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Posts with tag Novels

Michael Stackpole, Micky Neilson talk Shadows of the Horde

Michael Stackpole, Micky Neilson talk Shadows of the Horde
Vol'jin: Shadows of the Horde will be available for purchase next week, on July 2. We've already published a spoiler-free review of the novel, which features the Darkspear leader Vol'jin as he recuperates from his near-assassination in the Dagger in the Dark scenario. The novel is something a little different for Blizzard, featuring a story that not only stands apart from the gameplay of Mists of Pandaria, but features a new author as well -- Michael Stackpole, whose writing spans both fantasy and sci-fi, with notable works in both the Battletech and Star Wars universe.

Blizzard was kind enough to let us have a chat with both Mike Stackpole and Micky Neilson, Lead Story Developer at Blizzard, regarding Shadows of the Horde, its development, and the intricacies of writing that oh-so-troublesome troll accent.

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Filed under: Lore, Interviews, Mists of Pandaria

Review of Vol'jin: Shadows of the Horde by Michael Stackpole

Review of Vol'jin Shadows of the Horde by Michael Stackpole
I've been dying for a good troll novel. Despite their longevity in Warcraft's timeline, we really haven't seen much of anything regarding the troll race, their traditions, their customs, the loa -- none of the rich history that has been cultivated and told over the years. Needless to say, I was very excited when Vol'jin: Shadows of the Horde was announced at the New York Comic Con last year -- and even more so when Michael Stackpole was revealed as the author of the book.

A prolific author, Stackpole has written a ton of books set in the Star Wars universe as well as BattleTech and a variety of original works as well. Familiar with both fantasy and sci-fi, Stackpole is an impressive author in his own right -- and his realm of expertise with both guaranteed he'd be a good fit for the Warcraft universe and its unique approach to fantasy. So how did Shadows of the Horde hold up?

This is quite possibly one of the darkest novels in the Warcraft stable. And it's brilliant.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Lore

Blizzard headed to New York Comic Con

Blizzard releases New York Comic Con schedule
If you're headed to New York Comic Con this week, keep your eyes peeled for Blizzard. Blizzard Entertainment will have both panels and signings at NYCC this year, including a publishing panel with Blizzard Publishing Lead Micky Neilson, Lead Quest Designer Dave Kosak, and author Michael Stackpole. During the panel, they'll be revealing the next World of Warcraft novel, which should be the Vol'jin story mentioned during the AMA on Reddit last month. Judging from his presence at the panel, it's likely this is the story Stackpole will be writing.

You can catch the panel Saturday, October 13 from 2:45-3:45pm in Room 1A14 at the Javits Center in New York. There will also be a panel from UDON on Friday, October 12 from 7:45-8:45pm in Room 1A06. The UDON panel will be giving a scoop on a future collaboration between Blizzard and UDON, a Blizzard-themed tribute art book and contest. And if you're looking to get your copy of Pearl of Pandaria signed by the author and artist, you can find Micky Neilson and Sean "Cheeks" Galloway at the IDC Booth, #1238, on Friday from 12-1pm.

Blizzard will also have a presence at a ton of booths around the convention center, everything from Mega Bloks to comics and publishing. For the full list of scheduled events and booths, head the official website.

Filed under: Blizzard, News items

Next WoW novel set to focus on Vol'jin

Next WoW novel set to focus on Vol'jin
Anyone who has played through the troll starting zone or read the novels knows that Vol'jin, leader of the Darkspear, is not particularly happy with Garrosh Hellscream. In fact, Vol'jin and Garrosh had an altercation in which the troll leader flat-out informed the new Warchief that when his day of judgment came to pass, Vol'jin would be the one to deal the killing blow.

Since then, tensions have continued to rise in the Horde. And while Vol'jin has been keeping quiet, that tension hasn't gone away. Between trying to lead his people, his problems with Garrosh and the sudden resurgence of the Zandalar in Cataclysm, Vol'jin has had a lot on his plate. According to Lead Quest Designer Dave Kosak via the AMA on Reddit, we're finally going to hear more from the Darkspear leader in the next Warcraft novel.

