Chuck Wendig‘s novel Aftermath [Amazon | B&N | Indiebound] came out on Friday, and while I haven’t read it yet, I’m author enough to admit I’m envious as hell. Chuck got to write the canonical follow-up to Return of the Jedi. How cool is that? The only thing I can think of that might come close is if someone approached me to write the official LEGO Goblin Quest video game.
(Side note: LEGO folks, please hit me up on that!)
To nobody’s surprise, the book is one of the top sellers at Amazon, and has already gathered more than 160 reviews over there.
Funny thing about those reviews, though. Almost half of them are one-star.
What the heck? Did Wendig follow through with his threat to make Jar-Jar and C3PO into Sith lords? Did he introduce sparkling vampire Ewoks? Did he give a character a Swiss Army Lightsaber?
Now, there’s nothing wrong with one-star reviews. Heck, if your book never gets panned, it probably means you’re not reaching a broad enough audience. Not everyone is going to like your work, and that’s okay. Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations and all that, if you’ll forgive the genre crossing.
But half of the reviews? I had to know more. So I started reading.
One of the very first one-star reviews has nothing to do with the book. “[P]ublisher when you drop the price to $9.99 where it belongs — you will then earn a FAIR REVIEW for a FAIR PRICE.” While I sympathize and even agree with the reviewer’s complaint here, I wish Amazon had a way to distinguish between reviews complaining about the author’s story and reviews complaining about other things like price, cover, etc.
The third one-star doesn’t hold back:
“This book includes 3 gay characters that feel so forced into the story. Disney is stuffing diversity down our throats and it’s taking me out of my suspension of believe because it feels forced. I myself am a minority but when I read star Wars I don’t want to be thinking about racial consciousness or sexual idenitity. I also don’t like the inclusion of so many gay charcters becuase my personal opinion is that homosexuality is not normal; sodomy is not normal and I am tired of the liberal media trying to make me accept this lifestyle.” (Source)
Oh, dear. A galaxy that includes countless species and droids and races acknowledged the existence of homosexuality? WHAT WERE THEY THINKING? Can we PLEASE get back to giant slugs with a fetish for other species, green muppets, blue elephant people, and giant walking carpets? You know, characters who are normal.
Well, maybe this ignorant bigot is an exception. Let’s look at some of the other one-star reviews.
- “It’s a propaganda piece by a SJW progressive intent on sending a message about his brand of politics.“
- “And you want to put in alternative life styles? Fine. But it doesn’t have to be spelled out every time.“
- “No really, I’m not being hateful or bigoted, Chuck and Disney decided at some point to make half of Star Wars gay.“
All righty then. So some people are pissed off about Wendig getting teh gay in their Star Wars. Got it.
Other reviews complain about the writing style. Aftermath is written in first person and present tense. Nerdist.com had the following to say about the prose:
“If you’re a fan of Wendig’s writing style, you’ll be happy to know it’s present here. His narration style for this novel is different and won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but I like the urgency of it. The tone is snappy but not short, if that makes sense. Each sentence, each description of action, each joke — it all hits you right between the eyes in the exciting head rush sort of way. No space is wasted, and we dive deep inside the inner workings of our lead characters.”
There’s a third batch of complaints from people who are angry at Disney and angry that the expanded universe Star Wars novels are officially not canon, and are not being continued. Author Star Wars Books Facebook Page, which is full of comments like:pointed to the
- “After spending a few thousand $$$$ over the last 22 years on star wars books based on a time line that Disney threw in the trash a few freebies are deserved for any respectable star wars fan to buy into the new timeline….“
- “How to purchase Star Wars: Aftermath:
Step 1) Pick it up on the shelf
Step 2) Look at it and sigh in a disappointed manner.
Step 3) Quickly put it down and pick up a copy of Star Wars: The Truce at Bakura and purchase that instead.”
- “Nah. I have Zahn’s books. Not gonna get this one.“
Looking back at the Amazon reviews, you see a lot of people mourning for Timothy Zahn and the expanded universe. One reviewer sums it up thusly: “Disney already kind of did their slap with tossing the EU that kept the franchise going all these decades.”
So from everything I’m seeing, Aftermath‘s barrage of one-star reviews are primarily coming from three camps:
- OMG you got gay cooties all over my Star Wars and now everyone’s gonna have PINK LIGHTSABERS and Boba Fett’s gonna be flying around in rainbow-colored armor!!!!!1!11!
