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Frontier & Gollancz announce authors for kickstarted “ELITE: DANGEROUS” Books

eliteFrontier Developments plc (AIM: FDEV) and Gollancz, an imprint of the Orion Publishing Group, are delighted to announce the authors who will be writing their three tie-in novels set in the world of ELITE: DANGEROUS, the ground-breaking Kickstarted sequel to best-selling computer game ELITE.

Frontier received crowd-sourced funding for ELITE: DANGEROUS via a hugely successful campaign on the Kickstarter website, and now has over 45,000 backers. Gollancz contributed over £13,000 to secure the rights to publish three related books. After much discussion and many volunteers, Gollancz editor Marcus Gipps selected the authors and collaborated closely with Frontier to ensure continuity and reflect the evolving game world.

The original game ELITE was one of the best-selling and most iconic computer games of the eighties, and has been credited with inspiring generations of game designers and players. It was the first game to be packaged with an accompanying novella – ELITE: THE DARK WHEEL, by Robert Holdstock; an award-winning and much-respected author, and had a long relationship with Gollancz.

ELITE: WANTED, by Gavin Deas, is a rip-roaring space epic told from two points of view – the hunted, and the hunter. When a routine bit of piracy goes wrong, the crew of the Song of Stone realise that there’s a bounty hunter on their tail. One who might, finally, be able to outclass them. The Dragon Queen is feared across space, and for good reason. But even the bounty hunter doesn’t realise what she’s been hired to do. Or what is in the container she’s been sent to retrieve. And she’s not the only hunter in the game…

Gavin Smith and Stephen Deas are regular Gollancz authors – having produced 15 books between them over the last few years – and their combined talent makes this a gripping tale.

ELITE: NEMORENSIS, by Simon Spurrier, tells the story of an unlikely pair of star-crossed lovers who steal a spaceship and go on the run, attacking at random and revelling in the fame and glory their violence brings them. Celebrated by the jaded youth of the Federation and urged on to ever more flashy acts of destruction, they know it won’t be long before they are caught and killed. But someone is following the couple. Someone who knows why they are so obsessed with each other. Who knows where they are heading. Who knows why. Someone who knows more about them than they do themselves. And has another plan for their deaths…

Simon is currently writing X-MEN for Marvel Comics and CROSSED for Avatar Press, and has written for Judge Dredd, Wolverine and many other popular characters. He has published two novels with Hodder and five licensed novels based on Warhammer and 2000AD properties.

ELITE: DOCKING IS DIFFICULT, by Gideon Defoe, humorously explores what life in the future is really like. On what might be the worst planet in the universe, a young man dreams of the stars. Adventure! Lasers! Women! And the ultimate goal – to become Elite! Unfortunately, Misha has to do his chores first. And learn how to talk to Phoebe, the beautiful customs officer. And leave the planet. But the death of a famous author unexpectedly drags Misha and Phoebe into a system-wide conspiracy, complete with smuggling, international art thieves, multi-system corporations, canapés and exploding pigs. This is Misha’s chance to prove he has what it takes! After all, surely anyone can be Elite if they dream…

Gideon is best known for his comic novels featuring THE PIRATES! and was the scriptwriter for the Oscar-nominated Aardman film THE PIRATES! IN AN ADVENTURE WITH SCIENTISTS, based on his books.

Marcus Gipps said: “I was delighted by the response to our involvement with ELITE: DANGEROUS, and very grateful for all of the authors who contacted me and asked to be considered. It was a difficult decision, but in the end I think we’ve ended up with three remarkable books, each of which takes a very different look at the expansive game Frontier has devised while still feeling part of the same universe. It’s been wonderful to work with Frontier and our four talented authors, who will bring their own fanbases to the books.”

David Braben, CEO of Frontier said: “I am a huge science fiction fan, avidly reading sci-fi novels since I was small. I’ve always enjoyed rich, consistent worlds, so the ability to work closely with a number of authors as we create our own galaxy-wide fiction has been amazing. ELITE: DANGEROUS includes thousands of inhabited star systems with their own histories spanning more than a millennium, with details ranging from what people eat to how they are governed. We have worked with the authors to include things in the game that they need for their fiction in the worlds in which their stories are set. Books are a great way to bring such worlds to life, and will fire players’ imagination and enthusiasm for the wider game as well as, of course, standing as creative works in their own right. I look forward to reading the final books.”

The books will be released for sale as eBooks in major digital stores on the 15th of May 2014. Other ebook retailers will put the books up over the next few days, and the hardback editions should also go live everywhere shortly. Collector’s hardbacks will then be published for sale alongside the retail release of the game later that year.

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