Once upon a time, when you picked up a Star Trek book you pretty well knew exactly what you were in for. A story with your favorite characters about exploring space, meeting interesting new beings and then on to the next encounter. Oh sure there'd be the odd one now and again that might break out of that mold. But never so far out as to be unrecognizeable. The important thing was that at the end of every story it was re-established that the Federation was good, and that life was joyous and worth living. If there was difficulty or controversy it was dealt with by the stories end so that everyone could go to bed happy.
Then came Destiny.
The Borg like a biblical plague swept through the land. Wreaking havoc beyond imagining. But our heroes not just survived they even triumphed. Everyone assumed that after that things would go back to normal. Back to happy adventures with happy endings.
Like lightning following thunder the Typhon Pact came. Now suddenly groups who had in the past been enemies of the Federation were making common cause. And to top it all off a long time ally, a founding member no less left the Federation.
Since then it's been one thing after another. Book after book where things don't all get set right. Book after book where the characters contained therein are forced to confront hard choices with no certainty of the outcome. Kind of like real life.
Star Trek has changed. Oh mind you it's still Trek. Beings striving to become better than they were, working to make something of themselves and to build a civilization in which all persons are respected and valued. But it's no longer as simple as it once was.
Frankly I don't think I've been as excited to be a Star Trek fan as I am right now.
I personally hope that this change is as permanent as possible.
Oh don't get me wrong a book now and again in the old style (not just TOS mind) would not be unwelcome. But for the most part I want this, have always wanted this. Stories that matter, stories where we don't just get told that the future is "perfect" but rather that we get to see the work that goes into making tomorrow better than today.
This is Star Trek being everything I thought it could be. And when the next TV series is developed (and I have faith that eventually there WILL be another tv series) I really hope that the creators pay attention to what has been done in the books in these recent years. Not to craft canon around the specific events but rather to see all the depth and subtlety that can be brought to bear using the lens of fiction.
I personally think that everyone involved with these stories should be very proud of themselves.