Aaron Allston

Aaron Dale Allston (December 8, 1960 – February 27, 2014) was an American game designer and author of many science fiction books, notably Star Wars novels.[1] His works as a game designer include game supplements for role-playing games, several of which served to establish the basis for products and subsequent development of TSR's Dungeons & Dragons game setting Mystara. His later works as a novelist include those of the X-Wing series: Wraith Squadron, Iron Fist, Solo Command, Starfighters of Adumar, and Mercy Kill. He wrote two entries in the New Jedi Order series: Enemy Lines I: Rebel Dream and Enemy Lines II: Rebel Stand. Allston wrote three of the nine Legacy of the Force novels: Betrayal, Exile, and Fury, and three of the nine Fate of the Jedi novels: Outcast, Backlash, and Conviction.

Aaron Allston
Aaron Allston in 2005.
Aaron Allston in 2005.
BornDecember 8, 1960
Corsicana, Texas, United States
DiedFebruary 27, 2014 (aged 53)
Springfield, Missouri
Resting placeOakwood Cemetery (Corsicana, Texas)
OccupationWriter, game designer
NationalityUnited States
GenreTabletop role-playing games, fantasy, science fiction

Early life and education

Allston was born December 8, 1960, in Corsicana, Texas, to Tom Dale Allston and Rose Binford Boehm.[2][3] Allston moved all over Texas in his youth and graduated from high school in Denton.[4] An avid fan of science fiction from an early age, by high school he was the secretary and reporter for his high school science fiction club.[5] Allston moved to Austin in 1979 and attended the University of Texas.[4]


Allston was a circulation manager, assistant editor, and editor of Space Gamer magazine,[6] and by 1983 was a full-time freelance game designer.[7] He served as editor of Space Gamer from issues 52 (June 1982) to 65 (September/October 1983), and as editor of Fantasy Gamer for the first issue (August/September 1983) and co-editor of the second issue (December/January 1984). During Allston's tenure as editor, the magazine won the H.G. Wells Award for Best Professional Role-Playing Magazine in 1982.[6] Allston authored the book Autoduel Champions in 1983, which crossed over Champions by Hero Games and Car Wars by Steve Jackson Games.[8] Allston helped launch the Fantasy Gamer spinoff magazine.[9] He co-wrote the computer game Savage Empire, which was named Best PC Fantasy RPG by Game Player magazine in 1990.[6] He authored the Rules Cyclopedia (1991), a revision and compilation for the Dungeons & Dragons game.[10] He branched into fiction, and in the mid-1990s wrote five novels.[7]

He began writing for the Star Wars X-Wing series in 1997, when the primary sequence writer Michael Stackpole could not handle the entire workload.[4] Allston produced a new edition of Champions for Hero Games in 2002.[11] In 2006, he launched The Legacy of the Force series with a hardcover entitled Betrayal.[4]

In 2005, Allston made his directorial debut on the independent film Deadbacks, which he also wrote and produced.[4] The film went into post-production but was never released.[12]

Allston lived in Round Rock, Texas.[13] For a short time, he worked for the Austin American-Statesman newspaper.[7]

Health issues and death

In early April 2009 Allston had a heart attack and underwent an emergency quadruple bypass surgery,[14] while on the book signing tour for Outcast, the first book in the Fate of the Jedi series.

On February 27, 2014, Allston collapsed during an appearance at VisionCon in Branson, Missouri, apparently from heart failure.[15] He died later that day in Springfield, Missouri, at the age of 53.[3][15]

Selected bibliography

Stand-alone titles

  • Web of Danger (1988)[7]
  • Galatea In 2-D (1993)[7]
  • Double Jeopardy (1994)[7]
  • Thunder of the Captains (with H. Lisle) (1996)[7]
  • Wrath of the Princes (with H. Lisle) (1997)[7]

Doc Sidhe

  • Doc Sidhe (1995)[7]
  • Sidhe-Devil (2001)[16]

Star Wars


The New Jedi Order

  • Enemy Lines I: Rebel Dream (2002)
  • Enemy Lines II: Rebel Stand (2002)

Legacy of the Force

Fate of the Jedi


  • Terminator 3 Terminator Dreams (2003)
  • Terminator Hunt (2004)

Role-playing games


  • Appelcline, Shannon (2011). Designers & Dragons. Mongoose Publishing. ISBN 978-1-907702-58-7.