- Timothy Zahn and his Expanded Universe descendants are the True Gods of a Galaxy Far, Far Away. DEATH TO THE USURPER!
- Dude, first person? Present tense? How can you write about a long time ago in present tense?
I have no sympathy for group #1. Group #2 … that’s frustrating. I get that you’ve invested a lot in those stories, and that’s awesome. It really is. I would have loved to see Thrawn and Mara Jade show up in Star Wars VII. But the decision to go in another direction isn’t a Death Star blast to your childhood or anything like that.
For group #3, if you bounced that hard off of Wendig’s style, then yeah, that sucks. Wendig knew he was taking a risk there, and sometimes risks fail. Some readers seem to really love the way he wrote it. Others hate it. Fair enough.
Did I say I was envious of Wendig? The widespread publicity and success of this book has put him in some ugly crossfire, a good chunk of which has very little to do with his writing. Every published book comes with the potential for negativity, but Aftermath brings it to a whole new level. In all honesty, it’s a little frightening to watch.
But none of it changes my thoughts about wanting to write a Star Wars novel of my own. I might rethink my plan to do it in second-person future tense, though…
September 6, 2015 @ 9:45 pm
Ya know, I wasn’t going to read the books, but if it has gay characters, that makes me think more about picking it up. Also, I had heard two YEARS ago that they were throwing out the Extended Universe books. Sucks, and I don’t fully agree with that decision, but…not my circus, not my monkeys. *shrug* YMMV I’m just happy Lucas doesn’t have his director hands all over it.
September 6, 2015 @ 9:46 pm
Yup, I’m with you.
We can have every kind of race in the galaxy, but someone who isn’t heterosexual as a character? Unclean! I am not happy about the de canonization of a lot of stuff I’ve read and liked. I can still read it all of course–but it has no bearing on the universe going forward. That’s the tragedy. As far as Chuck’s style–its definitely not for everyone.
It is kind of scary that Chuck is in this cyclone of drama, too. I still envy him it, though, and wish the best of success for him.
September 6, 2015 @ 9:59 pm
Let’s keep leaving Chuck 1-star reviews lamenting the loss of Legends…maybe he’ll just use the rest of his books to reprint Timothy Zahn….
September 6, 2015 @ 10:57 pm
oh you must be some filthy casual that has no idea about the eu or hasn’t read any book in that universe. you must be some of that people that only saw the movies and said, hey, this new disney books sounds good, after all is after ep vi how cool is that. i’m sorry for you. but actually if you check the amazon reviews at least half of the 1 star reviews are from people who PURCHASED IT. so it hardly means that it was hate-voting when they put their own money and were dissapointed. why is it so hard to believe that the book is really BAD?
September 6, 2015 @ 11:00 pm
i was going to downvote your books on amazon but it’s no use since only two peoplehave bought your book…
September 6, 2015 @ 11:11 pm
Yeesh, you comment on someone else’s negative reviews and now you get in the crosshairs, too. Classy. So in response to some of the comments above, is this one of those “Bless your heart” moments?
Jim C. Hines
September 6, 2015 @ 11:16 pm
Both comments are from the same individual. I kind of feel like they deserve an “At least you tried!” sticker for trolling.
September 6, 2015 @ 11:17 pm
Oh, and forgot to add in – thanks for posting about this! Not only are stupid reviews amusing, but I hadn’t heard of the book. I’m getting excited for the new movie and will have to check this out! (Bonus that I have been meaning to read some of Chuck’s work for a while now, but haven’t yet. Good time as any to start!)
Only other Star Wars books I read all the way through were Timothy Zahn’s (others I started, but never finished). I loved the Thrawn trilogy. I thought they really captured the whole Star Wars vibe extremely well as opposed to just being good stories set in the Star Wars universe. It’s a really difficult and subtle target to hit, but he did. It is sad that they are no longer canon and won’t have a place in the future of Star Wars (but as someone said above – uh, old news!), but on the other hand, I have never really cared about canon. Disney isn’t stealing the books off my shelves and burning them. I can still enjoy those stories whenever I want, and am really tempted to dust them off before the new movie as well!
September 6, 2015 @ 11:21 pm
“No, my name really is Qwert! And I have no idea who this Asdf person is who posted right before me!”
