The State of Star Trek Literature 2013

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Sxottlan, Apr 24, 2013.

  1. Sxottlan

    Sxottlan Commodore Commodore

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    Way overdue for the 2013 edition!

    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!
     
  2. DorkBoy [TM]

    DorkBoy [TM] Captain Captain

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    Overall I'm pretty happy.

    Here are some thoughts on each of the various series:

    TOS - In past years I've been one of the ones whining for more standalone TOS novels. Now we are getting plenty! :) Generally they've been pretty darn good. I am one happy TOS fan. If I had to make any wishes, it'd be for some TOS movie era stuff. That has always been my favorite Trek era. Back when I started reading Trek in the 80s, most of the novels were set during this period but now they're generally set during the 5YM (which is fine too).

    Typhon Pact / overall 24th century arc: I kind of like where they are going with this idea, mixing and matching the various series. I'm especially glad that DS9 is getting attention again, as it had become the most neglected series in recent years, since the relaunch fizzled. Looking forward to "The Fall" next year.

    I'm still hoping for the DS9 Ascendants' storyline to finally be told. DRG3 teased us a bit with his TOS novel, Allegiance in Exile. I still am holding out hope that someone will go back and fill in the storyline from the DS9 relaunch! :) I kind of miss the DS9R characters too, Vaughn, Shar, Prynn, etc.

    I enjoyed the David Mack TNG trilogy. Overall, however, I've felt like TNG in recent years has been struggling a bit. There has been lots of continuous turnover among the replacement crew, and the new characters just haven't been as memorable as the new characters in the DS9 relaunch or the new Voyager books. The Cold Equations books were very good, however, the best we've seen out of the TNG line since Destiny.

    I almost think I would enjoy reading a standalone novel or two set during the series, for TNG. Back when they had a complete cast of interesting characters. It was nice to have Data back for a while, and yes even Wesley, in Cold Equations, but they were only "guest stars."

    Titan has been struggling lately. I would like to see someone other than Martin write one: maybe Chris Bennett should have another turn. His earlier Titan novels were great.

    Voyager has been awesome, and this year's installment was no exception. (I wasn't a big fan of the TV series necessarily, but Kersten Beyer has made me into a believer.)

    The DTI novels were awesome. I wouldn't mind seeing another! I would totally buy it.

    I'd also like to see more of Captain Dax. She doesn't have her own series but she seems to pop up from time to time as part of the ongoing 24th century tapestry.

    Generally, the quality of the novel line has been consistently high over the past year. I can't really think of anything I would single out as my favorite, though.
     
  3. Relayer1

    Relayer1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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

    To my mind, Treklit over the last 12 months has been in truly great shape until very recently. I've been one of the ones whining for less TOS novels. Now we are getting so many it's ridiculous. I wouldn't mind if there was some sort of continuity in just some of the TOS novels like there was in Vanguard, but there isn't, they're all pretty pointless standalones.

    That doesn't stop some of them being good stories (but many aren't) but I'd like some movie era TOS too. Limiting standalone TOS to two or three a year would make me happy.

    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?

    I utterly loved the David Mack TNG trilogy and DRGIII's DS9 duology - all are amongst the top few percent of Treklit for 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?

    Back to the TOS standalones for this one. I'd not miss Titan either.

    Each Voyager novel gets progressively less impressive. It has now reached the point where The Eternal Tide was only 'damned good'. ;)

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

    Pass.

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

    The way that Indistinguishable From Magic got dumped from continuity - especially when it had already been referenced elsewhere. Shoddy editorial decision.

    Discovering that KRAD can't get a Trek contract thesedays.

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

    A) Bring back KRAD and McKintee.

    B) More DS9.

    C) A follow up to 'Articles of the Federation'.

    D) Less standalone TOS novels, making way for :

    E) A new interconnected TOS line picking up after Vanguard featuring some combination of the Vanguard survivors, the TOS crew and any earlier/later characters that could conceivably be alive in the 23rd Century.
     
  4. DorkBoy [TM]

    DorkBoy [TM] Captain Captain

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    Oh yeah! I almost forgot! I was going to mention the absence of KRAD as well. :(

    Is it that he can't get a contract or just that he's off writing other things? I just assumed he's been off doing other things and hasn't pitched any Trek lately.
     
  5. Thrawn

    Thrawn Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    He had a blog post recently about how he's come to the realization that the current regime is not interested in working with him. Everyone was upset about it in the comments, but he indicated he's got a lot of projects with other franchises in the pipeline, and that these things happen.
     
  6. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    ^ This is the part where I shamelessly mention that Keith and I both have new LEVERAGE novels out . . . . :)
     
  7. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    The only book from the last 12 months I've gotten is Plagues of Night and Raise the Dawn, and I'm not done with Plagues yet.
    So I'm going to just jump down to the last question about what I'd change.
    -I'd bring back KRAD and David McIntee
    -I'd also start up at least one or two more original series. Right now the only one we have on a regular basis is Titan, and I miss the time when we had almost as many original series as TV series. There is a chance DTI could be added to that category, but I don't really think of something as a regular series until we hit book 4.
     