  1. ^ Edward Nawotka (2008-04-24). "Nebula Awards puts Austin and Texas writers at center of science fiction world". Dallas Morning News. Archived from the original on 2009-05-02.
  2. ^ Roqoo Depot: "Happy Birthday, Aaron Allston"
  3. ^ a b http://www.dentonfuneralhome.net/obituaries/Aaron-Allston/?gclid=CL_83svE9LwCFTBgMgodFXsA5A#!/Obituary
  4. ^ a b c d e Jeff Salamon (May 19, 2005). "So a guy walks into the Mos Eisley cantina...". Austin American-Statesman. p. E1.
  5. ^ Denton High School Annual "Bronco 1977", 133
  6. ^ a b c Peter F. Panzeri Jr. (2006-07-01). "32nd Hall of Fame Inductees Announced" (PDF). Talsorian. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-02-12. Retrieved 2008-12-04.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Allston, Aaron". Writers Directory 2005. 2004. Archived from the original on September 24, 2015. Retrieved June 27, 2013. – via HighBeam Research (subscription required)
  8. ^ Appelcline 2011, p. 146.
  9. ^ http://www.sjgames.com/ill/archive/2014-02-28
  10. ^ Appelcline 2011, p. 27.
  11. ^ Appelcline 2011, p. 152.
  12. ^ https://plus.google.com/+AllenVarney/posts/8ogyNeuYUgY
  13. ^ Mike Shea (December 2007). "Aaron Allston". Texas Monthly. p. 74.
  14. ^ "Aaron Allston in the Hospital". Archived from the original on 10 June 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-04.
  15. ^ a b TheForce.Net story on Allston's death
  16. ^ http://www.locusmag.com/News/2014/02/aaron-allston-1960-2014/
  17. ^ Richard Gawel (September 19, 2012). "A short time from now in a library not too far away...". Suburban Trends. p. D1.
  18. ^ a b Swan, Rick (February 1996). Anthony J. Bryant, ed. "Role-playing Reviews". Dragon. TSR, Inc. (226): 94.

External links

Betrayal (Star Wars novel)

Betrayal is a science fiction novel by American writer Aaron Allston, released in hardcover on May 30, 2006. It is the first of nine books in the Legacy of the Force series, which is set in the fictional Star Wars expanded universe. The paperback edition was released in May 2007 and also contained a small excerpt from Bloodlines by Karen Traviss, and reprints of two short stories, "In His Image" and "A Two-Edged Sword" by Karen Traviss. The book takes place 35 years after Return of the Jedi. Betrayal is followed by the second book in the series, Bloodlines.

Conviction (Star Wars novel)

Conviction is a Star Wars novel written by Aaron Allston and published on May 24, 2011.

Exile (Star Wars novel)

Exile is a science fiction novel by American writer Aaron Allston. The fourth book in the Legacy of the Force series, it was released on February 27, 2007 in paperback form. The story takes place in the Star Wars expanded universe, 40 years after the Battle of Yavin.

Fury (Star Wars novel)

Fury is the seventh book in the Legacy of the Force series. It is a paperback by Aaron Allston and was released on November 27, 2007. It was #4 on the New York Times Best Seller list.

Iron Fist (novel)

Iron Fist (1998) is a novel set in the Star Wars expanded universe. It is the sixth novel in the Star Wars: X-wing series, and was written by Aaron Allston. It continues the exploits of Wraith Squadron begun by Allston in Wraith Squadron.

Isard's Revenge

Isard's Revenge (1999) is the eighth novel in the Star Wars: X-wing series. It marks a return by writer Michael A. Stackpole to the series he created, after a hiatus of three novels by Aaron Allston. In returning to the series, Stackpole brought back a number of elements that made the original four books popular: General Wedge Antilles has returned as commander of the New Republic X-wing unit Rogue Squadron, and former Imperial leader Ysanne Isard is once again the villain.

Justice, Inc. (role-playing game)

Justice, Inc. is a role-playing game designed to simulate the adventure stories in the pulp magazines of the 1930s.

