May the Force be with you all! Geeks of Doom will be posting a couple of Star Wars articles today, May 25, for Universal Day of the Jedi, which celebrates the anniversary of the release of the first Star Wars movie.
This year, Universal Day of the Jedi also celebrates the anniversary of Timothy Zahn‘s novel, Heir to the Empire. The initial release of this novel 20 years ago this month is significant, because it was quite literally groundbreaking: its impact would open the floodgates for an amazing deluge of Star Wars novels and comics – turning the Expanded Universe into an EXPANDING Universe.
Zahn’s Thrawn Trilogy, of which Heir to the Empire is the first part, is widely regarded by many fans as one of the best series of Star Wars books to ever have been released. Some fans even consider the trilogy to be the equivalent of the closest we may ever get to a Star Wars Sequel Trilogy. Timothy Zahn has continued his journeys into the Expanded Star Wars Universe through the years – exploring deeper into the history and legacy of Grand Admiral Thrawn, the continual growing relationship between Luke Skywalker and Mara Jade, and also the mysteries behind the enigmatic Outbound Flight.
I figured with this month being the anniversary of Zahn’s masterpiece, and also with today being Universal Day of the Jedi, it would be a good opportunity to take a look back at some of the finer examples of Star Wars novels over the years.
Star Wars: Death Troopers Hardcover
By Joe Schreiber
Release Date: October 13, 2009
Are you looking for a new adventure in the Star Wars Expanded Universe? Well if you are then you have to pick up Star Wars: Death Troopers. Obviously it is not the ordinary Star Wars story, but that is what makes it so great. All that and you get to add a zombie-like virus to the mix. Be warned though, this isn’t your grandmother’s zombie virus so you will be fairly interested in seeing what is different about these particular zombies.
The story centers around a prison barge called Purge that transports the galaxy’s worst criminals to their final destination. When the ship seems to have broken down, they find that their only refuge and only saving grace is a Star Destroyer that has been found to be empty and drifting in a rarely traveled region of space. Seem odd to you? Well it should because this is where the craziness is going to come to a head and you will see it all unfold from the eyes of a couple of fan favorites and some new characters as they fight to survive the whole ordeal.
Oh how I love the Fall — the changing of the leaves, jacket weather, Halloween, my birthday (!). And on my birthday wish list is typically a slew of books by my favorite authors and publishers released from early September through November. Anne Rice’s The Vampire Armand, Clive Barker’s Abarat, Max Brooks’s World War Z all came out during this season, and nearly every Fall Neil Gaiman (Coraline, The Graveyard Book) offers up something new.
For 2009, here are some of this Fall’s coolest literary offerings of vampires, zombies, monsters, mysteries, and more. Note, I’ve kept the list to just novels (meaning, no graphic novels), and remember, these are just items that I’m interested in. If you have more suggestions, we’d love to know ’em!
A few weeks ago, I received a publicist’s email asking me if I’d like a copy of Queen Victoria: Demon Hunter for review. I didn’t read any further before I hit Reply with an “Absolutely” as my response. Serious, Queen Victoria as a demon hunter, that’s really all I needed to know. When the book arrived, I figured I’d leaf through it and take a few seconds to familiarize myself with it; next thing I knew I was a third of the way through the book. Yes, it was that good.
I’m a big fan of historical fiction, so even if various types of demon folk weren’t involved, I think I’d have enjoyed the story of a young Victoria coming of age as the Queen of England and falling in love with Prince Albert nevertheless. But add in the Queen’s inherent ability to battle demons, along with demons, zombies, reanimators, and two-headed creatures, and damn if that’s not good stuff. It’s an historical fiction/horror mash-up sprinkled with humor in all the right places. One of my favorite characters is a manservant who becomes zombie lunch only to return to life … to continue being a manservant! Seriously, I love this guy, and you will too.