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Seth Saunders Reporting!

Theesah bein’ wheh da bombad fun beegeens!

Whoah, sorry. Don’t know what came over me. Anyway, let’s talk the first half of Cresh Craziness Round Two! First off, we revisit the Core Worlds…

It seems Mr. Salvatore had the unfortunate distinction of going up against one of the most respected founders of the Expanded Universe in Round Two. While I have considerable appreciation for Vector Prime and the start of that new era, it seems many agree with me that Timothy Zahn effortlessly transported us back to the galaxy at a time when it was desperately needed. And Zahn solidly takes the win, the man who essentially launched the ‘90s EU era triumphing over the man who closed the decade out. Take a bow, Salvatore, and sorry again about the ridiculous, personal backlash you faced. Thanks for launching The New Jedi Order and what this scribe holds to be the superior version of Attack of the Clones.

Next up, I was honestly surprised to see the victory so decisively going to Dave Wolverton over Ryder Windham. This scribe even wondered if this matchup might prove an upset, but, while I appreciate all Mr. Windham contributed to the EU (I even started my nephews on his work), I can’t take anything way from Mr. Wolverton. The Courtship of Princess Leia and helping to launch the Jedi Apprentice series are far form shabby racks on which to hang one’s hat.

Further proving how poorly this scribe has his finger on the pulse of fan opinion, I wondered if this matchup might also be an upset. I enjoy the Republic Commando series, for what they are, but I do wonder if others perhaps haven’t made room in their hearts for the Force Unleashed novelizations and the Force Heretic trilogy. Or, perhaps, they simply look down upon the tricky terrain of coauthoring. Either way, a good showing for Mr. Williams and an earned win for Ms. Traviss.

Another matchup I at least thought might prove closer is John Jackson Miller v Roger MacBride-Allen. Perhaps this is simply because other fans might weigh their votes differently that this scribe, but MacBride-Allen’s lore and story contributions greatly affected the galaxy, moving forward. Centerpoint Station, anyone? Still, I did vote for Miller, myself. Admittedly, it is hard to separate my love for the Knights of the Old Republic comic from this prose tournament.

A smidge of a wrinkle, here, as, at the time of this writing, this scribe doesn’t have access to Inner Rim Round Two results…so I’m gonna do some hopefully entertaining guesswork!

Troy Denning v Jason Fry. This one I think I can safely call. No disrespect to Mr. Fry (and his apparent attempts to patch up the Disney era), but Denning helped shape the entire Legacy era, between Star by Star, Legacy of the Force, and Fate of the Jedi. The win (almost certainly) goes to Denning!

When it comes to Joe Schreiber v Kathy Tyers, however, I do think people’s love of Death Troopers can overcome the apparent mixed feelings toward Truce at Bakura (which this scribe does enjoy). Schreiber (maybe?) moves on!

Just be confident, Seth. It’ll aaall come together.

Thankfully, the next matchup is much easier to predict. Michael Reaves has had numerous solid entries in the Expanded Universe, while reception for Children of the Jedi and Planet of Twilight has been far more divided. This scribe does enjoy Barbara Hambly’s short story work, but this still proves an easy call.

While this next one is equally simple to predict, this scribe does feel the need to mention his opinion that at least some of the criticism toward The Black Fleet Crisis is unwarranted. Yes, we, the audience, may have knowledge that undercuts the central tension, but the same can be said of any EU entry that deals with the established past. But, as to whether Michael P. Kube-McDowell moves on…no. He has the misfortune of going up against one of this scribe’s favorites in Drew Karpyshyn.

Back with more Round Two results commentary soon, and may the Force be with us all, now more than ever. Be safe, everyone!

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