^If DRG3 had a fraction of Kirsten Beyer's talent in writing that kind of personal story then maybe this would not be coming up so often and that continuation would have been clear.
Go back and read the comments made when RBoE first came out, and you'll see that to many readers, myself included, it was
clear at the time that the book represented the beginning of a new arc -- that it was parallelling "Emissary," starting a new character journey for Sisko by putting him in a dark place like where he'd been in the series pilot. I mean, this was the first DS9 novel set in the post-Destiny
era, so it was pretty clear to me that it was intended as the beginning of a new storyline. I've never understood the reactions of readers who assumed it was the end of Sisko's journey or something. Why would they bring DS9 back for only one book?
To answer your last question, with one word: Ascendents
I doubt any of us thought that DS9 was intentionally only being brought back for one book. But I think many of us were very conscious of the way storylines can and sometimes are just dropped in TrekLit, for real-world reasons. With the DS9 line, of course, the most frustrating example of this was the cessation following The Soul Key
, which has left us, to this day, without a firm resolution to the Ascendents storyline.
And it's not just The Soul Key
that's been left unresolved. Since then, we've seen Fallen Gods
go without a direct follow-up. Before that, the Rihannsu
books went a long
time without resolution, and my understanding is that it was for a long time not a sure thing that such a resolution would ever be published. So it was plausible that RBoE
would suffer a similar fate, particularly since DS9 has for a while now appeared to be the red-headed stepchild of the TrekLit line.
I think the reaction against Rough Beasts of Empire
was partly motivated by fear that we never would
get a follow-up, or that we would, but only after a very
long time, and that, potentially, the final word on Sisko would be very depressing indeed.
Now, don't get me wrong. I think the reaction was inappropriate in its extreme nature, and I think that DRGIII endured way
too much vitriol on this board for the book. But I also think it's worth understanding why we saw the reaction that we did.