November 18

Next update Moved to November 30!

Revan is out! Available in hardcover, audiobook, Nook, Kindle, and iTunes!

I was curious to see what the fan reaction would be to my latest book, and it has been emphatic, to say the least. I’ll get to that in a minute. But first, a couple links you might be interested in:

First, there’s an interview with me posted up at SUVUDU. You can also listen to me on the radio program Fictional Frontiers on November 21 at 5:00 pm. If you miss the interview when it happens, it should be up on their podcast archive next week.

And we’re less than a week away from the Mass Effect Marathon over at G33kWatch. They’re shooting for $30,000 in donations this year, with all the donations going to  Child’s Play  – a charity that raises money to provide video games to kids in hospitals. Just by donating, you have a chance to win awesome prizes in their raffles. This is a great cause, so help spread the word via Facebook and Twitter.

Okay, now let’s talk Revan. I knew when I started working on this book that it was a ticking time bomb. Star Wars fans – and KOTOR fans in particular – are very passionate, and taking a character every player personalized and turning him into my personal version was a potential recipe for disaster. But I willingly jumped on that grenade, because I knew there were many, many fans out there who wanted to know what happened to Revan and the Exile after the KOTOR games, and I knew that even though some people would be outraged no matter what kind of novel I wrote, just as many would appreciate it.

As expected, fan reaction has been split. Almost every “professional” review site strongly recommends the book, as do a lot of fans on forums and places like Amazon. But I’d be lying if I didn’t say there were a lot of unhappy fans out there as well. (Looking at the SPOILERIFIC Amazon reviews, you see most reviews are either 5 star or 1/2 stars – it evokes some very extreme reactions.)

Obviously, those who don’t like the novel are entitled to their opinion, and they’re free to post their complaints – I have no problem with that. However, I’ve noticed that people who like the novel enjoy it for what it *is*, while those who are upset tend to be angry over what it *isn’t*. For example, many of the 1-star folks are upset because the book doesn’t have the typical happy ending. I’m not sure why they’re suprised by this – KOTOR 2 established that Revan disappeared alone into the Unknown Regions and didn’t return. Did fans think he was out there just partying and chillaxing? It doesn’t seem hard to figure out that something bad happened to him, so I find it amusing when people get bent out of shape because I have the gall to rip away the veil of mystery and show them a truth they didn’t want to see.

The other group of naysayers are those who feel like they didn’t get enough of Revan’s companions in the novel. I’ve talked about this before – the size of a BioWare game’s cast is way too large for a novel. Between KOTOR and KOTOR 2 we’d have roughly a dozen supporting characters; if I work them all in, then none of them will get the treatment they deserve. That’s part of the issue. But there’s another factor – KOTOR 2 stated that Revan’s friends didn’t go with him (with a couple small exceptions that I deal with in the book). That wasn’t my decision; BioWare didn’t make KOTOR 2. But it is part of the existing lore, and I’m not going to suddenly change existing canon just because fans want more of Carth, Jolee, Mission, Zaalbar, etc.

Actually, it’s sort of ironic, because a criticism often leveled against me is that I don’t respect existing Star Wars canon. I disagree with that – usually it’s a matter of someone misconstruing something I wrote, or making leaps of faith based on their own assumptions. However, I do have that reputation among some fans. So the fact that I’m getting slammed for respecting continuity and not having all of Revan’s friends magically join him is actually kind of funny. You know – infected toothache funny.

But overall, I’d say the reaction to Revan has been positive, and I’m glad I wrote it. If you’re going to read the book – and I hope you do – may I suggest that you try not to go in with preconceived notions of what should or shouldn’t happen to Revan. Enjoy the book for what it *is* and you’ll have a much better experience than those who are upset over what it *isn’t*.

Okay, that’s it for this week. Hopefully in my next update I’ll have some sales numbers to report. It’s still early, but it looks like Revan is jumping off the shelves. (I guess controversy sells!)