Geek News: September 10, 2011

Today in Geek News:  A new space combat game, David Weber has a new book, and Fox is the only network that seems to care about science fiction on television.

Greetings programs.  Let’s do things in the reverse order of the headline, just to mix it up a bit.  This September’s television line-up doesn’t cater to fans of science fiction.  We’re coming up on seven years without a new Star Trek series, Battlestar Galactica: Blood and Chrome is still being talked about in the future conditional tense and for the first time since I was fifteen years old I find myself living in a Stargate free world.  So what’s a genre fan to do other than mine episodes of Castle for its various and sundry Firefly references?  Why watch the Fox network, of course.

I know, Fox gets a lot of hate for cancelling shows with cult followings.  There’s also no denying that particular network has pissed me off on more than one occasion.  However, it was recently pointed out to me that Fox takes chances on shows that other networks wouldn’t touch with an inanimate carbon rod: case in point Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. So while I don’t expect it to fill the Destiny sized hole that SGU’s departure left in my life, I can’t deny that Fox’s time travel-dinosaur-dystopia, Terra Nova, looks reasonably interesting.  Terra Nova sees humanity escaping from its polluted and overcrowded future into its distant past.  The idea is that the refugees will built a sustainable civilization and either escape to Mars, or die off with the ice age thus preventing any species-nullifying time paradoxes.  It’s not the worst idea I’ve ever heard.  Here’s the clip.

Anybody who knows science fiction knows that David Weber is one of the genre’s most prolific writers.  Weber’s most recognizable claim to fame is the long running Honor Harrington series of military sci-fi novels.  This coming Tuesday, September 13, 2011, sees the launch of the next entry into Weber’s “Safehold” series of novels.  How Firm a Foundation is the fifth instalment in a series of novels that chronicle the ongoing conflict between an oppressive and dogmatic church and the small empire that dares to defy the “truth” of the Church’s history.

Blending elements of science fiction, fantasy, and historical narrative, the Safehold novels are rich in detail and rife with complex characters.  Moreover, Weber’s outstanding ability to write space battles has easily translated to the sea battles of planet Safehold.   How Firm a Foundation will be released in hardcover, e-format and as an audio book which promises “to translate to die-hard fans as well as listeners looking to break into the Sci-Fi genre.”  Here’s a little taste of what’s to come in audio book format.

Finally, gamers can delight to the knowledge that a new first-person space combat game is on its way.  Back in July, indie gaming studio Seamless Entertainment announced Sol: Exodus. The good folk at Seamless are, in their own words, intent on “re-energizing a faded genre once known for legendary hits like Wing Commander and Freespace.”  It’s a gusty proposition to say the least, but one that seems to have a lot of potential.

Sol: Exodus taps directly into the fears of our time to weave its story.  When humanity discovers that it has centuries, not eons, before the sun goes nova, the Earth government sends out a fleet of starships to find a new home.  One ship, the UCS Atlas, returns to the Sol system to find the government that sent it out displaced by a doomsday cult that embraces the impending destruction.  Players will assume the role of an Atlas star fighter pilot while this lone starship attempts to save humanity from itself and its dying star.  The game promises fast-paced dog fighting, to scale capital ship battles and a gripping story.

Want to know more? Send me an email and I’ll be sure to ask your questions when I have the developers on an upcoming podcast.

And that, friends, Romans and Space Marines, is your geek news for September 10, 2011.  May the immortal Emperor’s blessings be upon you.


About Adam Shaftoe

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