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Old February 22nd, 2008, 12:51 AM
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Default The Road Not Travell(er)ed [Charles Gannon and Post Hard-Times]

I'm pleased to say that Charles Gannon has forward to me 3 of the proposals he originally submitted to GDW dealing with Hard Times and the period to follow.

Here is his email and I will attach the 3 proposals in the posts to follow:

-------------------------------------------------
Okay; I found the three documents that more or less completely comprise
the basis of the "road not Travellered" in 1991/2. Please forgive the
occasional insertion of bracketed nonsense; the documents were written
in the now-dead WP program Xywrite, and those are formatting codes. I
didn't have the time to remove them, nor do I want to modify the
documents from their original content.

I know that two of these documents were sent to GDW (to Marc's, and
possibly Frank's, attention), because I still have copies of the cover
letters. The third probably was submitted (I think) in slightly more
polished form as a fax, during a period of a lot of discussion about the
next steps to be taken. I am leaving out the Traveller novel contract I
had, the story of which was to depict/support the Star Vikings
period/ethos, and which was signed sometime in August or Sept of 1991
(and later cancelled, obviously).

A couple of trends that I would point out; I was always trying to reduce
the time between the end of Hard Times and the beginning of the
Reunification. Marc was very open to all concepts and a great senior
collaborator who never used his authority to stifle or shut down my
creativity. My recollection is that he also was not in a rush to bury
the Imperium under a 200 year dark age. Frank was predominantly focused
on a rules revision, and the possibility of using Marc's long cherished
notion of a Star Viking milieu to introduce and vivify a new small unit
combat system. You will note that there is no mention of a Virus. You
will note that I do address the narrative option of a 200 year ellipsis
in the history of the Imperium (and the game), so the concept of a long
interregnum/hiatus was already being considered by folks at GDW (and I
was obviously advocating against it). The reason these proposals are
somewhat repetitious in content is that a) there are refinements of the
ideas over time, and b) although Marc had approved of the first set of
products (I had contracts for about five of them, I think),
custodianship of the product line passed to Frank in the middle of this
period, and that made it necessary for me to sort of "re-sell" the
ideas. Frank had not been as involved in the "story arc" development
aspect, except insofar as it developed an environment for the Star
Viking combat rules.

The dating of the files is as follows:

Midnight dates from May 1991; MTProds dates from July; Megatrav dates
from August.

I hope these are of interest to COTI and you and it has been interesting
looking them up after all this time. I will say that in retrospect, I
wonder if the Black Empire idea was really necessary. It was a little
bit Wagnerian, compared to the rest of the material. I think
Commonwealth/Reunification (and its complexities) could easily have been
spun out for a long time. But the ultimate concluding idea was akin to
the drive on Berlin in World War II: retaking the Iridium Throne was to
ultimately have the same kind of significance as bringing down the
immense swastika that loomed over the entrance to the Reichstag. Every
once in a while, there are events that do have epic components and
proportions. The retaking of the Iridium Throne would have symbolized a
New Deal and a New Imperium--and would have been the dawn that clearly
indicated that the Short Night (or Dusk) was over. Whether that would
have been a good gaming concept is another issue entirely...

Best wishes and thanks,

Chuck
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