Thursday, 3 June 2021

Book bits: Coda teases, audiobook covers, and Discovery: Wonderlands excerpts

There a diverse offering of Star Trek novels on the way this year, from old and current series, and even a (presumably) last hurrah from the novel continuity Picard has now pushed into an alternate timeline. Publisher Simon and Schuster have now released some updated covered for several of those, plus various excerpts from the latest release, Discovery: Wonderlands. Continue below for all the latest Star Trek novel updates:

German cover art for the Destiny crossover trilogy

First up, looking towards the end of the year (September to November), we have the Coda(ad) trilogy. Initial short blurbs were released for this a couple of months ago, revealing it will chronicle a "Temporal Apocalypse", and feature the crews under Jean-Luc Picard, Benjamin Sisko, Ezri Dax, and William Riker.

These are the lead commanders of the post-Nemesis novel continuity featuring the ongoing adventures of the USS Enterprise-E, USS Titan, USS Aventine, USS Robinson, and the rebuilt Deep Space 9. A continuity that alas is no longer compatible with the on-screen Trekverse established in Picard, due to numerous divergent elements, including most significantly the lack of a massive Borg invasion in the Destiny(ad) trilogy, the resurrection of Data in the Cold Equations(ad) trilogy, and a very different life of Captain Picard.

While not explicitly marketed as such, the Coda trilogy seems to be offering us one last chapter in this world of Trek, which will hopefully tie up a few dangling plots, let us enjoy one last adventure with many novel-only characters or versions-of-characters we know, and give us some sense of resolution to what for many has been the main reality of Star Trek for years. 

The authors of the trilogy, Dayton Ward, James Swallow, and David Mack have been talking about work on the trilogy on the TrekBBS message boards, and revealed some little titbits. Responding to a question about the involvement of DS9 in the series, Mack reassured it will be a major element:

Not just some role — a pivotal role. I'll tell you now we were not able to address all of the open story threads from that series, but we are doing some deep-cut callbacks and making sure the DS9 heroes are front-and-center for the climax of book three.

There's certainly no shortage of things to explore, on the new replacement Starfleet starbase commanded by Captain Ro Laren, or Benjamin Sisko's USS Robinson exploring the Gamma Quadrant, Ezri Dax's slipstream ship USS Aventine, what fate awaits the near-dead Doctor Bashir after defeating Section 31, or the future of the Cardassians, Bajorans, Dominion and others in this reality!

If you've not read all the preceding books, or even if you have but years ago, Dayton Ward offered reassurance that you'll be brought up to speed, not just in the body of the text, but with a handy primer at the start of each book:

There will be a 4-5 page section in Book 1 with relevant “high points” from across the different series to kick things off. Books 2 and 3 will add entries to their respective versions as appropriate. So, past events that don’t come into play until Book 2 are included, and so on.

And of course you can check out the Lit-verse Reading Order Flow Chart here on The Trek Collective, which charts then enormous continuity of novels released over the last couple of decades, that feeds into Coda - The creator Thrawn and I will be certain to update at the end of the year when we know exactly how Coda links in, but it should get you to where you need as it stands now.


Before all that, August will bring us the next Picard novel, John Jackson Miller's Rogue Elements(ad), which will be a swashbuckling adventure featuring Cristóbal Rios. 

There aren't many new details for this release, except for a new back cover image. Because this is a hardcover release, the blurb (which was released a while back, see previous report), will be on the inside flap, leaving the back for a short excerpt:

This year also sees some new authors joining the Star Trek novel world in adventures set within the time frame of some of the older TV series. That includes Cassandra Rose Clarke's TNG book Shadows Have Offended(ad), due in July. The cover featuring Worf and Romulan ships was revealed earlier in the year, and now the audiobook(ad) version has also been released, showing off an expanded version of the cover art, and crediting regular Star Trek audiobooks narrator Robert Petkoff:


The back cover for the print edition has also been released, which presents an alternate take of some of the details from the front cover, making this a more aesthetically pleasing back cover than we're used to for Star Trek books!



June will bring us Christopher L. Bennett's TOS movie-era book Living Memory(ad), the latest in the author's continuity of books set after The Motion Picture, which includes Ex Machina(ad), Forgotten History(ad), The Higher Frontier(ad), and part of the Mere Anarchy(ad) miniseries. The audiobook(ad) front cover, again crediting Robert Petkoff, and the paperback back cover, have been released for this book too. The audiobook edition also feature expanded artwork:


While the back cover is at least a little more interesting than some, featuring the blurb within what looks like a black hole:



Coming right up to date, this month has delivered the latest Discovery novel, and quite an exciting one: Wonderlands(ad)by Una McCormack, fills in Michael Burnham's first year in the 32nd century, which I understand also prominently features Cleveland "Book" Booker and Aditya Sahil. 

Given it's already out, the back cover for this one is of course available too (Featuring the Discovery element from the front cover), with a refresh of the blurb if you're not familiar:

They've released two audiobook excerpts, one of which is a video of narrator January LaVoy recording the book. Both reference Burnham's affinity for Alice in Wonderland:





Or if you prefer to read your excerpt, you can flick through the start of the book via the Kindle preview:



Finally, if you've read the book already, you might want to find your way to the Positively Treks podcast, where you can find their discussion with Una McCormack on the book - I've not listened myself yet as I've not read the book yet, but you can normally trust the Positively Treks guys to have a really good chat about the process and background of a book when they get an author on, so these episodes make for a great extra feature for the book!


Support The Trek Collective, via order links for mentioned books:
Coda, Book 1: Moments Asunder, by Dayton Ward.
Coda, Book 2: The Ashes of Tomorrow, by James Swallow.
Coda, Book 3: Oblivion's Gate, by David Mack.
Picard: Rogue Elements, by John Jackson Miller.
TNG: Shadows Have Offended, by Cassandra Rose Clarke.
Bookshop(ad), Amazon(ad)Book Depository(ad)
TOS: Living Memory, by Christopher L. Bennett.
Discovery: Wonderlands, by Una McCormack.

To keep track of all the latest releases, have a look back through my prose and/or books tags, or hit the books button on my 2021 schedule page. You can also find series reading lists and author bibliographies on my dedicated Star Trek lists site.




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