A while back I talked about the various tie-in books related to After Earth, the June 2013 release that Peter David, Michael Jan Friedman and I have been working on. Since then, a few things have moved and others freshly announced so I wanted to take a moment to update everyone.
The big news is that the book I mentioned I had a crushing one month to write in October is now officially announced. Insight Editions, which does slick pop culture coffeetable book, will be releasing my United Ranger Corps Survival Manual in May. The 160-page book will provide tons of details about the universe After Earth is set in and will work as a fine companion piece to the feature film. It’s been interesting using our series bible and film script to guide me since we found gaps or contradictions that will require some smoothing over. But it also meant I got to add some additional depth and detail about the world. No cover yet, but here’s the official blurb:
One thousand years after cataclysmic events forced humanity’s flight from Earth, Nova Prime has become mankind’s new home. Legendary soldier Cypher Raige (Will Smith) returns to his estranged family, ready to be a father to his thirteen-year-old son Kitai (Jaden Smith). While traveling to a nearby planet, an asteroid storm damages Cypher and Kitai’s ship, and they crash-land on an inhospitable Earth. As his father lies dying in the cockpit, Kitai must trek across the hostile terrain in order to recover their rescue beacon, encountering highly evolved creatures and a ruthless alien beast along the way. His whole life, Kitai has wanted nothing more than to be a soldier like his father. Today, he gets his chance.
This immersive in-universe book takes readers inside the world of After Earth. Featuring stunning artwork from the movie, along with unit photography and other eye-catching visuals, the United Ranger Corps Survival Manual is the ultimate in-universe guide to After Earth, the thrilling new movie starring Jaden Smith and Will Smith.
Meantime, Ghost Stories, the six digital short stories by the three of us, was delayed from October to December, to capitalize on the release of the film’s first trailer, which will be tied to The Hobbit, opening December 14. The first of the monthly releases, “Hunted”, will be by Peter and will be available for download in all formats imaginable on the 14th. I’ll be up next with January’s “Peace”. Others will follow and I will keep you informed. Here’s the official blurb for “Hunted”.
On a distant planet called Nova Prime, the United Ranger Corps defends the galaxy’s remaining humans from an alien race known as the Skrel and their genetically engineered predators, the Ursa. But one ordinary man may have just found the key to humanity’s last stand: a secret weapon hidden deep within his own psyche. “Ghost Stories: Hunted” is the first of six eBook short stories that lead up to the events of After Earth, the epic science fiction adventure film directed by M. Night Shyamalan and starring Jaden Smith and Will Smith.
For all his charm, looks, and skills on the holographic battlefield, Daniel Silver has been drifting through life in Nova Prime City. After proposing to his girlfriend and getting rejected in the cruelest way possible, Daniel has no choice but to accept an altogether different kind of proposition. Sigmund Ryerson, an eccentric energy magnate, has asked him to lead a civilian expedition to take down an Ursa, the flesh-eating beast that Daniel has only ever faced in simulations. The excursion could get them all killed, if a patrolling Ranger doesn’t arrest them first. But when Daniel’s death wish nearly comes true, a twist of fate leads him to make a discovery that will change his life—and life on Nova Prime.
Finally, something the trio is not writing will be the young adult tie-in, Kitai’s Journal, which is being written by Christine Peymani. She and I were recently in touch, as I answered her questions raised by the bible, and think her book will be fine reading. No blurb or cover yet.
We’ll talk more about this after you have seen the trailer.