Fighter Pilots in Space: Star Wars: X-Wing: Rogue Squadron by Michael A. Stackpole

In this bi-weekly series reviewing classic science fiction and fantasy books, Alan Brown looks at the front lines and frontiers of the field; books about soldiers and spacers, scientists and engineers, explorers and adventurers. Stories full of what Shakespeare used to refer to as “alarums and excursions”: battles, chases, clashes, and the stuff of excitement.

One of the reasons for the phenomenal success of the Star Wars movies is that they offer something for everyone. They are built around epic fantasy concepts like the hero’s journey and the adventures of a “chosen one.” They center on a power struggle between the Sith and the Jedi, beings with paranormal powers. They take us to worlds different than our own, and introduce us to a diverse range of alien races. They present a thrilling political struggle between freedom and tyranny. They are full of rogues and smugglers and other colorful characters. ...