Back in the early 2000s, John Ordover, then one of the Star Trek fiction editors at Simon & Schuster, said to me that he wanted me to write a Star Trek version of The West Wing. I wrote up a writing sample for him of how it might go, and then nothing came of it for a while.
Then in 2002, with the release of Star Trek Nemesis, John conceived a nine-book miniseries that would chronicle the year leading up to that final TNG movie. That novel included the Federation president resigning in disgrace (in David Mack’s A Time to Heal) and a special election being held for a new president (in my concluding novel A Time for War, a Time for Peace), which set the stage for me to finally write that book as that president’s first year in office.
John left while we were in the midst of doing the series, and so his colleague Marco Palmieri took over the West Wing pastiche novel, which was eventually entitled Articles of the Federation (actually a placeholder title originally, but we never came up with anything better).
I figured it would be a fun little book to do, and I created a president, Nan Bacco, who was based on a number of sources: Jed Bartlet from West Wing, obviously, but also the political writer Molly Ivins, former Texas Governor Ann Richards, and most of all my great grandmother Grazia Silverio DeBacco, who died in 2003 at the ripe old age of 98, and would’ve made a great president, dagnabbit.
Articles wound up being a fairly influential and well regarded novel, as it was the first piece of Trek fiction to look in depth at the workings of the government of the United Federation of Planets. It set the template going forward for how it would be portrayed in the fiction, and President Bacco became a major supporting character in the Trek fiction going forward, appearing in more than a dozen novels after Articles. More than one Trek fictioneer has come to me saying how much he or she enjoyed getting to write President Bacco, which thrilled the heck out of me.
Eben Brooks, a filker and old friend of Wrenn’s who is also a big fan of my work in general and Articles in particular, decided to get me this for my birthday:
Ain’t it keen? Thanks, Eben! You can get one of your own from the fine folks at ThinkGeek.