Production notes and trivia from my experiences on comic books, fiction, and games including
Star Wars: A New DawnStar Wars: Kenobi Star Wars: Knight Errant
Star Wars: Knights of the Old RepublicStar Wars: Lost Tribe of the Sith
Star TrekMass Effect Overdraft Iron Man & more!

Order the Star Trek Prey trilogy here!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Guest blogger: Richard Ellis Preston, Jr. on Star Wars and steampunk

(Editor's note: I'm beyond busy this week between travel and the release of Star Wars: Kenobi -- thanks for the great response on that, more pictures and links to come! Here, I present my first Guest Blogger -- Richard Ellis Preston, Jr., one of my fellow authors at 47North and the creative mind behind Romulus Buckle and the City of the Founders. Enjoy!)


THE STAR WARS AND STAR TREK IN MY STEAMPUNK
Richard Ellis Preston, Jr.


I am 50 years old. JFK is my birth President. To most of you reading this column, I am ancient. I am Obi-Wan Kenobi shuffling out of the desert. I don’t feel so old, but there you have it.

Being of this age, one of things that happened to me was the arrival of the first Star Wars  movie. I was 14 years old in the summer of 1977, ready to enter high school (in Canada) and a serious science-fiction nerd. It wasn’t so cool to be a sci-fi nerd then, but Star Wars would do a lot to change that. A steady diet of Star Trek reruns fueled my addiction to that point, along with plenty of books by Asimov, Heinlein, Bradbury, Wells, Verne and LeGuin. Great stuff.  But Star Wars blew the lid off. On the weekend that Star Wars opened (it wasn’t a big deal yet) my family was on vacation, driving to a timeshare condo in Florida. I forced my parents to stop, marooning them and my sisters at a mall as I walked across the parking lot to the cinema where the movie was playing. 

Star Wars was it. It was the perfect science-fiction space opera with effects that blew the mind (and largely still hold up today). I saw the move 36 times in the theater, often sitting through two or three showings in a row with my friends. We would mumble the dialog before the characters said it, annoying other patrons. We developed out own set of dialog and inside jokes so we could make it through yet another viewing of the move. Crazy? Yes. George Lucas owned us. I waited for the next two films with a heightened anticipation which I have rarely felt with any other trilogy except Indiana Jones.

Star Wars did not replace Star Trek for me, but rather opened a new door in a different universe.  I still hold on tightly to Star Trek, to James T. Kirk and Spock, and that show will always be my first love as far as science fiction television goes.

Even today, as I write my steampunk adventure series, The Chronicles of the Pneumatic Zeppelin (RomulusBuckle and the City of the Founders is the first installment), I can feel the influence of Star Trek and Star Wars flowing through my brain goo and oozing into my writing. When one is bred on such stuff dreams are made of it is impossible to escape, I guess. And that’s a good thing. My series follows the bridge crew of a zeppelin with characters you can easily draw Star Trek parallels to, including a somewhat stoic alien. The captain is a swashbuckler, a man created in the time-honored tradition of Errol Flynn’s Robin Hood, Han Solo, and Captain Kirk.

All hail the ancient archetypes we find brilliantly reborn in Star Trek and Star Wars. They explore what is best and worst in us.  And experiencing that journey through the self is what we read stories for.  And write them, too. 

I’d like to thank John for hosting me here on his blog and if you stuck with this post all the way to the end I thank you too!  You can follow my misadventures at http://richardellisprestonjr.com or on Twitter @RichardEPreston.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Star Wars: Kenobi wanders into town!

The wait is over... Star Wars: Kenobi goes on sale today at your local book retailer and online emporium!


I've been on a whirlwind tour of various podcasts and blogs -- not to mention this past weekend's appearance at Geek-Kon in Madison, which was a lot of fun. And here's a round-up of some of the other cool things we worked up:

James Arnold Taylor reads Kenobi! In an exclusive with Entertainment Weekly, voice actor James Arnold Taylor, who voices Obi-Wan in the Clone War animated series, reads one of the meditations from the new novel. It's a cool clip and I'm delighted he was able to do it. Click here to listen.

The World of Kenobi! Readers of Knight Errant and Lost Tribe of the Sith might have noticed my interest in the geography of the various worlds -- we published space sector maps for one and a couple of continental maps for the other. With the assistance of Lucasfilm and DK Press, I provided a map supplement on the official Star Wars blog that depicts all the major locations in Kenobi. Click to check it out!

Interviews! (Updated, 8/27) I don't have the links for everything at hand, but there have been plenty lately. Interviews are up at MashableFangirlblog, ElevenThirtyEight, and TheForce.Net as well as a podcast at Coffee With Kenobi and RoqooDepot. And my Wisconsin Public Radio hour is here.

For after you've read the book, more spoiler-y podcasts are up at Tosche Station and Roqoo Depot (part two).

 And a book! The early response to the book from the advance readers has been incredibly gratifying, but I guess it's time to let it do its thing. So here are the links you need:

 

That's it. Tonight, the 27th, I'll be appearing at the Booksellers at Laurelwood for the book launch event at 6. See you there!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Knights of the Old Republic Omnibus releases -- plus Geek-Kon schedule, and more!

Okay, I admit it — I've got a whole bunch going on right now, and it's impacted my ability to blog in any kind of a regular fashion. I just finished work on Star Trek: Titan - Absent Enemies — and went headlong into preparations for the release of Star Wars: Kenobi on August 27. I've already done a half-dozen podcasts, most yet to go online — and there are other events and surprises in the works.

So a quick recap of things:

KNIGHTS OF THE OLD REPUBLIC, TOGETHER AGAIN!

• The Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic Omnibus Vol. 1 is out today! That collects issues #0 through #18 of the original series in one compact edition. And preorders are already being taken for Volume 2, which contains the second third of the series. That's out in December. You can find Volume 1 now at your local comics shop.

• Just as I did with KOTOR on this blog years ago, I have been doing a Kenobi countdown all month on Twitter. Just search for the hashtag #KenobiCountdown and follow me to get the latest news.

BROADCAST NEWS

• I will be on Route 51 on Wisconsin Public Radio on Thursday from 10-11 a.m. You should be able to get the podcast if you're not in the area.

OVERDRAFT DRAWING

• I've launched a Goodreads drawing for several signed copies of Overdraft: The Orion Offensive. t runs until September 17 — be sure to put your name in the hat.

GEEK-KON SCHEDULE

• I will be at Geek-Kon at the Madison, Wis. Marriott West as a guest of honor this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. I'll be set up to sign at various times, but you can also catch me at these panels:

Friday 8:00 - 9:00 p.m. The Works of John Jackson Miller (Geneva)

Saturday 1:30 - 2:30 p.m. Writing 101 with Monica Valentinelli (Wisconsin)

Saturday 4:00 - 5:00 p.m. Use the Force: A Star Wars Discussion with Rob Weiland (Green Bay/Milwaukee)

Sunday 1:00 - 2:00 pm Turn Your Page and Cough: Health of the Comic Industry (Geneva)

BOOK SIGNING

• And then on Tuesday, the 27th, Kenobi releases. The release event is slated for The Booksellers at Laurelwood in Memphis, Tennessee at 6 p.m.; that's at 387 Perkins Extended. We will have Krayt Dragon Calls, and the 501st, I am told, will have some representatives there.

This doesn't even get into the bunch of interviews, chats, and podcasts soon to go online — and a few surprises I can't mention yet. I'll do my best to get them linked here, but Twitter is usually your best bet to catch that stuff quickly from me. Whew!

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