Hello, Reddit! The Humble Sci-Fi eBook Bundle 3 launched today, offering up to 11 sci-fi novels while supporting charity - just name your price!

I'm Timothy Zahn, Star Wars novelist and author of Blackcollar, featured in the Humble Sci-Fi eBook Bundle. Ask me anything!

Proof: https://twitter.com/humble/status/486978154003582976

Looking forward to your questions, so ask away!

Comments: 966 • Responses: 45  • Date: 

schaud2013354 karma

Hi Mr. Zahn! Loved Scoundrels and Heir to the Empire!

Where did the idea of the character Thrawn come from?

TimothyZahnAuthor576 karma

I wanted a villain who could lead by loyalty instead of coercion, manipulation, or fear. I worked out what sort of character that would be, and Thrawn was the result.

petethepusherman293 karma

No question here, just want to thank you. When I was in fifth grade, we had a class assignment to write to an author of our choice. I, fresh off of reading "Heir To The Empire", decided to write to you. I was literally the only person in the class to get a response. You even humored me by saying you'd give thoughts to making a specific book just for R2D2. This is the exact kind of thing that will make a fifth grader who loves Star Wars happy for a long time.

I wrote to you on Facebook about this exact story, and you kindly replied once again, 20 years later. I know you this story, but I really just wanted reddit to get a sense of just how awesome you are. Keep it up.

Edit: I guess I have to ask a question. What's your favorite candy?

TimothyZahnAuthor238 karma

Dark chocolate, of course. :)

Zerostar78258 karma

Hey Mr. Zahn! HUGE fan of your work. A lot of my love for Star Wars stems from your work. But I have to ask, how do you feel about Lucasfilm declaring most expanded universe works (i.e. your works) as "non-canon"?

TimothyZahnAuthor551 karma

I wasn't going to address this topic. But since so many of you have asked:

What the "non-canon" announcement by LFL means is that they aren't going to be bound by the Expanded Universe books, comics, and games as they plan their new movies. Realistically, that's something they had to do -- the EU is just too big, complicated, and occasionally contradictory for them to have to deal with.

However, I'm guessing that EU stories that aren't referenced (or contradicted) by the sequel movies will still be considered sort-of alive, in the same way that most Clone Wars-era stories (like Outbound Flight) were mostly unaffected, with the exception being all of the previous material on Boba Fett's backstory.

Alternatively, if the new movies do contradict my books in some way, I can probably come up with some hand-waving story that will explain the apparent discrepancy. If there's one thing we authors are good at, it's hand-waving.

geekymama158 karma

Mara is one of my favorite characters (and my first approved costume for the Rebel Legion) and I, along with a lot of other fans, were pretty upset about her death and how things went down.

As she was a creation of yours, how much input did you have in her fate? How did you feel about her death?

And as a side, our 8 year old daughter is currently making her way through the Young Jedi Knights books, and I can't wait until she starts in on the Thrawn trilogy!

TimothyZahnAuthor287 karma

Not only was I given no input to Mara's fate, I wasn't even told about it until a couple of months before publication.

If I had been offered a say, though, I'd have argued against it. My vision of Star Wars is good vs evil, with the heroes struggling to win, and the major characters making it through. (Otherwise, either Lando or Wedge would have died inside the second Death Star.)

For the record, this isn't just because Mara was my creation. I'd have argued against killing Chewbacca for the same reason.

tunnel-snakes-rule142 karma

Hi Timothy, I just wanted to thank you for all you've done for the Star Wars Expanded Universe.

You took a fun, exciting trilogy and expanded it, fleshed it out and created some of the most memorable characters.

I love the Star Wars films (most of them), but when it comes to a question of films vs the Expanded Universe, thanks to you, I'll side with Grand Admiral Thrawn, Mara Jade and Talon Karrde.

My question would is, is there a novel of yours that you're particularly proud of but isn't as well known? One that'd you'd recommend to people who are only familiar with your Star Wars novels?

Thanks again.