  8. DorkBoy [TM]

    DorkBoy [TM] Captain Captain

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    That sucks. :( Always liked his work.

    I just spent about 20 minutes poking around his blog but couldn't find it. Anybody got a link?
     
  9. Mage

    Mage Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2007
    1. How do you feel the Trek book line has done in the last 12-15 months?
    It's doing quite well I'd say, since we already know of new novels being commisioned for 2014, and that's a good sign.

    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 Trek novels in the last 12-15 months were DRGIII's duology, and Mack's ending for Vanguard. I did really enjoy Mack's TNG trilogy aswell, but some things in the last book just didn't do it for me though.

    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?
    What really didn't do it for me, has to be the return of Janeway. When someone dies, they die. And the idea of bringing someone back from the dead just doesn't do it for me. I partially feel the same when it comes to Data, but for Data atleast some signs were given in Nemesis that parts him remained. Also, the return of Data was executed better then Janeway's return, in my humble opinion that is.
    The worst novel by far, was Martin's Titan novel, Fallen Gods. The man should never write Trek again, his understanding of established characters in horrible, his original characters are completey one dimensional, and his plots just take forever to get somewhere, and then in the last quarter of the novel the pace picks up so fast, you hardly get what's going on.

    4. What new recurring trends or themes in the last 12-15 months have you picked up on?
    No real comments.

    5. What editorial decisions from the last 12-15 months have you like? Disliked?
    I agree that dropping IFM was a bad idea. Although the novel had some flaws, it did some great things for Geordi as a character, and really moved him along. Although I still really like his character as he is now, and Mack wrote him perfectly, it would have been very nice to see Geordi strike out on his own.

    6. What would you change in the Trek book line? Everything? Nothing? Be it production choices (artwork, type of book) or story editorial decisions?
    BETTER COVERS!!!!!! LESS TOS!!!!! Give us the damned Ascendents storyline already. Bring back KRAD. And even though the last few NF novels didn't do it for me personally, the fans deserve a better send off.
     
  10. flandry84

    flandry84 Captain Captain

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    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.
     
  11. Relayer1

    Relayer1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I don't think collections of e-books are impossible (they're useful to plug gaps in the publishing schedule), but with so few coming out you run the risk of them being thematically incompatible. A Vanguard postscript, a Typhon Pact novella and a TNG standalone for instance, based on recent releases. I would think that it would help if you could gather them together as TOS, TNG, DS9 etc...
     
  12. Reanok

    Reanok Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'm happy to have more Tos standalone type novels coming out. It's nice to have other Startrek Tos books to come out than just TNG Typhon pact novels the last few years It's nice to see some variety in the different types of books for a change of pace having the stories wrapped in one book . .I've liked the variety of the Tos novels and it's a nice change. The Typhon pact books are okay but I liked about Plagues night and raise the dawn because we finally had DRG to resolve unfinished ds9 storylines wrapped up at long last.I was happy with how Sisko's storyline with Kassidy yates and being in Starfleet.that was handled. I want to know what happens to Odo in future ds9 books. I liked Una's Typhon pact novel I read recently. I look forward to seeing the new Enterprise series of books By Christopher Benett coming out this year and next year. I'm really excited about the Enterprise books being a continuing series about the federation! I think it's too bad that David McIntee and Krad won't be doing anymore Strtrek books right now..The David Mack Cold Equation novels with Data's return are some of the best TNG books I've read in years. Greg Cox's novel Weight of world's and Devil's Bargain were well written fast paced Tos stories I couldn't put down.
     
  13. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    It would be nice to see a TNG or DS9 book that was a stand-alone story that did not rely on the Tyhpon Pact in the 2380-time frame. That's why I like the newer Voyager stories: the Typhn Pact is still affecting things back at command, and some of their decisions might be questionable, but with Voyager they are on their own mission and you as the reader are able to get away from the Typhon Pact. But with TNG & DS9 th pact is always there, and they can't seem to get away from it for even one mission. And I'm finding that I'm starting to get tired of reading just about the Pact.
     
  14. Mysterion

    Mysterion Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    This. Especially for stories that are integral to the continuity of other stories that HAVE been published on paper first.
     
  15. Thrawn

    Thrawn Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I don't think any of the books so far have been integral to continuity. Just in it. I think if you skipped Christopher's Typhon Pact ebook and Swallow's recent TNG one, you still wouldn't have any problems reading any of the novels.
     
  16. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    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.

    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.

    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

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.
     
  17. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    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.
     
  18. JWolf

    JWolf Commodore Commodore

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    Wold these happen to be Leverage-R novels?
     
  19. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    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.
     
  20. JWolf

    JWolf Commodore Commodore

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    It would have been nice to see what's up with the gang after the TV show ended.