Sci Fi Chat Interview with James Kahn

September 24, 2012 at 12:01 am | Posted in Books, Interview, Star Wars Books | Leave a comment
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Sci Fi Chat did a live Twitter chat with author James Kahn that covered a wide array of topics from his work with Star Trek to writing the Return of the Jedi novelization. You can check out our transcript below.

Sci Fi Chat guest is James Kahn, author of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi novelization and writer-producer for Star Trek: Voyager.

James Kahn: I’m here! Now all may yell “KAAHHNNNNNNN!” btw my favorite part of that film is in the final fight when Khan quotes Ahab killing Moby Dick, and we saw that book on his shelf in the first scene.

What stories or tropes from Star Trek Voyager did you find interesting? Why?

JK: I liked “Critical Care” because of relevance to our current health care debate. The best of Star Trek reflected who we are.

Last week we talked about AI. The Doctor on Star Trek: Voyager and his struggle to be an accepted crew member counts, right?

JK: Absolutely. As do Data, and all cyber intels. Read Moon Is A Harsh Mistress by Heinlein.

The Star Trek franchise has much room for expansion, what other concepts can merge with the Star Trek concept?

JK: Voyager was, indeed, a merging with The Odyssey. I think you could merge it with any number of other myths. Iliad?

Please, start by telling us about World Enough, and Time.

JK: Genetically engineered mythologic creatures wiping out humans in 2300. Re-released on September 27 with new chapters.

(Note: World Enough, and Time will have a one day sale via Amazon on September 27 for just 99 cents)

How did you get the coveted assignment to novelize Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi?

JK: Spielberg recommended me after I novelized Poltergeist, as did Judy Lynn Del Rey, who first published World Enough, and Time. And Judy Lynn, who loved World Enough, and Time, was also publishing Return of the Jedi.

What are you working on now?

JK: Rewriting Time’s Dark Laughter, the second book in the trilogy after World Enough, and Time. Also writing a new reincarnation thriller.

What advice would you give authors who want to novelize movies and the like?

JK: Novelizing, you gotta be asked. Publishing your own novel is much easier, and if someone like it, you might get asked.

Return of the Jedi is my favorite Star Wars novelization.

JK: Thank you so much. It was my favorite one to write, too.

Does your medical background leak into your writing? Is it helpful or a hindrance?

JK: It leaks all over the place, and is a great help. Partly just the science of it, partly all the human drama I’ve seen.

What’s one of the hardest things you’ve ever written? (be it a book or portion of a book)

JK: The father/son reconciliation scene as Vader is dying was hard to make poignant during all the explosions.

Will you be at StoryWorld next month?

JK: Just came back from Chicon7, kind of conferenced-out.

What is the best piece of writing advice you have received?

JK: The secret to writing is…writing. All writing is rewriting. Just keep doing it if you love doing it.

You said you’re conferenced-out. Do you think going to cons is valuable to a writer?

JK: Going to conferences is valuable. You have to get in there and network though. Don’t be a shrinking violet.

Are you interested in doing a web-radio interview?

JK: Sure, I’d be happy to do an interview. Contact me at jameskahnwordsandmusic(at)

You can check out the complete transcript here via Sci Fi Chat. You can also find out more about James Kahn on his official website

Posted By: Skuldren for Roqoo Depot.

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