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

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Old July 19 2011, 09:47 AM   #1
Sho
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Which are the most hard scifi Trek novels?

From time to time I enjoy digging into a hard scifi tome, e.g. something by Greg Egan. Trek lit traditionally skews more towards social scifi (along with adventure and bit of space opera at times), but I'm sure there have to have been a few outliers toward harder stuff in the range, or at least some heavy-duty subplots. When you think of hard scifi in Trek novels, which ones come to mind?
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Old July 19 2011, 09:58 AM   #2
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Re: Which are the most hard scifi Trek novels?

What you're looking for is novels by Christopher L. Bennett. His Ex Machina is not only highly enjoyable, it is as close to hard science as Star Trek gets. Christopher slips his predilection for science into most of his other Trek works as well. Another really great read is The Buried Age.
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Old July 19 2011, 11:32 AM   #3
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Re: Which are the most hard scifi Trek novels?

Art Vandelay wrote: View Post
What you're looking for is novels by Christopher L. Bennett. His Ex Machina is not only highly enjoyable, it is as close to hard science as Star Trek gets. Christopher slips his predilection for science into most of his other Trek works as well. Another really great read is The Buried Age.

I was showing my girlfriend the acknowledgement-section of Over A Torrent Sea, and she was impressed by the amount of research Christopher had done for this novell.
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Old July 19 2011, 12:44 PM   #4
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Re: Which are the most hard scifi Trek novels?

Corona, Greg Bear
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Old July 19 2011, 04:32 PM   #5
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Re: Which are the most hard scifi Trek novels?

Art Vandelay wrote: View Post
What you're looking for is novels by Christopher L. Bennett. His Ex Machina is not only highly enjoyable, it is as close to hard science as Star Trek gets.
Actually I consider Over a Torrent Sea to be the most hard-SF of my Trek novels, the one that's the most grounded in scientific extrapolation and depends the least on more fanciful stuff like transporters and telepathy and the like. But I always try to bring as much hard SF as possible to my work.


A number of other Trek novels have been written by authors who were known for their original hard-SF work and brought the same sensibilities to Trek. Twilight's End by Jerry Oltion is a good example. Anything by George Zebrowski (with either Pamela Sargent or Charles Pellegrino) would also count. And there's some good hard(-ish) science in the novels of Judith & Garfield Reeves-Stevens.

The SCE novella Spin had some pretty nifty hard-SF content, I thought.
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Old July 19 2011, 05:29 PM   #6
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Re: Which are the most hard scifi Trek novels?

Art Vandelay wrote: View Post
What you're looking for is novels by Christopher L. Bennett. His Ex Machina is not only highly enjoyable, it is as close to hard science as Star Trek gets. Christopher slips his predilection for science into most of his other Trek works as well. Another really great read is The Buried Age.
I suggest The BUried Age Too.
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Old July 19 2011, 05:31 PM   #7
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Re: Which are the most hard scifi Trek novels?

The Laughing Vulcan wrote: View Post
Corona, Greg Bear
I'll second that one!
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Old July 19 2011, 05:46 PM   #8
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Re: Which are the most hard scifi Trek novels?

I would also recommend David Brin's "Forgiveness" comic. Done with WildStorm I believe.
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Old July 20 2011, 03:05 AM   #9
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Re: Which are the most hard scifi Trek novels?

Going back to Christopher Bennett, I'd say Watching The Clock is the most hard sci-fi a story about time travel could possibly be. He put the same amount of research into it as any of his other books, and found a way to justify Star Trek time travel using actual concepts from our present understanding of quantum mechanics.
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Old July 20 2011, 03:20 AM   #10
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Re: Which are the most hard scifi Trek novels?

Idran wrote: View Post
Going back to Christopher Bennett, I'd say Watching The Clock is the most hard sci-fi a story about time travel could possibly be.
Well, let's say it's as hard-SF as I could make a novel about Star Trek time travel. There are certainly more solid hard-SF time-travel novels out there, many of which I drew ideas from -- things like Timescape by Gregory Benford, The Time Ships by Steven Baxter, and Timemaster by Robert L. Forward.
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Old July 20 2011, 03:49 AM   #11
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Re: Which are the most hard scifi Trek novels?

I always considered Vanguard to be the most hard sci-fi Trek that Pocket has done so far. Especially the first 3 books.

Anything by Christopher Bennett is a good answer too though.

I was surprised that Over a Torrent Sea got fairly negative reviews on this board (rare for your books). I rather liked it. For some reason, it reminded me of a David Brin novel I had read not too long before it - Startide Rising. Not that they had the same plot or anything, just that they had some interesting similarities - a hard sci-fi book with a starship exploring a water world, where the protagonist starship had a mix of human and aquatic crewmembers. (Dolphins in this case.) This book felt similar in a way that's hard to explain.

I haven't read Watching the Clock yet.
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Old July 20 2011, 04:07 AM   #12
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Re: Which are the most hard scifi Trek novels?

^Well, that's a very flattering comparison. Startide Rising is a classic.
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Old July 20 2011, 08:13 AM   #13
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Re: Which are the most hard scifi Trek novels?

Christopher wrote: View Post
Actually I consider Over a Torrent Sea to be the most hard-SF of my Trek novels, the one that's the most grounded in scientific extrapolation and depends the least on more fanciful stuff like transporters and telepathy and the like.
Looking forward to it - because I haven't read yet, I could not recommend the book. I'm only now delving into the various relaunches. Owning a Kindle somehow, inexplicably makes me set apart more time for reading, and now - finally! - going through all those unread relaunch novels doesn't seem as daunting a task as it did before.
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Old July 20 2011, 09:57 AM   #14
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Re: Which are the most hard scifi Trek novels?

David Gerrold has a liking for "hard science" in his science fiction, so "The Galactic Whirlpool" (Bantam Books) might be of interest.

If you like the kzinti of TAS, many of Larry Niven's "Known Space" novels and short stories, including the "Ringworld" books, would be great. And his "Man-Kzin Wars" anthologies, which he opened up to other authors. Not ST, but a ST alien race.
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Old July 20 2011, 10:00 AM   #15
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Re: Which are the most hard scifi Trek novels?

Thanks for all the responses folks. I've yet to start reading the Titan series; I guess "Over a Torrent Sea" adds something to look forward to, then .
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