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Trek Literature "...Good words. That's where ideas begin."

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Old August 25 2010, 04:06 AM   #1
drunkenkarma
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where to start?

i've been a pseudo-trekkie for most of my life, but my obsession has only progressed as far as tv serials and movies. sci-fi that i can really get into via those avenues has been lacking lately. i'd like to get into some of the literature, but have no idea where to begin. i would say i have a bias for the next generation era, but not necessarily... what would a real trekkie consider required reading? specific series or authors?
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Old August 25 2010, 04:58 AM   #2
Maestro
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Re: where to start?

I've just returned to the New Earth series, which is set between The Motion Picture and Wrath of Khan. I never finished the third book when it came out. On rereading, the first and second are excellent, and TOS Trek really at its finest. I can see why I got bogged down in the third, but I'm about finished and it's outstanding too.

I'm afraid that I don't much care for the current state of affairs in Trek Lit. Lots of people absolutely LOVE the Titan series. If you're a Riker or Troi fan, it may be for you.

I am a fan of the Vanguard series, but it's not the main Trek characters and it's set early in TOS's run.

Otherwise, I really think that Trek Lit's hayday was in the 8 years between The Motion Picture and the start of TNG.
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Old August 25 2010, 05:06 AM   #3
Thrawn
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Re: where to start?

TrekLit has one big, unified continuity that's been going for about a decade now, give or take, but don't be intimidated. This post is going to seem crazy complex, but this is literally everything you need to know.

If you want the short version: just read Star Trek: Destiny, an amazing trilogy, and the stuff that comes after it. Find it on Amazon and buy it right now. It's awesome and you'll love it, and you don't need to read anything else to enjoy it. It features four different starship crews, and a ton of other characters, and will really give you a feel for the amazing scope that the Trek novels have been going for lately.

But I always want to know everything there is to know, so if you're like me and you want the long version, well, there's a lot.

First thing: there are post-finale adventures of DS9, called the DS9 relaunch, and so far it all takes place in a 1 year period from April 2376 to early 2377. It's fantastic, but also getting a little out of print, and scheduling problems led to it losing some steam. Not a good place to start right now. If you'd like to know more, go here: http://memory-beta.wikia.com/wiki/DS9_relaunch but skip The Left Hand Of Destiny and the comics.

Then, there's a VOY relaunch, which consisted of four pretty bad books before both author and editor moved on to other things, all taking place in early 2378. It was sort of re-relaunched, with a VASTLY better author, more recently (see below). I'd also consider those four books a bad place to start.

Everything else in the 24th century is now together chronologically following Nemesis, which takes place in 2379. This post-Nemesis ongoing continuity is totally awesome, and the high point of TrekLit in my opinion. THIS is where to start. Here's everything you'd have to read to really get all the references:

A Time To Kill
A Time To Heal
A Time For War/A Time For Peace - the last 3 books of a 9 book series setting up Nemesis; the first 6 are unimportant.
(Nemesis falls here)
TNG: Death In Winter - crew reorganization post-Nemesis
Titan: Taking Wing - first adventure of Riker's crew
Titan: The Red King
Articles Of The Federation - a year in the life of the Federation president
Titan: Orion's Hounds
TNG: Resistance
TNG: Q&A
TNG: Before Dishonor - these last three TNG books are unfortunately inconsistent; the only real weak point on the list
Titan: Sword Of Damocles
TNG: Greater Than The Sum
Destiny: Gods Of Night
Destiny: Mere Mortals
Destiny: Lost Souls - epic crossover trilogy about the Borg invasion, following 4 crews. AMAZING.
TNG: Losing The Peace
A Singular Destiny
VOY: Full Circle - re-relaunches VOY, starting after the Spirit Walk books and covering the next 3 years, through and past Destiny
VOY: Unworthy
Titan: Over A Torrent Sea
Titan: Synthesis

Then, coming in November, the Typhon Pact miniseries, which will also catch DS9 up to the unified 24th century timeframe.

Now, if that's too intimidating, I totally understand, and I want to make clear that you can just start with Destiny because it's TOTALLY FREAKING AWESOME all by itself. But if you're paranoid about missing references, that's the whole ongoing 24th century continuity at this point, and it's certainly easier than reading several hundred


You should also read Vanguard. It's an original series set during TOS, five books strong so far: http://memory-beta.wikia.com/wiki/Star_Trek:_Vanguard It's like TOS re-imagined by HBO, and it's consistently jaw-droppingly awesome.
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Old August 25 2010, 05:20 AM   #4
Maestro
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Re: where to start?

And this entire list, minus Vanguard and the DS9 relaunch books, which should include, I believe, Lefthand of Destiny, is such an out of control fangasm that it represents everything that has gone off the rails with TrekLit since 1987.
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Old August 25 2010, 05:42 AM   #5
Thrawn
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Re: where to start?

