Round one Update!
The Core Worlds results are in, gang, and now we, the EUSN commentators, sit back and congratulate ourselves on our own foresight or wave our fists in outrage accordingly.
First up, in the Zahn v McIntyre matchup, Zahn lands a solid victory, surprising no one. If anything, I’m surprised the gap wasn’t larger. I was pulling for Zahn, myself, and I’m glad to see him take it. He’d have my vote on the Thrawn Trilogy alone, but add to that such great reads as the Hand of Thrawn Duology, Outbound Flight, and Scoundrels? These entries will triumph over The Crystal Star any day.
Next up, Elaine Cunningham takes on R.A. Salvatore. This was actually one of the tougher matchups for me. Though I have great respect for what Salvatore accomplished with Vector Prime, my personal vote had to go toward Cunningham. I know Traitor has its fans, and rightfully so, but its counterpart as the Solo twins grapple with the aftermath of Star by Star is also a welcome exploration of the characters. Still, I can’t begrudge Salvatore the win. It’s well-deserved for one of the founding architects of the New Jedi Order era.
This next one I think might simply fall into the category of improperly balanced exposure: Roberson v Wolverton. Most EU fans know the latter’s work, but few can place the former’s entries off the top of their heads. I fall into this same category. Though I’ve absorbed great swaths of the EU, I had to do the research to remind myself what Roberson’s Talescontributions were. I do love me some space vampires. However, even weighing the gifts both authors have provided us, the fans, I’d still lean towards the inevitable result. Yes, The Courtship of Princess Leia has its faults, but I still enjoy it as a fun exploration of Dathomir, Hapes, and their respective cultures. Add to that Wolverton’s Jedi Apprentice, Missions, Adventures, and his own short story contributions, and he takes it by body of work alone.
It’s a similar story with the Reeves-Stevens and their Talesentries versus Ryder Windham. I am honestly surprised that this one is closer that the last match, simply based on Windham’s impressive quantity of contributions. I had Windham taking it, overall, but it is nice to see that people don’t discount short stories entirely. Of course, the cynic in me is simply wondering if there’s simply bias against short stories and young reader novels.
I was unsurprised by the results in the next matchup between Karen Traviss and Jeff Grubb, but I was still disappointed. I’d hoped to see Grubb get some love, but Traviss, of course, ran away with it. I will admit some personal bias here. Though I’m not as down on Traviss’ Republic Commando series as some others (I find them enjoyable, if slightly disconnected), I greatly value Grubb’s additions to the galaxy through the medium of roleplaying games.
You’re shocked, I know. Admittedly, Scourge is one of the novels I’ve yet to read, so perhaps I’m ill-qualified to call this match at all. Anyway, no disrespect to Traviss. She’s had enough of that…
I’ve read, and even enjoyed, some of Terry Brooks’ other work, and I think his entry into the Star Wars universe is…fine. As far as the prequel novelizations go, however, The Phantom Menace was probably the least integral. When it comes to what Sean Williams, however, I greatly enjoyed his work on Force Heretic and The Force Unleashed. This may just be that Williams had a lot more freedom in his work, helping to broaden the EU. All told, I’m happy with the results, and that both authors got some love.
Roger MacBride-Allen v Elizabeth Hand. The Corellian Trilogy v Young Boba Fett. I’m honestly baffled that this is even remotely close. Yes, Hand granted us some insight into the early life of the galaxy’s greatest bounty hunter, but…c’mon. MacBride-Allen had a sizable impact on the EU moving forward. I don’t know if this is people’s apparent hatred for the character of Thrackan Sal-Solo, but I feel as though MacBride-Allen might be done a disservice, later in the tournament. His novels are really where we had the Solo children stepping up, at least outside of the young reader novels, and karkin’ Centerpoint Station.
I do feel bad for Wells and the apparent lack of turnout for Razor’s Edge. However, I can’t help but agree with the results. John Jackson Miller might be my favorite author in the entire EU. Yes, Knight Errant never quite met its full potential, but Kenobi, Lost Tribe of the Sith, and (yes, I know it’s in the comics division) Knights of the Old Republic are all solid entries, in my opinion. Unfortunately, my favorites of his are the comics, which I think will work against him, in the future.
And, with that, my bracket is broken. Traviss, Salvatore, I appreciate you both. But you’ve foiled my chances at a flawless forecast, and so I must curse you. You understand.
Let the voting resume, and may the Force be with us all!