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

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Old March 10 2012, 11:40 AM   #1
Sxottlan
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The State of Star Trek Literature

Time for the 2012 annual edition. Fifth year! I figure by now many will have had a chance to read most of 2011's Trek books.

So let's see what we think:

1. How do you feel the Trek book line has done in the last 12-15 months?

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?

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?

4. What new recurring trends or themes in the last 12-15 months have you picked up on?

5. What editorial decisions from the last 12-15 months have you like? Disliked?

6. What would you change in the Trek book line? Everything? Nothing? Be it production choices (artwork, type of book) or story editorial decisions?

Have at it! Enjoy!
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Old March 11 2012, 08:37 PM   #2
captcalhoun
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Re: The State of Star Trek Literature

stop the shitty covers for New Frontier with landscapes and starfleet badges dropped on them. they did it again with BMB. that's 3 out of the last 4. or 4 out of 5 if you count Stone and Anvil's cover.
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Old March 12 2012, 01:45 AM   #3
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Re: The State of Star Trek Literature

Yeah, I've never really gotten the point of those covers. I really haven't read enough of this years books yet to post any answers to the questions.
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Old March 12 2012, 01:10 PM   #4
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Re: The State of Star Trek Literature

In the interest of full disclosure, I haven't read Cast No Shadow, A Choice of Catastrophes, Romulan War: To Brave the Storm or That Which Divides (yet).

1. I think the book line has done very well; I've been very entertained.

2. What I've liked is that the Trek line continues to explore the nooks and crannies of the Trek universe; showing us the Romulan War, giving the Mirror Universe closure, following up on Valeris, Sela, Rasmussen, and Dulmur & Lucsley, etc. I really love how the book line has become a place to shine a spotlight on various things introduced in the shows and expand on them in ways the shows never did.

My three favorite novels were Indistinguishable from Magic, DTI: Watching the Clock, and Rise Like Lions. They were all page-turners that I just didn't want to put down.

3. My three least favorite books... now that's tough. I guess *something's* got to be on the bottom of the list, but I'm hard-pressed to say what. I guess I'd have to say the Typhon Pact books, because things have just been going so badly for everyone. It makes for great drama and compelling reading, but I'm hoping the tide will start turning and things will start getting better for the Federation in general (and Sisko in particular) soon. So I guess that also covers what I've disliked about the line as well.

4. Can't say that I've noticed any trends or themes, beyond the obvious Typhon Pact storyline.

5. The editorial decisions I've really enjoyed about the last year's direction is that with the Typhon Pact novels, I feel like none of the shows got short-changed this year. It felt much more balanced than previous years.

What I've disliked is that TOS is the only line to get novels set during the TV series. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love the post-series novels for all the lines, but I'd like to see the occasional novel with the original character line-ups. The last four novels that did that were That Which Divides, The Rings of Time, A Choice of Catastrophes and Troublesome Minds, and they were all TOS.

6. What I would change: Not much. I'd still keep most of the books being about "The Further Adventures of..." with one "classic era" novel each year, I'd just rotate which series got to have that novel besides TOS. (2010's TOS line-up and Cast No Shadow are great examples of how you can still explore TOS and not have them be another 5YM story. Come to think of it, I'd love to see more TOS novels set during the movies, after TMP and after TFF.) I'd also like to go back to covers that show the characters in a situation that's in the story. I realize that might be tougher to do in this era of Photoshop art, but the cover to Paths of Disharmony would have been more enticing if it showed Worf & Jasminder fighting Andorian rebels, or something like that.

This was fun! Thanks!!
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Old March 12 2012, 05:57 PM   #5
captcalhoun
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Re: The State of Star Trek Literature

photoshop has become an excuse for lazy, crappy film posters and cover art and a lack of real artwork.

bring back people like Drew Struznan and Boris Velajo(sp) doing art for posters and covers.
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Old March 12 2012, 07:54 PM   #6
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Re: The State of Star Trek Literature

Not gonna do the question answering thing. Too lazy. *lol*

TOS as had a VERY good year, liking those books a lot. Typhon Pact fluctuated a LOT, very so/so series of books. Liked Indistinguishable From Magic too.

The covers have been pretty mixed, agreed.

Hoping to see more 'hopeful' books this year, with the Typhon Pact.
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Old March 13 2012, 10:18 AM   #7
Yevetha
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Re: The State of Star Trek Literature

DTI books are a great idea.
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Old March 13 2012, 11:26 AM   #8
C.E. Evans
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Re: The State of Star Trek Literature

Overall, I think the past year has been good for Star Trek lit. As always, it'll be interesting to see where it goes from here.

