A version of this first appeared over at the Gollancz Blog.
I was delighted to hear that classic game ELITE was making a comeback this year, and even more delighted when I learned that Gollancz would be publishing a trio of tie-in novels. But what is thing you call ELITE, you cry? You mean you don’t know?!
Well, I had a similar reaction from some of m’learned (or not) sales colleagues at Orion Publishing, so I put together the following to help them sell it in…
It has come to my attention that some of you are struggling to get your heads around the Elite books, so here’s a quick guide for you norms…
Elite was a space trading game launched in 1984. The player could pootle around the universe, going from space station to space station, buying and selling goods. Of course, after a while this got boring and the player would be tempted to sell weapons and narcotics to make more money to buy cool stuff like docking computers (docking was really bloody hard), but this would usually get you blown up by the space fuzz.
It was massively addictive, and I, like many others my age, spent hours hunched over my BBC B computer staring at simple graphics like this…
It was a huge influence on gaming, and for years afterwards men (mostly) of a certain age would talk whimsically of Elite and the hours of pleasure it gave them (this was years before internet porn).
Well, of course, nothing stays dead forever these days and now Elite is coming back. Only now it looks like this (click to enlarge for the full cor blimey experience)…
The new game has been brought to life via Kickstarter – that is, paid for by fans who will get first dibs at the game.Gollancz saw this and, as part of the Kickstarter, bought the rights to the books. The books are all set in the Elite universe and are quite different:
Elite: Wanted by Gavin Smith and Stephen Deas (writing together as Gavin Deas) is the action-packed one:
Elite: Nemorensis by Simon Spurrier is the sexy, violent one:
Elite: Docking is difficult by Gideon Defoe is the funny one:
The current plan is to release the eBooks on 15th May and the three HBs on October 16th.
I hope this all helps and let me know if you need any further info.
All the best,