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August 24th, 2009

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03:11 pm - Eclipse Phase Is Out
The Eclipse Phase RPG is now for sale.

You can buy the PDF, pre-order the book, or purchase both together at a $5.00 discount here, directly from the publisher (which is the method I recommend) or you can purchase the PDF
from Drivethrurpg. I'd normally be a bit puzzled with the idea of having to purchase the PDF if you have bought the book, but it's a gorgeous, full-color, 400 page book (approximately half of which is setting material), and while the book sells for the perfectly reasonable price of $49.99, the PDF is a shockingly low $15.00. It's also being sold with a Creative Commons license.

I'm very pleased with Catalyst's decision about the PDF price and license. I hope to see similar price drops for more ebooks – the costs are simply far lower in terms of printing & shipping (which are obviously non-existent), as well as both reduced retailer markup, and the far easier possibility of direct sales. I think ebook SF&F sales would be very high if they were sold for $2.99, which compares favorably with current paperback prices of $7.99, and I doubt the publishers or authors would lose any money per sale.

In any case, the game is the first one I've seen that allows you to run and play transhuman space opera of the sort written by authors like Alastair Reynolds and similar books written many of my other favorite authors. It's an absolutely fabulous game, with rules that aren't particularly complex and a very nifty setting. If you are interested, I wrote pp. 38-70 & pp. 300-333 & the section on vehicles (but not the robots section), and was instrumental in including Venusian aerostats.

Here's my subset of recommended fiction from the recommended books in the back of Eclipse Phase. This list are specifically books that I've both read and highly recommend that are in the same subgenre of SF.

Ian M. Banks
The “Culture” Series
Consider Phlebas
The Use of Weapons
The Player of Games
The State of the Art
Look to Windward

Greg Bear
Moving Mars

Ian McDonald
(book and sequel)
Evolution's Shore

Ken Macleod
The “Fall Revolution” series
The Star Fraction
The Stone Canal
The Cassini Division

Newton’s Wake

Linda Nagata
The Bohr Maker
Deception Well

Alastair Reynolds
Revelation Space
Redemption Ark
Absolution Gap

(unrelated but in the same Universe)
Chasm City
The Prefect

Century Rain
Pushing Ice
House of Suns

Karl Schroeder

Charles Stross
Halting State
Singularity Sky

Vernor Vinge
A Deepness in The Sky

Scott Westerfeld
(book and sequel)
The Risen Empire
The Killing of Worlds

David Zindell

For both quality & applicability, I'd recommend Ken Macleod's Newton's Wake & Alastair Reynolds' Chasm City first. Next in line comes Linda Nagata's Bohr Maker trilogy, Alastair Reynolds' Revelation Space trilogy, and Charles Stross' Singularity Sky & Accelerando.

OTOH, none of the books on this last are anything other than well worth reading.
Current Mood: pleasedpleased

(8 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:August 25th, 2009 12:02 am (UTC)
Already downloaded the PDF, but will probably wait for the hardcopy before I read it.

I wasn’t impressed by Moving Mars; I’d recommend Karl Schroeder’s Lady of Mazes in its stead. On the rest, I agree, save for Neverness, which I am moving to the top of my to-read stack on that recommendation.

[User Picture]
Date:August 25th, 2009 03:09 am (UTC)
Are you one of the authors?
[User Picture]
Date:August 25th, 2009 04:08 am (UTC)
Yes indeed. As I wrote above, "I wrote pp. 38-70 & pp. 300-333 & the section on vehicles (but not the robots section), and was instrumental in including Venusian aerostats."
[User Picture]
Date:August 25th, 2009 11:06 am (UTC)
Sorry! Trying to catch up on several days of LJ in a rush.

Also, happy approximately-birthday!
[User Picture]
Date:August 25th, 2009 06:45 am (UTC)
I was already thinking of buying the book, but I didn't know you had written for it. This means I'll bump it up on my buy list - I'll probably buy it in my friendly neighbourhood gaming store as I like to support their business.

CC licensing is brilliant and it is one of the things that made me want to buy it.

Also, that list of fiction seems interesting, there are a lot of stuff I like but some authors I haven't read before. I have to check them out, too.

[User Picture]
Date:August 25th, 2009 07:56 am (UTC)
Thanks for the hint - I just got the PDF. Having just downloaded it 60 seconds ago, I haven't had the chance to look at the actual content, but I must say that the art looks gorgeous. I was intending to buy the physical book if the written content was good, but now I'm already tempted to get it for the production values alone.
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
Date:August 26th, 2009 12:30 am (UTC)
Transhumanist space horror, yum!

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