And the latest writer to take a stab at it is, somewhat surprisingly, Greg Bear.
A famed speculative fiction author, Greg Bear earned his reputation with works heavily rooted in science. Blood Music and others catapulted him to the upper echelon of SF writers, and his wife seems to be following in similar footsteps. However, Mr. Bear’s prose doesn’t exactly flow like honey. His stories are often bursting at the seams with hard science, and that’s rarely an ideal foundation for a pulpy, nonthreatening book series.
Now I never read any of the Halo novels, but I’m assuming they’re aimed at a fairly broad audience. I’m also sure that many Halo fans are smart cookies that would love more actual science in their fiction, but the Halo universe is based on a game series, and, as such, its setting is ultimately shaped by game design. Human soldiers wear ridiculously coloured outfits because it makes them easier to identify in multiplayer matches, and high-pitched aliens spew comical one-liners because it makes them more entertaining cannon fodder. It’s all fun and good, but is it suitable subject matter for something more realistic?
Then again Greg Bear has already written a Star Wars book, so maybe he is the right guy for the job. Either way, I am suddenly a whole lot more interested in the future of the Halo novels.