The Future of "Novel-Only" Lines

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by historypeats, May 14, 2020.

  1. historypeats

    historypeats Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2001
    Location:
    Pasadena
    The To Lose the Earth cover reveal got me thinking about the original Full Circle fleet, and how fascinating I'd found the concept of following a small group of ships on an open-ended expedition. I would love to read a series of novels that focused on that - Starfleet exploration, emphasizing science-based plots (even if the science is pretty imaginary) over war-based ones, etc. - and multiple ships means multiple crews, which could make for plenty of interesting character-based material too. But the series best equipped to do that - Christopher L. Bennett's early Federation novels, Beyer's Voyager relaunch - are wrapping up, and Titan never ended up doing much with the other Luna-class ships. It would seem like the perfect opportunity for a new novel-only line...and then I realized that Pocket/Gallery hasn't opened a new line of TrekLit in quite some time (and that's counting Seekers).

    Will we see the introduction of a new "novel-only" line, a la New Frontier, Titan, Vanguard, Stargazer, S.C.E., etc., within, say, the next few years? Are novel-only lines a thing of the past for Star Trek, even in the event that the publishing industry experiences a decent recovery in the near-term future?

    To those of you currently writing TrekLit: are any of you interested in spurring the creation of such lines, or do you tend to push those ideas towards your non-tie-in fiction?
     
  2. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    The thing is, there's a difference between tie-ins to an active series and tie-ins to a dormant or ended series. We saw this before with Trek novels in the mid-'80s vs. Trek novels in the '90s. We saw it with Babylon 5 novels or Buffy the Vampire Slayer comics during the series vs. after the series. When the series is underway, tie-ins follow its lead and color within the lines it lays down. It's different from when the show is over and there's a blank canvas the tie-ins can fill in however they want.

    On the other hand, book-exclusive series can be a good way to get around the limits on tie-ins to an ongoing series, because you can develop and change book-original characters in a way you can't do with the TV cast. That was the thinking behind the first book-original Trek series, New Frontier, and behind Marvel's Starfleet Academy and Early Voyages comics. It was probably also the thinking behind the various V tie-in novels that were almost all about book-original characters fighting the Visitor invasion in different cities, so as not to be restricted by the show's tight, rather serialized narrative.

    So I guess potentially there still could be book-original tie-ins, but they'd probably be along the lines of New Frontier or Corps of Engineers instead of a "relaunch"-style thing. However, we might not seem them for a while if they did happen. Given the current economy, and given that there are fewer books per year anyway, the preference would probably be to focus on the current shows and the perennial strong sellers TOS and TNG. That's pretty much been the strategy ever since the books returned from hiatus.
     
  3. DEWLine

    DEWLine Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2003
    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    And this just leaves me sad.

    It is what it has to be. I know this.
     
  4. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2008
    Location:
    King Daniel Beyond
    If not new series', perhaps the Strange New Worlds novels or whatever can introduce some original characters around our main cast, like Diane Duane's motley crew or the 80's DC comics crew and they can have the life-changing stuff happen to them.
     
  5. GaryH

    GaryH Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2015
    Honestly, to paraphrase a certain doctor, “they’re dead, Jim”
     
  6. Tim Thomason

    Tim Thomason Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    May 27, 2009
    Location:
    Daniels' Illinois
    It could just re-introduce all the Early Voyages cast.
     
    DEWLine likes this.
  7. thribs

    thribs Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2017
    I really hope they don’t reset them. The Picard timeline doesn’t really sound that exciting.
     
  8. indianatrekker26

    indianatrekker26 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2006
    It wouldnt surprise me at all if from now on, we just get books that tie into the latest tv shows. So basically TOS, Discovery, Picard and SNW tie-in fiction. The only reason we are getting this last VOY litverse book is, i believe due to it being contracted years ago. Its just Kirsten Beyer has been a little busy since then.
     
  9. Jinn

    Jinn Mistress of the Chaotic Energies Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2015
    Now I kinda want to see what Trek books do with all the new shows, after they all ended, and we're back in a Trek TV dark age.
     
    King Daniel Beyond likes this.
  10. David cgc

    David cgc Admiral Premium Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2002
    Location:
    California
    It is weirdly ironic that a renaissance in TV Trek is coinciding with (or possibly causing) a retraction of the multi-media footprint. All the wood seems to be going behind the CBSAA-subscriptions arrow.
     
    TheAlmanac likes this.
  11. JD

    JD Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2004
    Location:
    Arizona, USA
    I'm hoping now that the Kelvinverse is available for the book, that we could get Kelvin or Franklin series. Those seem perfect for an ongoing book series to me, they were important in the movies they were in so they're recognizable, but everything beyond the events of those movies is pretty much wide open.
     
    Markonian and historypeats like this.
  12. historypeats

    historypeats Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2001
    Location:
    Pasadena
    Franklin could be lots of fun, provided that you're able to avoid thinking about the Sword of Damocles hanging over everybody...
     
    Markonian likes this.
  13. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2001
    Honestly, while I could see a novel about the Kelvin, I'm not sure there's enough there for a series. As to the Franklin, that seems as likely as a Reliant or Grissom centred novel.
     
    Markonian likes this.
  14. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2011
    The Franklin already has a novel!

    https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/The_Haunted_Starship
     
    Therin of Andor likes this.
  15. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
  16. Dukhat

    Dukhat Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2007
    Location:
    Maryland, USA
    Not to mention that the Benjamin Franklin is a Daedalus class starship (although the cover art depicts a completely different design.)

    (Not to be confused with "Ghost Ship," an early TNG novel by Diane Carey, which depicts an upside-down Battlestar Galactica on the cover for some strange reason.)
     
  17. Starbreaker

    Starbreaker Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2001
    Location:
    Birmingham, AL
    I'm not sure that I would be interested in any novel only series at this point, and it's highly unlikely they would allow any right now anyway.
     
  18. JD

    JD Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2004
    Location:
    Arizona, USA
    Why not? They've become such a staple of the book line at this point, that I find it hard to believe they'll step away. Even if the current ones come to an end, then I would expect to see some spun-off from Picard and Discovery. The Fenris Rangers are already a pretty good candidate, since it has a canon connection with Seven's presence, and a basic premise already set up by the show.
     
    rfmcdpei likes this.
  19. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    That was during the hiatus years, when there was no new TV content to drive the tie-ins and they were free to rove. As I've said before, tie-ins to an ended or dormant series are one thing, tie-ins to a currently active series are another. Especially with so many different new shows coming out, and with fewer books per year than there used to be.
     
    Markonian, rfmcdpei and Allyn Gibson like this.
  20. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2001
    Thing is with Picard still being an active show, there's every possibility that Seven and the Fenris Rangers will be featured in season 2.
     
    rfmcdpei likes this.