Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Publication News: Star Wars On Trial

I'm still insanely busy with other work, but I thought it was time to announce (and only a week later than I'd originally meant to) this month's exciting publication news. Star Wars On Trial, a collection of critical essays regarding You Know What, co-edited by David Brin and Matt Stover and featuring not just one but two utterly brilliant essays by yours truly, either has been or is very soon to be released!

Can't say for sure; haven't actually seen the finished book myself. But the cover art sure looks nice --

-- and the book was a really terrific read in galleys. There's a lot of good stuff in there: so much so, in fact, that it's hard to pick a favorite (beyond my own parts, of course). "The Son of Skywalker Must Not Become a Jackass," by Scott Lynch; "Brain-Dead Chimpanzees Are Eating My Shelf Space," by Laura Resnick; "Stop Her! She's Got A Gun!" by Jeanne Cavelos; there's not one clunker in the lot. My personal favorite is probably "The Kessel Run," by our old friend and Ranting Room regular Robert Metzger, but even the editorial shticks and connective pieces that Brin and Stover worked in between between the essays are really good.

This book, I should mention, had its genesis in Brin's infamous article for Salon, Star Wars Despots vs Star Trek Populists, in which Brin argues that the real villain of the whole Star Wars saga is Yoda. You can debate this point all you like -- and apparently the fans have been doing so for years -- but anybody who can characterize the Master Muppet as a "vicious little oven mitt" definitely has my interest. I highly recommend that you read Brin's original essay.

Then buy our book. As David Brin says:
Shipping in June 2006: Star Wars on Trial : Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Debate the Most Popular Science Fiction Films of All Time (BenBella Books Smart Pop series) by David Brin and Matthew Woodring Stover, with two dozen wonderfully articulate authors "testifying" either for the prosecution or the defense. Is SW fantasy disguised as science fiction? Does the series spread doom-pessimism about democracy? Has it been a let-down since "The Empire Strikes Back"? Does it even make any sense? Pick up a copy and be prepared for a wild, extravagant "trial" - brash and entertaining and downright fun!

Okay, so I was hoping for something other than marketing copy when I asked David to contribute a paragraph or two, but several of the other writers I've asked to contribute their thoughts on Star Wars have come through with some marvelous guest editorials, and I'll be running them in this space in the days to come. I've also come up with some fantastic Star Wars-related prizes for this month's writing contest!

Now I just need to figure out what the contest is...