Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Trek Lit 2014: Year in Review

2014 has flown by! It feels like just a short time ago that we said goodbye to 2013, and here we are on the cusp of 2015 already!

In the realm of Star Trek novels, 2014 was certainly a banner year. We were absolutely spoiled with the quality of Trek novels this year! January saw the conclusion of The Fall, followed by another of Kirsten Beyer's wonderful Voyager novels. In fact, 2014 allowed us the pleasure of two (TWO!) Kirsten Beyer forays into the world of Voyager. My cup runneth over!

Other exciting highlights of the year included a return to The Lost Era, the ongoing adventures of the former crew of the Enterprise NX-01 in Christopher L. Bennett's Rise of the Federation: Tower of Babel, a continuation of Data's journey following the Cold Equations trilogy in Jeffrey Lang's The Light Fantastic, Keith R.A. DeCandido's return to the Star Trek universe with The Klingon Art of War, and the beginning of a fun new series: Star Trek: Seekers by Vanguard scribes David Mack, Dayton Ward, and Kevin Dilmore!

2014 also featured a sharp rise in the number of Star Trek e-book exclusive novellas, a trend that I truly hope continues in 2015. I have very much enjoyed these smaller, more intimate stories. From The Original Series to Titan and my personal favorite, Department of Temporal Investigations, these novellas have allowed the exploration of corners of the Trek universe that might otherwise be ignored. Simon & Schuster, if you're listening: more, please!

After having spent most of 2014 living in Calgary, Alberta, I decided to relocate back to my hometown, Grande Prairie. It's great to be back near life-long friends and my family. However, I do have to admit, the wanderlust is beginning to creep back. I'm hoping to do more traveling in 2015 than I did in the past year!

As with last year, I have continued to hold my position as Literature Editor at TrekCore.com. There, you can find interviews with a number of authors, as well as my reviews of new releases. Here are the interviews I've had the pleasure of conducting over the past year:

James Swallow (February 2014)
Dayton Ward (March 2014)
Kirsten Beyer (March 2014)
Greg Cox (March 2014)
Christopher L. Bennett (May 2014)
Jeff Mariotte (June 2014)
David R. George III (July 2014)
Preston Neal Jones (August 2014)


Another opportunity presented itself to me this year: Matthew Rushing, host of Trek.fm's Literary Treks podcast, recently asked me to be a co-host on that show, and I happily accepted! I have been a long-time listener of Literary Treks and an occasional guest, so when the opportunity came up to play a larger role in the show, I was thrilled! So far, I've only co-hosted two episodes, but we have some great plans for the new year. Stay tuned!


Below you'll find the list of every Trek book I reviewed this year, along with links to those reviews.

New releases are in bold and marked with an asterisk.


January

Mission Gamma, Book Two: This Grey Spirit by Heather Jarman (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine)
*Peaceable Kingdoms by Dayton Ward (Star Trek: The Fall, Book Five)
*Star Trek: The Fall - The series as a whole
The Captain's Daughter by Peter David (Star Trek)







February

*Protectors by Kirsten Beyer (Star Trek: Voyager)
Mission Gamma, Book Three: Cathedral by Michael A. Martin & Andy Mangels (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine)
*Absent Enemies by John Jackson Miller (Star Trek: Titan)









March

*No Time Like the Past by Greg Cox (Star Trek: The Original Series)
Serpents Among the Ruins by David R. George III (Star Trek: The Lost Era)
Mission Gamma, Book Four: Lesser Evil by Robert Simpson (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine)









April

*Rise of the Federation: Tower of Babel by Christopher L. Bennett (Star Trek: Enterprise)













June

*Serpents in the Garden by Jeff Mariotte (Star Trek: The Original Series)
*Seasons of Light and Darkness by Michael A. Martin (Star Trek: The Original Series)










July

*One Constant Star by David R. George III (Star Trek: The Lost Era)
*The More Things Change by Scott Pearson (Star Trek: The Original Series)











August

*The Light Fantastic by Jeffrey Lang (Star Trek: The Next Generation)
*Second Nature by David Mack (Star Trek: Seekers #1)











September

*The Klingon Art of War: Ancient Principles of Ruthless Honor by Keith R.A. DeCandido
*Point of Divergence by Dayton Ward & Kevin Dilmore (Star Trek: Seekers #2)
*Lust's Latinum Lost (and Found) by Paula M. Block & Terry J. Erdmann (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine)
*These Are the Voyages: TOS, Season Two by Marc Cushman with Susan Osborn







