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Shore Leave Part III: Upcoming Books In 2003

By Jacqueline Bundy
Posted at July 23, 2003 - 12:38 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 2003's upcoming releases.

One of the panels at Shore Leave about Star Trek literature was devoted to the upcoming novels. Pocket Books editors John Ordover, Marco Palmieri and author/editor Keith R.A. DeCandido gave the gathered fans a quick overview of what is in store for the remainder of the 2003. We were also given a glimpse of some of the books already planned and scheduled for 2004, which will be featured in the next report.

After reminding those in attendance that many of the authors who write Star Trek novels also write original science fiction and fantasy, the panel took a moment to mention a few of those books. One of the titles mentioned, Imaginings, is a collection of long short fiction that will be in bookstores next month. Edited by Keith R.A. DeCandido, this volume contains contributions from such writers as Harry Turtledove, Craig Shaw Gardner, and Star Trek author Aaron Rosenberg.

Another title to be on the lookout for in September is The Last World War by Trek author Dayton Ward. A former marine himself, Mr. Ward has drawn on those experiences to write a unique science fiction tale of two warring alien species who attempt to use Earth as a battlefield in their own apocalyptic conflict. Tong Lashing, Peter David's third Sir Apropos fantasy novel, will be released in August. His sequel to Knight Life, One Knight Only, which is available now and has been garnering glowing reviews.

In addition to the Lost Era novels and Deep Space Nine relaunch titles (covered in previous articles) there is quite a bit planned for the remainder of 2003. The upcoming titles offer quite a bit of variety, something for every reading taste. Popular series are providing new offerings in an assortment of ways.

In the next two months, two new Stargazer novels will become available. Written by Michael Jan Friedman, the Star Trek: Stargazer novels are set on the vessel of that name and have introduced readers to the continuing adventures of the Stargazer's crew under the command of a very young and relatively inexperienced Jean-Luc Picard. In August the third Stargazer novel, appropriately entitled Three, will give readers a chance to get to know the characters of the twin sisters Gerda and Idun Asmund a bit better as well as allow the ship's tactical officer, Vigo, a chance to shine.

The fourth Stargazer novel, Oblivion, is due out in September. Oblivion will give readers a chance to 'relive' the adventure that began the long friendship between Jean-Luc Picard and Guinan. Guinan of course knows that they have meet before, but at this point in his life, this is Picard's first encounter with the mysterious El-Aurian.

October of this year could easily be called New Frontier month. Fans of this extremely popular novel series by Peter David have been waiting for further adventures for two years. The long wait is finally over and readers will be treated to not one, but three New Frontier offerings in October. Continuing the story begun in the last New Frontier paperback, Being Human, is Gods Above. You can also look for Stone and Anvil, a hardback novel that will tell the story of Captain Mackenzie Calhoun's time at Starfleet Academy. Fans have been clamoring for Peter David to tell this story for years and John Ordover commented that Stone and Anvil is "a very good portrayal of Calhoun as an adolescent".

For the first time ever an anthology of New Frontier short stories will also be available in October. Entitled No Limits and edited by Peter David, this collection will feature at least one story devoted to each of the regular New Frontier characters. In this collection, Peter himself will be telling the story of Calhoun and Shelby's honeymoon. Beyond that, New Frontier's main characters, Mackenzie Calhoun, Elizabeth Shelby, Burgoyne 172, Selar, Soleta, Mark McHenry, Robin Lefler, Zak Kebron and Si Cwan will be getting at least one spotlight story each.

The remaining stories will feature the secondary characters such as Morgan Primus, Arex, and Kat Mueller. The stories (aside from Peter's own story) will focus on the characters' lives before they joined the New Frontier cast. There are eighteen stories collected in this trade paperback as well as a timeline to the chronological events of the New Frontier novels.

The end of 2003 will see the publication of two highly anticipated novels featuring a crew that has proved so popular in previous novels that they will now have their own series of books. Keith R.A. DeCandido first introduced the I.K.S. Gorkon and its Klingon crew under the command of Captain Klag in 2001 in the novel Diplomatic Implausibility. The I.K.S. Gorkon series, written by DeCandido, will be launched this November with A Good Day to Die, followed in December by Honor Bound.

Mr. DeCandido told the audience that A Good Day to Die was a story of "first contact, Klingon style". He also assured readers that the novels would pick up on some of the themes of the recent novels The Left Hand of Destiny, portraying the Klingons under Martok's leadership as beginning to return to more traditional Klingon values.

December also marks the arrival of a new hardcover, Captain's Blood, which is the second book in the latest trilogy by William Shatner (James T. Kirk) and Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens. The first book in this trilogy, Captain's Peril, did not debut to particularly good reviews but John Ordover told the audience that Captain's Blood will be more action-packed and "won't be a big conversation like the last one". He also added that Captain's Blood will pick up on some of the events of the last movie Star Trek: Nemesis.

On the Starfleet Corps of Engineers front, there are several new eBooks to look forward to. These monthly eBooks that tell the tale of the ongoing adventures of the Starfleet Corps of Engineers crew of the U.S.S. da Vinci continue to enjoy strong sales and every month gather an ever-growing and extremely loyal following.

The next release, due in August, is #30 Ishtar Rising, Book One by Andy Mangels and Michael A. Martin. #31 Ishtar Rising, Book Two will follow in September. The two-part story involves the Venus terraforming project and features Soloman's first encounter with a bonded Bynar pair since he chose to not re-bond after 111's death in The Belly of the Beast.

The October S.C.E. release will be Buying Time by Robert Greenberger. This is a story that will force four members of the da Vinci's crew to travel back in time to repair the damage done by a time-travelling Ferengi named Lant. The go back to Ferenginar fifteen years before the current post-Dominion War timeframe, before the reforms that allow women to wear clothing. As three of the four crewmembers, Gomez, Corsi and Abramowitz, are all female, this should prove to be a highly interesting and somewhat comical tale.

S.C.E. #33 and #34, November and December releases, respectively, are another two-part tale, Collective Hindsight by Aaron Rosenberg. Collective Hindsight is in part a flashback story that features the story of Commander Salek's last mission aboard the da Vinci during the Dominion War. That old mission comes back to haunt the da Vinci who must now deal with what Salek and Kieran Duffy did during that Dominion War mission.

Stay tuned for part four of the Shore Leave convention report, which takes a look at books scheduled for release in 2004.

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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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