Dave Kosak
If you're getting psyched about the storyline, I think you'll love the next novel which focuses on Vol'jin. Have you played the troll 1-10 intro experience? Vol'jin flat-out tells Garrosh he doesn't trust him and he'll stab him in the back the moment he sees an opportunity. The novel carries his story forward and really meshes in with the events of patch 5.1.

One of our ongoing goals is to make sure that the games and novels complement each other, and that major lore events don't happen in the novels without some kind of representation in-game. This is a huge challenge for us!! But I think we're getting better at it.

Is this the novel that Michael Stackpole is reportedly working on? We don't know -- but either way, it's Vol'jin. You know it's going to be good. Hopefully we'll see more on the new novel sooner rather than later.


It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

Filed under: Lore, Mists of Pandaria

Star Wars/Battletech scribe Michael Stackpole to write new WoW novel

Star WarsBattletech scribe Michael Stackpole to write new WoW novel
It's been a while since we've seen a new face write a WoW novel -- novels have been alternating pretty steadily between Christie Golden and Richard Knaak for a few years now. It looks like we've about to see some new blood in the lineup, though. Former tabletop designer Michael Stackpole, probably best known for his Star Wars and Battletech books, is confirmed by Simon & Schuster to be writing an untitled World of Warcraft book due out in early 2013.

By the timeline, it's safe to assume that the book has something to do with Pandaria and the events surrounding it, but I'm sure we'll find out in the nine months before it comes out. In the meantime, you can check out Stackpole's website, where he offers advice for casual writers and fanfiction authors who want to get published, or get acquainted with his writing by picking up one of his many books.

Wait, hold up, this dude designed Wasteland? Damn, maybe I'll buy five books instead of one.

Filed under: Blizzard, Lore

Blizzard panel and Sam Didier at the San Diego Comic-Con 2012

Blizzard panel at the San Diego Comicon!
WoW Insider has received a tip that there will be a Blizzard panel at the San Diego Comic-Con!

From 2:15 to 3:15 on Thursday, July 12, Chris Metzen (Blizzard Entertainment SVP, story and franchise development) and special guests will be hosting a panel in room 6BCF. The panel is listed as a product showcase for WoW, StarCraft and Diablo, and the blurb says that they will "reveal never-before-seen licensed products and plans for 2012/2013. Talk to the designers, writers and artists themselves as we dig into Mega Bloks, novels, comics, statues and more."

This panel will, of course, include a Q&A alongside the reveals mentioned above, so if you're in the San Diego area and already have tickets to Comic-Con, this sounds like a fantastically exciting opportunity to hob-nob with the Blizzard team and quiz them about everything you need to know about their games.

But wait, there's more! Sam "Samwise" Didier, the art director at Blizzard Entertainment responsible for creating much of the artwork for the Warcraft, StarCraft, and the Diablo series and the senior art director on StarCraft II, will be in the Artists' Alley at table DD-09. The Artists' Alley gives Comic-Con attendees the chance to meet and greet some of their favorite artists, and you might even be able to buy original art, sketches, and exclusive, limited edition prints and sketchbooks.

I would have loved to put in a link to buy Comic-Con tickets, but it seems from the website that it is completely sold out. So close to the time, I'm guessing this isn't a great surprise -- but still, a shame. So if you're lucky enough to have tickets, head on over!

[Thanks for the tips, Serrotatauren!]

Filed under: Comics, Mists of Pandaria

15 Minutes of Fame: Sci-fi and fantasy copyeditor Deanna Hoak

From Hollywood celebrities to the guy next door, millions of people have made World of Warcraft a part of their lives. How do you play WoW? We're giving each approach its own 15 Minutes of Fame.

Deanna Hoak and I have bonded over the Viscous Hammer. Yes, I realize that some of you will find it somewhat predictably amusing that WoW Insider's resident copyeditor should be geeking out over interviewing sci-fi/fantasy copyeditor and WoW player Deanna Hoak -- but there's more to this editor than a mere passion for punctuation. Hoak brings a virtually unique set of experience and sensitivities to the fantastical demands of the novels she edits. In the world of science fiction and fantasy, Hoak edits the big dogs: China Miéville, Michael Moorcock, Catherynne M. Valente, Alan Dean Foster, Cherie Priest, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, R.A. Salvatore ... In fact, Hoak's the only copyeditor ever nominated for a World Fantasy Award for her work.

