Wednesday 21 November 2012

More on The Fall, and other Trek-lit bits

A few days ago we learnt the first details about The Fall, which will be set over just a few weeks in the 24th century. That series is to include David R. George III's DS9 anniversary book, Revelations and Dust, and now news is starting to trickle out about who else is involved in the series. In recent podcast interviews, David Mack and Dayton Ward have confirmed their involvement.

David Mack from the Chronic Rift podcast:
There is something big in the works... A five book Star Trek 24th century miniseries event. Five books, five different authors, scheduled for the end of 2013.
Dayton Ward on Trek FM:
I'm working on a book that will be part of a four or five book arc for Pocket. That will be out in later 2013, early 2014. I haven't even figured out what that story's going to be yet, other than knowing which crew I'm going to be writing.
Both interviews should be of interest to Trek readers. The Trek FM interview was in fact the first episode of a new series on Trek FM dedicated to Star Trek books, Literary Treks; co-hosted by one of my frequent twitter correspondents Mathew Rushing. Dayton Ward talked on several subjects, in particular his recent coda to the Vanguard series, In Tempest's Wake. Also mentioned was that fact he is already in preliminary discussions about books after his contribution to The Fall. Whether those might include some of Ward's desired projects is unknown, but he did mention wishing to write an Enterprise-D era novel, a Voyager TV era novel, and proposals for an entire trilogy of Captain Proton books!

David Mack's interview meanwhile centered on his new TNG trilogy, Cold Equations. Discussing it's development, and how the whole trilogy ended up becoming a sequel to Jeffrey Lang's novel, Immortal Coil. Here is Mack's summary of the trilogy:
Once I settled on this notion of the storyline that I selected, there are some big ideas within the trilogy: What constitutes a soul? What constitutes life or death? Is it different for artificial intelligence; there definition of life? What are the differences in the needs and drives of article sentients versus biological sentients? Then there are also some political ideas, and ideas about betrayal, about the political future of the Federation and its neighbours. There's also just the small personal dramas of the crew (those are really the driving engine behind all of it): There's a struggle between Picard and his wife to try and figure out exactly how they want their lives to evolve now that they have a child. Worf is dealing with some major upheavals in his personal life and potentially in his career. Geordie is still coping with the empty hole in life where Data used to be, and the fact that this creates a sense of duty in him when he finds out that the last part of Data, in B-4, has been put in peril.
What I found most interesting though, was a comment he made about editorial changes leading to changes in the trilogy:
My first few proposals were rejected for various reasons. A certain number of assumptions in-house changed about what they were doing with the Star Trek books overall; and that necessitated some changes on my end.
It leads me to speculate, that as the litverse inches ever close to the Hobus supernova there must be discussions going on about how to approach integrating the novel continuity with what was established in the 2009 movie - And maybe what was established in Countdown; a comic series that has a bit more continuity clout than most maybe?

On a less positive note regarding the novels' editing, Cold Equations has revealed an apparent editorial decision to ignore another recent novel, David McIntee's Indistinguishable From Magic. As Mack mentioned in the podcast, and elaborated on on the TrekBBS, he was instructed to ignore some of the character developments established in that novel; in particular the details of Geordi's love life:
I know that DRG3 did his best to reconcile the continuity details from [Indistinguishable From Magic] with [Plagues of Night/Raise the Dawn], but I was instructed by my editors simply to move on and proceed as if with a clean slate. So before you start accusing me of making "errors," be advised that I worked in good faith based on the instructions I was given.
Something I think is regrettable; IFM did draw in characters from all over in somewhat awkward ways regarding continuity, but it wasn't something that was impossible to reconcile - And I for one would be more interested to see something come of Geordi and Leah Brahms long struggling relationship (as established in IFM), than return to newbie Tamala Harstad. It was also a novel that had probably the most character development for Geordi just about ever, not to mention a pretty major outcome for Scotty!

Unfortunately McIntee's blogging and TrekBBS posts seems to indicate this spells the end of his time as a Trek novelist. Something which is even more regrettable, as IFM was rather fun, and a decidedly, and refreshingly, different take on Star Trek.

Interestingly Keith R.A. DeCandido also commented on McIntee's blog, indicating he also feels abandoned by Pocket; explaining his recent absence from Trek writing. A waste of a good author if you ask me; with Articles of the Federation and A Singular Destiny alone DeCandido established so much of the modern continuity (and that's only scratching the surface of his huge contribution to Trek lit). Get him back on board Pocket!


Shanejayell said...

I'm kinda intrigued to know there's a unofficial blacklist at the current Trek regime. Wonder if we'll see a editor actually come out and comment?

I especially would like to see more KRAD titles....

8of5 said...

It certainly makes one wonder! I understand that different editors have different preferences, but surely if KRAD pitched a bunch of stuff they'd have to like at least one of them!?

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