I agree that the emotional impact of Wildfire would be a lot diminished sans the serial context though.
I'm not so sure about that. The manuscript for Wildfire
moved both my wife and my agent to tears the first time each of them read it, and neither had read any of the previous material in the S.C.E.
series, and neither had read much Treklit in general. I'd be willing to bet that except for a few truly obscure references, most of Wildfire
would be accessible to a reader selected at random.