Production notes and trivia from my experiences on works including
Star Wars: A New Dawn • Star Wars: Kenobi • Star Wars: Knight Errant
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic • Star Wars: Lost Tribe of the Sith
Star Trek • Mass Effect • Overdraft • Iron Man & more!
March 8th, 2017
Tuesday this week marked ten years that I've been writing full-time — and 100+ comics and nine novels (depending on how you count them) later, I'm still at it. This week adds a couple of releases to the shelf — or, rather, one book and one audiobook.
First off, Wednesday sees the release from Marvel of Star Wars Legends Epic Collection: The Old Republic Vol. 2, comprising issues #19-37 of the Knights of the Old Republic comics series — and some firsts. As with Vol. 1, for example, it includes the six "Holofeed"-style in-universe articles I wrote for the series' second year, located exactly where they should be in continuity. Articles include The Admiral's List, the bounty-hunter blog The Adjudicator, and the Taris Holofeed.
And then — and I'm really happy about this — the book reprints the Knights of the Old Republic Handbook from 2007 in its entirety. (Yes, including Malak's name-that-really-wasn't, a red herring that was only supposed to be in continuity for maybe a couple of months. That was a couple of months too long!) Best of all, it includes Dustin Weaver's amazing cross-sections of the Last Resort and the Moomo Williwaw, which remains one of the crazier things I've ever seen.
The book is available now from your comic shop and Things From Another World; it'll be out slightly later from Amazon and your mass-market bookseller. I'll also have a supply of these available soon in my shop. You can also check out my notes on the issues in the book here.
In the meantime, something else new: The audiobook for Star Trek: Prey Book 2 - The Jackal's Trick is now available from Simon & Schuster Audio. Narrated by Robert Petkoff, it's an unabridged rendition of the book, and another recording I consulted quite a bit on. You can listen to an excerpt here, but beware spoilers for Book 1:
Book 3 will be out a month later. You can find Book 2 at Audible and iTunes.
Some quick event notes: over the next few weeks, I'll be at Midsouthcon in Memphis, Galaxy Comics' 10th Anniversary in Stevens Point, Wis., and, yes, at Star Wars Celebration in Orlando. Actually quite a lot of events to report on, so I'll do a longer post on those soon.
February 7th, 2017
The audiobook for the critically acclaimed first book in my Star Trek: Prey trilogy is now available from iTunes and Audible!
Robert Petkoff narrates the whole trilogy, and it's a lot of fun to listen to. I worked with the producers on a lot of the pronunciations, as did my Klingon-language advisor for the series. You can hear a clip from it below, in which Captain Picard hears a voice from the past:
Books 2 and 3 release a month apart and are available for preorder now. These books represent the fifth, sixth, and seventh audiobooks of my work; it's great to hear my words performed!
January 17th, 2017
Winter is in full swing here in the wilds of Wisconsin, along with a pretty hairy ice storm that's hours old as I write this. Fortunately I'm inside, writing away — and speaking of hairy, I have new reading material in the new Planet of the Apes: Tales from the Forbidden Zone anthology from Titan Books!
Edited by Rich Handley and Jim Beard, the book draws upon the original five Apes movies plus the TV material. In the case of my own story, "Murderers' Row," television plays a part, inspired as it was by Escape from Planet of the Apes, in which Cornelius and Zira travel to 1973.
It's The Player meets Planet as a TV producer works to try to get the apes into a series — while only slowly becoming aware of the dire situation that they're in. Folks who follow me on Twitter and Facebook know what a fan of TV trivia I am; this story really gave me the chance to have fun, which is really what writing — and reading! — should be all about.
Speaking of Kevin Anderson, I appeared for his Wordfire Press outfit at Paradise City Comic Con in Fort Lauderdale in early December. One of the highlights there (besides the warmer weather!) was a nice conversation with Tim Russ, whose Tuvok character plays a major role in the Star Trek: Prey trilogy. Another was being inducted into the 1701st Fleet, a costuming organization devoted to Star Trek. Live long and prosper!
Wisconsin Public Radio's Route 51 show, where I got to talk about Star Trek, Star Wars, and science fiction in general. You can hear the archived interview here.
And finally, I at long last launched my newly redesigned Comichron website, the world's largest public database of comic book sales figures for the North American market. Tables on new pages have searching and sorting capabilities, something which has been on my wish list for a very long time. Be sure to pop over and take the site for a spin!
There'll be more news as the year progresses — just as soon as I can get to my mailbox without ice skates!
