Get the details on the up and coming Star Trek novels, and learn why you should be reading them. In Part II of our coverage of Phoenix Comicon, we hear from Larry Nemecek who talks Star Trek’s extended universe.
This is Part II of our coverage of Phoenix Comicon 2016. Be sure to check out Part I!
The second panel of Phoenix Comicon featuring Mr. Larry Nemecek was an overview of current and upcoming novels from the Star Trek ‘extended universe’, featuring releases from 2015 to 2016. It was noted how amazing it is that in 2015 and 2016 that there are still so many fresh material being produced, which shows just how deep and rich the Star Trek universe truly is.
The panelists then broke it down into each Star Trek series, starting with TOS:
TOS: from this era, the panel featured ‘Shadow of the Machine’ by Scott Harrison which provides a look at how the V’ger incident affected Kirk and his crew immediately following the events of ST:TMP. Also discussed were Dayton Ward’s Elusive Salvation, which features the fan favorite Gary Seven, and finally ‘Serpents in the Garden’ by Jeff Mariotte, which is a considered a ‘sequel of sorts’ to the events of the episode ‘A Private Little War’.
TNG: This discussion focused primarily on the post ‘Star Trek: Destiny’ by David Mack. The panelists note that they haven’t read the Destiny novels, much to my chagrin. I have read that story more times than I can count, I even gifted my original novels to a friend and bought myself the omnibus edition. If you are not familiar with it, I highly recommend it. It is an epic story, that as these panelists note ‘resets the playing field’ for the post TNG era.
DS9: Discussed here is what has been described as the unofficial ‘eighth’ season, the stories that started back in the early 2000’s and have continued since. Essentially the novels since then have served as a continuation of the story, a ‘what happened?’ saga for characters like Kira, Quark, Dax, Nog etc. The novels highlighted here were Ascendance by David R. George III; Force and Motion by Dayton Ward; and The Missing by Una McCormack.
VOY: The focus here was on the Voyager relaunch, specifically the return to the Delta Quadrant as brought about by the ‘Full Circle’ events. If you didn’t know, Kirsten Beyer followed Christie Golden as the sole author penning Voyager stories, and having read all of them, they are beautifully crafted and engaging stories. Of course, noted here was that Kirsten Beyer has since been added to the writing staff of Star Trek All Access. The panel were in agreement that Kirsten is a great addition to the team. As one audience member who has read all of her novels noted, Kirsten does a fantastic job of bringing back plot elements and characters from all the series and bringing them back into the fold.
ENT: Discussed during this portion of the panel was how the Enterprise novels are continuing on from the events of season 4 and give fans what they really wanted to see from the beginning of the series – how the Federation came to be, the Romulan War, etc. Two novels that were highlighted here were ‘Uncertain Logic’, and ‘Live by the Code’ by Christopher Bennett.
One of the great things about these novels is how they are all interconnected and that the authors have really done an outstanding job of maintaining continuity between the different series. I genuinely love that, as it adds great depth to all of the stories, knowing that events in one have a ripple effect in other stories. It is as if the novels have a cannon all of their own now.
One upcoming series that was mentioned is titled Star Trek: Legacies. This is an upcoming trilogy of novels that are launched in celebration of the 50th anniversary. Without quoting the blurb for part 1 of the series titled Captain to Captain, this story is going to bring back the enigmatic Number One from The Cage and will feature a mysterious secret that began with Robert April, was continued by Christopher Pike and is now inherited by James T. Kirk. Sounds fascinating!
Larry then gave us some quotes from the various authors of the highlighted books, essentially answering the question, ‘why should people buy your novel?’ The answers were both intriguing and comical, so here they are:
Jeffery Lang on Force and Motion: “Reason 1: The O’Brien-Nog friendship has been one of the most reliably interesting and funny relationships in the history of the franchise. Here is another opportunity to see them in action together again. Reason number 2: It revisits, in my humble opinion, one of the most interesting one off episodes of TNG and reveals/explicates the fate/future of a singularly fascinating character, Ben Maxwell, from The Wounded. Reason number 3 – giant spiders! Reason number 4 – it’s a one off, in other words, you don’t have to read anything before or after. Reason number five – My ego is fragile and I require affirmation! Reason number 6 – we learn a little bit about how the 24th century deals with mental illness, which I think is an interesting topic. Choose however many of those you think is worthwhile and good luck!”
