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Shore Leave Part IV: Upcoming Novels In 2004

By Jacqueline Bundy
Posted at July 24, 2003 - 9:12 AM GMT

Members of the Star Trek writing community descended on the Shore Leave science fiction convention in Baltimore, Maryland, last weekend to talk shop with the fans. Jacqueline Bundy attended this scribe's mecca to find out the latest information on Pocket Books' novel releases. She filed this report on 2004's offerings.

Members of the upcoming books panel at Shore Leave were able to tell the audience a bit about some of next year's Pocket Books schedule. The schedule is still being developed and the proposed release dates for 2004 titles are still tentative. More titles are still in the development stages and more information on those books should be available closer to the end of this year.

The books proposed for 2004 that seemed to generate the biggest 'buzz' were the A Time to... novels. Starting from February, 2004, the A Time to... novels will be released at the rate of one per month, twelve in total. Pocket Books executive editor John Ordover said these books will contain "an arc that explains what happened to put the crew where they are at the beginning of Nemesis".

The series endeavours to answer some of the questions raised in the film: Why did Riker and Deanna Troi decided to get married and leave the Enterprise-E for a posting on the USS Titan? Why did Dr. Beverly Crusher decided to return to Starfleet Medical? Why did Wesley return? And so forth.

The A Time to... titles are drawn from the Book of Ecclesiastes, Chapter 3, although my first thought was of the song "Turn, Turn, Turn" by the Byrds. While not ready to announce the entire line up of authors for these books Mr. Ordover was able to tell us about the first six. John Vornholt will write February's A Time to be Born and March's A Time to Die. Dayton Ward and Kevin Dilmore will write the April and May novels, A Time to Sow and A Time to Harvest. Robert Greenberger will write A Time to Love and A Time to Hate, the June and July titles. Each pair of novels can be read as standalone stories without needing to buy the other books.

In something of a departure for Pocket Books, January 2004 will see the release of a Star Trek mystery novel: The Case of the Colonist's Corpse: A Sam Cogley Mystery by Tony Isabella and Bob Ingersoll. Original series fans will remember Samuel T. Cogley as the lawyer who defended James Kirk in the episode "Court Martial". The prosecutor in the Kirk court martial was Lieutenant Areel Shaw. The two will face off each other again in The Case of the Colonist's Corpse when Samuel Cogley is called on to defend a Klingon, Commander Mak'tor, during a murder trial. John Ordover compared this unusual book to Perry Mason.

Other titles to look forward to in 2004 included the next Starfleet Corps of Engineers paperback collections. The fifth paperback compilation, Foundations, will collect all three of the books in the Foundations trilogy by Dayton Ward and Kevin Dilmore into one volume. The sixth S.C.E. compilation volume has not yet been given a title or definitive release date but will appear in 2004. It will collect the five tales that follow Foundations: Enigma Ship, both parts of War Stories, and both parts of the critically acclaimed story, Wildfire.

Additional titles for 2004 include the Tales of the Dominion War anthology, which consists of twelve stories. While we know a certain amount about the war from Deep Space Nine, there are still plenty of stories to be told. Fans were not given many opportunities to see onscreen what was happening elsewhere in the Federation during that time. In addition to giving us glimpses of such events as the fall of Betazed (mentioned in "In the Pale Moonlight") and the Breen attack on Earth (briefly seen in "The Changing Face of Evil"), Tales of the Dominion War will also look at what other characters in the Star Trek universe were doing during the war. The authors involved in this project will look at the war from the Klingon, Romulan and even the Jem'Hadar's point of view. Tales of the Dominion War is tentatively scheduled for next summer.

More Deep Space Nine relaunch titles are also planned for next year (story), as well as the first novel in the Vulcan's Soul trilogy, Exodus by Josepha Sherman and Susan Shwartz. Still unscheduled is the Khan Noonien Singh novel, To Reign in Hell, by Greg Cox. This will follow up on the bestselling Eugenics Wars novels by telling the story of Khan's time in exile on Ceti Alpha V. More New Frontier novels are planned, potentially a hardback for later in 2004, and new Enterprise novels as well.

Looking a bit farther ahead, John Ordover did say more post-finale Voyager novels are planned for sometime in 2005. He emphasised that the wait had nothing whatsoever to do with the author, Christie Golden. "We simply work so far ahead, and have so many series in process, that there weren't slots open in 2004 for Voyager relaunch books," he said. "But we will take advantage of the extra time to put extra punch in to the future post-finale novels."

In reply to questions about potential stories set post-Nemesis, Mr. Ordover did indicate that they were working on post-Nemesis TNG ideas for 2005. All three editors agreed that they needed to take developing any stories in that area slowly and carefully. "We have come to no conclusions whatsoever about who or what the new crew should consist of or what the adventures should consist of, and we're going to take our time," he said.

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Jacqueline Bundy reviews Star Trek books for the Trek Nation, writes monthly columns for the TrekWeb newsletter and the Star Trek Galactic News, and hosts the Yahoo Star Trek Books Group weekly chat.

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