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Trek Literature "...Good words. That's where ideas begin."

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Old April 28 2013, 07:22 PM   #16
Sci
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Re: The State of Star Trek Literature 2013

Mysterion wrote: View Post
flandry84 wrote: View Post
Although I own a Kindle(it's in a drawer somewhere)I dislike the idea of e-book only releases.
Okay if the stories are collected and released later in paper form but that doesn't appear to be the intention of Pocket.
This. Especially for stories that are integral to the continuity of other stories that HAVE been published on paper first.
I don't see why that should matter. With the possible exception of two-parters, it's not like you have to read every novel to understand what's going on in others; they're all designed to be readable by themselves.

Sxottlan wrote: View Post
1. How do you feel the Trek book line has done in the last 12-15 months?
Overall, the line seems quite healthy to me. There are some choices I didn't agree with, and some novels I'm not interested in, but I'm generally satisfied with the direction it's going in. And I'm glad they're still doing politically-oriented, post-series 24th century novels, even though those apparently don't see as well as TOS 5-Year Mission stories.

2. More specifically, what have you liked in regards to the entire Trek book line in that time? What were your three favorite Trek novels in that time and why?
My favorite novels published since January 2012, in no particular order, are:

Storming Heaven by David Mack
Plagues of Night by David R. George III
Raise the Dawn by David R. George III
Brinkmanship by Una McCormack
Silent Weapons by David Mack

3. Now, what did you disliked regarding to the Trek book line of the last year or so? What were your three least favorite or disappointing books and why?
I didn't agree with the decision to resurrect Janeway, or to create the Data 2.0 copy in Cold Equations. I haven't read The Eternal Tide, so I only know that I disagree with the idea in principle, and have no opinion on the quality of the idea's execution. I thought David Mack executed the idea of "resurrecting" Data brilliantly and that the trilogy was very well-written, though I still disagree with the resurrection in principle.

I did not enjoy Fallen Gods by Michael A. Martin, though I didn't think it was quite as awful as many did.

I did not read any other Trek novels that disappointed me. I have a good sense of what Trek novels I will probably enjoy or not enjoy, and I generally avoid the latter.

4. What new recurring trends or themes in the last 12-15 months have you picked up on?
There's certainly a stronger emphasis on standalone 5-Year Mission TOS novels, presumably because of TOS's broader market appeal. I have no problem with this, even though I'm rarely interested in such books, because A) this presumably helps support the entire Star Trek line, allowing for more niche taste books to be published, and B) it means I have more time to read non-Trek stuff and needn't develop as big of a Trek backlog.

5. What editorial decisions from the last 12-15 months have you like? Disliked?
See above re: resurrecting Data and Janeway.

I wish the current editors would start hiring Keith R.A. DeCandido again. In particular, I think his authorial voice is an excellent match to TNG.

It hasn't been published yet, but I'm glad to hear that the ENT line is being resurrected and that they're focusing on the early Federation era.

6. What would you change in the Trek book line? Everything? Nothing? Be it production choices (artwork, type of book) or story editorial decisions?
Some of the book covers haven't been great, but that's not why I read Treklit.

See above re: KRAD.

I'd love to see more stuff from Una McCormack -- and apparently, I'll be getting my wish with The Fall. (Incidentally, it was the combination of Una McCormack's praise and the release of the film Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy that got me into John le Carre recently, and I'm devouring his stuff. Thanks, Una!)

Always glad to see more stuff from David R. George III and Christopher L. Bennett.

My reaction to David Mack's novels: "MOAR!!1"

I'm always interested in Trek stories with a political bent (preferably a leftist one), and in particular those that focus on the Federation government and society. The Fall sounds like it will deal in part with some of that (Federation politics, anyway -- I doubt there will be much that's explicably leftist ).

One thing I've noticed: The regular staple of Trek authors these days is mostly white guys. Nothing against white guys (being one myself), but I do hope that Pocket makes an effort to create author diversity going forward.

