Jon Champs publishes his fourth book and his first sci-fi!
This last weekend the first of a six-part military-political space opera was published. It’s taken six months to write and is based on a series of war games I played during the 1980’s and early 1990’s. These wargames were meticulously diarised, the scenarios all part of an elaborate set of rules that controlled economics, combat, and so on, thousands of pages deep and written over a decade.
We didn’t have computers, the models were all from small manufacturers, some of whom vanished in months never to be seen again. The rules were based on Starfire and StarFleet Battles, but modified carefully over years of play to give us an immersive and addictive universe that got way too serious!
Hundreds of diagrams, maps, ship designs and book loads of notes played out in real life on huge table top areas painted deep black with silver hexagons overlaid that took weeks to paint on. They were physical models, hand painted with love and attention to detail that made them a matter of pride and fiercely protected.
I wrote so much about what happened down, because one day I wanted to turn into a book. And now I have.
This is an exciting, detailed, thrilling and engaging storyline, with characters literally modelled from rules in campaigns fought over years between close friends (and fierce wargame enemies).
They are the culmination of 40 years of thought, played out in thousands of hours of spare time.
The United Earth Alliance – that was its original name in 1981when I created it, starts almost from scratch, there are some modern twists to make the book more relevant, yet they also make it more compelling.
Earth thinks it’s alone, it’s militarily weak and hasn’t had need of a fleet to defend itself except from human pirates and occasionally, the threat of colonial rebellions, all suppressed.
Earth is beset with problems, the aftermath of climate change, a war with AI, all now in its history. A history no longer taught out of embarrassment and a need to forget. Mankind has reached 8 star systems, and settled at least one planet in them all, as well as hundreds of large mining colonies on asteroids.
The discovery of the jump gate allowed travel between the stars, and new technology sped up interplanetary travel inside individual systems.
Mars is semi-autonomous, but doesn’t seek full independence, because Earth controls its food supplies from Proxima V, now the main source of nourishment for all 8 systems.
Everything has settled down, then Captain Bruce Baylin of the explorer ship Ramorra and his crew are sent to the Epsilon Eridani system and told to “wait for something to happen”. For almost a year that’s exactly what they do.
We join them on the last day of their wait, as food and fuel are about to force them home in barely 72 hours time…what they see will change the future for ever…
Let the games begin!
Paperback available on Amazon:
Kindle Editions also available!
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