Legionnaire

Legionnaire, book 1 of the Galaxy’s Edge series, by Jason Anspach and Nick Cole is Generation Kill in space. In spite of the science fiction setting, the particulars are thinly veiled allegory for recent military misadventures, with all the usual suspects and situations. The danger didn’t quite reach the Hidden Fortress level of impossible-situation plot-twists, but it was an entertainingly constant chaos of complications.

For me there was cringingly uncomfortable racist overtones to the description and conception of the main alien species, with the double whammy of being both Innsmouth-look-ish (which for me added a whole other genre can-of-worms by reference) and clearly Middle Eastern inspiration, on the planet where the action takes place, but if you can get over that, or accept it as littérature vérité, the rest is a pretty strong and stirring story about the common (hu)man trying to survive a vertically-integrated perpetual-motion military-diplomatic clusterfuck.

The epilogue felt wildly out of place to me because that little story-within-a-story went completely wibbly-wobbly Flash Gordon science fantasy pastiche. I’m not sure how that bodes for the rest of the series. I hope that was just an anomaly. Otherwise this was a solid first installment in a series with promise for worthy visceral commentary on recent global political-military history through a very thinly-drawn distancing lens of uncomfortably-close-to-real fiction.

I made 7 highlights, but 3 of those were notes about errors.

Originally posted on my personal blog at Legionnaire

John Carter tabletop gaming

Modiphius, who recently have launched Star Trek Adventures, sent out an email with details about their upcoming crowdfunding effort for a John Carter tabletop gaming line. This will include an RPG, miniatures, and a board game. They’ve been working with the Edgar Rice Burroughs Estate and they seem to be serious about trying to do it right.

In the email, which you should go read now, they shared some pictures of suggested page layouts and miniatures, and there’s some gorgeous stuff happening, so I’d say sign up and stay in the loop for when the crowdfunding campaign starts up, they say in just a month or two!

The roleplaying game will be a gorgeous deluxe edition landscape book with stunning long artworks taking you across Barsoom whilst the miniatures will bring your favourite characters, villains and brave crews of their ships to life. Beyond that a board game will let you explore the adventures of John Carter and friends in new ways!

We’re making a final push now before aiming to get the project live at the end of August but our goal is to be able to ship the book and miniatures soon after the project so this date will shift to ensure we’re fully ready. Please bear with us, it’s going to be worth your wait.

I wonder if there’s going to be the equivalent of the Borg Cube Collector’s Edition for STA, which is awesomely out of my price range? Maybe a Martian airship? Also, this will use the same 2d20 system, so I’ll hope to hear about some riotous crossovers.