Tuesday 15 October 2013

New Data book coming, and other Trek-lit news

There is some interesting news and discussion about Star Trek books coming out via various interviews around the web lately. The biggest news item comes from David Mack, who was interviewed by TrekCore. He revealed a new Data novel is in the works, but not from him:
I have it on good authority that a writer who understands Data quite well is working on a new novel that will chronicle what happens to Data and Lal after the events of Cold Equations, Book III: The Body Electric. However, because it’s not my book, I’m not going to tell you anything about it—not the title, not even the author...
My obvious guess would be Jeffrey Lang, returning to Trek to follow up Cold Equations, which itself built upon Lang's Data-centric novel Immortal Coil. Whoever it is, more Data sounds good to me!

Mack did of course talk about his own work too, going right back through his career, and giving some interesting insights into life as a writer. Coming right up to date he gave a pretty lengthy description of his forthcoming The Fall novel, A Ceremony of Losses:
As some readers might recall, in Dayton Ward’s Typhon Pact novel Paths of Disharmony, the Tholian Assembly revealed to the Andorians that, for more than a century, Starfleet and the United Federation of Planets have suppressed information from Operation Vanguard that might have helped lead to a cure for their fertility crisis. The uproar from this revelation led to the rise of the Treishya, a reactionary political party on Andor, and to a vote (by a narrow majority in a plebiscite election) to secede from the Federation.

Now it’s a few years later, and the Andorians seem no closer to finding a cure, even with the intelligence provided by the scheming Tholians. Everyone tries to manipulate the crisis for political gain. Meanwhile, Andor’s scientists, including Thirishar ch’Thane, are desperate. Unless the declining birthrate is reversed within a year, the Andorian people will hit a tipping point, one from which they might never recover.

In this fearful climate, Shar reaches out to his old friend, Doctor Julian Bashir, for help. There isn't much Bashir can do without access to the restricted Operation Vanguard data. Though there is a way he might gain access to it, even the attempt would mean risking not just his career but his freedom if he’s caught by Starfleet—especially considering the belligerent foreign policy of the new president pro tem, who has decided to stand as a candidate for the presidency in the upcoming special election.

If Bashir somehow finds a cure, his life will be in danger if the Tholians or the Andorian reactionaries in power learn of it—because his mercy mission would threaten their control over Andor and its people. All Bashir wants is to do the right thing—and every major power between him and Andor is prepared to use deadly force to prevent him from doing anything at all.
He also gave a briefer description of the new Vanguard spin-off series, Seekers:
Well, we’re keeping the plot under wraps for the moment. The current plan is for the first two books to tell a two-part story that will serve as a re-introduction to the crews of the Archer-class scout ship Sagittarius and the Constitution-class cruiser Endeavour.
Meanwhile, David R. George III appeared on both Literary Treks and The G and T Show. Both discussions talked at length about his entry in The Fall, Revelation and Dust. Some interesting discussion of the multiple threads in the book, but listen at your peril if you haven't read it yet, they're very spoilery. If you haven't yet picked it up, George offered this summary of the different areas he aimed to have the book cover in his discussion with The G and T Show:
I had to introduce the new Deep Space Nine. I had to begin The Fall, and set some plot lines up. And I had to continue this story of Deep Space Nine. And to a smaller extent, I also wanted to pay tribute to Deep Space Nine, because it was the twentieth anniversary year of the show.
In both interviews he compared the idea at the core of The Fall to an "Archduke Ferdinand moment", here's how he explained that to Literary Treks:
...the editor came to us, with, initially had the notion that perhaps we would have an Archduke Ferdinand moment. Which is to say, when Archduke Ferdinand was assassinated, it actually spurred World War One. And so, there was this idea that perhaps having an event like that in the Star Trek universe, would be a good launching point for a series.
Talking with Literary Treks he also talked a bit about the design process of the new Deep Space 9, including some of the changes that came about thanks to the visualisation of the design for the cover happening concurrently. For instance the new command center, the hub, moved, and changed names, during the course of the design:
I decided early on that the new control center of the new Deep Space Nine was not going to be easily vulnerable by being outside, exposed, on the top of the station. So I buried at the very center of Deep Space Nine, and I called it "the core"...
...for my own reference, I created a blueprint of the core. What it looked like, where each of the stations were. I created that, then I sent that off to the artists - Just so they would have an idea of what I was writing; not that they were going to produce a picture of that or anything.

I don't remember exactly how this happened, but somewhere along, their input made me relocate the core. Which, once I'd moved it out of the very center of the space station, I felt I could no longer call it the core, because that just didn't work. But I moved it once again to the top of the station. I did it because the exterior that they created, made that control center I had created (that blueprint), it just fit physically, perfectly at the top of the station, where there are four rings...
...it was just the perfect place, because the control center happened to have four turbolifts. It was perfect up there, so I relocated it up there, and decided to call it the hub; because that's what it was, and it just made more sense.
One final bit of news, Jens Deffner (my regular tipster, and contributor to Unreality SF and The G and T Show), pointed me towards a tweet made by Paula Block a while ago:

So I guess that's a pretty decent clue that Paula Block and Terry Erdmann's forthcoming ebook novella, their first fiction entry in their Trek bibliography, might be a DS9 tale.

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