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Preview: Faraway Looks: The Blog of John Jackson Miller

Faraway Press: The Online Home of John Jackson Miller

News and production notes from New York Times-bestselling science fiction author John Jackson Miller

Updated: 2018-04-22T12:04:40.497-05:00


I return to Star Wars comics in IDW's STAR WARS ADVENTURES ANNUAL 2018!


Jedi are trained diplomats, but farmboys? Not so much! But Luke has to learn in a hurry as he's forced to pinch-hit for Leia on a diplomatic mission of major importance to the protocol-obsessed Sarkans — and even Threepio might not be enough to save him from starting an intergalactic incident! Will Leia have to bail him out?

I share the story in Star Wars Adventures Annual 2018, releasing April 4 from IDW to comics shops everywhere. I'd spoken of my return to Star Wars comics last fall with a story I'd just written; rather than serialize the tale, IDW decided to showcase it by building a special edition around it, with some additional surprises. My story is drawn by Jon Sommariva, who also drew the cover at right. The issue releases April 4. It's got order code FEB180374 when you request it at your comics shop.

It's terrific seeing the Annual happen, and fun to see it announced twelve years to the week after Knights of the Old Republic #1 went on sale. Luke Skywalker was in some ways a template for Zayne Carrick; it's delightful to get to write the character himself. Amazingly, apart from one flash-forward page in KOTOR #25, I'd never written Luke, Leia, or the droids before. And this story is actually a spin on one of the earliest Star Wars ideas I'd ever concocted, but never had the chance to write. I can't wait to see it!

There'll be preorder links here once they're available, but you'll be able to order the book starting in February from your retailer.

Also, I recently announced that I'd be at Emerald City Comic Con in Seattle March 1-4, appearing for Del Rey — that's a convention I've never attended before and had always wanted to visit. Well, there's some additional news: I'll be at the charity Worldbuilders Party, a gaming event from 7-11pm on March 2.

There will be games, snacks, and a silent auction, all to raise money for charity. Tickets are available at If you've ever wanted to play me in a Pazaak game — as seen in the KOTOR computer game and my own Canto Bight book — now's your chance!

Finally, closer to home, I have a library event Saturday, Feb. 3 at the Little Chute Library in Little Chute, Wis. Click for details!

Deal the cards -- STAR WARS: CANTO BIGHT hits the shelves!


Star Wars: Canto Bight is now on sale, in hardcover, ebook, and audiobook!Four interconnected novellas describe the casino world from Star Wars: The Last Jedi, where the wealthy and powerful go to escape (and ignore) the galaxy's troubles. All stories set the same night! I'm joined by Saladin Ahmed, Rae Carson, and Seanan McGuire (writing as Mira Grant). The audiobook's great, with my story, "The Ride," read by Jonathan Davis, who previously read Star Wars: Kenobi; Marc Thompson, who read A New Dawn,  reads Rae Carson's "Hear Nothing, See Nothing, Say Nothing." Sean Kenin reads Saladin Ahmed's "The Rules of the Game," and  Saskia Maarleveld reads Mira Grant's "The Wine in Dreams."I should have copies in my store shortly, but in the meantime you can obtain your copy at your local bookstore, or here:HARDCOVERAmazon Barnes & NobleBooks-a-MillionIndieboundE-BOOKKindleiTunesAUDIOBOOKAmazonBarnes & NobleBooks-a-MillionYou can also read about the book in my interview now online at the official Star Wars site.And one more release for January: Halo: Rise of Atriox #5 for Dark Horse ties in with the the leader of the Banished group as seen in the Halo Wars 2 video game.[...]

Fall update: Two new Star Wars books, new Star Wars comics, Halo, and more!


There's been a whole bunch of news, and things have only slowed down long enough now for me to be able to post about them: This week sees the release of Star Wars: From A Certain Point of View, in which I have a story about the Tusken Raiders we see in Star Wars: A New Hope. This charity edition supports First Book, a literacy organization, and includes stories from more than 40 different authors.I'm appearing with no less than eighteen of them later this week at New York Comic-Con; that event is sold out. But you can obtain the book from the following locations:HARDCOVERAmazonBarnes & NobleBooks-a-MillionIndieboundE-BOOKKindleNookiTunesAUDIOBOOKAmazonAudibleBarnes & NobleBooks-a-MillionBut there's a free event Friday at 4 in which I'll be talking about Star Wars: Canto Bight, the hardcover Last Jedi tie-in that I'm in with Saladin Ahmed, Rae Carson, and Mira Grant. And speaking of that, we have a cover for that book, as seen here. It's out on December 5, preorder here:HARDCOVERAmazon Barnes & NobleBooks-a-MillionIndieboundE-BOOKKindleiTunesAUDIOBOOKAmazonBarnes & NobleBooks-a-MillionAnother bit of news broke in September; I have a story coming up in Star Wars Adventures, the new kids' comics series from IDW. It's my first work for the company, and something else that's been long in coming: my first story about Luke and Leia. I'll post the release date when the story is scheduled.I have some more Halo comics coming: one in October, one in December. I wrote Halo: Rise of Atriox #3 and #5 for Dark Horse, stories tying in with the the leader of the Banished group as seen in the Halo Wars 2 video game. That's the cover of issue 5, seen at right.On the event side, I'll be appearing at an event at the Menomonee Falls Public Library near Milwaukee on October 28. Catch me at the Falls Library Comic Fest that day. More events are scheduled for the fall; details later.That's it for now: I realize I'm way behind on putting up my production notes for previous works, but this happens when I'm busy on making new ones![...]

