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Lit A question on Karen Traviss and her work(s)

Discussion in 'Literature' started by Pyrotek, Nov 28, 2011.

  1. Jedi Ben

    Jedi Ben Chosen One star 8

    Jul 19, 1999
    My take....

    Hard Contact was a damn fine read. Then Triple Zero came along, death starred all the great stuff Hard Contact did, orbitally bombarded the embers, then blasted it to pieces at the sub-atomic level! Triple Zero was one of the worst books I bought and read, I bought it thinking I'd be getting a great sequel Hard Contact - what I got? An example of indulgence writ large and the whole Mando 'vulture'? Ugh. If I want to read about Star Trek's Klingons the I'll get stories about them, plus DSN had pretty much ripped the hell out of the Klingons' "warrior culture" very effectively over 4 years.

    So that was that, brilliant first work but she's never equalled it and I have to wonder if that first book wasn't so much better due to her having to be more restrained than in her later books.

    As to her dealings with the fanbase, well God knows the infamous 3 million affair, the echoes of which reverberate even now, that even put the Vector Prime wars in the shade, didn't help. BUT neither does throwing the term Talifans around in a publicly accessible space where someone will inevitably notice it and blast it around the rest of the net at lightspeed. It could perhaps be argued she should have been more professional and less personal over it all. But I pretty much stayed out of these threads at the time so this paragraph is pretty much based on second-hand info.
  2. SithStarSlayer

    SithStarSlayer Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Oct 23, 2003
    And her version of Luke, made him dumbest Jedi in the last 20,000 years. Dude couldn't do anything without wondering what Boba would do in his shoes.:p

    As for the flames, IIRC:
    These boards didn't become a towering inferno until AFTER she lashed out and trashed the fans.

  3. stung4ever

    stung4ever Jedi Grand Master star 3

    May 17, 2002
    I also have to comment on this. Traviss is the last one who should decry Jedi as the Ubermensch. The way she writes the clones, they specifically believe they are genetically superior, even calling non-clones "mongrels".
  4. blackmyron

    blackmyron Chosen One star 6

    Oct 29, 2005
    "I'm honestly tired of having to ban people like every other week due to this thread." - dp4m, last post to the Guide to the GAR thread.

    Let's dispense with the historical revisionism, or the notion that if, in fact, "Traviss started it" that somehow licensed people to act like raving lunatics. Can we stick to the general topic matter, or is the thread going to demonstrate to Pyrotek why a Karen Traviss-related thread usually ends in a mod lock?
  5. anakinfansince1983

    anakinfansince1983 Punching Nazis in Four Realms star 10 Staff Member Manager

    Mar 4, 2011
    Agreed. I thoroughly enjoyed both of these books. I have not read her other work, but just based on these, I've been surprised at the animosity I've seen directed at her.
  6. Senator_Cilghal

    Senator_Cilghal Jedi Master star 5

    Jul 19, 2003
    my problem with her books is the repetetive preachiness

    its not necessarily that i disagree with all her points; I AGREE with many of them [certainly not all]

    i dont like preachiness in ANY book; its repetetive, boring, monotonous, and a little insulting

    just STATE your case and move on; the audience is not so stupid as to need constant reiteration

    also, its the fact that so MANY diverse characters in different factions and times spout off the same opinions, which ARE Karen's [as we know from her interviews in the back of one of the novels]; they thus CEASE to be characters and become identical mouthpieces for the author; this is not only boring, it [for me] ruins the suspension of disbelief
  7. Zorkel567

    Zorkel567 Jedi Master star 4

    Jan 20, 2010

    Personally, I couldn't stand No Prisoners. I was interested in it since it felt with Ahsoka and had trouble getting though it. The only interesting thing that I got out of it was Callista. I thought it was long, drawn out, and downright boring. Thinking about it now, I remember almost nothing about it, which never happens with me and books. I always remember pieces of the story anyways.

    On the other hand, I really enjoyed Revelation, though I thought parts of the Mandalorian story were confusing, having never read the Republic Commando series. I thought it was fascinating and engaging.

