Preview of Star Trek Books For 2009 (and 2010) December 30, 2008by Anthony Pascale , Filed under: Books,Interview , trackback
Fans of Star Trek novels have a lot of variety to look forward to in 2009. Pocket Books has scheduled books from all five TV series as well as some of the novel-only series. TrekMovie, with the help of Pocket’s Trek editor Margaret Clark, has put together an overview of the upcoming year with exclusive new details, new covers, and and even a sketch of the USS Aventine. We even have some hints of what to expect in 2010.
[ARTICLE CONTAINS BOOK SPOILERS]
2009 – A book variety pack
Being that 2009 has novels covering the entire span of Star Trek, this preview is organized by era, with subsections for each book series. Each era section also concludes with a 2010 preview as well.
Note: All dates are latest provided by Pocket, and all books are mass market paperbacks unless otherwise noted. All covers can be clicked to see larger versions. Links are provided for all books currently available for pre-order at Amazon.
Return of the Original Series era (including Vanguard)
Pocket books spent most of 2008 playing around in the 22nd and 24th centuries, leaving the 23rd to what was supposed to be JJ Abrams Star Trek movie. Even though that film got pushed to 2009, Pocket has decided it can’t stay away and so there are four books coming out from Trek’s 23rd century.
2009 kicks off with the final book in Kevin Ryan’s Errand of Fury Series "Errand of Fury 3: Sacrifices of War" (which actually may be in some stores already). The last book in the series ("Demands of Honors") came out almost two years ago. Errand of Fury takes place between the episodes "Devil in the Dark" and "Errand of Mercy". Clark says she wanted to give fans a rest and "get back to some good old Roddenberry Star Trek" after spending the last few months in the 22nd and 24th centuries with the Destiny series. And in June TOS fans can pick up "Troublesome Minds," which Clark says is "a classic Trek book focusing on Spock, that is a bit of a return to old fashioned Star Trek novels." The cover for this book was recently released.
The TOS-era novel-only series Vanguard set on board Starbase 47 (aka Vanguard) also took 2008 off, but in 2009 Pocket is making up for it with two Vanguard books. May brings "Vanguard: Open Secrets" by Dayton Ward & Kevin Dilmore. And TrekMovie can now report the previously announced fifth book coming in December will be titled "Vanguard: Precipice," which is being written by David Mack (who wrote the first book of the series).
"Vanguard: Open Secrets" (May 2009 – available for pre-order)
[NEW TITLE] "Vanguard: Precipice" (December 2009 – no cover or pre-order available)
2010 – a TOS Spring
TOS era book fans also have much more to look forward in 2010. Pocket will be focusing the entire Spring of 2010 with what Clark calls "classic Gene Roddenberry Star Trek" books. The fun stars in February 2010 with "Sorrows of Empire," a mirror universe book by Dave Mack which is an expansion of his novella from the 2007 "Glass Empires" compilation. "Sorrows of Empire" will focused on the mirror versions of Spock and Marlena Moreau set after the events of the TOS episode "Mirror, Mirror" with Spock’s efforts to overthrow the Terran Empire. March will have another (as yet undetermined) TOS era novel followed by a TOS era reprint in April. "Unspoken Truth," by Margaret Wander Bonanno, which focusing on Saavik (set after Star Trek IV) was originally slotted for January 2010, but is now slated to come out in May 2010.
The 24th century starts to come together
In 2009 Pocket has nine novels set in the 24th century covering all three series (Next Generation, Deep Space Nine and Voyager) as well as ‘Titan’ and ‘New Frontier’ novel-series. All of the books carry on the recent trend of moving the stories forward beyond the series finales. Clark says they have listened to the fans, and the fans "want to know what happens next." In fact, not only do the stories continue in progression, but they are also coming into alignment. 2008 ended with David Mack’s excellent Destiny Trilogy which brought together TNG, Titan and an element of DS9 (the USS Aventine captained by Ezri Dax), all into the same timeframe. In 2009 Pocket will keep these series in sync and bring the Voyager book series into alignment as well. The DS9 books will remain a few years behind (for now), and Peter David’s ‘New Frontier’ will continue to do its own thing. Even though there is a new emphasis on continuity throughout the 24th century novels (within series and between series), Clark emphasized that the books are still ‘stand along’ and do not require you to have read the others, however if you do you have a whole new layer of enjoyment.