Announcing my LAST JEDI tie-in, CANTO BIGHT -- plus some film news!


I'm part of The Journey to Star Wars: The Last Jedi! As announced in Entertainment Weekly's article and at Comic-Con International: San Diego, I'm one of four authors giving viewers a look at Canto Bight, the playground for the rich seen in this December's Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Star Wars: Canto Bight releases as a hardcover, audiobook, and ebook on December 5, a week before the film opens.I'm joined by authors Rae Carson, Saladin Ahmed, and Mira Grant — and that is about all I can say about the four novellas we'll be presenting. But preorder links are already up at Amazon and Barnes & Noble, so order away:Amazon hardcover Amazon Kindle e-book Amazon Audio CDsBarnes & Noble hardcover Barnes & Noble Nook e-book Barnes & Noble audio CDsThe B&N links still use the book's pre-publicity code-name, but will be replaced with the correct title shortly. I am also sure there will be Audible, Indiebound, and iTunes links before long.I have created a page for the book here on the site when more information is available. There's also a page now with preorder links and information for October's Star Wars: From a Certain Point of View. That one's getting an audiobook too.In other news from San Diego, I've always been delighted whenever the Marvel Cinematic Universe draws from my Iron Man comics — mainly, because the nature of the storyline meant that I introduced very few super-powered characters who might be drawn upon. So I was tickled when years after my first Iron Man story arc, "The Best Defense," was released, the reporter I introduced, Christine Everhart, appeared in a prominent role in the first Iron Man movie (where she was played by Leslie Bibb) and later appeared in the sequel and various official web videos.Turns out that storyline has been tapped again: the villain from that arc, Sonny Burch, was named by Marvel at San Diego as one of the principal characters in next year's Ant-Man & The Wasp.Burch in my story was a former Cross Technologies exec who went to work for the Pentagon, where he used patent law to legally seize all Tony Stark's Iron Man armor technology for the government; in my story, Tony decided the only way to regain control would be to serve as Secretary of Defense, which he eventually did, thwarting Burch. Tony would hold that position for my 2003-4 run on the book.Walton Goggins of "Justified" and "Hateful Eight" will play an apparently much younger Burch, who's associated again with Cross Technologies, which we saw in the first Ant-Man film. It's fun seeing that original story's characters turning up years later. Click to read more about the "Best Defense" arc.[...]

My next Halo work appears in HALO: RISE OF ATRIOX!


It's was an insanely busy April for me, event-wise, with Galaxy Comics' Anniversary Star Trek Day in Memphis followed by Star Wars: Celebration in Orlando and Planet Comicon in Kansas City — and May starts out busy, too, with two events in the Chicago area May 6...

12 p.m.: Algonquin Public Library

3 p.m.: Arlington Heights Public Library
...and then another at the Portage County Public Library in downtown Stevens Point, Wis., on the 13th.

But there's always time for an announcement — and this one's just been made by the Halo Waypoint blog. Following my first Halo comics story in Halo: Tales from Slipspace, I'm joining the writers on the Halo: Rise of Atriox series, which debuts in August and chronicles the career of the warlord from Halo Wars 2.

There'll be more details about my specific material in the series later, but the first issue can already be preordered at your local shop and here. The series launches on August 2.

I return to Tatooine in October in FROM A CERTAIN POINT OF VIEW -- and to Star Wars Celebration next week!


