I finished it but it wasn't my cup of tea. Tying yourself in knots tring to explain how time travel really works (hint:it really doesn't) kept pulling me out of the story. Star Trek is action/adventure with a moral usually tacked on somewhat haphazardly. It's not a science textbook. For that, I'll pick up Robert L. Forward.
has never been just one thing; it accommodates a wide range of storytelling styles, and the literature even more so. Pocket's ST novel line has long been characterized by its diversity, offering something for all tastes. There's as much room in it for a hard SF approach as there is for anything else, though naturally no single approach will work for every reader.
Gene Roddenberry always aspired to make ST as plausible as he could. He consulted extensively with scientists, engineers, and researchers in developing the show, something which very few television producers before or since have done. His successors may not have lived up to that aspiration very well, and indeed Roddenberry himself didn't always do so, but I've always felt that a commitment to plausibility was in keeping with the original intentions behind ST.
It sometimes feels like the series should be renamed Time Trek lately. Just look at the arguments that the last movie started with it's "time travel creates a new universe that you can't get out of". What about COTEOF or First Contact (the movie, not the episode)?
Which is a question I actually do answer in the book.
Trying to say that this is how time travel works in this case but not in that one is silly. Time travel works in whatever way the story needs it to work.
I don't think it's silly to try to reconcile different stories with one another; that impulse has driven many ST stories over the years, not just in the literature but in canon as well (see: virtually the entire fourth season of Enterprise
). Stories can come from all kinds of different sources, and if someone looks at two conflicting things and has a clever idea for how they can be reconciled, that's as valid a way to create as any other.
Besides, whereas I went into the project believing that there were all sorts of random, incompatible notions about time travel in Trek, as I studied the actual science I found that a lot of the ideas were more plausible than they seemed, and the whole thing fit together better than I expected. That was part of the fun of it, of looking beyond the surface expectations and discovering surprising connections. The silliest thing of all is not
questioning your preconceptions.