Karen Traviss

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Karen Traviss
GenreScience fiction

Karen Traviss is a science fiction author from Wiltshire, England. She is the author of the Wess'Har series, and has written tie-in material based on Star Wars, Gears of War, Halo, G.I. Joe and the newest Nomad Series working with Nick Cole and Jason Anspach. Her work crosses various forms of media including novels, short stories, comics, and video games.


Traviss is originally from the Portsmouth area. She worked as both a journalist and defence correspondent before turning her attention to writing fiction,[1] and has served in both the Territorial Army and the Royal Naval Auxiliary Service. Traviss is a graduate of the Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy workshop.[2]

Her first published novel, City of Pearl (2004), centred on the clash of several distinct alien civilizations, several hundred years in the future. It was shortlisted for the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for Best Science Fiction Novel and the Philip K. Dick Award.[1] 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).

In 2014, Traviss published Going Grey, a techno-thriller and the first novel in a series called Ringer.

Media tie-in works[edit]

Star Wars[edit]

In addition to creating her own fictional settings, Traviss has written novels using existing intellectual property—particularly in the Star Wars universe. Traviss wrote the Republic Commando series, beginning with Hard Contact in 2004 and continuing with Triple Zero (2006), True Colors (2007), and Order 66 (2008). In 2009, a related novel featuring the same characters was released (Star Wars Imperial Commando: 501st).[3]

In addition to the Republic Commando Series, Traviss was one of three authors retained by Lucasfilm and Del Rey Books 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 due to creative differences.[4][5]

Gears of War[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 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.[6]


She wrote, with Eric Nylund and Tobias S. Buckell and 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.[7] 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."[8]

Traviss has written comic books as well. She began with a stint on Gears of War before moving on to Batman: Arkham Unhinged.[9] In 2014 she began writing G.I. Joe comics for IDW Publishing.[10]


The Wess'har Wars[edit]

Star Wars novels[edit]

Gears of War series[edit]

Halo novels[edit]

Ringer series[edit]

  • Going Grey (2014)
  • Black Run (2017)

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).



  1. ^ a b Cheryl Morgan (27 March 2006). "Interview: Karen Traviss". Strange Horizons. Archived from the original on 23 October 2014. Retrieved 18 October 2014.
  2. ^ The Clarion Foundation - Alumni List
  3. ^ "Karen Traviss". Internet Science Fiction Database. Retrieved 18 October 2014.
  4. ^ Traviss, Karen. "Why have you stopped writing Star Wars?". karentraviss.com. Karen Traviss. Archived from the original on 2014-08-26.
  5. ^ Traviss, Karen. "Is it true you hate Jedi?". karentraviss.com. Karen Traviss. Archived from the original on 2013-12-17.
  6. ^ "'Gears Of War 3′ Writer Is Noted 'Star Wars' Author Karen Traviss". MTV Multiplayer. 2010-04-13. Archived from the original on 2010-04-18. Retrieved 2010-05-09.
  7. ^ "Karen Traviss, New York Times best-selling author: Master Chief insists". Archived from the original on 2010-07-23. Retrieved 2010-08-06.
  8. ^ "Old Typepad blog entries". Archived from the original on 2013-12-08. Retrieved 2013-12-03.
  9. ^ Joey Esposito (25 September 2014). "Batman: Arkham Unginged gets a new writer". IGN. Retrieved 18 October 2014.
  10. ^ Karl Keily (5 September 2014). "Novelist Karen Traviss Flips the Script in IDW's "G.I. Joe" #1". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved 18 October 2014.
  11. ^ Interview with Karen Traviss on Randomhouse.com
  12. ^ "Starwars". Archived from the original on 2009-02-07. Retrieved 2009-01-28.
  13. ^ "Karen Traviss to pen next Halo novel". Gaming Target.
  14. ^ "Emerald City: Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Reviews - #127".

External links[edit]