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As part of the celebrations for reaching our 100% funding on Kickstarter, we've announced a digital novella for all the Premium Preorderers and above (you'll recieve it if you Premium Preordered prior to Kickstarter too). This might be anything from 7,000/8,000 words up to 20,000 words. It might take a few months to arrive, but it'll arrive before the game does.

It will tell the story of the Iceland Incident, humanity's first contact with extraterrestrials and the event that led to the foundation of the Xenonauts. It will tell the story of a Russian commander involved in the battle for the crashed UFO. It shouldn't be spoilerific - really it should just set some of the background for the game.

It is to be written by Lee Stephen, who is the author of the Epic Universe series of books - they are currently the top selling independent sci-fi series in America. Writing is a very subjective thing, so but Lee has offered to write this for free - if you love what he writes, great! If you don't, fair enough - but it hasn't diverted any funds away from the game. So this can only be a good thing for us.

Lee is a huge X-Com fan (hence why he's working for free), and I've pointed him at this thread. Please make him feel welcome and I'm sure he'll be happy to answer any questions you have. Alternatively, if you just want to wait and see what comes out of his brain over the next few months, that'll be fine too!

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I'm not familiar with his work, but it sounds very interesting.

Oddly, this is just the sort of thing I *would* have paid more pennies for.

It's a real coup to get this one up and running.

Be welcoming...be welcoming... well, it's got to be better than the Enemy Unknown novel* ;)

*really hoping that it's not a thematic sequel to same.

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Welcome to the family Lee!

I hope you will have fun writing the novel as much as we are having fun with helping Chris develop this great game. :)

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Whooo!

I consider this an absolute bonus (and an awesome one at that) to what I thought was worth the $75 tier stuffs I thought was fair!

btw, what formats are offered for it?

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Thank you very much Mr. Stephen, an additional KS reward of this caliber should help quite a bit. Will definitely be reading it.

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I'm looking forward to seeing this particular bonus! :D

I admit that I am curious to know what other sci-fi authors Lee himself enjoys, if any!

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An american author writing a book about a russian soldier sounds like a bad idea to me. Guess i'll give it a try and criticize the living alien crap out of it if it fails to deliver:p

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So we will find out how the Russians responded to the Americans News? And why nobody survived the initial event.. cool :D

It would be cool to see the response to fighting side by side with their hated foes against something even worse.

Did the Ruskies have air support during the assault? and did they realize what mess they were getting themselves into?

Will be nice addition and perhaps it will explain why the Russians didnt just retaliate when they saw those nukes leave their silos- what made them hold back from mutual destruction.

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And why nobody survived the initial event.. cool :D

Because the UFO self-destructed and took everyone out.

And did they realize what mess they were getting themselves into?

They couldn't have, it was first contact.

Will be nice addition and perhaps it will explain why the Russians didnt just retaliate when they saw those nukes leave their silos- what made them hold back from mutual destruction.

Because they were never attacked. The nukes went off relatively close to American soil which gave them pause.

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Great news! I'll be definitely checking his series and can't wait for the novela :)

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Great !!! All I heard are good news man, this is going pretty well. First the funding, now the digital novel... :D

Could anyone post some of the artists' details? other novels or anything like that?

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Because the UFO self-destructed and took everyone out.

They couldn't have, it was first contact.

Because they were never attacked. The nukes went off relatively close to American soil which gave them pause.

1) That is Chris's presumed reasoning... it actually states on the Iceland incident "We guessed the aliens had done it deliberately," .... maybe they didnt, maybe it was something else... an orbital strike, an accident

2) Soldiers minds play tricks, the Americans had an inkling after losing a fighter wing, perhaps the Russians had secret files on previous visitors etc

3) Its a pretty big risk in 1977, they had no way of knowing where the missiles were going, to hit Russia missiles and bombers would cross the Arctic circle as it is a shorter distance.

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1) That is Chris's presumed reasoning... it actually states on the Iceland incident "We guessed the aliens had done it deliberately," .... maybe they didnt, maybe it was something else... an orbital strike, an accident

When you research the alien power core in game, scientists will tell you that it is so powerful it was most likely the source of the explosion in Iceland Incident. (IIRC)

On the other hand when you shoot a powercore inside a scout/corvette, it definitely doesn't go with such big bang.. I guess players wouldn't appreciate having whole map obliterated in an instant :D

Edited by Shima

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1) That is Chris's presumed reasoning... it actually states on the Iceland incident "We guessed the aliens had done it deliberately," .... maybe they didnt, maybe it was something else... an orbital strike, an accident

Exactly. The dilemma wasn't what caused the explosion, it's obviously the ship (not an orbital strike or whatever). They merely weren't sure if it was deliberate or not but other than that, ship blew up (the same as they blow up in the game when you damage the power core), killed the soldiers, the end.

