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The Trek Nation - Shore Leave Book Report, Part Two

Shore Leave Book Report, Part Two

By Jacqueline Bundy
Posted at July 26, 2004 - 9:23 PM GMT

At the recent Shore Leave convention, senior editor Marco Palmieri excited fans by announcing several new Pocket Books projects planned for 2005 and 2006. Palmieri also provided more information on previously announced projects for 2005. Within hours of the Pocket Books Preview at Shore Leave, Internet message boards (including the TrekBBS literature board) were buzzing with news of the upcoming projects, some of it accurate and much that was not. Let's sort the fact from the fiction.

January 2005 will see the release of a new novel by Greg Cox, To Reign in Hell: The Exile of Khan Noonien Singh. Many of you may remember Cox's The Eugenics Wars novels that so brilliantly told the story of Khan's rise to power and ultimate defeat in the late 20th century. To Reign in Hell is not a continuation of The Eugenics Wars but it will explore Khan's backstory even further by focusing on the years he spent on Ceti Alpha V.

Also due out the in January 2005 is a new TOS novel, Ex Machina by Christopher L. Bennett. Set after the events of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Ex Machina will explore the aftermath as it affects the characters, something that has never really been dealt with before. As Kirk, Spock and McCoy attempt to cope with the reverberations of the V'ger encounter a chapter from their mutual past is reopened when the former refugees of the Fabrini worldship Yonada, now settled on Daran IV, become divided along theological lines. Even as the echoes of the V'ger encounter still haunt them, the Enterprise officers must confront the consequences of the overthrow of the Oracle, the machine-god that controlled Yonada.

Worlds of Deep Space Nine continues with volume two in January and volume three in February of 2005. Volume two will focus on the Trill and Bajor, with the Trill story being written by Andy Mangels and Michael A. Martin and the Bajor story by J. Noah Kym. Volume three finishes up this portion of the post-finale story line by looking at the worlds of Ferenginar and at the Dominion. Keith R.A. DeCandido is writing the Ferenginar tale and David R. George III the Dominion story. When asked if there would be other post-finale Deep Space Nine titles, Palmieri answered affirmatively but was not yet ready to discuss what direction they would be taking the characters or storyline beyond Worlds of Deep Space Nine.

While no titles have been firmly scheduled beyond February at this point, some information was made available about other titles to look for in 2005. The final book in the latest William Shatner trilogy, Captain's Glory, will be out sometime next year, as will the second book in the Vulcan's Soul trilogy, Exiles by Josepha Sherman and Susan Shwartz.

The third book in the I.K.S. Gorkon series by DeCandido, Enemy Territory, will likely be out sometime in the spring of 2005 and like the first two will feature plenty of action, intrigue and, of course, Klingons. Captain Sulu and the crew of the Excelsior will return sometime in 2005 in the tentatively titled novel Star Trek: Excelsior: Forged in Fire by Mangels and Martin who so impressively brought that crew to life in Star Trek: The Lost Era: The Sundered. Plot details have not yet been released but it has been confirmed that some familiar faces will be showing up, specifically Kor, Koloth, Kang and Curzon Dax.

Mangels and Martin will be very busy for a while, as they will also have the honor of penning the first two novels in an all-new literary based series set aboard the U.S.S. Titan under the command of Captain William Riker. Other authors may be involved in the series as it develops over time. Book one, Star Trek: Titan: Taking Wing, should be released in 2005, with a second book likely following either later in 2005 or 2006.

Palmieri did reveal that the plot for Taking Wing would wrap up the Romulan threads from Star Trek: Nemesis. Additionally, DeCandido divulged that his novel A Time for War/A Time for Peace (October 2004) would set the scene for the Titan novels, so be sure to check that out for a sneak preview.

Also revealed at Shore Leave was that the Titan's starship class/designation would be revealed in the first book, and that a contest for fans to design what the exterior of the ship would look like will take place. Regarding the contest Palmieri has said, "No one should be too hasty trying to design the Titan just yet. The parameters will depend entirely on how the ship is described in the first novel. Plus, we haven't yet worked out all the details of exactly how the contest will be conducted, what formats are acceptable, who may participate, etc."

Palmieri has also said, "When Riker's ship is launched, the Dominion War has been over for four years, and Starfleet is at last ready to put this difficult period of its recent history behind it by returning in earnest to missions of peaceful exploration, diplomacy, and the expansion of knowledge. After the first novel about the ship going to Romulus, Titan will continue with character-driven stories emphasizing high adventure, personal drama, and scientific wonder."

