Halo novels taken over by Star Wars: Republic Commandos author Karen Traviss

Video game movies may seem permanently consigned to suck-land, but video game novels are proving they can attract talent that other media tie-ins can't hold onto. Case in point: Karen Traviss. Turns out Star Wars' loss was Halo's gain.

Traviss has already written a few Gears Of War novels since leaving the Star Wars universe forever. And now she's signed a multi-book deal to write a series of Halo novels that "explore the Halo Universe in the wake of the final events of Halo 3." The books will come out from Tor, which is also publishing a trilogy of Halo novels by acclaimed novelist Greg Bear.

One obvious advantage of writing video-game novels comes to mind — Traviss will probably have a lot more freedom to explore the games' universe without fearing she'll be told that the continuity is being changed around completely on a whim, as happened with Star Wars' clone troopers, and particularly Boba Fett.

Tor's press release quotes Traviss as saying:

When I was invited to write Halo fiction I already knew it'd be right up my street; not just because military fiction is my specialty, but because there's also huge unexplored depth, grey areas, and really uncomfortable moral dilemmas that underpin the Halo story, and that's like catnip to a writer like me. I write what's known as tight third person – that is, I get right inside each character's head and see the world as they see experience it – and Halo offers some terrific chances to explore some fascinating psyches caught in complex situations.