We've had a number of recent updates on upcoming books: a new title for the fourth Fate of the Jedi novel, several tie-ins for the Clone Wars cartoon, and the most unusual volume yet in DK's Star Wars Visual Dictionary series.
First, the fourth novel in the Fate of the Jedi series, written by Aaron Allston, has been given the tite Backlash, and a release date of January 16th, 2010. It was all announced as usual by Sue Rostoni from Lucas Books on the StarWars.com forums, but the title seems to have been released first on the new official Star Wars Twitter page. Twitter, for those who don't know, is a fashionable type of blog with very short and very frequent updates.
We have no plot details yet for Backlash, but this isn't stopping speculation on our own message boards. Meanwhile, over at ClubJade.net, Dunc considers the ironic potential of the title, and as if to confirm that Lucas Books are getting meta on us, Sue Rostoni herself has joined in the fun, by claiming that she wanted to call the novel "Star Wars: The Evil Backlash in the Shadowy Path of the Dark Side" -- a reference to the joke that most Star Wars title have "dark" (and/or at least one synonym) in them.
Also from Sue Rostoni at Starwars.com, we learn that the horror-themed novel Deathtroopers will be released now in hardback, rather than as a paperback one-shot. I'm telling you, they'd have called it "Darktroopers" if the name wasn't already taken.
Elsewhere... (and at this point, you might want to imagine a matrix wipe from Coruscant to deep space or something)...
Based on listings from Amazon.com, Jason Fry is authoring a season one Episode Guide for the Clone Wars cartoon, due on 29th October with a list price of $12.99, while Ryder Windham is writing a Clone Wars book entitled Escape into Wild Space, with a release date of 3rd September and a list price of $6.99. Both books are due from Grosset & Dunlap, who're publishing the children's tie-ins for the Clone Wars cartoons in the USA.
I suspect that Escape into Wild Space might be a young readers' novel; it's even been suggested that it could be an adaption of the adult novel Wild Space by Karen Miller, which has been rather well-recieved on our message-boards. Windham has certainly done young readers books before, but on the other hand, I don't think there's ever been a junior adaption of a Star Wars novel before, and Windham has also authored some sourcebooks: the appearance of the Episode Guide in Grosset & Dunlap lineup suggests that they might also be venturing into that sort of material. Right now, we simply don't know for sure. (17th Feb. - some new info on this; see below)
Meanwhile, over at Amazon UK, there are new listings for four more Clone Wars children's books from Ladybird, all due to be published in England on 2nd July. All four seem to be based around the movie rather than the TV series, and two look like versions of books that have appeared in America already.
Two of the books are part of a "Decide your Destiny" series, entitled Way of the Jedi and Tethan Battle Adventure, and both are listed with a price of £5.99. We've seen the first of these before: Way of the Jedi, by Jake T. Forbes, was released as #1 in the "Decide your Destiny" series last year in the U.S., and given a splendid review here on TF.N by Adrick. I can't find any other listings for Tethan Battle Adventure, though, so that may be a completely new book. It's also just possible that the UK version of this series may have an added online component, as they both carry the slogan "Jump in and out of cyberspace!" on the cover - or maybe that's just meant to say "hyperspace"...?
Then there are two books priced at £3.99, Operation Huttlet!, an "activity book with badges" - probably a version of the storybook released under that name in the U.S. last year - and Journey Through Hyperspace, a "3-D Adventure Book" with a MagnaGuard mask, which is presumably based on the escape from Teth to Tatooine in the movie, and the MagnaGuard ambush at the end of it.
All four of these books are also listed at Amazon.ca in Canada (here, here, here, and here), although they're not shown as "available" yet, and they may just be appearing there as potential imports.
Last but not least, in what's really another Galaxy altogether, there's LEGO Star Wars: The Visual Dictionary from DK Publishing, now listed on Amazon.com at $21.99 for a 21st September release. This latest contribution to the "Visual Dictionary" series seems to be based, rather entertainingly, on the LEGO Star Wars computer games... or perhaps on the brick-block-built version of Star Wars in general. Either way, it sounds like it could be quite a lot of fun!
Kudos to friend of TF.N Jessica J, and regular source Eddie from Once Upon A Galaxy, for the heads-up on most of this information!
Thanks also to JedimasterED, who initially broke the news of the Backlash title on our message boards, and to JohnG from fansite Star Wars Books Online, who was the first to e-mail us about it!
Update: the Amazon.com listing for the book formerly titled Escape to Wild Spacehas changed.
It's now called Breakout Squad, and it's said to be book one of a series entitled "Special Missions", aimed at 9-to-12-year-olds. The release-date and price, and the page-count of 160 pages, remain the same. This looks like it's the first volume of some sort of series but it's not quite clear what they are: perhaps junior novels, or possibly books combining story and gamebook elements, like the old "Star Wars Missions" books, many of which were written by Windham.
Thanks to Ewan from UK-based fansite SWBooks for catching that change and letting us know!