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Old March 25 2014, 08:19 PM   #1
Mark_Nguyen
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Kirk's Second Five Year Mission - Lack of Books about it?

I did a quick forum search and couldn't find anything conclusive about it.. But is there any known reason why the "gap" years between TMP and TWOK have so little written about them? Memory Beta lists only a handful of novels, and a few references. We generally accept that there is a second five-year mission in there, followed by everyone moving on and the Enterprise being switched over to training duty... But there doesn't seem to be much of that time covered, though arguably there should have been plenty of spacey adventurey stuff in there.

I'm guessing you can argue that if you added up all the time covered by a fraction of the existing TOS novels, you'd far exceed the five years of Kirk's original mission aboard the Enterprise... So is there a reason why there aren't more stories of the second? Was it because no one wanted to have adventures of the gang in grey space pajamas? Or is it something more mundane, like Pocket Books et. al. wanting to stick to an era that is much more well known to the average reader and more easily visualized to the consumer?

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Old March 25 2014, 08:33 PM   #2
Thrawn
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Re: Kirk's Second Five Year Mission - Lack of Books about it?

Well, Christopher wrote a great one - Ex Machina - and would've loved to make it a series, but sales did not so justify. So: it's not really Pocket, it's more the readers.
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Old March 25 2014, 08:37 PM   #3
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Re: Kirk's Second Five Year Mission - Lack of Books about it?

Mark_Nguyen wrote: View Post
So is there a reason why there aren't more stories of the second? Was it because no one wanted to have adventures of the gang in grey space pajamas? Or is it something more mundane, like Pocket Books et. al. wanting to stick to an era that is much more well known to the average reader and more easily visualized to the consumer?
Both, apparently.There's just not as much audience interest in the post-TMP timeframe, and the sales people don't consider it as marketable as the TV era or the later movie era. And it seems that many novelists would also rather stick with the familiar, popular TOS era.

Many of the early Pocket novels were set post-TMP, but few of them really took advantage of the setting. Pretty much all of Howard Weinstein's and L.A. Graf's TOS novels were post-TMP (except Graf's Traitor Winds, which was between TOS & TMP), as are the solo novels by members of L.A. Graf (a group pseudonym) such as Julia Ecklar and Melissa Crandall. Both of Sondra Marshak & Myrna Culbreath's Pocket novels were post-TMP, and actually tried to make use of the setting and concepts from TMP, although with questionable results.

Of course, it's never been canonically established that there was a second five-year mission after TMP. It's a widely held fan assumption and some novels have referenced it directly (notably The Captain's Daughter by Peter David, and my own post-TMP novels which reference it), but there have been alternatives suggested. Some novels seem to assume that Kirk went back to the admiralty shortly after TMP; the New Earth books seem to have been written with that assumption in mind, though the Pocket Chronology has reinterpreted them as taking place after the second 5YM because elements of them make more sense there. And the Crucible trilogy, which is deliberately out of continuity with other novels, posits a 7-year deep-space survey mission following TMP.
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Old March 25 2014, 09:07 PM   #4
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Re: Kirk's Second Five Year Mission - Lack of Books about it?

I recall the novels coming out in the 80s, the Pocket books from that post-TMP time.

As I read them at the time, I would often question the time period. Were these new novels set contemporary to the motion picture era of the time, or set back during the five-year mission?

A few novels had a frontpiece indicating specifically that the story was set during the original mission or post-TMP or whenever.

Most times, the novels were not clear and seemed to me the stories could have taken place in either time, original mission or second mission.
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Old March 26 2014, 02:57 AM   #5
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Re: Kirk's Second Five Year Mission - Lack of Books about it?

For a while there was assumed to be a second five year mission pre-TMP.
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Old March 26 2014, 03:39 AM   #6
Clark Terrell
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Re: Kirk's Second Five Year Mission - Lack of Books about it?

Christopher wrote: View Post
There's just not as much audience interest in the post-TMP timeframe, and the sales people don't consider it as marketable as the TV era or the later movie era. And it seems that many novelists would also rather stick with the familiar, popular TOS era.
Which is something I don't understand. With so much of the era unexplored (pardon the pun), there's plenty of room for authors to write stand-alone novels (or even short miniseries) about events between the two movies. I'm hoping Seekers lasts long enough to make a dent in the era, and that it paves the way for other novels: I'd be glad to see something about the Reliant or even the Grissom (though I could do without Esteban contacting Starfleet every three pages).
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Old March 26 2014, 04:14 AM   #7
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Re: Kirk's Second Five Year Mission - Lack of Books about it?

ryan123450 wrote: View Post
For a while there was assumed to be a second five year mission pre-TMP.
Rather, that was assumed by some, but it was never a universal opinion. Before TNG came along and started adding more data points, Trek chronology was a much vaguer thing and there were various conflicting hypotheses in fandom and the literature. TMP itself had Kirk explicitly reference "my five years out there," not "my ten years." But some people overlooked that and assumed the in-story interval was closer to the real-world interval between TOS and TMP, allowing room for a second 5-year mission. And a few books implicitly make that assumption, having characters reference events from TOS as taking place several years earlier despite still being in a pre-TMP timeframe.


