After the success of last year’s Star Trek film, it was only natural that Pocket Books would add to their current roster of Trek fiction with novels based on the new alternate reality that had been created. They tapped David Mack, Alan Dean Foster, Greg Cox, and Christopher L. Bennett to write four new books that picked up where the movie left off, and they were scheduled for release starting in May of 2010.
Notice that I said they were scheduled. Mack recently announced on his blog that the books have been indefinitely postponed. Why? In the publisher’s own words:
“With last summer’s blockbuster Star Trek movie, J. J. Abrams created a new vibrant, layered version of the Star Trek universe. After careful consideration, we decided to hold off on telling new stories while J. J. and his team continue to develop his vision.”
Now, the authors in question were saddened by this, but respect the publisher’s decision. While I understand the publisher’s stance, I still find it to be a bit of a slap in the face.
These are some of my favorite modern science fiction authors, so it’s rather grating to see their hard work brushed aside so callously. Trek novels may be non-canon, but that doesn’t make them any less enjoyable. In fact, modern Trek fiction not only fleshes out characters, technology, and history, but it also helps fill in the gaps and rectify inconsistencies in the canon material that can’t (or won’t) otherwise be addressed. The latest Trek film had its share of problems, but I still loved it. It would’ve been great to see how these skilled authors worked within the brave new world that Abrams and crew have forged. New series and movies have never stopped the publishing schedule before, so why change things now, at the expense of the authors and their readers?
If that wasn’t bad enough, now we’ve got a gaping hole in the Trek publishing schedule. There’s other fiction set to be released later in the year, but that’s still a long time to wait to get our Trek fix.
There’s still a possibility that these books may see the light of day in the future, but I’m not holding my breath, to be honest. In the meantime, please support the four authors whose books were unceremoniously dumped! Their Trek works are fantastic, and well worth your hard-earned cash. Get your ass to the bookstore!