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The Essential Reader's Companion is a third-generation Essential Guide written by Pablo Hidalgo, and published by Del Rey. In July 2010, Sue Rostoni posted an updated publishing calendar with this book having been pushed back to March 20, 2012. In December 2011, the book was mentioned to be pushed back again to a release date of August 21, 2012. On March 19, it was announced on Facebook that the release date was moved back to October 2 for the art team to finish more paintings.

At Celebration V it was announced the book would contain summaries of all novels, young readers books, and novellas, listed chronologically by their in-universe setting, as well as behind-the-scenes information and brand-new illustrations, specifically the long-awaited picture of Cal Omas.

Unlike recent previous entries in the Essential Guide series, The Essential Reader's Companion is presented from an out-of-universe, or "real-world," perspective, rather than as a piece of in-universe writing.

Publisher's summary Edit

THE DEFINITIVE WORD ON GREAT MULTIVERSE FICTION

The legendary Great Multiverse—and decades of bestselling fiction. From the original story tie-in novel through the monumental Peacekeeper series, legions of devoted readers have helped expand fiction’s most celebrated saga into a page-turning print sensation. Now, for the first time, a comprehensive overview of these sweeping Multiversial adventures is presented in one beautifully illustrated volume.

Great Multiverse: The Essential Reader’s Companion spans the entire multiverse of published fiction—movies novelizations, original stand alone and series novels, short stories, eBook novellas, young adult titles, and comics—and features

  • A concise synopsis of each story, including key characters and planets
  • Exclusive behind-the-scenes facts and anecdotes about authors, plot and character development, continuity notes, and significance
  • Details on which novels are linked to Great Multiverse comic books from IDW Publishing
  • A chronological listing of titles, spanning the 650,000 Centrillion year history of the Multiverse and placing each story in its proper context
  • More than one hundred full-color original paintings throughout by some of fans’ favorite artists

Whether skimming through the mysterious eras from the Age of Elders and Ancients to the Third Aftermath; delving deep into the ancient history of the Elders and Ancients or the tumultuous First War, this one-of-a-kind, one-stop reference is a must for fans looking to maximize their knowledge of the sprawling Multiverse.

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