The Invasion Begins…

Jihad Hot Spots: Terra is out!

So I’ve been previewing this book for about a month and finally, it’s here.

Well, okay, sort of here. It was released as an e-book late last night; it’s due as a print book soon. (And no, I won’t say when, just that it is.)

This book is a big deal. Well, at least, it is to me.

[NOTE: A very quick and heartfelt ‘thanks’ to all of the writers and artists who worked on this book; somehow, all of you managed to save this book from a flat, fiery death – and the resultant work is, frankly, one of the best I’ve been able to work on. Pat yourselves on the back – you deserve it.]

Back when I started my BattleTech writing career, the Jihad was being prepped for takeoff as the new story arc. In the intervening years from FASA’s implosion to WizKids’ takeover, I’d been jonesing to write about the Word’s attempted takeover of the Inner Sphere and even pitched a major sourcebook to Randall and FanPro. (Let’s forget the fact I had no credentials and no real leverage as a writer then, just my marketing and radio work and about 5 years of playtesting and factchecking experience.) Based on that – I suspect – I was offered the chance to participate in pitching for FanPro’s new forward-the-plot book, Dawn of the Jihad.

And the rest, they say, is history.

I’ve been pretty tied up in the Jihad plot arc since then, gradually moving in deeper to assist Herb in constructing the timeline, pitching ideas and so forth. All of my major steps up in the industry have come from this arc:

  • First gaming book to be published in – Dawn of the Jihad
  • First published campaign system – Dawn of the Jihad
  • First complete project development – Masters & Minions: The StarCorps Dossiers
  • First developer line – Jihad Turning Points PDF Exclusive series
  • And now, first full book as Editor – Jihad Hot Spots: Terra

Ironically, JHS:T is also the first Jihad-oriented book I’ve written the least amount of material in. I’ve averaged over 22K words in the various plotbooks, with JHS:70 being the largest at 28K. This one only clocks in at 17K, but with good reason I won’t delve into here.

There’s a lot more about JHS:T I’d love to share, and I will in the pages of this blog since I’m not allowed to converse in the forums any more. Plus, I’ll probably share more excerpts from the book here, since I know that many fans won’t / can’t read PDFs and will wait eagerly for the print version, which is fine.

So until then, those of you who’ve bought the book, enjoy it. And to those that haven’t yet – you’re in for one great ride when you do.

For those who are waiting, here’s another excerpt for you to whet the appetite.


It appears we are not the only one with concerns regarding Robert Kelswa-Steiner’s appointment as the task force commander for the struggle on the Lyran front. What the hell is Stone thinking? Robert has on numerous occasions proven that the apple does not fall far from the tree with regards to the “Skye independence” issue. As the head [censored] in charge during the effort to recapture Blakist-held worlds, he will have far too many opportunities to lay the groundwork for Skye sympathy on worlds that will be recaptured. A population is always susceptible to propaganda shortly after changes hands. Worse still is the potential that he may set up the regular Lyran troops under his command to perform some of the more unpleasant tasks that will no doubt require doing. This would lead to lingering resentment, as well as more propaganda to be used elsewhere to discredit the Lyran Alliance.

While it would be impractical, if not outright unfeasible, to demand his removal, we must do our due diligence by preparing sizable LIC contingents to shadow the progress of the “Lyran Thrust” and counteract any malicious acts perpetrated by Kelswa-Steiner. We also may have significant opportunities in the Skye area itself, with the Duke distracted.

But who knows, we might get lucky, and a Manei Domini freak show will show the Duke some “magic tricks.”

Opinion piece found on the True Tharkad News interworld network, Tharkad, 21 February 3077

4 thoughts on “The Invasion Begins…

  1. It’s not like I have some sort of moral objection to .PDFs, it’s just that I know I’m going to buy the hard copy anyway at some point. I’m buying some of the .PDF-only products because I don’t expect them ever to appear in print.

    I’m already having second thoughts about calling DotJ a “clunker.” It’s true I don’t go back and read the material now, but I think that purchasing those early Jihad books is a bit like paying for research that eventually bears fruit. If those early books hadn’t sold, we wouldn’t have gotten the Hot Spots series at all, one supposes. And the books have been getting better and better as the story gels.

    And I am eager to get hold of this book. I’ve been itching to put Terra under heel since Teddy K. prophesied conflict with Terra in the original HKSB. Thanks for the chance to do it at last!

  2. You know, I had major reservations at the beginning of this story arc. But I was won over bit by bit, product by product. Now, I have to say, I’m kinda sad to see it ending. It’s been a fun ride, good on you and everybody at Catalyst for your hard work and your dedication to telling a captivating tale.

  3. As someone who had a Battletech hiatus, and therefore missed the intervening years from the Clan invasion to the beginning of the Jihad, I have found these books lots of fun as they inspire evil campaign/scenario thoughts to inflicts on players.

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