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Monday, 22 February 2010

Fantasy adventure at the dawn of time

Fantasy fiction these days tends to be either clanky and mud-spattered or else it's all about urban elvish nightclubs. Way back when, there was a whole strain of science fantasy with lost technology and vril-powered aircars shading over into swashbuckling swords and sorcery. It's a tradition that the John Carter of Mars movie will hopefully restore.

Abraxas was our contribution to the genre. Originally conceived as a massively multiplayer online game (this was 1999, so a wee while before World of Warcraft wowed the world) it was set 40,000 years in Earth's prehistory. Encircling the globe are Saturnian rings of a strange mineral that amplifies psionic ability. On the mainland, homo sapiens is gradually forcing out the neanderthals, but out on the island of Abraxas there is another race of Man that has already built a dazzling civilization and is now in decline.

The fauna of Abraxas comprises giant ground sloths, terror birds and lumbering toxodons. And each of the great cities bears the stamp of a culture which is destined, when the island disappears, to leave survivors who will seed the civilizations of Egypt, Mesopotamia, the Toltecs and so on. All gloriously implausible but perfectly in line with the pseudoscience of the pulp era!

We're still trying to decide what to do with Abraxas. We have masses of world background and character history - enough to make a computer game, in fact - including loads of brilliant concept artwork by Russ Nicholson. Or it could be the basis of a whole new series of FL books when we've finally completed the first twelve.

When we figure out the best way to use it, you'll be the first to know. In the meantime, starting one month from today, we'll be opening the treasure chest of background material and concept art to give you a comprehensive look at this lost continent of four hundred centuries past.


  1. What exactly is the Abraxas game? Do you have any links to the game downloads? I have searched for information on wikipedia but couldn't find any. It does sound intriguing though. Best of luck? Also, do you know if Jamie Thomeson has a blog?

  2. More on Abraxas soon. The MMOG was never completed as Eidos closed internal game development. Instead we went off and created the PC strategy game Warrior Kings with our own company, Black Cactus.

    We would have done Abraxas too eventually, but it's the sort of project that in the late '90s and early '00s would have needed a massive investment by a big, confident, well-resourced publisher.

    No matter - we'll find another use for it all!

    Jamie does indeed have a blog - this one. He's just too lazy to post anything :)