Tag Archives: karen miller

Karen Miller on being a female Star Wars writer

Tor’s Liz Bourke has a great interview today with author Karen Miller, where she addresses some of the harsh realities of writing licensed fiction and, in particular, Star Wars and the differences with a female-dominated fandom like Stargate.

The Stargate fan audience is small, compared to the Star Wars audience. The Stargate fan audience is also, overwhelmingly, female—which means that it is far, far more accepting of a female writer and a female writer’s particular POV (and I think there is one). The Star Wars fan audience, on the other hand, is overwhelmingly male. At least as far as I can tell. The vast majority of writers who do the tie-in novels are also male. There is a definite predominance of male voices and male POVs in Star Wars novels. And that makes a huge difference in the reception of the material.

Everything I write is grounded in character. Everything. It’s the people that make a story for me. So my Star Wars work is as much a character study or exploration as it is an action adventure romp. For some readers, that was brilliant. For others, it wasn’t. For a lot of Star Wars fans—the guys in particular—the story is about fighting and space battles and stuff like that. For them, that’s the whole point. For them, the intricacies of psychological investigation are boring and unwelcome. And I completely accept that. But it’s not what floats my starship—and I felt strongly that I can’t be the only one who is in love with the story because of the characters, not despite them. Or who wants to take a breath and spend some time with them as human beings, who wants to explore what makes them tick, the relationships between them, the strengths and fragilities they contain and share.

She goes on to defend Karen Traviss, among other things, though I really must disagree that gender was the only aspect which garnered Traviss venom from fandom. (Though I’m sure some of it was, I’d hesitate to call it the main issue. The lesson one should take away from Traviss’ tumultuous time in this fandom? Don’t feed the trolls, and be respectful of your audience.)

But that quibble aside, it’s so refreshing to hear a Star Wars author actually be in it for the characters. There is nothing else here I have any issues with – it all needs to be said. Though not so much to label it as a niche, even though it’s probably true. Club Jade has been fighting that fight for so long…

Miller’s Insider story features Myri Antilles

As previously alluded, it appears that the short story by Clone Wars Gambit author Karen Miller will indeed tie-in to August’s Mercy Kill.

Myri Antilles was confirmed as one of the new Wraiths last year. The youngest daughter of Wedge Antilles and Iella Wessiri Antilles, Myri made her adult debut in the Legacy of the Force series.

EUbits: Apocalypse reverb continues with Denning chat

Chat season. Troy Denning will be chatting Apocalypse tomorrow afternoon on the Star Wars Books Facebook page. (He’ll also be at San Diego Comic Con in July… A behind-the-scenes FOTJ panel, perhaps?) Also chatting, on the 11th, will be Essential Guide to Warfare author Jason Fry. We’ll likely be recapping both.

Scoundrels. Del Rey editor Frank Parisi was on last week’s ForceCast where he revealed two of the established characters that will be on the team. (If you want the fairly minor spoilers, highlight this: Kell Tainer and Winter. If Kell means nothing to you, he’s in the X-Wing series.)

Upcoming. We can expect news on something post-Fate of the Jedi what’s next “sometime this summer, if not sooner,” Erich Schoeneweiss said in response to a fan question. Not at SDCC, I hope.

Blurbs. Knights Archive spotted a longer summary for Pablo Hidalgo’s Essential Reader’s Companion in the Random House online catalog.

Interviews. Roqoo Depot talks to Matt Stover – mostly about his new book, Caine’s Law, which was out in stores yesterday – but they also touch on Star Wars. Meanwhile, Angela Slatter interviews Karen Miller and Sean Williams about working in franchises.

EUbits: Karen Miller returning with Insider short story, inside Del Rey and more

Is Miller writing a post-ROTJ story? On her Livejournal, Karen Miller wrote that she is “getting ready to put together a short story for Star Wars Insider magazine.” She also shares/gloats that she got to read Aaron Allston’s Mercy Kill for “preliminary research.” All three of Miller’s Star Wars novels were Clone Wars tie-ins, so if Mercy Kill is any indication, this may be her first foray into post-ROTJ – or even post-Fate of the Jedi, since that’s when Mercy Kill is set. Or, she’s just writing about fighter pilots. We’ll see, I suppose.

