We’d be the first fansite on the internet to tell you that being an Expanded Universe fan is not always a picnic. Every publishing cycle brings a new mystery: Will it work? Will it not? Glide on, my little mookas, for our take on the year in the Expanded Universe.
First look. Suvudu revealed the cover for Jeff Grubb’s Scourge today. Yet another generic musclebound dude with a lightsaber, ho-hum. But given it’s a book featuring an all-new character and Hutts, I’m clearly not the target market here. Still, let’s hope it looks better on the actual book.
Staffing. Editor Betsy Mitchell, who’s been with the Star Wars novels since their rebirth in the early 90’s at Bantam, is leaving Del Rey. New hire Frank Parisi is taking over Star Wars and other tie-ins.
Hey! We know that guy!Dan Wallace in the St. Petersburg Times.
Fate of the Jedi. For those still on board with the most tedious series since the nigh-endless New Jedi Order, there’s finally a blurb for the final volume, Troy Denning’s Apocalypse. I haven’t the slightest idea how spoilery it is since I have yet to make it past the first chapter of Ascension, so head on over to the link to check it out.
X-Wing. In happier news, Erich Schoeneweiss confirms EUCantina’s report that Face Loran will be back – and Myri Antilles will be flying with the Wraiths – in Aaron Allston’s Mercy Kill.
Random House’s Summer 2010 catalog has surfaced, and naturally, it contains some Star Wars items. Mostly old news, like for Fate of the Jedi: Allies (page 81,) but the listing for Sean William’s Old Republic novel (page 89) has a summary:
Smuggler Jet Nebula has stumbled across a treasure richer than he ever dreamed. The Hutts want to auction it to the highest bidder, be it the Republic or the Empire, both of whom hope to bolster their chances in the coming conflict. But the Sith are interested, too, and they don’t bargain with anyone; the Jedi High Council is sending someone to investigate; a mysterious Mandalorian is chasing something connected to a long-forgotten crime; while a spy plays every side at once. What Jet has unearthed will surprise all of them, and leave none of them unchanged.
(‘Jet Nebula’? Really?)
There’s also a cover for the book, but don’t get too excited. It’s ‘for solicitation only’ and the art looks like a still from the MMO’s trailer. And given that the listing doesn’t use the full title (Star Wars: The Old Republic: Fatal Alliance) its possible that some of the catalog info may already be outdated.
Also making a showing is Star Wars Generations (page 91) and Clone Wars Gambit: Siege (page 97.)
But my point: I’m going to echo Scalzi and say that now is a good time to go buy some stuff that doesn’t have the safety net of a massive franchise and a 4-year contract, i.e. all those other books. Remember, science fiction and fantasy is a niche market, and thus likely to get caught up in cuts along the bottom line. So go out and support your favorites: Every paperback helps, and the bookstores aren’t doing that hot, either.