Elite:Dangerous Novel '. . .And here the Wheel'

An Official Elite:Dangerous novel for all the Jamesons out there.

 Update: Pledge Rewards

If my funding is successful I will get all the rewards of the Writers Pack Pledge, but I am only interested in a copy of the game and the writers pack itself.  Every other pledge reward that I would receive is therefore up for grabs.

I have made some pledge tiers to the right but I have reached the maximum that Indiegogo will allow.

To help the funding along I am offering the following.  If you want any of these, make a new pledge without reward and then make a public comment to bags the reward.

Remember that I dont control the availability of the reward.  Some are first in first serve so we will get your request in as soon as possible but naming is out of my hands.

  • Invitation to Game Launch: $50 (TAKEN)
  • Your name in the naming database (first come first serve though): $10 (TAKEN)
  • Reserve your Commander name (first come first serve): $5
  • Digital copy of the official companion novel: $10
  • Digital copy of the Elite:Dangerous music: $10
  • Access to the private backers forum: $20
  • Collectors Edition Boxed version of game: $35 (TAKEN)
  • Participate in first round Beta Test: $35 (TAKEN)
  • Participate in second round Beta Test: $15
  • Be a Founding Member of the Elite: $40 (TAKEN)
  • Participate in Private Alpha test: $50 (TAKEN)
  • Be a design decision forum member: $65 (TAKEN)
  • Reserve a '#### Jameson' name (first in first serve): $100 (TAKEN)


Update: Indiegogo and Money

I've had discussions with a few would-be pledgers about Indiegogo and how they handle the money.  These are valid concerns as Indiegogo operates differently from kickstarter.  I am running a 'fixed funding campaign' which means I am after a particular amount of money.  If I don't reach the goal I get nothing and the cost to the pledgers is nothing.  If I meet the goal then I get the money less the Indiegogo and paypal fees.

 I've included a quote from the FAQ for Indiegogo:

"For Fixed Funding campaigns, contributions via PayPal are disbursed to your PayPal account only when your campaign meets your funding goal. Once the funds are sent to your PayPal account, they will arrive less Indiegogo's 4% platform fee. All additional PayPal transactions made past your campaign's funding goal are disbursed the moment the contribution is made. With each of these additional contributions, Indiegogo will withhold 4% as our platform fee and PayPal will withhold about 3% as a third-party processing fee."

On currency conversion, I have pledged to two other Indiegogo Elite projects (one in pounds, one in USD).  For both I have checked with my paypal and credit card balances and the amount my card has been charged is equal to the conversion of currency (I.E I HAVE NOT BEEN CHARGED ANY CURRENCY COVERSION FEES).

 Hopefully that clears things up, but if anyone still has reservations or concerns about Indiegogo please send them through and I will talk to Indiegogo or find an answer for you.




Project Summary

This project is about Elite:Dangerous, a.k.a Elite IV, a game that some of us have been waiting to see for all our adult life (and longer).

Elite:Dangerous is being funded by Kickstarter: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1461411552/elite-dangerous and one of the pledge levels is the ability to write an official/canon novel set in the Elite universe. Frontier Developments (the name behind the game) will fully support the writer and intertwine places, people and events from the novel into the game.

I would very much like to write this novel. The problem? The pledge level is 4500 pounds, so I am looking to the wider Elite fan community to help raise this pledge.

Why Am I Doing This?

Elite isn't just a game to me. Elite was what I grew up on. Elite was what got me through the days and pushed me through the nights. Elite is what made my (fathers) Atari ST go up in smoke. Elite taught me about the English language. It taught me about science fiction, spaceships and commodities trading. The sequels taught me about celestial mechanics. Elite allowed me as an eight year old boy to travel across the galaxy and see things I could never dream of.

Elite isn't just a game to me.   And it's why I got into writing in the first place.

It has corrupted me, become a part of me and will always be that special little thing that would have made me a completely different person had it not been there.

