Monday 1 April 2013

Book bits: New TNG story coming? And latest TOS excerpt

Amazon have added a new listing for a TNG story; Home Again, by Una McCormack. It is currently listed only for kindle released, expected to come out in December. That comes in the midst of the release of the TNG-era The Fall series, which includes McCormack's The Crimson Shadow in October. I suppose this could be a retitle and rescheduling, although for now listings for The Crimson Shadow persist. UPDATE: Pointed out by one of my readers (thanks Jakub), the listing is in fact for December 2014! When late dates like that spring up on Amazon it tends to be nonsense listings, however I still present these other possibilities for you to consider:

The other obvious answer is that this is latest of the occasional ebook novella releases; however at $9.28 it's a bit pricey for that category, more even than the usual mass market paperback novels. Which leads me to my final guess, which is that this is a new larger format trade paperback release, with the ebook listing appearing ahead of the paperback. Time will tell I suppose, whenever Simon and Schuster update their own listings to identify this, or the author reveals something.

While we wait for that, this month's new novel, is Greg Cox's latest TOS adventure, The Weight of Worlds. Simon and Schuster have posted an excerpt, here are the first few paragraphs of chapter one:
Captain’s Log. Stardate 6012.9.

The Enterprise has concluded a successful week charting the Wyvern system, a region devoid of intelligent life but full of fascinating planets, moons, asteroid belts, and radiation fields, or so my first officer informs me. In the meantime, with no immediate crisis on the horizon, the crew is looking forward to some much-needed recreation . . .

“Mister Spock,” Lieutenant Uhura said. “Do you have a minute?”

The Vulcan science officer looked up from his scanner. “At our present cruising speed, we are not expected to arrive at Starbase 13 for another 72.03 hours. You have my attention for as many minutes as you require. How can I assist you?”

It was a relatively quiet moment on the bridge. The U.S.S. Enterprise was cruising at warp 2 through the interstellar void, with the Wyvern system receding in the ship’s aft sensors. Captain James T. Kirk listened casually to the conversation behind him as he reviewed the latest maintenance reports from engineering. A yeoman offered him a fresh cup of coffee, which he gratefully accepted.

“Oh, I doubt this will take 72.03 hours,” Uhura quipped. She wandered away from the communications station to confer with Spock at his post. “I’m just organizing this year’s holiday party, and I wanted your input.”

Spock arched an eyebrow. “I am not certain that I am the appropriate officer to consult on such a matter. Levity is hardly the Vulcan way.”

That’s putting it lightly, Kirk thought. He wondered what Uhura was about.

“Well, that’s what I wanted to ask you about,” she said. “As usual, the holiday party embraces the varied cultures and traditions of the ship’s entire crew, celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, Diwali, Ramadan, mololo zam, and the Saturnian Blessing of the Rings, but I admit that I’m not terribly familiar with the customs of your people, Mister Spock. Are there any Vulcan holidays or rituals you would like us to include in the festivities?”

Kirk rotated the captain’s chair around to observe Spock’s science station. The general chatter on the bridge died down, the better to eavesdrop on this increasingly intriguing conversation. Kirk suspected that Chekov and Sulu and the rest of the bridge crew were listening in as well. Even though they had all been serving beside Spock for at least four years now, there was still much they didn’t know about Vulcan life and customs. Spock, like the rest of his people, tended to be rather close-lipped on the subject.

“You need not trouble yourself on my behalf, Lieutenant,” he said, “although you are to be applauded for your efforts at inclusiveness, which are very much in keeping with the Vulcan philosophy of IDIC.”

Infinite diversity in infinite combinations, Kirk translated mentally. He was quite familiar with the motto, which was one of the fundamental touchstones of Vulcan civilization. It had also been one of the guiding principles behind the formation of the Federation itself. No small surprise, considering that Vulcan, along with Earth, was a founding member of the UFP.

“So you never celebrated any holidays at home?” Uhura pressed. “Not even when you were growing up?”

“That is not entirely the case,” Spock admitted. “My father occasionally indulged my mother’s fondness for certain Terran holidays, most notably the human custom of St. Valentine’s Day.”

Uhura reacted with delight to this unexpected revelation. “Why, Mister Spock, that’s positively romantic!”

“On the contrary,” he stated, “it is simply logical. In a universe populated by myriad species and cultures, respecting and accommodating each other’s disparate traditions is the only rational response.”
You can continue to read the rest of chapter one, which goes on to set up the Enterprise's mission in this story, on Simon and Schuster.

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