Sunday, June 16, 2013

2013 Star Trek books: my shopping list and comments

So I just search through Amazon looking to see if I missed anything and what I have to look forward to. There's a lot of reprints and repackages from IDW missing here, because I'm beyond tired of IDW's constant recycling.


Star Trek The Next Generation/Doctor Who: Assimilation Vol. 2 by Scott Tipton, David Tipton and J.K. Woodward (Jan 11, 2013)
 Star Trek: The Original Series: Allegiance in Exile by David R. George III (Jan 29, 2013)


Trek in Texas: the 1970s Star Trek conventions by Gordon Bailey Jr. (Feb 9, 2013)
Star Trek: The Original Series: Devil's Bargain by Tony Daniel (Feb 26, 2013)
Stuck on Star Trek by Joe Corroney (Feb 26, 2013)


Star Trek: The Next Generation: on Board the U.S.S. Enterprise by Michael Okuda (Mar 14, 2013)
 Star Trek: The Original Series: The Children of Kings by David Stern (Mar 16, 2013)
Star Trek: The Visual Dictionary by DK Publishing (Mar 18, 2013)
Star Trek and History (Wiley Pop Culture and History Series) by Nancy Reagin (Mar 18, 2013)
Star Trek: The Next Generation: The Stuff of Dreams by James Swallow (Mar 25, 2013)
Star Trek: The Original Series: The Weight of Worlds by Greg Cox (Mar 26, 2013)


Star Trek: Light-Up Phaser (Mega Mini Kits) by Running Press (Apr 9, 2013)
Star Trek Vol. 4 by Mike Johnson, Stephen Molnar and Tim Bradstreet (Apr 10, 2013)
Star Trek Classic Quotes: A Little Seedling Book by Cider Mill Press (Apr 16, 2013)
How to Speak Klingon: Essential Phrases for the Intergalactic Traveler (Star Trek) by Ben Grossblatt and Alex Fine (Apr 23, 2013) Star Trek: Prima Official Game Guide (Prima Official Game Guides) by David Knight (Apr 23, 2013)  Treknology: Star Trek's Tech 300 Years Ahead of the Future by Justin McLachlan (Apr 23, 2013)
Star Trek: The Next Generation - Hive by Brannon Braga, Terry Matalas and Joe Corroney (Apr 24, 2013)
The Star Trek Craft Book: Make It So! by Angie Pedersen (Apr 30, 2013)
Star Trek: The Original Series: The Folded World by Jeff Mariotte (Apr 30, 2013)


Star Trek: Countdown to Darkness by Mike Johnson and David Messina (May 15, 2013)
Star Trek Cross-Stitch: Explore Strange New Worlds of Crafting by John Lohman (May 28, 2013)
Star Trek: The Original Series: The Shocks of Adversity by William Leisner (May 28, 2013)


Star Trek FAQ 2.0: Everything Left to Know About The Next Generation, the Movies, and Beyond (Unofficial and Unauthorized... by Mark Clark (Jun 18, 2013)
Star Trek: Enterprise: Rise of the Federation: A Choice of Futures by Christopher L. Bennett (Jun 25, 2013)


Star Trek Volume 5 by Claudia Balboni, Mike Johnson and Ryan Parrott (Jul 16, 2013)
Star Trek: The Original Series: From History's Shadow by Dayton Ward (Jul 30, 2013)


Fan Phenomena: Star Trek (Intellect Books - Fan Phenomena) by Bruce E. Drushel (Aug 15, 2013)
Star Trek: The Fall: Revelation and Dust (Star Trek, the Next Generation) by David R. George III (Aug 27, 2013)


Star Trek: The Art of Juan Ortiz by Juan Oritz (Sep 3, 2013)
Star Trek: The Original Topps Trading Card Series by Paula M. Block, Terry J. Erdmann and The Topps Company (Sep 10, 2013)
Star Trek: Light-Up Starship Enterprise by Chip Carter (Sep 24, 2013)
Star Trek: The Fall: The Crimson Shadow by Una McCormack (Sep 24, 2013)


Star Trek: The Stardate Collection, Volume 1 by John Byrne, Patrick Zircher, Greg Adams and Josep Maria Beroy (Oct 1, 2013)
Star Trek: The Newspaper Strip, Vol. 2 by Ron Harris, Padraic Shigetani, Bob Myers and Ernie Colon (Oct 8, 2013)
Star Trek: The Fall: A Ceremony of Losses by David Mack (Oct 29, 2013)


Star Trek Volume 6: After Darkness (Nov 26, 2013)
Star Trek: The Fall: The Poisoned Chalice by James Swallow (Nov 26, 2013)


Star Trek: The Next Generation: Home Again by Una McCormack (Dec 1, 2014)
Star Trek: The Fall: Peaceable Kingdoms by Dayton Ward (Dec 31, 2013)

Looking at the year, there's not a lot of interesting unauthorized stuff. There's not a lot of variety in the Pocket novels. Most of what's left is gimmicky stuff for casual fans: quotes, crafts, etc. The most productive company, when you include what I left out of this list, is probably IDW, and I'm at the point where I don't care if they lose or give up the licence to do Trek comics because I'm so completely uninterested in what they're doing. Retelling original series episodes with the new crew, with random changes that half the time don't have much to do with the changes to the timeline, doesn't feel like a viable long term plan, But IDW is happy enough with that, and with "official" prequel and sequel comics for the movies that get contradicted almost instantly. And don't get me started on the fans who think those comics are canon.

As for the novels, while they're often as good as ever on a novel-by-novel basis, I don't like having half a year dedicated to standalone original series novels and half a year devoted to the ever-more tangled and depressing post-TV continuity. I can't help but find it all frustrating compared to a few years back, when we had more than just a novel per month (plus an ebook or two a year) and when we had multiple discrete series with different styles and sensibilities. I also liked it a lot more when editors, writers, and fans hung out in places like TrekBBS, and we had more of a sense of who was running the book program and where they were heading.

Meanwhile, how has the success of the JJ Abrams movies affected the book line? Not much. There's no novels based on the new continuity except novelizations and a handful of YA Starfleet Academy novels.

We've had two big stories about the books this year. One was that they're a big success story, with lots of new publishers being licenced to produce new books -- but those are resulting in things like the TNG quote book. Meanwhile, we also heard, if less officially, that Abrams thought he was getting full control of the Trek franchise, not realizing it's split between CBS and Paramount, that he wanted to stop TOS stuff from being produced, etc etc. While I would have liked a world in which there are new continuity novels and a new TV series, I don't want it coming from Abrams and his crew, who do not fundamentally understand Star Trek. Let them play with Star Wars and let's find someone who wants Star Trek to be less stupid and action-packed than Transformers movies. What's Ira Steven Behr doing these days, I wonder...


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