Friday, 29 November 2013

Book bits: New blurbs, maps, and more

The latest book blurbs, starting with TWO new blurbs for David R. George III's new Lost Era novel, One Constant Star. The Simon and Schuster online catalog has been updated with the following blurb:

While Amazon's listing has this briefer summary now:

UPDATE: David R. George III has asked me to take down the blurbs as they are apparently highlight inaccurate. A new and more accurate one should appear later!
The Simon and Schuster catalog also now has a pretty general blurb up for the second Seekers book, Kevin Dilmore and Dayton Ward's Point of Divergence:
Following the events of the Vanguard series, Starfleet has committed to a continuing program of exploration and colonization of the Taurus Reach. While other Starfleet vessels continue their ongoing assignments in the region, maintaining security and supporting the handful of established colonies and trade routes, the U.S.S. Endeavour and the U.S.S. Sagittarius, two vessels previously assigned to Starbase 47, spearhead a new exploration initiative. And you will not believe what happens next… meanwhile has posted a new excerpt from next month's Stellar Cartography: The Starfleet Reference Library, in the form of a native map of Cardassian space which will be included in the book and map set: posted this alongside an interview with the artist, Ian Fullwood. Here's a short snippet of his description of how this design came together:
In the background I decided to produce a reptilian-type texture to hold the whole thing together. This had to be obvious enough, but not overpowering. The grid ties in with the Cardassian themes of 3 (triangles). Again, I did not want this to be overpowering on the main Cardie area, but obvious enough outside it to give it a map type 'grid unit' feel. One has to remember that these processes don't happen singly. More often than not they are formed as part of a whole. Everything has to gel together, so some items of design may get discarded along the route or some may become more pronounced; it's all about trying to find a balance that works. One of the reference points I was using was the Cardassian screens from DS9. These beautiful creations were my inspiration for the edging around the map. I tried different combinations of my own designs to ensure they were incorporated into the map, giving people a reference point that would make it uniquely Cardassian. I still had to keep in mind that this was a printed map and not a screen, so I wanted the colors to be more muted.
Amazon have also updated their listing for Stellar Cartography, with their look inside featuring giving us a look at a few pages of the book part of the set. Continue after the jump for a look at some of those preview pages, as well as highlights from recent and Literary Treks interviews with James Swallow and David Mack.

Speaking to about his Titan entry in The Fall series, The Poisoned Chalice (which has just come out), James Swallow laid out what he has done with the book:
I think the novel is about good people who find themselves caught up in something beyond their control, something that has the potential to become ugly and dangerous. How does someone of good conscience and strong character react to a thing like that? When events are moving quickly, when the momentum is strong and emotions are running high, how hard is it to plant your feet against the flow and say No, wait, stop? It’s at times like that lines are crossed, and the better angels of people’s nature are drowned out – so putting characters like Will Riker, Deanna Troi, Christine Vale, Tuvok, Nog and others in the middle of it makes for some interesting drama.

In The Fall novels, we’re dealing with the shockwaves of a terrible event that will have long-lasting effects on the politics of the United Federation of Planets – the shot heard around the galaxy, as it were – and the crew of the USS Titan are dragged into it when they are summoned back to Earth. Riker finds himself as the man on the spot, in very different circumstances to what he’s been used to, and he has to work to stay ahead of everything happening around him.

The themes that run through The Poisoned Chalice are certainly those we see in the real world – it’s a story about terrorism and the mark it leaves, both morally and culturally, and that’s a challenging thing to put against the backdrop of the Federation, who have always tried to be a paragon of virtue. And of course, it wouldn’t be a book by me if it didn’t also have some action in there too…

Talking to Literary Treks David Mack explained how he began to pull together the themes for his book in The Fall, the third book in the series, A Ceremony of Losses:
As I began thinking about it, I began seeing the possibility of Bashir, who had gone to a very dark place in Zero Sum Game, being able to take a journey of redemption, as a character. And I guess once I began looking into the various themes, and the back-story elements; in particular the inclusion of the Shedai metagenome data, from the Vanguard saga, some of the themes that informed Vanguard got brought to the fore, and carried forward into A Ceremony of Losses. In particular the theme of, where is the balance between the need for secrecy by our government, and the need for transparency in our government. At what point does the military's need for operational security trump our right to know what people are doing in our name, particularly the people who are in uniform. So there is this struggle between people who want to keep secrets, and people who want information to be free.

He also have a slight tease to one of his forthcoming books, Section 31: Disavowed, which will be picking up some of the threads from A Ceremony of Losses:
It's really just Bashir, Sarina, and various nefarious powers. And although I wont say which one, I will say it does include some connections to at least one other previous novel I've written, but it wont be an obvious one.
Looking even further ahead, Mack also mentioned he is already contracted for two further Star Trek books beyond Seekers: Second Nature, and Section 31: Disavowed. At the moment he has loose plans to pitch these two books as more Seekers and Section 31 books.

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