    And I would like to point out that it almost definately was a spur of the moment idea to kill of Mara Jade in Sacrifice. It was most likely planned out and plotted by the entire staff, not just something Traviss thought would be fun to do. She shouldn't be solely blamed with that idea.
  8. Lightsnake

    Lightsnake Jedi Youngling star 3

    Feb 10, 2005
    I'd very much like to hear why someone agrees with Ms. Traviss's views, if they do.
  9. Arawn_Fenn

    Arawn_Fenn Force Ghost star 7

    Jul 2, 2004
  10. Darth_Zandalor

    Darth_Zandalor Jedi Master star 4

    Aug 2, 2009
    Guys, cut it out. Would it be too much to ask that we have a KT thread that DOESN'T devolve into another argument?
  11. Genghis12

    Genghis12 Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Nov 18, 1999
    The series was an ensemble development. Major decisions, like the death of a popular character were not made by and implemented by any single person. Like Chewbacca and Salvatore, it's not entirely fair to lay Mara's death at Traviss' feet.

    And hearing that first anecdote for some reason brings to mind some classic Jawaforce...
    Even in jest, it all probably contributes a certain negativity overall that tends to feed itself. But, it's not like Traviss was all that special in being the brunt of fandom ire; such things are the mark of a true artist in the EU.
  12. TheRedBlade

    TheRedBlade Jedi Master star 4

    Mar 17, 2007
    ^ To be fair, showing is better than telling.
  13. Likewater

    Likewater Jedi Master star 4

    Dec 31, 2009
    Traviss was not at fault from Mara Jade, most know that.

    But the send off, the actual execution of the book.

    One pivotal EU character killing the Most (Arguably) popular EU character, and half the book is dedicated to promoting the mandalorians in a plot that dosen't even intersect with the main story.

    I mean, was I wrong for feeling cheated? to this day as I feel cheated, And I rented that book from the library because I did not like Bloodlines which I purchased. I felt that book was a colossal waste of my time, and as a Jacen Solo and Mara Jade fan I find that sad.
    Lady_Misty likes this.
  14. Robimus

    Robimus Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Jul 6, 2007
    I loved most of Karen Traviss's work - this is known.

    She was one of the most easy to talk to creators, I personally exchanged many an email with her over a couple years. She was very easy to chat with.

    Her real world views on the Star Wars Universe were extreme and I can see why some people would view them as insulting. Of course for every bad thing that she may have said I suspect she got back a hundred fold from the fandom.

    Some of her real world views did creep into her novels, though I also think there was more balance to her work than many here do. A character like Arligan Zey never gave up on the Jedi Order. Scout, even while living with the Mandalorians, still made it clear that she wanted to be a Jedi, so on.

    And she did change some canon, but also added a lot to canon as well.

    Why she still gets blamed exclusivly for the death of Mara or Daala becoming CoS I find downright befuddling. She was one writer of many in the Mara case, and in no way, shape or form put Daala in charge of the GA.

    And I'm still not sure what all the Revelation hate is really about. It's certainly not the greatest Star Wars novel ever written but it has its moments. Yes Luke is briefly thinking in Mandalorian at one point, but at another he's leading a neutral Jedi Order which helps the rescue crews in the Battle of Fondor save lives.

    Unless leading rescue teams and saving lives is a horrible thing to do of course. Clearly she was using that idea to further assassinate Luke's character because she hates him so.:p

    Personally I think some of the critcisms are very fair, but I also feel that every time a new book came out from her there was a witch hunt and an effort to view every word she put on the page in the worst possible light.

    Anyway, not much more to say here. Nobody is going to change their minds. Karen did have a lot of fans, and maybe even more opponents, its hard to say.
  15. Lightsnake

    Lightsnake Jedi Youngling star 3

    Feb 10, 2005
    I'm gonna have to express...skepticism at the fan thing. To my understanding, this is after Traviss said some seriously vitriolic things involving tearing out detractors' throats and it was a CGI video featuring a hero having a shootout with a Traviss expy and Mandalorians
  16. Robimus

    Robimus Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Jul 6, 2007
    One of the CGI vids I saw was a version of her doing sexual favors, one at a time, for Mandalorians who were lined up outside her bedroom.

