John OrdoverBy Amy Hightower
Posted at March 4, 2001 - 10:50 PM GMT
John Ordover, Star Trek editor of Pocket Books since 1992, is a man of many talents and, in addition to his role as editor, has a number of short stories and even a Star Trek episode ('Starship Down' in the 1995 DS9 season), co-written with David Mack. The two have continued their successful partnership to this date with the upcoming mini-comic series, 'Divided We Fall', not to mention an award winning website parodying teen abstinence public service announcements and sites.
So, with 2001 well underway, we approached John to see if he’d be willing to talk about his own projects and what’s coming up over at Pocket Books. He had a fair bit to say on both.
Q: I understand you've teamed up with David Mack on a new comic series - 'Divided We Fall', which is part of the DS9 Relaunch series and a TNG/DS9 crossover. What can we expect to see in the first comic? What about the rest of the series?
John Ordover: The first issue, due out May 9th, starts a four-issue storyline dealing with a conflict between joined and unjoined Trill. The joined Trill hold most of the important positions in Trill society - is this fair? Is it right? And can the combined forces of TNG and DS9 protect Trill from a deadly threat from within?
Q: Do you have any other personal projects coming up, such as more television or feature film scripts? Also, did anything ever happen with that 'Heartland' screenplay you put up for auction two years ago?
JO: Sadly, Heartland went nowhere, but let me direct your attention to the website www.technicalvirgin.com, set up by myself and David Mack. On March 10th we will launch a whole new look for the site, and premiere our second public service announcement parody. The site was picked by Maxim Online as one of the top five sites of the year 2000 - and we'll be even better in 2001.:)
Other than that, I just finished the ms. of a fantasy novel and have tossed it over to my agent. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. Oh, and I have a story in the anthology 'OCEANS OF MAGIC', out this month from DAW.
Q: Back to the DS9 relaunch - with time ticking away until the release of the first book, how do you think the series is panning out so far? Will it live up to fan expectations?
JO: Marco Palmieri is in charge of that - you'll have to ask him.:)
Q: The S.C.E. E-books were something of a risk at the time, as I understand it, but one that seems to have paid off. How do you feel about the success of the series?
JO: Well, so far, being an ebook bestseller is kind of like being the finest hockey player in Equador.:) It's such early days for ebooks that the formats, methods of sale, and logistics of delivery are still being worked out. By the time they are, though, there will be plenty of SCE books out there - we've gone monthly, releasing the last week of every month. In Feb and March, we're releasing 'Interphase Books I and II' by Dayton Ward and Kevin Dilmore, in April and May we're releasing 'Invincible Books I and II' by David Mack and Keith R.A. DeCandido, with more to follow.
Q: SCE #4: 'Interphase: Book One' by Dayton Ward and Kevin Dilmore has just been released - do you have any comments on it?
JO: The story focused on the Starfleet Corps of Engineer's attempt to rescue the U.S.S. Defiant - the one from TOS: The Tholian Web - from Interphase. In the process we learn how the Defiant got into Interphase in the first place, and the secret it has been protecting all this time.
Q: What will we be seeing from the series over coming months?
JO: Well, 'INVINCIBLE' is a solo story for Commander Sonya Gomez as she fights against a hostile enviroment to put up a badly-needed communications beacon. After that, we have an SCE/DS9 crossover in development.
Q: Are E-Books the way of the future? Will we be seeing more Star Trek novels being exclusively released in this format? What about previously published books being released as e-books?
JO: Most of our previously published books have been or are being released as ebooks even as we speak. For now, the SCE is our only original ebook-only line. I have no idea if ebooks are the wave of the future. I know that I would love to have in my hand a tricorder-like device that can, for a reasonable price, wirelessly receive any book ever printed, from anywhere in the world. Whether the evolutionary steps needed to get to that stage will work out is anyone's guess.
Q: Having said that, are there any plans for paperback versions of the e-books for poor people like me without credit cards?
JO: Well, you people should -get- credit cards, or at least a debit card.:) They're easy to get, even if you have to pre-deposit.
There are no immediate plans to release the SCE books in paperback.
Q: I wouldn't be able to let you get away without asking how you think Voyager should end, how you think it *will* end - and if we can expect a novelisation. So?
JO: I have no ideas on that. We plan to novelise the episode but there is some question about whether we will be able to get the script in time.
Q: How do you feel about Voyager ending? What do you think about the show, and do you watch any other science fiction shows?
JO: I watch Buffy and Angel, but that's pretty much it for SF and Fantasy right now. The other SF shows just don't pop my cork.
Q: Once the series *does* end, what direction do you see Voyager books heading? Will there be a change in the way they're handled, or has this even been discussed yet? Is there a possibility of something similar to the DS9 relaunch being released eventually?
JO: I would love to take the story of the Voyager crew into the future, but it all depends on how the show ends. If the entire crew is eaten by a space goat, there's not much I can do to move the series forward.:)
Q: Can you tell is if you have already had any discussions with Paramount about the next television series?
JO: We've chatted about it, but I have no idea what the content of the show is. When it debuts will depend on the writer's and actor's strikes that may or may not happen.
Q: Is there any chance of the 'Strange New Worlds' competition being opened up to those not in the Americas?
JO: I've had repeated talks with our UK division about them doing a UK/AUS/NZ version of SNW, and they keep saying they want to but haven't moved to make it happen. The varying laws in various countries make it impossible to run a truly world-wide contest.
Q: On a final note, can you tell us a bit about some of the other books we'll see released this year? Any particular high points?
JO: Sure. Right now, 'Genesis Wave II' is coming up, completing the mega-story John Vornholt started in Genesis Wave I. Then there is 'Section 31' and Marco's DS9 relaunch, which he's better qualified to talk about. After that, another high point is 'THE EUGENICS WARS: THE RISE AND FALL OF KHAN NOONIEN SINGH Volume One' by Greg Cox, which reconciles real history with Trek history, interfacing Khan and Gary Seven and delving into Khan's childhood and background. After that is the Gateways seven-book mega-crossover, carrying an Iconian based storyline through TOS, Challenger, TNG, DS9, VGR, NF, and combining them all into a huge wrap-up hardcover.
More information about 2001 titles can be found on the www.psiphi.org website. A big thanks go out to John for participating!
Amy Hightower is the Associate Editor of both the Trek Nation and SlipstreamWeb and an adminstrator of the Trek BBS. She claims to have a real life but this has yet to be proven.