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The Trek Nation - Pocket Books Preview: July to December 2006

Pocket Books Preview: July to December 2006

By Jacqueline Bundy
Posted at July 16, 2006 - 1:49 PM GMT

A large audience gathered at the recent Shore Leave 28 convention, held annually at the Hunt Valley Inn just outside of Baltimore, for the presentation by Pocket Books editors Marco Palmieri, Margaret Clark, Elisa J. Kassin, and freelance editor Keith R.A. DeCandido. Those in attendance were treated to a preview of the upcoming Star Trek titles from Pocket Books.

In addition to providing as much information as they could on the titles still to be released over the remainder of this year, members of the audience were the among the first to hear about some of what the folks at Pocket have planned for our reading enjoyment in 2007.

In this report I will attempt to summarize the remaining schedule for print releases for the second half of 2006. Separate reports on the eBook line and the current plans for 2007 will follow in the coming days and weeks.

Since this year is the 40th anniversary of Star Trek the upcoming release schedule reflects Pocket's desire to commemorate that milestone.

In stores now is the July paperback release Vanguard: Summon the Thunder by Dayton Ward and Kevin Dilmore which picks up where the first Vanguard novel, Harbinger by David Mack, left off.

Set during the early TOS era Ward and Dilmore have stated that, "We saw Summon the Thunder as an exciting opportunity to revisit the era of Captain Kirk and the original U.S.S. Enterprise through the fresh perspective of an all-new setting and cast of characters. This novel was our chance as longtime diehard fans of the original Star Trek series to add nuance and texture to events first chronicled in those original episodes. What's more, we put our minds to expanding our understanding of those events and better integrating their places within into the Star Trek universe -- all while furthering the characters and story of Star Trek Vanguard."

"Everything introduced (and hinted at) in David Mack's novel, Harbinger, gets ratcheted up to the next level in Summon the Thunder. Our characters continue to uncover keys to ancient mysteries locked away in the Taurus Reach. New players enter the game and lots of curious onlookers come calling, each with their own agendas. But uniting them all is a burning curiosity -- their need to know what Starfleet has discovered, how it will change their lives personally, and how it will shape the political and technological future of the Federation."

August will see the release of Captain's Glory, the concluding volume in the Totality trilogy featuring Captain's Kirk, Picard and Riker. Penned by William Shatner, with Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens, Captain's Glory will be a hardcover.

August's mass-market paperback title will really kick the anniversary celebration into high gear with Burning Dreams by Margaret Wander Bonnano. This highly anticipated story of Christopher Pike will span the character's life and for the first time provide fans with a glimpse of the man behind the legend.

"Christopher Pike, by the very paucity of information we have about him, invites our curiosity," says Bonnano. "Protagonist of a story deemed "too cerebral" by some long-forgotten studio heads, Pike haunts us down the generations, not only for the terrible thing that happens to him, but because Jeffrey Hunter, the actor who portrayed him, died tragically and too young. We would wish for a better outcome for them both, and so we extrapolate from the little we know about either man and try to imagine great things, outcomes that are better in our minds than in reality. In that way, we are not unlike Christopher Pike ourselves. Dreams are important."

Also coming in August is the 9th Volume of the short story anthology Strange New Worlds. This trade paperback anthology once again collects stories selected from among the thousands of entries Pocket receives for its annual Strange New Worlds Short Story Contest. This volume once again features stories that span the Star Trek universe, as told by R.S. Belcher, Emily P. Bloch, Allison Cain, Marc Carlson, Kenneth E. Carper, John Coffren, Steven Costa, Russ Crossley, David DeLee, Ben Guilfoy, Jeff D. Jacques, Gerri Leen, Jim Johnson, Kevin Lauderdale, A. Rhea King, Susan S. McCrackin, Mike McDevitt, Scott Pearson, Catherine E. Pike, Randy Tatano, Paul C. Tseng, Ryan M. Williams, and Jeremy Yoder.

Pocket also plans to reissue four classic TOS novels this fall, each with new cover art, for the special cover price of $4.99. The first two reissues will hit bookstores in August; 1987's Strangers from the Sky by Margaret Wander Bonnano, the first account of Vulcan/human first contact, and 1989's Vulcan's Glory the tale of Spock's first mission aboard Pike's Enterprise written by the legendary D.C. Fontana.

