Musings of a fandom geek

Sometimes, you’ve just got to say “The laws of time and space? Who gives a smeg?”

Unveiling the next stage of destiny…

Posted by Michael Warren on July 13, 2008

So, Friday night, at the Shore Leave convention, Pocket Books unveiled its release schedule for the next 18 months. It’s a fascinating array of novels covering the entirety of the Star Trek franchise. I thought I’d take you through the announced novels, with covers where available (click them for full size versions from Memory Alpha), and provide my reactions to them.

A note on dates: mass market paperbacks (marked here as paperback) usually appear in the middle of the month prior to their scheduled date, trade paperbacks around the beginning of their scheduled month. Hence why Fearful Symmetry has been out for several weeks, Infinity’s Prism is just coming out, and Greater than the Sum should be out shortly.

July 2008

Infinity’s Prism
Star Trek: Myriad Universes, Christopher L. Bennett, William Leisner, and James Swallow, trade paperback
 
On order from my usual source, The Book Depository (who always get the US releases straight away). As I mentioned in my review of Fearful Symmetry, I am a huge fan of alternate timelines – a novel series that explores those is right up my alley, and the excerpts that have been released so far in Star Trek Magazine and at TrekMovie have made me look forward to this even more than I was already.

Infinity's Prism - cover

Fearful Symmetry
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Olivia Woods, paperback

Already out, read, and reviewed here.

August 2008

Echoes and Refractions
Myriad Universes
, Geoff Trowbridge, Keith R.A. DeCandido, and Chris Roberson, trade paperback

More alternate timeline joy. It’s interesting to try and work out exactly what the points of divergence are, and how history would have evolved from those points – indeed, Trowbridge’s “The Chimes at Midnight” – which I read an extract from in the latest Star Trek Magazine – starts from a well-established PoD, from the episode “Yesteryear“. As it’s set in the late 2280s, however, it’s a veritable feast of timeline alteration, if a little confusing. Still, highly anticipated.

Echoes and Refractions - cover

Echoes and Refractions - cover

Greater than the Sum
Star Trek: The Next Generation, Christopher L. Bennett, paperback

While Before Dishonor was extremely disappointing (to the point of anger), I have faith in CLB to pull the TNG relaunch back from the abyss. This lead-in to Destiny should be a strong character piece, with fascinating scientific discussions. The Borg will only be a backdrop, methinks. This mysterious controlled slipstream will be the main plot.

The book should be out in the next two weeks or so. 

Greater than the Sum - cover 

Greater than the Sum - cover

 

September 2008

Star Trek 101
Non-fiction, Terry J. Erdmann and Paula M. Block, trade paperback

The first proper non-fiction reference work (I’m not including that completely idiotic Captain Kirk’s Guide to Women) since 2006. It may be intended for novices, but I’ll be getting it anyway – Erdmann did a fantastic job with the Deep Space Nine Companion, and I’m looking forward to what he does with this. Not sure about the cover, though…

Star Trek 101 - cover

Star Trek 101 - cover

Kobayashi Maru
Star Trek: Enterprise, Michael A. Martin and Andy Mangels, paperback

Continuing the Enterprise relaunch, with the story behind the ‘no-win scenario’. The Good That Men Do was an intriguing novel, and most enjoyable. We’re building up to the Romulan War here (of which more later). An interesting tidbit – TrekMovie says this also ties in to Destiny (again, more on that in a moment), which suggests that all may not go well for Columbia in this novel… 

Kobayashi Maru - cover

Kobayashi Maru - cover

October 2008

Wounds
Star Trek: Corps of Engineers, Ilsa J. Bick, Keith R.A. DeCandido, John J. Ordover, Terri Osborne, and Cory Rushton, trade paperback

I haven’t really followed Corps of Engineers – I own the first two print collections, and whilst I have no problems with eBooks, I’ve never got around to catching up, either in eBooks or in print. Still, the series has a strong premise and interesting characters. Maybe one of these days I shall get caught up.