TimothyZahnAuthor154 karma

My own favorite non-Star Wars novel is The Icarus Hunt, with The Green and the Gray as a fairly close second.

Commodore_LXIV125 karma

I just wanted to tell you that "Heir to the Empire" was the first, real adult novel I ever read cover to cover, and I have read and re-read that trilogy more times than I can count.

Question: How would Grand Admiral Thrawn have defeated the Yuuzhan Vong (because, let's face it, he totally would have)?

TimothyZahnAuthor147 karma

He'd have found their weaknesses, exploited them, and hit them where and when they weren't expecting it. He would probably have had an ace or two up his sleeve, as well.

Emulloon83 karma

Howdy Mr. Zahn! Thank you so much for the AMA, I joined Reddit just for it!

You are, without question, my favorite author. Finding Heir to the Empire in my local library is one of my most treasured memories, and started me down a long path of reading and loving science fiction; I thank you so much for that gift.

Now, for the question: I've always loved the dialogue that you write for your characters. Do you keep anything specific in mind when you do it? Any recommendations for other writers, to keep characters from sounding trite, false, or even worse, boring?

Edit: Also, I just wanted to express how much I love your non-SW stuff also. The Conqueror's Trilogy is brilliant, and needs to come back into print, or at least Kindle. Someone mentioned omnibus...

TimothyZahnAuthor93 karma

Typically, I try to mold the dialog to fit the specific person speaking. More importantly, dialog has to move the story along, either giving information, enhancing character, or enhancing relationships. Ideally, it does two or more of those at the same time.

MandalorianCello61 karma

I'm a huge fan of all your work, and as a physics major, I love how your physics background adds to your writing. You mentioned you made a formula for hyperspace in the annotated Hier to the Empire. I'd really like to know what is it?

TimothyZahnAuthor90 karma

I'd have to go dig that up, but it used a similar format to the relativistic contraction factor to run 0-1 translating to stopped-infinite speed. (Hence, Han's comment, "She can do point nine past lightspeed.")

zaxa1353 karma

Hi Mr Zahn, this may be a silly question; but when you imagine him, what does Talon Karrde's voice/accent sound like?

TimothyZahnAuthor107 karma

Usually, I don't "see" my characters' physical or vocal characteristics -- I see them in terms of personality and attitude.

However, with Karrde I actually have an answer. When I wrote him, I always envisioned the face and voice of Avon from "Blake's Seven."

munsosl845 karma

Who would win in a fight, 10 of your Noghri or Karen Traviss's Delta and Omega squads (minus any Jedi commanders or mercenary compatriots)?

edit: Your books hooked me into reading in the Star Wars Universe during one of the worst summers/darkest times of my life. After reading the Thrawn Trilogy I went on to read every single Star Wars book in my local library and then bought every book I could from my nearest Barnes and Noble. I still have over 100 Star Wars books sitting on a shelf in my closet because of your books. Thanks for helping me through hard times.

TimothyZahnAuthor67 karma

Oh, I'm sure the Noghri would win, provided you let them set the field and choose the time. Sadly, in the real world you seldom get to do all that.

1_OVERDRIVE44 karma

Thank you for braving Reddit and doing this! I watched ROTJ again this afternoon and thought there might have been an interesting result had Thrawn been in command of the fleet at Endor. What do you think he might have done differently in the battle?

TimothyZahnAuthor98 karma

For starters, he wouldn't have let the Rebels anywhere near the shield generator. (His recommendations to the Emperor are in a scene in Choices of One.) He probably also wouldn't have let the Rebel ships group, but would have cut them into manageable pieces.

Still, remember that the Emperor was who had ordered the fleet not to engage, so it's very possible he would have refused to let Thrawn win the battle, too. I guess we'll never know. (Maybe in the Special Special Special Edition...)

bekeleven42 karma

Mr. Zahn, huge fan. My question is this: Before the mid-90s, your published work mainly fell into two categories: Speculative hard Sci-Fi (Cascade Point, Deadman Switch) and Pulp Adventure (Cobra, Blackcollar). Since then, and especially since 2002, I think you've shifted the focus of your hard-science books into being mystery novels first and foremost (The Icarus Hunt, the first non-Star Wars novel of yours I read, is about criminal and political conspiracies first and tech second in my view. Quadrail I see as mostly pulp with a science backdrop). Are you ever planning on going back to books about exploring the ramifications of cool scientific ideas? Is this a deliberate decision, or do you take ideas one book at a time and not worry about trends? Or do you disagree with my analysis entirely?