October

Terok Nor: Day of the Vipers by James Swallow (Star Trek: The Lost Era)
Rising Son by S.D. Perry (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine)
*Acts of Contrition by Kirsten Beyer (Star Trek: Voyager)
*Q Are Cordially Uninvited... by Rudy Josephs (Star Trek: The Next Generation)
Terok Nor: Night of the Wolves by S.D. Perry & Britta Dennison (Star Trek: The Lost Era)








November


*Disavowed by David Mack (Star Trek: Section 31)
The Left Hand of Destiny, Book One by J.G. Hertzler & Jeffrey Lang (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine)
Terok Nor: Dawn of the Eagles by S.D. Perry & Britta Dennison (Star Trek: The Lost Era)
The Left Hand of Destiny, Book Two by J.G. Hertzler & Jeffrey Lang (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine)








December

*Foul Deeds Will Rise by Greg Cox (Star Trek: The Original Series)
Intellivore by Diane Duane (Star Trek: The Next Generation)
*The Collectors by Christopher L. Bennett (Star Trek: Department of Temporal Investigations)












Best Trek novel of 2014:

This was a difficult year to pick a winner for best Trek novel! There were so many top-notch entries. Runners-up included Christopher L. Bennett's Enterprise: Rise of the Federation: Tower of Babel, Greg Cox's The Original Series: No Time Like the Past, Kirsten Beyer's Voyager: Protectors, and Jeffrey Lang's The Next Generation: The Light Fantastic. And, although it's not exactly a novel, I'd like to give a shout-out to Keith R.A. DeCandido's The Klingon Art of War, to which I gave serious consideration.

However, the finest example of Star Trek fiction this year was most definitely:

Star Trek: Voyager: Acts of Contrition by Kirsten Beyer!

Acts of Contrition was the perfect blend of character development, action, and world-building. This novel truly moved me, and I was blown away by the quality of the story Beyer told in its pages. Truly a stellar example of the heights that Star Trek fiction can reach!

Acts of Contrition by New York Times bestselling author Kirsten Beyer: the best of 2014!

Additionally, due to the large number of e-book novellas published this past year, I've decided to have a separate category for them. In my opinion, the best Star Trek e-novella this year was this month's Department of Temporal Investigations: The Collectors by Christopher L. Bennett! With his usual wonderful writing, wild imagination, and genuine laugh-out-loud moments, The Collectors was a highlight of the year in TrekLit for me!

Department of Temporal Investigations: The Collectors. A highlight of 2014 in Trek Lit!


Let's take a look ahead at what we can expect for Trek literature in 2015!

The post-The Fall 24th century books continue with the January novel, Deep Space Nine: The Missing by Una McCormack, already released yesterday. I've just started reading this one. Look for my review soon!

February featured the TNG side of things when Riker and Picard face off against one another in The Next Generation: Takedown by John Jackson Miller. This one looks exciting!

March features a double dose of Trek with The Original Series: Savage Trade by Tony Daniel, as well as an e-novella: The Original Series: Shadow of the Machine by Scott Harrison. The latter takes place shortly after Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Looks interesting!

April sees a continuation of what is fast becoming one of my favorite corners of the Trek universe: Christopher L. Bennett's Rise of the Federation series continues with book three: Uncertain Logic.

May has another TOS novel with Dave Galanter's Crisis of Consiousness. I was a big fan of his earlier novel, Troublesome Minds. High hopes for this one as well!

June features a return to the 24th century with Dayton Ward's The Next Generation: Armageddon's Arrow.

July has another Deep Space Nine novel by regular Trek scribe David R. George III: Sacraments of Fire. Also this month, something very exciting: a continuation of the New Frontier saga by Peter David! Return #1 is an e-book exclusive novella continuing the adventures of Captain Calhoun and the rest of the New Frontier story!

August features the next book in the new Seekers series. Long Shot is by David Mack and showcases the crew of the Archer-class U.S.S. Sagittarius. The e-novella New Frontier: Return #2 continues the New Frontier story from the previous month.

In September, the latest entry in Kirsten Beyer's Voyager series is here! Atonement forms the final part of a loose trilogy of which Protectors and Acts of Contrition were a part. Also, Peter David's New Frontier trilogy wraps up with Return #3.

October sees James Swallow return to the world of Star Trek: Titan with his novel Sight Unseen.

In November, the fourth Seekers book by Dayton Ward and Kevin Dilmore will be published.

And finally, December has a new TOS novel by veteran Trek author Greg Cox: Child of Two Worlds.

You can check out all of the new releases for 2015 by clicking here. You can also pre-order all of them from Amazon!

Here's hoping for all the best in 2015! May you and yours have a wonderful year filled with joy, happiness, and lots of Star Trek!

Happy New Year, and don't forget to be awesome!