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Voice Of The Fans: What’s The Best Media Tie-in Novel?

In this week’s Mind Meld post on The Best Sword & Sorcery stories, commenter Blue Tyson raised the issue of media tie-ins. That comment inspired this week’s question to fans:

Q: Which media tie-in novel is the best?

Simple, no? It can be related to a TV show, movie, video/board game, anything, but we want to know what you think is the best tie-in novel and worthy of a read by other fans like you.

We’ve pushed Black Library’s Warhammer 40K books quite a bit, especially those by Dan Abnett. Since I’ve read several of his books, I’m going to have to throw out Eisenhorn and Ravenor as two of the best I’ve read (for those of you who don’t know, Warhammer 40K started life as a tabletop miniatures wargame). If you had asked me thirty years ago, I would have said Splinter of the Mind’s Eye, before Jedi went and made it all icky.

About JP Frantz (2323 Articles)
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15 Comments on Voice Of The Fans: What’s The Best Media Tie-in Novel?

  1. Some of the Doctor Who tie-in novels are excellent, though they can be very variable in quality – anything by Mark Morris is worth your time, and also Michael Michelowski.

  2. eek!

    That’ll be Mark Michalowski, not Michael.

  3. Such a list of possible titles and tie-ins. I would have to put Dan Abnett at the top of the tie in list, I have read his 40K, Dr Who, Torchwood, Primeval (and probably a couple of others I have forgotten) and regardless of the universe and its problems Mr Abnett has always managed to get a decent novel out of the franchise.

    Other ones that stick out for the right reasons are Timothy Zhan’s Thrawn Trilogy, and the New Jedi Order series (there are other good Starwars novels, but they can be hit and miss).

    Eric Nylands Halo novels are also extremely good, he is an author who always gives me great pleasure to read.

    There are also a few V novels that were extremely good V, East Coast Crisis and Pursuit of Diana are the ones that stick out clearest in my mind.

    TSR also did some fabulous novels for their game worlds, the 1st Dragonlance Trilogy was great, some of the Drizzt Do’udren, Moonshae novels in Forgotten Realms and the Spelljammer series were also excellent.

  4. Many to choose from (Anderson’s X-files books, Zahn’s Star Wars books), but if I had to pick just one it would be Dragons of Autumn Twilight by Weis and Hickman, the first Dragonlance book.  Loved that first trilogy as a teenager, have reread it multiple times as a Reader Who Done Grew Up And Went To Grad School, and I’ll still testify that those first three DL books  are one of the best heroic fantasy series ever written.

  5. Jonathan K. Stephens // April 16, 2010 at 9:21 am //

    Well, having to admit I don’t read a whole lot of Media Tie-ins, but swallowing that rather large grain of salt quickly, two that I have recently read struck me as just as good as anything else out there.

    Predator: South China Sea by Jeff VanderMeer, whose fabulous novel Finch is up for a Nebula this year and;

    Wolverine: Lifeblood by Hugh Matthews (who is Mathew Hughes, who’s Archonate millennium series of tales I unreservedly recommend).

    And while I’m at it, Karen Traviss’ Star Wars: Republican Commando series ain’t half bad neither!




  6. Several Star Trek novels have been quite good. I’m fond of The Final Reflection by John M. Ford, which is a good military science fiction novel that happens to be about Klingons, with only cameo appearances by Trek characters.  Peter David has written some fine and funny books (Vendetta, Q-In-Law) and rich novels that fill in background  (Imzadi, The Captain’s Daughter). And David’s New Frontier deserves special mention as a Star Trek series that  exists in print only.

    I also liked several Babylon 5 novels. Greg Keyes’s Bester novels flesh out the character, tell an interesting story, and pay tribute to the character’s namesake, sf author Alfred Bester. And Peter David (yes, again) told a fine political space opera in his Centauri trilogy.


    The Black Library Warhammer audiobooks are supposed to be really good, 1 cast member but music & effects, but short.  I wish they were downloadable.


  8. For me it must be the old beat up paperback of King Kong by Delos W. Lovelace I found under a desk in junior high while enduring detention. Inside the lurid cover was a thrilling read.

    I can’t remember any particular lesson taught in that school but on that day I learned forever the cultural importance of Giant Apes.

  9. I had forgotten about the B5 books, both the Psycor and Centari trilogy where great. Will have to dig them out and add them to my re-read pile.

  10. Patrick McManus // April 16, 2010 at 7:19 pm //

    By far the best “media tie in novel idea is “Heat Wave” by Richard Castle. Yes, a fictional mystery writer has written a real crime novel!

  11. A couple from movies that spring to mind :-


    E.T. – William Kotzwinkle

    Buckaroo Banzai – Earl Mac Rauch

  12. A few more :-


    Last Son of Krypton and Kingdom Come – Elliott S. Maggin

    V For Vendetta – Steve Moore

    Helltown – Dennis O’Neill – a Question novel!

    No Man’s Land – Greg Rucka – which is Batman.  Rucka’s an accomplished original novelist as well.

  13. Paul Granahan // April 18, 2010 at 12:57 am //

    The Abyss by Orson Scott Card.

  14. Buckaroo Banzai, by Earl Mac Rauch

    Aliens, by Alan Dean Foster

    The novelization of Grease is also a lot of fun in its complete weirdness.

  15. dunmurderin // April 24, 2010 at 6:55 pm //

    Karen Traviss’s Star Wars novels, including the Clone Wars animated movie novelization and her Legacy of the Force books.

    Earl Mac Rauch’s Buckaroo Banzai

    The novelization of Howard the Duck — no, really! It’s funny and clever as hell.

    Joe Schrieber’s Death Troopers  — Star Wars + Zombies

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