Tor Books is pleased to reveal the title, cover art, and release month of Halo: Cryptum, the first in a trilogy of novels by Hugo and Nebula award-winning author Greg Bear in the New York Times bestselling "Halo" series based on the hugely successful "Halo" video games franchise for the Xbox 360. Halo: Cryptum will be published in January 2011. An unabridged audio book edition will publish simultaneously with the new novel.
Halo: Cryptum will begin the first deep exploration into the time of the Forerunners, the creators and builders of the Halos. Almost nothing is known for sure about this ancient race. Worshipped by the Covenant as gods, their engineering relics pepper the galaxy, and their connection to humanity remains unanswered. Devoted fans of both the books and games will finally get to delve deep into the era of these enigmatic beings, and discover for themselves the epic story behind one of the great mysteries of the "Halo" universe: the complete disappearance of the Forerunners from existence.
"The enigma of the Forerunners is really at the heart of the drama and mystery of the Halo universe," says Frank O'Connor, Franchise Development Director for 343 Industries. "In all the games and the books so far we've only scratched the surface of the terrible events that engulfed the Forerunners and the Galaxy they protected 100,000 years ago, and we're very lucky to have a writer with Greg's experience and creativity to help us finally shed some light on why the Halos are really here."
An icon in the science fiction community, Greg Bear has penned such critically celebrated international bestsellers as Eon and The Forge of God. His work has covered such heavy themes as galactic conflict, artificial universes, consciousness and cultural practices, and accelerated evolution. Bear's talent for taut narratives, intellectually rigorous themes, and realistic, appealing characters make him the most qualified author writing today to extend this blockbuster franchise.
"There is no doubt in my mind that Halo is one of the quintessential science fiction offerings of our time," says Tor senior editor Eric Raab. "What Greg Bear has done with the deep lore of this extremely epic and complex story will definitely emphasize to science fiction fans just how amazing this universe really is. It powerfully lives beyond the games."
Along with this new trilogy, Tor Books has also recently announced a "Halo" novel series that will take fans into the post-"Halo 3" universe to be penned by Karen Traviss. Earlier this year saw the release of the new editions of earlier "Halo" novels written by Eric Nylund and William C. Dietz.
"Halo" has emerged from the videogame world as a global entertainment phenomenon. To date, more than 34 million copies of "Halo" games have been sold worldwide, driving more than 3.3 billion hours of game play by people connected to Xbox LIVE. In 2007, the "Halo 3" launch broke all previous sales records for a videogame launch and also became the biggest day-one entertainment launch in history. In September, the "Halo" video game franchise made history once again when "Halo: Reach" generated more than $200 million in sales in the United States and Europe in the first 24 hours of its release, making it the largest U.S. entertainment launch of the year. With a fully fleshed-out universe of heroes, villains and epic scenarios in place, the novels will continue to expand the "Halo" universe and offer a grander view of the places and characters fans have learned about from the games.