Tosche Station on Location: Dragon Con 2015 – How I Would Have Written TFA


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From Dragon Con day three, it’s the How I Would Have Written The Force Awakens panel featuring authors Mike Stackpole, Timothy Zahn, Kevin J. Anderson, and Rebecca Moesta. Paula Rosenberg moderates.

The authors going off absolutely zero knowledge of the film make a pitch for what they think Episode VII could be about.

Tosche Station on Location: Dragon Con 2015 – Star Wars Mythos


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From Dragon Con Day One is the Star Wars Mythos panel featuring Expanded Universe authors Mike Stackpole, Timothy Zahn, Kevin J. Anderson, and Rebecca Moesta. Moderating was Bryan Young.

Kickstarter: War of the Seasons by Janine Spendlove

Last week we were fortunate to have author and all-around awesome human being Janine Spendlove on the podcast. Janine is the author of War of the Seasons, a YA fantasy trilogy that both Nanci and I have greatly enjoyed. Today, she’s kickstarting the launch of the third and final book in that series.

If you’ve read the first two War of the Seasons novels, you can contribute to this kickstarter to get either an ebook or a print version (depending on the contribution level) of the third book. If you haven’t read the prior two novels, you can get those included as ebooks for a $15 or greater contribution or as print novels for $50.

As is the case with many kickstarters, there are bonuses for hitting some stretch goals. Among them? Short stories set in the War of the Seasons universe that will be penned by Star Wars Expanded Universe authors Aaron Allston and Mike Stackpole.

Other stretch goal authors that may wind up contributing short stories both in the War of the Seasons universe and outside of it are Bryan Young, Cleolinda Jones, Albin Johnson (founding of the 501st), and Maggie Allen.

EU Retrospective: The Jedi Academy

I’ll go ahead and fess up before we even start this.  I like these books.  Actually, I love these books.  In fact, these books have a very special place in my heart because they are the reason why I tumbled head first into the Expanded Universe.  Dark Apprentice is the first Star Wars book I stumbled upon after my grandmother bought me two random Young Jedi Knights books.  The YJK had already made me fall in love with the Solo twins, Tenel Ka, and Lowbacca and when nine-year-old Bria picked up Dark Apprentice for the first time, there was no turning back.  I do recognize that these books certainly have their faults but I could never hate them.  Instead, I am forever grateful to Kevin J. Anderson for writing books that were my gateway drug.  Therefore you have been warned of my nostalgia for this trilogy.  Onward!

Jedi Search
In retrospect, it’s possible that this trilogy is what started my “Han and Leia are the worst parents ever” way of thinking.  I do, however, make this comment with love for the Solo family to my friends.  But seriously: why would you ever let these two raise your daughter?  (I’m looking at you, Tenel Ka.)  Somewhere out there about ohhhh 30 years farther into the time line, Winter is shaking her head and saying “It’s not my fault” for what happened with the Solo children.

Okay, I shall stop ragging on the Solo’s questionable parenting skills.  For now.

The subtitle of this book should probably be “Han Solo Has A Series Of Really Bad Days”.  Honestly, it takes some serious talent to go from getting tossed into the spice mines of Kessel to stumbling into a secret Imperial research facility and being subjected to interrogation.  On the other hand, he does manage to escape intact and with a new sidekick.  Shut up, I love Kyp Durron.  He gets the long con character development over the course of the EU and I love it so freaking much.

As for Luke, it’s about darn time he decided to try and rebuild the Jedi Order!  I get that he’s worried about having a new Vader on his hands but I would’ve thought that Luke would’ve gotten over his worries there earlier.  But then again, I’m always surprised when Leia isn’t more trained in the Jedi arts than she is.

The blob races, on the other hand, make me laugh because of how ridiculous they are.  Really?  Blobs?  You didn’t even try on that one, KJA.  Aside from that though, I find the book to still be an enjoyable read.

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EU Retrospective: Thrawn Trilogy

Ahhhh the Thrawn books.  Honestly, is there anything more classic than Zahn’s trilogy when it comes to the Expanded Universe?  If you’re here for the snark, you’ll have to wait a little bit longer because between these three books and another X-Wing novel?  I have nothing but praise this go-round.  (Shocking, I know.)

Heir to the Empire
One of the first things that occurred to me while I was reading this book is how much the Star Wars universe owes to Timothy Zahn.  There is so much about the universe that I just take for granted that I’m now realizing/remembering is all thanks to Zahn.  Coruscant?  Zahn.  Personalities for character who really only cameoed in the films but are integral parts of the EU?  Zahn.  Bringing Wedge Antilles to the forefront?  Zahn.  Introducing the best character ever, aka Winter?  Zahn.  I mean, I’m not saying that Zahn is god but the amount of canon he contributed is amazing.