Post Destiny & TNG (and how other 24th century books tie together)
David Mack’s Destiny trilogy really shook things up in the 24th Century, and in this case there is no big reset button. Instead Pocket is carrying on the story, starting off in late January with "Singular Destiny," by Keith R.A. DeCandido. This book will be more of a political story akin to DeCandido’s "Articles of the Federation," with a focus on the aftermath of Destiny and Federation President Nanietta Bacco. In July with "TNG: Losing the Peace," by William Leisner, Captain Picard and his crew on the Enterprise E will pick up the post-Destiny thread, while he also tries to balance his new family life with Beverly and their expected child. Added on top of this will be a new ‘meta story,’ Clark explains how this this all ties together:
The repercussions of what has happened to the Federation after the Borg invasion [in Destiny], and right now the books in 2009 are just starting to deal with them. In "Singular Destiny" the President [of the UFP] sends out the Aventine to find out if the things she is hearing about regarding this new alien threat are true. In "TNG: Losing the Peace" we see Picard trying to deal with the vast array of civilian casualties and how the Federation deals the want and need…this is something we have never seen in the 24th Century…But the Federation is still committed to exploration which the President does action so Starfleet Command sends out both the Voyager and the Titan to explore, to continue boldly going.
TrekMovie has an exclusive first look at the cover for the upcoming TNG book.
One of the biggest new book events in 2009 is the return of Voyager. The last novel set on board the USS Voyager ("String Theory: Evolution") came out almost three years ago, and the last book set after the ship’s return from the Delta Quadrant ("Spirit Walk: Enemy of My Enemy") came out four years ago. Pocket Books is making up for lost time by bringing out two Voyager novels in 2009, starting with "Voyager: Full Circle" by Kirsten Beyer in April. According to Clark this book literally "brings Voyager full circle" starting where they left off with the ‘Sprit Walk’ series and moving the story forward to the post-‘Destiny’ timeframe, going through several different time periods and covering all of Voyager’s main characters. This will include characters who are no longer on Voyager, like showing what Tuvok was doing before going onto the Titan. Coming in November we will see the follow-up book, now titled "Voyager: Unworthy," also by Kirsten Beyer. This book will show the ship going out on its new mission, which is inspired by the events of the ‘Destiny’ trilogy. Voyager characters have been popping around the TNG and Titan novels, but by the time of "Unworthy" the ship’s crew will include Chakotay, Seven of Nine, Tom Paris, and Harry Kim (and Neelix appears in some kind of cameo as well). In another new twist, the USS Voyager will now be accompanied by a number of other "support ships" on its new mission. One thing that Clark would not say is who is the captain, but she did reveal that it was not Chakotay who is "dealing with having his soul ripped out" due to the "apparent death of Kathryn Janeway" [in Peter David’s 2007 TNG book "Before Dishonor"].
"Voyager: Full Circle" (April 2009 – available for preorder)
[NEW TITLE] "Voyager: Unworthy" (October 2009 – no cover or pre-order available)
The much lauded Deep Space Nine ‘releaunch’ series also gets two novels in 2009, back-to back starting in Augusts with "DS9: The Soul Key," by Olivia Woods, which picks up where the 2008 novel "Fearful Symmetry" left off, focusing on Kira and the mirror universe. Then in September comes "DS9: The Never-Ending Sacrifice," by Una McCormack, which looks at the Cardassians and the aftermath of the Dominion War. TrekMovie has the exclusive first look at the covers for both of these new DS9 Novels.
