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

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Old July 28 2015, 04:43 AM   #1
JeffinOakland
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Suggestions?

I've never read a ST novel and there seems to be hundreds. Any suggestions on one that doesn't suck?
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Old July 28 2015, 04:58 AM   #2
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Re: Suggestions?

Anything by Diane Duane. Especially The Wounded Sky.
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Old July 28 2015, 09:05 AM   #3
Kilana2
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Re: Suggestions?

What do you prefer? TOS, TNG, DS9, VOY, ENT?????
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Old July 28 2015, 11:55 AM   #4
Disco
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Re: Suggestions?

And what type of story within the series did you prefer?
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Old July 30 2015, 10:19 PM   #5
JD
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Re: Suggestions?

It's hard to just randomly pick a Star Trek novel to recommend. There are hundreds of novels, in dozens of different styles and sub-genres. Do you want a character study, a political thriller, a comedy, an adventure story? Do you have a favorite series, or maybe a favorite character who you want to read a book focused on? Are you interested in any particular authors who have written Trek books?
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Old July 31 2015, 02:48 PM   #6
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Re: Suggestions?

Federation is a good place to start. It has both the old and and new casts and is a good story.
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Old July 31 2015, 03:40 PM   #7
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Re: Suggestions?

The Final Reflection(TOS) by John M. Ford
- The very best star trek book there is. Totally at odds with any trek from TNG onwards since it was written in the eighties. A story set in the early days of the federation shortly after they had met the klingons. It's a fantastic story of their early contact from the point of view of a klingon.

Where Sea Meets Sky(TOS) by Jerry Oltion
- A very enjoyable cap'n pike exploration tale with a nautical feel. Was part of the "captains table" series, but doesn't require reading any of them.

Federation(TOS,TNG), by Garfield and Judith Reeves-Stevens.
- It spans three eras and focuses on Zefram Cochrane(based on his TOS appearance, First Contact hadn't come out at this point). It feels like the kind of epic "The Motion Picture" tried and failed to be.

Yesterday's Son/Time for Yesterday(TOS) by Ann C Crispin
- A couple of great books that focus on spock and a rather surprising relationship.

The Wounded Sky(TOS) by Diane Duane
- Super exploration, crazy concepts and, as is almost standard for Duane, a brilliant alien species.

Spock's World(TOS) by Diane Duane
- Deals with Vulcan -its past and what they think it's future should be. Includes an absolutely barnstorming McCoy speech. Would be nice to have read The Wounded Sky first.

Doctor's Orders(TOS) by Diane Duane
- Kirk puts McCoy in the captains chair, and things spiral out of control from there. Some great aliens to boot.

Memory Prime(TOS) by Garfield and Judith Reeves-Stevens
- Great take on artificial intelligence and conspiracies.

First Frontier(TOS) by Diane Carey
- Time travel, alternate timelines & Kirk fightn' round the world.

The "Errand" series(TOS) by Kevin Ryan
-It's made up of two trilogies, Errand of Vengeance and Errand of Fury, which tell the story of the TOS era conflict between the federation and the klingons, split into basically four viewpoints - a starfleet command officer on earth, a security officer aboard the enterprise who is a klingon infiltrator, an officer aboard a klingon warship, and finally kirk.
One of the best flowing, and most satisfying trek stories I've read.
Book order if you're interested:

The Edge of the Sword
Killing Blow
River of Blood
Seeds of Rage
Demands of Honor
Sacrifices of War

Masks(TNG) by John Vornholt
- Away mission on a human colony which eschewed modern technology and cut itself off from earth and ended up going back to a sort of feudal system - but with an interesting twist guided by some of the original colonists. The thing I like most about this book is how well the world and its people is put together. Characterisation(mostly Picard) can be a bit off since this was a very early novel, but it does end up kinda feeling like movie picard.

Q-Squared(TNG) by Peter David
- An incredibly intelligently written book that weaves together alternate dimensions into a very interesting story.

Strike Zone(TNG) by Peter David
- flits between hilarity and some pretty dark scenarios with great ease as a race antagonistic to the klingons chance upon superweapons and figure the klingons would make for great targets. Wesley is used well(much better then the tv writers normally managed).

Imzadi(TNG) by Peter David
- Story of the first meeting between Riker & Troi, amongst other things.

A Rock and a Hard Place(TNG) by Peter David
- Delves a bit into Riker's past as he goes on leave to help a friend. The other half of the story is his replacement, who is the star of this story. Don't want to go into him as that's the best part of the book.

Dark Mirror(TNG) by Diane Duane
- deals with the mirror universe, written before ds9 went back to it so expect gaping discontinuity - as with Federation, I enjoyed the authors version a lot more then what would later transpire.

Intellivore(TNG) by Diane Duane
- feels like a mystery where the crew are slowly trying to find a creeping horror. the tension in this book amps up very well through to the conclusion.

