Tuesday, December 21, 2010

JJ Abrams' Star Trek Continues in Starfleet Academy Book Series

After a false start last year with ultimately unpublished novels taking place after the events of JJ Abrams' Star Trek, Simon & Schuster has begun publishing young adult novels set during the Starfleet Academy days of Kirk, Uhura, McCoy and the rest.
"Teens like reading about their peers, and the Starfleet world is made up of characters who are their peers," Kara Sargent, editorial director of the Simon Says imprint explains to Star "These are great characters in a very cool setting. Using Kirk as an example, Starfleet Academy Kirk is pretty much exactly as you would imagine him to be, given your knowledge of Kirk the grown man and captain of the USS Enterprise. Starfleet Academy Kirk is this brooding and sexy guy at a new school, in a super-competitive environment with lots of rules and regulations, and this rebel is thrown in and has to navigate his way around. All the while he’s having incredible intergalactic adventures, training to be a Starfleet Commander, and, of course, picking up girls, hanging out with his friends, pulling pranks, and picking up some more girls. Who wouldn’t love reading about this guy? The whole process of coming up with stories in this setting really wasn’t tricky at all. It was a lot of fun, and it never felt forced. It seems like a really natural direction to go in."

Book one is Rick Barba's The Delta Anomaly, published on November 2nd. Says Sargent, "I love this story. At its core it’s a mystery about a serial killer. Early on in the book, the killer targets one of the Starfleet cadets—a friend of Kirk and Uhura, in fact—and the reader is immediately drawn in to this very fast-paced, very chilling mystery. All the while, there are fantastic side stories going on. One involves Uhura and a special assignment she gets from her favorite instructor, Commander Spock. I’ll just say there’s some serious chemistry between those two and leave it at that! Another side story involves a big Starfleet assignment Kirk is involved in that pits him against his nemesis at the Academy. There’s lots of adventure in that one. And, my favorite side story involves Kirk and a beautiful young co-ed he meets at a coffee shop. Her name is Hannah, and Kirk has his work cut out for him because Hannah actually doesn’t swoon at his feet the first time she meets him."

Book two, Rudy Joseph's The Edge, will be published on December 28th. Of the plot, Sarget notes, "The Edge focuses on the stress of life at the Academy. The story opens with a competition and Kirk realizes that some cadets seem to have an edge that he doesn’t have. One of the cadets is the girl he’s interested in. Some mysterious events and even a death occur, leading Kirk to investigate what’s going on, and he uncovers a really dark world of illegal activity."

There are plans for at least one Star Trek: Starfleet Academy novel per season.