The Romulan War saga of the previous Enterprise novels concluded with the founding of the United Federation of Planets in 2161. I’ve been chosen to tell the next phase of the story. How did an alliance forged in wartime become the peaceful union we know? How did its founding members balance their differing views of what the Federation should become? What did they each contribute to the UFP government and Starfleet? How did that Starfleet end up being so similar to the United Earth Starfleet, and what familiar elements owe more to the Vulcans, Andorians, and Tellarites than we might have realized? What challenges did this fledgling union face in dealing with neighboring powers unsure of its intentions or threatened by its unity? What new enemies arose in the wake of the Romulans?Continue reading on Bennett's blog for more analysis of Enterprise and what he hopes to achieve with this novel. Or make your way to the TrekBBS to discuss it. Bennett has already revealed some interesting titbits of extra info there, including how this came about from a pitch for a pre-Enterprise series:
This is a followup to the Star Trek Enterprise — The Romulan War duology, but it’s also a fresh beginning, picking up about a year after the Federation’s founding. The war is over, Enterprise herself is in mothballs, and Admiral Jonathan Archer, his former crew, and his allies including Shran and Soval have moved on to new phases in their lives, playing new roles in the Federation and its combined Starfleet. The novel will feature many familiar characters from the era, a few new crewmates for the familiar cast, and some unexpected names as well. It’s called Enterprise for branding/marketing reasons, but I see it more as a sequel to Enterprise — and a prequel to the original series.
...my original pitch was Star Trek: Beginnings, which would've been a multibook series covering the span between 2063 and the start of ENT. But it was wisely decided that that would be far too narrow in its appeal, since it would be too lacking in familiar characters and elements. I was offered this project as an alternative, and after my initial hesitation, I saw how much potential there was in it.And also a little hint at the direction of his proto-Starfleet uniform design:
I approached the uniform design as an intermediate step between the ENT and Kelvin uniforms, with elements foreshadowing later uniform designs as well.
I for one am very excited! While we wait for this book, Bennett fans might also enjoy Only Superhuman, his first original novel, which has just come out. It's sitting right at the top of my own reading pile; just need to dash through The Persistence of Memory first. Plus of course there's the new Federation: The First 150 Years book out imminently; will be interesting to see how these compare.