Bonus question: The Green and the Grey is your only novel I'd classify as Urban Fantasy. Was it a one-time thing or are you thinking of returning to the genre?

Bonus question 2: What was the earliest novel where you got to provide input on the cover design, and what was it?

P.S. My favorite idea of yours is The Final Report on the Lifeline Experiment. I reference it a lot when talking about non-invasive magic in fantasy.

TimothyZahnAuthor38 karma

I mostly write the stories that occur to me, whether hard science, mystery, or military. I'll probably continue to do that.

TRB178338 karma

Good evening Mr. Zahn. Heir to the Empire was the first book I ever read on my own, and is a big part (along with your other works) of why I view Star Wars as a book series with some pretty neat movies based on it.

What has been the best perk of being a professional writer? Have there been any favorite opportunities your literary success has created that you would never have gotten otherwise?

Thanks for stopping in, and thanks for helping to make Star Wars more than the sum of its parts.

TimothyZahnAuthor88 karma

The best continuing perk is that conventions will pay my way to go there.

The best one-time perk was getting to go to Disneyland and see the (original) Star Tours ride ... from underneath! Yes, they took us down to see the workings and watch the car do its tilting and weaving. Even better, since we'd ridden the thing a gazillion times, we could tell exactly what was happening on the screen as the car did its wobbling.

I think that was the first time our son truly felt the power of the Author Side of the Force.

LauraConway38 karma

Hi Timothy, I remember reading that you still had a couple of Star Wars stories you'd written that hadn't been published, quoting from the Wookiepedia article "He has stated that he's written a story detailing how Baron Soontir Fel leaves Imperial service and joins the Chiss Ascendancy, but it has yet to be published." So given the current state of things, do you think any unpublished Star Wars stuff you have will ever get published under the new Legends banner?

TimothyZahnAuthor43 karma

Historically, LFL has contracted only a limited number of books at a time from a given publisher. If that system stays in place, I doubt Del Rey (or whoever gets the license) would want to use one of those slots for a book not directly related to the sequels. Still, you never know, and they might go with a different policy in the future.

emprags34 karma

Have you ever thought of revisting the Conquerors' Trilogy?

TimothyZahnAuthor45 karma

I'd like to return to that universe, but so far I don't have a good story that I want to tell. Though I do have a high-concept idea of a human detective with a cutting of a Zhirrzh Elder, who therefore can act as a partner, information source, etc. Still no story to go with it, though.

3DSarge32 karma

Any chance that we can see more novels about Mara Jade in her Empire days? I really enjoyed Allegiance and Choices of One, and would love to see more of her in action.

TimothyZahnAuthor39 karma

I'd love to see more of her, too. Unfortunately, I suspect the next books that LFL will want will be connected to the sequels. We'll just have to wait and see what they decide.

xwingtournament29 karma

Mr Zahn! I hope that I get this in on time whilst you are still here! I just want to say first and foremost, thank you for your contribution to our collective love of reading. Whether its the Star Wars EU or another series, you have been a wonderful addition to the love that I have of the written word. The question I have wondered about is, when you were writing the Heir to the Empire, Dark Force Rising and The Last Command trilogy, was it as much fun for you to write as it is for us to read? No one would fault you if it was just a job, but I am genuinely curious as to whether or not this is a galaxy that you love to read/write/game in or just a paycheck. Also, on a personal and much more selfish note, we spoke briefly about our Campaign Against Cancer X-Wing Miniatures event a few months back and you were very VERY gracious about it. What would it take to bring you on board with us? My wife makes delicious cookies. :)

TimothyZahnAuthor38 karma

Life is too short to write something just for a paycheck. Yes, the Thrawn Trilogy (and all my subsequent Star Wars books) have been great fun. I've had at least a couple of projects in my career that I wasn't much excited about when I first faced that blank computer screen, and I made it a point to find something that did get me excited about them before I actually started writing. (Both projects turned out very well, by the way.)