And, of course, I wish Marco Palmieri were still editing the Trek line.
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Old April 28 2013, 07:27 PM   #17
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Re: The State of Star Trek Literature 2013

So far, none of the recent e-books have been "integral" or indispensable. The first few Typhon Pact books and The Struggle Within were all pretty much intended as self-contained, episodic adventures that simply happened to be about a common astropolitical thread -- kind of like, say, how "Journey's End," "The Maquis," "Pre-emptive Strike," "Tribunal," and "Caretaker" were connected by the DMZ/Maquis thread but could all stand on their own as separate installments of separate series. The Vanguard e-book is an epilogue set after all the print books, so you certainly don't need to read it to follow them. And The Stuff of Dreams is about as standalone as any 24th-century book gets these days, or so I gather (I haven't read it yet).

As I've said many times, continuity among Trek novels is a bonus added onto the stories, not a basic requirement for comprehending the stories. Each book (or duology or trilogy) is a complete work that can be understood in itself, and reading other books and seeing the continuity ties will just give you a little extra insight into the big picture.
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Old April 28 2013, 08:24 PM   #18
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Re: The State of Star Trek Literature 2013

Greg Cox wrote: View Post
^ This is the part where I shamelessly mention that Keith and I both have new LEVERAGE novels out . . . .
Wold these happen to be Leverage-R novels?
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Old April 28 2013, 08:38 PM   #19
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Re: The State of Star Trek Literature 2013

JWolf wrote: View Post
Wold these happen to be Leverage-R novels?
I'm guessing you mean "Relaunch," i.e. post-series continuation. My understanding is that they're set during the series, before the move to Portland in the final season.
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Old April 28 2013, 08:46 PM   #20
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Re: The State of Star Trek Literature 2013

Christopher wrote: View Post
JWolf wrote: View Post
Wold these happen to be Leverage-R novels?
I'm guessing you mean "Relaunch," i.e. post-series continuation. My understanding is that they're set during the series, before the move to Portland in the final season.
It would have been nice to see what's up with the gang after the TV show ended.
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Old April 28 2013, 09:16 PM   #21
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Re: The State of Star Trek Literature 2013

Yes, they're set during the series. I've only read the first two (since the third isn't out yet), but IIRC Greg has mentioned that his is set during the series as well.
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Old April 28 2013, 09:56 PM   #22
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Re: The State of Star Trek Literature 2013

Sxottlan wrote: View Post

1. How do you feel the Trek book line has done in the last 12-15 months?
Quite well. I think it's been a good balance of the different series.

Sxottlan wrote: View Post
2. More specifically, what have you liked in regards to the entire Trek book line in that time? What were your three favorite Trek novels in that time and why?
Moving the stories forward. What I most appreciate of the post-series stories is that characters are allowed to develop naturally.
My favorite during this time would be Plagues of Night, Raise the Dawn, and The Persistence of Memory

Sxottlan wrote: View Post
3. Now, what did you disliked regarding to the Trek book line of the last year or so? What were your three least favorite or disappointing books and why?
Despite what my favorites might indicated, the saturation of Typhon Pact and cold war storylines. I appreciate the new status quo of the Federation and think that the Typhon Pact is brilliant new story idea, but it should be pulled back some. So much war (whether hot or cold) and grimmness in the last couple of years really is getting tiresome. I'm okay with it in moderation, but sometimes it's shoe-horned in places where it doesn't make sense.
Case in point, Fallen Gods - a weak outing, but also hurt by the Andorian storyline being tacked on it. The Titan should be far away and be on it's own mission, it makes very little sense to be affected by this. (Same thing with the previous Gorn-centric Titan storyline).
Silent Weapons and The Body Electric and Brinksmanship were also weak for me. On their own, fine. Together with everything else, it's just too much politics, cold war plotting, and death.

Sxottlan wrote: View Post
5. What editorial decisions from the last 12-15 months have you like? Disliked?
The Resurrection of Janeway. I don't have anything against her as a character, but she was killed, and in her absence the series has flourished. Having Chakotay as Captain, and having Eden as the Fleet Commander was a breath of fresh air. Undoing that development, has for me made the Voyager series less appealing.
I've spoken elsewhere on my thoughts of the over-abundance of politics, war, and Typhon Pact storylines.

