Fermi’s P(rog)ress

It has been a little while since Fermi’s Progress was unleashed on the world, obliterating everything in its wake. Since then, quite a few people have had things to say about it, and so, partly for my own ability to keep track, and partly so the curious can have a browse, here is a collection of all the coverage Fermi’s Progress has had so far.

You can buy all of Fermi’s Progress, including its special bonus features, at Scarlet Ferret, here. Alternatively, the paperback edition of the book is now available at Amazon, here.

Taking Readings

First up, let’s take a look at the reviews Fermi’s Progress has seen come in. With the episodic nature of Fermi’s Progress’s release, most of the reviews so far have been for its opening chapter, Dyson’s Fear.

Mattie Tucker has reviewed the story at their blog here, describing it as “Highly self-aware and delightfully silly in places, the main impression I came away with was how dark it was below all its flippancy.”

Runalong The Shelves was one of the first sites to review Dyson’s Fear, saying, “For a story with a lighter tone I liked some genuinely beautiful moments exploring the end of earth, love for families and the joy of being alive combined with some wicked digs at modern life’s trivialities.”

The Eloquent Page has said, “There is a 1950’s sci-fi movie vibe to the novella that I really liked. A plucky crew hurling themselves into the void, unsure of what they’ll find. Alien races and adventure ahoy! Farnell tempers these retro stylings with a nicely judged modern sensibility.”

Sci-Fi & Fantasy Reviewer said “Dyson’s Fear expertly blends together fast-paced, streamlined prose, an action-packed and often highly intriguing plot, and a deliciously dark and often subversive sense of humour to create a unique, engaging and highly memorable slice of scifi comedy”, adding (I’m including two quotes from this one) “The novella is one of those rare works of comedic fiction that actually manages to be funny and amusing instead of simply claiming to do so”.

FanFiAddict tells us that Dyson’s Fear’s setting is, “A strange, inexplicable place brimming with intelligent life, and a city that floats on the river (which I’m fascinated by). Complete with its own religion and philosophies Chris has a flair for creating new worlds that are rich in culture.”

FanFiAddict also has the accolade of being the first review site to cover part two of Fermi’s Progress, Descartesmageddon, saying “Chris has a talent for building worlds and societies in this series. Each one feels real and fleshed-out, it’s almost a shame to say good bye to them at the end of each novella.”

Others, however, have gone on to review the entire Fermi’s Progress cycle as one book (which, to be fair, it is). Kate of Mind gives us a delightful run down of each book in the series. While over at Exploits magazine (a sister mag to gaming magazine, Unwinnable), Fermi’s Progress gets the cover story, and Rob Haines really hits the nail on the head when he says “when the planets are no more, the only ones left to change are the visitors. There is no return to a status quo for the crew of the Fermi, and as the series progresses, that may end up being the most fascinating part of their journey.”

Finally, over at The Full Lid, Alasdair Stewart has also done a lovely write-up of the series, saying Fermi’s Progress is “what happens when you fire the exhaustion, terror, rage and compassion of life in the 21st century through every space exploration trope you ever loved.”

First Contact

As well as reviewing Fermi’s Progress, quite a few people have talked to me about writing it. FanFiAddict, as well as reviewing parts one and two of Fermi’s Progress, also had a chat with me about why I wrote the book and what excites me about current science fiction.

Runalong the Shelves also accompanied their review with an interview, where I talk about the balance of comedy and drama and scaring my infant daughter.

I had a really good talk with Intermultiversal, talking about (pretending to have) accuracy in science fiction, the crossover between RPGs and fiction, and round it up by listing my favourite fictional alien planets.

At Publishing Planet I talked about why I wrote Fermi’s Progress in the first place, then at Always Room for One More I talked about where the idea came from and reassure you that the stories are not unremittingly grim just because each one ends in a genocide.

Distant Signals

And as well as the written work I’ve also turned up in a few places to talk at people about Fermi’s Progress, starting with Tim Clare’s “Death of A Thousand Cuts” podcast, where we spent a surprising amount of time discussing “The Unexplained” magazine.

At the Picky Bookworm we talked about sci-fi books that make you question existence, and with the Retro Rockets crew we talked about the history of the “planet of the week” format.

And with Fiction Fans we had a great in depth chat about writing Fermi’s Progress, and how to make characters sympathetic even when they’re a bit of a bastard.

I have never appeared on the “Spectre” podcast, but Fermi’s Progress does have a trailer at the end of episode six.

Finally, I had an absolute whale of a time when I appeared on Jeff Stormer’s “Party of One” podcast, where we played a two-player RPG about the orderly on an interstellar space ambulance tasked with saving the ship and everyone on it.