Wounds - cover

Wounds - cover

Gods of Night
Star Trek: Destiny, David Mack, paperback

And here we go. This is the big crossover epic to close out the year. Now, the solicitation blurbs have cooled several people’s anticipation for the trilogy, and I can understand why (I might make a blog post about that in general). But, looking at the follow-up novels to come, it looks as if we’re going to get a fundamental shift in the Trek universe here – one with measurable and permanent impact. And the cover is lovely (but anything with Ezri on automatically gets a thumbs up from me… :D).

Gods of Night - cover

Gods of Night - cover

 

November 2008

Mere Mortals
Destiny, David Mack, paperback

Continuing on. This cover was first seen at the New York Comic-Con, and I had a very blurry and over-saturated image of it from then. The official release makes it look even better. 

Mere Mortals - cover

Mere Mortals - cover

Academy: Collision Course
Shatnerverse, William Shatner, with Judith & Garfield Reeves-Stevens, paperback reprint

I got this from the library in hardback. It’s… OK as a piece of literature, tightly plotted and executed as you would expect from the Reeves-Stevens, but its characterisation of young Kirk and Spock fell a long way short. I won’t be getting this – I stepped away from the Shatnerverse after Preserver, and was glad of it. It seems too much like an ego thing for Shatner now – Kirk is too powerful a protagonist.

Collision Course cover

Collision Course cover

December 2008

Lost Souls
Destiny, David Mack, paperback

Interesting, no cover has officially been released online for this. Marco previously said that all three covers would be released at the same time – I wonder what’s on this that would make them hold it back? I mean, obviously Riker will be there, since the other two covers have the two captains named in the blurbs, but what else is there?

2009

January 2009

Shards and Shadows
Star Trek: Mirror Universe, various authors, trade paperback

The two novels that started this series were intriguing for the most part (although Greg Cox’s “The Worst of Both Worlds” failed to excite me as much as I’d hoped). Whether a short story anthology like this will have the same impact is difficult to say – there are a number of strong authors and interesting concepts involved, though.

Shards and Shadows - cover

Shards and Shadows - cover

Errand of Fury: Sacrifices of War
Star Trek: The Original Series, Kevin Ryan, paperback

I haven’t been following this set of two trilogies, and they didn’t strike me as being something I’d be interested in. Still, it’s the culmination of a long series, and I’m sure the fans of the work have been eagerly awaiting this. Of course, it’s an expanded look at “Errand of Mercy“, so it could be interesting…

Sacrifices of War - cover

Sacrifices of War - cover

February 2009

A Singular Destiny
Keith R.A. DeCandido, paperback

The first novel to deal with the aftermath of Destiny. All we have to go on is the cover, and the origin of the title. Now, the cover, showing what appears to be a devestated city, and a galaxy with some missing pieces, is very suggestive. KRAD gave the origins for the title, and I tracked down the full quote it sources from for Memory Alpha. That, combined with something I gleaned from Before Dishonor, led me to an interesting, but shocking, speculative conclusion. I shall recount this in another post sometime soon.

The novel is also in some ways a sequel to Articles of the Federation, DeCandido’s fantastic West Wing homage. This time, he’s tackling Tom Clancy (one of my favourite authors), and taking some of the characters from that previous work along for the ride. We’ll be following a completely new character though, and I have my reservations about whether they will be established quickly enough to work as a strong protagonist.

A Singular Destiny - cover

A Singular Destiny - cover

March 2009

Mere Anarchy
Original Series, Mike W. Barr, Christopher L. Bennett, Margaret Wander Bonanno, Dave Galanter, Dayton Ward & Kevin Dilmore, and Howard Weinstein, trade paperback

Omnibus of an eBook series released in 2006. Not sure about this one – the premise of the series didn’t make me hugely enthusiastic. I might get it from the library and check it out that way.

Mere Anarchy - cover

Mere Anarchy - cover

Over a Torrent Sea
Star Trek: Titan, Christopher L. Bennett, paperback

The second of the Destiny aftermath stories. I loved Bennett’s last entry in this series, Orion’s Hounds – he brought a ton of astronomy and astrophysics concepts into the story, but kept the characters strong as well – and he should do well mixing the impact Destiny has on the characters with the exploration angle here.