Quite a lot of news to tell! First of all -- teased yesterday as #OperationBlueMilk, Del Rey and have announced my next Star Wars story in the Star Wars: From a Certain Point of View anthology. You can find the official announcement here, and also below:When Star Wars: A New Hope was first released in 1977, part of its appeal was that the world it presented felt alive. Landspeeders and starships were dirty. Droids broke down. And it was filled with cool, weird, and really weird background characters. (Really, just take a look around the Mos Eisley cantina.) Never mind Han, Luke, Leia, Darth Vader, and Obi-Wan. Who were these other guys? What was their story? Just seeing them brought up questions for fans that sparked the imagination. In celebration of Star Wars’ 40th anniversary, Del Rey is going to shine the spotlight on those unsung weirdos, heroes, and villains with a unique, new anthology. Star Wars: From a Certain Point of View, coming October 2017, will bring together more than 40 authors for 40 stories. Each will be told from the perspective of background characters of A New Hope — from X-wing pilots who helped Luke destroy the Death Star to the stormtroopers who never quite could find the droids they were looking for. The lineup of authors includes...Ben Acker & Ben BlackerRenee AhdiehTom AnglebergerMeg CabotRae Carson Adam Christopher Zoraida Cordova Delilah S. Dawson Paul Dini Alexander Freed Jason Fry Christie Golden EK Johnston & Ashley Eckstein Paul Kemp Mur Lafferty Ken Liu Griffin McElroy John Jackson Miller Nnedi Okorafor Daniel José Older Mallory Ortberg Madeleine Roux Gary D. Schmidt Cavan Scott Sabaa Tahir Glen Weldon Chuck Wendig Gary Whitta Heh! Glen Weldon just interviewed me yesterday for NPR about something unrelated. Small galaxy!As noted, all author proceeds will be donated to First Book — a leading nonprofit that provides new books, learning materials, and other essentials to educators and organizations serving children in need. "To further celebrate the launch of this book and both companies’ longstanding relationships with First Book, Penguin Random House has donated $100,000 to First Book, and Disney/Lucasfilm has donated 100,000 children’s books — valued at 1 million dollars — to support First Book and their mission of providing educational resources to children in need. Over the past 16 years, Disney has donated more than 57 million books to First Book."Oh, yes, and as to my story? Well, as the headline indicates, I'll be making a return trip to the Jundland Wastes of Tatooine. Now that's a name I've not heard in a long time... a long time.So that one's available this October. Random House's preorder link is here; Amazon's link is here. More soon. Next, I have several appearances this month to mention.• First, on this coming Saturday, April 8, I will be appearing at Shelby County Star Trek Day in Memphis. That's at the Fox and Hound on Sanderlin; it starts at 11 a.m. and I speak at noon.• Next, there's the ever-popular Star Wars Celebration — my fifth! This returns to Orlando the weekend of the 13th to the 16th. My signing schedule:Friday, April 1412:30 p.m. to 1:30Signing at the Barnes & Noble booth, #2022Books will be available for saleSaturday, April 153:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.Signing at the Del Rey booth, #2522Free giveaway of New Dawn mass-market paperback, while they lastI also will be there for a variety of podcasts and other events.• Finally in April, you will find me at Kansas City's own Planet ComiCon, my first time there. That's from April 28-30. I'll post more info on my Twitter and Facebook pages as it becomes available.And now, some more Star Trek to speak of. The third and final volume of Star Trek: Prey is now out in audiobook form, once again ably narrated by Robert Petko[...]

Jackal's Trick audiobook out -- and The Old Republic Vol. 2 from Marvel!


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.

(image) 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:

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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.

Star Trek: Prey Book 1 - Hell's Heart audiobook now available!


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:

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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!

Dispatches from Ice Planet Wisconsin!


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.The book includes stories by Kevin J. Anderson and Jonathan Maberry, as well as fellow Star Trek fiction alums Greg Cox, Robert Greenberger, and Dayton Ward.  You can get Tales from the Forbidden Zone in trade paperback or ebook form; it releases generally on January 24.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!I also closed out 2016 with a return trip to 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![...]

Of royalty lost: Remembering Carrie Fisher


We all learned a few hours ago that Carrie Fisher passed away today, following a heart attack on Friday.Photo by Riccardo Ghilardi My initial response — on social media and off — was that I had no words. In fact, I probably have too many. I will try to organize a few now. It probably won't help, but it's better to do something than nothing.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[...]

Star Trek Prey concludes! Enter... The Hall of Heroes!


(image) 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 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 »

My first Halo comics appear in Tales from Slipspace!


(image) Halo turned fifteen on November 15 — so it's fun to be right there kicking off Year 16! I'm delighted to announce that my first Halo comics story has just arrived in comics shops.

The Halo: Tales from Slipspace hardcover contains "Undefeated," a post-Halo: Guardians story by myself and artist Eric Nguyen — with colors and letters by my Knights of the Old Republic colleagues Michael Atiyeh and Michael Heisler. 

You can find the book at your local comics shop — or at Things from Another World. It will also be available on November 29 from Amazon and in your local bookstore. And you can get signed copies from me now at my shop.

(image) Fractures: Extraordinary Tales from the Halo Canon. Now available as well in audiobook!
And don't miss my first Halo prose story, in

One more video game comic offering to report on: while it releases two weeks later in the mass market, comics shop patrons today can get the Mass Effect Omnibus Vol. 1, which contains the first three graphic novels I did for the series, Redemption, Evolution, and Invasion. That one's also from Dark Horse Comics.

Next signings for me are at House of Heroes in Oshkosh, Wis., on November 19 from 1-4 p.m. Then I'll be in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. December 9-11 for Paradise City Comic Con. Look for me at the Wordfire Press booth.

