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Wing Commander CIC Mail Bag (February 1, 1999)

This week ace, Byydo and special guest star LOAF answer intelligent questions about the WC Movie, WC novels, and make absolutely no mention to WC4 vs. WCP.

Brandon McKown

Hey guys, after the pure morons you responded to last week, I have a REAL question(s) that was spawned from one of the comments written.


I have enjoyed the richly detailed novels of William Forstchen,

Then you obviously didn't read 'Star Voyager Academy'.

mainly those of the WC novels he's been involved with.

Yeah... isn't it weird how he mentions the Vacuum Breathers bar in 'Article 23'? That totally turned my world upside down...

I see only one major problem

Male pattern baldness shouldn't be considered a problem -- it commands an air of respectability that you obviously lack in your writing style.

(besides the meager spelling and punctuation errors in his first WC novels).

It would have been so ironic if you had spelled something wrong in that sentance. Then I'd have something to say.

When it comes to space dogfighting, he doesn't give the sort of description I have grown to love from other pure dogfighting novels


ergh... I don't know about anyone else, but reading a decriptions of the dogfights in the X-Wing books (and sometimes WC too) annoyed the hell out of me :) It's kinda like wrestling on the radio :) Without actually being able to see what's going on, the dogfights (which all end up more or less the same, except that every now and then somebody dies) just seem like so much fluff pumped in to prolong the real plot. Don't get me wrong, I like reading science fiction as much as the next guy (probably moreso if the next guy is a regular guy), but reading the line "Wedge fired, catching the Squint along the top of the port solar panel, causing the Imp fighter to yaw sharply before snapping in half" over and over again in so many different forms and variations just isn't my idea of fine literature :)

Uh huh.

(like the Star Wars: X-Wing series).

Kids, there's nothing cool about a series of novels based on a series of comic books based on a computer game based on a twenty year old movie. Just say no.

Not to pick nits,

But picking nits is what the mail bag is all about. Also, if you don't pick nits, they grow into ticks and suck out your blood.

Michael A. Stackpole is definitely a better writer of

Betcha Mr. "Stackpole" got laughed at a lot more as a kid than Mr. Forstchen, though.

those scenes than Fortschen is. If they were to team up (unlikely since they work under different publishers) all the fans would definitely see one of THE greatest WC novels.

I have to disagree :) The best WC novels actually have very little in the way of Stackpole-like situations, IMHO :)

I think the fans may well have just gotten the greatest WC novel, the movie adaptation. But anyway, I don't think the publisher limits the author that way - I mean, Forstchen publishes his more famous series through somebody other than Baen...

Uh huh.

Also, what other WC novels are up for release in the future? Where can I find a synopsis or preview of these?

Look forward to Pilgrim Stars, by Peter Telep. It's book 2 in his Wing Commander trilogy, and a preview chapter can be found in the first book (aptly titled 'Wing Commander'). Baen is being tight lipped, but I know for a fact that Andrew Keith has two post-FC books he wants to write. Plus, wouldn't it be cool to see a sequal to AS?

I write the following sentence not for the Mail Bag, but for any OSI developer out there reading this on WC CIC...

Yes. Yes you do.


Oh, just buy a 3D0. They cost like ten dollars, which is cheaper than a free kitten.

There, I'm done.


Uh huh.

My best regards to the Mail Bag,

Brandon T. McKown


Yo Ace and Byydo,

No one expects the loafish inquisition!

K guys, here it is, you asked for someone to write you some decent stuff.

Actually, what we asked for was 'Descent stuff', and our wishes were fulfilled by WC movie novelist Peter Telep with his novel 'Descent', and its upcomming sequel 'Descent: Stealing Thunder'. I could work for PR... *ERK*

I've been readin the last few weeks and some of the replies you guys have are funny as hell.

Except last week. Last week sucked so bad cause nobody wrote to us.

So take your best shot at this boys cos im gonna toss in a brand new controversy for people to complain about.

No agwc veteran views this controversy as new or controversial.

Here it is. . . Brace yourselves. . .

Wow, this is like that movie me and Byydo wrote...

The WC movie is gonna suck and its gonna suck a lot.

I'm shocked, utterly shocked. You actually put a space between a and lot. Nobody does that...

I'll give you a moment to recover from the shock.

But it's an intense burning pain that I'll never get over...

K here is the explaination.

Gotcha, J.

The movie is not gonna be at all true to the game.

I'll counter that with the following statement: the movie is going to be fairly true to the games.

Everyone out here seems to think that its going to be an interesting spinoff to the game. I got news for everyone, its not.

Were we talking about Star Wars, I'd agree with you. I'm tired of crazed dyna-freaks yelling about how the new movies are going to explain the origin of Raznak and set up for his exciting trilogy of novels. The movie producers just don't care about the extra source material. It's just some money they made. In the case of Wing Commander, I know different...

