Hmm, this is an interesting turn of events. Tobias Buckell, author of the upcoming Sly Mongoose, has been hinting at his current project for a while now, reffering to it as the ubiquitous ‘Project X.’ Well, thanks to Luke Smith over at (the official web site for Halo developers Bungie) the beans have been spilled.

Halo: The Cole Protocol will be the sixth novel set in the Halo Universe. Tobias S. Buckell, author of Crystal Rain and Ragamuffin will pen the novel, which reveals the location of the Spartan Gray Team and “takes readers into an unexplored conflict of the Human-Covenant War where unlikely alliances are formed and shattered…”

Bungie expatriate and Microsoft’s Franchise Development Director Frank O’Connor had this to say on the upcoming book, which is slated for a Fall 2008 release, ” Buckell continues an excellent tradition that’s now a solid aspect of the Halo novels, bringing a fresh new perspective to a limitless universe and bringing his prodigious writing talents to bear in ways that will surprise and engage fans of the series and newcomers alike.”

I’m not really one for tie-in novels, and I’m not even really all that familiar with Halo (despite being an avid videogamer), but Buckell’s writing is so damn good that I’m at least intrigued by this.

Buckell himself comments on the news HERE.