15 Trippy Space Stories D&D Fans Should Check Out Before Spelljammer

15 Trippy Space Stories D&D Fans Should Check Out Before Spelljammer
Image: Wizards of the Coast

Spelljammer: Adventures in Space: confirmed! But not until August 2022. Luckily psychedelic space-fantasy is everywhere and there’s more than enough to keep you entertained until then. I’ll admit it… this is mostly games. I have a niche, what can I say? Grab your dice, remotes, ebook readers, and headphones — here’s some media to keep you busy.

Necronautilus

Necronautilus is a “stoner-metal science-fantasy” tabletop roleplaying game by World Champ Game Co that dives into memory, sentience, and the subjectivity of ethics.

Treasure Planet

Image: Disney

Space pirates, weird robots, a combination of 2D and 3D animation, funny aliens, strange planets, Treasure Planet has a little bit of everything, and it’s available on Disney+.

Galactic 2e

A Star Wars emulator, Galactic by Riley Rethal uses a token-based Belonging Outside Belonging game engine to tell the stories of rebels during a war.

Gideon the Ninth

If you haven’t read Gideon the Ninth, a frankly iconic book by Tamsyn Muir, literally go do it right now. Lesbian necromancers in space unravelling a puzzle-box mystery in a haunted house with literal tests from God. Dazzling. Dumbfounding. Hilarious.

Mothership: Gradient Descent

Much has been made of Mothership (and for good reason!), but Gradient Descent is the weird, ghostly expansion to the space-death D100 system that creates a labyrinth of the Deep, an AI-controlled giant machine’s carcass in space.

Mission to Zyxx

A hilarious, mostly improvised space comedy, Mission to Zyxx is a podcast complete after five season and hours of clever and ridiculous sitcom episodes.

Space Opera

This one’s for the space bards! An absolutely hilarious book, Space Opera is Eurovision, in space, for the fate of Earth. It’s wonderfully cheeky and full of Douglas Adams-esque humour, and has some incredibly cathartic moments.

Orbital

Orbital, by Jack Harrison/Mousehole Press is another great game that takes place on a space station, using the Belonging Outside Belonging system.

The Fifth Element

Image: Gaumont Film

An absolute classic of weird space, The Fifth Element is an incredible action-filled film with leads Bruce Willis and Milla Jovovich kicking arse across the universe. It’s an absurdist action-comedy with brilliant characters and a bonkers plot that comes together in the end.

Star Eater

Image: tordotcom

A city floating in space must rely on a group of lesbian nuns to protect them from the encroaching goddess-cursed zombie armies in Star Eater by Kerstin Hall. This book is wildly imaginative, gory, and will absolutely rock you.

City of Flesh

Another gorefest of an RPG, City of Flesh combines epic fantasy, incredible lore-building, and a new civilisation under many moons into this tarot-engine game that has you exploring the rotting carcass of a dead god-colossus.

Gardener

Matt Eammons’ self-published Gardener is a masterpiece of art and storytelling that follows a small cast of characters as they struggle to survive on a failed colony planet. It’s about loss, acceptance, and finding something worth living for.

Orbital Blues

More space western than space sorcery, Orbital Blues is an incredible game full of aesthetic nuance and clever mechanics that encourage players to bet on themselves when all the cards are down and your chips are out.

Space Jam

Image: Warner Bros.

I will not apologise. Space Jam is Spelljammer just with your fantasy sports team isekai’d into gladiatorial combat to determine the galactic fate of Earth. It’s perfect and it has no sequel.

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