The "Strange New Worlds" anthology Star Trek book from Pocket Books is back, and now readers will know at least the names of the authors they can expect to see when the book is published later this year.
Simon & Schuster, the parent company of the long-time Trek book publisher, revived the contest after nearly a nine-year hiatus. The original contest helped Pocket discover popular authors in the past like Dayton Ward, William Leisner and Ilsa J. Bick. Pocket Books hopes to add to that list with these 10 authors:
Derek Tyler Attico
The Dreamer and the Dream
Dilithium is a Girl's Best Friend
The Seen and Unseen
Life Among the Post-Industrial Barbarians
The Manhunt Pool
The Last Refuge
Upon the Brink of Remembrance
Gary Piserchio & Frank Tagader
A Christmas Qarol
The Facade of Fate
Each will receive a $1,000 advance, and will be featured in the next "Strange New Worlds" anthologies.
Two runners-up — Kerry F. Booth and James Corrigan — will each receive a $5,000 book publishing package through Simon & Schuster's self-publishing house Archway Publishing, that will allow them to publish any book that is not a Star Trek book.
Pocket Books opened the contest last year, and accepted entries through the middle of January. Stories could be no longer than 10,000 words, and couldn't be published previously in any other way, including fan-fiction. The story also had to focus on the canon-based "prime" Star Trek universe controlled by CBS Corp. — the parent of Simon & Schuster — which meant no stories could include anything in the universe of 2009's "Star Trek" and 2013's "Star Trek: Into Darkness," nor "Star Trek: The Animated Series."
At the same time, anyone submitting a contest entry would completely give all the rights to that entry to Pocket Books, even if it's not chosen as one of the winners, according to the official rules. Stories also could not focus on explicit sex or sadism, characters that were not past or present Star Trek guest characters, stories that killed off characters or made major changes to their life history, or stories based around common cliches like those where a character is injured and lovingly cared for, or stories where a new character comes in and outdoes the crew.
Entries were judged by the "Strange New Worlds" editor and employees of Pocket Books and CBS Consumer Products, judging equally on writing ability and originality of the story.
The first "Strange New Worlds" anthology was published in 1998, and continued until 2007. Pocket Books resurrected the anthology in time for Star Trek's 50th anniversary.
The publisher has not yet announced a release date for the latest "Strange New Worlds" book, but it will be in a "digital-first" format.