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Ward Previews Vanguard: What Judgments Come

Ward Previews Vanguard: What Judgments Come

What Judgments Come, the sixth installment in the Star Trek: Vanguard saga, will be available on September 27 from Simon & Schuster. In it, the secrets of the Shedai have been unlocked, but at what price? The Shedai, awakened from their slumber, are not pleased by Starfleet's actions. Meanwhile, Ambassador Jetanien comes to the realization that his peace efforts may have been undermined all along. And, elsewhere, exiled former Vanguard commander Diego Reyes may be Starfleet's last hope for stopping the Shedai. Simon & Schuster will release Star Trek: Vanguard: What Judgments Come as both a mass-market paperback and eBook. It's penned by Dayton Ward and Kevin Dilmore, runs 352 pages and will cost $7.99 in the U.S. recently caught up with Ward for a quick interview. Here's what he had to say --  and check back again on Monday to read Ward's latest "Ten For Ward" blog, only at

What excites you most about this particular story?

Ward: Along with David Mack, Kevin and I are getting to do something that's never really been done before: bring to a planned conclusion one of the novel spin-off series. From the start, Vanguard has had a definitive endgame in mind, though specific details about how to get there were always left nebulous. As the story has evolved over the five previous novels, it became apparent that it was time to start the process of wrapping things up, and to do so before the series began to overstay its welcome, or was abruptly canceled due to dwindling sales or a change in editorial agenda or vision. It was actually a very tough sell, first to our editor at Pocket Books, and then to CBS Consumer Products. However, both parties allowed us to make our case, and it was during those discussions that the idea for the recent Declassified anthology came about, which serves as something of a prelude to the final arc of the Vanguard saga.

As for our novel, What Judgments Come, what excites me most about this story is that it, along with Dave Mack's forthcoming final novel in the series, Storming Heaven, was developed by the three of us: Dave, Kevin, and myself. It's the culmination of what essentially has been a very fun and very creatively exciting collaboration dating back to Kevin's and my first work on the series back in 2005. Whereas we often played a game of good-spirited "one-upmanship" so far as escalating storylines from book to book throughout the series, we've always worked together to make sure everything fit together. We took that to a whole new level for these last two books.

This is actually part one of a two-part conclusion to the Vanguard saga. Without ruining too much of what happens, in what ways do the events of this story dangle the threads that will be tied up in the final book?

Ward: What Judgments Come resolves a few character arcs and storylines on its own, while also "lighting the fuse" for what will be the climactic finish in Storming Heaven. There's even a shared framing sequence that starts and ends both books. Though Storming Heaven will pick up precisely where What Judgment Comes leaves off, Dave, Kevin and I made sure that each book tells its own story while at the same time working together to provide something of a "feature-length series finale episode" feel.

As far as you know, how far along is the final book?

Ward: Dave just recently submitted his manuscript for Storming Heaven a week or so ago, and he's currently waiting to hear back from our editor as to any requested changes or tweaks. I'm (hopefully) going to read it this weekend. Even though I have the outline and know how everything ends, it's just not the same as reading a Dave Mack novel, so I expect this to be a real treat, because I know he pulled out all the stops for this one.

For additional details about Star Trek: Vanguard: What Judgments Come, click here.