Sunday, 2 March 2014

Books bits: New covers, new books

Here's the latest Star Trek book news, starting as ever, with some pretty pictures. Two new covers have recently been revealed:

StarTrek.com have released the cover for David R. George III's new The Lost Era novel, One Constant Star. The Enterprise-B focused novel is due in June, and features a cover design in exactly the same style as the original Lost Era series from all the way back in 2003 - A series I hope to catch up on before June, as it includes another George Enterpise-B book, Serpents Among the Ruins


Here's the blurb if you've not caught it yet:
As Captain Demora Sulu leads the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise-B on a mission near Tzenkethi space, they explore Rejarris II, a planet that cannot be explained. A strange structure on the surface could hold answers…but chaos erupts when a landing party transports down to study it. An officer is horribly injured and communication fails with another, and Captain Sulu deems the planet too dangerous to continue exploring. She decides to leave Rejarris II, but not until she can retrieve her lost crew member. When contact is also ultimately severed with the captain, a threatening Tzenkethi force suddenly appears. Could the Tzenkethi be behind the mysteries on the planet, or the disappearances of the two officers? And will the Enterprise crew be able stand up to them long enough to discover the fate of Captain Sulu and the other missing crew member?

"Once, John Harriman commanded the Enterprise-B, with Demora Sulu by his side as his first officer. Eight years after stepping down as a starship captain—in the wake of the Tomed Incident—Harriman now serves as an admiral based out of Helaspont Station, on the edge of the Tzenkethi Coalition. When he receives a mysterious message from Rejarris II, Harriman realizes that he might hold the key to finding his former crewmate. In choosing to help recover Demora Sulu, though, he could risk losing everything he holds dear. What price is Harriman willing to pay to attempt to rescue his longtime friend.

The other new cover is for something more whimsical, the new parody children's book, Fun with Kirk and Spock. The new cover, released by Simon and Schuster, features Kirk and Spock apparently about to inflict their fun on Khan. The cover also reveals the book's author, Robb Pearlman, who's previous credits include several other novelty, comedy, and/or children's books. As an editor he has also worked on the Star Trek sticker book, Stuck on Star Trek, and oversees Rizzoli's Star Trek calendar line.


Here's the blurb, the book is due in April:
See the Enterprise. See the Enterprise go boldly. Go Go Go, Enterprise! Go Boldly! Join Kirk and Spock as they go boldly where no parody has gone before!

Since the 1930’s, the book Fun with Dick and Jane and its various adaptations have helped children learn to read. It’s inspired several parodies and movie and television references, but none as amusing as this clever spoof, written with Trekkies in mind! The characteristic simplicity of the classic book is used in Fun with Kirk and Spock, delighting Trek fans with creative sequences and humorous illustrations.

Continue after the jump for more books news, including details of TNG, Titan, and TOS titles from Dayton Ward, James Swallow, and John Byrne.

Dayton Ward has announced on his blog that he is set to write a new post-The Fall TNG novel, due for release in mid-2015. The book has a working title, Pale Blue Dot, and will see the Enterprise get under-way on it's new mission of exploration. In a recent interview with Trek Mate's Ten Forward podcast, Ward, talking mainly about his entry in The Fall, Peaceable Kingdoms, also dicussed some of the things he is looking forward to developing in future TNG stories:
I think some of the characters that now are part of the Enterprise crew, they have a lot of potential, to do a lot of cool things with, when you get them the right kind of story. That's why I'm kind of excited about what's happening with the Next Gen crew after the events of The Fall; in terms of where they're going, what they'll run into - Certain situations will bring forth the need for particular skill sets, and particular experiences, and some of these secondary characters, that might not have gotten the spotlight, will now have a chance to shine a little bit.

Like Chen for example. I love writing for T'Ryssa Chen, I think she's a fantastic character, and I've just had a ball with her. And the longer this goes on, and the more interesting her relationship with Picard gets, the more excited I am about the possibilities of what goes on there. She's a fun counterpoint to the typically button down, formal, even boring Star Trek character type, you know? And she's a contact specialist, her job is to work with the captain in a first contact situations; well she hasn't really had a chance to do that, since coming on board. Very little if any of that sort of experience has been required. So I'm kind of excited about the idea that she might get to step up and do what's she's been trained to do.
TrekCore recently interviewed James Swallow, focusing on his entry in The Fall, the Titan book, The Poisoned Chalice. They also managed to tease out a few details about the next two Star Trek books he is hoping to write:
One of them, I hope will be that classic Trek novel I was talking about, something that will sort of harken back to my favorite episodes of Star Trek, like “The Doomsday Machine,” “The Enterprise Incident,” and “The Immunity Syndrome.” The really big, brassy classic Trek stuff. I’d really like to write something like that, in that kind of tonality.

The other idea we’re talking about is another Titan novel, picking up with the crew of the Titan and carrying on the story with them, taking them back to their sort of exploratory nature and getting into that kind of storytelling. That’s still kind of in flux right now, but hopefully if that goes ahead, that’ll be something that will pick up from the end of Absent Enemies, which is John Jackson Miller’s e-book story coming out later on in the year. But again, there’s nothing confirmed as yet.
In the world of comic-books, IDW have now issued a press release to formally announce John Byrne's new ongoing series of photo-comics, which included some new details of the first issue in the series, The Mirror, Cracked. They also released an updated version of the cover with amended titles.
He's moved far beyond photo-manipulation and montage to constructing his own set pieces, uniforms, and characters. Much more than just comic stories, these tales are the closest thing to Original Series-era 'lost episodes' that the world will ever see.
In issue #1, "The Mirror, Cracked," the crew of the Starship: Enterprise discovers two strangers in their midst, and things take a turn when they learn that one of them has made a pact with one of James Kirk's oldest foes.
Speaking on his forums, Byrne has shared some of his hopes and plans for future issues:
I still hope to do a prequel eventually. Kirk's first day on the Enterprise, and the transfer of command between him and Pike.
I often find myself thinking that prequels, Pike Era stories, should be a "regular feature" of the photonovels. In fact, I've even contemplated a three chapter (single issue) story that starts with Pike, moves on to TOS, and ends with TMP/WoK vintage.

Unfortunately, the biggest stumbling block to both of those ideas is the limited number of images of Pike's crew*, and how many of those are of people sitting down!
Finally, if you can read German, here's a nice give-away! My regular informant on all things German, Jens Deffner, as let me know that Cross Cult are currently (for the next couple of weeks) offering their Star Trek novels guide-book, Maximum Warp, as a free ebook. You can download it on kindle in Germany, as well the US, UK, France, Italy, and Spain, and it wont cost you a penny. If you'd like to know more about the book, Jens reviewed it a while ago.

UPDATE: Allyn Gibson has informed me the US kindle version is apparently not currently available. However Jens has found it should be possible to download it in the US using the ePub version available from Beam eBooks instead.

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