This Summer Simon & Schuster’s Pocket Books was planning to release four new Star Trek novels set in the new timeline of the 2009 Star Trek movie. However, today Pocket Books has informed TrekMovie that the four novels were being removed from their schedule, they have also issued a statement explaining why.
The (Almost) Summer of Star Trek movie tie-in Books
Last summer Simon & Schuster announced four novels for the Summer of 2010 that would be tied into the 2009 Star Trek movie. Pocket announced titles and authors for each. All four were set in the new timeline after the events of the film, but were to be ‘stand-alone’ books that were not tied to each other. Last week we reported on summaries of those books from the S&S summer sales brochure, and all four have been available for pre-order at Amazon and other retailers for months. The first of these books, "Star Trek: Refugees", written by Alan Dean Foster (who wrote the 2009 Star Trek movie novelization in 2009), was due to be released in May of this year. Here is the full list:
- Star Trek: Refugees, by Alan Dean Foster (May)
- Star Trek: Seek A Newer World, by Christopher L. Bennett (June)
- Star Trek: More Beautiful than Death, by David Mack (July)
- Star Trek: The Hazard of Concealing, by Greg Cox (August)
A spokesperson for Simon & Schuster’s Pocket Books provided TrekMovie with the following statement explaining why the books were pulled:
With last summer’s blockbuster STAR TREK movie, JJ Abrams created a new vibrant, layered version of the Star Trek universe. After careful consideration, we decided to hold off on telling new stories while JJ and his team continue to develop his vision.
It is currently not known if and when they will be released. It is also not known if any other Star Trek books will replace the four movie tie-in novels, or if other books planned for the Fall will now move up into the Summer.
Apparently the four novels have mostly been written, but the decision does not appear to have anything to do with the books specifically, but the view that (for now) the team behind the movie should be the ones telling new stories for this new crew, especially stories set after the movie. That does not mean that stories cannot be told in the new movie universe. Comic Book publisher IDW has already released the "Star Trek Nero" comic series, which was primarily a new story set in the new movie universe, but it took place during the film (in the years between Nero’s arrival and when he captured Spock Prime). IDW are also kicking off a six-issue Star Trek movie adaptation next month. And of course last year IDW had a big success with Star Trek Countdown". A big difference between the IDW Star Trek tie-ins and the planned Pocket Books novels is that IDW has been working closely with the Star Trek writing team of Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman. The writing team
did work with Pocket and author Alan Dean Foster on the 2009 Star Trek movie adaptation, which became a New York Times bestseller, the first for Star Trek in a long time.
Another big difference between IDW and Pocket Books, is that all four of the planned novels were set after the events of the 2009 Star Trek movie. However, that is not without precedent. In the past Pocket Books released some Star Trek novels set after the most recent film. The Star Wars franchise also has seen novels released and set between movies (ironically a couple of which were written by Alan Dean Foster).
Orci and Kurtzman have yet to start penning the script for the Star Trek sequel, which was recently put on Paramount’s release schedule for June 29, 2012. The screenplay should be done by this summer. Hopefully after that is complete, they can work with Pocket Books on either tie-ins or stand alone novels tied into the new movie universe.
Look for TrekMovie updates on this developing story.