|STAR FLEET BATTLES
INPUT GUIDE: CAPTAIN'S LOG 21
WRITING FOR CAPTAIN'S LOG 22
Someone asked us "what is the deadline
for submissions for CL21?". We were somewhat nonplussed by this question, since
we don't really work that way. Submissions that might be used in the various
sections of future Logs go into a file and, when we do each section of the next
issue, we look in the file to see what is available. In most cases, we try to
use things that can be used in the order they come in, but sometimes we move
something up the schedule because it spiritually or physically fits the issue.
If you take a look at any Captain's Log, you can get an idea of the general
organization and sections needed.
In general, if you have an idea for
something that might fit, Email or call or write with the idea and we will tell
you if we're interested, and give you some guidance. You can then write up the
complete item and send that in. We will understand, however, if the muse moved
you and you had the whole article finished before you could ask us if we wanted
it. Just send it in.
Fiction is always needed, and we try to
have two stories. One is fairly long and a solid battle scene. The other can be
but doesn't have to be shorter and more specialized. We plan to add a new
one-page "biography" article in future issues and are looking for such articles
on existing and new characters.
Proposals Board is usually filled up in
the normal course of evaluating proposals, but feel free to send your ideas for
new ships or rules and we'll consider them separately.
We are always looking for tactics and
other articles for Warlord, SFC, SFBOL, Warlord, PBEM, and Omega. Note that
proposals for new ships and races for Omega and Magellanics should go to Bruce
Graw and Ken Burnside respectively. We will review scenarios and tactics for
these areas ourselves.
Anyone can submit a battle force; the
rules for each issue are posted on the BBS. If you do not have internet access
but want to submit a battle force, send a stamped self-addressed envelope and
Petrick will send you the rules for CL22 or CL23.
We are always looking for example
articles for both SFB and F&E, and would even consider one for Prime Directive.
Our new miniatures section will be looking for articles on how to paint,
display, assemble, modify, and otherwise use the miniatures we produce. The
brief "tool kit" article in this issue does not do justice to the subject.
We use scenarios in many places and are
always looking for good scenarios with new and unique challenges.
Term Papers are always needed. By the time CL22 rolls around, we will have
graded (but not nearly used) every paper in the backlog file. Future Special
Focus areas include Orions, Terrain, Tractor beams, Klingons, and Tholians. We
always need papers for Early Years, Omega, Warlord, SFBOL, PBEM, and F&E.
F&E always needs scenarios, longer
tactics articles, and new prototype rules.
NOVEL LENGTH FICTION
The input guides of ADB, Inc., mention an interest in
novel-length fiction. This is a complex issue and deserves a detailed
explanation so there is no misunderstanding.
- We want to do novel-length
fiction, as well as anthologies of short stories that reach the same general
length. We have wanted to do this for many years, long before we
incorporated and became the publisher of the Star Fleet Universe.
- It is unclear if novels would be
presented in a format similar to Captain's Log, selling for about $15 and
limited to the wargame market, or if we could package them as paperback
books selling for about $8 to a much wider market. We haven't been able to
explore the idea and find out which way is the more practical and profitable
because we haven't had a suitable novel to print and because we haven't had
time to spend on projects that might someday happen.
- In order to capture and utilize
market momentum, we would need to commit to publishing about four of these
items per year. We might even have to release two or three at once, with a
firm schedule for two or three more, to break into the paperback
distribution chains. Therein lies the problem. We cannot publish the first
one unless we have four or more of them finished to the point that we can
finish them in-house. In the past, discussions with various authors who have
indicated an interest in writing such fiction have gone nowhere because any
author would want to know his fiction would be used soon, and without "the
other three" novels we would not be able to commit to a publication date. We
do have enough old Nexus and early Captain's Log fiction for one anthology
and about half enough (Day of the Eagle) for a second one. We have received
one very long fiction story we have never had time to review and it might or
might not be publishable or long enough. Any fiction author writing
novel-length fiction must realize that it could be some time, a year or
more, before his novel might be published. We feel strongly that once we
have one or two finished novels on the ready rack, we will be able to find
enough more to launch and maintain the line. We would expect to publish
novels more or less in the order they were received, so those who sent
theirs in now would be ahead of those who delivered whatever manuscript put
us over the "critical mass" of novels in the ready rack.
- Because of our licensing, all
novels would have to conform to the Star Fleet Universe, not Star Trek. All
would have to include player statistics for Prime Directive and ship combat
scenarios for Star Fleet Battles. [We can, and probably would prefer to,
provide this game material ourselves, so don't panic if you don't know
anything about PD.] All tactics and technology will have to be consistent
with SFB rules and history. Inventions of new races, ships, weapons, and
other items would complicate the publication of a manuscript and would
probably result in (at least) an order for wholesale changes before your
novel would be considered. [Note: By new races, we mean in the SFB sense, a
race with ships and weapons and territory. A single-planet race with no real
starships that is the background for a novel would not be a problem. There
are zillions of such planets.]
- As with all Star Fleet Universe
fiction, it must be a good story and well told. Moreover, authors do not get
to rewrite SFB history, background, or rules for the convenience of their
stories. If your story has to have an MRS shuttle and has to be during the
Early Years, we can't print it. Avoid cartoon cut-out characters with no
depth or personality, and avoid using 'supermen' who speak seven languages
during a time of universal translators, can lift two Kzintis with their bare
hands, and invented the replicator because they had a yen for a pastrami
sandwich one afternoon in the Omega sector. Avoid stories that decide the
entire future of the Federation, the General War, or the Galaxy. Do not use
characters from someone else's story unless you ask first and we give you
- If you want to take a shot at
novel-length fiction, we suggest that you produce a synopsis of the story
and characters. Keep this down to a few pages. Include a sample scene.
Define all ships, characters, years, places, and technology you will be
using. Consider whether one chapter might be self-contained enough to also
serve as a story in Captain's Log.
- Payment for novel-length fiction
is something we have yet to puzzle out, partly because we do not yet know
the market or format. We will negotiate something fair to everyone involved
once we know that the project will go ahead (and in which direction).
Amarillo Design Bureau, All Rights Reserved
16 November 2004