Discussion in 'Literature' started by Todd the Jedi, Sep 4, 2012.
Wait... you liked something by Denning?
You are wrong to dislike talking, living Chewbacca. Have you read the Black Fleet Crisis?
Also, the story is fine. I like Denning pre-Dark Nest.
Nah, I like Chewie (the "better off dead" thing was just a joke), though I wasn't overly fond of getting everything from Chewie's point of view in A Forest Apart, even if the story did have its moments. When he works, I think he works better as a mute. For the record, my favorite portrayal of Chewie ever is in the Han Solo Adventures. That should be the model for writing Chewie, IMO, highly competent and highly entertaining. Then again, HSA should pretty much be the model of the EU period.
And I haven't gotten to the Black Fleet Crisis yet. Had no idea Chewie had a large role in that (though the fact that Lando does is enough reason for me to look forward to it).
BFC is, at the very least, the definitive Chewbacca how-to manual.
Chewie was great in that.
I still think Chewie had some great scenes sprinkled throughout the EU - Tyers got some great moments in Truce at Bakura, I actually quite enjoyed the bits in the Return of the Jedi and Empire Strikes Back novelizations from his perspective, etc.
I wish the Chewbacca comic had been a bit more memorable, though. Giving him his own storyline, even if told in flashbacks, would probably have had more of an impact than the kinds of scattershot, often tonally awkward, scenes and stories. Waste of great talent, too (John Nadeau! Why can't you come back and draw more X-Wings?)
If only the next Blood Ties would a Chewi and Lumpy adventure...
Let's not forget Chewie has an another comic set during his early life. Fairly recent by the way.
"How can a mere moon be a match for my son?"
The art is not Scalf quality and the one story with Mala was meh.
The Chewbacca comic was splendid. I shall hear no argument.
It was ok.
According to Martha Wells, the writer of the Princess Leia novel, she is almost done with the first draft.
Glad to see any sort of an update on this series. Hope the plots are really interesting because I'm not a huge fan of revisiting the OT era at the moment.
Another update. Martha Wells has finished that draft. She also says about 75-80% of the book is from Leai's POV, and that this takes place "about two years or so after A New Hope."
Ooh, a book nearer ESB for a change rather than just right after Yavin? Cool.
And that line is the foreshadowing that will show his survival was really the idea all along.
Rephrasing the Alien tagline:
On the internet, noone can hear you type...
The Chewbacca comic was a happy surprise. Had the TPB sitting on my shelf for years until I finally got around to reading it. The Wedge story had me laughing my ass off.
That it managed to do so without making Chewie too comical was even more impressive. Fits right in with some of the mechanic mishaps of the films.
Just realized the Han book is written by the guys who did Leviathan Wakes and Caliban's War. Went from "no interest" to "sign me the hell up".
Seriously, why can't the EU get more authors who've done high quality - or at least original and imaginative - space opera works, rather than those who are known for simply being Stargate/Trek/B5/Whatever Tie-In Novelist #1138? Zahn, Stover, and Greg Bear are really the only other authors I can think of who were known for their own original works before being asked to do Star Wars. We need more new blood like that, by which I mean authors who are used to thinking outside the box like that rather than within the usual constraints of sci-fi media tie-ins.
Add Greg Keyes to that list. I wouldn't be surprised if he was hired due to the strength of "The Kingdom of Thorn and Bone". Michael Stackpole is arguable as well, but Star Wars did happen fairly early in his career. And though I have yet to read any of his non SW work, Sean Stewart certainly hasn't done any tie-ins.
And is Daniel Abraham seriously doing the Han book? That's pretty crazy to think about. I suppose he did adapt Game of Thrones to comics, though, so he's used to playing in other universes, even if that was an adaptation.
Wasn't Stackpole mainly known for writing BattleTech novels before he did X-Wing? That's certainly where I remember first encountering him, at any rate.
The only non-SW Stackpole I've read is a really great standalone called Talion: Revenant, though I think that came around the same time as his SW stuff. I know he had another fantasy standalone, Once a Hero, that was supposed to be fairly strong, and predated X-Wing by at least two years.
I'm not sure if the recognition came with SW or before, but at least he does have some works of notice outside tie-ins. Not that there's anything inherently wrong with tie-ins, but it's always nice to have something else to bring to the table.
Oh wait, I suppose you have to add Terry Brooks. Though he certainly writes like a tie-in author, in that he's published a ridiculous amount of books in the same universe, most of which are supposed to be fairly shallow (haven't read any myself, just his Episode 1 novelization, which was quite bland and unexciting)
Terry Brooks' Shanarra books are great. No idea on his Landover series but his Shannara books are a generic adventure stories. Sword of Shannara is a rip-off of LOTR but his other books are amazing. Elfstones of Shannara is his best book overall but the Scions of Shannara 4 book trilogy is the best trilogy of his. Word and Void, Genesis of Shannara trilogies and Legend of Shannara duology are great as well.
Did anyone read the Rebel Force scholastic series? I read the first book and actually really enjoyed it despite it being targeted for kids. Super pumped for this series! I hope we get more then three books.
