Monday, June 21, 2010

So, what's next?

I don't have the latest issue of Star Trek magazine yet, the one with the big TrekLit update (I will, though; I never miss it). So I'll borrow the 2011 schedule from the also worthwhile and make some random comments.


Star Trek: New Frontier: Blind Man’s Bluff
by Peter David

There are times I think, wow, New Frontier is still going? Why? Sure, it was groundbreaking at first, it proved that a books-only series could work, it's even been entertaining at times. But it's had over a decade, and the books schedule is a more crowded place than it used to be. I wouldn't mind seeing it wrap up and let other books have a shot. Others will disagree, of course, and there's no doubt that when things are a bit rocky, the sure thing has more appeal than something new.

Star Trek: Starfleet Academy – The Competitive Edge
by Rudy Josephs

I'm expecting something fairly innocuous, but you never know -- not all young adult fiction is as nice and squeaky clean as Pocket's 1990s forays into YA Trek, and books based on the new movie should make an effort to catch some of the movie's attitude. I like a nice old-fashioned space academy story as much as the next guy, as my collection of Tom Corbett, Space Cadet books will demonstrate, but if we're going to be denied the Abramsverse books we were expecting from Alan Dean Foster, Christopher L. Bennett, David Mack, and Greg Cox, let's hope these books manage to capture some of the spark of the 2009 movie.

Star Trek: Typhon Pact: Paths of Disharmony
by Dayton Ward

Dayton Ward (yay), Typhon Pact (tentative yay), and something to do with the Andorian situation developed in the DS9 novels and Destiny... sounds like something to look forward to.


Star Trek Enterprise: Romulan War: Beneath the Raptor’s Wings
by Michael A. Martin

Reprint. But. I've never really understood the need for an in-depth exploration of the Romulan War; I got all I needed from "Balance of Terror," and Enterprise the TV series only muddied the waters. I'm also not a big fan of Martin's books. There's a discussion over in Jade Pagoda, the Doctor Who books mailing list, about stories in which there are many events but nothing much actually happens, and that's the sense I've gotten from many of Martin's books, including some of his collaborations with Andy Mangels. They're big event-packed books, but when they're done, I'm hard-pressed to remember anything in them that actually moved the plot forward in a meaningful way. I liked some of the ideas and some of the scenes in this book, but overall it still fits that pattern. And I am so done with Trip Tucker, secret agent, that I almost wouldn't mind if he got killed in a dumb and pathetic way all over again.


Star Trek: Indistinguishable From Magic
by David A. McIntee

IIRC, McIntee once believed that he wouldn't get to write a Trek novel because of some Pocket animus towards writers of unauthorized Trek nonfiction (he wrote Delta Quadrant, an unauthorized Voyager guide). No idea what to expect from this engineer-heavy novel, but I've liked several of McIntee's Doctor Who novels, and his Space: 1999 novel was one of the highlights of that line of books. It's a promising sign that the Trek line under Jaime Costas isn't just playing it safe by sticking with frequent contributors to the line and easily categorized novels.


Star Trek: DTI: Watching The Clock
by Christopher L. Bennett

This has the potential to be a lot of fun, though Bennett's not the choice I would have expected for something like this -- he's great at the big, widescreen, hardcore science fiction Trek, but for a book being spun out of an episode like "Trials and Tribble-ations" someone more gonzo might be expected. At the very least, though, I expect this to have some unique and thoughtful takes on time travel in the Trek universe.


Star Trek Voyager: Children of the Storm
by Kirsten Beyer

New Frontier, Enterprise, and Christie Golden's Voyager novels have me wary of letting a single author control a series -- but after Full Circle and Unworthy I want to see what else Beyer has in store for Voyager. She's achieved any number of things I wouldn't have expected from Voyager. Not just making me care about my second-least-favourite Trek series, but finding a way to make what seemed like the worst of bad ideas -- sending Voyager back into the Delta Quadrant -- seem like a good idea. This is another one I'm eager to read.


Star Trek Vanguard – Declassified
by Dayton Ward, David Mack, Kevin Dilmore, and Marco Palmieri

Novellas by the three Vanguard novelists and the former editor who created the concept? Oh, hell, yeah. Too bad it couldn't be absolutely massive and allow a couple new writers into the sandbox, but Vanguard has been one of the best things to happen to Star Trek since it went off the air. If this isn't one of the highlights of 2011, it'll mean someone's tampering with the timeline.


Star Trek: A Choice of Catastrophes
by Steve Mollmann and Michael Schuster

New to full-length Trek, but not new to writing Trek, and not new to writing about it, either. These guys are smart enough for their standalone TOS novel to be worth waiting for.


Star Trek New Frontier: Blind Man’s Bluff
by Peter David

Only a seven month wait for the mass market reprint, but I just know people will be bitching about having to wait at all. Suck it up, cupcakes.


Star Trek: Cast No Shadow
by James Swallow

This one sounds unusual: Valeris and a Starfleet intelligence op to be named later. Swallow's been consistently good, and it's an intriguing concept -- why hasn't anyone done much with Valeris before now?


Star Trek Enterprise: Romulan War: In Shariel’s Jaws
by Michael A. Martin

Has anyone said just how many volumes there'll be? Because even though I'm not a big fan of Enterprise, I can think of a lot of other storylines that could be explored instead of this. But I already went on about that.


Untitled Vanguard novel #6
by Dayton Ward and Kevin Dilmore

It's Vanguard. I'm sold already.


Star Trek Mirror Universe: Rise Like Lions
by David Mack

Not really a Mirror Universe fan -- haven't even read Sorrows of Empire yet -- but it's Mack, which makes up for it.


At 7:03 PM, Blogger D. Browning Gibson said...


Good analysis of Beneath The Raptor's Wings. Unlike you, I've consistently rated Martin & Mangels highly and am very interested in the "Earth-Romulan" conflict, and I didn't hate the abovementioned first volume, but something was off. You struck a chord with the comment about stories in which there are many events but nothing much happens. I don't know that that expresses exactly what I exprienced, but it sure helps me figure out why I wanted to like it more than I did.

I'm looking forward to McIntee and Bennett's books, but it's Beyer's book that has to be my #1 anticipatory pick--after the last Typhon Pact book.

I'd never read a single VOY book until Full Circle, and I thought then that I'd never have given up during season two if the writers of the show had done what did: write in a way that made me care about the characters.

And I have to keep talking myself down from the ceiling at my high expectations for the Typhon Pact.

One thing I hope is that it isn't a mins-series that wraps up the story at the end of book four. I want the books to set some plot threads for the forseeable future.



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