So yeah, someone who appreciates all the wrongness of WoW's awkwardly named Viscous Hammer (and who knows how to spice up an email exchange with some pretty hot photos of China Miéville at a recent con -- but that's another story) ... To top it all off, along with her two children (her husband's the lone holdout of the family), Hoak's an avid WoW player. Join us after the break for a conversation on World of Warcraft from a SF/F insider's point of view, her recommended reading list for fellow WoW players, and more.

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Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

WoW.com's gift guide for 2009

It's that time of year again -- if you (like me) haven't gotten gifts for everyone on your list, it's time to start scrambling to find something nice to get under the tree this year. Fortunately, you don't have to worry about finding something good for the World of Warcraft fan in your life: we've got you covered there. In the gallery below, we've got a nice bunch of gift ideas for everything Warcraft, from the cheap to the expensive, from the silly to the practical, from in-game presents you can wrap with shiny paper, to out-of-game classics that you can... also wrap with shiny paper. If you need to give a gift to a WoW player this year, you'll find it below for sure.

And if you happen to be a Warcraft player, faced with the annual awkward question of "What do you want me to give you this year?", just feel free to drop this link surreptitiously as a reply, maybe even with a hint or two towards a specific item. We've included links to everything and kept it easy to understand even for someone who hasn't visited Azeroth before. That's our gift to you. Happy holidays, and good gift hunting!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Guides, Galleries, Fan art

[1.Local]: In which He-Man and Eddie get pwned


Reader comments -- ahh, yes, the juicy goodness following a meaty post. [1.Local] ducks past the swinging doors to see what readers have been chatting about in the back room over the past week.

Sometimes it's the smallest details that people grow attached to. Take, for instance, this note that came in on the news tip line from a dejected reader named Brian. Brian and his compatriots are lamenting a dearly departed Battlemaster - one who seemed strangely reminiscent of a certain Eternian prince.

Subject: Adam Eternum is MISSING

Some time around patch 3.2, all the Battlemasters in Shattrath were changed. Gone is Adam Eternum, with his smashing magical loincloth and Gnome sidekick.

Instead we have, as a royally ticked-off guildie puts it (after having downed several stiff drinks in despair), "Shome Draenei hussy ... hic!"


My guild here on Ysera, at least, has gone into mourning.

Oh where, oh where has Prince Adam has gone? Find out what else readers have been mourning or celebrating this week - plus peek at an internal WoW.com team e-mail in which Hunter columnist Eddie Carrington gets soundly pwned - after the break.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Features, [1.Local]

WoW Rookie: Reading about Warcraft

New around here? WoW Rookie points WoW's newest players to the basics of a good start in the World of Warcraft. Send us a note to suggest a WoW Rookie topic, and be sure to visit the WoW.com WoW Rookie Guide for links to all our tips, tricks and how-to's.

Even if you're not a roleplayer, it's almost impossible not to find yourself swept up by some aspect of the hundreds of compelling stories tucked into the World of Warcraft. The question is, how can you dig deeper? Where do you find more? The answer: Books ... Manga ... Comics ... RPGs .... Page after page after page of glorious lore. Blizzard approves the storylines and lore included in the Warcraft and World of Warcraft line of novels, although you won't find a straight and clear progression across the whole line. Not every story and character crosses over from books to game (and vice versa).

Besides the Warcraft novels, WoW-starved readers can chew through enough manga, roleplaying game books and gaming guides to sate any lore feeding frenzy. The best part? You enjoy +Lore bonuses to your online play experience. Even the RPG books add color to the overall picture. Follow us beyond the break for a basic reading outline to escort you down Warcraft's path of lore.

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Filed under: Features, The Burning Crusade, Lore, WoW Rookie, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm

Video of Christie Golden's Long Island reading

I wasn't anywhere near Huntington, NY on Saturday, but our friend Medievaldragon from BlizzPlanet was, and he did stop by the Christie Golden reading at the Book Revue bookstore. He even brought videos back with him, and so if you're a Golden fan (she is a New York Times-bestselling author, after all) and want to see her reading from Arthas, there you go.