And now as a 30 year old father, a mechanical engineer by day and an author by night I want to write this official Elite novel because:

  1. I'm a writer at heart. It's what I do whenever I have a spare moment. Elite is something special. Writing an official Elite novel would be the ultimate moment in my writing life.
  2. I want to pay David Braben back for creating this universe for us, a universe that has absorbed us and enthralled us.
  3. I want to enhance this universe and add my own angle, deepening the world we have all come to love.
  4. I want to enhance the players experience by giving them not just a story but another dimension to their Elite experience.  I want to make a story that makes you play Elite:Dangerous and then return to my novel.

Why Should You Help Me?

If you are here, interested in an Elite:Dangerous novel then you probably came from the kickstarter page or the wider Elite/Oolite/Pioneer community. If so you might have already read some of my Elite writing:

Fan Fiction aside, I've written numerous short stories (and had some of them published, in fact I have just given one back to an editor after they asked for a few changes). I've written a novel which is currently undergoing its final edit before I start shopping it. I've entered the Writers of the Future competition four times and received four honourable mentions.

So. . . I know how to write. I know how to finish what I start. I know adventure and action and romance and suspense and most importantly: conflict.

I've already plotted out my storyline. I know the characters, the places, the events, the plot points, the contextual shifts, the beginning, middle and end.

The plan is in place so as soon as this pledge is successful I'll be writing the first draft. With roughly fourteen months between the Elite:Dangerous kickstarter concluding and the game being launched, there isn't much time to spend not writing. I have a plan and synopsis available to read below to prove how serious I am about this project.

But more importantly than that, you should pledge to my project because you want to bring the new Elite alive. As previously mentioned, Frontier Developments will fully support the novel and will blend the story elements - the people the places and events - into the game as much as possible.  Can you imagine reading a novel and then playing the game and bumping into the people in the novel? Visiting the places they go and seeing what they see? Experiencing for yourself what you have read? Wouldn't that be an amazing experience? You can help make this come true by pledging to this project. Together we can take verisimilitude to the next level


Unfortunately I cannot embed multiple videos onto the main page like Kickstarter so I have listed all the videos I have made for the project so far.  These can also be found under the Gallery tab above:


Writing Excerpt:

Here is an example of my writing so you can get a feel for my writing style and ability.  Enjoy!


Slowing, tiring, running low on ammunition and time, Vasquith scaled the stairs to the bridge deck.

Three steps at a time he took the final turn, the corridor's deck falling to eye level.

The corridor exploded in noise and bullets screamed past Vasquith's ears.  He dropped, screamed at his men and huddled against the steps.   The storm of bullets continued overhead, thudding harmlessly into the hardened bulkheads. They all inched back behind the last turn and Vasquith checked his men.  No one hurt, but there were a lot of pissed off faces looking back at him.

"Mirror," he yelled at them, hand out expectantly.   A few of his men patted their pockets and one dropped a small round mirror on a rod into his hand.

Vasquith crept back up the steps and raised the mirror into the torrent of lead.

There were three men, holed up behind a barricade of benches and bulkheads and bodies.  They had a mean looking gun.  Big, six barrels, manually cranked, a chain of bullets streaming from a chest.

He turned back, raised his arm (safely) like an arrow and waved it back and forth: Enemy, stationary gun.  A murmur of anxiety swept through his men.  The Allure of the Celestial Sea had sent a distress signal before his Corvette’s jammers could stop it.  The Hegemony navy would have already been on their way for the POW transfer; now they'd be running before the wind to answer the SOS.  He couldn't afford to get pinned down, but he wasn't going to waste his men on the gun.  Scum as they were, his pirates were his family.

The steady stream of bullets deafened him; the stench of burnt gunpowder blurring his ability to think.  The gun was manually cranked so he couldn't use an EMP.  Explosives would be too dangerous with the hardened bulkheads.  He raised the mirror back up, searching for inspiration.  Higher and higher-

-the mirror exploded into a thousand shards and Vasquith flinched away.  He gaped at the rod for a moment then dropped it.  No matter, he'd seen enough.