If LFL comes to me to do more books, and if the project/idea/era sounds interesting, I'll definitely do them.

PKJMS29 karma


TimothyZahnAuthor53 karma

I'm working on the second Manticore Ascendant collaboration with David Weber. After that will be the last Cobra Rebellion novel, with a couple of other projects in the wings. So far, nothing new with Star Wars, but they know where to find me if they want me.

Succubic_Unicorn27 karma

Hi Timothy. My husband (also a Timothy) highly recommends your books. I love Star Wars, and I'd like to get started on your works. Which one would you recommend starting with? Thank you!

TimothyZahnAuthor56 karma

You could start with Heir to the Empire (which is where I started, of course), Outbound Flight (if you particularly like the Prequel Era and young Obi-wan), Allegiance (if you particularly like the Classic Movie Era), or Scoundrels (if you like heist movies like Ocean's 11).

Or, you could ask your Timothy. :)

VVarmaniac23 karma

I love the Thrawn Trilogy and I read it once or twice a year.

My question is when VII was announced, did you think they would use your books as the source?

TimothyZahnAuthor78 karma

I didn't really think they would do the Thrawn Trilogy -- the actors are far beyond the ages the characters were in the books.

Still, just because the movies won't be based on the EU doesn't mean they won't borrow an element or two. Case in point: Coruscant was my name for the Imperial Center planet that George Lucas had invented; and the idea of catching Force lightning on a lightsaber blade was one of mine.

So maybe there'll be bits and pieces showing up in the sequels. Keep your fingers crossed.

WearMoreHats18 karma

Hi Tim (can I call you Tim?). First off, my obligatory "I've read every Star Wars book you've ever wrote" (with the exception of Choices of One which I promise to buy if you answer my question).

On to my question: Did you have your own vision of how the invasion hinted at in the Hand of Thrawn duology would play out or was it always intended to be a setup for the vong? Are there any parts of the New Jedi Order books that you would have done differently?

TimothyZahnAuthor36 karma

Mike Stackpole and I had worked out the general overview for an alien invasion, which was what I was hinting at in the Hand of Thrawn. Before we could present that to our Bantam editor, the license went to Del Rey. Still, Mike was in the group that helped draft the overall NJO series, so some of our ideas did make it into that series.

phil41916 karma

Would you ever consider self publishing something similar to the 20th edition of Heir to the Empire for the rest of the Thrawn books so we can read those types of facts and stories for the rest of the books? Or just posting those factoids online separate from the books?

TimothyZahnAuthor26 karma

I really couldn't publish anything Star Wars without LFL's permission and blessing. However, once the book line is restarted (I assume it will be restarted sometime soon), I'll certainly pitch anniversary editions of the other two Thrawn Trilogy books.

Of course, with the new Legends brand on all of them, LFL and Del Rey might not be interested. We'll just have to see.

blahtypedude16 karma

Hello, Mr. Zahn,

I'd like to start off by thanking you for all of your work. The Star Wars Expanded Universe books were a major part of my child/adolescenthood, especially those written by yourself, Michael Stackpole, and Aaron Allston. I was very sad to hear of his recent passing.

One thing that always impressed me was the EU authors' abilities to maintain consistency across different authors and different book series - everything from major themes, such as Luke's journey of maturation, to minor details, such as technical specifications of spacecraft. My question is how was that able to be achieved? Did the EU authors all read each others' works? Do you communicate with each other and collaborate on these details?

Also, how do you feel about Disney's reorganization of the Expanded Universe, given that it was something you and so many others took so much time and creative energy to build?

TimothyZahnAuthor26 karma

In the early days it was pretty hit-or-miss. In the past 10-15 years, LFL started keeping track of everything and providing authors with a comprehensive listing called the Holocron.

