Atlas der Inneren Sphäre
|Atlas der Inneren Sphäre|
|Development||Reinhold H. Mai (Editor)|
|Primary writing|| Tara Gallagher|
Reinhold H. Mai
Boy F. Petersen, Jr.
|Cover artwork||Frank Kelly Freas|
|Illustrations||Reinhold H. Mai|
|Publisher||Fantasy Productions GmbH|
|Era||Succession Wars era|
- Note: The title of this book is uncertain as it remains unclear whether the "3031 A.D." suffix is part of the title. This article was named after the most common reference to this book.
The BattleTech sourcebook Atlas der Inneren Sphäre (German, "Atlas of the Inner Sphere"), suffix: 3031 A.D., is an original German publication by Fantasy Productions GmbH (FanPro), the license holder of the BattleTech brand and publisher of German BattleTech products. It was never translated into or published in another language, although much of its content is taken from previous (English) publications.
 From the back cover (translated from German)
|“|| THE INNER SPHERE - a gigantic sphere of space, settled by humans, that extends well over 200 lightyears in all directions from Terra. In this region of space, dramas have been unfolding for centuries that decide the fate of humanity.
The ATLAS DER INNEREN SPHÄRE 3031 AD provides a comprehensive overview over this stage for the Successor States' history.
On 22 double sided- and 6 single-sided maps, the ATLAS DER INNEREN SPHÄRE shows some 2000 inhabited star systems, strategically important industries, all 'Mech and Aerospace Fighter factories, all DropShip and JumpShip yards, as well as other strategically important industries. The current borders are given, as are the coordinates of all listed worlds in the Successor States and in the important Periphery states, so chosing a jump route does not pose any problems anymore.
The Atlas is presented in-character as a ComStar document. An introduction explains the map layout and symbols and explains that the two-dimensional map presentation is a warped transcription of the true three-dimensional maps that the reader may know from holographic map projections; the relative distance between individual planets is said to be depicted with reasonable accuracy "within an acceptable margin of error" and suitable for plotting jump routes, but unsuitable for actual astro-navigation.
Beyond the introduction, the book is essentially a compilation of planet and system data, providing complete map coverage for the entire Inner Sphere and some parts of the Periphery on maps that overlap at the edges. It is organized by dividing the map into 28 sectors labelled A through Z2 (the letters M, Y and Z being used twice) that form a clockwise outwards spiral from Sector A which is centered on Terra. Sector B is coreward of Sector A and Sector Z2 covers the outer (coreward) fringes of the Free Rasalhague Republic and the Draconis Combine's Albiero, Bjarred and Qandahar prefectures.
The maps are credited as original work by German author Reinhold Mai, based on data from the aforementioned sources. They include political boundaries as of 3031 for realms, provinces and marches, and mark the respective capital worlds. Small icons denote production facilities for BattleMechs and Aerospace Fighters (also indicating whether light, medium, heavy or assault class units are built), DropShips, JumpShips, vehicles or other generic industry.
The maps are not always accurate. They omit several systems which were not yet written into the BattleTech universe and accordingly were not covered by the primary sources when the maps were drawn; in-universe it can be assumed that ComStar overlooked or deliberately omitted them. Similarly, the placement of industry icons is somewhat arbitrary. Terra, for example, has no industry icons at all attached to it in the atlas.
Where planetary information was available from the primary sources it has been translated and reproduced in the atlas. The introduction explicitly notes that only colonized worlds are included. Obviously, worlds which were written into the fiction later are omitted.
As a German publication, the Atlas uses the German names for the worlds in cases where the original (english) name was translated into German. Confusingly, not all names were translated in the German edition though and many retained their english names. Other names were changed without translating them in the process; these include:
- correcting the spelling of Gotterdammerung to "Götterdämmerung"
- changing the presumably mistaken but canonical spelling of Heiligendreuz to "Heiligenkreuz"
- renaming the Capellan Confederation world Sakhalin to "Sachalin" (while leaving the Lyran Commonwealth world of the same name unchanged)
The last eight pages contain a rundown of all worlds, sorted alphabetically by their names in the German edition of BattleTech, complete with their political affiliation as of 3031, map sector, and X/Y-coordinates relative to Terra.
Although an official product that was made under a valid license, the book does not meet the criteria for canon because it was never published in English. As a consequence, it does not contribute canon even where it provides otherwise canonical information: It should be noted that most information contained within the book was taken from primary sources which are themselves canonical; in this sense, it could arguably be called a meta-source. The following publications are named as its primary sources: