Friday, May 20, 2005

Booknote: _Tales of the Bounty Hunters (Star Wars)_

With the last movie coming out, I got in the mood to read a little "popcorn" literature, or as one of my colleagues used to call it, "potato chips." She said it in the sense that it was like having some chips, you took some now and then but you did not eat a whole bag all the time. At any rate, yes, I do read lighter stuff now and then. I have read some Star Wars novels, and I enjoyed the trilogy written by Timothy Zahn when Lucas first opened his creation to other novelists. However, I did not keep up with it because I found the quality to be erratic; some books were good; some were, well, not so good and clearly marketed for fans, and I only mean this in the sense that the books seem clearly more focused on marketing than on a good story. Also, there are so many now, that it has become like Star Trek novels; you have to be a hardcore fan to keep up, and I am just a casual reader. If you ask me Star Trek or Star Wars, it is Star Wars. Seeing the first film in the theater as a child when it came out is one of my fondest memories.

Tales of the Bounty Hunters (1996), edited by Kevin J. Anderson, is an easy piece of reading. It is five tales for six bounty hunters (Zuckuss and 4-Lom are partners, so they get one tale). I picked up a copy in a second hand store, along with the other two tales anthologies, which I may make a note for later. The tales vary in quality. I personally enjoyed the tale of Zuckus and 4-Lom, and I enjoyed the tale of Bossk the least, mostly because there was not enough of the Trandoshan bounty hunter, but the tale does give glimpses of the religion the Trandoshans follow, and I always find little things like that interesting. Boba Fett's tale has an open ending, so readers who prefer closure in their fiction will likely not enjoy it. With the understanding that quality is variable, I can recommend the book for readers who want something very light and easy. Star Wars fans will likely enjoy it, and they will likely debate the merits of each tale. Non-fans may enjoy the book as an easy entrance to the novels of Star Wars if they are curious. Actually, I did a search in Amazon for the book to get another glimpse at the date, and the webpage features some reader reviews. I think some of those reviews give a sense of what it is fans looked for in the book, what they liked and disliked, so it could be another thing to look for.

As for the new film, I am planning on seeing it. I will admit, I am one of the believers in the first trilogy that disliked the second trilogy. But I am willing to take a chance and see how things wind up. I am going to wait until the lines at the theaters diminish though, so it may be a while.

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