Karen Traviss

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Karen Traviss
Biographical information




Official site

Official website

"I only write science fiction, and even when I write Star Wars I still treat it as SF and not fantasy. I think you can write Star Wars either way, and that's the good thing about it: it's a big enough universe to allow a very wide range of interpretations."
―Karen Traviss, from an interview on[src]

Karen Traviss is the author of multiple Star Wars novels, including Republic Commando: Hard Contact and its sequels, Republic Commando: Triple Zero, Republic Commando: True Colors and Order 66: A Republic Commando Novel, and Imperial Commando: 501st, as well as the Legacy of the Force novels Bloodlines, Sacrifice and Revelation. She is also one of the two authors of the five The Clone Wars novels which are based on the The Clone Wars movie and the following The Clone Wars TV series (the second author being Karen Miller). She wrote the first book in the series entitled Star Wars: The Clone Wars and the third book entitled The Clone Wars: No Prisoners. Traviss was also planning on writing a sequel to Imperial Commando: 501st, but the novel was reassigned to another author due to Traviss having issues with the publisher and Star Wars canon. Traviss also canceled a planned untitled Boba Fett novel that had been planned to be released after Imperial Commando 2. Traviss was originally planning on writing The Essential Guide to Warfare, known at the time as The Essential Guide to the Star Wars Military, but passed it on to another author. She also wrote for the defense in the book Star Wars on Trial, arguing that her work on Star Wars novels improved her non-Star Wars writing.

She has been among the most active authors in the community, posting regularly on the forums, 501st Legion forums, and elsewhere. She is also an honorary member of the 501st Legion, inducted on July 22, 2006 and has her own set of Republic Commando Omega Squad armor, donated by the members of


Traviss is from the Portsmouth area in England. Before becoming a full-time novelist, she held various jobs, including defense correspondent, advertising copywriter, journalism lecturer, media liaison officer, and public relations manager, but for the most part she has worked as a journalist. She has also served in the Territorial Army as well as the Royal Naval Auxiliary Service.

Karen Traviss is known to give plenty of attention to her fans, going through the trouble of answering most of the messages she receives.

Currently, Karen Traviss lives in Wiltshire, England.


"My tie-ins are aimed at an adult audience, but they still have to be suitable for young adult readers, so I couldn’t fall back on my usual soldierly dialogue of profanity. But I maintained a lot of solid science, and dealt with issues like rape, atrocities, shooting prisoners, and all the other ugly areas of war."
―Karen Traviss[src]

Her novelist career began in 2000 when she attended the Clarion Workshop at Michigan State University. On her official website, Traviss acknowledges that it was very helpful in starting her career, but warns that it now focuses exclusively on short fiction, which is unlikely to be a workable career.

Traviss published her first Star Wars novel, Republic Commando: Hard Contact, in 2004. Her work for Star Wars usually involves clone troopers, Mandalorians, or related characters such as Boba Fett. She is amongst other things known for developing the Mandalorian language, Mando'a, into a working language.

On August 8, 2009, she announced that the second Imperial Commando novel would be her last Star Wars novel.[1] However, Traviss later withdrew from the project over various issues, including continuity changes introduced by The Clone Wars TV series.[2]


Several of Karen Traviss' works have stirred considerable controversy, namely, the "3 Million Clones" debate. Books by her give the Grand Army of the Republic's numbers at 3 million clones; this was seen as both impossibly low to protect the Republic's membership of just under 1.3 million planets (meaning 2.3 clones per planet) as well as less than the hundred million men required to fight World War II on a single planet (16 million used by the United States of America alone). These debates broke out between Karen Traviss (sometimes alongside fellow Fandalorians) and the opposed fans she often referred to as "Talifans." The debates were usually held on online forums, eventually including

It is not entirely clear what exactly happened in all of these debates, particularly on, since many posts were deleted by moderators, and Traviss herself deleted the entire contents of her blog. Many of the posts were screen-shot before their removal, but these screen-shots, while providing new insight into the incidents that occurred, may be showing aspects of the debates out of proper context.


Star WarsEdit

YearTitle Format Notes
2004 Republic Commando: Hard Contact Novel
2005 Omega Squad: Targets Short story From Star Wars Insider 81
2005 In His Image Short story From Vader: The Ultimate Guide
2005 Guide to the Grand Army of the Republic Article From Star Wars Insider 84; with Ryan Kaufman
2005 A Two-Edged Sword Short story From Star Wars Insider 85
2006 The Mandalorians: People and Culture Article From Star Wars Insider 86
2006 Republic Commando: Triple Zero Novel
2006 Odds Short story From Star Wars Insider 87
2006 Boba Fett: A Practical Man E-novella
2006 Bloodlines Novel
2007 Part of the Language Article From Star Wars Insider 93
2007 Sacrifice Novel
2007 Republic Commando: True Colors Novel
2008 Revelation Novel
2008 Star Wars: The Clone Wars Novel
2008 Order 66: A Republic Commando Novel Novel
2009 The Clone Wars: No Prisoners Novel
2009 Imperial Commando: 501st Novel
Imperial Commando 2 Novel Canceled[3]
Untitled Boba Fett novel Novel Canceled[1]
The Essential Guide to the Star Wars Military Reference book Reassigned to another author[4] and later became The Essential Guide to Warfare
Unnamed Hodges-Traviss webstrip Webstrip Canceled[1]


YearTitle Format Notes
2002 Strings Short Story published in Realms of Fantasy
2002 A Slice at a Time Short Story published in Asimov's Science Fiction
2003 Suitable foe the Orieng Short Story published in Asimov's Science Fiction
2003 Return Stores Short Story published in Realms of Fantasy
2003 The Man who did Nothing Short Story published in Realms of Fantasy
2003 Does He Take Blood? Short Story published in Realms of Fantasy
2004 City of Pearl Novel Book 1 of The Wess'har series
2004 Crossing the Line Novel Book 2 of The Wess'har series
2005 The World Before Novel Book 3 of The Wess'har series
2006 Matriarch Novel Book 4 of The Wess'har series
2007 Ally Novel Book 5 of The Wess'har series
2008 Judge Novel Book 6 of The Wess'har series
2008 Gears of War:Aspho Fields Novel Book 1 of the Gears of War novel series
2009 Gears of War:Jacinto's Remnant Novel Book 2 of the Gears of War novel series
2009 Human Weakness Short Story published in Halo: Evolutions: Essential Tales of the Halo Universe
2010 Gears of War:Anvil Gate Novel Book 3 of the Gears of War novel series
2011 Gears of War:Coalition's End Novel Book 4 of the Gears of War novel series
2011 Gears of War 3 Video Game
2011 Halo:Glasslands Novel Book 1 of the Halo: Kilo-Five trilogy
2012 Gears of War: The Slab Novel Book 5 of the Gears of War novel series
2012 Halo: The Thursday War Novel Book 2 of the Halo: Kilo-Five trilogy


External linksEdit

Notes and referencesEdit

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