Sunless Skies

Sunless Skies from Failbetter Games, which I backed in crowdfunding, sequel to Sunless Sea, which I backed in crowdfunding, inspired by Fallen London, which I’ve played, which followed when The Night Circus ended, which I also played, is coming to early access at Steam and GOG on August 30th.

LONDON HAS TAKEN TO THE STARS! As the captain of a spacefaring locomotive you’ll behold wonders and battle cosmic abominations in the furthest heavens. Stake your claim. Fight to survive. Speak to storms. Murder a sun. Face judgement.

Sunless Skies tells the story of one possible future of the Fallen London Universe. Ten years have passed since Sunless Sea, and Queen Victoria has led an exodus from London to the heavens. There, a revitalised British Empire – ambitious and authoritarian – begins to expand across the skies.

Dawn of the Archmage

Crowdfunding for Dawn of the Archmage by Dave Killingsworth and SolarFlare Games has started. They created Nightmare Forest: Dead Run and stand-alone sequel Nightmare Forest: Alien Invasion, among others, you may have heard me mention.

Summon Your Power!

Dawn of the Archmage is small unit (miniatures) skirmish game for 2 to 4 players. Each mage will represent a school of magic, summoning powerful monsters to the battlefield. Pitting their fearsome creatures in gladiatorial battle, one mage will reign victorious, ascending to the title of Archmage.

Do you have the strength and strategy to defeat your enemies? Will you become the Archmage?

Extracurricular Activities

Extracurricular Activities, a short set in The Machineries of Empire series, by Yoon Ha Lee is a breezily written, as I understand, prequel that tells a bit of backstory about an interesting main character from the other novels in a richly developed future. The language is simple and not at all complex, so this short is an even quicker than expected finish. But, on the whole, the universe in which the story takes place has a beautiful complexity of culture and conception that proves ultimately this is worth more than the sliver of time it took to read.

The cultures of this fiction appear to be based on many social and aesthetic norms within various Asian nations, so if I were more versed in the history and those cultures then I may have recognized more analogy to the real world than I did just well-done fiction. It occurred to me while reading this that my personal immersion in Western and American culture, although I’d certainly claim to be at least cosmopolitan, helped to create a sense of otherness and alienness to the particulars of the story which I might not have felt otherwise. I wondered about the reverse of that experience for readers of sci fi from the East with so much of the science fiction futures that I’ve read have been my Western and American authors. Kinda obvious now that I’ve thought it, but I’m not sure I’d pondered that so specifically before, as I had while reading this. It occurred to me perhaps the world-building might not seem quite as inventive and novel for a reader within those cultures that seem represented in allegory.

It’s short, quick, cheap, and interesting. Plus, after reading this short, I’m certainly more interested than I was to read the full novels in the series. So, well done, author! Well done.

I made 2 highlights.

Originally posted on my personal blog at Extracurricular Activities