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'String Theory' Authors Speak On 'Voyager' Novels

By Jacqueline Bundy
Posted at July 16, 2005 - 5:41 AM GMT

At the recent Shore Leave convention two of the authors involved in new Voyager trilogy String Theory, Kirsten Beyer and Jeffrey Lang, were joined by the projects editor, Marco Palmieri on a panel to discuss those novels. Heather Jarman, due to writing commitments, was unable to attend.

Star Trek: Voyager String Theory Book One, Cohesion by Jeffrey Lang has just been released and is now in stores. Book two, Fusion by Kirsten Beyer will be out in November of this year. The third novel, Evolution by Heather Jarman will be released next March.

Kirsten Beyer is making her debut as a professional author with the publication of Fusion. She will also have a story in the upcoming Voyager short story anthology Distant Shores which will also be out in November.

Unlike the Voyager novels that have come out over the past couple of years, String Theory is not set after the end of the show. String Theory takes place firmly between the end of season four and the beginning of season five. There are three months of unchronicled screen time between the final episode of season four, "Hope and Fear" and the first episode of season five, "Night".

"String Theory starts on one level as a very odd discovery and a planetary adventure and then each book escalates and ramps up the intrigue, excitement and the wonder," Palmieri told the fans gathered to hear more about this new fiction project. "It's scary and it's bad."

Lang said that one of the things that made Cohesion so much fun for him to write was that String Theory provided the authors involved with a chance to exploit some of the missed opportunities that the television series didn't address. "We wanted to go as big as we possibly could with the story," Lang commented.

This trilogy features the return of the Nacene, the Caretaker race that was seen in Voyager's pilot episode "Caretaker" and who was also used in the second season episode "Cold Fire". Both of those episodes raised a lot of questions that never got answered. Primarily, who were the Nacene?

"It was a tremendous amount of fun to imagine who they must have been and where they came from and to fit all of that into what little we knew and then expand upon it," Beyer said.

Beyer went on to explain that "In book two we'll get the introduction of the Nacene, we'll identify them as our issue, the reason why all the stuff that happens in Jeff's book is happening and by the time you move on to Heather's book it's a much more in-depth analysis of who they really were and what they're up to and why it's a bad thing for the crew and the part of space they are exploring at the moment."

String Theory also looks back into Voyagers past and uses a lot of that material in addition to foreshadowing some of the stuff that happens from season five on.

Marco Palmieri said that he feels that the story told in String Theory allowed the authors, who are all big fans of that series, "To explore the Voyager crew in a lot of ways that provide fresh, new insights into their characters." He also assured readers that there would be a couple of really neat surprises in the final book.

You can view the cover art for String Theory and learn even more about the trilogy by visiting Simon and Schuster.

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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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