While a separate report will focus on the Star Trek: Starfleet Corps of Engineers series, DeCandido who edits the monthly eBook installments did confirm that they would continue to release two paperback compilations per year. These include book seven, Breakdowns, which will collect #25-#28: Home Fires by Dayton Ward and Kevin Dilmore, Age of Unreason by Scott Ciencin, Balance of Nature by Heather Jarman and Breakdowns by DeCandido; and book eight, Aftermath, collecting #29-#32: Aftermath by Bennett, both parts of Ishtar Rising by Mangels and Martin and Buying Time by Robert Greenberger.

Hollow Men, a DS9 novel by Una McCormack, is also planned for 2005. Set during Deep Space Nine's sixth season immediately after the events of the episode "In the Pale Moonlight", Hollow Men will see Sisko return to Earth and struggle with his conscience, while Starfleet uses the events to set something darker in motion.

Another Deep Space Nine project that will be coming up is a four-book series tentatively titled Terok Nor. No authors have yet been announced for this project but it has been confirmed that the four novels will be set during the Cardassian occupation of Bajor.

Gene DeWeese returns to penning Star Trek with Engines of Destiny, a Scotty novel set in the 24th century. Engines of Destiny was first conceived in the early 1990's but never published. Look for it in 2005, most likely in the spring.

David Stern is working on a new Enterprise novel for next year. The as-yet-untitled story will focus on Hoshi Sato and the development of the Universal Translator.

You can look for a new short story anthology next summer, Tales from the Captain's Table, to be edited by DeCandido. Along the lines of the popular Captain's Table novels that were published in 1998 each of the captains featured will have to belly up to the bar and tell their story. To be included in the anthology: Jonathan Archer of Enterprise by Louisa Swann, Chakotay of the U.S.S. Voyager by Christie Golden, David Gold of the U.S.S. da Vinci by John J. Ordover, Kira Nerys of Deep Space 9 by Jarman, Klag, son of M'Raq, of the I.K.S. Gorkon by DeCandido, Jean-Luc Picard of the U.S.S. Stargazer by Michael Jan Friedman, William T. Riker of the U.S.S. Titan by Martin and Mangels, Elizabeth Shelby of the U.S.S. Trident by Peter David, and Demora Sulu of the U.S.S. Enterprise (NCC-1701-B), by George.

2005 is the 10th anniversary of Voyager's premiere so there are a couple of special projects planned. A trilogy with the working title String Theory that will be set between Voyager's fourth and fifth seasons will be released. Book one will be written by Jeffrey Lang, book two by newcomer Kirsten Beyer and book three by Jarman.

In addition to the trilogy there will also be a Voyager anthology in 2005. Among the contributors to this anthology will be Bennett, Ilsa J. Bick, Terri Osborne, Beyer, DeCandido and Jarman who will write the framing story. No editor has yet been announced for this anthology but the stories will be set during the series.

Look for the 40th anniversary of the original series to be celebrated as well. Among the plans for that anniversary in 2006 are a Christopher Pike novel by Margaret Wander Bonanno that will at last fill in the backstory of the former Enterprise captain. There will also be a trilogy by George that will weave a tale for the occasion as well as a short story anthology.

Other as-yet-unscheduled projects that could appear next year or in 2006 are very early in the development process and only the barest of information about them is currently available and this information is subject to change. Among those projects are two more Lost Era novels, one novel that will focus on Picard after his time on the U.S.S. Stargazer, and another that features Sisko and his experiences during the Tzenkethi war.

Other projects mentioned were two post-Nemesis Next Gen novels. One by Friedman is tentatively titled Sonnets; it will explore the relationship between Jean-Luc Picard and Beverly Crusher. Another as-yet-untitled novel by J.M. Dillard will introduce the new Enterprise-E command staff.

A new series that generated a lot of excited discussion will be called Vanguard. The series will utilize different authors but David Mack will write the first, as-yet-untitled novel. The books will run parallel to the original series and be set on a Starbase outside Federation territory that, according to Mack, "will oversee the exploration and colonization of that region of space."

Last but certainly not least, something fans that read the novels have been clamoring for is a guide to the novels, sort of a Star Trek fiction companion. The assignment of putting together such a monumental project has been given to Jeff Ayres and will be available in 2006.

The above is by no means everything that Pocket Books will be publishing over the next couple of years but it is a pretty good sampling. As stated before the publishing schedule is subject to change so keep checking back for updates and the latest news from the literary based Star Trek universe.

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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.