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)
Placeholder cover for what was to be the first Star Trek movie tie-in novel
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.
Cover for Star Trek Nero trade paperback, coming out this May
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.
This is annoying as was looking forward to these books…would they hold them over til before the next film? wonder what the writers would have to say about this.
That is a shame.
Good. More room for actual Trek.
What!!?? That is such a shame!!
I often prefer what’s on the page to what’s on the screen.
Maybe they read the books and decided to use one of them as the next movie?
You’ve got to be kidding me.
This does not sound like a move the publisher willing made.
Such a shame…
well at least there will still be books in the prime universe
Why does Pocket want nothing to do with the JJ-verse?
May 09 would have been the perfect time to produce a load of tie-ins to go with the new movie – non-fiction books on the making of the movie and the art, along with the movie adaptation, and maybe even a novel version of Star Trek: Countdown as a prequel. What did we get? Almost nothing.
Now, with the wait for the new movie at 3 years, the timing would be great for a series of novels set in the new continuity, to keep the fans interested, and maybe attract a few people who, before last May, would never have considered picking up a Star Trek book. But, what does Pocket do? Walks away completely, leaving fans of the JJ-verse hanging.
Makes me wonder if the editors at Pocket are a bunch of haters.
Too bad. These probably would have been the first Trek novels I picked up in YEARS.
And it’s not like these novels have ever been official Trek canon anyway. They were coming out with TNG books while TNG was still airing, and many of those ended up contradicting later episodes, so I don’t really see the big issue there.
Well, that sucks. I had already preordered these on Amazon.
Great. Yet another timeline… studio-guy timeline versus novelist timeline versus JJVerse versus Roddentinuum. My head hurts.
what a joke. I feel bad for the authors who now now have basically wasted their time working on these books.
I was really looking forward to these …thanks for the let down ..
I wonder if Pocket knows something we don’t. Perhaps one of the books had a story line that was deemed to be too close to what Orci and Kurtzman are currently working on.
I fail to understand what difference it would be to the sequel to have these books come out now. Like its been said, the books arent considered canon anyway. I was looking forward to them. Are they afraid these novels will somehow influence the sequel? I would think since it’s not coming out for nearly 2 1/2 years releasing books would help keep the interest up. Not to mention its not fair to the writers who spent time writing these books. Kind of a lame excuse to pull them.
This sucks. I was really looking forward to new adventures in the Alt Timeline. I really do not see any good reason not to do this.
Why do you think I stopped buying, or for that matter, RENTING books from Pocket Books at the library or at barnes and Noble? Pocket Books screwing over trek fans left and right is the reason. And now? Well pocket Books can kiss my fat ass because me buying any of their trek books past, future or present just took a huge jump into the doors of hell, and it ain’t coming back anytime soon. When Pocket Books stops screwing us over, I’ll start reading their books.
So are they going to announce any 24th century books for 2010? Looks like I’ll have to read “other books” or even Star Wars books I guess. Let’s hope they add more typhon pact books to the schedule.
The spin-off marketing of the new Trek film has seemed a real mess IMHO: the four novels should have been out by last Christmas at the latest with more on the way, a cartoon series should on its way to the air now, the ‘Art of . . .’ book should have been out within days of the film’s release and the ‘Making of . . .’ book weeks before. The comic books are the only things to have kept in operation and they might struggle on their own if they have another two years to get through!
Much as the new film did well, it isn’t as easy a fan-draw as a Star Wars film and, with a wait until 2012, they could well be on their way to losing the momentum the new film created. Far from building a sense of anticipation the lack of anything visibly new-Trek-related will simply make people relax into the malaise of being aware of the endless repeats of the 1980s-2000s TV faux-Treks, yet disinterested.
By 2012, the Star Trek ‘2’ might well have to start all the big-upping of the franchise again from scratch. Mainstream audiences are fickle and apt to forget enjoying Star Trek after a load of bigger blockbusters in between.
Unless, of course, there’s a TV show of some kind or a cartoon being planned in between films! Maybe the cancellation of the books means there’s another, bigger announcement on the way! ;)
Very interesting. Since this move presumably comes at a cost to Pocket in terms of both foregone sales and whatever they owe the writers, could they have been pressured to pull these back? It seems odd that Pocket would make such a decision on their own this late in the process.
Makes sense to me, really… I know monetarily now might be the time, but creatively? Not yet. Just not enough known about the new timeline to play around yet.
The reason these may have been pulled could be anything, but could be that what was written conflicted with story plans for the next film. Personally, I’d love to see Paramount get some canon books out there. If Wars can do it, so can Trek.
Who is pulling the strings? THAT is the question!!!
That is a big disappointment. I hope they are not being shelved indefinitely. I was very much looking forward to them.
I’d prefer to see some Tech Manuals and Making of books. It’s time we get an updated Trek Encyclopedia too. Or Pocket Books could step aside and let DK Publishing do a Trek Cross Sections and Worlds of Trek books like they did for Star Wars! That would be awesome!
Couldn’t agree more 25#, obviously JJ’s people have read the books and decided that their initial plans for the movie sequel have similiar lines of adventure for the intrepid crew of the Starship Enterprise
Well This sucks big time I was actually looking forward to reading these.
