7th Columnist


Cole Protocol Cover
July 18, 2008, 2:00 am
Filed under: Halo, Merchandise, News

Tobias Buckell, author of the forthcoming Halo novel ‘The Cole Protocol‘, has updated his blog with an early design of the book’s cover – found on Amazon of all places.

The featured image is the work of Bungie’s own Isaac Hannaford, whose skills some of you might remember seeing in the gallery that made up the rear of the Halo Graphic Novel. While this isn’t the final artwork, we have to say it’s looking pretty darn tasty at this early stage, and will sit quite happily in our collection next to rest of the series.

Check out that armour though. That doesn’t look like the standard MJOLNIR to us. Kinda reminds us of the early Master Chief design, back when Halo was pretending to be an RTS. What do you guys think?

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Halo: The Cole Protocol
June 17, 2008, 3:01 am
Filed under: Halo, Halo 2, Halo 3, Merchandise, News

Bungie today announced Halo: The Cole Protocol, the next novel to be set in the Halo universe and the sixth in the series.

Penned by Sci-fi newcomer Tobias S. Buckell, author of Crystal Rain and Ragamuffin, The Cole Protocol seems to be a follow up to 2006’s Ghost’s of Onyx, revealing the location of the Spartan Gray Team and apparently “takes readers into an unexplored conflict of the Human-Covenant War where unlikely alliances are formed and shattered…”

Not a lot else is known at this point, except that we can expect to be reading it towards the end of the year. Here’s what ex-Bungie Frank O’Connor had this to say about the upcoming book: ” Buckell continues an excellent tradition that’s now a solid aspect of the Halo novels, bringing a fresh new perspective to a limitless universe and bringing his prodigious writing talents to bear in ways that will surprise and engage fans of the series and newcomers alike.”

Buckell states on his website that he has in fact read the previous halo novels, comics and played all three Halo games – he even has a service record to prove it. Though at the time of writing he’s not yet beaten the game on Legendary. A little more about him can be found below.

Tobias S. Buckell exploded onto the science fiction scene with Crystal Rain, (Tor 2006) a debut that combined a unique mix of Caribbean culture – where Buckell was born and raised – and hard SF adventure elements. Buckell’s unique and groundbreaking work won him acclaim from peers and the literary community, who called him “a dazzling new voice.” His second novel, Ragamuffin, (Tor 2007) was a 2007 Nebula Award nominee for Best Novel; a 2008 Prometheus Award finalist for Best Novel; and a Locus “Best of 2007.” He is a graduate of the Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers’ Workshop, and was a first-place winner for the Writers of the Future, as well as having been nominated for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer.

Buckell’s blend of hard science fiction with character-based action adventure and forays into classic SF pulp won the admiration of both Tor and Microsoft. Buckell is also a big Halo fan who has played every incarnation of the game.

So, another author to add to the pile. I’ll be interesting to see what Buckell does with the property and how he’ll leave his mark on the Halo universe. How many of you out there have read the Halo novels? Whose been your stand out author so far? Let us know.



New EVA and CQB figures
October 13, 2007, 5:19 am
Filed under: Gaming, Halo 3, Merchandise, News

With Halo 3 came new armour variants and with that comes the Mcfarlane Toys announcement of new figures to reflect the new threads.

Much like the Master Chief figure, all of the new Spartan figures will be 5 inches tall, with more than 18 points of articulation. Each equipped with an assault rifle and grenade accessories, which in turn can be hand-held or stored on the figure’s back or leg.

The new figures are as follows:

Spartan with MJOLNIR Mark VI Armor
– Red Version (available at all retailers)
– White Version (Specialty stores exclusive)
Upon arrival at Cairo station, the Master Chief’s heavily damaged Mark V suit was replaced with a Mark VI. This armor was slimmed down even more to increase movement.

Spartan with CQB Armor
– Blue Version (Wal-Mart exclusive)
The Close Quarter Battle (CQB) Armor is a variant of the standard Mark VI MJOLNIR powered battle armor. Specialized to improve survivability in close combat for the SPARTAN-II super soldiers by improving joint mobility.

Spartan with EVA Armor
– Red Version (available at all retailers)
The EVA Armor (EVA) is a variant of the standard Mark VI MJOLNIR powered battle armor, specialized to increase exo-atmospheric endurance and improve mobility in zero gravity for the SPARTAN-II super soldiers.

Check ’em out here, and expect to find them on store shelves come March.



Game Fuel and Gamestop Ads
August 22, 2007, 3:19 pm
Filed under: Halo 3, Machinima, Merchandise, Multiplayer, News

Here’s a couple of Halo related videos found recently that I’ve really enjoyed. They’re not really anything new, but I figured I’d share, for those that may have missed them.

So here’s the commercial currently showing stateside for the special edition Halo 3 Mountain Dew:

and here’s a great little piece of Halo 2 machinima created for Gamestop advertising pre-orders for Halo 3:

It’s a great concept, but I’m not sure i’m able to say goodbye just yet.