Timothy Zahn

Timothy Zahn

Timothy Zahn (born September 1, 1951) is a writer of science fiction short stories and novels. His novella "Cascade Point" won the 1984 Hugo award. [ [http://www.thehugoawards.org/?page_id=35 1984 Hugo Awards.] Accessed August 29, 2008.] He is known for the Thrawn Trilogy, a Star Wars Expanded Universe novel taking place after "Return of the Jedi". He also wrote the Dragonback series and the popular "Conquerors' Trilogy" about a war between humans and aliens that have seemingly indestructible spaceships and can remain in spirit form after death.


Timothy Zahn was born in Chicago, Illinois. He attended Michigan State University, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in physics in 1973. He then moved to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and achieved an M.S. degree in physics in 1975. While he was pursuing a doctorate in physics, his thesis adviser quite suddenly died, leaving Zahn with three years of thesis work down the drain. Zahn never completed the doctorate. In 1975 he had begun writing science fiction as a hobby, and later he became a professional writer. He and his wife Anna live in Bandon, Oregon. They have a son, Corwin Zahn.

Writing style

Zahn's characters are noteworthy for taking various pieces of information, putting together a picture of events, and planning a course of action around it. Grand Admiral Thrawn is, perhaps, the seminal example. Zahn's Star Wars books also usually focus on a certain core group: Luke Skywalker, Mara Jade, Talon Karrde, Jorj Car'das, Grand Admiral Thrawn and the Chiss species. Throughout his Star Wars books, he often makes references to other characters or events that were created by him in previous works. As with the original Star Wars trilogy, all books in both The Thrawn Trilogy and The Hand of Thrawn Duology begin with an "exterior shot" of a Star Destroyer. Zahn tends to focus more on the logic of his characters rather than their feelings and has characters from the original trilogy re-use some of their distinctive dialogue.

Zahn's books are often described as "fast-paced". For example, he tends to develop settings only as necessary to advance the plot.

A distinguishing mark of his work is his fondness for obliquely referential wordplay. For instance, in the Thrawn trilogy, the name "Thrawn" comes from a word meaning "twisted", while the names of two pets—"Sturm" and "Drang"—are actually the real-world German words for "Storm" and "Stress", and seem to nod directly toward the "Sturm und Drang" writing style born out of the German Romantic movement. Given that the Star Wars science-fantasy saga is overtly rooted in Romanticism, Zahn's arcane referencing here would seem appropriate.

The names of characters, planets, and solar systems seem to betray a certain acquaintance with both ancient Norse and Semitic (Hebrew, Arabic) lexic and morphology. Note, for instance, the mysterious planet Myrkr with its near-impenetrable forests (cf. Old Norse "myrkr" "dark"), or the literally-minded species Elomin, sg. Elom (cf. the Hebrew m.pl. suffix "-im"). There are numerous instances of both medieval literature/saga and Old Testament references in his Star Wars novels. However, it is uncertain whether the linguistic patterns (associated with these sources) are intentional or simply a side-effect of said familiarity.


Blackcollar Series

*"The Blackcollar" (1983)
*"The Backlash Mission" (1986)
*"The Judas Solution" (2006)

Both "The Blackcollar" and "The Backlash Mission" were released in one joint novel titled "Blackcollar" in 2006.

=Cobra Series=

*"Cobra" (1985)
*"Cobra Strike" (1986)
*"Cobra Bargain" (1988)

The first two were also released in one compilation called "Cobras Two" in 1992. A complete compilation was released as the "Cobra Trilogy" in 2004. See COBRA (science fiction novels) for more detail.

Conquerors Trilogy

*"Conquerors' Pride" (1994)
*"Conquerors' Heritage" (1995)
*"Conquerors' Legacy" (1996)

tar Wars

Thrawn trilogy

* "Heir to the Empire" (1991)
* "Dark Force Rising" (1992)
* "The Last Command" (1993)

Hand of Thrawn series

* "Specter of the Past" (1997)
* "Vision of the Future" (1998)

Other Star Wars novels

* "Survivor's Quest" (2004)
* "Outbound Flight" (2006)
* "Allegiance" (2007)

Graphic novels

* ""; a graphic novel with Michael A. Stackpole (1999)
* "", comic in "Star Wars Tales 1"
* "" (cancelled)

horter works

* "": short story in the paperback edition of Outbound Flight (originally written in 1995)
* "": short story in "Tales from the Mos Eisley Cantina" (1995)
* "": short story in "Tales from Jabba's Palace" (1995)
* "": short story in "Tales From the Empire" (1997)
* "": novella with Michael A. Stackpole, in "Tales From the Empire" (1997)
* "": short story in Tales from the New Republic (1999)
* "": novella with Michael A. Stackpole, in "Tales from the New Republic" (1999)
* "Fool's Bargain" (eBook; also reprinted in the paperback edition of "Survivor's Quest") (2004)
* "": short story in ""
* "": short story in "Star Wars Adventure Journal 9"
* "": short story in "Star Wars Insider"
* "": short story in "Star Wars Insider"
* "": short story on Del Rey's website.
* "": short story / Hasbro tie-in.
* "": short story in "Star Wars Gamer"
* "": short story in "Space Gamer"
* "": short story in "Space Gamer"
* "": short story in "Space Gamer"
* "": short story in "Space Gamer"
* "": short story in "Space Gamer"

Dragonback series

*"Dragon and Thief" (2003)
*"Dragon and Soldier" (2004)
*"Dragon and Slave" (2005)
*"Dragon and Herdsman" (2006)
*"Dragon and Judge" (2007)
*"Dragon and Liberator" (2008)

Quadrail series

*"Night Train to Rigel" (2005)
*"The Third Lynx" (2007)
*"Odd Girl Out" (2008) November 11th

Other novels

*"Spinneret" (1985)
*"A Coming of Age" (1985)
*"Triplet" (1987)
*"Deadman Switch" (1988)
*"War Horse" (1990)
*"The Icarus Hunt" (1999)
*"Angelmass" (2001)
*"Manta's Gift" (2002)
*"Green and the Gray" (2004)
*"Terminator Salvation: From the Ashes" (2009)


*"Cascade Point and Other Stories" (1986)
*"Time Bomb and Zahndry Others" (1988)
*"Distant Friends and Other Stories" (1992)
*"Star Song and Other Stories" (2002)


ee also

*FidoNet Star Wars Echo

External links

* [http://us.macmillan.com/author/timothyzahn Timothy Zahn's page] at Tor Books
*sww|Timothy Zahn
*isfdb name|id=Timothy_Zahn|name=Timothy Zahn
* [http://scifan.com/writers/zz/ZahnTimothy.asp Bibliography] on SciFan
* [http://forums.starwars.com/thread.jspa?threadID=153502&tstart=0 Interview online] at Starwars.com

NAME=Zahn, Timothy
SHORT DESCRIPTION=science fiction novelist
DATE OF BIRTH=September 1, 1951
PLACE OF BIRTH=Chicago, Illinois

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