Buying a novel based on a video game is like playing Russian roulette. Sometimes you get lucky and with a sigh of relief realise that the book you in your hands is actually a reasonable novel (e.g., David Gaider’s Dragon Age novels).
Other times you are left wishing you had not pulled the metaphorical trigger on the purchase and had just given the book a wide berth (e.g., William C. Dietz’s Resistance: The Gathering Storm, which may get better after chapter 2, I just couldn’t bear reading it any further).
So it was with some cautious optimism that I consumed the news last year that one of my favourite science fiction authors, Greg Bear (what a brilliant forename, btw) was to write a trilogy of Halo novels. The first book was originally expected to be released at the start of this year and when it did not appear I assumed they had been quietly forgotten.
Yet, not so it seems. Joystiq bring us news that the first of the trilogy, Halo: Cryptum is now scheduled for release in January. This book and indeed the trilogy will give us our first in-depth look at the Forerunners who built those damn Halos that are responsible for all the inter-species strife we are familiar with from the games.
Not having to work with those well-known characters and events hopefully means Bear will have been writing with fewer constraints on how he details the ancient history of the Halo universe. The book’s cover is a little disappointing in its genericness, but it is good to know that already three months before release, the publishers know it will be a “New York Time bestselling series”.
If you are a science fiction fan and you have not read Greg Bear’s novels like Moving Mars, Eon, Anvil of Stars and Blood Music I highly recommend them. As I also do his non-science fiction work like Songs of Earth and Power and Dinosaur Summer which is a fascinating look at a late 20th century world where Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Lost World was a true account of events.