Aftermath debuts on New York Times bestseller list at #4. Well, how about that.
In addition to the nuttery going on with Aftermath and the ever-present comment hijacking on official Facebook pages, it appears that a faction of the ‘Bring Back Legends‘ crew was actually harassing VIPs and fans at DragonCon last weekend, Brian at Tosche Station reports:
One panelist and moderator was stalked to a restroom by someone from Bring Back Legends. Another panelist was halted in the Marriott atrium and, again, was talked at and had a set of flyers pushed off on them even though the panelist said they didn’t want one. The Bring Back Legends folks at Dragon Con had become general nuisances, but more than once it went beyond that. I spoke with several fans and panelists who confided that they were made extremely uncomfortable by the advances of the individuals from Bring Back Legends. Others corroborated my story, that they were cornered after panels and had a difficult time escaping their speeches and questioning. The combination of forced interaction and awareness of what the general behavior of these people online proved to be an unsettling experience every time we were approached. We knew they weren’t interested in talking to us, they wanted to talk at us and recruit us to their cause.
And those are far from the only incidents he experienced or heard about – there are more at the link.
The Legends folks were, from reports, fairly courteous at SDCC – and I don’t recall any stories from Celebration at all. Did DragonCon just luck into a particularly obnoxious contingent? Did the more fan-run nature of the con make people think they could get away with this sort of thing more easily? Or are we just dealing with a few individuals who don’t understand basic social cues? In any case, this is not how you get folks on your side.
Marvel’s Shattered Empire #1 came out today, and just in case you have managed to miss/evade the big spoiler… It’s actually a pretty good one! (Well, IMHO.) Under the cut, kids.
With Aftermath, the first canon Star Wars novel to tread where only Legends had been before, it’s only natural that some controversy would erupt.
Now, some of it has been people who just plain don’t like Chuck Wendig’s writing style and/or the book itself. I didn’t find the style bothersome and liked the book, but both are perfectly valid complaints.
And then, there are the… Others. Our old friends (‘friends’) the folks who are still bent out of shape that the old Expanded Universe has been decanonized. And, of course, the folks who are mad that some of Wendig’s characters happen to be gay.
Needless to say, neither group is particularly sympathetic. The Legends folks might have a case, if they weren’t so plain-out obnoxious, but if there’s a moderate part of this supremely ineffectual ‘movement’ they’re being drowned out.
Together, some outspoken members of those three groups all got the idea to… Leave a whole bunch of very quick, very many one-star reviews on Amazon. Jim C. Hines and Michael Patrick Hicks have some nice breakdowns of that. Of course, there’s also a wonderful irony here. Per Wendig himself:
…A passel of negative reviews actually elevates the book’s overall sales ranking. Which in turn garners it more sales. Amazon reps have been clear with me on this point: buyers buy books with reviews, period. Not good reviews, not bad reviews. But rather: quantity of reviews impress buyers to make purchases. So, leaving a ton of bad reviews actually increases the book’s sales. Ironic, and not likely what anyone supporting such a campaign intends.
His response to the objections regarding the gay characters needs to be read in full, though.
I’m not here to tell you how to feel about anything Star Wars. We are all adults here (or so I am going to assume for my own mental health,) and I can’t believe I have to keep saying this, but: Not everything in Star Wars is going to work for everyone, and that’s fine. Feel however you like about whatever, it’s no skin off my back. But that doesn’t give you the right to be a dick, and there’s far too much of that going around. Or, to throw it to Wendig again:
Loving something is fandom. Hate isn’t, or shouldn’t be, part of it. Fandom is about sharing awesome things with like-minded people. It isn’t about spreading hate and forming spiteful tribes. That’s heinous fuckery. Do not partake in heinous fuckery.
Last Thursday, Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore in San Diego hosted a quartet of Star Wars authors as they counted down for the Force Friday midnight releases. Representing the first stop on DK’s Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know book release tour were three of its authors: Adam Bray, Cole Horton, and Michael Kogge. Rounding out the team was author Cecil Castellucci, who wrote one of the new young adult books, Moving Target, with Jason Fry. Moderating the panel were Richard and Sarah Woloski of the Skywalking Through Neverland podcast.
Video is of the author panel and Q&A session. Revealed at the end of the evening was the announcement that Michael Kogge is the author of the junior novelization of The Force Awakens, coming out in 2016. And if you just want to see some photos of the event, including the induction of the podcast hosts into Rebel Legion, I’ve got a gallery here.
Looking for signed copies of the books? Mysterious Galaxy has you covered! The Absolutely Everything You Need to Know tour picks up again next weekend around the US.
Just in case you finished up the 5 (!) Journey to The Force Awakens novels that came out last Friday, this Wednesday Marvel’s entry, Shattered Empire #1, will be waiting at the comic shops, along with Darth Vader #9.
And if you’re sick of all that serious(ish) storytelling, in stores Tuesday is William Shakespeare’s Tragedy of the Sith’s Revenge by Ian Doescher.
Chuck Wendig’s Aftermath is the first canon Star Wars novel to take place after Return of the Jedi since the old EU was declared Legends more than a year ago. I’ve only formally reviewed the lackluster Heir to the Jedi since then, but it’s no secret that the canon novels so far haven’t been to my tastes. My focus has never really been on books set during the film eras, and before Aftermath all the offerings were just that.
But I am pleased (and, yes, a little surprised) to report that I found Aftermath to be rather good. You’ll hear a lot about Wendig’s unusual style of prose – and I had some hesitation there as well – but I found that once I got into the rhythm of the book it was no trouble at all. In fact, this is the first canon novel I didn’t have to force myself through at all – it read speedily and offers a satisfying story with interesting characters.
But they are, for the most part, new characters. Wedge Antilles plays an important part, but you can’t call him a lead by any means. Rebel pilot Norra Wexley, her son Temmin, former Imperial loyalty officer Sinjir Rath Velus, bounty hunter Jax Emari and Imperial Admiral Rae Sloane (who originated in A New Dawn) carry most of the plot’s weight.
Only minor spoilers, if that, beyond the cut.
Of course the Threepio comic is about how he got the red arm, and the cover is basically his high school senior portrait. Of course.
Marvel’s second entry in Journey to The Force Awakens, C-3P0 #1 is written by James Robinson with Tony Harris on art. It’ll be out in December.
Force Friday is here, and that means Aftermath and the other Journey to The Force Awakens books are on shelves now. We don’t have a review (yet?) but you can check out some mostly spoiler-free takes on the book at Nerdist, Tosche Station, Big Shiny Robot and IGN. And there’s a new excerpt at USA Today as well.
Baby Jawa, Yowie and Jawajames complete their series of countdown to Force Friday videos with this entry for Force Thursday. They get into some Star Wars Mac n Cheese, check out Jeffrey Brown’s Darth Vader and Friends, and preview Tom Angleberger’s retelling of Return of the Jedi: Beware the Power of the Dark Side.