A FOTF exclusive Interview with Author Dave Galanter discussing his recently published novel, Star Trek Discovery: Dead Endless.
Dave Galanter has authored (or co-authored with collaborator Greg Brodeur) various Star Trek projects, including Voyager: Battle Lines, The Next Generation duology Maximum Warp, The Original Series novels Crisis of Consciousness and Troublesome Minds, and numerous works of short Star Trek fiction. Dead Endless is his first foray into the Star Trek Discovery timeline.
Dave Galanter | Exclusive Interview
PH: What does the title of this novel signify?
DG: I always struggle with titles, and it takes me a while to settle on one I like. This one was quite literal, in that Culber felt he was “dead” and yet experiencing that state “endlessly.” I then worked that title into dialogue where he is asked, “Is ‘dead’ endless?”
PH: Do the names of the characters in your novel have some sort of significance or importance to you? If so, give a few examples…
DG: Most of the names in the novel are provided by the tie-in license, as characters on the show. Those I’ve added tend to be people I know who have interesting names. I mean, I know people named Smith and Miller, but Kovalik, Viswanathan, and Barnetta are more interesting looking/sounding when looking for names for a reader to remember.
PH: What prompted you to write in this genre and who or what inspired you to?
DG: I’ve been writing Star Trek, professionally, for almost 27 years. Not prolifically so, as I have a full-time day job, but Star Trek inspired me to want to tell stories set in that universe. More specifically for this book, the actors performances (especially those of Wilson Cruz and Anthony Rapp, but really the entire wonderfully selected cast) were inspirational, and certainly Star Trek: Discovery’s writers (especially Kirsten Beyer, with whom I collaborated on the premise and characterization and style) must be included.
PH: What are the most important attributes to remaining sane as a writer and do your characters reflect some of these attributes?
DG: Writing—any artistic expression, really—isn’t necessarily about remaining sane or not, as we are what we are. I think our expressions often depict parts of our lives, where we are in a specific moment, where we have been, or where we hope (or dread) to go. At least, that’s true for me. With writing more than one character, I can place my thoughts, my feelings, and my philosophies, into various points of view within a novel, and so all characters are both me and not me. In “Dead Endless,” Culber describes some points of view that the people closest to me would recognize as “mine.” So does Stamets at times. And a few others. I only have myself to go on for some thoughts, and so I put a bit of myself into every character I can, while at the same time staying true to what the creators of those characters have written. I suppose that’s similar to an actor’s process, except as a writer I “play” all roles.
PH: What kind of research did you have to do for the novel, series or set of stories that was different from others?
DG: I, honest to goodness, researched fungi. I read two papers and watched a documentary, along with googling things as need be. Google (and services like Netflix) has made these things very easy. I’m old enough to have needed to keep many encyclopedia-type books on hand, and make trips to libraries. And sometimes dig into the microfiche—the “web” of a bygone era.
PH: What makes you laugh?
DG: A cute dig that is meant not with the intent to harm or insult but to make one feel like “this doesn’t matter.” Against myself, by myself, or a friend who is showing me they know me well enough—and are comfortable enough with me—to know the comment is said with humor and love. Oh, and telling my wife I can’t “tape” a show for her because there is no “tape.” I love doing that.
PH: What makes you cry?
DG: Sad cry: time lost in life on things that harm rather than help, or are unkind rather than kind. Happy cry: the people I love feeling loved, feeling wanted, and feeling happiness. It’s all I could ask for.
PH: What are you a fan of and is this reflected in your writing?
DG: I am in general a Sci-Fi fan, and certainly a fan of Star Trek, and Doctor Who, and I think both tend to be reflected a lot in whatever prose I write.
PH: Is there anything else you want to add about the story, series that has not already been mentioned?
DG: I am humbled and perhaps a bit overwhelmed at the responses I have so far seen to “Dead Endless.” There are certainly people who’ve been touched by the story, and that in turn touches me. It’s a validation of the work, to be sure, but also a validation of the cast and crew of Star Trek: Discovery and the work they’ve been doing to craft the special characters and relationships to which I could bring a bit of my voice, but really just hope to amplify theirs.
“Dead Endless” is also now available as an audiobook. Sample is available here.
PH: What is the best way for readers to interact with you?
DG: I can generally be found on Twitter (@davegalanter) or on Facebook. I don’t have an “author page” per se, but my internet footprint isn’t that small that one can’t find me and reach out. I’m a fairly talky person and try to find the time to engage those I can. If you want to know more about my other Star Trek books, then you can visit my Amazon Author page for more details.
Star Trek Discovery: Dead Endless by Dave Galanter is published by Pocket Books/Star Trek and is available to buy NOW! Order your copy here:
The Future of the Force. The future of pop culture writing.
Patty Hammond is a Senior Correspondent for Future of the Force. She is a passionate Star Wars fan and is a devoted fangirl and blogger. Follow her on Twitter @PattyBones2 where she uses the force frequently!
Editor’s Note: We, at Future of the Force, would like to extend our personal thanks to Dave Galanter for giving up his time and granting this exclusive Future of the Force interview.