Clark Terrell wrote: View Post
Which is something I don't understand. With so much of the era unexplored (pardon the pun), there's plenty of room for authors to write stand-alone novels (or even short miniseries) about events between the two movies.
That's how I've always felt, but apparently audiences tend to prefer something closer to the feel of TOS. Maybe if TMP had been more popular with fans, that era would be more eagerly explored. It was more actively explored in the first few years after TMP came out, when the movie era was new and fresh and felt current; but its popularity didn't hold up as time went on.
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Old March 26 2014, 04:15 AM   #8
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Re: Kirk's Second Five Year Mission - Lack of Books about it?

Thrawn and Christopher L. Bennett pretty much sum it up about the market. A few other things I would like to note:

Pocket Books decreed that The Motion Picture took place in 2273. Christopher L. Bennett's novels Ex Machina and Forgotten History follow that, taking place in late 2273 for the former and mainly June 2274 and March 2275 for the latter. Plus, the timeline in Voyages of Imagination places the Rihannsu miniseries in 2275 and 2276 although those novels somewhat are incompatible with Vulcan's Soul. Then the main story of The Pandora Principle is set in 2281 by the Pocket timeline, and despite minor inconsistencies with more recent novels, The Pandora Principle is considered part of the modern continuity. I don't believe any of these novels mention a second 5 year mission although I forget when the timeline places New Earth and if New Earth mentions a 5 year mission. That's still a pretty tight space though.
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Old March 26 2014, 04:27 AM   #9
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Re: Kirk's Second Five Year Mission - Lack of Books about it?

Enterprise1701 wrote: View Post
Pocket Books decreed that The Motion Picture took place in 2273. Christopher L. Bennett's novels Ex Machina and Forgotten History follow that, taking place in late 2273 for the former and mainly June 2274 and March 2275 for the latter.
Actually Ex Machina came out before the latest version of the Pocket Timeline. (Not sure what the previous version said.) I didn't follow anything except the data points from canon: TMP said that at least two and a half years had passed since the end of the 5YM (2.8 years according to the novelization), and VGR: "Q2" said the 5YM ended in 2270. That meant TMP had to be either 2272 or '73, and I chose the latter year because I preferred to think the 5YM ended late in 2270 rather than early, so that there'd be more room for late-5YM adventures.


Plus, the timeline in Voyages of Imagination places the Rihannsu miniseries in 2275 and 2276 although those novels somewhat are incompatible with Vulcan's Soul.
The Timeline does not pretend that all of the books it lists are in continuity with one another, since very many of them are mutually contradictory. It's just placing each book at the most likely point in the chronology where it would fall if it did happen.
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Old March 26 2014, 04:32 AM   #10
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Re: Kirk's Second Five Year Mission - Lack of Books about it?

It's been a long time since I've read the "New Earth" books (like since they were published) but they were shortly after TMP, I believe.
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Old March 26 2014, 04:42 AM   #11
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Re: Kirk's Second Five Year Mission - Lack of Books about it?

Corran Horn wrote: View Post
It's been a long time since I've read the "New Earth" books (like since they were published) but they were shortly after TMP, I believe.
Yeah, that's what the historian's notes said, but for some reason almost every historian's note for a post-TMP novel puts it "shortly after" TMP. There are a number of things in those books that make more sense if they're significantly closer to TWOK, like Chekov leaving for Reliant. That's why the Pocket Timeline put them in 2279-80 instead.
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Old March 26 2014, 04:59 AM   #12
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Re: Kirk's Second Five Year Mission - Lack of Books about it?

Christopher wrote: View Post
There are a number of things in those books that make more sense if they're significantly closer to TWOK, like Chekov leaving for Reliant. That's why the Pocket Timeline put them in 2279-80 instead.
They also mention the red jacketed uniforms as a newly developed uniform that Kirk got special dispensation to use for the mission, I believe.
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Old March 26 2014, 05:03 AM   #13
Clark Terrell
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Re: Kirk's Second Five Year Mission - Lack of Books about it?

Corran Horn wrote: View Post
They also mention the red jacketed uniforms as a newly developed uniform that Kirk got special dispensation to use for the mission, I believe.
Interesting, as we know the jackets were in use by 2278 as seen in TNG's "Cause and Effect."
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Old March 26 2014, 05:16 AM   #14
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Re: Kirk's Second Five Year Mission - Lack of Books about it?

Is it because people have a bias against fat Kirk?
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Old March 26 2014, 02:36 PM   #15
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Re: Kirk's Second Five Year Mission - Lack of Books about it?

UUS Contrarian wrote: View Post
Is it because people have a bias against fat Kirk?
What? We're talking about the era between TMP and TWOK, not the era of the later movies, which I assume is what you're alluding to.
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