I’m trying to become an established science fiction author. You may have guessed from the title of the site. In some darker moods I imagine the ideal moment for that was twenty five years ago. After all, I was young, had ambitions to be a novelist, and was working as a writer (an actual writer!) in the computer games industry. I’m even famous, if your definition of fame is fairly flexible. Not even what used to be disparagingly called ‘internet famous’, but over the years I’ve been in maybe a dozen or so local newspaper articles.
I list moviemaking as one of my hobbies, under the assumption that almost anything I do is a hobby to one degree or another. In practise a huge chunk of it is Starship Intrepid, a Star Trek fan film series of which I’ve done directing, acting and (usually) camera. We’ve been going since 2003 which I recently learned makes us the longest-running Trek fan film series in the world. Normally I’d describe us as the UK’s first, so that’s another little claim to fame.
My new year’s resolution is to blog more. This is not likely to last long, based on previous experience. However…
I’ve started doing the housekeeping stuff expected of a new year – swapping over the keyboards from the two computers for example, and tidying up files – in my own little 5S. This is a holdover from when I used to work in a factory, the 5S being a management fad from Japan and standing for… well I forget. Sort, Store, Sustain, that kind of thing. Or as I used to think of it, Shovel Shit Sideways. Just a normal first day of a new year.
However this isn’t a normal new year1. Just look at that date! We’re now into the Cyberpunk 2020 decade, a roleplaying game I used to play from the 90s.
Hogmanay as we say here. ↩
It’s been 20 years since the release of the original Grand Theft Auto.
Theoretically I’m currently writing a “complete”” history of DMA Design, a task which gets trickier as the timeline progresses. More and more I wasn’t physically present, because how could I be in two buildings at once? But I wrote the internal newsletter at the time, in between my games-related work. And re-reading them has proved to be intriguing.
Now, I’m not saying that Shreya was a bot, but it’s possible. Our broadband speed had been dropping out and fluctuating in speed for a couple of months. It had stabilised for the last two weeks on 1.5mb/s. We pay for 70mb/s, are advised to expect an average of 46mb/sec and usually get 20mb/s. And so I clicked the chat button on the support website. A panel popped up. Right. Here we go.
When Geoff Pell approached me back in August last year to ask if I would like to write the story for Inviolate, I was given a lot of leeway to change things around if I thought it was an improvement. Originally the game was set on the surface of a planet, which came with its own issues to resolve. Was it around another star system, how would the space travel work in the context of the game and so on. Given the distinct air of cyberpunk surrounding the project — not least that it’s a retro-style game circa 1995 or so — a distant planet felt to me like a different flavour of SF.
It’s every Science Fiction writer’s dream to have successfully predicted the future.
I did that once. But there’s a wee caveat.
Predicting the Future