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

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Old January 10 2011, 06:49 PM   #1
RonG
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Recommendations / Help with older Trek books needed

Hi all,

I found online a lot of books I've missed throughout the years. Unfortunately, I can;t afford to get them all at once, and I wanted your help / recommendations...

My choices are:

- TOS: Brother's Keeper Trilogy

- VOY: String Theory Trilogy

- TOS - New Earth books 2-5 (I have books 1 & 6 but haven't read them)

- ENT: Kobayashi Maru and TOS: Uhura's Song (these are from a different online store and are a lot - they are offered togeher)

What's your recommendation? what should I get first?

Thanks in advance!
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Old January 10 2011, 07:14 PM   #2
Bishop76
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Re: Recommendations / Help with older Trek books needed

I would strongly recommend skipping Kobayashi Maru. It's really a pretty awful book. I haven't read any of the other ones you mentioned but for the love of all that is holy, save yourself the time of reading KM
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Old January 10 2011, 08:49 PM   #3
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Re: Recommendations / Help with older Trek books needed

String theory is pretty good. I'd recommend a read of that. But dont read them all at once. Gets a bit samey over three books
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Old January 10 2011, 09:35 PM   #4
T'Ressa Dax
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Re: Recommendations / Help with older Trek books needed

Hm, New Earth is okay I suppose, but it'd put it behind Uhura's Song, which is one of my favorites. Can't remember much of the Brother's Keeper trilogy, and I have to agree with AN_D_K regarding String Theory.
Kobayashi Maru - only if you're a huge Enterprise fan.
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Old January 10 2011, 09:46 PM   #5
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Re: Recommendations / Help with older Trek books needed

None of those are really all that great. String Theory is probably the best of the lot.
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Old January 10 2011, 11:14 PM   #6
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Re: Recommendations / Help with older Trek books needed

The only ones of those I've read are String Theory and Kobayashi Maru, and I would go with String Theory over Kobayashi Maru.
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Old January 11 2011, 12:15 AM   #7
King Daniel Into Darkness
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Re: Recommendations / Help with older Trek books needed

Uhura's Song. It's a total Mary Sue adventure, but of all the ones in the list I liked it the most. Interesting worldbuilding featuring giant kitties.

Kobayashi Maru (ENT) was a huge disappointment to me. All I remember about My Brother's Keeper is the terrible James "R" Kirk running gag. New Earth I remember even less of, but IIRC it was quite mediocre.

I haven't read String Theory.
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Old January 11 2011, 02:03 AM   #8
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Re: Recommendations / Help with older Trek books needed

I found String Theory to be absolutely horrid. It was one of the few times that I about didn't finish the story...

Kobayashi Maru isn't bad. It isn't great; but it isn't bad. If you're into the Enterprise relaunch, go for it, if not...meh.

New Earth is too long, plain and simple. Six books. Yikes. With everything that colony goes through, I would have just given up and called it a day. Despite some of the (correct) complaints about it—it's barely Trek-related—Challenger is the best book of the series.

I remember next to nothing about My Brother's Keeper.

Uhura's Song is one of my all-time favorite TrekLit titles. I've read that book so may times, I could almost recite it by heart. It is complete Mary Sue fiction, and has many eye-rolling moments, but it's just downright fun. I'd recommend it over the others.
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Old January 15 2011, 02:01 PM   #9
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Re: Recommendations / Help with older Trek books needed

I'm quite fond of the "My Brother's Keeper" trilogy. It not only covers the background story of Kirk and Mitchell but also of the TOS-episode "Obsession" and IIRC offers a nice spin of the difference in the Klingons' appearance between series and movies/TNG. It's a good read, perhaps lacking the universe-changing scope of recent Trek (which isn't particularly negative IMO). If you've read other novels by MJ Friedman you'll know what the expect style-wise.

