STAR FLEET BATTLES

INPUT GUIDE- CL21

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.

  1.     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.
  2.     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.
  3.     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.
  4.     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.]
  5.     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 clearance.
  6.     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.
  7.     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).
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Updated 16 November 2004