Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Genre Overview: Tie In Novels

As literary snobs look down at genre fiction, even lower down in the caste is the sometimes baffling, usually horrible world of media tie ins.

These include straight novelizations, which can be interesting when they divert from the original source, often due to being based on a early screenplay, or because they provide more depth and background than the original.  Film novelizations date back to the silent film era.

"Tie in" is also used to describe when the novel came first, then there's a movie, and the original is reissued, though these only differ from the original by the cover.

Then there's the world of continuing stories and expanded universes.  The hundreds of Star Wars and Star Trek novels are the most well known examples, but continuing adventure novels exist for everything from Friday the 13th to the Partridge Family.

Tie ins and novelizations aren't limited to novels based on films.  There are novels based on video games, TV shows, role playing games, and comic books.  They can stack multiple levels, such as a novelization of a movie version of a video game (Doom by John Shirley), or the novelization of a comic spin-off from a movie series (multiple Aliens titles).  The most spun off spin off to my knowledge is the fourteen book series Salem's Tails, a spin off of the 50+ novelization series of the Sabrina the Teenage Witch live action show, a reboot of a cartoon spun off of another cartoon based on a comic.

I'll be doing a deep dive in the world of media tie-ins, focusing on adultish novels and less on comics and children's adaptations.

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