Tonight’s Menu: We share our interview with Star Trek Novelist Michael Jan Friedman; we also talk Shore Leave, Star Trek Discovery Captain, and Spiderman.
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Tonight’s Diners: Scott and Miles
Michael Jan Friedman is a New York City born American author of nearly sixty books of fiction and nonfiction, more than half of which are in licensed tie-in products of the Star Trek franchise. Ten of his titles have appeared on the New York Times Best Seller list. Friedman has also written for network and cable television, radio, more than 150 comic books, most of them for DC Comics.
Short is Good
“Cabal and Other Irresponsible Invocations of The Muse” is my first book of short fiction. It’s got all the kinds of stories I’ve become known for in books, in comics, and on TV–fantasy, science fiction, and super hero tales.
It’s funny…until recently, I never felt compelled to write short stories. My natural inclination has always been to write full-length novels. If somebody was editing an anthology and they invited me to contribute, sure, I did that, and I invariably enjoyed it. But left to my own devices, I instinctively turned everything into an epic.
Then, about a year ago, I was kicking around a story called Cabal. We’ve all seen comic book heroes fighting teams of villains bent on taking them down for nefarious purposes, right? Well, in Cabal, I wanted to turn that notion on its ear. I wanted the team trying to take down the super-powered character to have only the best intentions. Then, as the story unfolded, we would find out if they were right or wrong to have those intentions.
And it would be a novel, of course. Because that’s what I’d always written. But Cabal didn’t want to be a novel. It wanted to be something shorter than that. I was flummoxed–flummoxed, I tell ya. But like any experienced writer, I knew better than to argue with my story. And that was how Cabal became a novella.
So great, I had a novella on my hands. Unfortunately, the market for novellas is a tricky one. I could have just made an e-book out of Cabal but, you know, I like the idea of holding a book in my hands. And it just so happened that I had other story ideas that I’d been kicking around, and the more I thought about them the more I realized they didn’t want to be novels either.
Eventually, I gave in. Short stories they yearned to be and short stories they would become. Which, in the end, turned out just fine…because I really like the work I’m doing in these stories. I’m proud of it. From top to bottom, these tales are as good as any novel I’ve ever written. (Better, maybe.)
But don’t take it from me. You be the judge. After all, you’re the one I’m writing for.
* In The Speaker of Verse, a prequel to my Aztlan series of 21st-century Aztec Empire murder mysteries, a young Maxtla Colhua investigates the murder of a highly regarded educator.
* In The Scales of Justice, an untested advocate tries to right an old wrong in The City of A Thousand Gods.
* In Headless, a crewman aboard a starship does his best to persevere without a critical portion of his anatomy.
* In Behind Every Great Enhanced Being, the mothers of teenaged interplanetary heroes clash as only mothers can.
* In Connections, a woman with remarkable intellectual powers finally appears to have met her match.
* In The Wall…yeah, that Wall…we scale a possible future in a reality you just might recognize.