Inside the beast. A new feature on Del Rey’s Star Wars Books Facebook page offers a few hints, including an “an author who is new to the GFFA.” And they liked our (also your) snark!

Speculation. It may be a moot point since Zahn said most of the Scoundrels scoundrels will be new folks, but EU Cantina has some theories on who might appear.

Excerpts. A little Scourge and a big Scourge. (via)

Review. James seems really excited about Dawn of the Jedi #2. Someone has to be, I suppose.

Randomly… io9 has some art from a Willow cartoon that never came to be. It’s not quite EU – unless you count that StarWars.com April Fools joke a few years back – but where else am I going to put it?

Our top 10 Star Wars books of 2010

Can’t end the year without a list, can we? Here are our staff’s picks for the ten best books of the year.

Be sure to check out more favorites at StarWars.com. They asked us to do the literature portion, but other contributers include Kyle Newman, Ashley Eckstein, TFN’s Eric Geller, Steve Sansweet, and Bonnie Burton!

10. Star Wars Year by Year: A Visual Chronicle by Daniel Wallace, Pablo Hidalgo, Gus Lopez, and Ryder Windham
Rounding out the list is the one book that has it all. Expanded Universe history? Check. Oddball merchandise? Check. Museum exhibits? Early versions of Yoda? Mark Hamill on Broadway? Check, check, and you better believe it. Star Wars Year by Year compiles over four decades (yes, four) of highlights, lowlights, and trivia – think of it, perhaps, as The Essential Franchise Chronology. But its scope goes beyond Lucasfilm productions. The authors also spotlight various milestones in science, pop-culture, and politics, giving readers a sense of the events that helped shape Star Wars, as well as how Star Wars changed the world. – Stooge

9. The Old Republic: Fatal Alliance by Sean Williams
Setting the stage for the eventual release of The Old Republic MMO, Fatal Alliance builds up the worlds and character types, and then throws them all into the fray against a new threat. Sean Williams captures the look of this era, and brings together some new enjoyable characters. It’s a heist caper that unfolds into a tale of espionage and war. It takes a little while to set up the players, but the endgame is well worth it. - James

8. Millennium Falcon: A 3D Owner’s Guide by Ryder Windham
The saga’s most iconic ship is revealed! Ryder Williams’ text is sparse but clever, the illustration work by Chris Trevas and Chris Reiff shines, and the layer-by-layer design is icing on the cake. Kids will love it and adults will delight in the technical specs and (in-character!) modification notes. It’s a just plain fun book – certain to entrance even the most jaded fan for at least a little while. – Dunc

7. Fate of the Jedi: Vortex by Troy Denning
With Luke and Ben and their new Sith allies having defeated a more sinister evil, you’d think that Troy Denning would take it easy on the Jedi Order, but Abeloth’s demise in Allies is just the beginning of a series of explosive events. Faster that you can say “Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal”, the Sith bring it. Chief of State Daala brings it. The Mandalorians bring it. Tahiri’s prosecutor brings it. So it’s up to a couple of Jedi, and Han and Leia to strike back – and when they bring Lando and droids to help, you know it’s going to get heavy as the Jedi shake things up against their adversaries. - James

6. The Sounds of Star Wars by J. W. Rinzler and Ben Burtt
A book that needs a volume button? Not to worry, this is more than just a gimmick. To fully explore the audio awesomeness of Ben Burtt, The Sounds of Star Wars has a built-in soundboard which plays over 200 (unmixed!) effects from that galaxy far, far away. So you can read about the crazy ways he made these sounds, then listen to the fantastic end results! Plus, Mr. Burtt has enough behind-the-scenes stories to fill ten volumes – and for a quadruple Oscar-winner, he’s remarkably humble. - Stooge Continue reading

Review: Karen Miller’s Clone Wars Gambit: Siege

Obi-Wan and Anakin are still stuck on Lanteeb, a planet far in the Outer Rim and of seeming little consequence. The Lanteebans pose no apparent strategic value to the Republic or Separatists; it’s an attitude that grossly misjudges the efforts of captured scientist Bant’ena Fhernan. She’s been hired to construct a virus to end all viruses, a massive biological weapon that will sway the war in Dooku’s favor, but getting materials for it isn’t easy. The key ingredient, damotite, lays deep within the sinuous mines of Lanteeb and Separatist overseer Lok Durd rides the locals hard with threats of drastic food and water rationing if his unreasonable quota and timetable aren’t met.

