Coming in 2011: STAR TREK: DTI
I’m able to announce my new Star Trek project now, and it’s my most offbeat one yet. The working title is Star Trek: DTI, with a more specific title to be settled on later.
DTI is the Federation Department of Temporal Investigations, introduced in the Deep Space Nine episode “Trials and Tribble-ations” in the persons of Agents Lucsly and Dulmur (sometimes rendered as Dulmer), who questioned Captain Sisko to ensure his crew had not jeopardized the time stream on their recent trip to the past. The stern, Joe Friday-esque temporal investigators quickly became popular with the fans and soon appeared in not one, but two separate stories in the anthology Strange New Worlds II: “Gods, Fate, and Fractals” by William Leisner (an inspired Dragnet pastiche) and “Almost, But Not Quite” by Dayton Ward.
Now it falls to me to tell the first novel-length story of the DTI, starring Lucsly and Dulmur along with their colleagues in the department, mostly original characters but maybe one or two familiar faces as well. Though the working title suggests a resemblance to Star Trek: SCE/Corps of Engineers, this book might be better compared to Articles of the Federation, Keith R. A. DeCandido’s chronicle of a year in the life of the Federation president and her staff. But if AotF was The West Wing in the 24th century, DTI might be more like an FBI procedural show.
In any case, don’t expect the conventional, done-to-death kind of time travel story where the heroes go back into the past and try to prevent or reverse a change in history. ST:DTI will have its own distinctive approach to time travel, its mechanics, and its consequences, and will explore numerous facets of the Department’s responsibilities.
It’s an exciting challenge to do this book. With Lucsly and Dulmur being the only established DTI members, and with them being virtual blank slates, this is closer to a fully original creation than any commissioned novel I’ve ever done (though you can expect to see a few more familiar faces showing up here and there). And it’s my chance to take the byzantine logic of Trek-universe time travel and offer a unifying theory with some degree of scientific credibility to it — while still having fun with it. On the other hand, with so few established characters or situations to draw on and a lot of ideas to cover, I’ve got my work cut out for me.