braben is a high prize indeed, especially to a talented bounty hunter so, channelling her book’s main character Angel Rose, Kate decided to kidnap David for future prosperity. He’s currently chained up in one of our editorial cellars. Strangely, none of the editors have tried eating him yet, they seem content to slowly chant ‘Creator’ and offer him bits of their food and the occasional manuscript. A roaming reporter managed to snap this picture shortly before David was frog marched away…
Now on to audio book news!
Kate Russell’s Elite: Mostly Harmless was initially due to be released on the 30th November. However, due to a few last minute tweaks (to ensure it is as Fantastic as it can be), this release will now be delayed by a few days.
Everyone who has pre-ordered the book will be contacted about this in the next couple of days. The book is still available in the store as a Pre-Order so grab your copy today and we’ll deliver it as soon as it is released.
You can order the MP3 version of the Elite: Tales From The Frontier anthology now and an email will be delivered to your inbox with links to download it. We’ve broken the anthology down so you can take it with you on whatever device you choose, all DRM-free. We have added to the store the remaining 4Gb USB Cards containing the anthology too. There is very limited stock so if you are planning to give someone over 16 hours of Elite goodness for Xmas, now’s the time!
Finally this week, we would like to invite you all to join us on Twitter this evening at 9pm GMT for the next #SciFiHour! We will be talking about the Elite premiere, chatting about all things SF and generally having fun so please join us by following @SciFiHour and adding #SciFiHour to your questions and answers.
All in all this last week has been one of the most Fantastic we’ve ever had, made even more special by the hard work of the staff, TV crews, the Lave Radio team and multitudes of helpers and volunteers.
We hope you all had a good Thanksgiving, are enjoying #BlackFriday and have a Fantastic weekend!
The Fantastic Books Team