What do you guys think about a R2-D2 and C-3PO book? It'd be interesting to see.
Let's analyze. Bantam was the Golden Age of People Who Have Done Star Trek Tie-Ins, but even they were relatively few and most of them had established original careers beforehand. Of the Bantam run, Zahn, Tyers, Wolverton, K-Mac, RMA, and KJA weren't tie-in authors before Star Wars (though KJA immediately went on to become a massive tie-in hack). Aaron Allston had a few original works, but basically got his job based on Stackpole's recommendation and his main output was as an RPG writer, so he's kind of an outlier. Stackpole was a BattleTech tie-in guy pretty much completely, Jeter did Blade Runner and Star Trek tie-ins along with original work, Hambly had done Star Trek and the Beauty and the Beast TV show tie-ins along with original work, McIntyre had done Star Trek along with her original work, Crispin had original work and a bunch of Star Trek tie-ins, Perry had Conan and Alien tie-ins alongside his original work, and Rusch had original work but was also a big Star Trek tie-in writer.
In the Del Rey era, just looking at new authors to the franchise who have already been published and not just announced, Salvatore is obviously a massive Forgotten Realms tie-in guy, Luceno was a prolific tie-in guy (RoboTech, movie novelizations, Young Indiana Jones) with some original work that probably came into it way less than his Daley connection, Keyes had a mix of original work and Babylon 5 tie-ins (sorry, instant, Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone came out after the NJO), Denning is pure tie-ins for various D&D settings (Forgotten Realms, mostly), Cunningham is almost pure Forgotten Realms, Golden is a big-time Star Trek writer along with a couple other tie-ins (Forgotten Realms? Yep, Forgotten Realms included) and a bit of original work, Karpyshyn was all Forgotten Realms and video games, Kemp is Forgotten Realms tie-ins, Grubb's written pretty much all tie-ins (among them Forgotten Realms), Karen Miller had some Stargate tie-ins alongside a body of original work, Bear had a tiny bit of tie-in work (one Star Trek book, one work each in Asimov's and Niven's universes) but that's not what he was hired based on, Barnes has one Star Trek book but it's mostly a ton of original work. For non-tie-in writers, you're looking at Stover, WJW, Williams and Dix, Traviss, Sherman and Cragg, Stewart, Schreiber, Reaves (novel-wise; he'd written for plenty of television properties, most notably Batman) (additionally, Bohnhoff has done mostly original work; she co-wrote one Batman tie-in book with Reaves), Brooks (he'd done the novelization for Hook, but . . . come on). JJM is an outlier in that he got his novel-writing start with Star Wars.
So, if you want to evaluate, we've got, under Bantam, six original-works people to seven tie-in writers, though with several of the tie-in writers, it's ambiguous to what extent their tie-in work played a role in their hiring versus their original work. Plus Allston as an outlier who doesn't quite fit into the system. So that's a pretty good balance, I'd think. Under Del Rey, we have nine original-works people plus two writers who have technically done tie-ins but were almost surely hired on the basis of their original body of work to seven pure tie-in writers plus three people who have the mix of tie-in and original work that looks more like the Bantam-era tie-in writers. Plus JJM as the outlier. Now, technically, that has DR leaning more on the side of original writers than Bantam. What I do think is troubling, though, is that the Bantam tie-in writers had a lot of original work; the DR tie-in writers are increasingly straight Forgotten Realms writers. Now, to some extent, that reflects a different marketplace -- it's harder to get original sci-fi and fantasy published today and have a successful career -- but I'd like a bit more diversity of storytelling background than a bunch of people who have almost entirely worked in the one fantasy universe.
But even that isn't all that bad. Perhaps it's most relevant to look at the current pool of writers to evaluate whether we're getting too many tie-in writers. Since 2010, we have writing Kemp, the Forgotten Realms tie-in writer; Karen Miller, a mixed original and Stargate writer; Allston, who's almost entirely a Star Wars writer; Golden, a tie-in heavy writer; Williams, an original writer; Denning, a Star Wars and Forgotten Realms writer; Schreiber, an original writer; JJM, a Star Wars writer; Zahn, an original-and-Star-Wars writer; Karpyshyn, Mr. Video Game Tie-In; Reaves and Bohnhoff, basically original writers; Luceno, a guy who mostly just writes Star Wars now but has a mixed background; and Grubb, a tie-in writer. And we can look forward to more of Denning, Golden, JJM, Reaves and Bohnhoff, and Kemp, plus new writers Lebbon (original), Correy (not a real person, but still original), Hearne (original), and Wells (mixed, a bunch of originals and a couple Stargate tie-ins). That's not too bad. It's not ideal, maybe, but it's in line with the mix of recurring Star Wars veterans, writers with tie-in experience, and original writers we've seen and that we'd expect.
tl;dr: You sorta have a point, but less of one than you'd think. There's always been a healthy proportion of writers known for original work, and while there might have been a run when a few too many Forgotten Realms writers were hired, all the new blood currently on the slate has a reasonably robust background of original work.
M. John Harrison! He would be a perfect example of this type of talent. Unfortunately he would likely eat dirt before accepting a tie-in job.