Filmmaker James Cameron has tapped noted science fiction author Steven Charles Gould (Jumper) to write four stand-alone novels based upon, and expanding, Cameron's history-making 2009 film Avatar, and Cameron's stories for his three upcoming Cameron sequels.

Cameron commented.

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"Steven Gould is one of the shining lights in contemporary science fiction, and I've long admired the worlds and characters he's created in his books and stories. We're very fortunate to have Steven bring his formidable talents to the Avatar universe. He is already working closely with me and the screenwriters to flesh out the expanding world of Avatar."

While Gould is best known for his 1992 novel Jumper, which Twentieth Century Fox and New Regency turned into a motion picture in 2008, he has been acclaimed for his short fiction, including his Hugo Award-nominated short story "Rory," and the novelette "Peaches for Mad Molly." The latter was also on the shortlist for the Nebula Award. His other novels include Wildside, the Jumper sequel Reflex, 7th Sigma, and Impulse. He is president of the Science Fiction Writers of America.

Kathy Franklin, Lightstorm Entertainment's President of Franchise Development, noted the following.

"The novels are just one example of our commitment to our fans to extend the world of Avatar, in this instance in partnership with Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products."

James Cameron also is currently writing the screenplays for the three new Avatar pictures, along with screenwriters Josh Friedman (War of the Worlds), Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver (Rise of the Planet of the Apes) and Shane Salerno (Salinger).

The sequels will be filmed back-to-back with production beginning next year. The release of the first sequel, Avatar 2 will be in December 2016, with Avatar 3 to follow in December 2017, and Avatar 4 a year later.