When the Kickstarter came out for BattleTech and I saw one of the incentives was a BattleTech magazine, I have to admit a little kid inside me squealed with joy. I remember the old days when we had fan magazines, StarDate, and BattleTechnology. BattleCorps was a good source of fiction, but there wasn’t enough of it. There is a lot of goodness out there for BattleTech that isn’t novel-length, and a magazine would be a great format.
The Kickstarter backers got their copies two weeks ago. Stop whining if you think that wasn’t fair, you had your chance to take part in the Kickstarter… I was stunned at the sheer size. It took me a while to get through it. This is easily the size of a small book…much more than I expected.
The fiction includes the first part of a multi-part story by Mike Stackpole on the Kell Hounds (huzzah!) some Crescent Hawks love, a fantastic piece by my favorite author (me) on the Smoke Jaguars, and several other solid pieces. Some of these stories are pretty long and engaging, especially the Ghost Bears story. Grimm Sentence by Chris Hussey actually made me give a damn about Hendrik Grimm, no small task mind you. There’s a lot of unexplored corners of the BattleTech universe screaming for this kind of good fiction.
There’s some game support material on the Eridani Light Horse and sniper rifles, for you RPG fans. I loved Craig Reed’s fiction, Tales from the Cracked Canopy.
Perhaps the most important thing is that Shrapnel opens the door for fans to get their fiction published. The submission guidelines are there – so go to town! Fiction is back in the driver’s seat for the universe so this is your chance to prove your mettle. Will you accept my batchall?
My only hope for improvement is more artwork. This issue was packed with fiction but not a lot of art. I would have liked to see more artwork in the pages.
Don’t be a Bob and ask me if this is going to be in print-copy. I heard it was, but I honestly don’t know for sure. I also have no idea if this will be an audio book, and, I can’t stress this enough, I don’t care.
BattleTech is back baby!