AlekRivard16 karma

Hello, Mr. Zahn!

I was curious if you prefer writing in an established universe, as in Star Wars, or in one where you have complete creative freedom and why?

TimothyZahnAuthor25 karma

Both have advantages. In Star Wars I have some established characters, tech, planets, etc. which means I don't have to spend as much time setting things up. With my own universes, though, I can come up with crazy ideas, as long as I can make them work.

thenerdinator16 karma

Mr. Zahn, you are the reason I wanted to be a writer ever since my mom brought me home a copy of "Last Command" she found at the grocery store when I was 9 years old (I read em backwards, by accident, oh well). By the end of my time in the Star Wars Expanding Universe, I would only be picking up your books to read. You are not only my favorite SW author but one of my favorite authors in general. Thank you so much for everything.

SO MY QUESTION: What does your typical "writing day" look like? How much time do you set aside? Where do you write? It is the hardest motivator for me with work and school to make room for writing.

I still have yet to meet you and shake your hand but one day I hope I can! And I'll be bringing a big stack of hardcovers so I apologize in advance.

Much love and MTFBWY.

TimothyZahnAuthor27 karma

I start work anywhere from 7 am (typical) to 430-5 am (when I'm in the last stages of a book) until 5-7pm.

As to your trouble with motivation and time: set yourself 15-30 minutes a day where all you can do is write. Maybe eat lunch fast and take the last 15 minutes of that time to write; maybe do it just before dinner or bedtime. Once you get in the habit of just taking a little time, it's easier to expand that to an hour or more a day.

katherinedevir14 karma

Salute Timothy, my question is silly, what authors inspired you to become a writer and how do you plan your novels? I mean, do you start with outlines, spontaneous, etc? :) Kiss from France!

TimothyZahnAuthor23 karma

I watched a bad TV show, decided I could write better than that, and sat down and wrote a story. (It wasn't very good, but I discovered that writing was fun.)

I usually start with an idea, figure out the basic story (especially the ending), then work out who the characters are, how they'll interact with each other and the villain/obstacle/problem. Once I have the basics, I start writing, knowing that a lot of details will change along the way. But I always have to know where I'm ultimately going to end up.

phunkyjedi0814 karma

Mr. Zahn,

As an 8 year old, "The Last Command" brought me into adult fiction and cemented my love of Star Wars. When I was a bit older, the original world-building, plotting, and characters of The Conquerors Trilogy REALLY captured my imagination!

I was wondering if you could share any of your inspiration for The Conquerors Trilogy with us? I've always felt it had some of the same zest and zeal as your Thrawn Trilogy, and was wondering if there were any shared elements/inspirations between the two?

I'd ask for more Conquerors - as I'm sure EVERYONE here would - but, if we can't look forward to that, may I ask if there will ever be a 3-book Omnibus of The Conquerors Trilogy? A hardcover with some nice cover art would really spruce up the ol' bookshelf...

Thanks for doing this, Mr. Zahn, and write on!

TimothyZahnAuthor15 karma

The Conquerors Trilogy started as the idea of a war started by misunderstanding on both sides. As I worked through the premise and started figuring out the aliens, the Zhirrzh society started to come together. Then it was mainly a matter of picking which people/Zhirrzh would be the main characters, and working out the details.

At least one of the books is currently out of print, but I've been told Baen Books is thinking about doing an omnibus somewhere down the line.

geekylawyer13 karma

FYI - I finally created an account just to ask this question: who is your favorite author, and why?

TimothyZahnAuthor16 karma

I read a lot of SF and fantasy growing up, though I don't have nearly as much time for reading now. Favorite authors: Larry Niven, Theodore Sturgeon, Keith Laumer, and Alistair MacLean (not SF, but great thrillers).

WarlordZsinj13 karma

Mr Zahn, I have to say that Heir to the Empire was the first book I read in the EU, and it launched my massive love for the whole Star Wars EU. I followed pretty much everything through the Vong invasion and Legacy of the Force. I am devastated about the EU decision by Disney, it feels like my childhood is ripped away from me.