Sxottlan wrote: View Post
6. What would you change in the Trek book line? Everything? Nothing? Be it production choices (artwork, type of book) or story editorial decisions?
Cover Art needs to be improved. Stories are progressing, show that with characters. Having floating heads of the Captains over generic backgrounds isn't very interesting.
Each series needs to go back to having it's own voice. Titan really needs to go back to its core of exploration and multi-species integration. Voyager had a good thing going with a new commander, and having a fleet of support ships. Much of that seems to be undone, so far, maybe reinforcements could be brought in. DS9 needs to fill in the blanks, what happened during the Ascendants storyline? TNG can stick with the Typhon Pact and more political stories, it makes sense, though I think Geordi is in some desperate need of development.
And...more experimentation. Articles of the Federation and the DTI stories are some of the best stuff that has come out lately.


That being said. I'm HUGELY excited about the upcoming Choice of Futures.
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Old April 29 2013, 12:36 AM   #23
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Re: The State of Star Trek Literature 2013

FYI,some people collect the books for the sake of collecting them.
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Old April 29 2013, 03:19 AM   #24
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Re: The State of Star Trek Literature 2013

Defcon wrote: View Post
Yes, they're set during the series. I've only read the first two (since the third isn't out yet), but IIRC Greg has mentioned that his is set during the series as well.

This is true. The books are all set around the fourth season or so, when the crew is still in Boston--and presumably before the big season cliffhanger.

My book isn't officially out yet, but I believe it's starting to turn up already. I got my author copies weeks ago, and I'm already hearing from readers who seem to have gotten their hands on a copy.
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Old April 29 2013, 07:24 AM   #25
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Re: The State of Star Trek Literature 2013

I'd like tp point out that, for some of the writers on this forum who wrote the TOS novels this year, my comment is in no way a slight towards you. Your work itself is not the problem, and I know you are talented writers. But having the complete first half of 2013 devoted almost completely to TOS novels is just a bit to much for me personally. I would say the same if the complete first half of the year was TNG novels.
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Old April 29 2013, 10:28 AM   #26
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Re: The State of Star Trek Literature 2013

Glad to see some responses! I posted this while on vacation and then did not have a chance to check back. I have to get working on my entry.
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Old April 29 2013, 10:29 AM   #27
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Re: The State of Star Trek Literature 2013

Although I'm not quite so even-handed as Mage (Its not just that the TOS novels have all come at once, and I wouldn't object to less being published in favour of more 24th C. stuff), I do read them. I just finished Allegiance in Exile and Devils Bargain is going down nicely at the moment. Weight of Worlds by Greg someone or other is next.

Its just that TOS doesn't keep me gripped and reading like the other novels where I really want to know where whey are going. With TOS you already know - back in the box with little or no development. Its unavoidable and way less interesting...
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Old April 29 2013, 03:30 PM   #28
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Re: The State of Star Trek Literature 2013

I feel it's worth pointing out once more that it's been the standard pattern for several years now to split the publishing year into blocks of 23rd-century stuff and 24th-century stuff. In 2010, the first half of the year was heavy on TOS, the middle part was going to feature the Abramsverse novels until those were cancelled, and the last third was Typhon Pact. In 2011, the first half was all 24th-century and ENT, and the latter half was mostly TOS and Vanguard. And in 2012, the first third or so of the year continued to feature TOS/VAN, while the rest was 24th-century. In fact, there was a span of 9 months, from July 2011 to March 2012, without any 24th-century Prime-universe fiction at all -- followed in April '12 by DTI: Forgotten History, which was mostly 23rd-century, so it's more like 10 months.

So the pattern of alternating between big chunks of 23rd-century (and miscellaneous) books and big chunks of 24th-century books (usually organized under umbrella "event" titles) is well into its fourth year now. It's apparently just the way things are done these days.
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Old April 29 2013, 04:24 PM   #29
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Re: The State of Star Trek Literature 2013

That's fair comment. The release schedule just isn't done to my preferences and it shouldnt be. I realise that I'm not actually the centre of the universe ! There are obviously a lot of readers who have different tastes and they have should get their novels too.

The current setup is designed to maximise income and what sells fortunately supports publication of a variety of (probably slightly) less popular titles. These happen to include the ones I most like.

I'd still like more 24th C. stuff...

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Old April 29 2013, 04:29 PM   #30
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Re: The State of Star Trek Literature 2013

Well, sure, people are entitled to their preferences. It's just that I keep hearing people reacting to the 2012 schedule as though it's something new, or assuming that it was done as a tie-in to the upcoming movie, even though the pattern is in its fourth year. I'm just trying to make the facts clear.
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