I am so excited to announce I will be a part of this fantastic project!
You can read more about it in Rich Handley’s blog here: http://hassleinbooks.blogspot.com/2015/10/prose-of-apes-guiding-planet-on-its.html
I will be co-authoring a story with Kevin J. Anderson. My second time doing so with the legendary Science Fiction writer. To say I am excited about that part of this project would be an understatement! The list of other authors involved makes me weak in the knees!
I wanted to share a couple of quick thoughts on this project. I think it is very exciting that they have opened up the television series and the animated series for this anthology. Just having the entire original movie story arc available would have been incredible, but this, is extraordinary!
For research, I have watched the original 5 films, the television series, and am about half-way through the animated series. (I know, research sucks, right! ;D ) I remembered all of these, if not the exact details of the stories, from when I was a kid. I found it interesting at how different each was. Online, I discovered many people consider them “alternate universes” of each other. Kind of like what happened with the Star Trek reboot. Die hard fans just pretended it was a whole different story so they can cope. There were some surprising (if easily overlooked) discrepancies in the original movies even, so to have changes in the other series were expected for me, but… wow.
In the original series, humans couldn’t talk. On the television series, they all could. This fact alone kind of blows the plot of the first movie right out of the water, but it is still enjoyable. In the animated series, the apes are truer to the original idea for the whole thing and have a society nearly like ours with television sets and an army that drives around in military jeeps and trucks.
In spite of these differences, the two newer series reference the first, sometimes in odd and conflicting ways. Hence the whole “alternate universe” thing. (Not to mention the dramatic ending of Beneath the Planet of the Apes. No spoilers! Go watch it if you don’t remember/haven’t seen it!)
I could pick at these for a while (plot holes, things that don’t make sense, etc.) but there is no point to that. The point is to have fun with it. And the idea Kevin had for a story is exactly that.
When I heard his idea, it was pretty easy to realize our story would have to be set before the first movie. So you would think that I wouldn’t have to watch EVERYTHING for research, right? (Pshaw! Where’s the fun in that?) Actually, I still wanted to make sure that nothing like our story had been done already, and I wanted to make sure that if there was anything like it referenced, that we matched things as close as possible. Why? Well, because a) we are writing this for the fans and they would spot the problems right off and b) because we are fans and would never forgive ourselves for overlooking something obvious. (Also, I wanted the excuse to watch them all again!)
Some might ask why I would put in that kind of time. Aren’t there reference books, Wiki pages, that kind of thing where I can get quick answers? Yes, there are. But what if they are wrong? What if they are referencing Fan Fiction and I don’t realize it? What if I accidentally use something “outside” of the properties I was told we had access to? ( The original five films, the television series, and the animated series.) I would hate if we wrote the perfect story around that exact phrase said by that one character that makes the whole world work, only to find out that was from one of the comics and we have gone outside of our contract. See? Media Tie-in writing is fun! (Actually, so far, it has been. But I have had a great mentor in Kevin J. Anderson!)
So what is our story about? I’m not gonna tell! You’ll have to buy the anthology! It should be out in Q1 2017. (Okay. That’s a long ways away. I’ll tell a little bit to hold you over. It’s about a young Dr. Zaius! [and maybe … the Forbidden Zone? Oh, yeah. If you know Kevin, you know there had to be some Forbidden Zone action!] So exciting!)