TOS: Mere Anarchy: The Darkness Drops Again
Mere Anarchy: A new six-part epic covering thirty years of Star Trek® history, continuing with an adventure that takes place between The Motion Picture and The Wrath of Khan!
Book 4: The Darkness Drops Again
The rebuilding of Mestiko is starting to make progress: the atmosphere is partially restored and Federation scientists are introducing new methods of replenishing the planet’s biosphere. But their efforts are being stymied by the growing power of the mar-Atyya, who shun all offworlders.
The arrival of the Starship Enterprise under the command of James T. Kirk proves less than fortuitous, as the ship becomes a flashpoint for all of Mestiko’s troubles. Now Raya elMora, the leader of the planetary council, finds herself facing exile — which could spell doom for Mestiko….
Trade paperback collection:
My first opportunity to follow up on the characters and situations of Ex Machina came from an unexpected direction, as eBook editor Keith DeCandido invited me to participate in this 40th-anniversary project. The plan was to tell six novella-length stories spanning the entire TOS era, and I was invited to contribute the post-TMP installment on the basis of ExM. Dayton Ward & Kevin Dilmore came up with the overall outline and premise for the miniseries, but all the participating authors (Dayton & Kevin, Mike W. Barr, Dave Galanter, me, Howard Weinstein, and Margaret Wander Bonanno), along with Keith, participated in a lengthy and wacky e-mail correspondence wherein we all contributed to hashing out the premise and keeping everything consistent.
But this story isn’t as direct an ExM followup as it could be, since I wanted it to work primarily as a part of Mere Anarchy and be accessible to people unfamiliar with ExM. So it’s in the same continuity and uses some of the same ideas (and includes some movie-era elements I didn’t get to work into ExM, such as Andrew Probert’s modular-shuttlecraft designs), but focuses mainly on the core TOS cast rather than the supporting characters I developed for the novel. And although it takes the characters well beyond the ExM timeframe, it leaves plenty of room for further storytelling in the post-TMP era.
My story happened to fall into the largest gap in the series, between the first two movies — a timespan that, according to conventional Trek chronology, corresponds to roughly 12 years (2273 to 2285). So rather than limiting myself to one point within this timeframe, I took on the task of telling a more sweeping tale that explored how the Enterprise crew evolved between the two movies, while also taking the planet Mestiko through years of political and social upheaval. This makes mine a rather different story from the others, but then, each one is a distinct kind of tale. Book 1 is a disaster movie, Book 2 a classic tale of Kirk taking on Klingon meddlers, Book 3 a buddy movie, Book 4 a sweeping historical epic, Book 5 an action-packed tale of interstellar brinksmanship, and Book 6 a more introspective piece bringing it all closure. That’s part of what made this such a fascinating collaboration to be a part of. The fun we had in our e-mail exchanges was also a major part of that.