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  • Seth Saunders

Seth Saunders Reporting

Now this is Cresh Craziness (Seth was in far too deep to stop using the term now)! We’re down to the Sweet 16 of our EU Authors Tournament here on EUSN, dear readers, and spast are these matchups gonna be getting tough to call. Let’s dive in and see whom the people have chosen to move on to the Elite 8!

First up, we have Timothy Zahn now facing off against Dave Wolverton. No surprise to see Zahn pull out the victory here, but it’s nice to see at least one in three people are also feeling the Wolverton love. Seriously, folks, if you haven’t checked out The Courtship of Princess Leia, seeing Wolverton get this far in the tournament should be telling you to check it out without this scribe having to. A fun Star Wars romp for Wolverton to hang his hat on, but still a much-deserved win from the man who reinvigorated the EU.

Our next matchup stings a bit, as this scribe has made no secret of his undying love for the Knights of the Old Republic comics by John Jackson Miller, but we are going by the novels here. And the fact is that Karen Traviss’s Republic Commando series was many people’s introduction to the EU. I’d still hoped that Kenobi might give Miller the edge, but I fully respect Traviss’s narrow win. All played well, and the fans have spoken.

Much like our fist matchup in this tier, it was nice to see Brian Daley still holding fairly strong against Kevin J. Anderson, but the outcome was likely inevitable.

Anderson’s body of work is widely loved and truly expansive. He’s one of the few writers who, if you only lived in a reality where their work existed, has practically formed an Expanded Universe on his own. Impressive and sure to surpass Daley’s Han Solo Adventures and solid radio drama work.

This scribe isn’t sure that the resounding victory for Michael Stackpole against Jude Watson was entirely warranted, but it seems that people’s love for X-Wing and Stackpole’s other works more than held against the collective affection for Watson’s many engaging series. Glad Watson made it this far, at least, and that Stackpole is among the Elite 8.

I was equally shocked, however, to see the matchup between Troy Denning and Kathy Tyers be so close. The ultimate outcome is what many expected, but I wonder if perhaps it was the love for Tyers’ short stories and pair of novels, or if there might be more Denning distaste than this scribe anticipated. “Troy the Destroyer”, some call him, and perhaps rightfully so. He does like his downers. Still, Denning moves on, if only just.

Again, this scribe is apparently in the minority in his love for Michael Reaves’ works, as MedStar, Coruscant Nights, and Shadow Hunter couldn’t even net Reaves 1/6th of the votes against the man entrusted with crafting the in-universe rule of two, Drew Karpyshyn. While the outcome is, once again, expected, this scribe had at least hoped to see a bit more love for Reaves.

However, I love Karpyshyn’s work as much as anyone, and I hope he’ll continue to sneak in some original EU material under Disney’s nose.

Another unsurprising win was James Luceno v A.C. Crispin, though more love for Crispin’s Han Solo trilogy wouldn’t have gone a miss, either. If anything, this tournament is showing me how much appreciation I have for the varied EU authors, as it causes me increasing pain being forced to choose between them.

Thankfully, in real life, I don’t have to! I can hold Darth Plagueis in one hand and The Paradise Snare in the other and bask in my affection for both. Well won, Mr. Luceno.

The last matchup of the Sweet 16 did surprise me, as the gap between people’s apparent love for Matthew Stover and Aaron Allston was unanticipated. Stover’s done well so far, but it seems that Allston’s contributions to the galaxy after Return of the Jedi carry him to a decisive victory. Though, with Stover unlikely to progress much further, even if he’d won, perhaps one could say that this was a…Mercy Kill.

I’ll see myself out. Let the hype flow through you for the Elite 8 matchups, and may the Force be with us all!



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