2009 will also see a pair of novels in the very popular book-series ‘Titan’ about Captain Riker (and his wife Deanna) on board the USS Titan. The fifth Titan book, "Titan: Over a Torrent Sea," by Christopher L. Bennett comes out in February with the sixth "Titan: Synthesis," by James Swallow coming out in November. Both books will deal with Titan’s post-Destiny exploration mission, and like Picard, Riker will also have to balance family life and an expected child.
"Titan: Over a Torrent Sea" (February 2009 – available for preorder)
[NEW TITLE] "Titan: Synthesis" (November 2009 – no cover or pre-order available)
2009 will see another return to novels in the form of "New Frontier: Treason" Peter David’s first New Frontier novel since "Missing in Action" from 2006. The new novel picks up with Captain Calhoun and the USS Excalibur right where the last NF book left off. Even though it is set around the same timeframe as the other 24th century books, the New Frontier book does not tie into Destiny series. "Treason" will be a trade paperback. There is a new cover available for this book, but TrekMovie was told this may not be the final design.
2010 – a new enemy for the 24th Century + the USS Aventine makes a move
The new ‘alien threat’ that Clark referred to above is called ‘The Typhon Pact’ and it will become a major part of the books set in the 24th century. Clark explains that the pact is comprised of non Federation members who "watched the Federation insidiously ‘Root Beer‘ their way across the Galaxy and they realize the Federation is down and it is time to move." In 2010 this meta-story will be woven into TNG, Titan, and Voyager novels…and more.
The USS Aventine is a 24th Century ‘Vesta class’ ship, captained by Ezri Dax and was first featured in the Destiny Trilogy. In 2010 the Aventine will be caught up in this new meta story and will even get its own novel (or novels). This means that Pocket is going to need a design for the ship (to go on the covers), like it has for the Titan Series, and thanks to Mark Rademaker it is getting one. Rademaker is CGI artist for Battlestar Galactica, and contributor to past ‘Star Trek Ships of the Line’ calendars. He is also a big fan of David Mack’s Destiny series and asked Pocket if he could design the Aventine, which he is currently in the process of doing. Pocket has provided TrekMovie with a early look at Rademaker’s design concept (below). The final version of the Aventine will appear in the 2010 ‘Ships of the Line’ calendar and also on book covers in 2010 and beyond.
Enterprise Trade Paperback kicks off Romulan War
Originally planned as two book series, "Enterprise: The Romulan War," by Michael A. Martin will be now be released as a trade paperback in October 2009. Following immediately after the events of this year’s "Enterprise: Kobayashi Maru," this new book starts off (but does not complete) the famed Romulan War, told through the eyes of Captain Archer and the NX-01 crew. Clark reveals the following spoiler:
Because of things that unfolded in "Kobayashi Maru," the Vulcans have to come with a horrifying fact and they realize that there is something they have to do. Vulcan is going trough upheaval after the rediscovery of Surak’s teachings and the society is not as stable as what we see in the 23rd century. T’Pol realizes what their involvement in a war could wrought on Vulcan society and she does something that horrifies her partners in the coalition, but will eventually lead to the foundation of the United Federation of Planets and the Vulcan that we see in the Kirk era.
"Enterprise: The Romulan War" (October 2009 – TPB – no cover or pre-order available)
2010 – logic dictates an ENT link to TOS
Moving forward into the future, Clark says that she sees the Enterprise novel series as creating a clearer bridge towards the TOS era, with "Romulan War" being a key part of that. She wants the books to answer the question of "why does the Federation and Starfleet look the way it does [in TOS]?" She even wants to show "the logic and the reason" why Enterprise (NCC-1701) seems to use older technology in comparison to the Enterprise era ships like the NX-01. Clark tells TrekMovie "I am trying to Okuda-ise it — trying to create a logical through-line from the Enterprise we saw on broadcast to The Original Series shows."
