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Pocket Books

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Real World article
(written from a Production point of view)
Pocket Books logo

Pocket Books is a publisher, a subsidiary of Simon & Schuster. Pocket Books is the imprint under which all current Star Trek mass market paperback novels are published.

The origins of the company date back to 1939, with the publication of the first paperback books by Robert Fair de Graff. Prior to that time, only hardcover books were available, and most of them were priced at several dollars – beyond the means of most people during the Depression. de Graff's paperback books, at a quarter or so each, were affordable. de Graff presented his idea to several publishers, before Simon & Schuster decided it was worth a look. In addition to carefully selecting his titles, de Graff established new channels of distribution, such as drug stores, five and dime stores, and department stores – all places that, prior to his efforts, had not sold books. Thus, Pocket Books was formed.

Both Simon & Schuster and Pocket were sold to Gulf+Western (which later became Paramount Pictures) in 1975, and were incorporated into Viacom in 2002.

Pocket acquired the license to publish Star Trek fiction in 1978, and was originally responsible for published Star Trek novels in all formats, as well as reference books, the first one of these being the 1979 Star Trek Speaks, published under the then used imprint "Wallaby Books" ("Wanderer Books" being another imprint, aimed at the more juvenile audiences, used on occasion during those years). David G. Hartwell was instrumental in getting the initial license and authors for the series, and was the first editor of the line. Following an editorial reorganization at Simon & Schuster in 2009, Pocket's hardcover and trade paperback releases were incorporated into a new imprint, Gallery Books.

Pocket Books was the only officially licensed publisher to release reference books in the US, but its track record in that respect has been a mixture of commercial successes and failures. Interest in publishing these kind of works dropped sharply after 2002 and licenses to publish reference books were extended to other publishing houses, the first time in 2009 when Titan Books published Star Trek - The Art of the Film, the first official reference book not published under the imprint of Pocket Books since 1979. More recently Abrams Books also started to release Star Trek reference books.

The company's logo is a kangaroo named "Gertrude".

On the title pages of recent Star Trek novels, Pocket Books have listed fictional locations in the novels as a location of one of their offices.

Novel seriesEdit

Reference booksEdit

note: in chronological order of year of first printing

Editors Edit

Novel chronologyEdit

In general, the editing staff of Pocket Books have been known for ensuring that novels do not contradict each other and do not deal with any major issues to Star Trek such as the death of a major character or a promotion contradicting an established on-screen rank.

There are some important exceptions, such as the promotion of Chekov in the novel Deep Domain as well as the Lost Years series which gave detailed information regarding James T. Kirk's role as Chief of Starfleet Operations. A widespread theme in the Pocket Books novel is also the second five year voyage of the USS Enterprise under Captain Kirk, something never confirmed in canon. More recently, Kathryn Janeway was killed in the novel Before Dishonor, a death which was later confirmed in the subsequent novel Full Circle.

The chronology of Pocket Books is written so as to "fit in" with on screen episodes and films, even though, with the large amount of novels, the characters depicted would likely not have enough time to participate in all of the depicted adventures.

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit

This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).

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