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What's with the name?

Allow us to explain.

so long and thanks for all the fish

R.I.P Ann Crispin, Expanded Universe Writer for Star Wars, Star Trek and More

After leaving a final farewell to her fans on Facebook, author Ann Crispin (who you might also know as A. C. Crispin), died yesterday morning as the result of a two-year battle with cancer.

Crispin’s best known work is perhaps her Han Solo Trilogy, but she’s also written novels that expand upon the settings of the Star Trek, Alien, and Pirates of the Caribbean franchises, writing the first Star Trek novel to make it to the New York Times Bestseller List that wasn’t a novelization of a film, Yesterday’s Son. has a better eulogy of her work than I can give, but her legacy as a supporter of aspiring authors and a crusader against fraud may have found a similar reach as her writing.

Crispin served as both the Eastern Regional Director and later Vice President of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, in which capacity she founded the SFWA’s Committee on Writing Scams. The Committee eventually culminated in the creation of Writer Beware, a website, blog, database, and free research service dedicated to informing on and exposing the fraudulent players in the business of scamming aspiring authors.

I’ll be honest with you: I’d never heard of Ann Crispin before yesterday, and I’ve never read a single Star Wars expanded universe novel, but I do know first hand what it’s like to, as a young female writer, suddenly discover a female creator in the niche interest that you thought, up until then, was wholly male dominated. I also know what it’s like to discover that that androgynous, initialed pseudonym is the timid publisher’s cover for a female author, and to know that there aren’t just other women out there who share your interests, but that there are other women out there who have created the stuff you are interested in, and were doing it long before anybody started writing articles about the rise of the female geek. It seems a certainty, to me, that the work of Ann Crispin must have caused some other nerdy women to have parallel experiences to mine, and for that alone, she would deserve all the recognition I can give her.

(via Bleeding Cool, Making Light.)

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  • Ruth Anderson

    So sorry to hear this. I LOVED her Han Solo trilogy.

  • Janna

    I had the biggest crush on Han Solo and therefore loved those books, but didn’t know much about her. Thanks for this and the link to the Tor obituary.

  • Anonymous

    …I did not even know A.C. Crispin was a woman. The Han Solo trilogy is fun, she’s a fine writer.

  • Angela Korra’ti (Highland)

    I was a HUGE fan of her Han Solo trilogy. I _played_ Han on an online Star Wars game and I considered those _critical_ research material, on top of just being a joy to read. I even emailed her about them at one point to express my fangirly glee over those books and we had a delightful conversation. The SF/F genre is poorer for her loss. :(

  • Electrical Rat

    I haven’t read any Star Trek stuff (not enough time, booh!), but I adore her Han Solo trilogy.
    I only realised after part 1 that the author is a she, but I should’ve known, there were way too many cool and spot on female characters running loose in places were a male author might have introduced male characters.

  • Laura Truxillo

    The Han Solo Trilogy were my go-to comfort food books when I was a wee kid going through a lot of crap. Once again, I’m reminded that I really should take the time to let my favorite writers know just how amazing they are.

  • Aundrea Singer

    That’s so sad. I have to admit I thought A.C. was a guy, but I really loved the Han Solo trilogy. It’s awful to lose such a talent and inspiration.

  • Aundrea Singer

    That’s so sad. I have to admit I thought A.C. was a guy, but I really loved the Han Solo trilogy. It’s awful to lose such a talent and inspiration.

  • The Crafty Angel

    How sad :( I absolutely LOVE the Han Solo trilogy–have been encouraging my son to read them. RIP

  • Rizz Rustbolt

    Will Tor be reprinting her books with her full name now?

  • Bittersweet Fountain

    The Young Han Solo books were published by Bantam, and I think EU Star Wars rights are currently owned by Del Rey. So Tor has nothing to do with it.

    But I doubt they’ll ever change to her full name considering “The Outsiders” is still written by “S.E. Hinton” instead of Susan Hinton and I don’t see them changing JK Rowling on anything either, even though we all know she’s female.

    Publishing is weird.

  • Vian Lawson

    Rest her. Her Han Solo books were very fine, as was her V novelisation, back in the day More than that, she was a fierce and kind advocate for young writers, and gave me very helpful advice when some of my writing students wanted to start an online zine for their work. She was a mensch, and her work with Writer Beware and the like is a great legacy.

  • Fisty

    Her Solo books were a highlight of the expanded universe.