Anthologies & compilations [all Trade paperbacks]
2009 starts off with the third in the Mirror Universe anthology series "Mirror Universe: Shards and Shadows" in January. The last two in the series had three novella length stories, but this time there are twelve short stories set entirely in the mirror universe (ranging from the Robert April era all the way through to Titan). The stories are written by Christopher L Bennett, Margaret Wander Bonanno, Peter David, Keith R.A. DeCandido, Michael Jan Friedman, Jim Johnson, Rudy Josephs, David Mack, Dave Stern, James Swallow, Dayton Ward & Kevin Dilmore, and Susan Wright. In March 2009 Pocket will release "Star Trek: Mere Anarchy," an omnibus of six previously published eBook novellas, spanning the 30-year history of Original Series characters with stories from Mike W. Barr, Christopher L. Bennett, Margaret Wander Bonanno, Dave Galanter, Dayton Ward & Kevin Dilmore, and Howard Weinstein.
Delays and a Cancellation
One area where Clark admits the loss her fellow editor has hit is with compilations and anthologies, which tend to be time intensive. Three of the planned Trade Paperbacks for 2009 have moved to 2010. Pocket had originally planned the third ‘what if?’ or ‘Myriad Universe’ anthology for 2009, but it is now slated for August 2010. Now titled "Myriad Universe: Shattered Light," it will contain three novellas, including a TNG story by David R. George, and another story by Scott Pearson. Another anthology planned for 2009 that has moved to 2010 (March) is "Seven Deadly Sins" which is a themed series of short stories spanning multiple Trek eras, with each story exploring seven foes of the Federation (structured around the ‘7 deadly sins): The Romulans (Pride), The Cardassians (Envy), The Klingons (Anger), The Pakleds (Sloth), The Ferengi (Greed), The Borg (Gluttony), the Mirror Universe (Lust). And the planned 2009 "Corp of Engineers: Out of the Cocoon" anthology featuring stories by Kevin Killiany, Robert T. Jeschonek, William Leisner, Phaedra M. Weldon is now slated for December 2010. Lastly, the previously announced May 2009 hardcover compilation of David R. George’s "Crucible" trilogy has been cancelled.
Star Trek 2009 movie tie ins?
One thing conspicuously missing from Pocket’s 2009 schedule is any kind of tie in related to the May 2009 Star Trek movie (prequel, adaptation, making-of, etc). When asked if she had any comment about this or any plans for tie-ins, Clark demurred saying "not at the present time." With the film less than five months away, ‘time’ appears to be running out for an announcement.
Old favorites returning?
TrekMovie also asked Star Trek editor Margaret Clark if some other past Trek products from Pocket will ever come back, here is a quick summary of Clark’s replies
Original E-Books (Corps of Engineers): "No, but all regular books are available as E books"
Audio Books: "We are working on a deal so stay tuned"
Non fiction: "Based on the sales on [non fiction] in 2008, there is a reason why they are not in 2009"
Shatnerverse: "no comment"
Pocket and Clark keeping up the Trek pace in 2010 and beyond
Each of the above ‘era’ sections contains some hints as to where Clark sees the Pocket Trek line going forward after 2009. Even though she is now the sole Trek editor at Simon & Schuster, Clark says they are committed to keeping up the pace with twelve mass markets and three trade paperbacks in 2010. The veteran editor says that she is willing to deal with the work because she is, and always has been, a fan of Star Trek:
I so much love Star Trek since hosting my own Star Trek watching parties when I didn’t have two quarters to rub together…I am a fan…god I am such a geek. Yeah it is a lot of work, but my mother used to say to me when I was a kid ‘You know how you eat an elephant?…one bite at a time’ Don’t look at all of it, look at what is in front of you and think about how much fun you are going to have.
Up next – it is IDW’s turn + more book review
Now that we have the lowdown on Trek books, TrekMovie will take a look at what is up with Trek comics in 2009. In early January we will have a breakdown of IDW’s plans, including comments from IDW’s Trek editor and hopefully more exclusives.
And for our book coverage, expect reviews of the January titles in the coming weeks. TrekMovie for over a year now TrekMovie has reviewed every single new Star Trek book and we plan to continue that trend.