Over a Torrent Sea - cover

Over a Torrent Sea - cover

April 2009

Treason
Star Trek: New Frontier, Peter David, trade paperback

I haven’t been keeping up with New Frontier – I stopped reading after the Excalibur trilogy. I doubt I’ll pick this up. Interesting is the fact that it’s a trade paperback, instead of the hardback which has been the norm since Stone and Anvil (and was part of Peter David’s contract, IIRC, at least up to and including this book). Perhaps Pocket has decided that a HB then a MMPB reprint isn’t working – after all, the reprints have taken up monthly slots that could be used for new material.
 
Full Circle
Star Trek: Voyager, Kirsten Beyer, paperback

I wasn’t a fan of the Voyager relaunch – I gave up after the first duology, as the writing felt too much like fanfic, and the storyline felt leaden and uninteresting. But here we have a new author for the series, and it covers Destiny as well as the events of Before Dishonor and the Titan novels (which have Tuvok in them, hence the link). I might give this a shot.

Full Circle - cover

Full Circle - cover

May 2009

Crucible
Original Series, David R. George III, hardback

An omnibus collection of the three novels in the series. I already own these, and was bitterly disappointed by the Kirk volume (I can understand George’s desire to undercut fandom expectations, but at least get a good book out of doing it! I would have much preferred a more intellectual study of Kirk, since it’s an angle not normally explored; but that was the expectation he undercut – and badly, I’m afraid), so even the promise of additional material probably won’t bring me to buy it again.

Open Secrets
Star Trek: Vanguard, Dayton Ward & Kevin Dilmore, paperback

Vanguard is a fantastic series, and the scenario we were left with at the end of the last book, Reap the Whirlwind, should provide another strong entry from Wardilmore. Will we finally find out the truth of the Taurus Reach project? And exactly how far have our characters gone to keep their secrets?

Open Secrets - cover

Open Secrets - cover

June 2009

Troublesome Minds
The Original Series, Dave Galanter, paperback

Not much known about this at the moment, only that it’s set during Kirk’s five-year mission – it all depends on the plot as to whether I get it or not. I’ve only read one thing by Galanter, and I can’t recall anything specific about his writing, so I can’t base it on the author’s strength. Still, it’s nice to see an Original Series novel beyond the Errand trilogies.

July 2009

Losing the Peace
The Next Generation, William Leisner, paperback

This is the TNG Destiny follow-up. Judging from the title, it doesn’t bode all that well. Either whatever happens during Destiny destabilises the quadrant/galaxy in general, or a hostile force arises as a result. In general with these follow-up novels, it suggests that we will be getting a significant shift in the status quo – which should be interesting.

August 2009

Seven Deadly Sins
various authors, trade paperback

An intriguing concept, and unusual for an anthology not to be tied to any specific series (OK, Tales of the Dominion War, but you could easily associate that with DS9). The subjects of the stories match with their assigned sin very well, as do most of the authors set to write them (although some are new, or tackling subjects they haven’t really covered before). It’s nice to see David McIntee again, as well – his more humourous entry in The Sky’s The Limit should bode well for a Ferengi story.

The Soul Key
Deep Space Nine, Olivia Woods, paperback

Carrying straight on from Fearful Symmetry. I guess we’ll find out exactly what “betrayal” Sisko has visited on Vaughn. If this is as strong as Side A of Fearful Symmetry, I will be very pleased. Hopefully, we’ll get to see how Woods tackles action sequences this time around.

September 2009

The Never-Ending Sacrifice
Deep Space Nine, Una McCormack, paperback

McCormack wrote the Cardassia segment in Worlds of Deep Space Nine, and did very well with it. This one will also focus on the Cardassians, and is part of the relaunch (two in two months!). My hope is it will also evolve some of the plot strands from the Terok Nor trilogy, and develop the reborn Orelian Way, which I found most intriguing – they seem to be connected to the Prophets, and may have a role to play in the coming war with the Ascendants…

October 2009

The Romulan War
Enterprise, Michael A. Martin, trade paperback

It’s the big one – pretty much the ultimate entry in stories chronicling the missing chronology of the Star Trek universe.

