No, I am not suddenly embarking in a career in the United States Armed Forces.
On Monday I signed a contract with Grail Quest Books to write a Novella in the universe based on WARS, the Collectible Card Game from Decipher, Inc. I am one of three authors enlisted to work on this project, each writing for the three Human factions in the WARS universe. I will be writing for the faction known as Mavericks.
In short, the Mavericks are the outsiders of the WARS universe, the people that play both sides. They are the wretched hive of scum and villainy: pirates, gamblers, smugglers, scoundrels–you’d like ‘em! They are the settlers on the fringes of our solar system, trying to survive the conflict between the other two Human factions, Earthers and Gongen.
The Earthers are the “civilized” folks. The global corporation that governs Earth affairs paid dearly when they tried to assert control over the solar system. The Gongen are colonists to Mars, who fled Earth after a nuclear holocaust destroyed hundreds of millions of lives. Predominantly Asian in culture, they have adopted an almost Japanese way of life, valuing honor and harmony above all other values. The novellas will take place before a rift in our solar system introduces to warring Alien factions to the mix.
In many ways this project is right up my alley. It has a similar tone to Firefly, Ron Moore’s Battlestar Galactica, and the Star Wars Expanded Universe novels. In fact, Michael A. Stackpole was commissioned by Decipher to create the backstory for the game, and even wrote some short stories to get it started. WARS also based its gameplay on the Star Wars Customizable Card Game, also from Decipher.
It also has an intrinsic connection with my psyche. I am very independent, a lover of liberty, and grew up with a survivor’s mentality. Maverick culture has been described as Deadwood in space, and westerns have long been a guilty pleasure of mine. I also believe Maverick culture allows me to better explore the characters involved, not only because of their knack for brutal honesty, but also because their culture does not provide a framework in which to hide their baser instincts. They do not have an overarching legal base guiding their actions, as do the Earthers. They have no preconceived notions of duty or honor as the Gongen do. They are a flawed people, and those flaws are entirely all-too visible. But it also makes them unpredictable for those who would control them.
I do not know the plot, or the characters that will appear in this novella. We will be brainstorming these things later on. For now, I know that it will be a Graphic Novella, much like the Star Wars Dark Forces Novellas. Not in the common Comic Book style with which you may be familiar. I know Grail Quest Books hopes to continue to expand this property in the future. I will of course keep you posted on developments, but the first WARS novella is tentatively slated for a 2010 release.
For more information on the project: http://grailquestbooks.com/main/gqb-news/get-ready-for-wars/