What I love about this book and the entire trilogy is that the story still clearly feels like Star Wars but still has its own tale to tell.  It’s not a rehashing of the Emperor or Vader because the villains have their own motivations and characterizations.  (I’ll save my ‘Why I love Pellaeon’ ramble for another post.)  Thrawn is most certainly his own character who takes a very different approach to winning the war than any other Imperial we’ve seen before.  It’s pretty cool that he can study art and figure out how someone will react.  And then you have C’boath who is just bonkers.  His original model wasn’t much of a charmer to begin with so this probably shouldn’t be surprising.

And then we have the introduction of the ever fabulous Mara Jade.  If there are people in our universe who dislike her, I don’t want to know about them.  I positively adore everything about her and what she brings to the story.  I’m also a huge fan of Talon Karrde and his smuggling organization that doubles as the best intelligence agency not controlled by a government.  I’d happily read a book all about Karrde and his organization.  Pretty please, Del Ray?  Also, I will admit to also not really getting the Wild Karrde joke either until a few years ago because I pronounced the ‘e’ in my mind.  Nanci isn’t alone here.

Of course, all the familiar characters are always great to read about.  Zahn clearly gets Luke, Han, Leia, and Lando and writes them all quite well.  Plus, I think he did a great job of bringing each of them five years forward from Endor so we see the same characters but we also get to see a logical progression for each one.

The story is good too.  It’s a set up novel for the rest of the trilogy but never feels like it’s only there as exposition because it has its own tale to tell before the final page is turned.  Enjoyable all around.

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X-Wing Retrospective: Isard’s Revenge

­­­­­­The eighth book in the series marks a rather dramatic departure from what we’ve seen to this point. Gone are the multi-book arcs. Instead, the final two novels in the original nine-book run are more standalone tales. The first of these books is Isard’s Revenge, Michael Stackpole’s return to the franchise after taking time away to write I, Jedi. Perhaps more importantly, it’s a return to the tales and adventures of Rogue Squadron, the new Republic’s premier military outfit.

When you’re a part of Rogue Squadron, danger and the impossible are all part of the job description. That’s no different in Isard’s Revenge, which means the Rogues and the readers had best strap in for another white-knuckle adventure.

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X-Wing Retrospective Part 4: The Bacta War

 So, now we’ve reached the end of the initial run of the X-Wing series.  The Bacta War is the capstone to Mike Stackpole’s work on start of the series and it represents, to me, some of the highest points of all four books.  The tone of these books is different than the books in the past have been and for very good reason.

After we were left with the end of The Krytos Trap, many of us were on edge, disbelieving what happened and completely ove awed by the possibilities.  Please be aware, once you cross this jump, you are deep into spoiler territory.

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X-Wing Retrospective Part 3: The Krytos Trap

Quite honestly, I had forgotten how much I enjoyed The Krytos Trap.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve always known this book is quality. I just had it in my head for a long time that of this four-book arc, Wedge’s Gamble was my favorite of the bunch. That changed about two years ago when I went back and re-read through a bunch of my favorite Expanded Universe novels from the Bantam Spectra era. It had been a little while since I’d read through the X-Wing books* and my memory was a little fuzzy. Suffice to say, the third entry in the X-Wing series was significantly better than the already positive memory I had in my head.

*College. Instead I got to read fine literature like “Cybersecurity Ethics.”

(Head to the jump to continue reading)

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X-Wing eBook Bundle Pricing and Date Announced

Earlier today, Roqoo Depot noticed that the X-Wing series eBook bundle finally got a date and price. You’ll be able to buy the original nine-book series on July 30th for $56.99, or about $6.33 per book. That’s a little more than a $1.50 discount each.

I’ll definitely be placing a pre-order for this, but I’d also echo what Dunc said over at Club Jade. An X-Wing trade paperback reissue would be pretty shiny and I do hope we see that one day. That said, if you’re considering getting into the X-Wing books for the first time or you’re looking to re-read them, the eBook bundle looks to be a pretty solid deal.

Win A Copy of ‘Time Traveled Tales’

Good news: Authors like Janine Spendlove, Mike Stackpole, Aaron Allston, Tim Zahn, and Bryan Young teamed up to put together a nifty anthology of short stories centered around time travel!

Bad news: The anthology was limited to a 500 quantity run and was exclusive to the Origins Game Convention, so you can’t buy it.

Good news (for one lucky person): I went and bought an extra copy to give away!

How can you claim it? Simple! Follow our Twitter account and retweet this message. We’ll select a winner at random.