Karen Traviss Books In Order

Publication Order of Wess’Har Books

City of Pearl (2004) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Crossing the Line (2004) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The World Before (2005) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Matriarch (2006) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Ally (2007) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Judge (2008) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Going Gray Books

Goind Gray (2014) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Black Run (2017) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Ringer Books

Going Gray (2014) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Gears of War Books

Aspho Fields (2008) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Jacinto's Remnant (2009) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Anvil Gate (2010) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Coalition's End (2011) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Slab (2012) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Karen Traviss has become one of the top writers of science fiction stories in recent time. She is best known for her work on the Wess’Har series but she has also written tie-in stories for the Star Wars film franchise and the Gears of War video game series. Her work is popular for providing a unique voice to many prominent properties. Her original science fiction work is also popular for delving into how the human race works and how difficult it can be for people to interact with one another.

A native of Portsmouth, Traviss had worked as a journalist before focusing on fiction writing. She worked in the Territorial Army and Royal Naval Auxiliary Service, two groups that have been highly influential to many of her works. She has also studied at the Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy Workshop, one of the most prominent science fiction writing programs in the world. Her work has made her highly in demand among many prominent publishers.

Notable Series

The Wess’Har series is the most famous series that Karen Traviss has written. The story takes place several centuries in the future as many alien species have been meeting with each other around the world and have their own conflicting beliefs. Much of the series focuses on Shan Frankland, a figure who is caught in the middle of many conflicts. Alien groups like the Wess’Har, Bezeri and Isenj all see each other differently and have developed many harsh prejudices towards one another.

The Gears of War video game series has been the subject of many stories that Traviss has written. The stories take place around the many events that happen in the Gears of War series. These include stories that profile many of the characters in the games and some of the actions that led to what happens in the video games themselves.

The Star Wars novel series has been a big part of Traviss’ work as well. She worked on the Republic Commando series and later on the Legacy of the Force series. Many of her stories focus on the Mandalorians, key figures in the Star Wars series. She also writes about many of the clone troopers in the series and what comes about with regards to their influences and identities.

She has also worked on the Halo video game series. Traviss has a few books that focus on how the events surrounding the warfare in the Halo series have developed. There are a few other original series that Traviss has been working on too including the Going Gray military thriller series.

Special Recognition

Traviss’ 2004 novel City of Pearl was nominated for a Philip K. Dick Award, a prominent science fiction writing award named for the famed author. The same novel was also nominated for a John W. Campbell Memorial Award, an award given annually by the Center for the Study of Science Fiction. She also received Philip K. Dick Award nominations in 2007 and 2008 for her books Ally and Judge.

Books of Note

City of Pearl

The first story in the Wess’Har series, City of Pearl is about many species that are trying to live together on a planet similar to Earth. As Shan Frankland comes onto the planet to find an old human colony, it becomes clear that there is a strong war between many of these figures. These include many who are fighting over a parasite on the planet that is believed to provide those who hold it with immortality.

The World Before

Another Wess’Har story, the World Before is about the Wess’Har and another species about to go to war with one another. This comes after a weaker alien race has gone extinct. The humans from Earth are blamed for the destruction of that species. But as it turns out, Shan may hold the key to resolving the conflict but not in a way that many readers might expect.


Shan’s ongoing evolution in the Wess’Har series can been seen throughout each individual novel. In this story, she is forced to choose between two sides that are struggling to survive on a new planet. But as Shan has to take sides, the people of Earth become fearful as their failed attempts to broker peace could cause their planet to become the next target to attack. The story is popular for looking into what causes many people to decide upon certain strategies or ideas when trying to help others and the consequences that often come with such actions.

Hard Contact

This marks Traviss’ first foray into the Star Wars universe. As a series of clone troopers travel along a rival planet, they meet with many distinct characters including separatists, slave traders and some unusual natives. It is here where many of these troopers aim to learn more about themselves and why they are here and what their true purposes are. But this is anything but easy for them to do as there is danger all around the planet.


Many of the most famous Star Wars characters make an impact in this next Star Wars story. Jacen and Jaina, the children of Han and Leia, are divided as war starts to spread across the galaxy. The story marks a major turning point in the series as Jacen starts to fall into the same path of corruption that Anakin Skywalker went down as he eventually became Darth Vader. The story also brings about the appearance of Boba Fett, a bounty hunter who gets in the way of Jacen and Jaina.

Aspho Fields

Traviss’ work in the Gears of War series started with Aspho Fields, a story that takes place a little before the events of the initial Gears of War video game. It focuses on a group of soldiers as they travel to the titular Aspho Fields. This occurs as a mysterious alien race travels out to destroy much of humanity.

From her many original stories to some of her works in the Star Wars universe among others, Karen Traviss continues to be a popular name in science fiction literature. Take a look at her stories to see what makes her work outstanding. These stories are appealing for their many characters, distinct situations and intriguing insights.


Book Series In Order » Authors » Karen Traviss