Friday 6 March 2020

Book Bits: Discovery: Die Standing cover, and other updates

A few little Star Trek book updates today, and one big one: A new cover! Coming in July is the next Discovery novel, John Jackson Miller's Die Standing, and thanks to Simon and Schuster's online catalogue we now have a first look at the cover.

Note this is currently tagged as "Cover is NOT Final", so tweaks or something different altogether could still come. The book focuses on the Section 31 adventures of former Terran Emperor Philippa Georgiou, and the cover leans on her mirror universe origins:

Here's a reminder of the blurb:
No one in the history of histories has lost more than Philippa Georgiou, ruler of the Terran Empire. Forced to take refuge in the Federation’s universe, she bides her time until Section 31, a rogue spy force within Starfleet, offers her a chance to work as their agent. She has no intention of serving under anyone else, of course; her only interest is escape.

But when a young Trill, Emony Dax, discovers a powerful interstellar menace, Georgiou recognizes it as a superweapon that escaped her grasp in her own universe. Escorted by a team sent by an untrusting Federation to watch over her, the emperor journeys to a region forbidden to travelers. But will what she finds there end the threat—or give “Agent Georgiou” the means to create her old empire anew?

In other Star Trek related books news, ViacomCBS recently announced they intend to sell off Simon and Schuster, the publisher of Star Trek novels and other books (under various imprints, including Pocket Books and Gallery Books) since 1979. As reported by Deadline (among others) CEO Bob Bakish has declared the publisher to be "not a core asset", sitting outside the wider company's main focus on video content.

Star Trek is just a small part of the 2000 or so books the publisher generates every year, and with such a big portfolio it's expected to make a billion dollars or more when that sale comes. Simon and Schuster only recently renewed their license for Star Trek (causing a year long hiatus in novel publications), so one would assume that would continue with them under new ownership - Curious as it is from a Star Trek point of view, that the TV and movie elements have only just been returned under the control of one company in the Viacom CBS merger, if ViacomCBS are looking to offload doing publishing at all, then Star Trek books being in the hands of what would become an external licensee seems an odd side effect, but just puts novels in a similar position to other books and tie in products which are produced my many different companies.

Finally, a couple of book podcast updates. The nice people at TrekFM's Literary Treks recently had one of their regular guests on, Dayton Ward, to discuss his most recent Trek work, the Kirk Fu Manual. As ever they talked at length about many aspects of the book - a quirky parody guide to Captain Kirk's fighting style - and how it came to be, and if you're interested in all that, it's well worth a listen.

Another author appeared on Make It So, a podcast dedicated to Picard: Una McCormack discussing her Picard prequel novel, The Last Best Hope. Of great interest is the discussion of the themes and allegory in the book, as well as the different experience writing a tie-in book for a very current series.

To keep track of all the latest releases, hit the books button on my 2020 schedule page. You can also find series reading lists and author bibliographies on my dedicated Star Trek lists site.

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