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Old January 17 2014, 09:01 PM   #229
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Re: Star Trek Federation: The First 150 Years

Pardon the bump, but I finally got a copy of The First 150 Years (just the hardcover, and it doesn't include the foldout sheets that came with the full version). Now, there was plenty of conversation above about how this book took a different approach to things than the novel continuity, but it covers a lot of periods of Trek history that the novels haven't delved into that much, so I thought it'd be interesting to see how much of it might be compatible with the novelverse, or at least reconcilable with a little fudging.

The prologue conflicts with the novels on the specifics of the Eugenics Wars (covered in the EW novels) and World War III and Cochrane's work (covered in The Sundered). But that's only about the first 20-25 percent of the prologue. The rest has no major conflicts, just a few minor detail differences, like when United Earth was founded and where Terra Nova was (the book uses 61 Cygni, which is usually accepted as Tellar's home star). Also the details and timing of Alpha Centauri's colonization are different from what I stated in A Choice of Futures, and the book consistently uses "Proxima Centauri" as interchangeable with "Alpha Centauri," which it really isn't -- it's kind of like saying "Hawaii" when you mean "United States."

Chapter I is mostly recapping Enterprise, so it's almost entirely conflict-free. It differs with A Choice of Futures on the origins of the Vulcan/Andorian conflict, but I can see a way of reconciling the two versions. It also claims the Romulan diaspora had warp drive, differing from the usual novelverse version, but that's a passing reference. The biggest -- and oddest -- problem is the February 3, 2153 date given for the Xindi attack, which contradicts the canonical March 1 and March 21 log dates in "Regeneration" and "Bounty" (the novels put the attack on March 22).

Chapter II, on the other hand, presents a version of the Romulan War that's pretty much completely irreconcilable with the ENT novels. I was wondering if there might be some details that could be interwoven, each one filling in gaps the other didn't cover; but unfortunately they mostly cover the same ground in different ways, like disagreeing on what event instigated the war, whether the Coalition had a mutual-defense pact, who the praetor was (Gileus vs. D'deridex), where Starbase 1 was and when it was attacked (Algeron in '56 vs. Berengaria VII in '55), when Sol was invaded ('58 vs. '60), who commanded Starfleet (Douglas vs. Gardner), whether Gardner survived the war, etc., as well as the previously mentioned discrepancy about what ship Bryce Shumar commanded and when. So there's essentially nothing that can be reconciled. The one coincidental correspondence, surprisingly, is that both F150Y and the novelverse have Columbia lost in May 2156, only 8 days apart, though in totally different ways.

Chapter III is the one that's of most interest to me, since it's overlapping with Rise of the Federation. Luckily for me, it doesn't say much about the period I'm covering, so there's not a lot of conflict. Its version of the Daedalus ships and their experiences doesn't mesh with the novelverse, since for some reason the novels established that the Daedalus class existed before the NX class. But what it says about the class being launched in 2162 could be retconned as the class being upgraded to Warp-7 engines in '62, and that would fit pretty well with the novel version. Although it has Malcolm Reed in command of the Daedalus, not the Intrepid-class Pioneer as in my novels. (Although we both agreed that he did become a starship captain.) Other than that, though, there are no major inconsistencies with what the novels have established to date, though it remains to be seen whether that will continue to be the case.

Chapter IV, which covers the TOS era, naturally overlaps with and disagrees with a fair amount of what's in the books. Its version of the events around "Errand of Mercy" and the Organian Treaty, including who the UFP president and Klingon chancellor were at the time, differs from the novels, as does its treatment of Nimbus III (whose founding it attributes to Robert Fox instead of Jetanien). It doesn't quite agree with the books' version of what led to "Balance of Terror," but they could be reconcilable. The name Praetor Varus could simply be a variant transliteration of the novels' Praetor Vrax, and the history given in F150Y could be a deliberate smokescreen to cover up the events in the Taurus Reach. More generally, aside from a few small details (like Arne Darvin's real name and the specifics of the Great Tribble Hunt), the chapter seems mostly reconcilable with the current novelverse, though it differs from some earlier books on its treatment of things like Tarsus IV and the Axanar peace mission.

Chapter V, covering the movie era, is mostly compatible with the novelverse, with the one main discrepancy being that it has President Roth still alive as late as 2293, whereas Articles of the Federation says he died in '88. Although it's interesting that it uses the name Hiram Roth, which was coined in Articles -- as well as novel-originating names like Ra-ghoratreii, Kamarag, Lance Cartwright, and William Smillie. This is the one chapter that seems to derive anything at all from the novels.

Overall, then, it seems that F150Y and the novelverse are largely reconcilable except for anything involving wars: the Eugenics Wars, WWIII, the Earth-Romulan War, and the brief Federation-Klingon War. Otherwise, there are relatively few major discrepancies, and many of the inconsistencies could be reconciled with a little creativity. So I wouldn't be surprised to see concepts from this book showing up in future novels. Although I wouldn't be surprised to see other concepts from it contradicted in future novels.
Written Worlds -- Christopher L. Bennett's blog and webpage

Last edited by Christopher; January 17 2014 at 10:20 PM.
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