Archive for 2012
I felt like I was sitting in the Imperial Senate.
Kofi Annan stepped up to the podium at the United Nations with a planetary orbits logo behind him surrounded by the U.N. Olive Branches and addressed the national delegations about the importance of space exploration. The delegations sat behind their country’s nameplates, in traditional dress, some with headphones offering translations into other languages.
When last you left this little corner of the net, I’d been relating how I had gotten the much-delayed go-ahead to start writing Star Wars: The Ultimate Action Figure Collection last Dec. 9—yet the deadline for the first third of the book was 10 days later. On top of that, I had been informed that the book had to be written in hidden data fields that, unbeknownst to me and many others, are part of every jpeg photo file.
This week saw the release of my latest book, Star Wars: The Essential Reader’s Companion from Del Rey Books, a hefty guide to Star Wars prose fiction – all the novels, young reader novels and short stories that have come out in the over-35 years since the very first Star Wars novelization appeared in bookstores in late 1976 (yes, months before the movie came out). To do something like that requires a lot of pages, and a lot of words. The final book is 486-pages long, and covers over 145 full-length novels, over 100 juvenile novels, and over 170 short stories.
But, of course, it doesn’t cover everything. Some things didn’t make the cut – and some made it very, very close.
I saw it in the fall of 1979 at our local mall: a paperback, sky blue with red lettering in a familiar font, with a message that seemed like a miracle — Han Solo at Stars’ End.
I was 10 years old, and this was media’s Jurassic era, with the proto-Internet yet to escape from universities. Today, books arrive after strategized previews and months of discussion and debate; back then, you found out about new releases by stumbling across them on the shelves of B. Dalton or Waldenbooks.
The third title in our Star Wars Art series is out: Illustration. This follows Visions and Comics. This book unites for the first time a lot of art that has appeared in a lot of places, some easily accessible, some hard to find, from limited edition prints to licensing artwork to everything in-between — by artists such as the legendary Ralph McQuarrie, Jerry Vanderstelt, Christian Waggoner, Paul Youll, Brian Rood, Terese Nielsen, Tsuneo Sanda, John Alvin, Dave Dorman, Hugh Fleming, and many talented folk.