“This is the beginning. This is the day. You are watching the unfolding of one of history’s greatest adventures–man’s colonization of space beyond the stars. The first of what may be as many as ten million families per year is setting out on its epic voyage into man’s newest frontier, deep space. Reaching out into other worlds from our desperately overcrowded planet, a series of deep thrust telescopic probes have conclusively established a planet orbiting the star Alpha Centauri as the only one within range of our technology able to furnish ideal conditions for human existence.
Even now the family chosen for this incredible journey into space is preparing to take their final pre lift off physical tests. The Robinson family was selected from more than two million volunteers for its unique balance of scientific achievement, emotional stability, and pioneer resourcefulness. They will spend the next five and a half years of their voyage frozen in a state of suspended animation which will terminate automatically as the spacecraft enters the atmosphere of the new planet.”
So, yeah. It’s been a minute since my last update. A confluence of events – work, volunteer stuff, kid stuff, other stuff – saw to it that the tree fort here was left neglected for a bit. That leaves me with a few housekeeping tasks to take care of. Namely, a whole bunch of interviews!
With the release of any new book, I’m asked for a varying number of interviews. These usually take the form of answering questions via email, or a phone interview transcribed for publication, and/or something done live via Zoom or recorded for later dispersal online. The release of Moments Asunder, the first book of the Star Trek: Coda trilogy on which I shared writing duties with friends and fellow word slingers James Swallow and David Mack, has attracted a greater degree of attention than I’m used to experiencing. It makes sense, of course, given the nature of this “Star Trek literary event.” As I, along with Jim and Dave, are grateful for this increased interest, we’re more than happy to “have a sit-down” with anyone who invites us into their space to talk Star Trek and our work.
So far, I’m pretty sure I’ve managed to avoid spoiling anything in any of the books, as a few of these were conducted before my book even came out. I’m obviously not looking to undercut anyone’s ability to enjoy the books due to my having given away anything, in particular for Books 2 and 3 as there’s still just so much coming after Book 1. Jim and Dave more than deserve their chance in the spotlight and to talk about the project without my having mucked things up beforehand. As I write this, the following interviews with me have been posted:
First, I talked via Zoom with Alex Perry from TrekCore.com and he somehow managed to translate my ramblings into something resembling coherence. That interview appears here, published the day before the book officially went on sale.
Timed to post the same day the book went live is an interview with David Powell and the Daily Star Trek News website. I carried out this one via email, which allowed me to consider more detailed answers than when I’m asked during a live Q&A. Read all about it here.
My first “live” interview was with the Beyond Trek podcast. Lots of fun questions and discussion, all while I tried (and sometimes failed) to ignore the football game unfolding on the TV in my office. You can watch/listen to that on YouTube, and be sure to check out their other episodes.
Friends Darrell Taylor and J.K. Woodward had me back for yet another episode of their Go Trek Yourself podcast. We talked about a lot of things, and somehow even managed to talk about Coda and Moments Asunder.Stick that in your ears here.
For a change of pace? I was interviewed back in August during Planet Comicon here in Kansas City. Multiverse Tonight podcast host Thomas Townley caught me at by exhibitor table and hit me with a special edition of his “5 Questions” challenge. Check it out here.
And hey! Some of the most interesting discussions about the book and the trilogy don’t involve me at all! For example, there’s this extended discussion about Moments Asunder with Chrissie De Clerck, Brandon Mutala, and Justin Oser on their Infinite Diversity podcast. Check it all out here.
As I write this, I have (at least) two more interviews about Coda coming over the next week or so, and I’ve had discussions about a couple of others. So, you know…keeping busy, but hopefully not so busy that I won’t forget to let folks know about them.
Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand just like that, here we are: the last quarter mile of 2021.
I mean, I understand that time has had no real meaning for the better part of 18 months, dating all the way back to March 2020 when so very many of us were thrown into a form of suspended animation and forced to (largely) remain at or near our respective domeciles. I was already used to ignoring most of the world around me, hunkered as I was in my office while my fingers tap-tap-tapped away at the keyboard. The big difference last year when all of this started was that now, everyone else who lived with me was home all the time, too.