Trick or treat! STAR TREK: PREY Book 2: THE JACKAL'S TRICK now on sale!


Trick or treat — or trick and treat! The second part of my novel trilogy, Star Trek: Prey Book 2 - The Jackal's Trick has just released from Simon & Schuster/Pocket Books as a mass-market paperback and in e-book format.The second act of our Klingon opera ramps up the tension significantly, with the Klingon-Federation alliance in peril as never before. Lord Korgh has seized control of the House of Kruge, executing a plot one hundred years in the making. The Klingon cult known as the Unsung rampages across the stars, striking from the shadows in their cloaked Birds-of-Prey. And the mysterious figure known as Buxtus Cross launches a scheme that will transform the Klingon Empire forever.Into danger flies Admiral William T. Riker and the USS Titan, charged with protecting the peace forged nearly a century before during the Khitomer Accords. Aided by Captain Jean-Luc Picard and the USS Enterprise, Riker and his officers scour the stars, seeking to find the Unsung and uncover the truth behind the conspiracy before time runs out. Yet even as Commander Worf departs on a deeply personal mission of honor, hidden sinister forces seek to turn the crisis to their advantage. And the conspirators plans threaten to spiral out of control, jeopardizing the very empire they aspire to rule.You can find The Jackal's Trick at your local bookstore — and also here:AmazonBarnes & NobleBooks-a-Million IndieboundYou can also order signed copies of the book from my online store. And don't forget that the first book of the trilogy is on shelves now — and at Amazon — and then book three, The Hall of Heroes, out on November 29, is accepting preorders.And here's a bit of news that's also welcome: Simon & Schuster plans an unabridged audio presentation of the entire trilogy, due on February 7, 2017. I'll post order links for it once they're available.I have a couple of shop signings in Wisconsin coming up: I'm at Powers Comics in Green Bay from 1-4 on Saturday, October 29 for the Halloween Comicfest event. Then on November 19 I'm at House of Heroes in Oshkosh from 1-4 for Local Comic Book Store Day. Plus I have a whole bunch more podcasts online — check out my Twitter at @jjmfaraway to see as they're posted.[...]

John Jackson Miller signings and events scheduled for New York Comic Con


Busy week alert! At New York Comic-Con, I'll be doing no less than eight signings for four publishers — and I'll also be moderating a panel at Book Con, the convention's sister show devoted to fiction. And in addition to that, we'll have the world premiere of Star Trek: Prey Book 2: The Jackal's Trick at the Simon & Schuster booth!Here's my schedule:THURSDAY, OCT. 61 p.m. Dark Horse signing with the Halo team behind Halo: Tales from Slipspace. Booth 1636 4 p.m.Wordfire Press booth signing, for all my works; many will be availableBooth 1232 FRIDAY, OCT. 71 p.m.Simon & Schuster booth, signing Star Trek Prey Books 1 and 2 and Halo: FracturesBooth 2128 4 p.m.-6 p.m.Wordfire Press booth signing, for all my works; many will be availableBooth 1232SATURDAY, OCT. 811 p.m.PANEL at BookCon: "Nostalgia and Reboots in Literature."I'm moderating this one, with Max Brallier, Elizabeth Eulberg, Gareth Hinds, Christina Henry, Jonathan Maberry, and Paul Tremblay.BookCon takes place at the Hudson Mercantile Exchange located on 36th and 10th Ave., two blocks directly up from the Javits Center.12:15 p.m.Signing at BookCon: This takes place with the above authors in the autograph area at BookCon.2 p.m.-3 p.m.Wordfire Press booth signing, for all my works; many will be availableBooth 12324 p.m.-5p.m.Star Wars Booth Signing for Del Rey with James Luceno: Free copies of A New Dawn will be available, as will a poster for James's new book Star Wars: Catalyst.SUNDAY, OCT. 911 a.m.-12:30 p.m.Wordfire Press booth signing, for all my works; many will be availableBooth 1232Whew!And as if that's not enough, I can now announce the weekend after, I'll be talking Star Trek, Star Wars, and Halo and signing at Barnes & Noble in Grand Chute/Appleton, Wisconsin, at 5:30 p.m. This is during the Star Wars Reads Day month and I've done many B&N signings during it — but this time we'll also be doing Star Wars gaming at 7 as part of the chain's National Game Night.And don't miss my latest interview on the Geek Dad podcast![...]

Qapla'! Star Trek: Prey Book 1 - Hells Heart lifts off!


