Yub yub, Emperor: Author Aaron Allston has passed away

Aaron at JadeCon

It is with a great deal of sadness and tears that I must report that our dear friend, author Aaron Allston, passed away Thursday.

Aaron was, as Timothy Zahn describes him, “a wonderful author, a devastating punster, an erudite teacher, and — most of all — a wonderful friend.”

For Star Wars fans, Aaron is perhaps best known for his many books in the X-Wing, New Jedi Order, Legacy of the Force and Fate of the Jedi series. His other books include Doc Sidhe, and he had recently self-published Plotting: A Novelist’s Workout Guide. He also conducted writing seminars at conventions such as Celebration, Origins and Dragon*Con, often in tandem with fellow author Mike Stackpole.

I don’t think there’s much I need to say about his writing to this crowd: It’s a rarity, but it seems like pretty much everyone loved Aaron’s books, Star Wars and otherwise.

I meet Aaron in the JadeCon suite one year, when GenCon was still in Milwaukee – it must have been the late 90′s. I was one of only a handful of people in the suite, and I was a bit nervous, because speaking to authors, or celebs of any kind, has never been my forte. But talking to Aaron was easy. He was personable, he was hilarious, he instantly made one feel at ease. Even if you had just met him, he treated you like a friend. He would have been an instant favorite of Club Jade even if he hadn’t written books we loved.

No matter what one thinks of the Expanded Universe, Aaron was a great asset to Star Wars and the fandom. Club Jade is honored to have known him, his work, and to have had him as our first and only Emperor.

Fans and friends are leaving remembrances on Aaron’s Facebook page.

EUbits: Razor’s Edge moves up to September release

Empire and Rebellion: Razor's EdgeStreet date shuffle The release of Martha Wells’ Empire and Rebellion: Razor’s Edge has moved up a week again, this time to September 24, Del Rey tweeted yesterday. Meanwhile, the paperback for Timothy Zahn’s Scoundrels is set for November 26. As always, the dates hang out on our schedule page.

Elsewheres… Time Traveled Tales, a book of short stories that features Aaron Allston, Mike Stackpole and Timothy Zahn among others (like CJers Janine K. Spendlove and Bryan Young) may have passed its original Kickstarter goal of $7,500, but with 17 days to go you can back it now to help add second stories from Stackpole, Allston and Zahn. Meanwhile, a $5 donation guarantees you an eBook version of the anthology.

Toys. We already knew that a Mara Jade Skywalker figure was in the queue, but these inventory lists found by Jedi Temple Archives list a Darth Plagueis as well!

Reviews. Great dialogue and fun characters highlight James’ enjoyment of Legacy #3, he’s impressed with Jan Duursema’s action art in Dawn of the Jedi: Prisoner of Bogan #5, was caught off guard by Dark Times: Fire Carrier #5 and wonders if a boom is too big for Star Wars #6.

Roundup: Star Wars authors consider future movies, Ewan down with a return to the desert

X-Wing: Mercy KillPonders. Christian Blauvelt asks eight Star Wars authors (Drew Karpyshyn, Paul Kemp, Troy Denning, John Jackson Miller, James Luceno, Michael Reaves, Christie Golden and Aaron Allston) what they’d like to see in Episode VII and the other new films. Lots of love for the EU and female characters, naturally, which is more than I can say for most of the other wishlists that have been popping up daily.

Spin-offs. Ewan McGregor continues to voice his willingness to return as Obi-Wan. “I don’t know what he did in the desert,” he tells MTV. “We could make up some stuff.”

Superfans. Kevin Smith is (still) very excited. Though his casting for a young Han Solo is… the worst I’ve seen yet. Hopefully for the LULZ.

Video. J.J. Abrams D.I.C.E keynote speech.

Out this week: Agent of the Empire goes to Alderaan

As one comic leaves, another begins… Well, begins a new arc, anyway. In Agent of the Empire: Hard Targets #1, out Wednesday, Jahan Cross heads to Alderaan to party with the Organas.

If you’re a military sci-fi fan, you might want to go check out Five by Five, a set of novelettes that includes stories by Aaron Allston, Michael Stackpole, and Kevin J. Anderson.

As for Star Wars books, we have the paperback reprint of James Luceno’s Darth Plagueis due at the end of the month. Our next new book will be a hardcover, Drew Karpyshyn’s The Old Republic: Annihilation, on November 13.