Wednesday, January 24, 2007

My apologies to the handful of people getting this through the LJ feed...

I upgraded to the new blogger today, and I suspect that's responsible for recirculating a bunch of old posts.

Vanity press/POD update

Ruby Moon-Houldson has her fourth "tribute" book listed on Amazon. Once again, she's calling it a great introduction to the worlds of Star Trek for new fans with input from her readers; if it's anything like the last book, it'll be 95% plagiarized from various websites and books.

While googling around, I learned something new: she has two Star Trek novels in print that I somehow missed before now, published by Booksurge, Amazon's vanity press/print-on-demand outfit, in 2003. It's possible her habit of borrowing the work of others and printing it in books with her name on the cover may extend to fiction as well -- one of the books is called Ni Var, the title of a short story by Claire Gabriel that was included in the first Star Trek: The New Voyages collection back in 1976.

Meanwhile, also at the fringes of Trek publishing...

A few more people have added to Lulu's growing collection of Trek material. Jan Netz has written a German-language story collection called Star Trek: Thunderland Sammelband, with a beautiful cover image swiped from one of the Ships of the Line calendars. Michael D. Garcia has compiled an anthology of fiction based on an online Trek role-playing game, Tales From a Parallel Universe, but the prose sample online isn't very promising. Mary Battle offers a collection of linked short stories, Lovers -- Lost and Found. Ro Laren is the main character, so I was briefly intrigued, but once again the prose sample warned me off. A shame, really: Ro Laren/Deanna Troi slash? It could have been glorious.

Back in the real world, Amy Lynn wrote My Life On Line, a personal memoir of her involvement in the Starfleet Lounge chatroom from 1995 to 2001.

Unlike last time, I've resisted the temptation to buy any of these.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Strange New Worlds coming to an end

Just saw this at Jim Johnson's livejournal. The Strange New Worlds winners have been announced over at, and part of the announcement is some bad news that doesn't come entirely as a surprise:

"As of 2007, we will be discontinuing the publication of Strange New Worlds. "

Dean Wesley Smith had announced that this was his last time doing this, and finding another editor to take this on would have been a real challenge. And when Marco Palmieri said that Pocket crunched the numbers on SNW every year, that it was never an easy, automatic, guaranteed sure thing, I started worrying more.

Strange New Worlds has been the launching pad for several of the best writers working for Pocket these days. There are other ways in -- S.C.E. has a pretty good record, too, and Marco has found a number of new writers elsewhere, but SNW attracted thousands of eager would-be writers. Not the most obviously reliable source of new talent, necessarily -- short stories and novels are very different things -- but we did get a lot of good new contributors to the Star Trek universe.

SNW was something else, too: a regular source of short fiction in the Star Trek universe. Maybe it's because I grew up on the Blish and Foster adaptations and read and reread Star Trek: The New Voyages, but I've always thought there was a place for short fiction in the Trek universe. The last few years have seen a number of pro-written anthologies, like The Lives of Dax, No Limits, and so on, but SNW featured stories from every Trek TV incarnation in the pages of a single book. I'd like to see some kind of wide open anthologies continue, though obviously the fan contest element is over and done.

For now, though, congratulations to the winners of the final Strange New Worlds contest!