It's here! The first part of my first novel trilogy, Star Trek: Prey Book 1 - Hell's Heart is now available from Simon & Schuster/Pocket Books as a mass-market paperback and in e-book format.You can find the book at your local bookstore — and also here:AmazonBarnes & NobleBooks-a-Million IndieboundAs the back cover will tell you: "When Klingon commander Kruge died in combat against James T. Kirk on the Genesis planet back in 2285, he left behind a powerful house in disarray—and a series of ticking time bombs: the Phantom Wing, a secret squadron of advanced Birds-of-Prey; a cabal of loyal officers intent on securing his heritage; and young Korgh, his thwarted would-be heir, willing to wait a Klingon lifetime to enact his vengeance.Practicing my Klingon snarl with my new letter opener."Now, one hundred years later, while on a diplomatic mission for the United Federation of Planets, Captain Jean-Luc Picard and the crew of the USS Enterprise are snared in the aged Korgh’s trap—and thrust directly in the middle of an ancient conflict. But as Commander Worf soon learns, Korgh may be after far bigger game than anyone imagines, confronting the Federation-Klingon alliance with a crisis unlike any it has ever seen!"I've been doing plenty of interviews and podcasts in support of the trilogy, with more to come — but you can check out a few of them here:Bombad RadioG+T Show  General Geekery Literary TreksRadio Free Tatooine  Star Wars StacksI've also appeared on a pair of television interviews, including the CBS Sunday Morning show in Milwaukee. Click to see me on CBS 58.  And don't forget that the next two volumes will be out in October and November! Preorder them now!In other news, my first Halo anthology is out! Look for Fractures: Extraordinary Tales from the Halo Canon out now from Gallery Books — and check out the interview about the book on Den of Geek is the official Halo Waypoint blog!I'll be at New York Comic-Con in early October; I'm signing three days and speaking on a panel. I'll have dates and times up shortly.[...]

Star Trek at 50 — and Star Trek: Prey Book 1 - Hell's Heart lands in the office!


Today is the fiftieth anniversary of the airing of the first episode of Star Trek — a major moment in the pop cultural firmament to be sure. Certainly it's important to me, having spent most of my life as a fan — and the last couple of years writing in the milieu.There are enough think pieces about Star Trek online today to create a singularity, as well as many thoughtful essays by other authors who've worked longer with the franchise. I strongly encourage checking out as many of them as you can. In my case, after spending more than a year and a half working on the Star Trek: Prey trilogy, I would frankly point to it as being the best expression of my deeper thoughts on the series, and what I liked about it.Star Trek: Prey Book 1 — Hell's Heart, which ships September 27 from Pocket Books and which just arrived in my offices (as seen at left) — spans a hundred years, from the days after Star Trek III: The Search for Spock to the current post-Nemesis Next Generation era in the novels. That range gave me the chance to play upon the interactions between characters that drew me to all the various series. Between Kirk and Spock and McCoy; between Riker and Picard and Worf; and more. It's also a testament to the actors and the characters they created that interactions between characters who never met on screen were so fun to write.In addition to that, the Star Trek films and movies gave us a universe rich with detail — enough to inspire the imagination and to provide any writer with plenty to work with. I've mentioned that I kept an entire library cart of books beside me while writing the trilogy; that was just the non-digital material. The Klingons, as I've mentioned elsewhere, may have been the subject of more background material than any nonhuman species I've encountered in my tie-in work. It was fun to build a political thriller around them — and to to find some interesting blanks about them to elaborate upon.A few of the books that went into researching PREY.But it all goes back to the original series, and the wide-open sense of promise that it communicated. Star Trek isn't a saga, in the sense of a story with a beginning, middle, and end — but a continuing journey, an endless series of missions. It's been a delight to spend a good part of Year 49 and 50 commuting to the Beta Quadrant. Live long and... well, you know the rest!You may notice the website has gotten a much-needed facelift; included in that are many essays on books that have never had essays on the site, including the Star Wars short stories "Orientation" and "Bottleneck". I'll have more posts up on the other upcoming books in the days to come.In the meantime, if you're looking to get a signed copy of the first Prey novel when it comes out, check out my Shop page. You can also preorder all three parts.[...]

Marvel slates THE OLD REPUBLIC Vol. 2 for March release!


I've been busy doing proofreading rounds on three novels at once — the Star Trek Prey trilogy, out this fall — so I haven't had much time to post. But I can share some news works upcoming and already out!Marvel has just announced a March 21, 2017 release date for Star Wars Legends: The Old Republic Epic Collection Vol. 2, containing the middle third of my Knights of the Old Republic comics saga. In addition to issues #19-37, it includes my in-universe text pages, reprinted for the first time — and also for the first time, the volume reprints the rare KOTOR Handbook that we did in 2007. Great art from Brian Ching, Dustin Weaver, and many more! The book is available for preorder from Amazon and will be at your local bookseller. I hope to see copies before Midsouthcon later that month in Memphis, which I usually attend.Cover to come, but at right is the cover to the Handbook, which you can read more about here.You can also get the first volume from Amazon or, if you want an autographed copy, directly from my shop. Once the third volume is released, we'll finally have the complete comics KOTOR including all the text pages in one nice set.I also have a couple of pieces in Entertainment Weekly's new Star Trek commemorative issue. My next appearances are at GeekKon in Madison, Wis., in August, and DoDecaCon in Columbia, Mo., in September. Update concluded — back to work![...]

