A&A The Official Walter Jon Williams Discussion Thread

Discussion in 'Literature' started by The Gatherer, Feb 21, 2002.

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  1. The Gatherer Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 2, 1999
    star 6
    Walter Jon Williams is author of the 4th hardcover in the New Jedi Order series, titled 'Destiny's Way'. Other books to look out for by Walter include 'The Rift' and 'City on Fire'.

    Website: http://www.thuntek.net/~walter/
    Jedi Council Forums Username:

    Discuss Walter's novels and aspects of his writing in this thread. You never know, Walter might drop by from time to time!
  2. DVader316 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2000
    star 7
    I read The Rift a couple of months ago and I liked alot. It was a very good book, and a monster at over 900 pages. Im very curious to see what he will do with the NJO with Destiny's Way.
  3. IAmTheDarkSide Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 9, 2002
    star 4
    The Rift was awesome and quite thought-provoking.
  4. The Gatherer Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 2, 1999
    star 6
    I have been looking for 'The Rift' for ages... my local Borders store here in Australia doesn't have it. I am more encouraged to read it now that some more people have given positive thoughts about the book.
  5. IAmTheDarkSide Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 9, 2002
    star 4
    Walter J. Williams' non-SW novels:

    Historical novels under name Jon Williams:
    The Privateer (Privateers and Gentlemen, Volume 1), published in 1981, originally titled To Glory Arise

    The Yankee (Privateers and Gentlemen, Volume 2), published in 1981, originally titled The Tern Schooner

    The Raider (Privateers and Gentlemen, Volume 3), published in 1981, originally title Brig of War

    The Macedonian (Privateers and Gentlemen, Volume 4), published in 1981

    Cat Island (Privateers and Gentlemen, Volume 5), published in 1981

    Novels under the name Walter Jon Williams:
    Ambassador of Progress, published in 1984

    Knight Moves, published in 1985 (Philip K. Dick Award Nominee)

    Hardwired, published in 1986

    Voice of the Whirlwind, published in 1987

    The Crown Jewels, published in 1987

    House of Shards, published in 1988

    Angel Station, published in 1989

    Facets, anthology, published in 1990

    Elegy for Angels and Dogs, published in 1990

    Days of Atonement, published 1991

    Aristoi, published in 1992

    Metropolitan, published in 1995 (Nebula Nominee)

    Rock of Ages, published in 1995

    City on Fire, published in 1997 (Hugo and Nebula Nominee). Sequel to "Metropolitan"

    The Rift, published in 1999
  6. The Gatherer Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 2, 1999
    star 6
    I finally found a copy of 'The Rift', and will write a review for TFN once I have finished reading it.
  7. The Gatherer Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 2, 1999
    star 6
    Has anyone else read any of Walter's books yet?
  8. Wedge 88 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 16, 1999
    star 6
    I purchased The Rift a few weeks ago. I plan to read it before Destiny's Way.
  9. Mastadge Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 1999
    star 7
    I'll eventually track down copies of Aristoi, Hardwired, and Metropolitan, but his books are NEVER on the shelves at the bookstores.
  10. Walterjon Author of Destiny's Way

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    Mar 8, 2002
    star 1
    Hi. Walter Jon Williams here.

    Thanks for putting the bibliography online. I'm sorry to hear of the difficulty in acquiring my books. I'm not happy about it, either.

    Five years ago I had about a dozen books in print, and now there's one. That's how publishing has changed.

    I've got a web site at www.walterjonwilliams.net, with more bibliographical stuff, and links to some online short stories.

    I hope to have an excerpt from Destiny's Way on the page soon, but I need permission from Lucasfilm first.



  11. Mastadge Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 1999
    star 7
    Awesome!

    I really enjoyed The Rift.

    We've already had the Destiny's Way excerpt (from the end of Traitor) posted, but it was removed at Del Rey's request.

    Everyone especially seemed to love Han's little rant about how the Emperor would have failed to deal with the Yuuzhan Vong; The Emperor's Nostril in particular tickled me.

    Destiny's Way is my second-most-looked-forward-to Star Wars novel ever (the first being Traitor), and I can't wait for October!
  12. Walterjon Author of Destiny's Way

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    Mar 8, 2002
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    "The Nostril of Palpatine" seems to be everyone's favorite phrase so far.

    I had fun writing Destiny's Way, but dealing with all the characters in the series was frustrating enough to sometimes send me off on a rant similar to Han's. Consider "Nostril of Palpatine" to be a cry from the heart.
  13. Mastadge Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 1999
    star 7
    I don't know if you can answer this, but do you have an approximate word- or page-count for Destiny's Way yet?
  14. ParanoidAni-droid Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 27, 2001
    star 4

    MR. Williams, how have you found the experience of working within a "shared universe"? Were the given limitations inhibiting or challanging? (If not both.)

    Was there any character you became paticularly fond of in writing DW?

    ~PAd

  15. JediMasterAaron Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 14, 2000
    star 5
    Wow, great to hear from another author!

    The excerpt was great, and I can't wait to read more.

    :)

    JMA
  16. Ana Vitorrian Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 2, 1999
    star 3
    Welcome, Walterjon!

    I'm sorry to hear about the availability of your books! Someone seriously has to do something about that!

    On a different note, I did recently read "Dinosaurs" in an Orsan Scott Card edited hardcover anthology. "Dinosaurs" has to be one of the most enjoyable pieces of short fiction that I've read . . . AND I MEAN "EVER"!!! ("eat, eat, eat" . . . I gotta worry about your sense of humor! Wicked!)

    With any luck, I hope we all get to see an interview piece or "Destiny's Way" excerpt in an upcoming Star Wars Insider!

