Sunday 31 May 2020

More Beautiful Than Death cover, and other Star Trek book updates

Lots of Star Trek novel updates today, including excerpts and author comments, and new audiobook and back covers for TOS, Kelvin, Voyager, and Discovery books. But first, a brand new cover reveal.

Coming in  August is the second in the new Kelvin timeline novels, David Mack's More Beautiful Than Death. The Simon and Schuster online catalogue has revealed the new cover, which follows a similar style to the previous Kelvin novel, The Unsettling Stars, but this time in a more colourful red/orange monotone:

Here's a reminder of the blurb:
Based on the “Kelvin Universe” movie saga!

Captain James T. Kirk and the Enterprise crew escort Spock’s father, Ambassador Sarek of Vulcan, to a dilithium-rich planet called Akiron. They arrive to find this world under siege by creatures that some of the planet’s denizens believe are demons. Sarek orders Kirk to abandon the mission, but the young captain won’t turn his back on people in danger. After a harrowing encounter with the dark-energy “demons,” Kirk’s belief in a rational universe is challenged by a mystic who insists that it wasn’t coincidence that brought Kirk to Akiron, but the alien equivalent of a Karmic debt.

Meanwhile, aboard the Enterprise, Sarek’s young Vulcan aide L’Nel has a sinister agenda—and its chief objective appears to be the cold-blooded murder of Spock!

The first in this new series of Kelvin timeline novels, Alan Dean Foster's The Unsettling Stars, was release back in April, and subsequently the author joined the host of TrekFM's Literary Treks to chat about the book. As you might recall, these books were written a decade ago, and abruptly pulled from publication due to some sort of request or dispute regarding the ongoing development at the time of Kelvin timeline movies. He talked briefly about limited changes made from the original transcript:
The book is as written ten years ago. With the exception of some things in the ending; because I had written something that I thought was a clever twist, and it conflicted with existing Star Trek material, including existing material in the Kelvin universe, and editorially it was decided that they didn't want to do that. So there were some changes made; nothing that affects the body of the book.
Ha also commented on the novel's change in title, from the original Refugees:
When you get these kind of title changes from the editorial, they're not necessarily because the original title is not a good title, it's because there are people in editorial, and sales, who feel, that it's not, in this case, science fictiony enough. So they might be afraid, there might be somebody who's in charge of sales for Northern Canada, as a for instance, who feels that people will see the title, and think it might have something to do with Africa or Europe, and people would miss the fact that it's a science fiction novel and a Star Trek novel. I obviously feel otherwise, but I have no problem with The Unsettling Stars, which is a good title, and definitely better than some of the previous titles like The Order of Peace, and stuff that was thrown around out there. So I'm content with The Unsettling Stars.
You can hear much more talk about the novel's substance in the full discussion on Literary Treks.

Simon and Schuster Audio have also released a new excerpt from the audiobook version of novel on their YouTube channel (along with a Q and A video previously posted on have also explored behind the scenes in an interview with author Chritopher L. Bennett on his recent TOS movie era novel The Higher Frontier. Among other things, he talked about how and what he chose to explore in the book:
When I was given the nod to revive my post-TMP continuity, I went back through my old notes in search of story concepts. One of my main ideas was to tell a story exploring the “new humans” mentioned in Gene Roddenberry’s TMP novelization, a human subculture developing their mental powers, exploring collective consciousness, and doing other very 1970s New Age-y stuff like that. My original idea had been to reveal that Gary Mitchell from “Where No Man Has Gone Before” was still alive and was behind the New Human movement. But in the interim, there have been one or two stories about Gary Mitchell coming back (for instance, in Marvel’s Star Trek/X-Men crossover comic in the ‘90s), so I chose to go a different route. A number of my books have tackled some of Trek’s more implausible concepts and tried to make greater sense of them, as with space-going life forms in Titan: Orion’s Hounds and time travel in my Department of Temporal Investigations books. This was my chance to do the same with the Trek universe’s telepaths.

It occurred to me that a story about human telepaths should involve Miranda Jones, the most powerful human telepath known, and also explore why there didn’t seem to be any human telepaths in the 24th century. Bringing back Miranda and Kollos let me explore a lot of unanswered questions about the Medusans, the galactic barrier, and so forth, and that let me address Gary Mitchell in an entirely different way than I’d initially planned. It also let me tie in with the fate of the Aenar, which Typhon Pact: Paths of Disharmony established as having apparently gone extinct around the time frame I was working in. It occurred to me that if the Medusans were looking for blind telepaths, they would have probably been interested in the Aenar as well, so that let me draw a connection.

In other cover updates, the audiobook cover for Kirsten Beyer's next Voyager novel, To Lose the Earth has now been released. While some audiobooks get expanded versions of the regular cover art, this is alas one of those times where they've cropped instead - Although this might not be final, as there isn't a read-by credit on the cover yet.

Due out in October, here's a reminder of the blurb:
The long-awaited follow-up to Voyager: Architects of Infinity from the New York Times bestselling author and cocreator of Star Trek: Picard!

As the crew of the Full Circle fleet works to determine the fate of their lost ship, the Galen, a struggle for survival begins at the far edge of the galaxy. New revelations about Species 001, the race that built the biodomes that first drew the fleet to investigate planet DK-1116, force Admiral Kathryn Janeway to risk everything to learn the truth.

Finally the back covers have been released for a couple more forthcoming books. Here's Dayton Ward's TOS novel Agents of Influence, which is due out next month:

And then there's John Jackson Miller's Discovery novel Die Standing, which will arrive in July. The audiobook narrator for this book has also now been announced as January LaVoy.

Order links for mentioned books:
More Beautiful Than Death, Kelvin timeline novel, by David Mack
The Unsettling Stars, Kelvin timeline novel, by Alan Dean Foster.
To Lose the Earth, Voyager novel by Kirsten Beyer.
The Higher Frontier, TOS movie era novel by Christopher L. Bennett.
Agents of InfluenceTOS five-year-mission era novel by Dayton Ward.
Die Standing, Discovery novel by John Jackson Miller.

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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