Karen Traviss

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Karen Traviss is a science fiction author, and full-time novelist from Wiltshire, England. Originally from the Portsmouth area, Traviss worked as both a journalist and defence correspondent before turning her attention to writing fiction. She also served in both the Territorial Army and the Royal Naval Auxiliary Service. Traviss is a graduate of the Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy workshop. Her first published novel, City of Pearl (2004) centered around the clash of several distinct alien civilizations, several hundred years in the future. She has since written five sequels to City of Pearl: Crossing the Line (2004), The World Before (2005), Matriarch (2006), Ally (2007), and Judge (2008).

History with Star Wars[edit]

In addition to creating her own fictional setting for City of Pearl, Traviss has written numerous novels using existing intellectual property—particularly in the Star Wars universe. Four of those Star Wars novels have been bestsellers[citation needed]: Star Wars Republic Commando: Hard Contact (2004), Star Wars Republic Commando: Triple Zero (2006) Star Wars Republic Commando: Order 66 (2008), and Star Wars Legacy of the Force: Bloodlines. Hard Contact and Triple Zero begin the Republic Commando Series, which Traviss continued to write (Star Wars Republic Commando: True Colors is the third volume and Star Wars Republic Commando: Order 66 (2008) is the fourth). Her newest addition to the series, 501st, was released in October 2009.

In addition to the Republic Commando Series, Traviss was one of three authors retained by Lucasfilm and Del Rey to pen a nine novel series called Legacy of the Force (the other two authors were Aaron Allston and Troy Denning). Her three contributions to the series are: Legacy of the Force: Bloodlines (2006), Legacy of the Force: Sacrifice (2007) and Legacy of the Force: Revelation (2008). Thematically, her work within the Star Wars universe has frequently centered on Mandalorians and their culture. In particular, her Republic Commando novels have explored themes of identity with regards to clone troopers, their Mandalorian heritage, and their interaction with Jedi leadership. Traviss has since parted from Del Rey for creative differences.

Other Intellectual Property-derived works[edit]

In addition to Star Wars novels, Traviss also wrote a Gears of War prequel novel, Gears of War: Aspho Fields which was released on 28 October 2008. She was inspired to do so after watching a trailer for the game.[1][citation needed] She then went on to write the sequels Gears of War: Jacinto's Remnant, released on 28 July 2009, Gears of War: Anvil Gate, released on 31 August 2010 and Gears of War: Coalition's End, released on 2 August 2011, and Gears of War: The Slab, released in May 2012. She also served as the lead writer for Gears of War 3.

She wrote together with Eric Nylund and Tobias S. Buckell and many other authors the short story collection Halo Evolutions: Essential Tales of the Halo Universe, which was released in November 2009.

On 21 July 2010 Traviss announced on her blog that she had signed a multi-book deal to write novels set in the Halo universe.[2] The first book is set after the events of Halo: Ghosts of Onyx, and is a continuation of that story line. Explaining why she had agreed to write in the Halo universe, Traviss said that "Believe it or not, I really have found the backbone to turn down other series featuring heavily armoured, unfeasibly cannoned-up chaps struggling to find their place in an unfriendly world. I'm not a soft touch for any old bloke with a codpiece, people. But this is Halo. There's an awkward and upsetting moral dilemma at the heart of the story, and if there's something I can't resist more than money, it's exploring moral dilemmas. (With big weapons, naturally.) You haven't spotted it? Pay attention at the back, there. There is a story."[3]


The Wess'har Wars[edit]

Star Wars novels[edit]

Gears of War series[edit]

  • Aspho Fields (October 2008) Book 1 of the Gears of War novel series.
  • Jacinto's Remnant (July 2009) Book 2 of the Gears of War novel series.
  • Anvil Gate (September 2010) Book 3 of the Gears of War novel series.
  • Coalition's End (August 2011) Book 4 of the Gears of War novel series.
  • The Slab (May 2012) Book 5 of the Gears of War novel series.

Halo novels[edit]

Star Wars short stories[edit]

Other short stories[edit]


  • I Gotta Get Me One of Those, in the essay anthology, Navigating the Golden Compass: Religion, Science & Daemonology in Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials (Smart Pop Series, BenBella Books, August 2005)
  • Driving GFFA 1: or How Star Wars Loosened My Corsets, in Star Wars on Trial : Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Debate the Most Popular Science Fiction Films of All Time (ed. David Brin, 2006).


Star Wars Controversy[edit]

In 2008 to 2009, Traviss began to fall victim to a series of perceived attacks against her writing by fans of the Star Wars Universe on the Lucas Arts (StarWars.com) website. These attacks centered around a number of perceived canonical errors in her writing. Over the course of several months, the discussions between the author, and fans of the series continued on a relatively civil matter; until the release of the pending Clone Wars Cartoon series was announced. In this cartoon series, actions were taken by the producers which effectively retconned all of the writing which Traviss had established in her novels,[7] and would prove to be a catalyst to an already smoldering for some time. Shortly after this, Traviss posted to her stawars.com blog a statement, which in part; compared fans of the Star Wars republic to Nazi sympathizers, saying in part "It's slave-owner-think: it's Nazi-think. And yes, I bloody well hate it, and all those who think it." [8] Shortly after the original posting of the blog, (A couple days at best) Traviss deleted the majority of her Starwars.com blog, and moved the files to her own website.

The controversy itself has become something of a meme, based off of a statement made by her on her personal live journal, in which she called fans who opposed her stance on the series as "Talifans." The definition of which is "A fan who insists upon their being only one canonical approach to the object of his fandom, and directly opposes anything which contradicts that canonical approach."


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ [2]
  3. ^ http://www.karentraviss.com/page20/page29/
  4. ^ Interview with Karen Traviss on Randomhouse.com
  5. ^ [3]
  6. ^ "Karen Traviss to pen next Halo novel". Gaming Target. 
  7. ^ http://www.karentraviss.com/page10/files/Why_have_you_stopped_writing_St.html
  8. ^ http://www.karentraviss.com/page10/files/Is_it_true_you_hate_Jedi_.html

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]