Seattle has a Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame opening today. It features objects of interest from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein to movie props and a computer system that will pull up information and statistics on a variety of starships and other fictional vehicles. Naturally, they have a web site.
I believe a mini-con is in order.
I barely had Movable Type up when someone came around and searched for Mara. They got nothing – As you’ll note, none of our older content is in the system yet, and the links to your right are place holders, linking to the old site.
So… Why Mara? Who’s Mara? For those just coming in, Mara Jade is a character in the Star Wars Expanded Universe. She’s also the Club’s namesake. Her first appearance was in Heir to the Empire, a Lucasfilm-approved novel written by Timothy Zahn which kick-started the modern EU. She played a major role in the Thrawn Trilogy, as Heir and it’s two sequels came to be known. Mara became a fairly popular character with a growing fanbase. In 1996, several novels later, CJ was born from a mixed group of people from RASSM (recs.arts.sf.starwars.misc) soon joined by many from AOL’s Star Wars Fan Forum. The group was originally formed as a place to intelligently discuss the Star Wars novels and related issues, and so remained for several years. We were, arguably, one of the first Mara-centric sites on the net, and one of only a handful of the early fanfic archives. The group grew, the site grew, lots of fanfic was produced as many novels failed to meet the standards established by the first trilogy.
CJ expanded as the Star Wars franchise grew. We moved from being just a Mara/EU fan group to being just a SW fan group, and as interest waned due to mixed reaction to the prequels and New Jedi Order series, we became a general SF/F genre group with strong SW interests.
What does this have to do with Mara?
Well, that’s just it. CJ isn’t as focused on our namesake as we started out. Many of us have moved on. That’s not say that Mara fandom hasn’t changed and grown – it’s just, not all of us have gone with it. In short… we’re probably not the fans you’re looking for.
There are a lot of resources for the Mara fan – Jade Crusades is a great site that has a ton of information. Groups like TFN’s Mara Jade fan club provide fan camaraderie, mailing lists like Jade-Skywalker and Mara_and_Luke will provide you with all the brand-new fanfic you like. But CJ? We’re here. We’re keeping all the old stuff around, and we might even have a few new things coming up, but we’re not your one-stop Mara shop. That was never our purpose. Sorry.
USA Today’s article about Star Wars novels, focusing on the renewal of Del Rey’s contract. Not much new information for the hardcore fan, though, but a bit over overview.
I’ve seen bits and pieces of this around, but this is the first shot of the whole thing that I’ve run across: The Narnia promo posters. Very LOTResque. Filming hasn’t started yet, but casting reports have Tilda Swinton (not Nicole Kidman) as the White Witch and James McAvoy (Children of Dune) as Mr. Tumnus.