    Of course I don't know if this was before or after she said her "vitriolic" things towards some fans, or if thats even important.
  17. Senator_Cilghal

    Senator_Cilghal Jedi Master star 5

    Jul 19, 2003
    i don't blame her for mara's death; i doubt any author has the power to decide to kill Mara or a similarly major character on his or her own initiative (unless it is Zahn?) without editorial approval

    I certainly applauded Scout's decision as well;)
  18. Havac

    Havac Former Moderator star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 29, 2005
    [hl=black]Most of you have been able to avoid getting ugly over this, so I'm going to keep this open for now. But if it goes bad again, it's done. Remember to avoid personal attacks on the author. Criticize the work, not the person. It's a tricky line to walk, describing a fraught situation like this, but enough of you have been able to avoid problems that I'm willing to see if you can keep it up -- though I'd prefer that people walk back even from some of the kind of stuff that didn't get edited. Be on your best behavior.[/hl]
  19. darthcaedus1138

    darthcaedus1138 Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Oct 13, 2007
    Warning #1

  20. CT-867-5309

    CT-867-5309 Force Ghost star 6

    Jan 5, 2011

    I felt cheated (more like dirty) and I've hated Mara since the beginning and couldn't wait for her to die.

    At the end I sounded like the blonde from The Matrix..........

    [shakes_head]Not like this....not like this...[/dies]

    So yeah, even a person who hated Mara and wanted her to die felt pretty dirty about it. I'm still glad she's dead, though.
  21. Adam_Bosman

    Adam_Bosman Jedi Knight star 2

    Nov 30, 2007
    It's funny because I'd never heard of the Traviss hate until a year ago or so (or whenever she stopped writing SW). I had no idea her works were so contested. It's particularly odd to me, as I always thought her novels were some of the better EU pieces. Mara's death was done pretty well in my opinion. Too bad she's done w/ Star Wars. I'd like her to officially tie all the Mandalorian stories back together when the CW show is over, but I don't suppose that will happen.
  22. SithStarSlayer

    SithStarSlayer Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Oct 23, 2003
    I just want to take a moment to express my gratitude for that post. Quite possibly the finest, chapter-by-chapter, page-by-page, quote-by-quote or line-by-line review that I have ever seen. So condense, I had to read it twice. Utterly fantastic. :)

    Harvard should study YK's post, I find it way more interesting than say, LeFraud James' marketability.
  23. godisawesome

    godisawesome Retired Mod of the Sequel Campaign star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Dec 14, 2010
    Yeah, a lot of her stuff was actually pretty good, even in her books that I didn't like. She consistently wrote the clones with unique personalities even if her plotting was a bit more controversial. And even though I didn't like Revelation, I did enjoy her version of Sith Battle Meditation with the whole side-effect of making thoses affected frothing, rabid, attack dogs. Very much a cool Sith moment and one of my favorite Caedus moments.
  24. kataja

    kataja Jedi Master star 4

    May 4, 2007
    I've only read her LOTF books, but I've actually been tempted to read her other SW books - and this is pretty amazing since I normally only read Luke/Mara centric SW books!

    But I really liked Traviss writing the flow and the details - plus she has a sharpness and realism when it comes to life and war that I find very refershing.

    On the bad side is the Mando-centrism and particularly her (lack of) grip of some of the characters. Mostly it was small scenes that irritated me, but some of vital content: Jaina, who thought and acted like she'd never been traned a warrior before she met the Mando's. A Luke who supposedly never has thought of the lives he killed when destroying the Death Star before Ben points it out - that kind of stuff.

    Worst was Mara, probably because the LOTF and Sacrifice in particular should have been her swansong, but failed. She's just 'wrong' in a number of scenes thrugh the series, but most clearly when she leaves both reason and Force bonds behind and runs off alone to kill Jacen. I remember being pulled in while reading, though - KT writes powerfully and the actual scenes were great - but afterwards when I started to analyse what had happened, it all started to stand out as OOC.

    About KT's popularity and reputation in general, I think a lot of people were angry at her for Mara's death, also many who wouldn't reply on a thread like this. Many people were also disappointed with LOTF in general - and Traviss gets much of the blame there, fair or not.
  25. Likewater

    Likewater Jedi Master star 4

    Dec 31, 2009
    For me it was more of the "How"

    How mara died, and the whole "left Field" overtaking of the mandalorians of the story.

    LOTF on the whole was a crap storm, no one came out looking or smelling pretty, and all the writers neglected previous characterization to promote their "pets" the Mandalorians were simply the most obvious.

    Traviss did not do anything that Denning or Allston did not do as well, But because of her position in writng, and her fetish for mandalorians who had little to do with the over all story, it seemed like she was the most blatant. So in the end she got the lions share of the dissatified commentary...

    Mange likes this.