Star Trek Voyager:  Ragnarok

Star Trek Voyager:  Ragnarok

Voyager's way home lies through the Kuriyar cluster, past the source of a mysterious signal that could mark a way to shorten their journey by years. The only problem: the war that has been raging in that cluster for hundreds of years.

And when Captain Janeway goes to investigate the signal, she finds it originated from the center of the largest space battle ever fought -- one that Voyager must join!

How and why I wrote it:

This one is simple: I wrote it for the money. At that time Star Trek novels paid pretty well, and I discovered when I wrote Deep Space Nine: Valhalla that they weren't particularly difficult for me to write. As with Deep Space Nine, when the powers that be were getting ready to launch the Voyager TV series they wanted to have some books in the queue, ready to get onto the stands as soon as the show hit the air.

And Star Trek editor John Ordover found me fairly easy to work with; I knew Star Trek pretty well but wasn't a rabid fan, which meant I didn't have the sort of intense emotional investment that made some authors argue with the folks at Paramount about what belonged in the novels and what didn't.

So we agreed I'd write a Voyager novel, and I did, and here it is.

It wasn't completely smooth sailing, to be honest. I was working from the series bible and the script for the pilot, just as I had for Deep Space Nine, but this bible didn't seem as coherent or complete, and I didn't get a good feel for some of the characters. Things went slowly. I was about two-thirds of the way through writing the novel -- which is to say, maybe two months behind schedule -- when the pilot aired.

And that was the push I needed; seeing the actors and how they played the roles gave me what I wanted, and I was able to finish the rest of the book very quickly. I don't remember whether I met the original deadline or not, but it was very close, one way or the other.

I will note that what actually aired did not really follow the series bible; apparently I wasn't the only one who thought the bible had problems, as some of the cast played their parts very differently from the original descriptions, and all for the better. On the other hand, the Array, as described in the script, was a whole lot more impressive than what the SFX people gave us in the finished episode.

In any case, John Ordover was satisfied, and all in all I enjoyed the experience (and the money), so we discussed me writing two more, one from each of the other series -- Star Trek: Yggdrasil for the original series, and Star Trek: The Next Generation: Valkyrie. Probably to be written in the reverse order. But there wasn't any rush, as both those series were long established, and I had other projects to work on.

Actually, the fact that those two series weren't new was a drawback, as far as I was concerned; it meant there was a lot more established continuity I'd need to not screw up.

And then John left his Trek job, and I didn't know the new editor at all, and... well, I abandoned the idea, and never wrote another Trek novel. I did write a Voyager comic book, "False Colors," but that's a whole other story.