• Seth Saunders

Seth Saunders Reporting


Gotta catch up, here! Been all sorts of busy being an author that I’ve fallen behind on assessing our favorites from the Expanded Universe! So, with minor ado, let’s talk Inner Rim Round One.


Denning v Lebbon. While I’m not an Into the Void basher…yeah, this one’s a no brainer. Denning takes it cleanly. Moving on.


When it comes to Jason Fry versus Kristine Kathryn Rusch, I’m admittedly more divided. In the end, however, I think Fry’s prose work for the EU could stand against Rusch’s admittedly cool ideas on its own, but I also appreciate all Fry’s done for Essential Guides and RPG content. Fry rightfully takes the win.


Another unsurprising victory on the books is Schreiber v Kenneth C. Flint. Who knows how things might have gone if Heart of the Jedi had been an official release to worm its way into our hearts, but, for now, Schreiber can sit comfortably with his work on Death Troopers and

Maul: Lockdown.


Aaand another decisive triumph in Kathy Tyers v Sean Stewart. Agreed. We’ve collectedly made the right call. That’s all.


I was honestly surprised that Michael Reaves didn’t win by more in his matchup against Joe Bongiorno, but I’m okay with it. No one’s a bigger fan of the universe than Bongiorno, but I’m ultimately glad that solid entries like Coruscant Nights and Medstar carried Reaves to victory.


This next one’s a bit of a pick your poison scenario, but only from a certain point of view. I can appreciate aspects of Barbara Hambly and the Davids’ work (the latter as in-universe fan-fiction), but neither side of this matchup really inspires much confidence in their chances, moving forward.


Michael P. Kube-McDowell v William C. Dietz. Black Fleet Crisis v the Dark Forces Dark Horse offerings. Again, I don’t think either of these gents will progress much further, but I, personally, did lean towards Kyle Katarn’s adventures, on fond memories, if nothing else. Still, the people have spoken, and Kube-McDowell moves on.


And, as our final Inner Rim matchup, it’s Terry Bisson versus Drew Karphyshyn. Again, no contest. Anyone up for a reread of the Darth Bane Trilogy?


Kicking off our Mid Rim matchups, it’s Kevin J. Anderson v Steven Barnes. On body of work alone, it’s Anderson, but our victor also helped shape the lore and characters of numerous eras. No hate from this scribe for The Cestus Deception, but, yes, this one’s an easy call.

On Rebecca Moesta v Greg Keyes, I do think the right call was made, though I’m glad to see it so close. I appreciated Keyes’ contributions to The New Jedi Order, but he’s built on the work of Moesta and others, especially when it comes to relating the adventures of our young Jedi. Respect all around.


Our next matchup is between Brian Daley and Karen Miller. Beyond The Han Solo Adventures, I’m glad to see Daley take this one for helping to slip in a Mara Jade reference in the Return of the Jedi, radio dramas. Even on his original entries, however, I think he more than stacks up against more Clone Wars retreads.


As for Daniel Keys Moran v Steve Perry, it seems a few, solid short stories weren’t enough to topple Steve Shadows of the Empire Perry. I’m unsurprised, and I also appreciate Perry’s work with Michael Reaves, who’s also doing well, thus far. It is nice to see Moran’s work getting roughly 21% of the love, though.


Jude Watson v Charlene Newcomb. Again, I’m glad Newcomb at least got some of the vote (hello, I’m Seth, and I’m biased when it comes to roleplaying games), but Watson rightfully takes the Nexu’s share of the votes, here. I’m even that guy who enjoyed The Last of the Jedi.


I’m guessing it’s because James S.A. Corey’s single EU novel was so late in the old regime, but it seems as though his (their) own career can’t stand before the might of Galaxy of Fear nostalgia. No hate towards Mr. John Whitman. He’s also done some solid work on other prose and radio dramas, but I genuinely could have called this either way. As it happens, I called it wrong. That sound you hear is the transparisteel of my bracket further shattering.

Another matchup that surprised me was the closeness between Alan Dean Foster and Walter Jon Williams. I appreciated Destiny’s Way, for what it was, but I’m glad to see that the grandfather of the Expanded Universe manages to hold his ow, at least for round one.

Considering who he’s up against next, though…


Michael Stackpole wins. Okay, fine, who was he up against? Veronica Whitney Williams? Uh… Oh, right. Ruins of Dantooine. Not awful, just… Yeah, Stackpole wins.


Round one wraps up shortly with the Outer Rim, dear readers! Best get those votes in!

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