December 27th, 2016
We all learned a few hours ago that Carrie Fisher passed away today, following a heart attack on Friday.
|Photo by Riccardo Ghilardi|
This has been a trying year for many people I know on a number of scores; the seemingly large number of well-known people dying has been salt in the wound. It's easy to reason intellectually about that: we're now more than sixty years out from the spread of television across the country, and with it, a vast explosion in the number of entertainers, sports figures, and others who are Household Names. But understanding where storms come from doesn't do much to assuage your feelings about those they sweep away.
An hour out from learning the news — and knowing that we're in the end-of-December period for the news media during which canned articles on the year past are everywhere — I'm already dreading seeing headlines about how 2016 claimed both a Prince and Princess. It's the sort of coy cleverness that repackages grief into something snappy for a news-network chyron or soundbite. It also gets at me because I had a harder time with Prince's death than any celebrity passing to date — and I can see what's coming in the days and weeks ahead. It might be the same — or it might not. I'll tell you why.
People didn't know how big a Prince fan I was. Purple Rain was the album playing on my first date, Prince's songs the ones the cover band was playing at my junior prom. For the Generation X'er with an MTV subscription, he was ever-present; Touré has written a great book about that. Losing someone so young — just two days older than my sister — wrecked me for a good while, and I know why: All my other fandoms I live out publicly, but when it comes to music, I've always kept my tastes to my headphones and the inside of my car. In part, that's because I like so much eclectic stuff that as a kid I figured I'd get hassled; my comics and science fiction fandoms were similarly under wraps for a long while.
Eventually those wrappings did come off for comics and science fiction, with me able to celebrate my likes in fanzines and at conventions — and later by writing my own material professionally. Music, however, I kept personal; apart from one article for Comics Buyer's Guide deconstructing Prince's Batman album and the comics he'd licensed — how delighted I was that he not only did something related to my other world, but took it seriously! — I never wrote anything about his music, or the man himself.
I never wrote Leia Organa as a character, either — nor did I ever meet Carrie Fisher, whom I saw many times at conventions, always across the venue, surrounded by a crowd of her admirers. But by contrast, I feel like I've expressed my thoughts about her Star Wars performance plenty of times, in a lot of different ways.
Certainly through my writing: has anyone not noticed that in all the Star Wars stories I've done — from Knights of the Old Republic through New Dawn, the female leads are tougher than all the guys? That comes from somewhere, from the strength and attitude Carrie gave to Leia. Even Rae Sloane — ostensibly a villain — trades on the archetype of confidence and competence that Carrie Fisher created. I'm thankful to have had that example.
So to an extent, I've had at least some opportunity to put my feelings about the character she played into words. I haven't had the same chance when it comes to talking about the woman herself and her other work, though — and I'd like to rectify that. I'm big into Hollywood history, as a lot of people know, and as Debbie Reynolds' and Eddie Fisher's daughter, Carrie lived a life surrounded by it and part of it. Practically every other entertainment biography I've read covering the 1970s forward has her in it somewhere, being fascinating around other fascinating people, in fields from comedy to music. (Just look at the wide range of reactions from names you know here.)
She's everywhere on screen as well — the kids and I watched When Harry Met Sally just the other day — and her own writing is terrific. I've been meaning to watch Postcards from the Edge again for a long time. I have several of her books on my shelves.
|Ringo and Carrie|
She'll be getting many memorials written over the next few days, many far more personal and informed than this. I urge you to read them. I can't describe the anguish on my social media feeds right now; hopefully, those pieces will help. For myself, I'm hoping the fact that I've been able to celebrate Star Wars and her performance in print will make this easier this time around — but I just don't know. I'm just thankful I had her inspiration to draw from. I'm also thankful she came back for the sequel films, and that hopefully we'll have another performance to see.
But there should have been many more.
November 29th, 2016
The quest is complete! The third book of my monthly trilogy for fall, Star Trek: Prey - The Hall of Heroes, is now on sale everywhere in paperback and e-book form.
I've written a lot about the trilogy — including, most recently, on the official Star Trek blog, where I discussed the "Emperor without Victories: The Case of Kahless the Clone. I've also done quite a lot of podcasts in recent days, including the latest one, with JediBrian. But here's the cover copy as a quick summation:
Continuing the milestone 50th anniversary celebration of Star Trek—an epic new trilogy that stretches from the events of The Original Series movie The Search for Spock to The Next Generation!
The Klingon Empire stands on the precipice. In the wake of violence from the cult known as the Unsung, paranoia threatens to break Chancellor Martok’s regime. Klingons increasingly call for a stronger hand to take control...one that Lord Korgh, master manipulator, is only too willing to offer.
But other forces are now in motion. Assisted by a wily agent, the Empire’s enemies secretly conspire to take full advantage of the situation. Aboard the USS Titan, Admiral William T. Riker realizes far more than the Federation’s alliance with the Klingons is in danger. With the Empire a wounded animal, it could either become an attacker—or a target.
Read more »