September will bring the trade paperback anthology Constellations, edited by Marco Palmieri. This collection of new stories about the original Star Trek not only aims to recapture the magic of the series but also to push beyond it. Contributors to Constellations include Christopher L. Bennett, Jeff Bond, Dave Galanter, Allyn Gibson, Robert Greenberger, Jeffrey Lang, Kevin Lauderdale, William Leisner, Stuart Moore, Jill Sherwin, Dayton Ward and Kevin Dilmore and Howard Weinstein.

Constellations also contains an introduction by author David Gerrold, writer of the classic episode "The Trouble with Tribbles", and a bonus story from TOKYOPOP's new Star Trek manga.

It wouldn't be an anniversary celebration without a paperback trilogy and September will also bring the first volume in the Crucible trilogy by best-selling author David R. George III, Provenance of Shadows.

About Crucible, editor Marco Palmieri offered, "The hard part about coming up with an idea for the 40th anniversary trilogy was what do you say about these characters that hasn't been said before in a million different ways. It's arguable that one of the defining moments for Kirk, Spock and McCoy was their shared experience in "The City on the Edge of Forever". So using those events as a starting point David has created a saga, I don't know how else to describe it, about how the characters lives unfolded following those events."

"It's interwoven with all the events you're familiar with from watching Star Trek on television and at the movies, and it shows that there were repurcussions that followed them throughout their lives. More than that I'm reluctant to say because I don't want to give too much away."

"This is looking at these characters and telling a Star Trek story in a way that's never been tried before. If you're familiar with David's writing then you know that no amount of summary or description really does it justice. You can look forward to a very intimate exploration of each of the big three in these books. "

Provenance of Shadows focuses on Leonard McCoy, while the second novel The Fire and the Rose will focus on Spock and the final title The Star to Every Wandering will focus on Kirk.

Originally planned to be released over three consecutive months, due to the length and complexity of the story The Fire and the Rose will be pushed back to December with The Star to Every Wandering following in January of 2007.

Commenting on the scheduling change Palmieri reassured fans that, "The good news is that David has made the books worth the additional wait and no other titles have been bumped as a result of the schedule change".

September will also bring the final two paperback reissues. 1995's Federation by Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens, the generational epic of Zephram Cochrane, the world in which he was born and his encounters with the crews of the starships Enterprise.

The Entropy Effect by Vonda McIntyre the first original Star Trek novel published by Pocket back in 1981 will be the last reissue.

As we approach the holidays there are two titles out in November that you'll not only want to have on your own wish list but will be ideal gifts for friends, Ships of the Line and Voyages of the Imagination.

The Ships of the Line hardcover is a dazzling book that will collect 87 previously published ship images from the calendars into a single volume. The images in this book, created by some of Star Trek's most talented effects artists, generated quite a buzz when editor Margaret Clark unveiled some of the stunning artwork at Shore Leave. No fan should be without this book for their collection.

Voyages of Imagination by Jeff Ayers also has a lot of folks excited, particularly fans of the fiction who have been clamoring for a book like this for years. Voyages of the Imagination is a comprehensive guide to 40 years of professionally published Star Trek fiction going back to the Bantam and Ballentine years, straight through Pocket's 25 years with the line.

In order to write Voyages of the Imagination, Jeff Ayers has reread every Star Trek novel ever published and interviewed a wide variety of the authors and editors who have been involved in creating the original fiction through the years in order to get the behind-the-scenes story of each novel's creation. Including in Voyages will be an updated timeline of the novels.

In December, 22 years after My Enemy, My Ally was published the long awaited culmination of Diane Duane's Rihannsu sage finally sees the light of day with The Empty Chair. Timed to coincide with the release of The Empty Chair is The Bloodwing Voyages, a trade paperback omnibus that will collect all the previous Rihannsu books (My Enemy, My Ally; The Romulan Way; Swordhunt; and Honor Blade) in one volume so if you haven't yet tried this classic novels it's the perfect opportunity to do so.

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Jacqueline Bundy reviews Star Trek books for the Trek Nation, writes monthly columns for the TrekWeb newsletter and the Star Trek Galactic News, and hosts the Yahoo Star Trek Books Group weekly chat.