My first HALO prose appears in September's HALO: FRACTURES!


I had announced earlier this spring that my first Halo comics story would be in the new Halo: Tales from Slipspace hardcover coming from Dark Horse on October 12, 2016. Just as I did both Star Wars comics and prose, I can now announce I've done the same for Halo. My first Halo prose appears in Halo: Fractures, a short story anthology releasing September 20 from Simon & Schuster.

Halo Waypoint has the complete list of authors here, but you will find me among Star Wars and Star Trek alums Troy Denning, Christie Golden, and James Swallow, as well as Matt Forbeck and a lot of other fine folks. It appears to be a trade paperback collection.

So it will be a busy fall for me release-wise, as the anthology comes out the week before Star Trek: Prey Book 1 comes out. And then there's the Dark Horse book. Here's your place to preorder that one:

Barnes & Noble

I expect to have preorder links available for Halo: Waypoint shortly.

Indiana Comic Con!


Just a quick post to alert the masses: I will be a guest at Indiana Comic Con, signing April 29-May 1 at the Wordfire Press booth, number 243.

I will also be doing a panel discussion version of my Rule the Galaxy Together: Writing in a Shared Universe presentation Saturday at 3 in Room 140 with special guests Jody Lynn Nye and Eric Flint.

It's my first Indiana convention since Gen Con in 2008, so I'm looking forward to seeing everyone!

My first HALO comics story is in October's TALES FROM SLIPSPACE!


Continuing my string of weekends where news of my new projects breaks, I am pleased to announce my return to Dark Horse Comics with my first story set in the Halo universe!

(image) From the Dark Horse news release today:

"343 Industries and Dark Horse Comics are set to release a brand-new Halo® graphic novel anthology based on the massive video game franchise later this year. Halo: Tales from Slipspace will feature all-new stories from some of the comic industry’s best — including Jonathan Wayshak, Eric Nguyen, Alex Irvine, Kody Chamberlain, Dave Crosland, John Jackson Miller, Jonathan Goff, Simon Roy, and Halo: Escalation writer Duffy Boudreau — as well as 343 Industries’ own Franchise Creative Director Frank O’Connor and Franchise Producer Tyler Jeffers."

"This action-packed anthology is essential reading for all Halo fans! 343 Industries and Dark Horse have also produced two blockbuster comics series with canonical story lines written by writers from the video game franchise (Halo: Initiation and Halo: Escalation) and will rerelease the graphic novel Halo: Fall of Reach in March. Halo: Tales from Slipspace is in stores October 12, 2016."

Here's your place to preorder the book:
Barnes & Noble

And, of course, at your local comic book store, where it should appear in the August-for-October issue of Previews. Find your local comic shop here!

Star Trek: Prey trilogy titles, release dates announced!


I am delighted to announce the titles and descriptions for Star Trek: Prey, my trilogy releasing in this fiftieth anniversary year of Star Trek from Pocket Books!

Star Trek: Prey - Book One: Hell's Heart releases September 27. Preorder it here!

Star Trek: Prey - Book Two: The Jackal's Trick releases October 25. Preorder it here!

And Star Trek: Prey - Book Three: The Hall of Heroes releases November 29. Preorder it here!

(image) All three books form an epic event that spans both the Original Series and the Next Generation. Here's the description for book one. The others are online and don't spoil much, but you might still prefer to just read the first teaser: 

Star Trek: Prey - Book One: Hell's Heart

"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!

"When Klingon commander Kruge died in combat against James T. Kirk on the Genesis planet back in 2285, he left behind a powerful house in disarray—and a series of ticking time bombs: the Phantom Wing, a secret squadron of advanced Birds-of-Prey; a cabal of loyal officers intent on securing his heritage; and young Korgh, his thwarted would-be heir, willing to wait a Klingon lifetime to enact his vengeance.

"Now, one hundred years later, while on a diplomatic mission for the United Federation of Planets, Captain Jean-Luc Picard and the crew of the USS Enterprise are snared in the aged Korgh’s trap—and thrust directly in the middle of an ancient conflict. But as Commander Worf soon learns, Korgh may be after far bigger game than anyone imagines, confronting the Federation-Klingon alliance with a crisis unlike any it has ever seen!"

"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!"

This has been my major project for the last year and a half and I am delighted to see it coming to fruition. It'll be a book a month next fall — a fun adventure for all. Covers coming soon!

Now available: My new Star Wars story in RISE OF THE EMPIRE!


New Star Wars fiction alert! I've been working hard this year on my Star Trek: Prey trilogy for 2016, but I did some commuting between galaxies to provide a new short story for Star Wars: Rise of the Empire, available Oct. 6 in print and e-book release.

