Tuesday 25 October 2011

Michael A. Martin on The Romulan War

StarTrek.com has posted an interview with Michael A. Martin on his latest Romulan War novel, To Brave the Storm. Here's how he summarised the book:
Things are looking pretty grim. Earth is in the worst shape it’s been in since the war began. Because of T’Pau’s commitment to Syrrannite pacifism, Vulcan is still sitting out the conflict. The rest of the Coalition has essentially crumbled because Vulcan’s pullout has spooked Andoria and Tellar. Starfleet has fallen back, making the Sol system’s defense its number-one priority. Jonathan Archer is forced to seek help elsewhere, hat in hand, and isn’t having much luck despite his concerted effort to rehabilitate Enterprise’s reputation, which the Kobayashi Maru disaster has tarnished pretty badly. Meanwhile, the Romulans are wrapping up a distracting conflict out on the Empire’s far Beta-quadrant frontier, and this allows them to mobilize more ships than ever before against a resource-starved Earth and her ever-dwindling list of friends, allies, and colonies. Did I mention that things are looking pretty grim?
And here's what he had to say about what he would have liked to have explored if he had more books to tell the story in:
I would have like to show more of the developing relationship between Hoshi Sato and MACO Major Takashi Kimura, since she’s destined to marry him and at some point with him retire to Tarsus IV, according to the biographical files Mike Sussman created for “In a Mirror Darkly.” As part of a deepening of the Trip-and-T’Pol relationship, I also would also have liked to take a closer look at the Vulcan take on religion, since it’s established canon that even modern-day Vulcans maintain a tradition of venerating certain ancient gods. It seems to me that to a people as committed to pure reason as the Vulcans, worship probably isn’t a subjective thing, or purely a matter of faith. I would have liked to reveal that Vulcan’s gods are at least as objectively “real” as Bajor’s Prophets. If I’d had a third Romulan War book—ideally a middle volume between BtRW and TBtS—I probably would have tried to work in a plot thread in which T’Pol suffered an injury that left her near death, forcing Trip and Koss to team up to storm Vulcan’s equivalent of the gates of hell in order to force Shariel, Vulcan’s god of death, to relinquish his gradually increasing hold over T’Pol’s katra. Imagine the classical Greek myth of Persephone with a dusting of Faust and Dante’s Inferno thrown in. Or Trip and Koss’s Bogus Journey. Or I might have settled for just blowing up thirty-three percent more planets and spaceships than I did in the other two books.

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