I’m not sure we’ll ever see these novels. I think it just comes down to economics. They had to layoff a lot of their staff recently and the next thing to do is start pulling back on new books. I would expect that some novels set in the prime timeline will be cancelled as well. Pocket Books will probably stick to TOS and TNG while the others get the axe. They don’t do Star Trek non-fiction anymore because it isn’t economically viable for them. Thats where Titan Books stepped in. They did “Star Trek”: The Art of The Film”, and while I’m not sure they publish fiction( I’m probably wrong) I suspect eventually they will end up with the rights to publishing stories set in the new timeline.
I was looking forward to these books !!!
It makes sense to me. With the screenplay to the sequel still not written, why would you want to run the chance of coming up with similar concepts? Why would you want to run the chance of taking something off the big screen?
If that happened, we’d all be bitching that there’s no way to even pretend “Book X” is in continuity. “Why didn’t Pocket and Paramount coordinate this better?”
JJ is a control freak.
Maybe when the novels ever do come out they will explain why engineering looks like a 21st century brewery.
I don’t read the Trek novels much but that really sucks for the fans and for the writers. I’d be really be pissed if I had the book mostly written and then they’d tell me that they are not going to publish it. Even if I got paid, I’d still feel upset over not letting my work get read by an audience.
What do you think the over/under is that one of these novels had story ideas similar to what is being considered for the sequel and therefore all of the title had to be removed in order to prevent even the tiniest amount of spoilerage?
My prediction is that “Seek A Newer World” is the closest story to what we’ll see in the new film. And in this timeline, Khan is a Klingon.
Just a wild guess.
I’m more tempted to think that the 2nd movie will take place immediately after the first — perhaps even days — thus rendering the four novels completely moot. I’ll bet they’re eventually published as “What IF?” novels, with an explanatory intro by the Pocket editor (at that time) or by Foster..
Paramount is really trying hard to screw over the new life that Star Trek has been given. First off their “grand” marketing plan was nothing more than a Super Bowl ad, cereal boxes, and a toy line that too was cancelled after the first wave.
Come on people… This movie did great so why are you starving us for more? 3 years to wait for the next movie then you go and pull these books before they got out.
Stop smoking your weed and give us some new material!! By the way, I have over 100 Star Trek books so I do have right to be angry over this. I enjoy Trek reading.
This is awful.
I *loved* the movie, but I resent Team JJ making such sweeping decisions like this. No one person, or team, owns Star Trek.
And if I am not mistaken S&S was planning to go all in with those 4 titles. Now they have no new Trek books coming out any time soon, correct?
Like I said before, I think the movie was fantastic & JJ deserves all his praise – but the man is clearly a control freak.
Wow. It felt good to rant like that.
That’s what I’m thinking. In any case, since they haven’t figured out what the timeframe for the next movie is, they shouldn’t be pumping out novels that could be totally negated. That’s one of the nice things about all the SW books being canon (though I’ve never read them or wanted to).
Example: Trek XII takes place a month after Trek XI ended and a major character is killed. One of the novels could take place a few months after and be heavily based on said character.
#25 — I’m going to agree that there just isn’t enough known about the new timeline to start branching out indepedently just yet. When the other books came out following the other Trek movies, the boundaries were much more established. Now, not so much.
Guess we’ll just have to wait to see the new novels when Pocket Books deems it a good time to release them.
I’d like to hear words from boborci on if he and his team had something to do with this ridiculous move.
well one of the books, I think it was the 3rd one, was where the Klingons are trying seek out the ship and the captain that defeated nero and the narada…they were smarting no doubt after the loss of I dunno 47 “warbirds”
the enterprise gets attacked etc by a whole bunch of klingon vessels in what looks to be Kirk’s first encounter with ’em….
hmmm…could the pulling of these books give a hint as to the plans of the Supreme Court..
If they are planning to include Klingons I’d imagine they’d want to show a story in which Kirk and the crew encounter them for the first time in the JJverse…they wouldnt want a book spoil that or to contradict what they were writing
I first saw the bad news on David Mack’s Facebook page, and I feel really badly for him.
“Careful consideration”, my ass.
Reports indicate that there is a whole, great big, wide, wonderful world of science fiction that is going to be published this year and will be brand new. Also, there is a whole bunch of published science fiction that has been released in the past and is still waiting for you to read it.
So fear not. Whatever Pocket Books does to screw up written Trek stories, you can spend the next few years cleansing your literary pallette with the works of Frank Herbert, Isaac Asimov, Robert Heinlein, Larry Niven and many others.
It does suck royally for the authors who got screwed over.
This was expected concidering that all of trek 2012’s resources will be devoted to the re-imagining of TOS space seed. yes khan is coming!
Off topic, but….
Why not put those expensive ST09 sets to use on a series? Set on a different ship with a different crew….but still in the JJverse.
And the occasional ST09 Enterprise crewmember can make the occasional guest spot…. there’s all kinds of possibilites.
I don’t think this would dilute the franchise too much, would it?