Elite: The Dark Wheel is a 48 page novella by the well-known fantasy author Robert Holdstock. It came packaged with the original Elite game in 1984. Incidentally, it was the first novella in history to be included for distribution with a video game.
The novella accurately sets the mood and atmosphere of the Elite series in a cohesive manner. It covers combat and trading between different systems and describes what it really means to become one of the Elite.
The back of the BBC novella states that a sequel was planned for publication in 1985, but this apparently never came to fruition. Later editions of The Dark Wheel, included in the Sinclair Spectrum and Commodore 64 versions among others, sported new artwork.
The story is about the newly qualified pilot Alex Ryder and his journey of discovery in the Elite universe. Alex survives a brutal attack in space which destroys his ship and kills his father. Thus starts the quest to find out why his father was attacked, and who did it. Alex soon learns that his father was much more than just a simple trader. Along the way he is assisted by the enigmatic Rafe Zetter. Famous places are featured like the fabled Tionisla Orbital Graveyard and the legendary Dark Wheel organisation.