Wednesday 13 June 2018

Fear Itself and Prometheus excerpts, and other Star Trek novel news

Just released is the third Star Trek: Discovery novelJames Swallow's Fear Itself, which is expected to focus on Saru on the USS Shenzhou, set some years before the main events of the TV series. Continue below for previews from both the print and audio editions of this book, as well as previews from the latest book in the Prometheus series, and a tiny glimmer of news that there might be more Star Trek books on the horizon.

First, here's a reminder of what Fear Itself is all about, as described on the back cover:

Speaking to TrekMovie, James Swallow has shared a little about the development of the book, and how the TV team's realisation they want to explore Saru's origins in detail had some knock-on effects:
Very early on, the novel was markedly different than the final version. For the original take on the story, I was going to do a complete origin story; where he came from and how he ended up being in Starfleet and what he went through to get to where we see him at the beginning of Discovery. As we went on, it became more and more likely that was going to be done on the show. At the end it was that “This is too good a story to tell in a novel, too big and too important to leave just on the page.” If this is a story that needs to be told, it needs to be told on the show.

In the end, we ended up telling a slightly different story. But, in the process of all that happening, one of the things I did early on was I worked up an entire backstory. It was an origin of not just Saru, but the Kelpien species and how their society worked and the dynamics of that and how that shaped who he was. How much of that will eventually appear on screen, I don’t know. But, that was the basis I used to inform me about where Saru had come from, so I could write about where he was going.
He also teased several familiar aliens will be appearing in the book.
In terms of named characters, there really isn’t any of that. There are canonical connections to different factions and different groups that fans will be familiar with. You will see a particular threat force turning up in the story that if you are a fan of The Original Series, will be very familiar, and it is an alien race we haven’t seen in Discovery yet and I was very pleased to put them into the story.

We also have got a couple of alien cultures that have been in the background of TNG and TOS, but who haven’t had a lot detail about them and I have been able to add some about their culture, and the culture clash between the two. And the Shenzhou crew find themselves in the middle of that culture clash.
See the full interview on TrekMovie for even more on the book. Meanwhile, care of Amazon's preview function, here's an excerpt:

And for audio fans, here's an excerpt from the audiobook edition too, as read by Robert Petkoff:

Also just recently released is the second book in Bernd Perplies and Christian Humberg's Prometheus trilogyThe Root of All Rage. This edition published by Titan Books is in English, following the original German language release of the trilogy in 2016. Here's a reminder of the blurb for this middle book in the trilogy:
The Federation races to discover the culprits of several terrorist attacks, sending their flagship, the USS Prometheus, to stop war breaking out in the galaxy.

A dangerous evil is flourishing in the Alpha Quadrant. In the Lembatta Cluster, a curious region of space, fanatics who call themselves the Purifying Flame are trying to start a galactic war, and the warlike Klingons are baying for blood. The Federation have sent the U.S.S. Prometheus to settle the crisis, and the crew must contend with both the hostile Renao: the secretive inhabitants of the Cluster, and the Klingon captain of the I.K.S Bortas, who is desperate for war.
The English language release will conclude in November with In the Heart of Chaos. But of course you'll need to read the rest of the trilogy first, so here's an excerpt from book two:

Finally, despite this double book release in a matter of a couple of weeks, it's actually a pretty lean time for Star Trek novels. Aside from the not-actually-scheduled-yet next Voyager novel from Kirsten Beyer excepted some time in the future, no other Star Trek novels from Simon and Schuster have been announced for a long time, making Fear Itself the last release for the foreseeable future. This is apparently down to ongoing renegotiations of the Star Trek novels license, which have prevented Simon and Schuster signing up authors to work on anything not already contracted.

But here's a glimmer of hope. Responding to a question about whether he had plans to write more Titan novels, author David Mack had this to say on Twitter:
I don't, not at this time. However, there should be news from the publisher soon, so stay tuned!
Is the great Star Trek novel drought about to end? Let's hope that news comes very soon!

To keep track of all the latest releases, hit the prose or books buttons on my 2018 schedule page. You can also find series reading lists and author bibliographies on my dedicated Star Trek lists site.

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