Now, this was originally mentioned as being a trilogy, way back before The Good That Men Do. I guess with the number of strong novels they’ve got coming through this year, they chose not to lose three months worth of MMPB slots, and instead do a trade paperback with a larger page count (to fit the trilogy into a single release), and gain the three slots back.

Another interesting point – Martin is doing this book alone, instead of in collaboration with Andy Mangels. Mangels has said they’ll tell us what’s going on in the next few days – my guess is they just want to try and explore solo projects right now.

Title TBA
Voyager, Kirsten Beyer, paperback

Pocket obviously has faith in Beyer to commission this even before Full Circle is completed. They must expect a strong positive response from readers, as well. Well, it is understandable – the Voyager relaunch under Christie Golden apparently sold quite well (amazingly), and Beyer’s ordinary Voyager novels have also. It’ll all depend on the path she takes the characters on.

November 2009

Title TBA
Myriad Universes
, authors TBA, trade paperback

The first volume having only just started to hit the bookshelves, and they have a third lined up to go. With this, the Voyager relaunch, and Olivia Woods’ second novel, Pocket are showing a lot of faith in their authors and concepts – they must believe they have a good thing with them.

Title TBA
Titan
, James Swallow, paperback

I’ve been a fan of Swallow’s work since he wrote Star Trek: Invasion, and his Day of the Vipers was a brilliant piece of writing. I am intrigued to see how he’ll tackle the Titan crew – there are a lot of interpersonal relationships and conflicts, the sort of thing he did well in Vipers.

December 2009

Out of the Cocoon
Corps of Engineers, Robert T. Jeschonek, Kevin Killiany, William Leisner, and Phaedra M. Weldon, trade paperback

See my reaction to Wounds above.

Title TBA
Vanguard, David Mack, paperback

Two Titan books, two Voyager, two DS9 relaunch, and two Vanguard in one year?! Magnificent! This one is written by the series creator, too, so it will be strong. Will this mark the next stage of the Vanguard story? Only Open Secrets will tell us for certain.

2010

These books have not yet been given a specific release month.

Unspoken Truth
Original Series, Margaret Wander Bonanno, paperback
The Millennium Bloom
Original Series, Mike W. Barr, paperback

These two books are both by authors who I would term ‘old school’ Trek writers – Bonanno famously fell out with Pocket Books over the Probe/Music of the Spheres fiasco, and it is a magnificent thing that the current editors have brought her back into the fold; Barr wrote a number of the DC comics, including the outstanding Mirror Universe Saga. Both are telling stories filling in gaps in Trek continuity – Unspoken Truth follows Saavik after Star Trek IV, which should be interesting, and hopefully answer once and for all whether Saavik became pregnant by Spock after helping him with his pon farr in Star Trek III (a scene that was removed from the script of IV); The Millennium Bloom features a very early adventure in the life of the USS Enterprise, with Robert April commanding. Both should be extremely interesting, and I look forward to reading them.

Conclusion

Looking at the schedule overall, it looks like Pocket is listening to the fans, and giving them what they want – reviving the Voyager relaunch, bringing the DS9 series back up to speed, covering more series instead of focusing on one or two (well, they have an excuse there, with the two anniversary years one after the other), and commissioning newer writers, whilst keeping faith with the well-established ones. There seems to be something for everyone. The last few years have been fantastic in terms of the breadth of material being offered, and it looks set to continue for the forseeable future. I, for one, am very pleased about that.

Advertisements

One Response to “Unveiling the next stage of destiny…”

  1. Hm

    “It’s nice to see David McIntee again, as well”

    Aw, ta!

    ” – his more humourous entry in The Sky’s The Limit should bode well for a Ferengi story.”

    Ah… I’m not that well known for doing Light & Fluffy actually! But you never know- I’m having fun with it, and I think it’ll have its moments.

    (I’m sure this has something to do with Mission: Impractical being one of the two DW books of mine that Marco has read…)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: