“We can dream, can’t we?” Imagining our fantasy Zahn novel on Twitter

There’s been a lot of discussion lately about what’s wrong with the EU. That’s nothing new, but there’s only so much one can really take before you start wondering about alternatives instead of just pointless ranting. Luckily, a few of us on Twitter tonight have had… Some ideas. Well, one idea.

First off, Nancy found an old Timothy Zahn interview.

Then Austin jumped in:

And we may have taken it a little too far. (You can see all the commentary in my favorites.) But damn it, now I want this book. Because, basically:

A fun novel? With characters we know and love? With the ultimate fate of the galaxy not in play? Yes, please. Your move, Del Rey.

25 Replies to ““We can dream, can’t we?” Imagining our fantasy Zahn novel on Twitter”

  1. A dream Zahn novel? He’s not allowed to use any of his previous characters. I don’t CARE about C’Baoth or Mara indulgence anymore. Give us something fresh.

  2. Thanks, guys. Err. You’re welcome. And I should be thanking you, anyway. ;)

    Nathan, that’s pretty much what they’re doing, and why I can look at the upcoming books schedule and come up with only two novels I’m actually interested in for the next two years. One of which is a reprint. Whoo.

    I actually want to read about characters I give a shit about. Shocking, I know.

  3. Choices of One, though I’m actually somewhat ambivalent on it. And of course I’ll finish out FOTJ, but… Meh.

  4. Dunc – Thank us for fueling your EU desires that may never be fulfilled? ;) (Maybe this explains my newfound fanfic obsession…)

    I’m excited for CoO, if only because I sorely miss Mara and it’s not going to be a life or death novel.

  5. Dunc: The problem for me is that, yes, I want to read about characters I care about, but I want to read well done works about them, and Zahn has fallen into the “my earlier stuff was good, my later stuff is crap” trap that so often happens to media tie-in writers.

    In my opinion only, the Thrawn Trilogy was a groundbreaking return to the feel of the Classic Trilogy and a great relaunch into Star Wars. The Hand of Thrawn duology was a good conspiracy tale, though awkward at times. Then he disappeared for a while and returned with the utterly forgettable and (now that Outbound Flight has been released) entirely unnecessary Survivor’s Quest. Then we had the overly self-indulgent Outbound Flight that was a good twice the length it needed to be for the story it told. Then we were to get all excited for a throwaway classic era tale in Allegiance that, frankly, did zero for me and felt like Del Rey and Zahn just cashing in on his name as the first modern EU novel writer.

    I’d be all for a *good* Mara, Karrde, C’Baoth, etc. story. However, I don’t think Zahn has it in him anymore, based on his most recent three Star Wars novels. He has a 5/8 record for me, but, unfortunately, that 62.5% (which is at least better than 50/50) was entirely front-loaded.

    Frankly, the only reason I’ll buy Choices of One is because I’m one of those fans who is compulsive in collecting, reviewing, and timelining, and I’ll buy whatever they put out there . . . which makes me precisely the kind of fan that allows substandard works to be published at times in the first place. That makes me either a hypocrite, an idiot, or perhaps both, but at I prefer the term “dedicated.”

  6. Outbound Flight bored me to tears, but I knew it would going in. (PT era? Thrawn? C’boath? I got it at the library.) However, I liked Survivor’s Quest. No, it wasn’t some amazing ground-breaking Star Wars novel, but it was a self-contained story featuring characters I’m interested in, and I enjoyed it. Which is all one can really ask for.

  7. @Nathan: Perhaps the fault lies not so much with Zahn as it does with the Del Rey editorial staff and the switch from Bantam. I don’t find it coincidental (although I very much enjoyed Survivor’s Quest, even if it was not up to Zahn’s earlier work, solely for being a thousand times better than the other drek churned out by Del Rey with a Star Wars label slapped on it.)

  8. I’d like to see a lot more stuff set in the underworld, so stories featuring Han, Chewie, Lando and the underworld fraternity pre-A New Hope would be great. We all knew Han was a top smuggler (even though he certainly overplayed his importance to a large degree – fastest ship/best smuggler/best with a blaster – nah) but apart from the original brian Daley trilogy (still my fave and biggest inspiration in my fanfic) and the second Crispin trilogy we’ve seen very little of what propelled him up the ranks to being such a key smuggler for Jabba.
    Similarly Lando – there’s a whole subsection of SW stories waiting to be mined, that doesn’t hinge on The Force or wider galactic politics.

  9. I actually would love to see a novel with Luke, Mara, and Ben, just as Zahn in another interview stated he would very much like to do. Set between the Troy Dennings Dark Nest trilogy and LOTF, due to the killing off of Mara in LOTF. It could also be situated between NJO and Dark Nest, but in that case Ben would have to be pretty small, and less of an individual bevause of that.

    I can’t agree with Nathan that Survivor’s Quest and Outbound flight are totally unforgettable. I liked them both, especially Survivor’s Quest. True, Allegiance was less interesting than Zahn’s other Star Wars novels, but I certainly don’t feel all the best came first. And who knows, Choices of One – even though with the same characters as in Allegiance, might turn out better.

    Certainly well-known characters should and could be included. I haven’t got fed up with Thrawn, Dorian, Karrde, or even Jinks at all! but, the introduction of new ones is also welcome.

  10. Perhaps I’m biased, but I really enjoyed Survivor’s Quest. I thought it was a fun adventure story and it was really nice to have an L/M book. (Plus, the opening scene was awesome.) Outbound Flight is my second favorite EU book, which says a lot because I generally do not like prequel books. But there was just something about that book that I loved. Allegiance was not my favorite, but it was fun, and it was a breath of fresh air to see our heroes young again, not to mention seeing Mara as the Emperor’s Hand and her interactions with Vader.

    While I want my Smugglerathon book so badly I cannot even put it into words, I would love any return to “the good old days” of the New Republic.

  11. Any Luke+Mara book filling in the gaps of their relationship before and/or after marriage; any book that fills in some of the gaps of Mara’s life before ‘Hand of Thrawn’ – one with Lando would be brilliant.
    And one without any major character death – a book doesn’t need to kill off someone to be good. Adventure, humour, excitment and wee bit of romance for us Geekgirls would be nice – everything doesn’t have to be life and death all the time surely?!
    Would LOVE a book with Luke,Mara nd Ben either before Dark Nest or after. I really enjoyed Survivours Quest, but each to their own I guess. There just aren’t enough Luke and Mara stories – at least not for me!!

  12. If I’m not mistaken Zahn once mentioned that he would like to write a tale of the Chiss/Vong conflict. THAT would be the book all right. Though mighty Chiss would shurely crush ’em.

    I liked both SQ and OBF but Allegiance not so much, the reasons are numerous. The fact that CoO will be a sequel – can’t say it’s exciting.

  13. Ben Skywalker: The character I have never been interested in. I’d much prefer a book where the adults play and the kids stay home.

  14. That is a book that I would absolutely love to read. I’m all for DelRay launching into a series of smaller self-contained adventures in the next few years. Something where we can get back into the swing of having our protagonists be younger people fighting a clearer enemy. Honestly, while “Millennium Falcon” ended up being kind of a flop, smaller, more contained stories like “Tattooine Ghost,” “Death Troopers,” and “Shadows of Mindor” have been some of my favorite Star Wars books of the past decade or so.

    I’d also love to see the franchise branch out a little more and start to do some stories about new and different types of characters, if only to give us some new takes on older events. I don’t know if anyone else picked it up or not, but I’ve been reading the “Knight Errant” novelization and it’s amazingly refreshing if only because the Kerra Holt and Brigadier Rusher are new characters.

    Don’t get me wrong, I love Han and Luke and Leia to death, but there have to be some other people in the galaxy who are interesting enough to be worth writing about.

  15. Agree with doyle ther, fresh characters looking at familiar events (from a certain point of view you might say) would certainly be of interest- and potentially fill some gaps

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