That being said, there is a lot of room for a fantastic new universe to explore that I really hope is done right.

Anyway my questions are, if you were called up by the powers that be and said that you are able to write a book/series of any length in the new canon, what would you like to write? Would it be an updated Thrawn trilogy? Something new that tackles a yet unseen aspect? Something familiar, but from a new angle?

Personally I would love to see an updated Thrawn Trilogy, I think it would do a lot toward showing us diehard fans that the new EU is gonna be just fine.

Thanks so much for contributing to my childhood!

TimothyZahnAuthor24 karma

I would certainly be interested in writing more Star Wars. I presume LFL wouldn't simply give me carte blanche, but would want something specific (a spin-off from Ep 7, maybe, or some backstory filler).

If they really let me do whatever I wanted, I have a couple of ideas (all right: 20-30) in mind. But all of that depends on them.

LightuptheMoon12 karma

Do you ever feel a sense of resentment being known primarily as a Star Wars author and not for your original work? Or have you enjoyed your time as the greatest story teller in a Galaxy far, far away?

TimothyZahnAuthor40 karma

No resentment at all. I put my heart and soul into everything I write, be it Star Wars, Teminator, or my own universe. I've tried to make every book and story the best I can possibly do, and am always pleased to discover that I've entertained the reader, which is what you're all paying me to do.

If having "Star Wars" in gold leaf on the cover is what gets people to read something I've done, and if they find the story exciting and satisfying, that's all that matters.

dingusfett10 karma

Big fan of your work, particularly the Thrawn trilogy and the Allegiance/Choices of One duology. What is your favourite car that you've owned?

TimothyZahnAuthor13 karma

My current 17-year-old Toyota Avalon. Still running great.

mathphreak10 karma

Huge fan, love all your work, can't wait for the rest of Cobra Slave to come out, still can't get over all the plot twists in the Quadrail series. Dancing around spoilers here. Were all of those twists always part of the plan, or did those get added later in the series?

We're coming close to the time when Spinneret is set. I think Spinneret has held up remarkably well for a book of its age; the technology is still as distant as it was then, but the political atmosphere is surprisingly accurate. What's the most surprising thing that happened differently in real life than in Spinneret? For that matter, what are you still amazed you called right?

Has anything happened with film rights to your work? That would be incredibly exciting news for everybody.

IMHO, you write the best science fiction today. Keep up the good work!

TimothyZahnAuthor26 karma

To date, no one has ever optioned any of my books or stories for film or TV. I really don't know why that is -- most of my stuff is pretty visual, and would translate well to the screen -- but that's how it is. Maybe someday I'll make it to Hollywood.

Juniperme9 karma

I absolutely loved your 3 Blackcollar books - they would make great movies. Were you ever approached to make them into one/some?

Any plans to write any more Blackcollar?

TimothyZahnAuthor11 karma

Probably no more novels, but I have a novella in the works that will hopefully see the light of day somewhere down the line. If and when it does, I'll post the news on my Facebook page.

3DSarge9 karma

If you could have any of your books turned into a movie, which one would you want to see most?

TimothyZahnAuthor18 karma

The Green and the Gray, Blackcollar, or The Icarus Hunt would do well. As long as we're dreaming, I'd like to see Dragonback as a TV series. (You Disney guys listening?)

munsosl89 karma

Do you play any video games? / What do you do with your free time?

TimothyZahnAuthor29 karma

Free time? What's that?

I like to do crossword puzzles, we follow a few TV shows (Dr. Who, Orphan Black, White Collar, and a couple more), and we go to see occasional movies (only the good ones, of course). Mostly, though, I act as heated sofa to one of our cats.

Crispy_Steak9 karma

I have read a good portion of your works but am most curious about the inspiration behind the Quadrail series. Did you binge watch a bunch of movies then had the idea to make the books, or was it more of an organic thing that happened to line up with stuff Frank and Bayta would probably be doing on their rides (or something else even?)