September 6, 2015 @ 11:25 pm
I agree with you completely. I have no loyalty to any series even one as expansive as the Expanded Universe. Yeah, it’s cool they had the larger universe, but its also okay to move on.
I don’t think that’s a reason to give a one-star review for a book that happened to implement it.
Gay characters? Non-white? Characters you don’t see in Hollywood often? Awesome. I actually like that there is more diversity in the books (and movie).
Still not a reason to bitch about that as one-star reviews, but more of a reason than disagreeing with the property owner’s decisions that were outside of the author’s control.
1st person, present tense. Ug, my second-least favorite POV. But, a well-written story is pretty good no matter what tense it is. (At least it isn’t second-person). I’m still going to read it because it looks cool.
But I also second the jealousy. He’s awesome for getting this out.
September 6, 2015 @ 11:36 pm
I certainly fall in Camp #2. For 22 years, I have supported and spent on Star Wars, the vast majority being Expanded Universe (the true canon). I feel betrayed.
Everyone keeps saying things like, “they’re not burning your books,” or “they’re still there for you to enjoy.” While technically true, these statements ring hollow, as the EU us left hanging, with dozens of dangling, unfinished story lines.
I did read the excerpt of Mr. Wendig’s book that made the rounds of the web, and that was plenty. It reminded me far too much of a teenager’s texting history. First-person was used FAR more effectively in Michael A. Stackpole’s “I, Jedi.”
As for the Camp #1 issues, i feel homosexuality is an affront to God, however Christ teaches me that it is not my place to judge. One of the things that made Star Wars EU special is that it didn’t matter. Hetero, homo, whatever, it was the characters own business and none of ours, the readers’. Much of Disney’s FU (False Universe) feels needlessly forced, and this is a prime example.
September 6, 2015 @ 11:39 pm
You realize that the EU was never canon, right?
September 6, 2015 @ 11:49 pm
I can feel for the pain of unfinished storylines. That isn’t fun at all.
However, as to “One of the things that made Star Wars EU special is that it didn’t matter. Hetero, homo, whatever, it was the characters own business and none of ours, the readers’.” – I didn’t read many Star Wars novels at all, but are you saying they never followed up with Han and Leia being married or having kids? Or any kind of relationship between Luke and Mara Jade? Or any romance at all in any of the books?
September 7, 2015 @ 12:33 am
This kind of thing is why Amazon reviews have had little more than rubbernecking value for me, for years. Yes, there are occasional comedy flash mobs around things like Tuscany Whole Milk, or the vibrating Harry Potter broom, but the rest tend to be inane, incoherent, or have an axe to grind with something beyond the product itself.
September 7, 2015 @ 12:47 am
Because they aren’t saying the book is bad, dipshit. They are saying either 1) they are shitty homophobes, 2) EU dicks who can’t get over themselves, or 3) people who can’t read in other tenses, thus idiots.
Angela Korra'ti (Highland)
September 7, 2015 @ 12:54 am
I have read many a Star Wars novel, although I’d fallen out of reading them some time ago for reasons I won’t get into here because spoilers. Regardless, I invested my fair share of dollars into buying those books, and while I don’t have as much invested emotionally in the whole relegation of the EU to non-canon status as many in the fandom, still, it makes me wrinkle my nose that the entire timeline has been shifted aside like that.
But. I make worse faces at reviews that are critiques of price points, because wow is that not helpful. And I say that as someone eying the 13.99 price point on the ebook edition of Aftermath. I’ve got a quite comfortable level of income, and 13.99 is enough to give me pause before I commit to an ebook.
Which is a shame, because I do actually want to read this. Particularly if there are queer characters in it. I guess there’s only one thing to do: hyperspace to the library. Punch it, Chewie. 😀
September 7, 2015 @ 12:57 am
Actually, some of us are Star Wars fans from the original run of the original movie, who read and enjoyed a whole bunch of EU books starting with Zahn’s first trilogy. Several of us are are friends with various Star Wars authors past and present, like Jim and me with Chuck.
You know what we know, though? Those books we liked, loved, hated, were bored by, whatever, they’re all still there. Those that have gone out of print, well, that’s the common lot of books, including a bunch of truly great ones. But here *points at shelves* are the ones I want to keep, same as ever.