STARFLEET’S FINEST FACES A CHALLENGE UNLIKE ANY OTHER
TOMORROW IS DOOMED Time is coming apart. Countless alternate and parallel realities are under attack, weakening and collapsing from relentless onslaught. If left unchecked, the universe faces an unstoppable descent toward entropy.
WANDERER, ORACLE, ALLY Scarred and broken after decades spent tracking this escalating temporal disaster while battling the nameless enemy responsible for it, an old friend seeks assistance from Captain Jean-Luc Picard and the crew of the Starship Enterprise. The apocalypse may originate from their future, but might the cause lie in their past?
EVERYTHING THAT WILL BE Identifying their adversary is but the first step toward defeating them, but early triumphs come with dreadful costs. What will the price be to achieve final victory, and how will that success be measured in futures as yet undefined?
At long last, we’re finally here.
I’ve alreadywritten at length about the journey to this book and the trilogy of which it’s just the first part, so I’m not going to rehash it here. What I will tell you is that it is my 23rd Star Trek novel and the 19th I’ve written under the editorial guidance of Margaret Clark and Ed Schlesinger, representing Simon & Schuster’s Gallery Books imprint. I’ve been working with either or both of these folks for more than fifteen years. They don’t get nearly enough of the credit and thanks they so richly deserve, and that is most certainly true with Moments Asunder and indeed the entire Star Trek: Coda trilogy.
This is also the seventh Star Trek novel of mine to receive an audiobook adaptation. As with the previous titles, this new book benefits from the vocal stylings of the wonderful Robert Petkoff. A self-professed Star Trek fan himself, Mr. Petkoff always brings enthusiasm and passion to these projects, and I simply love listening to him breathe life into my pithy little words.
Moments Asunder is now available at bookstores everywhere, in trade paperback, e-Book, and both digital and CD audiobook editions. If you’re still one of those folks who loves going to an actual store for your reading material, I humbly suggest patronizing your local independent bookseller. If that sort of thing isn’t feasible for whatever reason, then of course we have other options:
In addition to providing a permanent home for links to find and order the book, this blog entry also will serve as the book’s “official” Q&A thread. Those of you who want to chat about the book, feel free to post your questions/etc. to the comments section. For those of you who’ve found this page and perhaps not yet read the book, BEWARE SPOILERS ARE POSSIBLE FROM THIS POINT FORWARD.
So, here we are. The eve of the official release date for Moments Asunder, the first book in the Star Trek: Coda trilogy.
Along with its two companions – James Swallow’s The Ashes of Tomorrow and Oblivion’s Gate by David Mack – this is the culmination of more than two years of planning, plotting, scheming, writing, sweating, agonizing, doubting, cursing, and maybe even a bit of crying. It was a difficult path to navigate for a number of reasons, not the least of which was the sense of responsibility and obligation the three of us felt as we developed the story and then went to our corners to write our books, reconvening as necessary to discuss some plot point or weird idea one of us conjured late some evening. Then came the reading each of our respective manuscripts, poring over page after page to ensure consistency. I’m abolutely certain there’s something in there somewhere missed by at least one of us, but I promise you it wasn’t for lack of trying.
All of that’s done, now, with nothing for us along with our editors to do but wait.
Oh, and perhaps also offer links to where you can pre-order each of the books: Follow the links below for each book in trade paperback, e-Book, and audiobook editions:
Yep. Feelin’ the need to babble about some tie-ins.
For those new to this “irregularly recurring blog feature, “Tied Up With Tie-ins” happens when I get the itch to take a (usually) fond look back at a favorite series of movie or TV tie-in books. This often means something older, such as the many different tie-ins which were all over the place during my childhood and early adulthood, though I’m certainly not snobby about checking out something newer.
For this latest installment, though? We’re turning back the clock a bit…not too far, but just far enough to be reminded that “History as we know it is a lie” thanks to a little TV show called Dark Skies.
“I came here to give you these facts. It is no concern of ours how you run your own planet, but if you threaten to extend your violence, this Earth of yours will be reduced to a burned-out cinder. Your choice is simple: Join us and live in peace, or pursue your present course and face obliteration. We shall be waiting for your answer; the decision rests with you.”
Klaatu, taking “F*ck Around and Find Out” interstellar.
