Author John Jackson Miller‘s recent Trek novel Takedown centers on Captain Jean-Luc Picard and a seemingly renegade Admiral William T. Riker.
Miller, a life-long Trek fan, spoke about writing for the series that he watched as a child.
“The Next Generation was huge, as it gave me the chance to get into the series from the ground floor as a viewer,” said Miller. “All that time, I wrote my own comics and stories — a lot of science fiction. I got a journalism degree and a masters’ degree in Soviet Studies. My interest in international conflict was at least in part inspired by Trek’s allegorical stories.”
Like some other Trek authors, Miller tried his hand at Strange New Worlds. “My first licensed fiction attempt was for Trek’s Strange New Worlds,” he said, “didn’t make it in, but good experience.”
By 2013, the author had a novella (Star Trek: Titan – Absent Enemies) accepted and he was on his way. He explained the differences between Absent Enemies and his latest tale. “Absent Enemies I’d treated as more of a lighthearted TV episode,” he said. “Takedown had more the feel of a movie or a TV two-parter to me: a more ambitious story with a more serious feeling to it. The novel required more planning because I had multiple ships and crews.”
In Takedown, “Riker and Picard are dealing with a new dynamic now that Riker has been promoted to admiral,” said Miller. “They’ve been through hell together and back: and while they are set on opposite sides here, they’re constantly looking for ways to overcome the difference that’s arisen here. There are also significant themes of trust in the chain of command that come into play.”
Miller was pleased with his story, which came out last month, and the response to it. “I wanted to write a taut thriller, and it laced up nicely,” he said. “The response has been gratifying, and I appreciate that most readers are careful to preserve the secrets of the book. It’s a mystery novel, really; discovery’s half the joy.”
Star Trek: The Next Generation: Takedown is available at Amazon.