Well, it’s posted on the Simon and Schuster website, so I suppose it’s safe to do so here, as well. Here’s the final cover art and back cover copy blurb which will adorn That Which Divides, my Star Trek original series-era novel coming early next year. Behold, yo:
Located in an area of non-aligned space near Federation and Romulan territory, the Kondaii system is home to a unique stellar phenomenon: a spatial rift that opens every three years in proximity to the system’s sole inhabited planet. Only during this brief period is communication possible with the small, mineral-rich planetoid inside the rift. The local population has established a mining colony on this planetoid, and for the limited duration that the rift is open, a massive interplanetary operation is set into motion: ferrying mineral ore to the home planet while simultaneously transferring personnel and replenishing essential supplies and equipment—everything necessary to sustain the colony before it once again enters forced isolation.
While studying the rift, the science vessel U.S.S. Huang Zhong is severely damaged and crash-lands on the planetoid. After the Starship Enterprise arrives to conduct rescue operations, evidence quickly points to the rift’s artificial nature. It is a feat far beyond the capacity of the local inhabitants, and presents an alluring mystery for Captain James T. Kirk and his crew. It also attracts the attention of the Romulans, who are most interested in studying and perhaps seizing this supposed advanced technology—by any means necessary.
One question I’ve gotten a couple of times since this project was announced has been some flavor of, “Why write a TOS novel? Aren’t there enough of those? Why not write something else?”
I could offer all sorts of reasons, but only one really matters: Because I wanted to.
I’ve always wanted to write a good old-fashioned standalone story set during the original five-year mission which wasn’t part of some other series or crossover. We’ve skirted the perimeter, sure, first with our work in the Star Trek: Corps of Engineers series and later, of course, with our contributions to the Star Trek: Vanguard series. However, those were largely focused on other characters and stories set in the same time period, but apart from the gang on the Enterprise. There also was our novella for the Star Trek: Mere Anarchy mini-series, but that was in service to a larger story with the series’ other contributors. Other than a short story for the Star Trek: Constellations anthology, we’d never been afforded the opportunity to do something all on our own with Kirk and his crew in their prime. So, when Pocket presented the chance to do it, there really was only one answer: Hellz to the Yeah.
(EDIT: An e-Mail from a reader reminded me that I’d written at greater length a couple of years ago on the topic of whether we need more TOS stories. My response? “More original series Trek stories? Yes, please. Always.“)
So, That Which Divides, by design, is something of a throwback to the good old days of numbered-novel yesteryear and the original series itself: Landing parties in trouble, McCoy and Spock squabbling, Kirk-Fu (complete with torn shirt!) and perhaps even a dead redshirt or two.