The young-adult books, which dig into Mulder and Scully's teen years, will be published Jan. 3, 2017
Fans of “The X-Files” will have to wait an undetermined amount of time before the show returns to television, if it does at all, to learn the fate of Agents Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson), which were so cruelly left up in the air when the series’ revival season concluded earlier this year.
But the situation isn’t all grim. Come Jan. 3, X-Philes will get a chance to dig into the pasts of their favorite paranormal investigators with two young-adult novels, both set in 1979, which will be released simultaneously by Imprint/Macmillan Children’s Publishing. “Agent of Chaos,” written by Kami Garcia (“Beautiful Creatures”), will focus on a 17-year-old Mulder, while “Devil’s Advocate,” written by Jonathan Maberry (“Rot & Ruin”), will follow a 15-year-old Scully. The covers of the novels premiere exclusively below.
Imprint publisher Erin Stein, who is also editing the books, says their stories are set in geographic locations relatively close to each other and that they’ll share some connective tissue, even if Mulder and Scully don’t officially meet until years down the road. “They won’t necessarily run into each other there, but you’ll get the sense they’re operating in the same world,” she says. Both characters will be watched by people associated with the shadowy group known as the Syndicate, as well, the editor adds.
That said, Stein, who has been re-watching the series with an eye for specific details, assures hardcore fans that the books won’t disrupt canon or negate anything that’s been set up on the TV series. In fact, Stein, Maberry and Garcia are working hard to layer in some “nitty-gritty” details that fans will savor, such as specific file numbers, character names and locations. “It certainly won’t bother anyone who’s not a fan of the show, but if you are a superfan, you will find some stuff in here,” Stein says.
Stein referred to one such “X-Files” deep cut that might pop in the books: a roadside spot in rural Maryland called Charlotte’s Diner that served as a meeting place for Scully, Mulder and their FBI boss, Walter Skinner (Mitch Pileggi), in the season 3 episode “Paper Clip.”
“It’s that level of insanity, and I’m having a lot of fun,” Stein says.
Here’s what Maberry says about how “Devil’s Advocate” explores young Scully’s faith:
“Dana Scully wants to believe. When she was a teenager she used to believe in ghosts and angels and demons. ‘Devil’s Advocate’ explores that belief and how it’s used against her in a way that threatens to destroy her life, and which will ultimately put her on the path toward true and very dangerous knowledge. This is Scully as a teenager. Hopeful, open-minded, brave and only just beginning to understand what kind of terrible evil exists in the world. I’m having a lot of wicked fun messing with her mind and also letting the readers peek behind the scenes to see that the conspiracy she and Mulder would later encounter was always at work in her life. It’s a very paranoid and deeply weird story.”
Garcia weighs in on young Mulder’s developing conspiracy obsession in “Agent of Chaos”:
“Mulder is 17 now, and he’s living with his father in Washington, DC. He’s still haunted by [his sister] Samantha’s disappearance, so when the body of a little boy is discovered, and another child goes missing, Mulder can’t ignore it. We get to watch him navigate the emotional land mines that come with being 17 – such as the strained relationship with his dad, an epic crush on his best friend, and the looming chaos of the adult world — while he pieces together clues. He will make connections between events that involve conspiracy theories and code words, jaded detectives and a serial killer, leading him to the FBI’s Behavioral Science Unit, the place where ‘profiling’ and criminal investigative analysis were born — and where it’s said the term ‘serial killer’ was put into common use by [real-life] Agent Robert K. Ressler (who might make an appearance in ‘Agent of Chaos’).”