At his Star Wars: Scoundrels signing in San Diego on January 12, Timothy Zahn gave a talk on how the novel came to be and then held a Q&A session. He discussed the real world publication timeline he worked with, his initial idea to make it a heist using a who’s who of the main characters and top smugglers in the GFFA (Luke, Han, Leia, Mara, Lando, Corran, Mirax, Talon and more) just before the New Jedi Order, and how even the cover art influenced the final story.
Ty Franck – one half of James S.A. Corey, who’s working on a Han Solo book for the Rebels series, gave fans the first progress update yesterday:
Ground has been broken on the Star Wars novel. An outline has been approved, and chapters are being typed. Things I’ve learned so far: It is important to know ahead of time how you will handle Chewie talking, the Star Wars universe has instantaneous communication and nearly instantaneous travel but space is STILL big enough to hide things, hyperspace is how you get away from badguys but jumping through hyperspace ain’t like dusting crops kid, and Leia is the brains of the operation. If someone has a good idea, it’s Leia. Han is always always always wrong when he makes a plan or predicts the future, but man does he improvise gracefully. More robots. Always more robots.
The post got passed around quite a bit today, and well:
Thing I learned today: If you blog about writing a Star Wars novel, PEOPLE CARE.
Ha. Welcome to the, ah, family. Keep your seatbacks and tray table in the locked and upright position…
You can learn a little more about Franck and writing partner Daniel Abraham in an excerpt from a recent interview in Locus. I also recommend checking out their first two novels – Leviathan Wakes and Caliban’s War. I have horrible luck with Star Wars writers outside of Star Wars (sorry, it’s true, no recs please) but these books are pretty fantastic. Hopefully that means good things for this Han book.
As James pointed out in our earlier Scoundrels post, it seems like every year lately there’s been a Star Wars book that comes out almost directly after the holiday. Many of us has been wondering about that in light of Scoundrels, but there is a solid reason, according to LFL’s Jennifer Heddle:
Pubtip: Sometimes certain books come out right after the holidays on purpose, so they don’t get lost in the holiday avalanche of gift books.
College Humor is not making many friends in the comics blogosphere, lately. The ad at right has appeared on the back page of several DC Comics books, and… Well. Take it away:
WonderAli: That Joke isn’t Funny Anymore. “College Humor, and DC by association, are perpetuating the message that comics simply cannot possibly be enjoyed by girls. They are for BOYS ONLY–mouth-breathing, women-hating boys at that. Sorry, intelligent woman who is enjoying the hell out of Wonder Woman, this book is not for you!”
The Mary Sue’s Susana Polo: So, The Back Cover Ad on Batman This Month Is a “Fake Geek Girl” Joke. “I just can’t decide which is more depressing to imagine: someone in marketing at College Humor (whose work I generally enjoy) pitching this specific example from their series of real life comic book “villains” to DC for an ad… or someone on DC’s marketing team saying “These ‘villains’ you came up with are all super funny, but you know… Some of our readers might feel targeted by the “guy who gets angry on forums” joke or the implications that they’re not good at personal interaction. And we probably shouldn’t use the one about executives… seeing as how we’re employed by them. So we’ll use the one that’s a girl. Girls don’t read comics anyway.””
iFanboy’s Jim Mroczkowski: Real Geeks Only, Ladies. “Funny how people who were bullied throughout their childhoods will become the most hateful bullies themselves at the first whiff of a victim. Hang on: when I typed “funny,” I misspelled “unimaginably depressing.” A round of applause for human nature, everybody.”
Or is it Attack of the Clones? Well, I suppose that depends on your certain point of view…
Earlier this week, Vulture posted a massive list of what they’re calling the most influential fan bases, and Star Wars came in number 2 – pretty good, all things considered. Occupying the #1 spot is Game of Thrones, which I can’t really be all that bitter about seeing as they’re peaking right now. (And, well, I’m a fan, if not technically in the fandom.)
It’s an interesting series, but one major qualm with the Star Wars listing: Warsies? Dude, no one with an actual clue uses that term. It’s not even a Trekker/Trekkie situation: No one uses it.
Sure, we winced when ex-Twilight story 50 Shades of Grey became the giant bestseller of 2012. But for the world of fanfic, what’s worse than watching badly-written BDSM shoot up the bestseller lists?
Could it be… Boy band fan fiction? Penguin has picked up a story called Loving the Band, written by a 16-year-old “One Direction super-fan”. Maybe the cash will help take the sting out of the embarrassment she’ll feel about the thing in 5 to 10 years – assuming it proves even a fraction as sucessful as 50 Shades, anyway.
J.K. Rowling. The author’s first non-Harry Potter book, The Casual Vacancy, is coming out on tomorrow. ‘Cozy village mystery’ is not a genre we’d cover if Rowling wasn’t writing it, but there is an interesting profile in The New Yorker for the occasion. Naturally, the part that went viral was the quote about sex and unicorns, but if you’re in the mood for a 10-page profile on Jo Rowling, well. Meanwhile, she told The Guardian that she promised her editor she wouldn’t read Fifty Shades of Grey. If we don’t ask every woman in publishing about the ex-fanfic smut, does the ex-fanfic smut win?
Adaptions. The latest YA book on the hoping-to-be-the-next-Twilight-franchise assembly line, Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl’s Beautiful Creatures, debuted its first trailer last week, and it looks, well, like a gender-swapped Twilight. (She’s a witch; he’s normal.) I did read the book a while back, and was distinctly unimpressed. The movie features Viola Davis, Emma Thompson, Jeremy Irons and Emmy Rossum in supporting roles. Meanwhile, Dreamworks has optioned Leigh Bardugo’s Shadow and Bone. It will be produced by Harry Potter’s David Heyman.
Do not want. Robin Hobb is quietly working on a new Fitz novel, a prospect which fills me with dread. Her breakthrough Farseer Trilogy is all well and good, but the second set of Fitz books were probably about 90% chaff and whining. (Despite that, I think parts of the ending – not Fitz – did actually make me cry. YMMV.) Is the character going to be Hobb’s Lestat? Speaking of, Anne Rice is asking her fans why they want Lestat to come back. Dear lord, no. I could write whole essays for her second question.