There should be a law of some kind that says that written fiction cannot be derivative of visual media (I sometimes long for the reverse too, but realize that would be impractical.) In other words, put an end, by general acclimation, to all Buffy and Star Wars and Star Trek and Smallville books. Etc. I have three reasons for this.
1. We are more creative than this. We can think up stories on our own. We can create interesting characters. Media ties-ins make me think that writers are in it for the money, and that’s depressing because I know that there’s not a whole lot of money to be had in tie-ins.
2. The stuff is so pervasive, that it crowds out everything worth reading on bookstore shelves. In fact, I am going to call these stuff “shelf weeds” from now on, because the effect that it has on the “flowers” one once found on a bookshelf is the same effect that weeds have on a garden.
3. It makes it terribly difficult to find anything. I was just skimming Barnes & Nobel online, looking to see what was new in Science Fiction, and was alarmed at the number of tie-in books that came up on the list and the few number of non-media-tie-ins I could readily find.
And writers out there: I’m sorry, but in my mind, media tie-in books are like pre-fab houses or coloring by number. They don’t require a whole lot of thought, they come with pre-made (if cardboard) characters, worlds, societies, etc. I’ll probably take a lot of flak for this, but in my mind, they are the welfare of the lazy writer.