Monday, November 29, 2004

No more yesterdays...

Daniel Berry of booktrek is hosting a couple of author interviews, following on from his first one with Keith R.A. DeCandido not too long ago. First up are Dayton Ward and Kevin Dilmore, who, like KRAD, are relative newcomers who have become authors of some distinction in the world of Star Trek fiction.

The one I'm looking forward to, though, is a later one with A.C. Crispin. Her first Star Trek novel, the 1983 book Yesterday's Son, took advantage of the first era of creative freedom in Star Trek fiction by giving Spock a son he never knew he had. It was a sequel to the original series episode "All Our Yesterdays." In that episode, time travel to an alien planet's past leads Spock to lose his control over his emotions, and he becomes involved with a woman named Zarabeth. In Crispin's novel, Zarabeth becomes pregnant with Spock's child, Zar. Much drama, excitement, and time travel ensue.

A major character's previously unknown son, especially under these circumstances, was something that many fans wanted to see more of, and in 1988 there was indeed a sequel, Time for Yesterday. Around that time, however, the books were coming under rigid new constraints from the Star Trek Office. The books were now supposed to be straightforward adventure stories with no continuity hooks between books and no major changes in characters' status. So, it seemed, the Zar saga ended there.

Or did it? Quoting from my own website:
Then, back in December, 1999, on the old Pocket Books Star Trek discussion board, she announced:
I'm putting the finishing touches on a proposal for a Star Trek trilogy that begins after the events in the sixth ST film, then takes Our Heroes (and a special guest star a few of you oldsters may remember) back to ancient Vulcan in the time of Surak.
On September 13, 2000, Crispin announced on Psi Phi that Paramount had approved the outline for the trilogy. On December 12, 2003, Bob Manojlovich posted (with her permission) an email from Crispin about the trilogy on Psi Phi. A couple of highlights from that email:
There will be three new books in the Star Trek "Yesterday Saga." Right now the working titles are Return to Yesterday, Yesterday's Vulcan, and Yesterday's Destiny.

The three new books will feature Kirk, Spock, McCoy and Zar going back in time to war-torn Vulcan during the time of Surak, which is also the time of the political/social/ethical schism that brought about the Romulans. Surak himself will be one of the main characters in the books. The characters go back in time to save modern-day Vulcan from being totally destroyed by the actions of a well-meaning, but fanatic, time traveler.
An article by Star Trek novel reviewer Michelle Erica Green, circa 2001, adds the following:
Kirk, Spock, McCoy, and Zar -- Spock's son with Zarabeth from "All Our Yesterdays" -- go back to the time of Surak, "because somebody has messed with Vulcan history and the planet Vulcan is dead. The first book is called Return To Yesterday. We'll get to see what Vulcan was like before logic. Dr. McCoy has a raging affair with a Vulcan. The idea of getting to see McCoy with pointed ears just cracks me up."
According to a December 2003 interview on, the trilogy was virtually finished. But on July 2, 2004, editor Marco Palmieri announced in a post on the TrekBBS, "Unfortunately, that project won't be going forward."
There hasn't been much said about the reason why the trilogy was cancelled, and it could be something that all concerned parties don't think is the business of anyone else.

But I'm curious, of course. Or nosy, if you prefer.

I just wonder if the Vulcan arc on Enterprise had something to do with it. Maybe we'll find out. I'm also curious as to whether Crispin has any plans to write anything else Trek-related. It's been ten years since her last Star Trek novel, and it's hard not to wonder what else she could come up with now that the novelists have so much more freedom.


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