Of particular interest to me (or simple curiosity) is what will happen with DS9 and ENT. Personally, I'm inclined to think DS9 will live on with some of its characters in other books, but I'm not so sure about ENT's future unless there are new books set prior or during the timeframe of the TV series.
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Old March 13 2012, 05:25 PM   #9
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Re: The State of Star Trek Literature

I've been REALLY really unimpressed with Ent. At this point I'd suggest finishing Romulan War then give the novel series a Mercy KIll.
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Old March 13 2012, 05:46 PM   #10
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Re: The State of Star Trek Literature

1. How do you feel the Trek book line has done in the last 12-15 months?

I feel that the Trek line has done rather well in 2011, certainly regrouping after the absolutely abysmal year that was 2010. Obviously, not their fault due to the "postponement" of the nuTrek novels.

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?

There has been so much to like really. Despite a couple of shaky editions, I've liked the development of the Typhon Pact story arc and moving in new and interesting directions with that.

The wrapping up of the Enterprise relaunch was also a wise decision. Apart from The Good That Men Do, all the other novels have been a bit of a flop in my eyes and the sooner it finished the better. Hopefully, a new take can rise from the ashes in 2015 and while adhering to the previous relaunch, can better develop the inbetween adventures.

On a personal note, I'm really pleased to see the return of standalone TOS novels. Many fans hate them and, while I enjoy the interconnected 24th century and Vanguard novels as much as anyone, you can't beat a good old adventure with Kirk, Spock, McCoy and company. They've been rather good too.

Also, mucho praise for another installment of the continually excellent Voyager relaunch by Kirsten Beyer. More please.

Much kudos for the return of an ebook line in the form of The Struggle Within as well.

Top 3 novels from 2011:-
  1. Watching the Clock by Christopher L. Bennett (DTI)
  2. The Struggle Within by Christopher L. Bennett (TNG)
  3. Rise Like Lions by David Mack (MIR)
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?

Not much I have disliked in 2011 to be fair. The squashing up of the last two Romulan War books into a single volume made things worse and was a major disappointment.

Least favourite books:-
  1. Beneath the Raptor's Wing by Michael A. Martin (ENT)
  2. What Judgments Come by Dayton Ward (VGD)
  3. Cast No Shadow by James Swallow (TOS)
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Old March 13 2012, 05:57 PM   #11
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Re: The State of Star Trek Literature

shanejayell wrote: View Post
At this point I'd suggest finishing Romulan War...
They already did. The second volume which came out last year was the conclusion.
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Old March 13 2012, 07:40 PM   #12
Reanok
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Re: The State of Star Trek Literature

C.E. Evans wrote: View Post
Overall, I think the past year has been good for Star Trek lit. As always, it'll be interesting to see where it goes from here.

Of particular interest to me (or simple curiosity) is what will happen with DS9 and ENT. Personally, I'm inclined to think DS9 will live on with some of its characters in other books, but I'm not so sure about ENT's future unless there are new books set prior or during the timeframe of the TV series.
I definitely agree about being concerened baout the future of whats going to happen to the ds9 and Enterprise novel line I'd like to see them continue.I'm sorry the editors didn't let Micheal Martin publish his middle Romulan war novel In Shariels's jaws .I sure would've like to read this book.Things that were done right with the books I was pleased that were more TOS novels Cast No Shadow and A choice of Ctastrophies.Also the latest Myriad universe novel and David Mack's Mirror universe novel and David McIntee's TNG novel Indistinguishable maggic.Things in the last few years when comes to the book line.I think The TNG books took a wrong with the borg filled Dextiny series.I don't like Startrek characters being killed off and the books have been really depressing . I don't care for these depressing storielines in the Typhon pact books.I wish that would wrap up this book series ASAP.Have more standalone books from the different series please.I was very unhappy with the way Sisko's character was portrayed in Rough beasts of the empire.I hope with the upcoming Plaugue of Night and Raising his character will be written like we saw in the tvseries not like the last book.
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Old March 13 2012, 07:53 PM   #13
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Re: The State of Star Trek Literature

1. I have enjoyed the past 15 months of Trek books immensely.

2. I am enjoying the Typhon Pact series, as well as Vanguard, and the New Voyager books. My top three favorite books for the last few months are 1."Zero Sum Game"(Awesome book and my fav the past 15 months), 2.Voyager: Children of the Storm"(just great!), and 3.Vanguard: Declassified"(Top notch).

3. I was not to disappointed with any of the past 15 months books.

4. Not sure.

5. Not too thrilled with the Andorian situation Future novel should fix this(I hope).

6. In my opinion Trek lit is on the right track. It is entertaining and well written. I would like to see another seven book stand alone series like Vanguard. It is a great example of Trek lit done right. Knowing David Mack is working on another trilogy is great news also.
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Old March 14 2012, 12:30 AM   #14
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Re: The State of Star Trek Literature

Note: I've just answered based on the books published in 2011.

1. How do you feel the Trek book line has done in the last 12-15 months? A bit so-so. There have been a few highlights, but on the whole I've found my interest waning.