Now it’s time for a new set to begin, and we’ll be reading it to see what we think for ourselves.
September 7, 2015 @ 12:58 am
“The concept of an Expanded universe certainly isn’t unique to star wars. Many popular genre properties from Star Trek to Alien, release spin off tales that shed light on events not seen in the official narrative. But Star Wars EU is unique both in its size and its care which is in the narrative which is shepherd and organized and Star Wars the Expanded universe is official.” –Daniel Wallace, Author for the Expanded Universe, Star wars insider 101 May 2008
September 7, 2015 @ 12:59 am
“According to Lucas Licensing Editor Sue, Rostoni, ‘Canon refers to an authoritative list of books that Lucas Licensing editors consider an authentic part of the official Star Wars history. Our goal is to present a continuous and unified history of the Star Wars galaxy, insofar as that history does not conflict with, or undermine the meaning of Mr. Lucas’s Star Wars saga of films and screenplays.’ Things that Lucas Licensing does not consider official parts of the continuous Star Wars history show an Infinities logo or are contained in Star Wars Tales. Everything else is considered canon.”-Sue Rostoni, Lucas Books and Lucas Licensing Managing Editor, in Star Wars gamer #6, July 1, 2001
September 7, 2015 @ 1:26 am
Honestly, the majority of complaints I’ve seen are not that the prose is bad because it’s in first person and present tense (and this is completely ignoring the “TEH SJWs!!!!” and “MAH EH” reviews, wherever they might be) but rather than the prose is an utterly terrible, choppy stream of consciousness that does not lend itself well to book writing at all. Having read the prologue and first chapter (that were provided as a sample) I have to agree with those reviews.
September 7, 2015 @ 1:57 am
I agree. It is frightening to watch the negative reviews on Star Wars: Aftermath.Usually I don’t get worked up over other people’s reviews but what people wrote was just plain mean and unfair.
September 7, 2015 @ 4:55 am
I’m reading Aftermath right now and it’s really in Chuck Wendig’s distinctive style. It fits Blackbirds and Zeroes very well, but I’m a bit undecided here. What I do like is that he show’s that war takes its toll on people. It makes the Star Wars universe less pulpy fantasy and more real I guess.
September 7, 2015 @ 5:18 am
Oh yeah, they are still there. Stories without the future, that will never continue and will be rewritten/rebooted instead. Really awesome. We can read them over and over, nothing else, because Disney can’t allow them to continue as an alternate universe. That’s for supporting the franchise by buying books, games and comics in the time when there were no movies. As a reward, we got our backs stabbed by Lucasfilm, that did nothing, they couldn’t even apologize! Awaiting next reboot in like twenty years, when universe is too filled up and too messy and convoluted (another favourite widely used nonsense used by EU haters). Not going to support this franchise anymore.
And yeah, I didn’t review this book.
September 7, 2015 @ 5:29 am
There were homosexual characters in the EU, too. Damn, there were even interracial relationships. And I didn’t see ony af the characters talking about it. So it’s not the new thing at all.
September 7, 2015 @ 6:53 am
“I might rethink my plan to do it in second-person future tense, though…”
‘You Will Go To The Dagobah System: The Novel’
September 7, 2015 @ 7:55 am
Agreed. I never once read an EU book, and I’m a rabid social justice leftist lunatic who loves diversity and inclusion, but I still hated reading what I read of this, and purely because of the way it’s written. Too choppy, too halting. It felt like the kind of thing I wrote in high school. I thought it was really cool and immediate and urgent then. But now… it’s insufferable and obnoxious. Just didn’t work for me, and I wasn’t predisposed to hate it for the other stated reasons because those do not apply to me. Poorly written is poorly written, no matter the content.
September 7, 2015 @ 8:33 am
Those people are just rude.
I liked Tim Zahn’s novels too and I adore Mara Jade, but that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy new SW books.
Given, I haven’t read Aftermath yet, but I really liked “A New Dawn”, the first new canon book.
I really hope you’ll one day write a SW novel, Jim, and if you do, put in some extra lesbians just to piss off those guys 😉
September 7, 2015 @ 9:43 am
Wow… Up until this post I had only seen one glowing excited review in a video game group chat I’m part of. Which just made me even more excited to read it. My copy is on hold at the library and will probably be in tomorrow when the library opens up so soon!
