Now, before you get all click-happy and run off thinking this is going to be some text-based DM of the Rings, or vast pool of scorching and unconventional game reviews, I need to make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into here. The novel in question is a work of fiction, it’s cyberpunk, and it’s fanfiction. Odds are that I’ve already duped you into reading some of my fanfiction, but this is an entire book that exists under that classification. The book is based on the 1994 classic System Shock. And if you don’t know about that game, then perhaps you’re acquainted with its mutant grandson.
I have had people email me that it is the best novel they’ve ever read. Now, this is absolutely not a position I endorse, but I offer it here as an opinion that exists, and is held by multiple people I’ve never met and who seem otherwise lucid. I offer their opinion here as a sort of recommendation. If some people are willing to go recklessly waving the word “best” around, then perhaps the book is not completely awful. I wrote it five years ago. I’ve improved a lot since then, and like many writers my pride in my accomplishment is overshadowed somewhat by the realization that I could do so much better now.
Since the completion of the book I’ve had people asking for a hardcopy in one form or another. I’ve always pointed them in the direction of the printer-friendly version, which isn’t exactly something you can read while curled up on the couch, even if you’ve got the spare paper and ink and a printer that’s up to the job. I realized that this was not what they wanted, but I didn’t want to get mixed up in publishing, or self-publishing, or whatever. Fanfiction exists in some legally questionable area, and I didn’t want to become embroiled in a losing conflict with one of the many System Shock IP holders.
|Clint (left) and Peter. (Right) Clint is holding the first printed draft.|
Holding a copy of my own book in my hands was an amazing experience. I actually found it to be deeply and personally moving. I didn’t realize what it would mean to me until I had the thing in hand.
And so I am no longer shy of providing a way for people to obtain a hardcopy. I proudly offer a link to the Lulu page where you can buy a copy. I hasten to add that the money is only to cover the cost of printing, and that I make zero profit from the work. (You can download the PDF for free, and of course the original version is available in HTML flavor.) If a System Shock IP holder is out there and looking for something to do with all these lawyers and money he’s got laying around, I want him to understand that going after a broke guy who has never profited from this work – which might not even be technically infringing – is probably not the best way to expend one’s resources. The book is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0, a sprawling label which is nearly a legal document in and of itself.
Thanks again to Clint and his brother for putting this together. It’s a step I never would have taken on my own. I’m impressed with how carefully they recreated the style and formatting of the original, from the crazy text used by SHODAN down to the page numbering.
Thanks again to Clint & Co for putting it together.
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The Middle Ages
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Quakecon 2011 Keynote Annotated
An interesting but technically dense talk about gaming technology. I translate it for the non-coders.
A look at the main Borderlands games. What works, what doesn't, and where the series can go from here.