August 22, 2013 • Sci-Fi and Fantasy
Science fiction often serves as a warning.
Perhaps a new technology is overreaching or dangerous or perhaps the rights of the individual are being stripped away by a powerful regime. In either case, science fiction muses on the idea, traveling the road of “what if?” In a world where we are already so plugged in, connecting even further could be disastrous, perhaps even destroying what it means to be fundamentally human.
Still, in other sci-fi works, it is the reach of technology outside of ourselves that might lead to our downfall.
Despite the dire consequences that these works discuss, I still can’t help wishing that some of these dangerous sci-fi concepts were real.
August 15, 2013 • Sci-Fi and Fantasy
A Teth B'omarr monastery. How's that for hokey, Han?
Despite Vader’s “sad devotion to that ancient Jedi religion,” casual Star Wars fans might think that the Evil Empire crushed all religions from existence throughout that galaxy far, far away. But we find your lack of faith disturbing. There are many races, many worlds and many orders, cults and ways found throughout the official Star Wars cannon. Here’s an intro to a handful of those who follow the Ways-of-the-Not-Jedi.
August 12, 2013 • Sci-Fi and Fantasy
You walk down the street, or into the mall, or near a library, and you see someone dressed up as a stormtrooper. Not a cheap Halloween costume—they look like the real thing. And you think to yourself, “Who ARE these people?”
It turns out these people are probably members of the 501st Legion, a worldwide organization in which groups of people gather locally to dress up in Star Wars costumes and attend special events. The 501st has shown up at four of my six book signings so far. And before you judge, you should also know that these are some of the nicest people you will ever meet. My local group—the Cloud City Garrison of the 501st Legion, in case you were curious—recently stopped by a children’s hospital to bring joy and awe to the patients.
Imagine my surprise when, last night, I dropped by Powell’s bookstore to sign some back-ordered copies of William Shakespeare’s Star Wars. Waiting for me were members of the 501st, in costume on a hot summer’s evening, there to present me with honorary membership into the 501st Legion as well as the Rebel Legion (they wanted to make sure I had the good with the bad). Blushes, smiles, maybe even a little lump in my throat—I feel like I’ve just made the geek Hall of Fame, and that’s a very good thing.
Thanks to the members of my local Garrison, and thanks to members of the 501st Legion around the world who bring Star Wars to fans everywhere.
July 12, 2013 • Fiction, Sci-Fi and Fantasy
Photos by Marian Hammond
William Shakespeare’s Star Wars came out July 2nd, one week before my birthday, and what a week it was—lots of fun press, a great book release at Powell’s and a great party afterward (featuring the world’s best cake courtesy of the world’s best spouse), watching the online buzz grow, and so on.
I thought I’d hit the high Monday the 8th, when Google Trends Manager Kevin Allocca appeared on the Today show and named my little book as the reason why Google had seen an upturn in searches for “Star Wars” over the weekend. But then, later that day, my editor Jason Rekulak from Quirk Books called me and told me there was a decent chance I would end up on the New York Times bestseller list.