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This morning, readers of USA Today‘s “Book Buzz” section were treated to the first public reveal of the covers for the first two novels of Star Trek: Seekers, an all-new original literary series by myself and the writing team of Dayton Ward and Kevin Dilmore.

seekers1 seekers2_cropped

The angle of the story is that it marks a first for Star Trek, in that the series was inspired by the digital illustrations of artist Rob Caswell, who had envisioned in his DeviantArt gallery an alternate reality in which Gene Roddenberry produced a 1970s-era sequel to the original Star Trek called The Seekers.

seekers_5_by_arcass-d4qs35pJust as episodes of the original Star Trek had been novelized by James Blish, Caswell imagined that the adventures of The Seekers would be novelized in the same style — and he crafted six brilliant, retro-style covers for these books that never were, and made them look like well-loved (and stained and stamped) library editions.

In March of 2012, just after the final novel of the Star Trek Vanguard series had been released, I was talking with Dayton about what we wanted to work on next. We were interested in developing another series on which we could alternate writing duties, as we had done with Vanguard, but we weren’t sure what form that series might take.

seekers_2_by_arcass-d4poik3Then I showed him Rob’s work on DeviantArt. Rob had used the original Archer-class starship design by our Vanguard illustrator Masao Okazaki as an element in his faux Seekers covers, and he had styled the covers with the 1970s-era typography and design that had been used on the classic Star Trek novelizations that Dayton and I both had devoured as young Star Trek fans in the ’70s.

When we saw Rob’s cover illustrations, Dayton and I agreed we wanted our new series to be exactly what we saw there: an homage to classic Star Trek, right down to the retro look and feel of the art and the type on the covers. We also knew that we wanted to call it Star Trek: Seekers — and that we wanted to bring Rob aboard as our creative partner on the new series, since it had been his imaginative leap that had brought the vision into focus for us.

One of the best moments of my career as a Star Trek writer was the afternoon when I got to be the one to call Rob and tell him that his work had inspired us to make his imaginary series a reality in prose — and that we wanted him to join our team and work on it with us.

Now, thanks to the support and hard work of a great many people at Simon & Schuster and CBS Television Entertainment — including editors Margaret Clark and Edward Schlesinger, publicist Juliana Horbachevsky, and licensing executive extraordinaire John Van Citters — that dream is about to come to fruition.

Star Trek: Seekers, Book 1: Second Nature, by David Mack, will be released July 22, 2014. Star Trek: Seekers, Book 2: Point of Divergence, by Dayton Ward & Kevin Dilmore, will be released August 26, 2014. Pre-order both books from your favorite retail sites, or directly from simonandschuster.com.

 

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Over the last two days, I have received two letters from my publisher (via my agents) informing me that two of my backlist Star Trek titles are scheduled to be remaindered. Although they will not technically go out of print (thanks to eBooks and the overpriced Limbo that is print-on-demand), they are about to become much more difficult to acquire in mass-market paperback format.

warpathThe earlier of the two titles scheduled for the pulp machine is my 2007 Deep Space Nine novel Warpath. This book helped set the stage for some of my subsequent work in the Mirror Universe setting, and it was a story I wrote during a tumultuous time in my life. Although this novel is steeped in serialized continuity (and therefore not a good jumping-on point for new readers), there is still much in it of which I’m proud.

riselikelionsThe second tome slated for a one-way trip to Pulptown is my tale of the Mirror Universe revolution, Rise Like Lions. This is the novel that earned the UnrealitySF “Best Story of the Year” award in 2011 and spent two months on the Locus Bestsellers list in early 2012. It represents the culmination of multiple story arcs I had set into motion in the Mirror Universe, and it will serve as the setup for my upcoming Section 31 novel, Disavowed, coming in November 2014.

One of the perks of being an author is that when one’s books are scheduled to be remaindered, one is often given the opportunity to purchase the remaining copies of the work at a significant discount. And in this case I am sorely tempted.

The catch is that remaindered titles are sold only in cartons of 48 copies each. This makes it a slightly costly proposition even with the major savings Simon & Schuster has offered me. Another concern is that I really have nowhere to store that many surplus copies of books that, historically, have seen little demand through my online store. I hate to let them fade away into that good night without a struggle, but I’m not sure I can justify the cost of stockpiling them, either.

Decisions, decisions.

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SEEKERS_1_PREVIEWFor a while now, on various social media platforms and in Star Trek literature-related discussion forums, I’ve been dropping hints about a new Star Trek book project I have in the works. Having just unveiled the project to the audience at Shore Leave 35 in Hunt Valley, Md., I can now post the news here for the rest of the world to enjoy.

Coming next summer, Star Trek: Seekers will be an all-new sequel series to the Star Trek Vanguard saga. I will alternate writing privileges on this new series with my Vanguard creative partners, writing duo Dayton Ward & Kevin Dilmore.

Seekers will feature ships, characters, settings, and situations from the Vanguard saga, but it will also chart a very different course from its predecessor. Whereas Vanguard was described by many as “Star Trek meets the new Battlestar Galactica,” Seekers represents a return to the more classic style of Star Trek adventure: “strange new worlds, and new life-forms.”

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