Today, September 18th, 2021 (if you’re counting its New York City premiere; September 20th if you mean opening across the U.S.), marks the 70th anniversary of one of my all-time favorite films, The Day the Earth Stood Still from 1951. I’ve loved it for as long as I can remember. Though I’m of course too young to have seen it in theaters, I watched it numerous times when I was a kid, whenever it ran on my local TV station’s Saturday afternoon SF/horror movie double feature. When home video became accessible even to poor bastards like me, TDTESS was one of the first films I acquired on VHS, and later LaserDisc and eventually DVD and (finally?) Blu-ray. I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve watched it, and thanks to a local theater owner here in Kansas City, I was finally able to watch a pristine print of the film on a big theater screen several years ago.
(We pause to recall fangasms…..everybody good? Okay. Moving on….)
If you’re into Star Trek and roleplaying games and you haven’t yet sampled the Star Trek Adventuresroleplaying game, we need to have a chat about that because I think you’re missing out on some kickass gaming potential.
Those of you who follow my ramblings are (hopefully) aware that I make occasional contributions to the game. My association with Modiphius Entertainment began waaaaaaay back in 2016 when friend, fellow word pusher, and STA’s project manager, Jim Johnson, invited me to work with him and Scott Pearson on some early story development. This resulted in the “Living Campaign,” something of a juiced up testbed where players took the then-new game’s rules out for a spin and offered feedback to the developers while (hopefully having a good time).
Working with direction from Jim and the rest of the game’s core team of developers, Scott and I created “the Shackleton Expanse,” a region of space ripe for exploration within the game’s setting, as well as the “Tilikaal,” a mysterious alien race which along with the Expanse itself was to be the main driver for the living playtest. We laid down some basic info on the area and the aliens, provided some story springboards as to how a proper campaign might evolve over time with additional adventure scenarios thrown into the mix – those offered by Modiphius as well as anything a gamemaster might devise for their group of players – sat back, and watched what happened.
These are the voyages where the legend began, 55 years ago tonight!
I’ve mentioned this before (about a zillion times), but my earliest memories include Star Trek to some degree. I wasn’t old enough to watch the show during its original broadcast run, but I watched the reruns every day after school. Beyond that, I had the Mego figures and that crazy bridge set. I built the AMT models, and I read the occasional Gold Key comic book or poster book or collection of James Blish episode adaptations.
All of that was just filler of course. Anchoring all of that were the reruns. Always, the reruns.
Back in those far off days of Yesteryear which was the setting for my childhood, you had to wait for your favorite episodes to cycle back around in the rotation on one of your local TV stations. I watched the series on a little black and white television and its crappy little antenna as the show was broadcast on a low-power local UHF channel in Tampa. Depending on the time of day and prevailing weather conditions, I might not always get a decent picture. If I was out in the boonies somewhere–like my aunt’s house–I might have to fiddle with the antenna throughout the episode, and as often as not I might be forced to choose between having a picture or having sound.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out that today also marks the 48th anniversary of the animated Star Trek series, which premiered on NBC on this date in 1973. I did catch (most of) those episodes during their initial run, and the show helped to spark a lot of the Trek-related toys and other merchandise which came out in the mid 1970s, like those aforementioned Mego action figures.
Today, of course, I have Star Trek literally at my fingertips: Blu-rays on the shelf or episodes streaming over the internet, and I even have my favorite episodes stored on my phone. Then there are the books (Fun fact: I’ve written a few of those, in case you were wondering), comics, role-playing games, computer games, toys, models, websites, and pretty much anything you’d care to name. Star Trek is everywhere. Hold up a picture of the original Enterprise or Kirk and Spock, and most people will know what you’re talking about.
Meanwhile, fate and circumstances have seen to it that I’m able to continue contributing — albeit in a very small way — to this vast, ever-expanding universe that Gene Roddenberry gave us back in 1966. It is the very definition of a “dream job.” I doubt I’ll ever have another job that’s as rewarding and just plain fun as what I’m currently privileged to do, and I never allow myself to take that for granted. Ever. My only regret is that I didn’t figure this out years and years ago.
Speaking of years? Star Trek looks pretty dapper for 55. Enjoy your cake, everybody.