First contact isn’t all fun and games.
Ariel Blum is pushing thirty and doesn’t have much to show for it. His computer programming skills are producing nothing but pony-themed video games for little girls. His love life is a slow-motion train wreck, and whenever he tries to make something of his life, he finds himself back on the couch, replaying the games of his youth.
Then the aliens show up.
Out of the sky comes the Constellation: a swarm of anarchist anthropologists, exploring our seas, cataloguing our plants, editing our wikis and eating our Twinkies. No one knows how to respond – except for nerds like Ariel who’ve been reading, role-playing and wargaming first-contact scenarios their entire lives. Ariel sees the aliens’ computers, and he knows that wherever there are computers, there are video games.
Ariel just wants to start a business translating alien games so they can be played on human computers. But a simple cultural exchange turns up ancient secrets, government conspiracies, and unconventional anthropology techniques that threaten humanity as we know it. If Ariel wants his species to have a future, he’s going to have to take the step that nothing on Earth could make him take.
He’ll have to grow up.
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Bonus: With every purchase of Constellation Games by Leonard Richardson, you’ll receive three companion stories, expanding on the characters and situations of the novel. You’ll also get Pey Shkoy Benefits Humans! by Tetsuo Milk, Ph.D., a xenolinguistic guide to the Alien language. Absolutely free! Your digital download of the stories and phrasebook will be bundled with your download of the novel.
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Praise for Constellation Games:
“[O]ne of the smartest, most passionate, most principled science fiction novels I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading.” — Cory Doctorow
“A very funny book, with an effective sweep into pathos that delivers a powerful message.” — Strange Horizons
“A really, really good book.” — Bookslut
“If Douglas Coupland wrote sci-fi this is the sort of novel he would produce… it is now quite hard to imagine first contact going any other way… a simply impressive first novel.” —Starburst Magazine
“This book is amazing – sci-fi where the mainline ‘sci’ is game design.” — Rob Dubbin, writer for The Colbert Report
“A deftly comic very fresh SF novel of the everyday.” — Benjamin Rosenbaum, author of The Ant King and Other Stories
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by Leonard Richardson
Published by Candlemark & Gleam, April 2012
First serialized November 2011