Possession(TNG) by J.M. Dillard and Kathleen O'malley
- a sequel to a pretty poor TOS book which thankfully isn't necessary reading(I read this one first and never even realised there was a prequel). Great tension as the pressure builds throughout.

Q Continuum trilogy(TNG) by Greg Cox
- fun trilogy with a lot of good q/picard interaction, plus a great explanation for a long standing trek mystery

Diplomatic Implausibility(Klingons post TNG) By Keith R A Decandido
- Worf tries out his diplomatic muscles for the first time. If you like the Klingon crew (I did), their story continues with the same author in the following books:

A Good Day to Die
Honor Bound
Enemy Territory
A Burning House

Objective: Bajor(DS9) by John Peel
- Really fun book, has aliens with a rather interesting fundamental problem encroaching on bajoran space because of how that problem makes them view certain aspects of most cultures. Hard to explain without spoiling it.

The 34th rule(DS9) by David R George & Armin Shimmerman
- Brilliant book focusing on Quark and how Ferengi tick, a grand Machiavellian scheme he gets involved with and a superb payoff.

A Stitch in Time(DS9) by Andrew J Robinson
- Pretty much the same as above but for Garak. Great look at his youth and at post-ds9 cardassia

The Millennium trilogy(DS9) by Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens
-Three great books about a possible future with an epic "everything on the line" feel

If you end up liking Peter David's style, I'd also recommend reading his "Star Trek : New Frontier" series, which has a captain that feels very much like the guest character from "A Rock and a Hard Place", below is the reading order:

House of Cards
Into the Void
The Two-Front War
End Game
Martyr
Fire on High
Captain's Table: Once Burned - Was part of the "captains table" series, but doesn't require reading any of them.
Double Helix: Double or Nothing - Was part of the "Double Helix" series, but doesn't require reading any of them.
Double Time (this is a graphic novel - not absolutely required reading, but pretty fun and does get referenced once or twice)
The Quiet Place
Dark Allies
Excalibur #1: Requiem
Excalibur #2: Renaissance
Excalibur #3: Restoration

Gateways: Cold Wars
-Was part of the "Gateways" series, but doesn't require reading any of them, except maybe...

Gateways Book 7: What Lay Beyond
- "Gateways" was a series of six books that all ended on a cliffhanger (cold wars above was the New Frontier entry, you don't need to read any of the others), and book 7 is a series of short stories that completes each story. I always thought this a bit of a scammy move personally as you're buying stories you very well may not want. The short story "Death After Life" is the "Cold Wars" conclusion.

Being Human
Gods Above
Stone and Anvil

There are more books after stone & anvil but imo the quality is quite a bit lower. Still enjoyable in parts though.
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Last edited by zarkon; July 31 2015 at 08:57 PM.
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Old July 31 2015, 04:46 PM   #8
DonIago
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Re: Suggestions?

If you want a trilogy that spans the series (and the years) but mostly focuses on the 24th century, discusses the past, present and future of one of Trek's primary antagonists (trying to avoid spoilers), and is generally highly-regarded, I would recommend the Destiny trilogy.

If you want something a bit lengthier and set during the TOS period, the Vanguard series is worth checking out. For my money it has a somewhat slow start, and portions of it work better than others, but I devoured the last 2-3 books. Warning that it mostly focuses on characters who weren't shown in the series.

If you want to know more about Bajor and Cardassia pre-DS9, the Terok Nor series is worth checking out.

If you want the story of DS9 as told from a not-so-average Cardassian's standpoint, I'd recommend The Never Ending Sacrifice.

For cool standalone TNG books, there's always Dark Mirror, Vendetta and Q-Squared, though be prepared for issues with later-established series continuity.
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Old July 31 2015, 08:45 PM   #9
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Re: Suggestions?

So, some people read Trek books to experience what they loved about the TV shows. Some people read Trek books to continue on past the TV shows, with a mix of new and TV characters, taking chances and telling stories that wouldn't have been possible on the small screen. Or the big screen, for that matter.

So, if you want to see what's special about the books line, and like the idea of seeing the Trek universe extended in new directions:

- The Destiny Trilogy. For sure. Set 2 years after Nemesis, this sees Riker commanding the Titan, new crew on the Enterprise, plus a couple DS9 people on a new ship called the Aventine, in a giant amazing trilogy featuring a real invasion by the Borg. Not just one cube but many. In a surprising way, also features a ship from the Enterprise show. This refers to some other earlier novels, but I've started many people with this, and no one said they were confused. This is basically good no matter what; if you hadn't seen Star Trek I'd still say this was good.

- Vanguard. 8 book series. This is like if HBO had made a companion to The Original Series; Star Trek but more complicated, following different kinds of people (Admiral, JAG officer, reporter, vagabond, intelligence officer, etc), taking dramatic chances and tying together continuity and blowing your mind with each novel. Brilliant stuff. Also good no matter what.