Also I’m excited to finally read Wendig’s work, I love his blog but haven’t gotten around to read his books yet. Of course that’s how I discovered a lot of my new favorite authors.
September 7, 2015 @ 9:47 am
I also want to add as someone that got into the Star Wars books really late, it was super hard to find where to start with everything that was out there. I read one that was really great. When I tried to follow up and read something else to find out what happening in the universe around the same time I ended up with a really horrible story about a Jedi that just didn’t make sense to me. Tossing it all out and starting over was probably a whole lot easier than trying to pick and choose what was cannon.
September 7, 2015 @ 10:08 am
Thanks for this post, Jim. I hadn’t heard of the new book, and while I haven’t read anything by Wendig before, the book blurb on Amazon sounds fascinating. Is the book basically taking place between Return of the Jedi and the upcoming movies?
I was never much into the Extended Universe; loved the Zahn Thrawn trilogy, and told myself for years that I should be content with them because I’d probably never see movies 7-9 made (happy to be wrong on that point). Tried one other EU book and thought it was ‘meh’, so I didn’t dig further into the EU. Yeah, I was a little disappointed when I heard that the Zahn books weren’t going to be considered canon, but you know what? They were still an awesome story. And I can still read them again if I want.
Jim C. Hines
September 7, 2015 @ 11:11 am
No name-calling here. Thanks.
September 7, 2015 @ 11:34 am
“This is an imaginary story… Aren’t they all?”
Alan Moore wrote that in ‘Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow’, the Superman comic he wrote that rang down the curtain on the Pre-Crisis Superman continuity.
If people feel betrayed enough as loyal consumers at the abandonment of the Star Wars EU to forego reading the new material? That I can understand.
But as fans? Fandom is defined by love, and I genuinely don’t understand why you would need some sort of imprimatur of canonicity to love a story or not, to have it mean something to you or not.
The EU is an “imaginary story” now. But Chuck Wendig’s new novel is an imaginary story too. Star Wars is an imaginary story. Aren’t they all?
September 7, 2015 @ 12:28 pm
Rainbow Fett Has already happened!
September 7, 2015 @ 12:53 pm
Do you mean they don’t talk about things like being gay and the stigma or lack thereof, or they don’t talk about any same-sex spouses/lovers/dates they have? Because these are two different things that create two different pictures of the Star Wars multiverse.
A universe where John Nebula-Smith mentions his boyfriend back home and no one spells out ‘Oh, John is gay’ is light-years apart from a universe where Sam Pulsar-Jones can mention his wife, but John never mentions a romantic interest ever and we have to be told he’s gay by the author years later.
September 7, 2015 @ 1:24 pm
I don’t understand the gripe about stories “without a future” “that will never continue” …. there are so many novels/series that I enjoy by various authors that are standalones or are written in universes that they don’t intend to continue … doesn’t mean I can’t/don’t enjoy what WAS written and I their out away because it’s not going to be continued. Same applies to the Star Wars EU.
September 7, 2015 @ 2:30 pm
D. Moonfire: Since you’re not keen on 1st, I thought you’d like to know Aftermath appears to be in present but not first person. Unless I’m missing something, it’s actually third person. I just scanned the Amazon preview; I haven’t read the book. There is a brief note at the beginning in 1st, but that’s a signed announcement.
Oddly, I’ve seen the 1st person comment in a few reviews. Perhaps later parts of the book are? But that would be quite strange.
Person of Con
September 7, 2015 @ 3:34 pm
Being upset that there are gay characters in a Star Wars book is wrong-headed to me, especially since–without knowing anything about Wendig’s approach–sci fi is a great arena for challenging cultural conceptions. Ursala Le Guin’s collection The Birthday of the World is a great example: One set of short stories concerns a planet that practices radical segregation of gender, and men and women only meet briefly for mating purposes; homosexuality then became a matter of course, because you’re not around the other gender enough to establish a relationship. Another culture marries in groups of four, two men and two women, where each man/woman pair is from the same case; you’re expected to have sexual relations with all of them, except the opposite gender from the same caste. Sci-fi’s great strength–Star Wars included–is that it lets us explore possibilities that seem like they could be extrapolated from our own state.
That said, I probably won’t look into the book unless I hear some really good reviews from folk I know as reviewers just because I’m not familiar with Wendig. I’ve enjoyed some of the new Star Wars comics (the Lando one in particular is shaping up to be a lot of fun), but they’re largely by people I was already familiar with from Marvel.
