Got game?

Well, I finally managed to reach the end of the ‘Another Life’ science fiction series streaming on Netflix. It picked up a little towards the end, I think. The beast was weighted on the way, though by a lot of wheel-spinning, as well as a strange backstory that made little sense and ended up making matters feel very uneven.

Here’re just a few points.

1). Humanity has warp drive starships, yet doesn’t seem to have settled any worlds outside of Sol? Everything the vessel hits seems to be new and a big-ass surprise. Why?

2). Earth oddly appears to only possess a single – yes, one – starship to task with saving our whole freaking planet.

3). Said starship appears to have been designed by a Clown Car manufacturer. Every episode, the doors seem to fall off as its wheels spin away.

4). The only starship we do have is crewed by young whiny EMO snowflake kids, rather than steady and experienced military/naval types. WTF?

Let me suggest two easy fixes that could’ve plugged these gaping plot holes.

1 & 2 & 3). Earth only manages to back-engineer a warp drive from the crashed alien vessel (or, maybe a mystery data transmission from the planet they’re finally sent to), so of course we haven’t explored beyond Sol, yet, and only have a single experimental ship equipped with warp. All prior missions were sub-light probes leaving us with little knowledge of our galactic locale. Naturally, a new ship on our first warp flight is going to display serious teething issues.

4). To try to save Earth from the eco-devastation and nasty wars that seem to form this world’s backdrop, much of humanity has now submitted to mass genetic engineering making us more peaceful and breeding violent instincts out of our race. That would’ve heightened plot tension, too, as we’re now exploring space and meeting potential hostiles just when we’ve hacked our DNA to make humanity soft and cuddly.

One interesting piece of news on the home fires front. Arion Games is currently running a Kickstarter to produce an RPG game based on my Triple Realm universe from ‘For the Crown and the Dragon’. If you’ve got game – or would like some – you can sign up over at 

Tony Hough of Fighting Fantasy-fame is lined up to do the art if the game gets funded, too.

If you love flintlock fantasy, Georgian steampunk and the like, this could be the game for you!


I am an author of various fantasy, science fiction, crime and other genre books from Gollancz, Hachette and HarperCollins. Some day I hope to grow up and be an astronaut. Exploring Mars would be nice.

3 thoughts on “Got game?

  • September 19, 2019 at 6:30 pm

    Hi Stephen,

    I’m a big fan of your Jackelian series. Is there any chance that it might become an official tabletop RPG at some point? Or at least, a “worldbook” with a timeline, artwork, and most of all, maps— might see the light of day, eventually?


  • September 20, 2019 at 8:55 pm

    Hi Jon

    Love to, but the rights for the first 6 books resides with HarperCollins, and I suspect they would want bigger bucks than most game firms would wish to pay.

    Oh well. One day, maybe.


  • September 21, 2019 at 12:21 pm

    Ah, well, I’ll live in hope for now. 🙂

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