Apparently the reading was a pretty full house, too, and you can see from the video that there were all kinds of people there. Golden also says early in the video that Arthas is Blizzard's first big bestseller, and she repeats what we've heard before: that Blizzard loves having her write for them and she loves coming up with stories from their settings. The only big bit of news for fans from the reading is that while Blizzard is producing three different Warcraft books (of which Arthas is the first), they won't be a trilogy at all, just stand-alone stories. Big thanks to Medievaldragon once again for stopping by the event and grabbing video for those of us who couldn't go.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Lore

Walter and Louise Simonson interviewed at NYCC


Blizzplanet has a video they've been saving from the New York Comic Con a little while back. This time, they chat with Walter and Louise Simonson, part of the team behind the World of Warcraft comic, which at the time, had just re-introduced Garona Halforcen, the half-orc assassin who is likely about to make a long-awaited appearance in the MMO world of Azeroth. The couple say that while they can't tell us much, Garona fans have some cool stuff to look forward to, as we're going to learn more about both her "past" and "future." There are some other little lore tidbits in the interview as well, including what's up with Varian Wrynn and his counterpart, Lo'gosh. And there's good news for fans of the Horde -- while the comic book has so far had an Alliance lead character, Blizzard is setting up new things for the Horde as well.

Clearly here are two people really ensconced in the World of Warcraft -- they both seem to have a really great and passionate grasp on the story behind WoW, and a real care for how the future of the story unfolds. We can't wait to see it.

Filed under: Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Lore, NPCs

The Queue: Rested

Welcome back to The Queue, WoW Insider's daily Q&A column where the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.

Good afternoon, folks. I want to take a second to apologize for The Queue's absence the last couple of days. Patch days pretty much murder Adam and I, so we set this thing aside for a couple of days. We're much less busy now though, so it should be back on schedule!

thatoneguy asked...


"So is the Argent Tournament a one time thing or is it going to keep coming back? I'm kinda worried i'll miss it if I reroll with a friend."

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Filed under: The Queue

Christie Golden talks about Arthas, Rise of the Lich King

Our friend Medievaldragon (of Blizzplanet, who's now posting occasionally over on World of War) got a chance to talk to author Christie Golden at BlizzCon last weekend. She's working on a book about Arthas (which has a title now: "Rise of the Lich King"), and she chatted with MD about what kind of lore fun is going to be in those pages.

The book starts with Arthas as a ten-year-old prince, and then obviously follows his path through what we saw in Warcraft III, including all of that bad business at Quel'Thalas, and Arthas' past with Jaina and Kael'thas (you don't think Blizzard would bring KT back again in WotLK, do you?). Golden promises some good looks as the High Elves, too -- "two very pivotal characters are elven," she says. Including Sylvanas? We can only hope.

The book's due out in April, sounds like it'll be a good read, for Arthas fans especially.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Lore, BlizzCon, Wrath of the Lich King

Dalaran's coins reveal the wishes of Azerothians

BlizzPlanet has already found a fun little set of Easter Eggs hidden in the fountains around the new city hub of Dalaran -- apparently with a little Fishing skill, you can bring up the wishing coins of some of Azeroth's famous inhabitants. Some of the coins are spoilers (so be careful clicking through if you want to avoid that kind of thing), but others are just in there for fun -- Arugal has apparently wished for his own estate (with some doggies to keep him company), and Attumen would like a much more comfortable saddle.

There are some good references to the extended universe in there as well, as apparently a few characters from the Warcraft novels have made appearances and throw wishing coins in Dalaran. It's this kind of stuff that is going to make exploring Northrend so much fun -- while Outland was relatively unexplored territory, Dalaran and the rest of Northrend are already well-traveled in the Warcraft universe. It'll be a really good time retracing the footsteps of all the characters we already know.

Thanks, Gurluas!

Filed under: Fishing, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Humor, Lore, NPCs, Wrath of the Lich King

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