In February 1970, Bantam Books revealed the primary unique Star Trek novel. James Blish’s Spock Should Die! acquired combined opinions from critics, nevertheless it laid the inspiration for a lot of a whole bunch of additional novels. Maybe the golden period of Star Trek prose was below Pocket Books, who produced an bold continuation of TNG and DS9 lengthy earlier than Star Trek: Picard.
Among the tie-in novels are good, some are dangerous, and a few are simply plain unusual. From self-importance initiatives to starship-sized plot holes, Star Trek’s authors went the place nobody had gone earlier than (and generally the place they should not have gone). Although they could be on the stranger aspect, listed below are a number of books that followers of the franchise will likely get pleasure from.
8 The Enterprise Battle – John Jackson Miller
John Jackson Miller’s 2019 novel solutions a pertinent query: the place was the Enterprise throughout Star Trek: Discovery‘s Federation–Klingon Battle? Miller reveals Pike’s Enterprise caught in a special struggle between the Boundless and the Rengru, aliens who hope to make use of the starship to tip the scales of their favor.
The Enterprise Battle has an thrilling plot, however stumbles barely in relation to reconciling the Pike period with the remainder of modern Trek. Spock’s references to Michael Burnham appear misplaced alongside obscure characters from Star Trek‘s failed pilot, whereas the Enterprise‘s saucer separation remembers TNG slightly than TOS or Discovery. Miller’s novel walks a tremendous line between anachronisms and tropes. The result’s a bizarre mix of eras, however one which readers are positive to get pleasure from.
7 The Good That Males Do – Andy Mangels & Michael A. Martin
Few followers have been impressed when Star Trek: Enterprise ended by killing off one in all its crew. When it comes to each scriptwriting and path, the noble sacrifice of engineer Journey Tucker is an anticlimax. This shortcoming impressed authors Andy Mangels and Michael A. Martin to contemplate another: what if Tucker’s loss of life was a hoax?
The Good That Males Do (2007) claims that Tucker by no means died; as an alternative, he left the Enterprise to work for Part 31. This coverup allowed him to research a brand new menace posed by the Romulans. The ebook holds a wierd place in Star Trek canon: it’s as a lot an apology as it’s a novel, though the Romulans’ machinations make for an entertaining learn.
6 Disavowed – David Mack
Whereas the Star Trek Relaunch sequence offered followers with some franchise highpoints, it had began to stumble by the point of David Mack’s Disavowed (2014). Six years earlier, Mack had torn up the established order together with his Future trilogy, specializing in an enormous Borg invasion. The trilogy is great—however its fallout left subsequent novels uncertain of the place to take the sequence.
Mack’s story, centered on Julian Bashir, reinvents the Star Trek novel as a tense espionage thriller because the Starfleet physician and Part 31 operative travels to the Mirror Universe to halt a scheme by the evil Breen. Mack’s prose is propulsive, however Disavowed represents the Star Trek world at a crossroads. The ebook’s weirdness lays not in its writing, however in its try to reinvigorate the sequence with a concentrate on espionage slightly than exploration.
5 Damaged Bow – Diane Carey
Star Trek‘s writing has been the topic of parodies aplenty, from reveals like The Orville to motion pictures like Galaxy Quest. In 2020, the franchise itself acquired in on the enjoyable, with cartoon sequence Decrease Decks spoofing on Star Trek‘s tropes. But Decrease Decks was not the primary time that Star Trek’s personal writers took a swipe on the franchise. The 2001 novelization of “Damaged Bow” derided the Star Trek: Enterprise episode it was meant to retell.
Writer Diane Carey wrote extensively for Star Trek‘s novels (the hero of her 2000 novel Challenger was written to resemble Enterprise‘s Scott Bakula, although the ebook predated his casting). But when it got here to novelizing Bakula’s first actual journey, Carey was so unimpressed with the script that she used the characters’ inside monologues to criticize the story’s plot. The creator was allegedly blacklisted for her mischief, however she turned an in any other case by-the-numbers novelization right into a sneaky sensible joke.
4 A Singular Future – Keith R.A. DeCandido
Readers may anticipate a sequel to TNG and DS9 to characteristic a hero like Captain Picard, or a fan favourite like Kira Nerys. But though Keith R.A. DeCandido’s 2009 novel does characteristic DS9‘s Ezri Dax, its star is diplomat Sonek Pran, an entirely unique character. This stylistic deviation permits A Singular Future to interrogate the state of the Relaunch universe. The Borg could also be gone, however a brand new menace is rising within the type of the Typhon Pact, an alliance of a number of hostile states together with the Breen and the Gorn.
Regardless of the scope of its universe, Star Trek can develop into slowed down by revisiting the identical characters and tropes. DeCandido’s novel bucks this development, making this immersive political thriller a necessary chapter within the Relaunch saga.
3 Fearful Symmetry – Olivia Woods
Viewers of DS9 might recall the episode “Second Pores and skin,” wherein Bajoran Kira Nerys was disguised as a Cardassian. Fearful Symmetry claims that the lady that Kira impersonated, Iliana Ghemor, was additionally altered to seem like Kira, however fell into the clutches of Gul Dukat, who imprisoned and abused her. Pushed mad, the impostor plots her revenge in Olivia Woods’ 2008 novel.
Whereas it is odd that Dukat by no means talked about his prisoner, the novel’s true weirdness is its two-in-one bodily format. Fearful Symmetry is made up of two narratives: the entrance cowl depicts Kira, whereas the rear is an alternate cowl exhibiting Ghemor. Beginning the ebook in a single path reveals Kira’s investigation into her duplicate, whereas beginning in the wrong way gives the troubled lifetime of Ghemor. This parallel structuring permits the novel’s type to reflect its content material, a intelligent gimmick.
2 Killing Time – Della Van Hise
The opportunity of a deeper, doubtlessly romantic bond between Kirk and Spock has intrigued followers for many years (the time period “slash fiction” is attributed to tales concerning the pair), however Star Trek‘s writers have been unwilling to supply any affirmation. Father of the franchise Gene Roddenberry was significantly against the thought. He was displeased, to say the least, when creator Della Van Hise snuck suggestive materials into her 1985 novel.
First editions of Killing Time (which includes the Romulans altering historical past to try to defeat the Federation) have been recalled and destroyed, though some have been bought by followers. A revised version eliminated the offending content material. Rumors circulated that an much more specific model existed, though Van Hise denied these claims. If nothing else, Killing Time demonstrates the significance of checking a ebook earlier than it is despatched to the printers.
1 The Return – Garfield Reeves-Steven & William Shatner
Actor Leonard Nimoy was so impressed by Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, wherein his character died, that he requested for Spock to return from the lifeless. William Shatner, then again, was so unimpressed by Kirk’s loss of life in Star Trek: Generations that he determined to take issues into his personal fingers, co-writing a sequence of novels wherein a resurrected Kirk continues the combat towards evil.
The ensuing Shatnerverse (comprising ten novels by Shatner and Judith and Garfield Reeves-Steven) is mostly thought-about non-canon even by novel followers, with some concerning it as an ego journey for Shatner. Kirk’s transition right into a quasi-Messianic determine definitely has all of the hallmarks of a conceit mission, as does his position within the whole defeat of the Borg in 1996’s The Return. The Shatnerverse novels might not match into any model of canon other than their very own, however they symbolize an fascinating diversion for many who like their books heavy on fan-service and lightweight on widespread sense.
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