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ISSUE 75

Welcome back, Fodder faithful; can you believe it’s been 75 issues already? Last week we dropped new knowledge on armor and weapons from the brand new Memories of Reach content release for Halo 5: Guardians, and dropped a deep lore bomb on the community’s most curious by revealing the long-lost missing pages from Halsey’s Personal Journal.  If you missed it then, get in there and rectify that situation, Spartan! As for this week, while I don’t have any diamonds on hand – as is customary for such an anniversary – I do have something that many Halo lore lovers might consider almost as valuable: brand new info on some fabulous new fiction.

FRACTS OF LIFE

Back in 2009, Halo fans around the world – including your humble messenger – devoured their respective copies of Halo: Evolutions. Showcasing “essential tales of the Halo universe,” the acclaimed anthology featured a wonderful collection of stories from a variety of passionate authors tackling a wide range of narrative corners. From “Headhunters” and “The Return,” to “Human Weakness” and “The Impossible Life & Possible Death of Preston J Cole,” many of these stories quickly began to rank among fans’ favorites. With this in mind, 343 Industries and Simon & Schuster are extremely excited to announce a brand new anthology novel, Halo: Fractures.

Wrapped in a gorgeous new piece of cover art (seen here; click to view in pureform mode) by 343 Industries’ own Sparth, Halo: Fractures brings Halo fans a new set of collected tales from scattered sources and events around the Halo universe, and features a pretty killer collection of authors – from Halo veterans to critically-acclaimed new blood. And of course, not only are the selected authors on tap a truly eclectic bunch, but so are the stories themselves. We can’t say too much just yet, but let’s take a little peek at what you’ll be getting yourself into…

Launch once more into galaxy-spanning conflict and legendary heroism…shards of an ever-expanding journey where human and alien alike find their finest hours in facing their greatest challenges. These scattered stories span untold millennia, from the age of the ancient custodial race known as the Forerunners…to the aftermath of the Covenant’s bloody war against humanity…and even the shocking events surrounding the resurrection of the mysterious Guardians. Halo: Fractures explores mythic tales of bravery and sacrifice that blaze brightly at the very heart of the Halo universe.

So that’s the “back of the book” text, but for the fervent Fodderhood, I’ll pull you aside and let you know that we’ve got a narrative smorgasbord of story topics on hand to tickle your fiction fancy. Care to peek in on some ferrets, or read beyond rebirth? Interested in Spartans that have had their worlds turned inside out, or unknown Warrior-Servants looking for greater purpose? We figured you might be. No matter what your favorite flavor of Halo fiction is, Halo: Fractures aims to have just about something for everyone.

We’ll be talking a bit more in detail about the specific story subject matters themselves at a later date, but for now, here is a list of the passionate penmen that have taken these new tales to task. In alphabetical order we have:

Tobias Buckell

Troy Denning

Matt Forbeck

Kelly Gay

Christie Golden

Kevin Grace

Morgan Lockhart

John Jackson Miller

Frank O’Connor

Brian Reed

James Swallow

As a sweet little bonus, the anthology will also include Joseph Staten’s Halo: Shadow of Intent, and Frank O’Connor’s Halo: Saint’s Testimony, offered for the first time in print form. We’re pretty excited about it all and certainly hope you are too. Halo: Fractures is available for pre-order now, and is slated to arrive in your story-happy hands on September 20, 2016. Stay tuned for more info about the upcoming anthology in the nearish future.

DROP SHIPPING

Back in Issue 71, we dropped the first major details on the next chapter in the Halo tabletop legacy – Halo: Ground Command. Today, along with our friends and partners at Spartan Games, we’re excited to showcase a special pre-order bonus offer for the upcoming tabletop title that will allow collectors and fans to get their hands on some very cool models: the UNSC Pelican and Covenant Phantom.

The renders you see shown here are still “pending final licenser approval,” but will give you a great idea of what these foot-long flyers will look like when all is said and done. These babies will look equally awesome sitting in a place of honor an any Halo collector’s shelf or dropping troops onto tabletops across the world. If any of these possibilities knock you square in the fantasy feels, then check out the official info on the deal right from the source at Spartan Games in the links above to get the drop on these ships.

BRANDING EXERCISE

One my personal favorite pastimes in the past few months has been taking the fight to the Killer Instinct cast with my own customized Sangheili warriors. If you’ve maybe been on the fence about taking the plunge with KI Season 3, our friends at Microsoft Studios announced last week that the Arbiter character is now available for individual purchase.

Just like our old friend Thel did back in the Halo 2 days, Killer Instinct marks yet another example of an Arbiter flipping the script and changing the game, as our crossover combatant marks the first time an individual character comes with their Retro costume & all accessories – including their premium accessories. This means that you’ll have access to the entire suite of customization options to earn and unlock for your very own Elite fighter.

The Ultimate Arbiter Pack is available now for $9.99 from the Xbox Store; you can learn a bit more from our friends on the KI team on their blog here, or purchase directly from the Xbox Store here. Fight on!

SHHHH!

For comic fans - and collectors especially -  this week marked the release of the Halo Library Edition – Volume 1 hardcover from 343 Industries and Dark Horse comics. The absolutely beautiful (and huge!) hardcover collects the full series of Halo: Initiation (#1-3), and the first year of Halo: Escalation (#1-12).

The Library Edition also includes a gorgeous gallery and very cool behind-the-scenes commentary - the latter of which should interest fans of both the fiction as well as those who are just interested in the overall process.

If you’re interested in grabbing one for your own hungy Halo shelf, you can check out all the details right here.

NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH

So we noticed some confusion crop up in the community regarding some linguistic technicalities, specifically in response to a location mentioned within an upcoming REQ item in Halo 5: Guardians. The location in question is Soirapt, one of the three moons of the Jiralhanae homeworld, Doisac.

In an attempt to track down the source of the confusion, we arrived at some wonderful and beloved community-curated outlets that had the spelling incorrectly listed as "Solrapt," citing the Halo Bestiarum from Halo 3 as the source. We went to the original source files to double check, and the Bestiarum does actually have the correct spelling of Soirapt, as you see here. Hope this helps clear up some of the confusion, and allows the community to adjust their records accordingly.

Well, that’s going to bring our time together to a close for now. If you haven’t realized it yet, the Memories of Reach content release is now available for Halo 5: Guardians, so make sure you get in there and defend the memory of humanity’s greatest strongholds.

Before you go, take a few moments to check out one of the latest videos put out by the fabulous Halo Canon community YouTube channel. This most recent offering takes a look at the life and times of one of humanity's cigar-chompinest heroes, Sergeant Major Avery Johnson. It's a great fan-fed feature with a fan-favorite focus that might teach you a thing or two you may have missed before.  

And with that, we bid you adieu. We’ll be back again next issue with more. See you then.

Until next time… Live well, play Halo, and thank you for sharing.

-Grim

NEW UNIVERSE ARTICLES THIS WEEK!

CARTER-A259

Commander Carter-A259 was a Spartan-III super-soldier who led Fireteam Noble. He was killed in action during the fall of Reach.

KAT-B320

Kat-B320 was a Spartan-III super-soldier and second-in-command of Noble Team. She was killed in action during the closing days of the fall of Reach.

JUN-A266

Jun-A266 is a Spartan-III super-soldier and the last surviving member of Noble Team. He is currently the acting Chief of Staff and head recruiter of the Spartan service branch.

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