    I think we're all looking forward to hearing you share your voice in the Star Wars Universe.

    (Aside: In addition to your work, you'll note there lots of George R.R. Martin fans here as well!!!)

    Best,

    Ana V
  17. Walterjon Author of Destiny's Way

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    Mastadge, I don't know about the page count of the novel, because I haven't seen it in proofs yet. It's 135,000 words long, and I'd guess that when set into print it would be around 350 pages. But that's just a guess.

    PAd, working within the limitations of the shared world generally made the writing easier, because I didn't have to invent any of the characters or background, which is usually the hardest part. All I had to do was look stuff up.

    On the contrary side, that also means that long-established characters like Luke, Leia, and Han are set in stone, and you can't change them, and there are few new insights you can give them. You just sort of wind them up and watch them as they go. The younger characters like Jacen and Jaina were more interesting to write, because they've been through some big changes recently, and their reactions to events could be fresh.

    The character I had the most fun with was Vergere, because she's so extreme. Vergere was willing to torture Jacen for =ages= in the expectation it would make him an enlightened being! Wow! At last, a =good= guy who believes the ends justify the means! (Though this depends on your definition of "good," I suppose.)

    I got to do a lot with Vergere, like explaining what she's actually been up to all this time, and why. She explains the philosophical basis for her actions, and she and Luke shrink-wrap each other's brains. It was fun.

    Ana, there will be an interview in the Insider coming up about the time the book is released.

    Also, thank for your comments on "Dinosaurs." It's one of my best stories, I think. <brief commercial interlude follows> It and others of my stories can be downloaded at http://www.fictionwise.com/eBooks/WalterJonWilliamseBooks.htm
    <end commercial interlude>

    I'll tell GRRM that he's got many fans here. He'll be delighted, I know.

  18. DarthDave Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2000
    star 2
    I don't know if it is correct but Amazon says 480 pages
  19. Wedge 88 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 16, 1999
    star 6
    Thanks for the info and insight! You've made my day better and brighter . . . (stupid Jedi Outcast patch). Err.
  20. Mastadge Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 1999
    star 7
    That'll be about 450 ppb pages with NJO formatting, so 380-420 pages sounds about right for the hardcover version.
  21. Tara Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2002
    star 3
    I loved the excerpt out of Destiny's Way. I'm a huge Han/Leia fan, and it thrilled me to see someone write them well for once! Great characterizations and very sweet interaction between them. I can't wait for the book to come out :)
  22. The Gatherer Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 2, 1999
    star 6
    Walter, thanks for dropping by in this thread!

    As I mentioned via e-mail, I have been really enjoying "The Rift"!
  23. Mastadge Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 1999
    star 7
    Walterjon,

    What were your experiences like working with the other NJO authors and editors? How much interaction and collaboration was there between you and the other authors? Were there any things that you needed to change in Destiny's Way, or any compromises you needed to make with another author, when you realized that you were taking a storyline or a character or something in two different directions? I guess the main gist of my question is: what was it like working in a big story-arc in a "shared universe"?
  24. Ana Vitorrian Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 2, 1999
    star 3
    Hey Mastadge,

    I have a feeling that "storyline changes" - before, after or during Destiny's Way - if any at all - might be problematic for any SW author to explain . . . given those notorious, throbbing "brain implants" that SW authors always seem to get whenever confidentiality concerns are raised!!! :)

    Aside, . . .

    Thanks for the ebook website address, Walterjon!!! I'll be sure to check it out!

    Ana V
  25. Walterjon Author of Destiny's Way

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    Mar 8, 2002
    star 1
    On the whole, my experience with Del Rey, Lucasfilm, and the other authors was extremely positive. The only NJO author I met face-to-face was Sean Williams, the Australian writer who's co-writing the trilogy that follows mine--- we had a two-day brainstorming session at Skywalker Ranch with Shelly Shapiro, my editor, Sue Rostoni of Lucasfilm, and various other Lucasfilm people. (I've also met the amiable Greg Keyes, but this was after we'd both delivered our books, so intense shop talk was not necessary.)

    Sean Williams, in fact, was a great guy to work with, because he was willing to put into his books all the stuff I didn't personally want to deal with. And (I hope) vice versa. (NOOOOO, I wailed, YOUUUUU take the Unknown Regions . . .)

    I've worked in collaborative media before, in the shared-worlds series WILD CARDS (now being reprinted), and in film and TV. So I went in knowing that there was going to be give-and-take involved, and so I didn't find it particularly difficult. It was much easier than TV, in fact.

    Troy Denning and Elaine Cunningham were particularly helpful when I contacted them in email. As was the author of TRAITOR, whose name has been temporarily erased from my memory. (I know I'll remember it about two seconds after I post this.)

    The NJO series has a very detailed series arc, and there are a number of plot points I was obliged to put in my book. How they got there, and anything else I cared to add, was pretty much up to me.

    Some of my ideas were shot down by Lucasfilm because they stepped on territory that has been reserved for the movies. I didn't have a problem with that.

    The chief problem I experienced was that I was early delivering my manuscript, and that other authors were late. (I don't blame them for being late. I've been late with books in the past, and I know how easily it can happen.) As a result of this, I didn't get to actually read the four books prior to mine until after I'd completed my own, which resulted in a lot of rewriting in order to deal with "retroactive reality checks."

    Some of the authors, however, created detailed outlines of exactly what they were going to do in their books, and these were extremely useful.

    Some authors did =not= create detailed outlines.

    Some authors responded to email.

    Some authors didn't.

    Non-outlining, non-email-responding authors create much work for other authors. I think that sums it up.

    But working with Shelly, Sue, and Lucasfilm was great. I'd do it again.
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