Rise of the Empire is a massive 700-page compendium that collects the two canon novels from 2014, my own Star Wars: A New Dawn and James Luceno's Tarkin — and fills in some blanks with short stories by Melissa Scott, Jason Fry, and myself. It's the perfect place for new readers who want to catch up on all things Imperial!

My story, "Bottleneck," is set between Tarkin and New Dawn (and it appears physically there in the book) — and it depicts a pivotal meeting between the Grand Moff and Count Vidian, the villain from New Dawn. It was great to get to return to the Vidian character — and without giving anything away, it was a lot of fun to depict another new favorite in there as well.

Some quick weekend event notes for October, which should come close to wrapping up my year:

Saturday Oct. 10, 2-4 p.m.
Star Wars Reads Day appearance
Madison Central Library
201 Mifflin, Madison, Wis.

Saturday, Oct. 17, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Family Sci-Fi Day
Discovery World Milwaukee
500 N. Harbor, Milwaukee, Wis.

Saturday, Oct. 31, 1-3 p.m.
Halloween Comicfest at Powers Comics
Powers Comics
2180 S. Ridge Rd.
Green Bay, Wis.

See you there!

Tales from the Memory Bank: Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic: Homecoming


In honor of the rerelease by Marvel of the Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic comics, I'm revising and updating my production notes here on what I hope will be a weekly basis. You can get Star Wars Legends Epic Collection: The Old Republic Vol. 1 from your local comic shop, from Things from Another World or from Amazon.  The Old Republic Epic Collections are in stock again at my shop, and you can purchase signed copies directly while supplies last.Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic #9"HOMECOMING"Art by Brian ChingLettered by Michael HeislerColored by Michael AtiyehCover by Brian ChingEdited by Jeremy Barlow and Dave MarshallReleased October 20, 2006 by Dark Horse ComicsStory licensed and © Lucasfilm Ltd. As with all my “production notes,” consider a “Spoiler Warning” attached. Please read the books first.When people have asked about my favorite characters in this series to write, I have often included Lucien Draay – perhaps a puzzle to those who only knew him from his earlier appearances. Following the release of “Homecoming,” essentially a solo Lucien tale, my preference may make more sense to some. He’s a very fun guy to write.I had wanted to do a single issue focusing on Zayne’s pursuers in which he didn’t appear, and I wanted to do it right in the first year, putting a finer point on what they were about. A couple of previous comics served as mental models for this.My favorite Archie Goodwin Star Wars story, Marvel’s Star Wars #29 (“Dark Encounter”), was a battle between the bad guys – and its drama gripped me more than the stories where the villains only appeared as antagonists. Here, we got a little insight into what Vader was thinking. (And when I did my own first Star Wars issue, I was glad it could be a Vader solo story.)And one of my favorite comics stories of all time, period, is Neil Gaiman’s Hob Gadling story reprinted in Sandman: A Doll’s House. It’s a single issue which revisits the same characters in one time period after another, leaping years at a stretch. It’s an interesting device, and while the structure of “Homecoming” differs in that it’s a present-day drama interlaced with flashbacks moving forward in time, I enjoyed the opportunity to do something in a related vein.And, indeed, it was of my favorite issues to write in the series to that point. But “Homecoming” nonetheless had its twists and turns behind the scenes.The first twist related only to my own stupidity. I lost half the script in a foul-up with a new hard drive. Due to a power failure (I believe) both the file and its back-up were corrupted, and nothing I could hit it with – and believe me, I tried everything there was – could rescue it from being a file full of “@” signs. I figured that probably wouldn’t make for a good script. (Good call!)While the Internet is generally an endless fountain of ideas about how to restore a document, there’s a moment at which – after enough hours of attempting to virus scans, file repairs, and deleted file searches proved fruitless – you’ve spent more time on that than you would just rewriting. So I did, meaning this puppy got more drafts than anything I had done to date for this series. So if the issue shows more reflection, it came by it the hard way! (And yes, immediately afterward I began backing up everything in octuplicate. There’s even a flash drive on the cat’s collar now…)Another twist came long after my work was done.[...]

Tales from the Memory Bank: Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic: Flashpoint, Part 2


