Over at Emerald City, author Karen Traviss explains why she writes Star Wars novels. In the article she voices the widespread belief that “media tie-ins are rubbish”.
But are they? Do they not require effort just like any other book? According to Karen, they are even more difficult to write because of constraints put on the authors by the controlling party regarding character deaths, their backgrounds, language/terminology and the like. Additionally, the story events need to be congruent with the events in books by many other authors; there’s lots of coordination involved.
Speaking for myself, I have historically tended to avoid tie-ins because of this stigma. That’s unfortunate for me. I am surely missing out on some perfectly fine sf. For example, some co-bloggers have extolled the virtues of Timothy Zahn’s Thrawn trilogy of Star Wars books.
Media tie-ins are not exclusive to the Star Wars universe of course. Star Trek is another popular source of books, as is Stargate, Battlestar Galactica, Doctor Who, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and more. There’s even a whole gaming-related set of tie-ins, which I will not even start to get into here.
What do you think? Do you read tie-in novels? Which ones? Or are media tie-in novels trash?