Elsewhen Press signs new author for science-fiction series set in a virtual reality wargame

We are excited to announce that James Starling, Midlands-based gamer and author, has signed a publishing deal for an undisclosed sum for a new four-part science fiction series. Arteess: Conflict is the first book in an exhilarating new series that tells of science, betrayal, power and progress, from the perspective of innocent gamers.

Created as an experiment into the nature of time itself, the virtual world of Arteess exists, in the near future, as a private digital realm. A full-body virtual reality experience where the talented, the shrewd and the lucky are invited to participate in an international war zone of nomadic factions. Where an hour in reality is torn and expanded into an entire month in the game. A mere twelve hours becomes a year of constant warfare, with each player’s avatar requiring the same care and attention that their real bodies would. A year of brutality leading to countless deaths, each rewarded with new life in the form of re-spawning.

We are introduced into the world of Arteess alongside the Shard squad, a group of friends specialising in Conflict arenas, playing as a cohesive unit led by Splint. Though each member possesses unique talents, they are ultimately defined by their personalities, their own personal battles and the moral choices they make in the consequence-free virtual environment. They are thrust into Arteess to serve under the Sapphire faction, an alarmingly casual outfit holed up in the middle of a metal mountain. Surrounded by sociopathic technicians, facetious pilots and a potentially insane commander, Splint and her squad must carve out a place for themselves within the virtual battlefield while surviving not only the onslaught of rivals but also the antics of their own teammates.

Al Murray, Managing Publisher of Elsewhen Press said “James is an exciting young writer who has grown up alongside the world of gaming. He writes enthusiastically and believably about the sort of virtual world that many gamers would love to inhabit. The technology may not yet be able to deliver a gaming experience as rich as that in Arteess, but James’ imagination certainly can. We are sure that this series will prove to be very popular with gamers and non-gaming science fiction fans alike.”

Elsewhen Press adopts a digital-first policy, initially publishing new titles in ebook format and subsequently in print editions. Arteess: Conflict by James Starling will be published in a digital edition this winter and in print next year.