Monday 27 January 2014

Margaret Clark spills the beans on Trek-lit in 2014 and beyond

For a little over a year now, Trek FM's Literary Treks podcast has been bringing us regular interviews with Star Trek authors, giving us something like DVD extra features, in their discussions of how each book came to be, and analysis of the subject they explore. This week's episode has an extra special interview, not with an author, but with Margaret Clark, the Star Trek books editor at Simon and Schuster. Clark talked extensively about her work on Trek, back to working on DC Comics, and her first jobs with Simon and Schuster, through to master-minding the current run of books, including big events like Destiny and The Fall. Clark also revealed the details of several new novels and ebooks coming in the future.

Those include the first news of new TOS movie era novel by Greg Cox, coming late 2014, and the reveal John Jackson Miller will be continuing in Trek, after his ebook debut next month, with a full novel in 2015, featuring the USS Aventine.

UPDATE: John Jackson Miller has blogged about his new novel, noting that in addition to the crew of the Aventine it will feature TNG characters, and will also fit into the overall exploration theme Margaret Clark is going for in the next wave of novels.

Clark also shed some light on some of the books we already know about. Confirming Una McCormack's Home Again will feature Beverly Crusher as DS9's temporary chief medical officer, she also mentioned another familiar doctor will play a key role.

She also noted she is scheduling Kirsten Beyer's trilogy of Voyager stories close together. February's Protectors starts it off, only having to wait until October for the continuation in Acts of Contrition. While Clark didn't state it, if we were to get a similar gap between books then we can expect part three in the middle of 2015.

Talking about Jeffrey Lang's Light Fantastic, she mentioned most holographic characters in Trekdom will feature, and also noted it will be the only Data story we get for some time:
Jeff's book is fantastic; it's a sequel to Cold Equations, it's the only book that Data will be in through the next nineteen months - I'm looking at the 2015 schedule, and he's not in any of those books either. Data to me is like saffron, he should be used very sparingly. I told Jeff, you have the only Data story this year, he's like "you're kidding me?". I said "Nope, no one else has, you have to write a heeeell of a book". That's not what Data is any-more, Data's not a Starfleet person. This is a sequel to Immortal Coil, it's also a sequel to Cold Equations. It's a TNG book, it's Geordi, it's Data, it's evil holograms, it's got good holograms, it's unexpected people suddenly. It's a great read, it really is.
Clark also mentioned David R. George III checked over DS9 portions of the story to keep them in line with the new station design.

Here's the now complete 2014 schedule for Star Trek novels:

As well as the novels, Clark spoke about the ebook line, including announcing two new ones, a Department of Temporal Investigations novella coming from Christopher L. Bennett, and a TNG book featuring Q at Picard and Crusher's wedding, called Q Are Cordially Uninvited.

UPDATE: Christopher L. Bennett has revealed the title of his ebook as The Collectors, as well as announcing he will be writing two more novels. See separate report for full details.

Clark also mentioned a DS9 novella, called Lust, Latinum, Lost and Found. She didn't give the author, but presumably this is the DS9 ebook Paula M. Block and Terry J. Erdmann are writing. Clark gave a brief summary:
This is a Quark story, where he's trying desperately, because there are so many more distractions on this new station, he's not the only game in town, and he's trying to buy the latest version of Vulcan love slave.
Here's the schedule for ebook novellas:

Also discussed was the possibility of new Star Trek audiobooks. Apparently it is something the publishers are talking about right now, and have asked for suggestions as to which books could get the audio-treatment. Clark is keen on getting Andrew Robinson to read his Garak novel, A Stitch in Time.

For the full interview with Margaret Clark, make sure to go and listen to Literary Treks. And for full coverage of all the Star Trek books, including links to all my previous article with covers, blurbs and more, hit the prose button on my 2014 schedule page. Or to get really prepared, I've recently added a 2015 schedule page too, to keep track of these first few publications we know are coming.


Unknown said...

I guess I'll be the one that addresses the elephant in the room. Is the reason Data is going to be kept quiet related to the Abrams timeline? According to the canon comic prequel, Data is in command of the Enterprise by 2387. We're getting very close to that point, books-wise. Obviously the stories will continue but how are authors going to deal with this I wonder. Ignore it?

John Jackson Miller said...

Great podcast -- and thanks for the plug on the new book!

Made a quick post on the topic:

8of5 said...

John, Matthew and Christopher do a great job, I'm sure if they haven't already, they'll be reaching out to you to get an interview to discuss your Titan ebook soon. I'm looking forward to both your Titan and Aventine adventures immensely!

Unknown, I don't see any elephants. The novels have already contradicted the "canon" comic, in how the resurrected Data. I'm sure when they catch up to the prime-timeline events from the nuTrek films they will be dealt with, they'd be crazy not to capitalise on what's available to play with there. But it seems clear they've already decided to do something different to the comics, much as Star Trek Online has followed its own path distinct from the novels.

Robert Karma said...

With rare exceptions I have really enjoyed the Star Trek novels since The Entropy Effect back in 1983. The Fall series of novels have been fantastic. I hated the premature termination of Enterprise so the novels have filled in that gap getting us to the Romulan War and the Rise of the Federation. I would love to have a book a month for each iteration of Star Trek but I will try to be thankful that S&S gives us one Trek book a month with some eBooks thrown in as a bonus. Great work by Margaret clark & the many talented authors who keep Star Trek alive for the fans.

MDC said...

Oooh I hope they do more audiobooks - hopefully they'll do Titan and Destiny etc in English - German speakers have already had some.

Unknown said...

I don't think they have contradicted it really. Data remarks in the comic that his neural nets were successfully imprinted onto B-4's existing programming. That still happens in the books. But of course wonderfully expanded with the introduction of a new body, allowing B-4 to continue his own path.

It's impossible to ignore both his return and Picard's impending retirement in the books. And as we've only seen a very small glimpse of the pre-Abrams universe, dealing with it and Hobus in the novels is a relatively simple affair (Okay, Worf is harder but hey, if you can get a whole book out of it, it's not a bad thing).

8of5 said...

Unkown: Have you read The Fall? I wouldn't say Picard's retirement is anything close to impending...

Fox said...

So is Decandido out of the TrekLit game? I keep hoping to see another Klingon book.

Mr. Mister said...

Despite being official tie ins, the comics are NOT canon. The only rule that Star Trek has re:canon for it's novels is that they cannot contradict anything that's been portrayed on screen.

8of5 said...

Fox, seems so for now, although he does have that Klingon "non-fiction" book this year.

Mr. Mister, even the on-screen rule isn't set in stone. Some of John Byrne's comics for IDW seem to contradict what TNG established about the Klingon leadership.

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