2) Soldiers minds play tricks, the Americans had an inkling after losing a fighter wing, perhaps the Russians had secret files on previous visitors etc

Yeah, the Americans might have expected a hostile race with advanced weapons from the planes being shot down (forgot about the air battle). It stands to reason that they would've informed the Soviets so I'll give you that though it doesn't seem like much.

3) Its a pretty big risk in 1977, they had no way of knowing where the missiles were going, to hit Russia missiles and bombers would cross the Arctic circle as it is a shorter distance.

"I guess the only reason they hadn’t already wiped us off the face of the planet was that Iceland’s on our side, not theirs. But it sounded like they were pretty close to just firin’ everything they had at us anyway."

"...and we sure as hell didn’t want to get bombed back into the Stone Age. The Pentagon briefed the Kremlin on what was going on, and invited them to send their own troops to the crash site."

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When you research the alien power core in game, scientists will tell you that it is so powerful it was most likely the source of the explosion in Iceland Incident. (IIRC)

On the other hand when you shoot a powercore inside a scout/corvette, it definitely doesn't go with such big bang.. I guess players wouldn't appreciate having whole map obliterated in an instant :D

Maybe because the ship described in the incident was a massive one? With a big ass reactor heh. ;)

I did explode one reactor this afternoon, killed all aliens inside

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Hi, everyone! Great to be here on the forum.

I'm extremely excited to be working on this project. Having just wrapped a 500-page behemoth, it'll be nice to shift gears for a little bit and work on something new. For those interested in the nitty-gritty as to what drew to me to this project and why I'm so enthused about it, I posted a little write-up on my site that you can read HERE.

What I wanted to express here, though, is how eager I am to dive into the story and give you guys something that not only preps you for the game, but excites you about the universe it exists in. As I mention on my site, this isn't going to be a story about aliens alone. A story like that wouldn't be a story at all - it'd be the introduction in an instruction manual. This is the story of a man's role in shaping one of the pivotal moments in human history. It, like Xenonauts and X-Com before it, is a human story.

This novella, tentatively titled Crimson Dagger, is going to reveal the story of Mikhail Kirov and a small team of soldiers. Obviously there's a lot I can't touch on, but what I can tell you is that this will completely bring into light what actually happened in Iceland and what set the stage for the formation of the Xenonauts. There's a lot of in-game speculation as to what took place at ground zero. This will end all doubt.

I'm excited to get this train rolling! A great deal of plotting and communicating with Chris has already taken place, and the pen is about to hit the proverbial paper. You guys are gonna love this.

In the meantime, I'll let this be the thread where I answer any questions and address any issues! I like to be engaged, so by no means do I plan to be a one-and-done poster. I'm looking forward to getting to know you all!

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Getting to know us all is over rated, get writing! :P

No pressure.

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Oh, the novella had nigh slipped my mind amidst the Kickstarter hullabaloo. To tell you the truth, the original announcement made me yelp with joy a little (and not in a figurative sense, mind you): video games are my favourite pastime due in no small part to giving the opportunity to immerse myself in fictitious worlds, and the story you're writing can only make Xenonauts more engaging.

Welcome aboard and a big, earnest thank-you in advance!

Edited by iamkyon

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Nice to meet you, Mr. Stephen!

I'm really looking forward to reading your work, you don't get a chance to read quality material about your favourite game very often! :)

I have some questions already:

Will the story begin with Kirov's parting with NATO General, or before that, say, in barracks?

What are your favourite sci-fi books? And which ones heavily influenced your work? (just spying to see what I can expect :) )

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The question is, did Chris still make you pay for the game :P

And Hi

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Some other Kickstarter games gave away novellas for the higher pledge tiers. Not something I was interested in... until now :) Go for it, Mr Stephen, and good luck!

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Some other Kickstarter games gave away novellas for the higher pledge tiers. Not something I was interested in... until now :)

Yeah, I'm more excited about this one than Wasteland 2's novella.

The Iceland Incident (II) actually happens in a pretty short span of time. UFO crashes, soldiers arrive, firefight, everyone dies, it all happens in less than a day from what I gather.

So I'm really curious about the story that's going to be squeezed into this relatively short (though intense) period of time although it seems that some events beyond the II will also come into play.

Maybe it's going to be a military sci-fi novella equivalent of those old 500 page long stream of consciousness novels where everything happens within 24hrs. :P

Edited by Jean-Luc

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