Kevin Dilmore on Star Trek Legacies – Purgatory’s Key (Co-authored with Dayton Ward): “Buy our book! What better way to celebrate the golden anniversary of the future than a format from the past?! Purgatory’s Key is the final volume in the Star Trek: Legacies trilogy. It serves as Pocket Book’s tip of the hat to Star Trek’s 50 years. The trilogy opens with Captain to Captain by Greg Cox in July; then moves into Best Defense by David Mack. Our book brings the arc home – or does it? There is peril a plenty awaiting the Enterprise crew, so who can say? The four of us had a lot of fun plotting and creating a story that touches on the careers of Captains Robert April, Christopher Pike and James Kirk. It features appearances by regular as well as recurring characters from TOS. We are equally humbled and proud to pay tribute to Star Trek’s greatest anniversary yet in this creative way; and I believe the series does not disappoint. Give us a look!”
Next, the panel took a sneak peek at some of the various trade paperback works in the Star Trek universe. The first of these was authored by none other than Larry Nemecek himself, titled Star Trek Stellar Cartography which is described as a compilation of maps from across the Star Trek universe. The maps feature different historical viewpoints of the universe, featuring the perspectives of the Klingon Empire, the Romulans and a map from the Cardassian Union during the occupation of Bajor. I had a chance to look at the book and it is absolutely stunning. No detail has been overlooked, and if you are interested in seeing how the galaxy is connected in truly elegant fashion, this is well worth the investment.
The big reveal during this section, was the news that Mike and Denise Okuda were recently commissioned to update the Star trek Encyclopedia. Many fans like myself absolutely loved this publication, and have been waiting a long time for an updated edition. It will cover every series and episode with the exception of Star Trek Beyond and the upcoming All Access show, and will be a two volume complete redesign of the original format. Larry did warn fans to jump on to Amazon and pre order, as the release price of the novel will be $150, versus $88.40 pre-release!
Two new and upcoming releases discussed were the National Geographic Star Trek the Official Guide to Our Universe; and the Hidden Universe Travel Guide to Vulcan by Dayton Ward. The former takes a look at the theoretical science behind Star Trek, projecting where some current breakthroughs may eventually lead to and how they were inspired by the Star Trek Universe.
Dayton Ward: “Taking a trip to Vulcan? Don’t make your plans without this perfect traveler’s companion to one of the Federations oldest and most renowned member worlds. Filled with handy information and trivia all ordered in forthright and logical fashion of course. This handy travel guide will guarantee that you are never bored or lost! You’ll know where to go, where to stay, where to eat and how best to enjoy all of Vulcan and its rich, celebrated culture”.
Mike Okuda: (About the revised Star Trek Encyclopedia) “For years, the question we dreaded the most from fans was ‘Will there ever be a new edition of the Encyclopedia?’ On one hand, we are very proud of that book and even prouder that so many fans love it. But we were pessimistic that any publisher would take the risk of putting out such a big, complicated and difficult book, so you can imagine our shock when John Van Citters of CBS Consumer Products took us to dinner to tell us that Harper Collins wanted to do a new edition of the encyclopedia. We were excited, but we’d forgotten how much work these books were. This new edition merges the ’97 edition with the ’99 supplement, and adds the second half of the last season of DS9 and the 5th, 6th and 7th seasons of Voyager, all four seasons of Enterprise, and Nemesis, Star Trek (09) and Into Darkness. It was nearly two years of research and writing but it did give us the excuse to re-watch everything several more times! We think it was all worth it!”