Ummm.... can someone give me maybe a recap of what Traviss did that everyone hates so much? And in what books? (so I know what to avoid, I guess) Because I don't think I read most of the books your talking about, and I'm kinda confused.
It began when Karen Traviss and another writer, Ryan Kaufman, wrote an article for a SW magazine intended to flesh out the Grand Army of the Republic. At that point, a minimalist size of just millions of clones was already in the EU, and was already criticized because the SW galaxy consists of millions of words. Traviss and Kaufman's article repeated the stupidity by capping the clone army at "3 million." It wasn't even internally consistent because it also stated that the droid army numbered in the quadrillions, but explained it away by saying that the clones were so badass that they had a 200:1 kill ratio (do the math).
Side Note: A less stated fact is that "quadrillions" was also a step down from the "quintillions" established by Curtis Saxton (one of the few SW writers with scientific knowledge and a sense of scope) in the Episode III: Incredible Cross Sections
. However, it remains, far, FAR bigger than the ridiculous "3 million" number.
The knowledgable fans on this forum criticized Traviss and Kaufman's article. It wasn't a big deal, we've criticized plenty of past EU books for their ridiculous numbers (like sector armies number just over a million). Most of us can't even name the writers of the West End Games rpg sourcebooks that we criticize. But the writers' reactions were the difference this time. Kaufman basically acted snippy about one detractor misspelling his name, then disappeared like all the other faceless, nameless EU writers out there. But Traviss got really
pissed. She started flaming back at the fans here, giving us the ridiculous label of "Talifan." She insulted people by saying that they must've had Aspergers Syndrome, and said that she wanted to rip people's tracheas out. She also tried to dismiss her critics as "misogynists," which was pure crap because she wasn't the first female SW writer and no one gave a crap about her gender.
Meanwhile, some fanboys at other forums started kissing her ass to her. At the time, Traviss was very
active on the forums, making herself far more available to the fans than other writers ever did. This attracted an army of sycophants. Members of the theforce.net forums started cracking down on anybody who dared to criticize Traviss, even going so far as to delete posts and close down threads. Dark Moose, the fanboy moderator at the official
starwars.com forums also joined Traviss, and did similar things over there. People with paid
premium accounts at starwars.com had their blogs shut down.
Traviss also boasted about her past work as a journalist (or "journo" as she would say) who covered military topics. This experience, as well as her time in the Royan Navy auxiliary, supposedly made her more of an authority when it came to creating fictional militaries. Even if she was writing about ridiculous clone supermen who can each take down 200 enemies with special forces tactics because they're so damn badass. It was just downright stupid, because this was all going on during the Iraq war when the real most badass military on the planet was stuck in a quagmire against dirt poor insurgents. Because they simply didn't bring enough occupying forces to do the job.
Some of us tried to debate Traviss directly, on her LiveJournal. I went there and she was an evasive bitch. She would basically claim that you were trolling even if you weren't, and lock you out after a few posts. Also, she would accuse you of libel if you criticized her, even if it was on something completely noncontroversial such as whether a real soldier can handle billion-to-one odds. Check my signature for one of her quotes. I also included a quote from that loser Dark Moose.
Traviss wasn't done though. Far from simply writing a bunch of stupid numbers and being done with it (like any other EU writer), she set out to alter the SW universe itself. What she should have done was just leave the stupid numbers alone and go forth without compounding her mistake. Instead, she wrote a short story entitled Odds
for that same SW magazine, that supposedly explained the numbers but felt more like a big middle finger to the fans who didn't like her. Odds
is NOT a real story, but rather an agenda piece. In it, we got such gems as:
- Two clone commandos (the main characters) waltzing into the middle of a Separatist droid factory while casually chatting it up. Because the story didn't give a shit about things like plot or suspense.
- BLIND and DEAF droids on the night shift, which can walk past these clones without even noticing them. Of course, there is apparently zero security.
- The big Republic strategy that was supposed to counter the Separatist's ridiculous BILLION to one numerical advantage was sabotage. And not even real sabotage, as in blowing up the factories. No, these clone commandos simply did some minor reprogramming, so that the automated factory would mix the metals in proportions just a few percentages off, resulting in brittle droids that would be easier to destroy on the battlefield.
- That's right, no permanent damage. Also, the Separatists apparently don't employ QUALITY CONTROL. No testing of products. No simple corrections in the programming after the first few droids come out crappy. This was "explained" by clone logic that if they just blew the factory up, the Separatists would build another factory somewhere else...as if resources and construction time are limitless.
- And to cap off the stupidity...the droid army didn't actually number in the quadrillions/quintillions. No, they numbered in the millions as well. People only THOUGHT they were big because of Republic propaganda to keep the war going. Also, Mace Windu knows. So do the other Jedi. "They all know." According to Traviss the Jedi were all conspiring WITH Palpatine to defraud the Republic!!!
Yes, she actually wrote that garbage. Although the last part is technically the logical extension that was implied, because she didn't have the spine to come out and explicitly state that shit. But Traviss does hate the Jedi. She seemed to fancy herself as some kind of brave iconoclast, because as a journalist she had exposed a lot of people's bullshit or something. She claimed that the Jedi were "spoonbenders" who were too full of themselves. She basically hated the people at the very core of the SW saga.
But did I mention Boba Fett? She LOVES Boba Fett. Like some teenage fanboy/fangirl, she took Fett as her personal Mary Sue. She wrote the Mandalorians (who previously amounted to nothing in the EU) as a bunch of stupid Klingon-like super warriors with their own bullshit language. She wrote another short story, where it was claimed that SW was actually a three-way struggle between the Jedi, Sith, and Mandos.
It's so bad that in the novel Order 66
, she writes sympathetically about the clones who are executing the Jedi
. One of her pet characters even sacrifices herself to defend the poor Stormtroopers from the big, bad spoonbenders.
And then came the book Revelations
. That was her jump the shark moment, even for the fanboys who kissed her ass before. It read like bad fanfiction, and made no attempt to hide her hate for the Jedi or her love for Boba and the Mandos. In that book, it's claimed that Fett can beat up Jedi and had in fact killed more Jedi than anyone (which never happened). It went on and on about how the Mandalorians are the best at everything. A Jedi character even trained under Boba Fett
so that she could learn the skills needed to combat the Sith!
"They're not triangular, but they are more or less blade-shaped"
- Thrawn McEwok on the shape of Bakura
"Lovely. It's known as impugning character regarding statement of professional qualifications' in the legal world"
- Karen Traviss, crying libel because I said that no soldier she interviewed would claim that he can take on billion-to-one odds
"I've already laid out rules for this thread that we're not going to make these evidential demands"
- Dark Moose on supporting your claims