Latest street date shuffle: Choices of One, Ascension, Heir to the Empire and Riptide

Del Rey announced a few schedule tweaks on Facebook today. The changes are due to “an adjustment to the book schedule as dictated by our publisher.”

Moving up are Zahn’s Choices of One (from July 19th to July 12th – the same day as one of the year’s most anticipated fantasy) and Golden’s Fate of the Jedi: Ascension (From August 23 to August 9.)

The pushbacks are just a tad more dramatic, sadly. Heir to the Empire: 20th Anniversary Edition moves the most, from June 28 to September 13 — the same week as the Blu-Rays. Kemp’s Riptide goes almost a full month, from September 27 to October 25.

Our release schedule has been updated.

Heir to the Empire annotation #8: Not quite ship-shape

Our eighth preview of Timothy Zahn’s Heir to the Empire annotations takes on the state of the Imperial fleet. There’s not a doubt in my mind that thisis from the first chapter.

I wanted to set up the Fleet as having suffered during the chaos and retreat of the years since Endor, slipping back from the generally efficient war machine shown in the movies to something less polished. Lieutenant Tschel was an example of the eager but inexperienced crewers that the Empire now had to whip into fighting shape, contrasting with Captain Pellaeon.

Heir to the Empire: 20th Anniversary Edition will be out in hardcover June 28.

New audio coming for Heir to the Empire anniversary?

NJOE discovered a new listing for an audiobook download called Heir to the Empire: Behind the Scenes. Set for release the same day as the annotated novel, the audio listing carries the subtitle of ‘An Expanded Universe is Born’ and credits for both author Timothy Zahn and the book’s original editor, Betsy Mitchell.

I suspect this will end up containing an interview/discussion about the book and it’s long-ranging influences of the Expanded Universe. Or, if we look to the new audiobook art lurking in the Random House database – a new, unabridged recording. (The image credits Marc Thompson as the reader — according to Wookieepedia — Denis Lawson read an abridged version back in the day.) We’ll have to wait for an official announcement to know for sure!

Heir to the Empire annotation #7: Pronunciation

Foreign pronunciation issues arise in our seventh preview of Tim Zahn’s Heir to the Empire annotations:

A small thing that I never would have anticipated, and never even knew before I was invited to a Star Wars convention in Munich: The “thr” combination apparently doesn’t exist in German, or so I was told. German Star Wars fans therefore have terrific difficulty pronouncing Thrawn’s name.

Pronunciation issues are fairly common in these books, even in English: Is it Mar-uh or Mare-ah? (Trust me: It’s Mar-uh.) How do you say C’baoth? Fey’lya? Damn apostrophes.

Heir to the Empire: 20th Anniversary Edition will be out in hardcover June 28.

Heir to the Empire annotation #6: Pellaeon

Our sixth preview of Tim Zahn’s Heir to the Empire annotations features the origin of Gilad Pellaeon’s name:

Pellaeon, by the way, was named after Pelleas, an idealistic young knight in the King Arthur mythos.

Although Pellaeon was never as flashy a character as Thrawn or Mara, he did go on to be a staple for much of the post-ROTJ EU.

As for those who fear that they’re burning off all the annotations on Facebook before the book is even out, Del Rey’s David Pomerico says in the comments that there will be nearly 200 in the whole book – and I believe we’re only getting 14.

Heir to the Empire: 20th Anniversary Edition will be out in hardcover June 28.

Heir to the Empire annotation #5: Rogue love

In our fifth peek at the annotations from the 20th anniversary edition of Heir to the Empire, Timothy Zahn talks about Wedge and the Rogues.

Rogue Squadron was half convenience and half a throwaway line — a unit I could move around wherever I needed it, with Wedge in command because anyone who can survive three Star Wars movies is welcome in my book any day. I would never in my wildest dreams have guessed how well and how far Mike Stackpole and, later, Aaron Allston would run with the whole idea.

The new edition’s release date was pushed back to June 28 earlier this week.

Heir to the Empire annotation #4: A larger galaxy

StarWarsBooks brings us our fourth Timothy Zahn annotation from the 20th anniversary edition of Heir to the Empire:

One of the subtle tricks George used in the Star Wars movies was to show us only a few different planets, but to then use throwaway mentions of others along the way, thus giving us a feel for a much larger galaxy than we were actually seeing. I wanted to continue that technique by throwing in short visits to lots of different worlds such as Bimmisaari.

The new edition will be out in hardcover June 21.

Heir to the Empire annotation #3: The Noghri

Our third look at Timothy Zahn’s annotations for the 20th anniversary edition of Heir to the Empire takes on the Noghri.

Originally, I had had Rukh and his fellows being Sith, keying off Vader’s title of Lord of the Sith. Since at that point the term hadn’t been defined, I figured I was safe. But Lucasfilm was concerned that George would want to use the Sith at some future date (which, as we all know, he did) and told me to pick som…e other term for them.

Heir to the Empire annotation #2: Talon Karrde

In our second early peek at Timothy Zahn’s Heir to the Empire annotations, he shares the origins of Karrde:

In some ways, Karrde is my vision of how Han might have ended up if he hadn’t dropped into the Mos Eisley cantina that afternoon for a quiet drink. Both men have a code of honor, especially toward their friends, and both are willing to be part of a larger group, though Han admittedly dragged …his feet a long time before getting to that place.

I’ve heard this one before, but honestly… I’m not sure I can see Han ever running – however reluctantly – something the size of Karrde’s operation. Thoughts?