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Interview with John Shirley

We’ve just uploaded an interview with John Shirley, the man behind the love-hate Predator Forever Midnight – I’m a lover myself. He talks about his previous novel Forever Midnight and his upcoming Alien novel, Steel Egg:

AvPGalaxy – The Hish and the Yautja were very different. The Yautja followed the samurai style culture the comics created while the Hish were based more off the movie Predators. What sort of research did you put into creating the Hish?

John Shirley – Why these aliens would have a Samurai style culture I don’t know. My job was to write a tie-in TO THE MOVIES. Not a tie in to somebody’s comic book version. I simply watched the movies and imagined the race as it might be in a way I thought was entertaining and a bit amusing and exciting. The movies and the “bible” were my research. Again I was told that little was known about them so I assumed that was true. That left little to research.”

I touched a lot on the idea of the Hish, a feature of the novel which caused some stir in the community. You can read the full interview here.

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Comments: 10
  1. BrokenTusk
    Great minds think alike Rakai   8)   As for Leona you mean the actress Maria Francessica Garcia Banana Fana Mi my mo........the spanish lady with the huge title of name was a good point. Predator 2 showed all the aspects of honor, by not hunting anyone without a gun, with a child, or a child as in the first film to a degree. Also been shown in the most recent Predator game CJ (kinda wish I kept it ) and to a lesser degree in the AVP games (depends if you want to be a bad blood or not .)    LOL about Scar, I just took it as we get a cool closeup of what the Preds look like with modern technology. (I like the Preds face ) All the Preds were male, I think it was said somewhere in the Unrated version it was a symbol of their manhood.   at least in Hunter's Planet kept the Yautja aspect though, most fans didn't care for it, I simply enjoyed it.  As for the Yautja, being on such a long hiatus in the novels and comics, probably took a break from hunting anything worthy, until they found out their other( brother or sister w/e) race was running the show, that doesn't fly too well with any Yautja Clan Elder I would think, epecially with the all the rules the Hish have broken with one book.   Now about that Flesh and Blood book, perhaps one of the authors could include that as well........   :)  
  2. Rakai'Thwei
    BrokenTusk: You were thinking just what I was thinking and I was also going to mention that in many ways, Yautja ARE canon. Look at Predator 2, did the Yautja kill Leona while she was armed yet carrying an unborn child in her womb? No. Because not only would that dishonor and sully the Predator's reputation, he would've also been marked as a potential bad blood. Also, this is seen to some extent in AvP which Anderson produced. Not only was the Blooding ritual included, but the idea that Scar had allowed Lex to live after she had saved his life (which was already doomed), Scar had allowed her to live and marked her as a fellow hunter-- again this was seen in AvP: Prey, written by Perry.   And if some people consider Scar to have had a hard on for Lex, considering the way he was looking at her, then surely Scar is all male. But then again, the Yautja from Predator 1, 2 and AvP were male to begin with.   So are Yautja canon? Yes, I'd say so.   And I do agree with you about Wikipedia giving Shirely way too much credit and Fox has lost alot of touch with the fanbase.   You mentioned Hunter's Planet, which was written by David Bischoff, he kept the Yautja aspect but added more to it.   And yes, the Yautja could use the warm up with the Hish being their prey.    :P   Ha ha ha ha!
  3. BrokenTusk
    Rakai I don't think it would be a question if there was a war between the 2, Yautja would be collecting Hish head trophies. Honestly Prey was the best book to start off as a Pred fan, Perry having Dachande as the main character and dare I say hero of the story was new to both the Predator and Alien franchises but work well with the movies, as well as having Dathoudi working with a Pred, which the movie portrayed similiar to. Even I like Hunter's Planet, which they included the enhanced aliens with guns in the first AVP game.  as long as he researches the comics and books( since males and females have been shown canon wise as opposite genders), besides wikipedia this time, FOX gave him too much leeway to work on the novel, especially all the prior work. I can understand he wants his novel to be different, but you also need to know what you are going to write about as well and what the previous authors have done with the character if you want continuity to exist and happy fans.   Since he didn't came up with the race as his own he should keep the Yautja as they were meant to be as in the classic AVP novels, for the Hish it's his own creation let him go wild with it, the Yautja could use a warmup.    8)  
  4. Rakai'Thwei
    BrokenTusk: I had read a detailed review about FM and I couldn't deal with the changes. I was about to post up a boycott petition on the AvP club which I frequent on DeviantArt. FM was so bad that I had almost left the AvP fandom, no joke. To me, it was that bad and it had damaged what was already established by Perry and what a majority of fans had adapted to. Like I said, I grew up with Yautja, love the Yautja, and will die with Yautja. If Shirely is going to make a mention of Yautja, he'd better keep them the way Perry had made them, no sex changes, please.   Yautja are a firm, hard, but noble race according to Perry's novels. Hish are more... barbaric, and have little to no sense of honor. Not only that, they also seemed to have little hand to hand skills, where as Yautja practice a fighting style called Jehdin. If you ask me, Yautja would dominate, plus the female Yautja aren't ones to be messed with. Surely, the Hish would be decimated.   And as for the Hish spawnlings messing with people's heads, and throwing themselves in a fire-- No... I wouldn't, couldn't buy that. Yautja babies however, would remain with their mothers who are deathly protective until teen years.   Again, if Shirely is going to mention Yautja, he'd better not make them a hermaphrodite race, and leave them the way Perry made Yautja to be.
  5. BrokenTusk
    O tell me about it Rakai, first as slavers, then their children playing games with people's heads, and throwing spawnlings into a fire( honestly what can a Predababy do to prove himself ?!?!? ) I could have stand that, but the hermaphrodite race was the last straw. Sorry about bashing the Hish here, but I was disappointed that FM started off like that. I was sort of hoping to read from a single Predator's POV , either a clan that didn't hunt humans or did and see things from his perspective, and possibly have a set of novels on the Yautja forming a clan or anything Yautja wise. Thank god John Shirley will include that in his next novel, I was sort of thinking that was the sole explanation to the old Yautja to the new Hish. Hopefully he'll include both races.  That would be a book I would read, a nice war between the 2 races.
  6. Rakai'Thwei
    To BrokenTusk :And I agree with you about Yautja being the Predators in the movies. I also didn't like the fact that the Hish were in a sense-- She-males. I didn't like the fact that they were a hermaphrodite race. That had bothered me greatly and I also had started a fight with a AvP club on DeviantArt saying that Yautja were the thesis of Predator, and not Hish...   However, the idea of a Yautja vs Hish war... could be interesting. Would be neat to see a lone Yautja decimating a clan of Hish. Ha ha ha ha!
  7. BrokenTusk
    ^ Rakai Thwei I agree with you, the Yautja are the ones I read about when I was young and are deftintly the Preds in the movies. I didn't like the fact the Hish can change sex, but as long it's only the Hish I can live the Hish as long as the Yautja are around.
  8. Rakai'Thwei
    To BrokenTusk: That doesn't sound like a bad idea... Something kind of like the Romulan/Vulcan war. Both would've originated from the same ancestor but both branches would've evolved differently and have different biology functions. If there was a Yautja vs Hish war.. I'd be going with Yautja. I grew up with Yautja and will die with Yautja.
  9. BrokenTusk
    as long as he includes the Yautja being a different race of Predators John Shirley can write all the Predator books. Imagine if both races had a war ?    8)  
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