There was a window behind the barricade.

Reinforced for sure, at least four cores, but it wasn't military grade.  He called up his Specialist on the link.  "Get the Corvette moving.  Lock onto my signal.  Concentrate all guns on the closest port window."

"Aye Cap'n," said his Specialist.  Unimaginative and boring, but he took orders without question.

The seconds ticked by as he waited, each louder than the last until he couldn’t hear the bullets over the booming in his head.  His father was down below, waiting, and he was up here, stuck.  He’d waited half his life for this day; the Bardagnion survivors the last seven months.  There were things to say before he killed him.

"In position," his Specialist said.

Vasquith reached back and waved his fist side to side: Wedge formation.  He couldn't hear his men over the torrent of fire but he sensed their closeness.  "Fire."

The whole ship seemed to lurch as if the artificial gravity had inverted.  Wind ripped at their clothes, tore at their hair, squealing and whistling, then just as quickly stopped.

Vasquith was already moving, his men right behind him.  The knot in his stomach flared, the warmth of anger spreading like a shot of bourbon on a cool night.  They charged up the steps, guns firing.  The port window was gone, emergency bulkheads slammed in place.  The barricade had collapsed, the sole remaining guard prone on the floor.  A hail of bullets turned him into a bloody rag.

They kept running, Vasquith in the lead.  His smile felt a little too wide, a little unhinged, but right then he didn't care.  All that stood between him and his father was the bridge door.  "Let's finish this boys."




Thankfully I'm not the only one attempting to produce an official Elite novel.  It would be great to get a range of official Elite novels completed.  I'd obviously prefer if you pledge to my project but if it doesn't interest you please check out the other projects and pledge to them if you can.

  1. Elite:Dangerous - The Novel: (http://www.indiegogo.com/elite-dangerous-novel?c=activity&a=1801378
  2. Elite:Reclamation: (UPDATE: FUNDED)(http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1245019716/reclamation-an-elite-novella-by-a-fan-for-the-fans)
  3. The Cost of Exploration: (UPDATE: FUNDED)(http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/336512366/the-cost-of-exploration-an-elite-dangerous-world-b?ref=live)
  4. Out of the Darkness:( http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/tjameswriter/an-elite-dangerous-book-out-of-the-darkness?ref=live )
  5. Elite:Dangerous A Space Farers Tale: (http://www.indiegogo.com/EliteDangerousTSFT/x/1801378)

The Plan

As mentioned above I have already completed the storyline for this novel. This means I can get started with the first draft immediately. I normally call this 'Draft Zero', as compared to the final product it leaves a lot to be desired. But it does create the framework that can be nipped, tucked, expanded and rearranged to make a proper first draft. Add two edits, a final proof read, typesetting, cover work and creating the ebook and I will be ready for the launch party. To break this down my proposed timeline is:

  • FIRST EDIT COMPLETED: September 2013


Stretch Goals

As we get closer to the goal I will assemble values and finalise plans for the stretch goals.  Goals we will look at include:

1)   $TBA: Hard copies (paperback)

2)   $TBA: Professional cover work

3)   $TBA: Audiobook


Book Cover Ideas

The Elite community is helping my project and I already have a few book cover design drafts that are quite effective at setting the tone of the novel (Thanks to Iain for his work here):

Covert Art # 1


The Story (SPOILERS)

Below I have included my plan for the novel. I have included three levels of detail with increasing levels of spoilers. I have included this information because this is what I would include in any submission to a publishing house. As you will (hopefully) be investing your money I think it's only right that you are able to fully explore what you are paying for.

NOTE: Although I have my own names for people and places I have excluded them from the details below as one of you may like to pay to name it yourself.

Elevator Pitch:

"A Pirate Lord, ambushed by 'The Elite' must join forces with an Alliance operative to find Raxxla and thwart a plot to start a Galactic war.