It was one of the first non-superhero applications of the point-based game system that had been developed for the Champions superhero game. The generalized point system would eventually be published as the Hero System, following in the footsteps of Chaosium's Basic Role-Playing System, but preceding GURPS as a non-genre-specific game system.

Legacy of the Force

The Legacy of the Force is a series of nine science fiction novels set in the Star Wars expanded universe, taking place approximately 40 years after the events of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (in Star Wars chronology, from 40 ABY to 41 ABY). The series was written by Troy Denning, Aaron Allston and Karen Traviss in an alternating cycle.

The series contains a mix of hardcover and paperback releases. The plan was to allow each author to write one hardcover novel and two paperbacks, with the first, middle (fifth), and final (ninth) novels being the hardcover releases, and the other novels being in paperback. An abridged audiobook version of each story was released concurrently with each book.

Marc Thompson (voice actor)

Marc Thompson (born May 20, 1975) is an American voice actor who has worked for 4Kids Entertainment, NYAV Post and DuArt Film and Video. Some of his major roles include Kevin Thompson, Anthony DeMartino, Timothy O'Neill in Daria. He is notable for voicing the titular character in Robocar Poli. He voices Casey Jones in the 2003 version of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoons and video games. He is the narrator of numerous Star Wars audio books including the Legacy of the Force and Fate of the Jedi series. He earned his BFA from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts in 1997.

Mercy Kill

Mercy Kill (2012) is the tenth novel in the Star Wars: X-wing series. It was written by Aaron Allston. It is set primarily within the Legacy Era (44 ABY) although it has flashbacks to the New Republic era (specifically 13 ABY and 19 ABY) as well as the New Jedi Order Era (29 ABY). The novel tells the story of the reformation of Wraith Squadron.

The novel was announced at Star Wars Celebration V in 2010. It was released on August 7, 2012, 13 years after the previous volume.


Mystara is a campaign setting for the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role playing game. It was the default setting for the "Basic" version of the game throughout the 1980s and 1990s. Most adventures published for the "Basic" edition of D&D take place in "The Known World", a central continent that includes a varied patchwork of both human and non-human realms. The human realms are based on various real-world historical cultures. In addition, unlike other D&D settings, Mystara had ascended immortal beings instead of gods.

The Mystara planet also has sub-settings. The older Blackmoor setting was retconned to exist in Mystara's distant past. The Hollow World refers to the inner surface contained within the world of Mystara, similar to the real world legends of the Hollow Earth, while some adventures take place on the Savage Coast, a 2,000 mile long frontier coastline about 2,000 miles to the west of the Known World.

By the mid-1990s, gamers' attention started to shift towards the second edition of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons and its official campaigns. Some Mystara adventures for AD&D were published between 1994 and 1996. Eventually, official support of the Mystara setting was discontinued by the time the game's third edition was released in 2000.

Outcast (Star Wars novel)

Outcast is a novel by Aaron Allston that was released on March 24, 2009. It is the first novel in the Fate of the Jedi series and published as a hardcover.

Solo Command

Solo Command (1999) is the seventh novel in the Star Wars: X-wing series, and the final book to detail the adventures of Wraith Squadron. It was written by Aaron Allston.

Starfighters of Adumar

Starfighters of Adumar (1999) is the ninth book in the Star Wars: X-wing series. It was written by Aaron Allston.

Treasure Hunt (module)

Treasure Hunt is an adventure module for the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (AD&D) role-playing game, written by Aaron Allston for the 1st edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (AD&D) rules. The player characters must evolve into their roles as the adventure progresses, beginning as slaves on a galley who become freed after a shipwreck on an island where orcs and goblins contend over a treasure. The adventure received a positive review from White Dwarf magazine.

Wraith Squadron

Wraith Squadron (1998) is the fifth of ten books in the Star Wars: X-wing series of novels. It was written by Aaron Allston.

Wrath of the Immortals

Wrath of the Immortals, written by Aaron Allston, is a boxed set for the Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) fantasy role-playing game first published by TSR in 1992, revising the rules of the Immortals Rules box set that was originally released in 1986.

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