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Old April 12 2011, 08:41 PM   #15
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Re: The Continuity of Days Gone By

Okay, since I can't resist making lists and chronologies, I've put together a list of the '80s novel continuity in approximate chronological order, drawing on some of the assumptions that applied in the '80s, like the timeline of the Spaceflight Chronology (which put TOS about 60 years sooner than modern Trek chronology does) and the implicit assumption of a second 5-year mission before TMP.

Note that for these purposes, I have excluded the sequels to The Lost Years, since those went with the later assumption that TOS was in the 2260s, and thus don't fit into the Spaceflight Chronology dating scheme. My intent is to represent the '80s novel continuity as it would've been interpreted at the time it was active, in the period of about 1981-1990.

Note also that I've added Diane Carey's Final Frontier and Best Destiny to the list, since the former does refer to the Romulans as Rihannsu and uses the Spaceflight Chronology dating. I'm not sure I should even include Best Destiny at all, since it came out in 1992, at which point the modern version of the chronology had been established. But it fits together pretty neatly with FF and avoids making any specific date references which would exclude it like the later Lost Years books.

I've also added the unpublished Music of the Spheres, the original version of the book that became Probe, because it's a direct sequel to Dwellers in the Crucible. And I've added The Pandora Principle because it references Diane Duane's books to an extent, and because it builds on the Saavik backstory established in Vonda McIntyre's movie novelizations (which are included because they in turn reference The Entropy Effect).

So here we go:

Before TOS:
2170s: The Final Reflection (body)
2183: Final Frontier (body)
2188: Best Destiny (flashbacks)

During TOS (c. 2207-10):
Final Frontier (frame) (just after "City on the Edge")
The Vulcan Academy Murders and The IDIC Epidemic (just before "A Private Little War")

After TOS/2nd 5-year mission:
Yesterday's Son (2 years after "All Our Yesterdays")
Uhura's Song
Shadow Lord
The Wounded Sky
My Enemy, My Ally
The Abode of Life
Crisis on Centaurus
Chain of Attack
The Final Nexus
Dreams of the Raven
How Much for Just the Planet?
Doctor's Orders
The Entropy Effect
The Romulan Way
(8 years after "Enterprise Incident")

Interim period:
The Lost Years

Movie era:
Spock's World (shortly after TMP)
Rules of Engagement
The Pandora Principle
(just after Saavik enters Academy)
Dwellers in the Crucible (during Saavik's time at Academy)
Deep Domain (Kirk returns to Admiralty)
Strangers from the Sky (frame)
Time for Yesterday (shortly pre-TWOK)
TWOK, TSFS, TVH (McIntyre novelizations)
Music of the Spheres (after TVH)
Best Destiny (just after TUC)

A lot of my placements in the "5-year missions" era are arbitrary, but here are some of my working assumptions:

Ingrit Tomson was a new security chief in Mindshadow. That means Chain of Attack, where she appears, must come later. I've put The Abode of Life relatively soon before CoA, but not immediately before, fitting the references in CoA. The Wounded Sky and My Enemy, My Ally feature a different security chief, so I've put them before Mindshadow. Note that The Romulan Way takes place about a year after ME,MA.

Dreadnought! and Battlestations! are near the end because The Lost Years referenced them as a recent scandal.

The Entropy Effect is put near the end because Sulu's promotion to lieutenant commander isn't reflected in any other novel. However, the Duane books in their original versions (before the Bloodwing Voyages reissue) had both Sulu and Chekov as lieutenants and Uhura referred to inconsistently as both lieutenant and lt. commander. This is a very loose continuity at best and full of holes.

Note that Yesterday's Son either takes place before "Yesteryear" (despite being 2 years after "All Our Yesterdays") or assumes that it never happened. A lot of early novels disregarded the animated series, probably due to the authors' unfamiliarity with it; this was before it was released on home video.

Anyway, your mileage may vary as far as the 5YM(s) chronology is concerned, but otherwise, I think this pretty much covers it. Note that there are other novels from the '80s that could be consistent with this continuity, at least as much as it's consistent within itself, but this list is limited to those that have explicit links.
Written Worlds -- Christopher L. Bennett's blog and webpage

Last edited by Christopher; April 13 2011 at 03:15 PM. Reason: Added Dreams of the Raven
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