Wednesday 13 October 2021

Star Trek Explorer fiction authors, story details, and features revealed, plus extra cover variant

The new Star Trek Explorer magazine is just a month away from launch, and Titan Publishing and the magazine's creators have revealed some new details of what to expect, including most tantalisingly some details of the four new short stories that the first issue will offer. Continue below for information on those and other features in the magazine, plus a new cover variant.

While the Star Trek Magazine of old has previously offered some Star Trek Online based fiction (an omnibus of which(ad) is coming soon), this will be the first time a broader fiction offering will be coming to the official Star Trek magazine. The new quarterly Star Trek Explorer will feature two new short stories each issue, alongside two more delivered as a digital supplement to subscribers.

Titan Publishing have announced the four writers for the first issue, and three of them appeared in a virtual panel at the New York Comic Con this past weekend, and gave a few more details. Notably this first batch of stories are all based around Q, but maybe not in the most expected settings. It's not clear which of these four are in the print magazine, and which are digital, but they are:

  • A TNG story by Lisa Klink.
    • Featuring Picard and the TNG crew on an alien planet where Q is worshipped as a god.
    • Klink should be know to Trek fans as the writer of numerous episodes of Voyager, and a DS9's Hippocratic Oath.
  • The Offer, an Enterprise story by James Swallow.
    • Featuring Enterprise's Jonathan Archer in a story set a few months before Broken Bow.
    • Swallow also has writing credits on Voyager, and many more for a diverse range of Star Trek novels and short stories to his name, including my favourite of his, Terok Nor: Day of the Vipers(ad), depicting the fall of Bajor to the Cardassians, and most recently the USS Titan set Picard novel The Dark Veil(ad).
  • A Night In (or A Knight Inn maybe??), by Una McCormack.
    • In an unknown setting, but the comic con panel seemed to hint it might feature McCormack's most beloved of characters, DS9's Garak (which would certainly be an interesting pairing with Q).
    • McCormack is also a prolific Star Trek novelist, perhaps best known for several books focused on Garak and the Cardassians, mostly set after the TV series, but also including the brilliant The Never-Ending Sacrifice(ad), showing many of the events of DS9 from the Cardassian point of view. More recent books include the first backstory building Picard novel The Last Best Hope(ad) (see my review), Michael Burnham's first year in the 32nd century in Discovery's Wonderlands(ad), and "autobiographies" of Captain Janeway(ad) and Spock(ad).
  • A TOS story Chris Cooper.
    • Featuring an encounter between Captain Kirk and Q.
    • I believe this is the first Star Trek fiction from Cooper, who is an extremely productive writing of Doctor Who tie-in fiction in various forms. He's certainly no stranger to Trek though, as the former editor of the Star Trek Magazine!

One other interesting note from James Swallow in the comic con panel was that has already pitched and been turned down for a Lower Decks tie-in story, which alas was deemed too soon - Bring them on publishers!! You can hear all of them, bar Cooper, chatting about their stories and more, by watching the panel in full.

Other features mentioned as coming include:
  • Inside Trek, a magazine within the magazine, which focuses on a particular subject, for the first issue, Captain Kirk.
  • Definitive Guide, which seems an obvious title, and will give a guide to the series Enterprise in issue #1.
  • Trek 101, an introduction to elements of Trek.
  • The Q Continuum, where Star Trek "great and good" are asked for their thoughts on "burning question of the day", which will be "Who belongs in the Star Trek hall of fame?" for this first issue.
And carried over from the old Star Trek Magazine will be:
  • A Fistful of Data, Larry Nemecek's long running column pondering reader's continuity conundrums.
  • Treknology, applying a real world science analysis of aspect of Star Trek.
  • Interviews with cast and crew, including in this issue a gaggle of Discovery people: Blu del Barrio, Ian Alexander, David Cronenberg, and Michelle Paradise.

This first issue will be offered in three different covers. In addition to the main cover above, there's a Previews exclusive cover available via comic book and collectables retailers, and a third "Final Order Cutoff" variant also available to order via specialist retailers (such as Forbidden Planet(ad)). Both feature TOS artwork:

We also have the expected release dates for the first five issues. Which are:

  • Issue 1: 
    • US/Canada: 2nd November 2021
    • UK: 2nd December 2021
  • Issue 2: 
    • US/Canada: 18th January 2022
    • UK: 17th February 2021
  • Issue 3: 
    • US/Canada: 5th April 2022
    • UK: 5th May 2021
  • Issue 4: 
    • US/Canada: 6th September  2022
    • UK: 6th October 2021
  • Issue 5: 
    • US/Canada: 15th November 2022
    • UK: 15th December 2021
You can pick up issues individually where magazines are sold, and of course to get that digital supplement with extra content such as the addition fiction, you'll need to subscribe. Note if you already subscribed to the old Star Trek Magazine your subscription will carry over into the Explorer.

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