Whereas I think New Earth was repetitive, bland, and stereotypical

Well, at least we agree on Vanguard.

Anyway, you have to admit, your opinion on the recent TrekLit direction is HUGELY in the minority around here. Even on Amazon, Destiny has incredibly positive reviews, and there's a new thread with someone raving about how much they love the trilogy popping up about every week and a half, it seems like.

Last edited by Thrawn; August 25 2010 at 05:59 AM.
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Old August 25 2010, 11:21 AM   #6
F. King Daniel
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Re: where to start?

There are loads of classic TOS novels, like Prime Directive, Spock's World, The Lost Years, My Enemy My Ally and loads more, and classic TNG ones like Vendetta, Metamorphosis, Q-Squared and Reunion that can usually be gotten from Amazon or elsewhere online for virtually nothing more than the cost of shipping.

I think it's about time we got a sticky thread for Treklit newbies.
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Old August 25 2010, 12:50 PM   #7
Paris
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Re: where to start?

KingDaniel wrote: View Post
...I think it's about time we got a sticky thread for Treklit newbies.
Agreed. It seems like one of these threads pops up every other week
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Old August 25 2010, 01:05 PM   #8
indianatrekker26
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Re: where to start?

KingDaniel wrote: View Post
There are loads of classic TOS novels, like Prime Directive, Spock's World, The Lost Years, My Enemy My Ally and loads more, and classic TNG ones like Vendetta, Metamorphosis, Q-Squared and Reunion that can usually be gotten from Amazon or elsewhere online for virtually nothing more than the cost of shipping.

I think it's about time we got a sticky thread for Treklit newbies.
Yeah, agreed. the forums over at www.theforce.net have a sticky where they lay out where to start reading, they break it down by the different eras. I think a sticky like that would be great for those newbies that come in here every so often.
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Old August 25 2010, 02:27 PM   #9
drunkenkarma
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Re: where to start?

Paris wrote: View Post
KingDaniel wrote: View Post
...I think it's about time we got a sticky thread for Treklit newbies.
Agreed. It seems like one of these threads pops up every other week
i had presumed as much. i appreciate the graciousness to indulge me. some minor surfing turned up little that struck me as very current or specific enough. this forum, however, struck me as worthwhile and informed- i'm confident my presumption was worthwhile.
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Old August 25 2010, 03:08 PM   #10
USS Lancelot
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Re: where to start?

If you're just getting into Trek lit, a decent idea might be to pick up a few of the numbered novels and see how you like them. The numbered novels are different from most of the current Trek lit, in that each one is pretty much a stand-alone affair. The downside to the numbered novels is that none of them do anything to contradict or further events that happened in the series' proper. Take TNG novels, for instance. It's usually, there's a crisis of some sort and the crew solve the crisis in 280 pages or less. Actually, that's more or less true for most of the series numbered novels. For this reason, a lot of people find many of the numbered novels boring. Personally, I don't. They're fun in their own way -- kinda like a stand-alone episode you've never seen playing in your head.

A good place to start looking would be Ebay. Search for 'Star Trek Lot' in the books category, and you'll find dozens of lots of Trek books cheap. Opinions vary greatly on which numbered novels are good and which aren't, but the advantage to buying a lot is that, even if you get a couple that didn't thrill you, hopefully, you also got a couple that did. In any event, you're probably not out much money. I've bought most of my Trek books from Ebay, and I now have over 500.
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Old August 25 2010, 07:53 PM   #11
DigificWriter
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Re: where to start?

My advice is to pick one of the standalone serialized novel lines (Vanguard, New Frontier, SCE, Titan, or IKS Gorkon/Klingon Empire), since you really don't have to have any specific knowledge of the five existing TV series in order to read them. Of those 5, I'd personally reccommend both Vanguard and Titan (even though I've only read through part of Taking Wing, the first book in the latter series [Titan]).
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Old August 25 2010, 09:24 PM   #12
captcalhoun
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Re: where to start?

start at page one and carry on from there.



what?!
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Old August 25 2010, 09:38 PM   #13
JD
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Re: where to start?

I'd pretty much just go with what Thrawn said. This depth and quality of the current TrekLit continuity is amazing, and the lead up to Destiny was when it really hit it's stride.
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Old August 25 2010, 09:43 PM   #14
Leathco
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Re: where to start?

Did you like Enterprise? I'd recommend Kobayoshi Maru and Beneath the Raptors Wing, which is the big startup of the Romulan War.

For a good one-off novel thats nice and long, set back when the D was still going, check out Vendetta.
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Old August 25 2010, 09:46 PM   #15
JD
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Re: where to start?

If you're interested in those two Ent. books you would need to read The Good That Men Do the first book in the Ent. Relaunch series.
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