Star Trek author Greg Cox is in the midst of writing a new original series novel, The Rings of Time, which will revisit the son of a familiar character from Tomorrow is Yesterday.
In Tomorrow is Yesterday, a human from the 1960s aboard the Enterprise after the destruction of his military aircraft needs to be returned to Earth in spite of his glimpse of the future, because his son Colonel Shaun Geoffrey Christopher, not yet born, will head the first Earth-Saturn Mission.
The Rings of Time is a “time-travel novel involving Colonel Shaun Geoffrey Christopher and Earth’s first manned mission to Saturn (as mentioned in the old TOS episode Tomorrow is Yesterday),” said Cox. “Shaun Christopher appears briefly in my Eugenics Wars books and I always meant to get back to him someday. It’s also very much a Kirk novel. Probably a good half of the book is told from his POV.”
The Rings of Time is set after the end of the original series’ five-year mission. Setting the story after those five years made it easier for Cox to avoid contradictions or conflicts with previous events. “It’s just easier that way,” said Cox. “You can refer to any previous TOS episodes without having to worry about ‘Wait! Has that happened yet? Is Kirk’s brother still alive or not? Does McCoy know about pon farr yet?’ And since NBC was ‘thoughtful’ enough to give us two unseen seasons of TOS, we might as well take advantage of that opening! I’ve occasionally set books during the movie era as well, but that’s trickier since they’re more serialized. In general, if I’m going to write ‘classic’ Trek, I’m going want to go back to that original five-year mission.”
Cox enjoys writing about historical characters and events drawn from the original series. “To be honest, I kind of stumbled into this niche accidentally, but I find that I like exploring History According to Star Trek,” he said. “If nothing else, it allows me to play with situations and settings that are different from the usual Starfleet milieu. The Khan books were basically international suspense thrillers, with a strong dose of sixties-era spy-fi like The Avengers or Our Man Flint, and much of this new book is set during a ‘realistic’ NASA space flight with no phasers, no transporters, and no artificial gravity!”
The Rings of Time will be released in January 2012.