Against all impossibilities, the Lanteeban’s work furiously every day, risking damotite poisoning to please Durd. When Anakin and Obi-Wan crash their vehicle and end up stranded in the mining city responsible for churning out the dangerous material, the two are welcomed only as long as the villagers don’t know they’re Jedi. Naturally, an invading droid army and a failing shield barrier that forces the pair to use the Force for self preservation were probably unavoidable inevitabilities. Continue reading

Out this week: The last (maybe?) Clone Wars novel

…For the time being, that is. (And not counting the kids stuff, because there are just not enough hours in the day.) Yes, it’s The Clone Wars Gambit: Siege by Karen Miller, starring Anakin Skywalker and his lustrous hair, in bookstores today.

The new Diamond shipping list ought to be up this afternoon due to the holiday, but Midtown Comics is listing The Old Republic #1 – aka the print debut of the ‘Threat of Peace’ webcomic – to be in stores Thursday.

Also, I’ve redone our book schedule page a tad in order to make it easier to keep more new releases and additional links (like reviews) up top.

Review: Karen Miller’s Clone Wars Gambit: Stealth

Karen Miller’s high regard and curiosity concerning Obi-Wan Kenobi is quite charming. In her second Star Wars book, Clone Wars Gambit: Stealth, every character has a lot to shoulder in the war, even (and especially) Obi-Wan.

Ahsoka has more to consider as Anakin’s Padawan than the teachings of the Jedi Order. She cares for his well-being and has learned how to read her Master’s emotions to help herself navigate and deal with his temperament. Anakin struggles with the responsibilities of being the Chosen One. What he feels they should do, what he should do as such a prominent figure, conflicts often with the wider doctrine of the Jedi, not to mention how delicately he juggles his forbidden relationship with Padmé. Obi-Wan still wrestles with his misgivings as a teacher and his emotions over the health of a dear friend. It’s clear, though, that as Bail Organa brings a frightening new element in the war to the Jedi’s attention, this cast of extraordinary beings have rather ordinary problems.

All things considered: Obi-Wan and Anakin, for as much as they remain larger than life figures, symbolic of the Jedi Order and its potential, are still forced to deal with their very human emotions and drama. After a harrowing skirmish on Kothlis, Anakin and Obi-Wan are forced to realize they both need some much needed rest. Obi-Wan is still running a bit ragged from his encounter on Zigoola; Anakin and the entire galaxy agree. The pair are sent to Lanteeb anyway–a planet of no consequence until recent Separatist actions pique the Republic’s curiosity. Their physical wounds may be healed, but Anakin and Obi-Wan learn the hard way: some scars never go away. Continue reading

EUbits: Catching up with Karen Miller’s Gambit

Gambit: Stealth cover teaseStealthiness. Our pal Mandy at TheForce.Net interviewed author Karen Miller this week, touching on the writing life, tie-ins and (naturally) subtext.

On that note, while I’d like to start doing review roundups for the books, but they can sometimes prove difficult. Witness: Even at almost a month out, I was only able to find two for Clone Wars Gambit: Stealth. NJOE’s MizzeeOH found that she enjoyed the book, but not as much as Wild Space; Hendel D’bu found it engaging, and especially praises the battle sequences. There’s always the review thread on the TFN boards if you’re dying for more.

More interview. Star Wars Books catches up with John Jackson Miller

Fanboy games. StarWars.com has a peek at Pablo’s Head to Head, pitting Chewbacca up against a wampa.

The Old Republic is starting up a new webcomic and adding Belsavis, aka the planet from Children of the Jedi. Random!

Poll. io9 asks which expanded universe is most unnecessarily. I suppose it depends on what you consider necessarily… I mean, I can’t for the life of me get excited about some nice-sized chunks of the Star Wars EU, but I could also care less about BSG or Lost outside of their primary formats. To each their own, I suppose.