Its not even close. You can tell by looking at the pictures alone.

Is it any different than Super Wing Commander was from Wing Commander 1? Or Wing Commander 3 from Wing Commander 2? Technology advances, the producers can do things they couldn't before -- that doesn't mean it isn't right...

For instance, part of the interest of the wing commander series has always been the space fighters blowing the crap out of each other with lasers.

Agreed. Lasers have always been the staple of the Wing Commander universe. A WC game without lasers is like Christmas without strange other religions creating Christmas-like holidays.

This, while an old concept, makes for a very cool game and possibly motion picture if done right.

Unfortunatly the laser tag movie sucked. Hard.

The technology has always been really impressive and makes the games almost believeable in 600 years.

As believable as any story about men fighting giant cats can be.

Well guess, what, the sputnik cosmonauts and the apollo astronauts could have been shooting at each other with gatling guns years ago.

That would have screwed up the cold war pretty fast... plus, Sputnik was an unmanned satellite and was launched something like ten years before the Apollo missions. Although, I still fail to see the point -- the movie still features lasers, they're all over the place in the movie's script and the novelization.

So much for adding something new and interesting to the story.

Well, if the idea of gatling weapons is to be faulted for not being new, how can the lasers survive such slander? The space men of the future have been playing with lasers since before the first cosmonaut's didn't have anything to do with Sputnik in the early 50s. Plus, the idea of Gatling weapons has some history in the WC universe -- many of the games (starting with the original) have featured the (and I quote the WC1 documentation) Mk. 30 Gatling Mass Driver Cannon.

Also, while the pilgrim cultural thing may be interesting, perhaps the real traitor

The Pilgrim thing is *VERY* interesting, but it isn't really played up in the movie -- we'll have to let the books explain it all.

story should have been centered around the mandarins who will probably not even me mentioned in the movie

Since the movie takes place in March, 2654 and the Mandarins were first discovered in late 2655 it makes sense that they not be mentioned. The Pilgrim thing, however, isn't really what the movies 'traitor' subplot is about -- it's part of Blair's background.

or perhaps the staff scandal on earth during the fake armistice.

Again, time problems -- the fake armistice occured in 2668, some 14 years after the WC movie.

Im not really impressed with Blair navigating a jump point (we all know hes a great pilot anyway :) ).

Agreed, the idea of Blair's supposed 'powers' wasn't really that interesting to me. The idea of his questionable past and dead parents is one of the things that draws me to the Pilgrim plot... and hell, at least we can explain to everybody who goes "Why does Blair get all the kills????" that it's because he's a Pilgrim...

I guess the point is its going to be a submarine movie in space and not a proper wing commander adventure so dont expect too much. If Chris Roberts wanted a WWII sub feeling, he should have remade Das Boot.

Honestly, while Chris Roberts wanted a submarine movie it isn't really what he got -- not at all. He may like to mention Das Boot a lot, but WC really isn't. It reminds me a lot of an extended episode of the Wing Commander animated series, with a lot of added backplot and more adult themes.

Later on all, i hope this gets posted so i can see all the great insults that get thrown my way :)

We're desprate, we'll do anything. Actually, just LOAF is. Ladies, contact LOAF at *ERK*...


Ummm... Since you were complaining about nobody asking about several things in your last Mail Bag, I guess I'll start, just to make you happy :)

Erm... thanks...

It's really bugged me that there's only mass driver's in Forstchien's novels. I personally dont like Mass Drivers. And they're not very effective.

What? The only time mass drivers aren't effective is in Privateer, every other time we see them they completely dominate :)

Mass drivers have a nice balance of energy and damage which makes them a great cheap effective weapon. They also make that really neat noise in some of the games.

Why dont they put Tachyons on em?

Why don't they make all USAF fighters stealth and make they carry phoenix missiles and fly at mach 4?

Are the Kilrathi and Confed just dumb?

Erm... well, since you read Fleet Actions, you should know the answer to this already :)

Well I'm sure some Kilrathi and some Humans are just're Human right?

They kept complaining how much the war cost in Fleet Actions, so why not properly defend them?

I actually like the Black Lance Insignia

Hrm, one of these is the Black Lance symbol, the other one is something I pulled off the Church of Satan's website... Don't they look eerily similar? :) Am I really the only guy to notice awesome stuff like this? :)

Well I'm sure if I went to satanic websites more often then I'd have noticed too.

Well, to answer your Hobbes question, they customised it for him. I thought I heard it in the game :) But in the book HotT, how did he fit into Cobra's Excalabur? But does it matter?

Maybe he tore the seat out and left it in the hangar, behind some drums or boxes or something.

Oh well, that's all I can think of.

Then you've got some... problems...

I dunno, I don't particularly mind that he's stopped talking.


We'd like to just thank everyone who has written us this week and for all of you who have yet to to talk to Byydo and I, please drop us a line.

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