September 7, 2015 @ 3:43 pm
I never understood why people use reviews as a protest. That’s inherently dishonest. If I go to a doctor, lawyer, or even movie reviewer to give me an informed opinion, I really don’t want a rant about a different topic.
September 7, 2015 @ 4:04 pm
Cool. I’m going to read it anyways, just have to trudge through my to read pile (and then my to review pile) before I pick up any new books. In general, I don’t let things like style, POV, or even light editing issues stop me when I start reading a book.
I’m easy that way. 🙂
September 7, 2015 @ 4:09 pm
I really wish there was an “At Least You Tried!” sticker for the internet… I’d use it all the time. What a fantastic idea whose time has come.
September 7, 2015 @ 4:15 pm
I’ve read everything in the EU set post-New Hope, save for the last three, I think. It was really losing steam – the nine-book arcs (and one 18 book arc) were just a bit unwieldy. I’m a little sad Thrawn and Mara Jade won’t appear in the new timeline, but a breath of fresh air might not be the worst thing.
Also, re: gay characters – has there really not been at least one already? I’ve been wracking my brain, and I’m sure there was at least one…
Also, I wonder if anyone who has a problem with gay characters had a problem with the human-catwomanalien relationship that featured in the Wraith Squadron books? After all, isn’t one of the popular slipper-slope arguments of the anti-gay marriage crowd that it will lead to bestiality? You’d think that would be as much of a problem for these people.
September 7, 2015 @ 4:16 pm
“slippery-slope”, that was meant to be. Not “slipper-slope”, which sounds like a problem one might have in a stately home on a cold winter’s night…
September 7, 2015 @ 4:48 pm
Yeah. All that review does is make me want to go buy the book immediately.
September 7, 2015 @ 6:43 pm
But if both parties are consenting adults, it’s not bestiality, regardless of species, is it? I may come at it from a different direction than others, but the problem with bestiality is that an animal cannot really give informed consent. (Or cannot demonstrably have given informed consent, anyway.) (Enthusiastic consent, maybe, but not informed consent.) If both parties are sapient then where’s the problem?
But I’m right there with you on the huge arcs. I more or less made it through the New Jedi Order but burned right out after that. I’m sad to see things go (my big reservation re: Aftermath is whether Wedge’s characterization will be consistent with what has come before or whether he’ll basically be a new character with the same name), but I’m very happy to see more standalone stories that don’t require a 3-year commitment and possibly involve contributions from authors I don’t want to read.
September 7, 2015 @ 8:18 pm
It reminds me a bit of Michael Moorcock’s Doctor Who novel, which apparently shocked readers by being a Doctor Who novel written by Michael Moorcock. In other words, Moorcock is a writer with very distinctive interests and ticks, and he didn’t turn them down just because he was writing a work-for-hire franchise book. And certainly not everyone is into what Moorcock does, and that’s fair, but there was a noticeably large number of reviews of that novel that were bothered by the fact that it read like a Michael Moorcock novel… In other words, they like Moorcock just fine, they just wish he had written it in the house style.
Similarly, Wendig has a distinctive voice. And, while some just honestly don’t care for that voice- again, that’s fair enough- I think that, when it comes to licensed work like this, fans get bothered by the existence of a voice at all. I think, from reading a fair chunk of licenced work, that the preferred style is … I’m tempted to say “bland”, but I think that may be unfair. Let’s call it “invisible”. I’ve read “Bait Dog” and the first two “Blackbirds” novels- Wendig’s style is absolutely not “invisible”.
As for feeling a bit abandoned after a story you’ve been following for years gets seemingly blown into oblivion… I know that feel, bro. I grew up with the Star Wars comics by Archie Goodwin, Carmine Infantino, Walt Simonson… as far as I was concerned, that was what happened between the movies. But, of course, it wasn’t, not ever. The EU wasn’t cannon. Lucas didn’t feel beholden to it at all. and why should he have been? Star Wars was his. And, you know what? Now it’s Disney’s. And, while it certainly stinks that a story one has invested in is no longer being continued, the number of people who read the EU books is tiny when compared to the number of people who are going to see the new movie. Sorry about that.