New Earth... well, I worked my way through all 6 books... and book 6's definitely the best one, perhaps because it focuses more on a new crew than on Kirk et al saving the colony time and again which becomes a bit repetitive after a while (esp books 2 and 5 were quite similar in that respect). I'd recommend you read book 1 which you already own and find out if you like the premise of the series. You should definitely read "Challenger" (and perhaps get only book 5 to familiarize yourself with the setting on Belle Terre) and its sequel "Chainmail" which is still one of the best Trek books I've ever read.
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Old January 15 2011, 03:27 PM   #10
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Re: Recommendations / Help with older Trek books needed

Kobayashi Maru certainly doesn't live up to the promise of its title but there's enough good character beats in there to make it worth the read, IMO.

Plus, it sets up a few things for the pretty good Romulan War book. But it's not totally essential in that regard.

I haven't read the rest of those sadly.
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Old January 15 2011, 05:32 PM   #11
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Re: Recommendations / Help with older Trek books needed

RonG wrote: View Post
TOS: Brother's Keeper Trilogy
Despite some chronological quibbles, I enjoyed this trilogy. I liked that Friedman approached this trilogy as a trilogy, rather than as one long book split into three (as was the norm for the Ordoverian trilogies); except for a framing sequence in each book, the three books stand alone.

String Theory Trilogy
I have this. I've never read it, though.

TOS - New Earth books 2-5 (I have books 1 & 6 but haven't read them)
I'd say the essential books are 1, 2, 5, and 6. Books 2, 4, and 5 all have the exact same plot -- something threatens the colony, Kirk and the Enterprise try to convince a bunch of recalcitrant colonists that unless they do something to save themselves they're all going to die, recalcitrant colonists don't do anything until the last freakin' minute because that would infringe upon their right to live free and unfettered of government and its agents, some people die. No, I kid you not.

Two and five are essential in a way that four is not; two is the actual settling of the colony, and five is essentially the conclusion to the story, with book six as a kind of semi-related but inessential epilogue.

ENT: Kobayashi Maru and TOS: Uhura's Song (these are from a different online store and are a lot - they are offered togeher)
I'd probably go for this one just to get Uhura's Song, which was truly awesome.
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Old January 15 2011, 05:52 PM   #12
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Re: Recommendations / Help with older Trek books needed

Claudia wrote: View Post
I'm quite fond of the "My Brother's Keeper" trilogy. It not only covers the background story of Kirk and Mitchell but also of the TOS-episode "Obsession" and IIRC offers a nice spin of the difference in the Klingons' appearance between series and movies/TNG. It's a good read, perhaps lacking the universe-changing scope of recent Trek (which isn't particularly negative IMO). If you've read other novels by MJ Friedman you'll know what the expect style-wise.
I appreciated Friedman's depiction of Mitchell - particularly his clever re-working of Mitchell's "walking freezer unit" line in Where No Man Has Gone Before into a non-sexist comment.
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Old January 15 2011, 08:00 PM   #13
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Re: Recommendations / Help with older Trek books needed

Aw, but I liked the casual sexism of the original series. It had a certain charm to it and kind of identified the era from which it came. How did he rework it?
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Old January 17 2011, 04:41 PM   #14
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Re: Recommendations / Help with older Trek books needed

^ Mitchell uses the term to refer to the "walking stack of books" version of Kirk:
"With all those solemn looks and officious frowns of yours, you come off like a walking freezer unit."
Kirk looked at him. "Freezer unit?"
"That's what I said," the underclassman told him, standing his ground. "If a woman sat next to you, she'd probably get frostbite."
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Old January 18 2011, 09:40 PM   #15
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Re: Recommendations / Help with older Trek books needed

Thrawn wrote: View Post
None of those are really all that great. String Theory is probably the best of the lot.
That is hard to believe. I would take KM over String Theory any day.

As for the books offered by the OP; it is like you picked the battle of the suck.

Maybe, just maybe, Kirsten Beyer's book in the ST Trilogy is worth while. But I'd prolly still take KM over it.
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