Cantata-Adjacent Media

Hey all! We talk a lot about this inside the studio itself so I thought it would be good to open it up to the forums as well.

We call Cantata a spiritual sci-fi strategy game, but what does that even mean? In the interview Roy (Cantata’s writer) and I did with RPS 2(!) years ago, the article’s author wrote:

Indeed, I guess that Graham is about to namecheck Ann Leckie’s Radch books seconds before he does, and Jeff VanderMeer comes next. Being a bit cheeky, I guess that he also really enjoyed Embassytown by China Mieville, and it turns out I’m right. Good. It’s exciting to see games draw from this particular wave of genre writing, rather than returning to the usual, time-honoured wells.

Lecke and VanderMeer are like, Cantata 101 required reading. VanderMeer’s Southern Reach Trilogy is a huge inspiration for the game:

I also loved the film adaptation of Annhilation, haters be damned:


I’m still working through Lecke’s Radch trilogy, but I can definitely already find the Cantata parallels here.


I think the book covers don’t really do what’s going on inside justice, as the biggest vibes I get from the books are a sort of sci-fi Morrowind. Which, if you’re like me, should make your ears perk up a bit.

Anyways, would love to hear what people think of the above/what type of sci-fi they like, and what types of things the feel are similar to Cantata, even just judging from the little that we’ve shown.

Gotta finish Ancillary Justice…

There might not be a ton of people in the center of this particular Venn diagram, but I can’t read “spiritual sci-fi” without thinking of Ursula K Le Guin’s poetry. It’s not sci-fi like her novels are, but it’s the same galaxy-level thinking about consciousness, fantasy, metaphysics, etc. This is the collection I’ve read but I’m sure it gets deeper.

1 Like