And, for those who are upset about homosexuality in Star Wars, my god you are embarrassing. Do you know that?
Mass Effect/AEC-ANN News: New Pre-Prothean Culture Discovered | Neither Here nor There....
September 8, 2015 @ 12:09 am
[…] Tweet of the Day: One-Star Wars […]
September 8, 2015 @ 10:54 am
Yeah, I actually went and collected some statistics on who was complaining about gay characters… After multiple ctrl-f searches using different words, I turned up exactly one post complaining about gays. One. Complaining of heavy-handedness is not the same as complaining about gays, btw, and there weren’t many of those either.
These claims of ‘homophobia driven reviews’ are basically completely false; Wendig is just a bad writer.
Trolls Never Sleep | Simon McNeil
September 8, 2015 @ 11:21 am
[…] was going to be a post about what happened to Chuck Wendig. Jim C. Hines has a decent write-up on that up, and while I disagree with him ever so slightly on one point […]
September 8, 2015 @ 1:31 pm
One thing I’ll say – chuck has a distinct voice. Having him write a sw book is like having danny boyle or quentin tarantino direct a sw movie. There is no toning down that voice. I was surprised when I heard he was writing one for that reason. It made more sense to me that JS Corey was writing one – his/their voice is a little more subdued.
Which is why I am going to read chucks.
September 8, 2015 @ 2:45 pm
Stefan, do a google image search on “you tried”. They’re great for platforms that support images in comments. 🙂
Inclusion of LGBTQ+ Characters in Star Wars – Fallout from Chuck Wendig’s Star Wars: Aftermath |
September 8, 2015 @ 4:37 pm
[…] of the negative reviews also take issue with Wendig’s “pandering” to the LGBTQ+ community. Jim C. Hines has compiled links to reviews that criticize Aftermath for being a “propaganda piece by a SJW […]
September 8, 2015 @ 4:55 pm
So exactly how many of the negative reviews mention the gay characters?
Because it would be pretty shameful if you were just shilling for your pal Chuck by suggesting that a huge chunk of the reviewers are homophobes. I mean, that’s the lowest of the low.
Jim C. Hines
September 8, 2015 @ 5:01 pm
Right. Calling out homophobes is the lowest of the low. As opposed to a bunch of homophobic bigots having a hate-fueled meltdown.
September 8, 2015 @ 5:11 pm
Considering the reviews are publicly accessible and you could have just easily found out the answer yourself, I’m guessing that was probably not an honest question, was it?
* Hint: Taking 2 minutes to glance at the reviews, it is clear the number is certainly > 1.
The Aftermath aftermath, or, what’s up with all those crazy Amazon reviews? | Club Jade
September 8, 2015 @ 6:39 pm
[…] all got the idea to… Leave a whole bunch of very quick, very many one-star reviews on Amazon. Jim C. Hines and Michael Patrick Hicks have some nice breakdowns of that. Of course, there’s also a […]
September 9, 2015 @ 2:04 am
Re #2 – I’m a huge fan of the Expanded Universe, and I’m still disappointed that it’s ended, and in particular that it just *stopped* with no attempt to tie up any loose ends or generally provide any closure at all. I’m also still a bit annoyed that a trilogy I’d been waiting for will now never be published.
However, none of that changes the fact that I will be trying Aftermath and I hope I like it. Enjoying the EU doesn’t mean that I can’t enjoy the new canon too – I’m a sci-fi fan, ‘alternate universes’ are a given aren’t they?
I am cautious about what people have said about the writing style – I don’t generally like present tense. But that won’t stop me trying it.
September 9, 2015 @ 7:28 am
John, mate, I feel your pain. I was a long-time fan of Old-School Dr Who. I tried to get enthused with the New Who, but it never quite caught on, because as far as I was concerned, the new episodes were too long, and the new story lines were too short. I grew up with 30 minute installments telling a story over 4 – 6 weeks; these ones with the 45 minute installments dumping down a story completely within that 45 minute span felt all wrong.
This is not (before the New Who fans rise up and attempt to slaughter me) to say that New Who was terrible. If I were a new fan coming to it without something like twenty or thirty years of history with the old series behind me, I’d probably think it was pretty damn good.
