I read a hell of a lot of tie-in fiction when I was a kid. I rather suspect that a lot of other science-fiction fans can say the same. Mostly Star Trek, if truth be told, though Star Wars figured heavily as well into the list. This being the days before cheap DVD sets, they shaped my view of what those series were far more than the episodes, in some cases. Heck - I read the Alan Dean Foster novelization of Star Wars before I actually watched A New Hope. Some of them still stand out today, the Brian Daley Han Solo books, Timothy Zahn’s Thrawn Trilogy, any Star Trek book written by Diane Duane, for example, and that’s just for starters. I could be rattling them off for years.
It’s only strange that I never wrote any fanfiction. I don’t think I ever really thought of it, though that might partly be because I wasn’t exposed to it until I first had regular internet access. Even then, I read quite a bit, but never thought of taking it any further. Potentially, that could always change; when I first heard about the Kindle Worlds program, I figured quite quickly that it was something I could do - if any of the franchises appealed to me, and thus far, none of them have piqued my interest. There are those that would, however…
Star Trek Do you even need to ask. Battlecruiser Alamo for me scratches this itch very well, but in the admittedly unlikely event that this ever appeared, I’d guarantee to have a Trek novel on sale within sixty days. Maybe more than one. Though Amazon, I suspect, would rapidly be totally overwhelmed with them - still, it’s definitely something I would do. Not with the major characters, having said that, I’d want to tread my own path here. Probably set in the ‘Captain Pike’ era. Long, long ago, I wrote a fan supplement for the Last Unicorn Star Trek RPG set in that period, and it’s always been of interest.
Wing Commander Odd, this one, in a sense, because I wasn’t a fan of the tie-in fiction they did for this one, but I played the first four games, and Privateer, for hours and hours. Wing Commander I is the first game I actually remember completing, during a half-term holiday if I remember correctly. Fighter aces, not-Kzinti, a few other aliens scattered about, World War II in space in a great way. I suppose this is another itch I could scratch in another way without too much trouble, though…. (This is one franchise I actually hold a little hope for. It’s been left fallow for long enough that I suspect there would be few qualms about releasing it in this way.)
Star Wars Of course I would, but they won’t.
Traveller This is another one I might hold out a little hope on. For a long time, Classic Traveller was my go-to SF RPG, and I still flick through the manuals on occasion, wondering about what I might do. Technically, there isn’t anything at all stopping me from doing a novel series in the style of Traveller, but I’d like to be able to make use of the canon, some of the threats from the metaplot, that sort of thing. I suppose I really should have put ‘Third Imperium’ up there. In all honesty - I’m almost surprised no-one has done this one. The RPG itself is open-source, and third-parties can write supplements for it without any trouble or legal hoops. Why not open up the setting for writers?
Firefly I watched this when it first came out. On bootleg DVDs from across the Atlantic, a little before it aired over here. One of the few things I have on DVD and Blu-Ray (the Alien Anthology is about the only other one I can think of, and that was largely because for months I thought I’d lost it in the last house move.) As with Star Trek, I’d use original characters - but the setting has so much totally untouched depth to it, and while Serenity did some...not-nice things, there are options running on that could be explored. Again, I suppose there is a chance this might happen - it’s a franchise on life-support at the moment, and open-sourcing it would probably get some revenue back in.
Foundation The original Foundation trilogy, as I’ve written about before, is one of my all-time favorites. I must have read it a couple of dozen times, and I still come back to it again on occasion - if you want to see how to build a massive epic in a very small number of worlds, it’s hard to beat. Even though the science has dated, of course, most of it still holds up well. The nature of the universe would make this one a slam-dunk; there’s room for hundreds more tales of the Fall of the First Empire and the Rise of the Second, and even with Foundation and Earth (sigh) the series still only gets half-way through. The battle between the First Foundation and the Second Foundation for control of the galaxy is a great one, with lots of room left the run. Again...one day, I suppose, this might. The works of Kurt Vonnegut are up for use in Kindle Worlds, after all. Why not the World of Asimov?
Honestly, I don’t have any realistic expectation that any of these will come available. Some of the franchises are too big for it to happen, and others are, oddly, too small, in that I suspect either no-one has thought of it (if that is the case...get to it!) or there is a thought that there would not be the interest. In the case of Traveller, it’s almost surprising that someone hasn’t done something like this, given that it is, as I said, open sourced….