Back Copy:

[Your name here] thought that 'following in his father's footsteps' meant pillaging spaceliners, raiding science outposts of if he was really lucky, sacking Federation cities. But when they stumble upon the remains of one of "The Elite", relentless attacks from all sides, he and his father flee for their lives.  Ambushed and mortally wounded, his father whispers the most famous planet in the galaxy: Raxxla.

And thus begins a race against the clock to save humanity from an inter-galactic war, a plot by the Elite to strengthen the human race before an old foe returns. With twists, betrayals and pulsating action raging from Beta Hydri to Raxxla itself, this is one Elite story you won't want to miss!


[Protagonist -Your name here] is following in his father's footsteps – plundering a luxury space liner – when he finds a body in the hold.  Then everything is turned upside down and he and his father are running for their lives from mysterious forces that can track his every move.

[Protagonist] is in his mid-thirties.  He is a gunner by trade and has a natural knack for piracy, but only when his morals don't get in the way.  With his forces scattered and his father dying in his arms and whispering the word 'Raxxla', [Protagonist] is saved by an undercover agent.

Allison Gray is a tough Alliance Intelligence Operative who has been undercover with 'The Elite' for four years.  Still undercover but aware of The Elite's plot to incite galactic war, she is forced to team up with [Protagonist] to discover and disarm the plot.  If only she didn't have a personal vendetta against all things pirate related.

Following the trail, [Protagonist] and Gray slowly unravel the plot, and learn to tolerate each other, but progress on both fronts is frustratingly slow.  In desperation they allow themselves to be captured by 'The Elite'.  After a good-cop, bad-cop style interrogation they escape and discover that 'The Elite' are trying to toughen up humanity for the return of the Thargoids.

[Protagonist] and Gray, now in possession of an un-trackable Elite fighter ship, travel to Beta Hydri to stop the destruction of a galactic leaders symposium.  [Protagonist] selfishly considers ditching Gray.  The Elite are arch foes of pirates and war is not good for business but he is not some hero trying to save the galaxy.  He isn't going to stick his neck out for those that persecute him.

Gray, disgusted and her views on pirates confirmed, drops him on a nearby planet and races to Beta Hydri.  A Long Range Cruiser is emitting strange readings and is on a collision course with the planet.  She breaks her cover to rouse defences and the LRC is destroyed.

[Protagonist] looks for a ship to get back to his fleet when an agent of 'The Elite' attacks him.  After a furious sword fight where the agent questions his character, [Protagonist] realises he has to help Gray.  He steals the agent's ship and flies to Beta Hydri.

They reunite, almost happy to see each other but feeling defeated and clueless after Gray announces the LRC is a decoy. With her cover blown, Gray contacts headquarters and they learn of a secret Federation weapon that had been recently stolen.  The clues link to an attack on the Emperor's Centenary celebrations, which are being held in the [Your choice of name] system.

The [Protagonist], Gray, the pirate fleet and what little Alliance units are in range converge on the system and attack the Elite fleet and the weapon, a formation of small ships linking to form a large weapon.   Gray and the [Protagonist] disable the super weapon moments before it destroys the Emperor's space station and through deft flying and Alliance Intelligence software, download the coordinates for Raxxla, the home of the Elite Founders.

Gray attacks the [Protagonist] and dumps him again, but this time he is picked up by his pirates.  With [Protagonist] seeking revenge for the betrayal and with the biggest prize in the history of space travel up for grabs, the pirate fleet rallies one last time to attack Raxxla.  The Alliance forces pursue them for a showdown above the infamous planet.

The forces set aside their differences to stop The Elite once and for all.  But Raxxla, a seemingly artificial planet, is abandoned.  The [Protagonist] and Gray stumble into the throne room of the Founders whose leader is the [Protagonist]'s grandfather.

[Protagonist] is given immunity but Gray threatens the Founders.  Raxxla protects itself and Gray finds her fleet missing and her forces gone.  She can either stay as a prisoner or leave and live under eternal Elite surveillance.

As Gray and [Protagonist] fly away from Raxxla under escort their ship's weapons energise.  They decide to live or die free, together.  They decide to fight their way out.



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