Kindle editions of Shacknews' Quake, Pillars of Eternity Long Reads available to pre-order

Mercury subscribers receive free electronic editions of all Long Reads.


Shacknews is throwing its hat into the publishing arena: Paperback and Kindle editions of Rocket Jump and Beneath a Starless Sky, two of our Long Reads, are now available for pre-order in digital and paperback editions. Digital editions will be published next Friday, July 26, just in time for id Software’s annual QuakeCon extravaganza. 

You can pre-order Beneath a Starless Sky for Kindle here, and pre-order Rocket Jump for Kindle here. Paperbacks will be available in stores and on Amazon in August; news about pre-orders for paperback editions will follow.

If you subscribe to Shacknews Mercury, you’re in luck: All Shacknews Mercury subscribers can download complimentary epub files of Rocket Jump and Beneath a Starless Sky beginning next Friday. These versions include all the content found in the Kindle and paperback editions, as well as in the original Long Read features published in 2017 and 2018, respectively. Anyone interested in signing up for Mercury can subscribe for as little as $1 per year, and gain access to ad-free browsing, swag such as Shack-branded t-shirts and hoodies, and lots more.

Shacknews Long Reads are book-sized features that explore the making of a game, franchise, or genre and the studios involved with it in details. Written in a narrative style, Long Reads are written based on dozens of hours of interviews and extensive research. All Shacknews Long Reads will be available as digital and paperback books—and, in certain cases, special editions—over time, but we’re starting with Rocket Jump and Beneath a Starless Sky for a reason.

Rocket Jump covers the genre-defining 1990s era of first-person shooters with a focus on id’s Quake trilogy. Shacknews got its start as a Quake fan site, and Rocket Jump was our first long-form article to be published under the Long Reads banner. It is, without exaggeration, our flagship Long Read. Milan Jaram, a long-time member of the Shacknews Chatty community, painted the book’s gorgeous cover, which is evocative of how Quake’s fast-paced shooting and immersive, technology-driven visual styles and gameplay pedigrees blur the line between virtual reality and “real” reality—a fact to which any diehard Quake fan can attest.

Beneath a Starless Sky, an exhaustive history of Obsidian’s Pillars of Eternity franchise and the Infinity Engine-based RPGs (such as Baldur’s Gate and Icewind Dale) that inspired it, is Shacknews’ longest Long Read to date. Lili Ibrahim, a professional artist in the video game and publishing industries, produced a phenomenal cover that captures the spirit of adventure that defines Pillars of Eternity and its ilk.

The launch of Beneath a Starless Sky last fall coincided with the inaugural edition of Shacknews 24 ‘Til Launch, a video recorded at Obsidian 24 hours before the launch of Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire. Check out the full-length video below.

We’re enormously proud to be able to offer both premiere features as proper books in popular formats. 2019 has been a banner year for Shacknews Long Reads. In addition to branching into publishing, we’ve posted two brand-new features online: Icon of Sin, which explores the making of John Romero’s Sigil episode for the original Doom; and Survive or Kill, a look at how Behaviour Interactive rebooted its troubled Deathgarden asymmetrical shooter.

Long Reads Editor

David L. Craddock writes fiction, nonfiction, and grocery lists. He is the author of the Stay Awhile and Listen series, and the Gairden Chronicles series of fantasy novels for young adults. Outside of writing, he enjoys playing Mario, Zelda, and Dark Souls games, and will be happy to discuss at length the myriad reasons why Dark Souls 2 is the best in the series. Follow him online at and @davidlcraddock.

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