Wednesday, June 23, 2004

More stuff about Star Trek books

Well, that's the raison d'etre for this blog, right?

Going through the old files on those diskettes, I have discovered... a lot of the kind of stuff I would never save these days. Threads of commentary on movies, episode schedules, con reports, and other Trek-related info that these days I get from the web. But there was no web as such back in 1990.

Found one interesting item: a forgotten item for the Lost Books page, Clotho's Loom by Carmen Carter.

I also came across a bit of Ron Carman's TNG Novels Compendium. As late as 1993, Carman was trying to keep track of TOS and TNG novels, with summaries, reviews and indexes of authors, regular and guest characters, alien races and worlds, cross-references, and more. More recently some of the people who hang out at Psi Phi and TrekBBS started a Yahoo group to begin work on a Star Trek Novel Encyclopedia online, but that seems to have died. (I promised to do Mission to Horatius and never delivered. Sorry...)

Meanwhile, however, and apparently noticed by very few fans...

Alva Underwood has published the first two volumes of her own novel encyclopedia through vanity publisher 1stbooks. I went to the website recently to see if any more are coming, and learned two things: first, 1stbooks is now Author House, and, second, there is a third volume, Star Trek Reader's Reference to the Novels: 1984-1985, listed as "coming soon." Although these are vanity publications, Underwood has done a lot of work and her books are better written than a lot of her publisher's other titles. The first two books are already available through

The main problem with Underwood's approach is... assuming she manages to catch up with the novels a few years from now, and you want to look up a name you remember from a novel but you can't remember which novel, you may have to flip through several volumes before finding the entry. Considering she's doing this on her own, though, she's picked the most practical approach for the time being. It would be nice if her books sold well enough to get the attention of a publisher that could put the necessary resources into something like this.

(Now playing: Rachel Goswell, "Warm Summer Sun," Waves Are Universal.)


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