POCKET GUIDELINES

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ORDOVER

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Feb 21, 1996, 3:00:00 AM2/21/96
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John Ordove herer, Star Trek Novels Editor for Pocket Books. I am posting
our Star Trek Novel Guidelines here per request. Once again, i do not
read the posts here, so any questions should be directed to me at
ORD...@aol.com. Please feel free to distribute these guidelines on the
nets.


6/28/95
STAR TREK : THE ORIGINAL SERIES
STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION
STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE
STAR TREK: VOYAGER

Submission Guidelines:

Due to the overwhelming number of submissions that we receive, Pocket
Books can only accept requested, agented manuscripts. Unsolicited
manuscripts will be returned immediately by our support staff.
A comprehensive list of agents can be found in a book called THE LITERARY
MARKETPLACE, available in the reference section of any library. Ethical
considerations prevent us from recommending individual agents, so please
do not ask.

FORMAT: All manuscripts MUST be submitted typed, double-spaced, on one
side of non-corrasable typing paper.
The page number and your name MUST be at the top of each page.
Your full name and address should appear on the first and last page of the
manuscript (yes, include your phone number).

PROCEDURE: Submit the first three chapters with a detailed synopsis
(eight to twelve pages) of the entire plot.
Due to the large volume of submissions we receive, our reply can take
anywhere from one to four months...so please be patient. If we're
interested in publishing your novel, we'll contact your agent with an
offer. We may ask for revisions, and may also ask to see the completed
novel before reaching a decision.

CONTENTS: In a one-sentence description, we're looking for exciting
science fiction stories featuring the STAR TREK characters. This means
that something should be at stake, something other than the internal
emotional problems of the crew. The optimum choice would be a problem that
must be resolved quickly, solved in a race against time, that would have
horrible consequence if the crew fails.
The majority of the books we publish are the regular STAR TREK, STAR TREK:
TNG, and STAR TREK: DS9 paperbacks. These are adventure novels of roughly
70,000 words (about 275-325 pages). We also have a line of hardcovers,
but these are a tougher sell. We usually work very closely with
experienced STAR TREK authors to create the hardcover stories which are
larger in scope than the regular novels.
We cannot use short stories, poetry, biographies, romances, encyclopedias,
dictionaries, concordances, compendiums, blueprints, satiric novels, photo
novels or trivia books. We publish these kinds of books very carefully and
most often hire people affiliated with the STAR TREK shows and/or movies
to write them.

APPROVALS: All material is subject to the approval of Paramount Pictures,
which owns all copyright to STAR TREK in its various incarnations and is
very concerned about maintaining the integrity of the characters and the
Star Trek universe.

To that end, we make a serious effort to see that the books line up with
the episodes and films, though we recognize that absolute consistency is a
practical impossibility. We now have some "official" reference guides that
may be helpful. These titles should be available in all bookstores and
many libraries. They include: THE STAR TREK COMPENDIUM, STAR TREK: THE
NEXT GENERATION TECHNICAL MANUAL, STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION
COMPANION, THE STAR TREK CHRONOLOGY, and THE STAR TREK ENCYCLOPEDIA. The
best reference, of course, are the STAR TREK episodes and films.

Do's and Don'ts:

There are a number of plots that we would specifically like to avoid:

1.) Any story primarily about a guest star or non-STAR TREK regular. This
means no stories about other crews, ships, or guest characters that become
the focus of the story. The novels should always "star" Kirk, Picard,
Sisko et al. Paramount Pictures feels very strongly that STAR TREK stories
should be primarily about the STAR TREK characters, who must be the major
problem solvers in any STAR TREK novel.

2.) Death of an established crewmember or character, or any other
permanent change in the established STAR TREK characters, settings, or
universe, such as introducing offspring or close relations of the
characters other than those already in existence. Also no childhood or
current sweethearts, although you can create temporary love interests. As
with all series, the status quo must be restored at the end.

3.) Any plot that hinges on or describes in detail sexual relations of any
kind, especially between human and aliens. We are not interested in books
that suggest anything other than friendship among any of the Enterprise
crewmembers.

4.) No mixing of casts is allowed, which means no plots that mix the
characters from one series with another. While we do intend to
occassionally cross over between series this will always be handled very
carefully in-house.

5) Traveling in time to change history or learn something, rescue someone,
etc. Also, we are currently overstocked on alternate universe storylines.

6.) For DEEP SPACE NINE and VOYAGER, the books should stay current with
the programs. NEXT GENERATION should, for the moment, be set between the
end of the series and STAR TREK: GENERATIONS, the first movie with the
NEXT GENERATION cast.

7.) No stories that turn out to have been a dream, a hoax, or a virtual
reality sequence. We are also avoiding novels that start out with an
action-packed opening that turns out to be taking place on the holodeck.

8.) No "test" stories, i.e. stories where the Enterprise is tested by
god-like beings studying humanity or judging our worth.

9) Avoid trying to definitively map out a character's history beyond what
has already been done in the movies or television episodes. When we do
biographical books, we work very closely with Paramount and the writer.

As a general rule, the best chance for a STAR TREK submission by a
first-time STAR TREK writer is to submit a "traditional" STAR TREK mission
story that follows the Problem on Planet/Problem on Ship (or Station)
formula. If you've been reading the novels, you know that we do take some
chances and publish books that push the boundaries somewhat, but be
advised that we approach these stories very carefully, working closely
with experienced STAR TREK writers and Paramount Pictures.

10) Do not introduce any levels of technology beyond what has been
established in the television shows.

A Word About Style:

The major thing the books have to offer that the television shows do not
is an internal point of view, revealing the inner thoughts, feelings and
reactions of the characters. Therefore STAR TREK books must adhere to
strict point of view with scene breaks to denote any POV shifts. We are
not interested in external or "camera eye" prose. We are also not
interested in first person books.

The best style guides for your STAR TREK proposals are, of course, the
recently published STAR TREK novels.

That's it. Thank you for your interest in STAR TREK, STAR TREK: THE NEXT
GENERATION, STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE and STAR TREK: VOYAGER.

Good luck with your writing.

The Editors

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