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?
  1. VGD: What Judgments Come
  2. Cast No Shadow
  3. DTI: Watching the Clock (by a considerable margin!)
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?
  1. Indistinguishable from Magic became the very first Trek novel I couldn't get myself to finish . (The narrative and way too much Small Universe Syndrome, even for me.)
  2. TP: Paths of Disharmony, while one of the better TP novels, I was disappointed with Shar's development.
  3. There's no nr 3, although I probably should mention that 2011 was the year I gave up on New Frontier and Enterprise, though that was due to the previous two installments for both.
4. What new recurring trends or themes in the last 12-15 months have you picked up on?
While I haven't mentioned it above, I do like what Kirsten Beyer's doing with Voyager. I also liked how we got a few "lighter" stories away from the Destiny/TP arc in 2011, like DTI. I think the TNG era could do with a few more positive developments to balance out the Destiny/TP events.

5. What editorial decisions from the last 12-15 months have you like? Disliked?
Dislikes: I never was interested in purely Mirror Universe or alternate reality works, so more of those stories will not appeal to me. I cannot say that I mind it too much, I kind of prefer to be able to skip a month here and there. I am a bit worried about where DS9 is going at the moment, with the cast scattered to the winds, but I'm reserving judgment on that until the next book. Likes: I adore Vanguard, but I'm also pleased that the series will end soon, while it's still strong. And while above I put Paths of Disharmony on the "less than hoped for" list, I do admire the bold move that was made with Andor. The exploration of moral issues like that is part of the core of Trek for me.

6. What would you change in the Trek book line? Everything? Nothing? Be it production choices (artwork, type of book) or story editorial decisions?
I think I've covered most of this above. One small point might be that I think it's about time we had Christine Vale on the cover of a Titan book.
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Old March 14 2012, 03:52 AM   #15
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Re: The State of Star Trek Literature

1. How do you feel the Trek book line has done in the last 12-15 months?

I've been generally pleased with the Trek book line in the past year. The variety and quality of Trek Lit being produced has been excellent for the most part.


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?

As I mentioned, the variety of stories being told is a huge plus. We've gotten stories from across the Trek universe, from stand-alone TOS adventures, to a continuation of the 24th century continuity through the Typhon Pact novels, an excellent Voyager relaunch novel, and even new entries for New Frontier and The Mirror Universe.

My three favorite novels from the past year:

1. Department of Temporal Investigations: Watching the Clock by Christopher L. Bennett. (Excellent concept for a novel series, and I loved the focus on the bureaucratic side of Federation affairs.)

2. Mirror Universe: Rise Like Lions by David Mack. (Terrific conclusion to the amazing Mirror Universe saga. I wish there was more!)

3. Voyager: Children of the Storm by Kirsten Beyer. (Very touching story that seems to get back to the "roots" of what Star Trek is all about, at least to me.)



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?

The editorial decisions regarding the Enterprise Romulan War novels were regrettable. I for one would have loved to read the entire trilogy as it was originally envisioned without the rushed conclusion of To Brave the Storm. That said, there was nothing too majorly wrong with the past year's offerings.

My three least-favorite novels from the past year:

1. Enterprise: The Romulan War: To Brave the Storm by Michael A. Martin. (A rushed conclusion to what started as a very compelling story that filled in a vital part of Star Trek history. A shame the story couldn't have been told the way it was meant to.)

2. New Frontier: Blind Man's Bluff by Peter David. (I loved the New Frontier series, but this latest entry seemed uninspired and a little lacking. Fan-wanky references and another uninspired and dull cover added to the feeling of dissatisfaction with this novel.)

3. The Next Generation: Indistinguishable From Magic by David A. McIntee. (Not a bad novel per se, but I had to have three in my list! This one lost a couple of points for being a little jumbled, as well as seeming to cram too many characters into one story. However, I did like the fact that it used some characters from canon we haven't heard from in some time, such as Rasmussen and Bok. I really look forward to more novels from McIntee, but this one fell just a tiny bit flat for me.)



4. What new recurring trends or themes in the last 12-15 months have you picked up on?

I like the return of the stand-alone TOS novels, but I still really enjoy the continuation of the TNG relaunch-era novels. I have noticed a stepping away from the "banner" series novels (such as The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine) in favour of a more unified approach, such as the Typhon Pact entries. I hope this strategy is working well for book sales, because I am for anything that ensures my monthly new Trek fix!



5. What editorial decisions from the last 12-15 months have you like? Disliked?

As mentioned, the decision regarding the Enterprise line was irksome. Beyond that, I am quite happy with the decisions made and the direction that Trek Lit seems to be taking.



6. What would you change in the Trek book line? Everything? Nothing? Be it production choices (artwork, type of book) or story editorial decisions?

I would like to see more ebook releases, as I am now part of that group. I haven't read many in the past, but I am starting to get into the whole ebook thing now. I am glad that Christopher Bennett's Typhon Pact: The Struggle Within seemed to do well last year, as there is now a new TOS ebook on the schedule for later this year.

All in all, a great year for Trek Lit, and I hope the line continues to see success in the rest of 2012 and beyond!
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