Inspirations in Artistry, Part I

One of the most resonant and visible influences on my writing can be traced to the Sci-Fi/Fantasy author known as Matthew Woodring Stover (or Matt Stover, depending on the forum).

I think this following quote just about sums him up:

When I write a book, I put everything I have into it; so the more I have, the more the books become. Some people get freaked out by them: mostly the people who believe, mistakenly, that fantasy is about escaping reality. To them I say: If you have a problem with reality, you should be spending more time dealing with your life, and less time reading popcorn fantasy.

It was his Star Wars novel, Traitor, that got me hooked.  I honestly do believe that no one writes for the Star Wars saga better than he does, and that one of his greatest works is the novelization he wrote for Star Wars Episode IIIRevenge of the Sith.  A book he wrote with the authorization and input of George Lucas, no less, even though many of us fans are of the opinion that the book outdoes the film in showing the Fall of Anakin Skywalker and the Rise of Darth Vader.

I think there’s something to be said about Stover’s work.  It has an honesty about storytelling.  His tales always seem to reflect the innate humanity of his characters, regardless of them being heroes or villains.  Everyone has a perspective that you can appreciate, no matter how despicable their actions might be.  And he has a certain poetic flair that… well, read the endings for both Revenge of the Sith and Blade of Tyshalle, and you’ll understand.

So, Matt, if you ever read this, many thanks and may your pen or keyboard never falter to churn out page after page of glory.

Here is a quick list of his works:

Iron Dawn (1997)
Jericho Moon (1998)
Heroes Die (1998)
Blade of Tyshalle (2001)
The Real Flash Gordon (2001)
Star Wars: The New Jedi Order: Traitor (2002)
Star Wars: Shatterpoint (2003)
Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith (2005)
Caine Black Knife (2008)
Star Wars: Luke Skywalker and the Shadows of Mindor
(2008)

Stay tuned for the next installment, when I discuss the great Aaron Sorkin, creator of The West Wing and those classically quotable lines in A Few Good Men!

This is the Scriptorium, signing off!

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