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So, for the longest time I've wanted Die 6. Welt - the German Sixth World Atlas.

I can't quite remember where the obsession started, but I can tell you that I've had this thread that MYST1C started over six years ago sitting in my bookmarks folder, to go back to whenever I need to show people that the Sixth World Atlas we English folk got here was, indeed, ass.

Yes, the book's in German, and I don't care. Read MYST1C's summary and tell me it doesn't sound juicy. Gobs of info, collated and collected, with fiction, interviews, writing profiles - a boy could go on. And he has.

Well, I finally have my hands on it. My wife - the wonderful Tehana - went and ordered it for me on German Amazon for Christmas. It's been about a month of waiting, and so far, it was totally worth it.

To start - yeah, it's in German. And while English is pretty much my sole language (understanding leetspeak and pidgin moon language count towards nothing) I'm still managing to slog my way through it. Also, this is a third edition book - the history stops at 2064 and only talks about the SR4 corebook.

But! Just a quick browse alone is enough to satisfy. To start, there's seventy pages of Shadowrun history - important events in the realms of world politics, magic, corporations, and shadow events.

My next favorite chapter is the big ol' one talking about the who's who of the Sixth World, broken down into Dragons (with subsections for Greats, drakes, and dead dragons), Corporations, Magic (subsections on traditions, magical groups, Big Bads of Magic [toxics and insects and blood mages, oh my!], the Matrix (subsections on Echo Mirage and the AIs, the Network, Halberstrom Babies, Overwatch, Ronin, Ex Pacis, and a small section on Resonance vs. Dissonance, quick mentions [I think] on technomancers), Policlubs, Religion (favorite part, not gonna lie), Immortal Elves, and the Underworld (Mafia and Ghost Cartels and Seoulpa Rings and Tamanous and Triads and Vory and Yakuza, oh my!).

Allow me to mention two other things about this chapter. One is that each section has at its beginning a list of the books you can find further information on each of these groups. Way useful. The other? It name checks Auntie Ancient. MYST1C mentioned this in his original post, but I thought it had been some sort of sly reference. Turns out? Right there at the start of the chapter, "Danke an Bobby 'Ancient History' Derie." Cool.

And then comes the other stuff that would be crazy useful to have in English. A History and Discussion of Earthdawn (with a section at chapter end on who the big players of the 4th World have become in the Sixth). the "Pitiless" (to use MYST1Cs translation) chapter, which talks about the weird errors, glitches, and screw-ups between English and German Shadowrun companies. Products, which does in fact list every product that's ever come out for Shadowrun, from game book (German and French books included) to module to novel to video game to the ID cards to Shadowrun duels to the mini-figs...all the way down to the *cough* manga. Wow. There's a section on Shadowrun stuff from Japan too; they've put out a lot more product than I thought that they had.

It all wraps up with a big ol' glossary, with running Runner commentary. Again: this could have been useful for folks outside of Germany, Catalyst.

Last two things that I wanted to mention because hey, it caught my eye as I was skimming -

The writer profiles are great; lots of little jokes in the questionairres, and good rundowns of who's who and what they've worked on. Quite a few names you'd recognize too - Rob Boyle, Randall Bills (*cough*), Lars Blumenstein, Elissa Carey, Adam Jury, Mike Mulvihill...dunno. Dug it.

And finally, my favorite part - the art. It's great. Lots of stuff from all across the editions, none of it terrible. There's fifteen pages of color plates in the middle, which includes not only art ART, but also flags from North America and the Allied German States. Lots of maps in the back too, for Europe, the AGS, Seattle, corporate logo, and then pictures of each of the different races.

To sum up this way longwinded post, this is the book I was hoping for when Sixth World Atlas was announced. If it was in English, I would be singing this book from the rooftops. All right, fine, I'm still gonna sing its graces, because Die 6. Welt really is that good. I just wish that other people could get to read it too.

But for now, I get to read it thanks to my wife and Google Translate. And its still better than Sixth World Atlas.
I just wanted to mention that I am finding the text very "light" so to speak. I used to be fairly fluent in German but have since gotten exceptionally rusty. I am conversational at best. I've been having very little issue with getting the gist of it.
Sounds like an awesome book.
I guess they dare not do an english translation, because it makes the current one look even more pitiful than it already it.

I wonder why the 2 books are so different, considering they both have access to the same source material - sixth world atlas and Die 6 Welt
From what I understand, Sixth World Atlas started as kind of the English version of Die 6., but through editing changes, line developer changes, author changes, it became the sodden mess that it is now. Which is really kind of disappointing, since it was supposed to be a 20th Anniversary product.

But - in 6WA's meager defense - the goal was different. 6WA was supposed to be an in-character document that just talked about the world and its history. Die 6. is a massive tome built with love and with an eye on the wider aspects of Shadowrun - what it means to the fans, what it's about, its history, its really is a crazy awesome book. I didn't mention it above, but there's (small) chapters on weird character ideas they've had brought to them at conventions and stuff, three different interviews with authors and editors, three pieces of big fiction, and discussion on things like Shadowrun vs. cyberpunk and a chapter all about "why cyberware? And how does it work?"

It's just a book with so much depth and width that it's a real shame the product we got here sucks so badly.
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