In honor of the rerelease by Marvel of the Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic comics, I'm revising and updating my production notes here on what I hope will be a weekly basis. You can get Star Wars Legends Epic Collection: The Old Republic Vol. 1 from your local comic shop, from Things from Another World or from Amazon.  The Old Republic Epic Collections are in stock again at my shop, and you can purchase signed copies directly while supplies last.Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic #8"FLASHPOINT" PART 2Art by Dustin WeaverLettered by Michael HeislerColored by Michael AtiyehCover by Brian ChingEdited by Jeremy Barlow and Dave MarshallReleased September 20, 2006 by Dark Horse ComicsStory licensed and © Lucasfilm Ltd. As with all my “production notes,” consider a “Spoiler Warning” attached. Please read the books first.Issue #8 brought us our first heavy-duty space battles – rendered wonderfully by the detail-minded Dustin Weaver. The care such detail required – plus unrelated scheduling issues -- resulted in a slight delay to the issue's release, but the final result was worth it.As with #3, #8 follows after a breakneck action issue – and is in some senses a chance to reset the scene and lay out what’s going on in the larger world around Zayne. In this case, we finally get our first real look at the Mandalorians and how they look at things. They’ve been the bogeymen off-camera up until #7; now, in Rohlan and Demagol, we meet two Mandalorian figures with very different outlooks on what's going on. (And their fates would be intertwined forever — but that's getting ahead of things!)One of the things starting earlier than the Knights of the Old Republic games allowed us to do is delve more into how the Mandalorian War on the Republic actually started. There is, of course, discussion of it in the games as a blitzkrieg taking the Republic off-guard. But it left another element to be explored, which gave us a chance to elaborate further on the war’s start: the political status of Taris.A quick look at the Star Wars galaxy map suggests why Taris would be pretty early on the Mandalorian list of places to invade – it’s out on the Outer Rim, near Mandalore itself. So what the heck is the Republic doing here? We finally find out from Captain Karath – a guy we’ll see later in the video games. It wasn’t the purest of motives that brought Taris to the Republic’s attention – and, indeed, the decision to protect it proves “a bridge too far.”This element allowed us to make Zayne’s escape from his masters an event with galactic consequences. It also allowed us to make the Mandalorian blitzkrieg a bigger surprise than it otherwise might have been for gamers familiar with the history. Where the wars against non-Republic worlds had been going for some years, if you listen to commentators in the game, you might expect the surprise invasion for 3963 BBY, a year after the date given for the beginning of comics series. Yet we showed the Republic and Mandalorians already at odds -- and we showed Tarisians and Jedi both feeling they’re at war. And everyone is right!How? As we’ve seen time and again in history, “war” is a bit of a relative term – and whether or not you think you’re at war often depends on where you live and what’s happening to you. The alliance with Poland caused Britain and France to declare war on Germany in early September of 1939 – but un[...]

Tales from the Memory Bank: Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic: Flashpoint, Part 1


In honor of the rerelease by Marvel of the Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic comics, I'm revising and updating my production notes here on what I hope will be a weekly basis. You can get Star Wars Legends Epic Collection: The Old Republic Vol. 1 from your local comic shop, from Things from Another World or from Amazon. The Old Republic Epic Collections are in stock again at my shop, and you can purchase signed copies directly while supplies last.Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic #7"FLASHPOINT" PART 1Art by Dustin WeaverLettered by Michael HeislerColored by Michael AtiyehCover by Brian ChingEdited by Jeremy Barlow and Dave MarshallReleased July 26, 2006 by Dark Horse ComicsStory licensed and © Lucasfilm Ltd.  As with all my “production notes,” consider a “Spoiler Warning” attached. Please read the books first. With "Flashpoint," the Knights of the Old Republic story advanced several weeks to follow the flight of Zayne and crew. We had established that the Republic and the Mandalorians had been bogged down in struggles over planets near Taris -- and how that exactly fits into the game-established history will finally be revealed later in this storyline -- so heading for the frontier might have seemed a logical move for a fugitive. Not so, as it turns out, since what Zayne (and, indeed, the whole Republic) thought was going on wasn't the whole picture.Dustin Weaver, who had previously drawn KOTOR-era stories for Star Wars Tales, joined the team this issue, not as a fill-in artist but rather as the artist who would be alternating story arcs with Brian Ching, who drew the cover. There was communication between the two of them behind the scenes, just to get everything right.This is the first issue without the Masters present -- apart from a mention of Lucien -- and it was absolutely my intention to shift gears immediately after "Commencement." The Mandalorian conflict was always sort of in the background of "Commencement" -- now, Zayne's problems on Taris sort of haunt the background here.We got to do quite a bit with the Mandalorians of this era, of course -- how could we NOT do the giant double-page "Mandlorians Attack" spread? While it wasn't my intention to make broad statements about the Mandalorians (at least, not in this issue), we can notice a few things. We have a number of Mandalorians of different species popping up -- logical, due to the influx of new recruits following many years of battles against worlds outside the Republic.That also poses certain issues for them, logistically. We generally expect a looser command structure with nomads -- and that is present here -- though the mixing of so many new recruits with veterans makes a certain amount of ad-hocracy desirable just to keep things functional. Note the "commander" term used with Rohlan here, relating to his role with the shock troopers. We'd probably actually figure out that he was the point man, whether we heard the name or not -- but when you're dealing with an invasion force of a certain size, there's a point at which too much operational autonomy becomes self-defeating. I recall the wonderful scene in The Longest Day with the shillelagh-wielding officer on Sword Beach, directing traffic because all the invading units are almost stumbling across each other!And while we don't hear any phrases in #7 because none of them really say much, the intermingling of so many new troops, not [...]