But I wasn’t. I was an Old-School fan, and the New-School stuff just looked wrong TO ME. There were some bits which were well worth it – I think “Dalek” was a classic, and a wonderful re-imagining of one of the series’ old enemies in a way which showed just how far the Doctor had come from Tom Baker in “Genesis of the Daleks“, trying to reconcile his chance to destroy a whole sentient species with his conscience. “The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances” was a glorious storyline, and such a wonderful celebration of the whole thing – “Just this once, Rose, everyone lives!”. But it wasn’t my Dr Who, and by and large it wasn’t something I was overly interested in.
So I left the New Who behind, and just stick with purchasing the old series on DVD whenever I have the money, and enjoying the wobbly sets (with the occasional tooth-marks left in them by some of the actors), the monsters with the zips up the back, the overlaps between the casts of various Dr Who serials and Blake’s 7 in the early Baker era (I’m a Blake’s 7 fan too – which means I’ve seen what happens if you keep something going past its prime – the fourth season is eminently forgettable, and only redeems itself in the final episode), the dubious costuming choices and so on.
Nobody’s insisting you have to like the new stuff, or buy it. You may find bits of the new version of the Star Wars universe which you do like, or you may not. But you have to accept (just as I did) that you may not be the target audience any more.
September 9, 2015 @ 9:01 am
Some people are griping in their reviews that the old EU has become Legends. However, most of those that mention Zahn’s Thrawn Trilogy are comparing the actual quality of those books to Aftermath, not lamenting the loss of canonical status of the older books.
Compare the first part of Heir to the Empire to the first part of Aftermath. Pellaeon is instantly effective as a viewpoint character that we can care about as a reader. Wedge and Sloane are average in their scenes, and Norra is less than compelling to read about.
I love the old EU, but I am also happy with the decision to make it all Legends. This gives the creators more freedom, and the fans can regain the sense that there is more to be discovered in the Star Wars setting. Dark Disciple and A New Dawn are wonderful books in the new canon, and Tarkin was decent. From reading the excerpts and reviews, Aftermath is just not as well-written as it could have been. I sympathize with Chuck that he had such a short time to write the book, but a shoddy final product still went to the shelves.
September 9, 2015 @ 11:38 am
You know when you switch on a light and a bunch of cockroaches scurry for cover? That’s kind of analogous. A lot of the links in Jim’s article are now broken links where reviewers have taken down their reviews. Others have noted posts discussing organized raids disappearing from facebook fangroups.
So, yeah, there’s that.
We’ve always been here, even in a galaxy far, far away… | Font Folly
September 9, 2015 @ 12:37 pm
[…] C. Hines has a post more thoroughly discussing the various negative comments, if you want to read it. But I think his best comment […]
Jim C. Hines
September 9, 2015 @ 1:09 pm
September 9, 2015 @ 4:20 pm
What, not even calling people scruffy nerf-herders?
The Persecution Complex of Bring Back Legends Rears its Ugly Head at Dragon Con | Tosche Station
September 10, 2015 @ 9:01 am
[…] that seemed to complain about the exact same thing (as Chuck Wendig, Michael Patrick Hicks, and Jim C. Hines noted). At absolute best, it’s a bizarre coincidence. At worst, it’s an organized […]
September 12, 2015 @ 5:59 pm
I’m surprised to learn of 3 gay characters in the story. I only noticed one- and that because the “reveal”* was hilarious.
I, too, mourn many of the EU books, but I actually celebrate its passing. It has become overstuffed, safe, and far too Monster of the Week. That, and Lucas would constantly fiddle with his story in ways that contradicted the EU. Fair enough- it’s his story. But it could get aggravating. Having a new single uniform canon will help avoid that.
As far as the writer’s style? Yeah. It was off putting. As was the evident lack of editing. The later is not the author’s fault. Nor, really is the former. Different strokes, etc.
One thing I have noticed consistently in the new Disney canon: authors seem to have been given a story and told to write it. The books feel a bit more hollow than the early EU books did, in a way that I can’t quite put my finger on. I don’t want to blame the writers for this, and it certainly could be me not quite gelling with the various writer’s style more than anything else.
I’m not sure why I’m leaving this as a comment on this blog instead of as an Amazon review. 😀
*terrible word, but I don’t want to struggle right now to come up with something better.
September 18, 2015 @ 1:53 pm
“Having him write a sw book is like having danny boyle or quentin tarantino direct a sw movie.”
… or J.J. Abrams? 😉