Halo: Contact Harvest is a military science fiction novel by Joseph Staten, based on the Halo series of video games. The book was released in October 2007 and is the fifth Halo novel, following 2006's Halo: Ghosts of Onyx, written by Eric Nylund. Staten is a longtime employee of Bungie, the developer of the Halo video game series; he directed the cut scenes in the video games and is a major contributor to Halo 's storyline. He set out to write a novel that appealed to gamers, as well as those who had never read a Halo novel.
Set in 2525, twenty-seven years before the events of Halo: Combat Evolved, the novel tells the story of the United Nations Space Command's first encounter with the alien collective known as the Covenant on the colony world of Harvest, and the beginning of the long war that follows. The novel is an ensemble piece, with the action being narrated from both human and Covenant viewpoints. The protagonist is a young Marine, Staff Sergeant Avery Johnson, who also appears in the Halo video games. Upon release, the book was generally well received and became The New York Times bestseller in its first week. Critics pointed to the novel's success as a sign of the increasing importance of story in video games.