You may remember Eric Nylund as the man with the dream job. Nylund writes for Microsoft and moonlights as a novelist -- he's written three of the four Halo books, the latest of which has just seen publication.
And, by the by, you may remember me as the guy with the blog who got to ask Nylund a few questions...
Me: You've seen the Halo story bible. What's in it that game fans would stab their mothers to know about?
Eric Nylund: Let’s not say “stab their mothers” okay? That’s all I need are a couple hundred angry emails from the mothers of HALO fans. No one stab your mother, okay? Thanks.
...where was I? Right, the HALO bible. Well, if I told you about all the juicy goodness contained within the HALO bible, you’d be visited by Bungie’s infamous flaming ninja squad (and we’d revisit this entire “stab” issue), and this article would never see the light of the internet.
I will tell you that it’s full of secrets and lies and truths, curses and blessings and Monkey gods—things which cannot exist in this universe, be glimpsed, and walked away from with sanity intact!
Trust me. It’s all there. And more.
Me: Your new book, Halo: Ghosts of Onyx's back cover seems to suggest that for at least part of the book, Master Chief is away on business. Is there a central protagonist or a revolving cast?
Eric Nylund: Yes—Both. In the center of this story is Kurt, a SPARTAN II. Revolving around him are a host of new characters, and old characters from the previous novels.
Me: The book's cover also suggests a lot of new soldiers are being recruited to the cause, but aren't wearing standard armor. Please discuss.
Eric Nylund: These are the SPARTAN IIIs, the next generation of super solider the UNSC has developed to fight the Covenant. This is the new armor they wear…although as you’ll find out “next generation” doesn’t necessarily mean “new and improved.”
Me: Who or what are the ghosts in Ghosts of Onyx?
Eric Nylund: This is a little puzzle for the fans. There are FOUR (4) types of “Ghosts” on Onyx (that I know of, at least…leave it to the vast collective intelligence of the HALO fan community to prove me wrong and find more than that!)
One of the “ghosts” is a reference to the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) “spooks” that reside(d) there.
Me: Who would win in a fight: Master Chief or Marvel Comics' The Incredible Hulk? Why?
Eric Nylund: Ha! Good question. If it’s a straight up fight, the Hulk, man all the way. He just keeps getting madder and stronger.
However, gave the Master Chief a little wriggle room, and give Cortana a few milliseconds to out-think our green behemoth friend…and then no contest. I’ll bet money on the Cortana-Master Chief team anytime. (Come to think of it, that would make a decent “What If?” issue, no?)