Just want to say that I got hooked really quickly on that particular series. Your writing style in general is fantastic!

TimothyZahnAuthor12 karma

Thanks! Actually, Night Train to Rigel was planned as a stand-alone. It wasn't until Tor asked that I make it into a series that I had to sit down and map the whole thing out.

My original plan was to have twelve books, one focusing on each of the sentient species. Unfortunately, Tor cancelled the series, and I was barely able to add a final ending (ie, the last third of Judgment at Proteus) in order to complete the saga.

Darth_Remus8 karma

Hey Tim! Thanks for taking some time today, I'm a big fan of your work-especially your Thrawn trilogy.

I'm currently reading your Conquerors series, and your "Conquerors/Zhirrzh" remind me a bit of Ridley Scott's xenomorph from Alien. http://imgur.com/djmvvtd

I'd like to ask: where did you get your inspiration for these terrifying antagonists, and did you draw from your previous work with the Star Wars universe? Thanks again!

TimothyZahnAuthor15 karma

Terrifying? They're not terrifying -- just misunderstood.

Really, I simply wanted to have antagonists -- on both sides -- who would look and seem terrifying to the other, either from physical appearance or inexplicable and deadly technology.

Thrawn1108 karma

Mr. Timothy, how long do you plan to continue the Cobra series? It is by far my favorite of all of your series, with second being Dragonback. (Also, do you think you'll every make a sequel to those?)

TimothyZahnAuthor11 karma

I'm planning to finish the Cobra series with with Cobra Rebellion trilogy, at least for now. (I don't want to burn out, and there are several other series I want to try.)

As to Dragonback, I'd love to go back there. At the moment, I doubt Tor would be interested in a sequel trilogy, but there are other options. The biggest obstacle right now is time, which I never seem to have enough of.


What part of the EU are you going to miss most since it's all non-canon?

Also, are you responsible in part for crushing Chewbacca under a moon? Cuz I owe you a beer for that one if you did have anything to do with is.

TimothyZahnAuthor42 karma

Nope, I had nothing to do with dropping that moon on Chewbacca. (Peter Mayhew's a friend -- I'd never do that to him!)

Still, given that Peter's in the new movie (presumably as Chewie) it would appear that the folks who dropped that moon missed.

Cmartin307 karma

Where did you get the idea for your new novel, Soulminder? Greetings from Indiana :)

TimothyZahnAuthor9 karma

Soulminder is actually a relic of the 90s. I did four linked stories back then, and had often thought about adding to the series, but never got the time. Then, a year or so ago, I thought about adding three stories to the originals and bringing it out as a story cycle. My agent offered it to Open Road, and they picked it up.

thisguystaint7 karma

I'll admit, I've never read any of your books. But you are a legend, and i'd like to.

Which book should I read first?

I'm open to all sorts of sci-fi and other fiction, but I'm not into Star Wars.

TimothyZahnAuthor13 karma

Try The Icarus Hunt, The Green and the Gray, or possibly Night Train to Rigel. If you like military/tactical SF, then Blackcollar would be a good one.

jgzman4 karma

I am eagerly looking forward to "A Call to Duty," if Baen will ever release it.

How did you wind up working with David Webber? Did you approach him, or he you?

TimothyZahnAuthor13 karma

Fear not: A Call to Duty will be coming out in early September.

Actually, the whole thing started as almost a joke. I was working on a novella for his "Beginnings" anthology, which was the first Travis Long story, and after all the work we'd gone through to set up the earlier era of the Star Kingdom, I jokingly asked, "Are you sure you want a 20,000-word novella instead of a 300,000-word trilogy?"

So, basically, this whole thing is my fault...

vinnyg56973 karma

Hey Mr. Zahn. I was just wondering what your thoughts are on the new Star Wars films coming out? Also has Disney/Lucasfilm approached you about anything?

TimothyZahnAuthor5 karma

I'm definitely looking forward to getting more Star Wars movies. And, no, no one at LFL or Disney has said anything to me.