Halo novels

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The Halo novels are books that have expanded heavily on the Halo universe.

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Development[edit]

The Halo novel project was initiated with the intent of establishing an "expanded universe" for future content. Contrary to popular belief, the project was overseen by Microsoft Game Studios Franchise Development Group and not by Bungie Studios (though they were given a significant degree of creative control).[1][2] According to Eric Trautmann, the relationship between Bungie and Microsoft was somewhat rocky at this time, with the former resenting Microsoft's creative interference in the Halo story and nearly having the first novel, Halo: The Fall of Reach, canceled.[3]

Although the novels have always been considered canonical,[4] their stories they told were generally regarded as distinct from the Halo games' stories in some respects, with both games and the "expanded universe" forming their own standalone narratives.[5] Additionally, there were sometimes creative differences between Bungie and the novels' authors;[3] for example, Bungie's writing staff disliked the notion of Avery Johnson's immunity to the Flood introduced in Halo: First Strike[4] and retconned the circumstances of his survival in the Halo Graphic Novel. However, Bungie would nonetheless introduce several elements originating from the novels into their games; an example of this are the Orbital Drop Shock Troopers and the orbital defense platforms.[3] Following the advent of 343 Industries and their philosophy of expanded connectivity between Halo media, the writing process of the novels has become more extensively intertwined with the planning of the stories of the games and other fiction.[6]

The first three novels were published by Del Rey Books. Microsoft Studios' next publishing partner was Tor Books, which published all Halo novels from 2006 to early 2014. The three initial Halo novels were reissued by Tor in 2010. While mostly unchanged, the new versions feature additional content and several alterations. In 2014, 343 Industries entered a contract with Gallery Books as the publisher of subsequent Halo literature.[7]

List of novels[edit]

Individual novels[edit]

Title Cover Author Audio book narrators Publication Summary
Halo: The Fall of Reach Fall-o-reach.jpg Eric Nylund Todd McLaren 2001 Details the SPARTAN-II program, the Covenant attack on Reach, and how the UNSC Pillar of Autumn escaped to Halo.
Halo: The Flood The Flood CVR.jpg William C. Dietz Todd McLaren 2003 The novelization of Halo: Combat Evolved. Also features a number of additional subplots which expand on the events on Installation 04.
Halo: First Strike Firststrike2.jpg Eric Nylund Todd McLaren 2003 Fills in the gap between Halo: Combat Evolved and Halo 2, explaining the Master Chief's return to Earth and the survival of a number of characters from Reach and Halo.
Halo: Ghosts of Onyx Onyx cover.jpg Eric Nylund Jonathan Davis 2006 Follows Kurt-051, the training of the Spartan-IIIs on Onyx, and the three-sided battle for the planet in 2552.
Halo: Contact Harvest Contact Harvest Cover.JPG Joseph Staten Holter Graham, Jen Taylor 2007 Follows Sergeant Avery Johnson and features the events leading up to first contact with the Covenant at Harvest and the beginning of the Human-Covenant War.
Halo: The Cole Protocol Halocole.png Tobias Buckell Jonathan Davis 2008 Introduces Gray Team and details the backstories of Jacob Keyes and Thel 'Vadam.
Halo: Broken Circle HaloBrokenCircle.jpg John Shirley Scott Brick 2014 A story told from the perspective of several Sangheili and San'Shyuum characters during both the beginnings of the Covenant and the Great Schism.
Halo: New Blood Halo New Blood cover.jpg Matt Forbeck Scott Brick 2015 Explores the story of the Gunnery Sergeant Edward Buck and his squad Alpha-Nine during and after the Human-Covenant War.
Halo: Hunters in the Dark Cover art for Halo- Hunters in the Dark novel 2015-03-26 06-25.jpg Peter David Scott Brick 2015 Follows a joint human-Sangheili expedition to the Ark in the post-war era.
Halo: Saint's Testimony Halo Saint's Testimony cover.jpg Frank O'Connor Scott Brick 2015 Explores the world of smart AIs through the eyes of Iona as she attempts to prevent her own decommissioning.
Halo: Last Light HaloLastLight.jpg Troy Denning Scott Brick 2015 A detective story following Blue Team and a Special Inspector as they investigate murders on a human colony which harbors Forerunner technology.
Halo: Shadow of Intent HSOI-Cover.jpg Joseph Staten Scott Brick 2015 Focuses on a conflict between Tem'Bhetek, a vengeful San'Shyuum Prelate, and Shipmaster Rtas 'Vadum several months after the Covenant War.
Halo: Smoke and Shadow Halo Smoke and Shadow cover.jpg Kelly Gay Scott Brick 2016 Follows Rion Forge on her quest to discover the fate of her father and his ship, the UNSC Spirit of Fire.
Halo: Envoy Tobias Buckell 2017
Halo: Legacy of Onyx Matt Forbeck 2017
Halo: Retribution Troy Denning 2017

The Forerunner Saga[edit]

Title Cover Author Audio book narrators Publication Summary
Halo: Cryptum Cryptum - Cover.jpg Greg Bear Holter Graham 2011 Describes the experiences of the Forerunner Manipular known as Bornstellar Makes Eternal Lasting and the Didact during the Forerunner-Flood war.
Halo: Primordium HPrimordium - Cover.jpeg Greg Bear Tim Dadabo 2012 Details the story of a human known as Chakas and his odyssey across Installation 07.
Halo: Silentium Silentium cover front.jpg Greg Bear Euan Morton 2013 Recounts the twilight years of the Forerunner civilization, the Ur-Didact's descent into insanity, and the firing of the Halo Array.

Kilo-Five Trilogy[edit]

Title Cover Author Audio book narrators Publication Summary
Halo: Glasslands Glasslands cover.jpg Karen Traviss Euan Morton 2011 Details the state of the Halo universe after the end of the Human-Covenant War and serves as a follow-up to Ghosts of Onyx.
Halo: The Thursday War HThursday War - Cover.jpeg Karen Traviss Euan Morton 2012 Continues the story of Kilo-Five and humanity's involvement in the Blooding Years.
Halo: Mortal Dictata HaloMortalDictata.jpg Karen Traviss Euan Morton 2014 Focuses on the Venezian rebel movement threatening Earth and the terrorist Staffan Sentzke's connection to Kilo-Five's Naomi-010.

Collections and box sets[edit]

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Sources[edit]

  1. ^ Halo: Combat Evolved portal page: MGS Development Group Expands (archived page)
  2. ^ IGN: Beyond the Ring: Bungie's Renegade Development of Halo's Fiction (Staten said, emphasizing Bungie's role in outside projects: "Bungie was maintaining creative oversight over all these initiatives -- we really did have a lot of control over what stories got told. Historically, over the decade of Halo storytelling, Bungie would maintain creative ownership and direction of these various projects.")
  3. ^ a b c The Sci Fi Show: Episode 005: DC Reboot/Eric Trautmann
  4. ^ a b halo.bungie.org: Halo Story Page | Joe Staten Interview - October 2004
  5. ^ YouTube: Halo 4 Panel | RTX 2012 (39:30: Frank O'Connor: "[the books] are all canonical.")
  6. ^ YouTube: SDCC 2011: Halo Universe Panel Part 1