by Shanna Gilkeson
NOTE: This article contains vague spoilers about various Star Trek novels, and a big one about Star Trek: Enterprise’s finale. Though the plot points in question have been out there anywhere from months to years and are probably general knowledge among most fans, please exercise discretion before reading further if there are Star Trek novels you haven’t read yet, or if you’ve meant to watch Enterprise but haven’t. —SG
The long-awaited release of Michael Martin’s To Brave the Storm had Star Trek: Enterprise fans jumping for joy this past October—and wringing their hands in worry and frustration almost immediately. It seems that the tone of finality and closure in the latest Romulan War book—combined with the overall trend of diminishing publication frequency of Trek novels in general—has some fans worried.
And in true Trekkie spirit, they’re not content to sit by and do nothing.
For the last five months, concerned fans have been attempting to communicate with Simon & Schuster and Pocket Books via Twitter, Facebook, and email. “…our end goal is to convince Simon & Schuster and the imprint that does the Star Trek books that we want MORE Enterprise books,” says campaign organizer EntAllat in a post at Enterprise fan site, The Delphic Expanse. “Until we hear back that they will be publishing more and on a regular basis, I don’t think it’s unfair to assume the line of Enterprise books is dead. That’s not acceptable.”
On January 10, campaigners were given false hope when Simon & Schuster sent the following tweet from their @SimonSchusterPR account:
simonschusterPR @reliant_robin @atlantisflygirl @sharonKusmertz @AquariusNX01 - We’re looking to publish the next #StarTrekEnterprise novel mid/late 2012.
Further investigation revealed this to be misinformation. The publisher’s representative was actually referring to Michael Martin’s next Titan novel, set in The Next Generation era. While @SimonSchusterPR offered that bit of clarification, they have yet to say anything definitive about the future of Enterprise novels. The 2012 publishing schedule has been announced, and Star Trek: Enterprise is conspicuously absent.
Enterprise fans seem particularly protective of the novels, feeling short-changed over the way the TV series ended in 2005. They view the novels as the fifth season of Enterprise they never got. “(The novels) gave many, many (Enterprise) fans some sense of closure after the disaster that was the series finale,” Delphic Expanse owner Honeybee says in a September 16, 2010 forum post. It seems many fans are still up in arms over the demise of Trip Tucker in the series finale, “These Are the Voyages.”
What began as the “Save Enterprise Profic” campaign in October 2011 has since expanded to include novels within all five Star Trek series. Sensitivity to recent publishing trends and growing concerns over the lack of a response from the publishers have made fans acutely concerned over the future of Star Trek novels as a whole. Delphic Expanse member lfvoy says, “It seems like there is a major issue going on, one that’s larger than just the (Enterprise) novels but which is definitely affecting them.”
The publisher’s silence has not only led to much speculation about the books’ fate, but also the reason for the lack of any official statement on the matter. If Simon & Schuster is gun shy about committing to more novels, fans are eager to let the publishers know what will and won’t make them buy more books. Character death and the serializing of the novels have been named as factors that many fans find particularly alienating. “The books are becoming more and more interrelated,” lfvoy continues, “meaning that if you miss one, you miss a lot (in) the next few as well.” Likewise, as other Delphic Expanse members point out, if one loses interest in a particular storyline, it is difficult to entice the reader to purchase the next book; when a major character is killed or continuously isolated from his crew, the reader is “stuck” with that state of affairs. This was not the case in the past. Prior to the “relaunch,” each book was a self-contained episode, save for the occasional series or sequel.
To find out more about the campaign to save Star Trek profic, visit the ongoing discussion at The Delphic Expanse. Details within the thread include sample emails and tweets, as well as names, Twitter accounts, and email addresses of the relevant publishing executives. For specific questions about how you can become involved, contact EntAllat through the Expanse or via Twitter (@EntAllat).