Home > My Fiction, Star Trek > SEEK A NEWER WORLD has been shelved

SEEK A NEWER WORLD has been shelved

This is out of the blue… this morning I was notified by my editor at Pocket Books that the decision has been made not to publish the four Star Trek novels set in the new movie continuity that were slated for summer 2010.  The only explanation is this brief statement:

With last summer’s blockbuster STAR TREK movie, JJ 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 JJ and his team continue to develop his vision.

My only guess for why this was done is that it was felt best to avoid publishing stories that might conflict with the next movie in the series.  Hopefully that means these books could still see the light of day in a couple of years.

For now, though, Seek a Newer World is on indefinite hold, along with the other three books in the set: Refugees by Alan Dean Foster, More Beautiful Than Death by David Mack, and The Hazard of Concealing by Greg Cox.  The shelving of Refugees is particularly disappointing, because that would’ve been Alan Dean Foster’s first fully original Trek novel, something that would’ve been really cool to see.  (Although his last several Star Trek Log volumes adapting the animated series were more original than adapted material, particularly Log Ten, in which the adapted episode made up only 3 of the book’s 16 chapters.)

What my friend and colleague Dave Mack said on his own blog about this development is worth repeating, since it goes for me too:

Before anyone writes to me looking for more information, I’ll just tell you that I don’t have any. And, although the book was written and had been copy edited, I cannot and will not share it online or via e-mail. The nature of work-for-hire is that while I am entitled to compensation and credit for my labors, the final product is not my property. In other words, even though I wrote the book, it is not mine to share, sell, or give away, so please don’t ask.

Again, though, hopefully this is just a postponement, though there’s no telling for how long.

Oy, what a week.

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  1. TBonz
    January 15, 2010 at 1:11 am

    “My only guess for why this was done is that it was felt best to avoid publishing stories that might conflict with the next movie in the series.”

    Pretty much my thought. :/

    Sorry for your bad news.

  2. Thierry Millie
    January 15, 2010 at 2:38 am

    Sorry about that…
    If like David Mack said, it’s their right to do so. On the other hand one as the right to wonder why such a decision ? The explanation given is preposperous… (I think)
    First hypothesis… Maybe they are afraid of the comptetion?
    second hypothesis… They don’t want anyone to break their new toy ?
    third hypothesis… a shapeshifter has gone back thru time and is stuck in our century he has taken form of JJ and is trying to send message to the future. But if you write books you polute the message so in order to avoid that they “put on hold” your books… !lol!

    Thierry

    • January 15, 2010 at 7:22 am

      There’s no way the filmmakers would be afraid of the competition from books, since the novel audience would be maybe 1% of the moviegoing audience. And there’s a long history of ST books being published between movies and ongoing productions and then getting contradicted later on. Tie-in novels are basically conjectural stories, things that might have happened, so they’re not binding on canon.

      But perhaps the current powers that be have a different attitude toward the matter and want to maintain more consistency. We’ll have to see what the future holds.

  3. Thierry Millie
    January 15, 2010 at 8:08 am

    Sorry (agin) Christopher i was joking around… But whatever the reason really is, i believe when you work hard on something it must be disapointing to have it put “on hold”.
    I suddenly had a bad thought… What about the books in the “original” universe? I hope they won’t put those on hold…

    • January 15, 2010 at 8:30 am

      No, the Prime-universe books are still on schedule. However, it looks as though there won’t be any Trek fiction by me on the 2010 schedule now.

  4. Ben
    January 16, 2010 at 3:04 am

    My condolences, Christopher. I was really looking forward to reading that. Oh well, at least I’ve got a novelette in Analog that will help me get by Bennett fix. Even if there’s no Trek fiction by you coming out in 2010, will there be any more non-Trek books or stories? Will we see that Steampunk story you wrote about on a printed page?

    • January 16, 2010 at 6:55 am

      I do have a story called “No Dominion” which is scheduled to go live June 11 on the online DayBreak Magazine. Beyond that, I have a couple of other original stories out on the market and several more that I intend to start marketing soon, including the steampunk urban fantasy, but nothing’s sold yet.

  5. Byron Bailey
    January 18, 2010 at 6:26 pm

    Well, what can I say? I am very disappointed (that’s putting it rather mildly since I first learned of this last night and was rather pissed off) that this decision was taken and cannot figure out what the reasoning was behind it. The only thing I could think of was that perhaps very major changes were going to take place in the next movie and that the books would not fit into the new scenario. I certainly hope not and truly hope your book, as well as the other three, see the light of day. Best wishes for you, Mr. Bennett.

    • January 18, 2010 at 7:44 pm

      I’m just guessing, but I suspect the reasons are more business-related, with regard to the whole timing or marketing strategy of doing tie-ins, than content-related. After all, the parties involved had plenty of opportunities to nix these at the outline stage and the manuscript stage.

  6. September 8, 2013 at 11:06 am

    Just curious, now that Into Darkness has been released, will these books see the light of day or have they bothered to communicate with you about them at all? I was really looking forward to reading them and I am afraid they will make you wait until NuTrek III comes out. I have really enjoyed your Star Trek books but the DTI books are just spectacular. I’d love to see this get made into a series Star Trek: The Temporal X-Files!

    • September 8, 2013 at 11:41 am

      The cancellation was never about continuity with the sequel. If that had been the issue, the manuscripts could’ve been revised to fit and published by now. As I said, it seems to have had more to do with business issues or policies on the corporate level.

      In any case, a lot of the character and thematic elements I used in SaNW were similar to what they did in STID — things like Kirk having to earn his command after having his qualifications questioned, the debate over whether Starfleet’s priority should be exploration or defense, that sort of thing — and it wouldn’t make sense to have the characters go through the same process twice. So I don’t think the book is viable anymore. At this point, if Pocket were to do Abramsverse novels, it would probably make more sense to start over with different stories.

      • September 8, 2013 at 2:19 pm

        Thanks for the update sir! I am glad you have had other great Star Trek books to help keep Roddenberry’s now 47 year old universe alive for the fans. Continued success to you in your endeavors.

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