Rich Hardy Reporting...
Its March Madness droids and gentle-beings, and as you know the tournament this month pits author vs. author in an asteroid blasting competition to determine the greatest Expanded Universe Author! As you know there are four leagues, the Core Worlds, Inner Rim, Mid Rim, and the Outer Rim. I’m your host Rich Hardy and in this article we’ll be covering who I believe will be the winners of the first two rounds. Get ready to jump to lightspeed because we’re about to start breaking this down.
For the Core Worlds we’ve got a pretty impressive lineup including the who is considered the father of the EU himself, Timothy Zahn. Due to his numerous fan favorites and because of the fact that the modern EU would likely not exist if it weren't for him, I can see this being an easy win against The Crystal Starauthor, Vonda M. McIntyre. For authors such as John Jackson Miller, Karen Traviss, Dave Wolverton, RA Salvatore, and Ryder Windham, I see them having no trouble against their first opponents and moving onto Round 2 of the Competition. As for the matchup between Terry Brooks and Sean Williams, I don’t foresee any way Brooks can defeat his opponent mainly due to the fact that Williams has more of a track record, writing the novelisations for The Force Unleashed video games and writing for The New Jedi Orderseries. That leaves our matchup for Roger McBride Allen and Elizabeth Hand. Even though Hand has written more with books 2-6 in the young Boba Fett series, I think Allen will come out on top due to his work with the more well known Corellian Trilogy.
In the first round for the Inner Rim we definitely have some all-star star warriors with writers like Jason Fry, Troy Denning and Drew Karpyshyn. Already I can predict Denning winning it out over Tim Lebbon mainly due to his numerous post-RotJ novels, giving him more experience overall. Likewise goes for Jason Fry who I think will easily win over Kristie Kathryn Rusch. Next the author of Death Troopers, Red Harvest, and Maul: Lockdown, Joe Schriber who I believe will win easily over Kenneth C. Flint, author of a few short stories and the cancelled Heart of the Jedinovel. Others I believe will advance to round two include Kathy Tyers, Michael Reaves, Barabara Hambly and Michael P. Kube- McDowell due to their more well known works over their opponents. Lastly, is Drew Karpyshyn and Terry Bison, where I believe Karpyshyn will win in a landslide over Bison due to his much beloved Darth Bane Trilogy.
Looking over at the Mod Rim league, we've got some exciting match ups. Jedi Academy Trilogy author, Kevin J Anderson, faces off against Steven Barnes, author of The Cestus Deception. Other extreme match ups include Brian Daley vs. Karen Miller, Daniel Keys Moran vs. Steve Perry, Alan Dean Foster vs. Walter John Williams, and Michael Stackpole vs. Veronica Williams. From these matchups it's an easy bet to say Perry (Shadows of the Empire novelisation) and Stackpole (X-Wing series) will advance to round two. Both Brian Daley and Alan Dean Foster being "grandfather's of the EU" gives them pretty good safety, letting them win during round one. Other authors moving into round two include Greg Keyes, Jude Watson, and John Whitman.
Finally in the Outer Rim we have quite some diversity in terms of defense and experience. It's safe to say authors like James Luceno and Aaron Alston will win over their opponents, Patricia Jackson and Timothy O’Brien. We also have two vintage EU specialists, Matthew Stover and Rich Handly. Both have good defense with how they retconned and connected older stories with the EU canon, but Stover has overall better offense with his bibliography which includes books like Shatterpoint, Shadows of Mindor, and more. We can also expect to see A.C. Crispin and L. Neil Smith heading forward to round two, both with the well beloved second Han Solo trilogy and the classic Lando Calrissian Adventures. Others I believe will move on are K. W. Jeter, Christie Golden, and Nancy Richardson.
March Madness is just getting started folks, and even though this first round went quite smooth, these upcoming match-ups are going to be tough. We’ll keep you updated here on the Expanded Universe Sports Network, see you all next time!