Or, alternately, if you just want more stuff like the TV shows:

- zarkon has this pretty much covered, actually. Most of the books on his list feel like particularly good episodes of the shows that just never got aired. The Final Reflection excepted; that's pretty unique.

If you'd like more information, the flowchart in my signature features the subset of Trek novels (maybe a quarter of them or so) that form the ongoing, interconnected continuity that moves past the TV shows and extends the universe in new directions. You'll notice most of zarkon's books aren't on it; the majority of Trek books, historically, have been of the TV-episodes-that-were-never-aired kind of feel, and most of those stand alone. In recent years, the publishing line has been split about 60/40 between 24th century ongoing books that continue moving forward in the timeline with new stories and new directions, and Original Series-era missing episode style novels.
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Old July 31 2015, 11:46 PM   #10
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Re: Suggestions?

speaking of suggestions, ive gotten myself torn on what to read next. I'm thinking of continuing with the post-series DS9 stuff with Twilight. But i would also like to continue with my Vanguard reading, i'm on book 2 of that series. I just don't know what i'm in the mood to read. i was all fired up to continue my post-series read-through of all the DS9/VOY/TNG stuff all the way up to Sacraments and Armageddon's Arrow. But i'm just not in a DS9 mood right now.
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Old August 2 2015, 06:18 PM   #11
Kilana2
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Re: Suggestions?

indianatrekker26 wrote: View Post
speaking of suggestions, ive gotten myself torn on what to read next. I'm thinking of continuing with the post-series DS9 stuff with Twilight. But i would also like to continue with my Vanguard reading, i'm on book 2 of that series. I just don't know what i'm in the mood to read. i was all fired up to continue my post-series read-through of all the DS9/VOY/TNG stuff all the way up to Sacraments and Armageddon's Arrow. But i'm just not in a DS9 mood right now.

DS9 is great, but when you're not in a DS9 mood, it is probably better when you take a break from it.

Several month ago I started to read all the Vanguard books and I was enthusiastic about it. Vanguard was not my top priority. But it was worth while.
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Old August 2 2015, 06:50 PM   #12
indianatrekker26
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Re: Suggestions?

Kilana2 wrote: View Post
indianatrekker26 wrote: View Post
speaking of suggestions, ive gotten myself torn on what to read next. I'm thinking of continuing with the post-series DS9 stuff with Twilight. But i would also like to continue with my Vanguard reading, i'm on book 2 of that series. I just don't know what i'm in the mood to read. i was all fired up to continue my post-series read-through of all the DS9/VOY/TNG stuff all the way up to Sacraments and Armageddon's Arrow. But i'm just not in a DS9 mood right now.

DS9 is great, but when you're not in a DS9 mood, it is probably better when you take a break from it.

Several month ago I started to read all the Vanguard books and I was enthusiastic about it. Vanguard was not my top priority. But it was worth while.
I figured my reading bug is on star wars. Im reading the adult novels in chronological order. Im on darth plaguies. Just not in a trek reading mood. Thanks to anticipation of the force awakens.
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Old August 3 2015, 01:02 AM   #13
TheUsualSuspect
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Re: Suggestions?

Well, zarkon, DonIago, and Thrawn have made some great suggestions, so I’ll just second some of theirs:

The Final Reflection
Federation
Yesterday’s Son
Time for Yesterday
The Wounded Sky
Spock’s World
Masks
Q-Squared
Imzadi
Dark Mirror
The Never-Ending Sacrifice
Vendetta
and,
the Destiny trilogy and the Vanguard series,
though take note of DonIago’s and Thrawn’s comments on the last two;

and add a few of my own:

The Entropy Effect by Vonda N. McIntyre – the first of the Pocket novels; a great TOS story with a different take on Kirk’s background from most of the other novels

Planet of Judgment by Joe Haldeman – one of the old Bantam TOS novels; an interesting take on TOS with a very original story

Strangers from the Sky by Margaret Wander Bonano – a big, thick book with a story divided between two TOS periods – just prior to “Where No Man has Gone Before,” and between TMP and TWOK (shortly before the latter); not in continuity with the events of Star Trek: First Contact

Q-in-Law by Peter David – a hilarious TNG novel featuring Q and Lwaxana Troi

War Drums by John Vornholt – a TNG novel featuring Worf and Ensign Ro which bears some resemblance to the later episode “Birthright”

The Romulan Strategem by Robert Greenberger – a TNG novel featuring Sela and with an atypical resolution

and, if you’re a DS9 fan, I’d strongly recommend checking out the relaunch books, beginning with the two-volume Avatar by S.D. Perry
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Old August 9 2015, 03:42 PM   #14
Smiley
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Re: Suggestions?

Here are two recommendations:

Full Circle by Kirsten Beyer
Watching the Clock by Christopher L. Bennett

They are both amazing stories (and long, so you get a lot of story for your buck, too) that show what Trek can do in prose form that would not work as well on TV.
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