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

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Old March 28 2014, 07:14 AM   #1
SJSharksfan39
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TNG, DS9, and VOY - Where is a Good Place to Start?

I haven't read any of the trek novels, but I'm thinking about getting some (Got an Ipad for Christmas, and I really need to do more reading) and I was wondering if there were any good recommendations. I know there is the DS9 Relaunch (I started Left Hand of Destiny but never finished it) but anything else out there for a newbie to get started? Also, I mention these three series because they were my favorite series and I just love that "era" in general. I also love the Movie era, but probably should start with the 24th century and go from there.

Thanks in advance for the recommendations.
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Old March 28 2014, 07:17 AM   #2
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Re: TNG, DS9, and VOY - Where is a Good Place to Start?

Behold: the Almighty Star Trek Lit-verse Reading Order Flow Chart.

This fantastic resource explains what books to start with for each series, and shows which books are connected to which. Incredibly handy for someone just dipping their toes into Trek lit. Enjoy!
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Old March 28 2014, 12:16 PM   #3
Thrawn
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Re: TNG, DS9, and VOY - Where is a Good Place to Start?

More specifically, I would start with "Avatar" in DS9 and read all of the DS9 novels up to The Soul Key. (Note that the first few DS9 novels are collected in the omnibus "Twist of Faith". Buy that, rather than the individual ones.) Then I would start TNG with "A Time to Kill" - skip the first 6 in that series, and jump straight there. After that, just follow the flowchart, reading everything in TNG, Crossover, and Titan columns that come after that.

Start Voyager with Full Circle, after you read Destiny. There are 4 other Voyager novels before that, but they're pretty bad, and Full Circle tells you what you need to know.

It's a lot of reading, but this whole novel universe is soooo good.
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Old March 28 2014, 12:16 PM   #4
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Re: TNG, DS9, and VOY - Where is a Good Place to Start?

The flowchart will help you immensely. Also if it is any help, my website takes a bit of a different approach. Link in my signature. Enjoy all the Treklit goodness that is coming your way.
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Old March 28 2014, 03:17 PM   #5
tomswift2002
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Re: TNG, DS9, and VOY - Where is a Good Place to Start?

For Voyager, I would recommend starting with the novelization of Caretaker by L.A. Graf and reading right through to Protectors. The Voyager series really hit the ground running, even in the books written before Caretaker had even aired, the authors managed to pick up on how the characters were to be. #2 The Escape is probably my favorite of the entire Voyager novel series; I've read it about 4 or 5 times already.

The Next Generation you might want to try Survivors, since, even though it is an early TNG book and doesn't quite have all the characterizations down pat, it is the first book to really explore a TNG character: in this case it is Tasha Yar, a character who really didn't get a whole lot of backstory on screen that told about her life growing up. But, due to when the book was written, Tasha's younger sister is absent from the book, as the episode Legacy had not yet been written or aired.

DS9, while a few of the early books are good (The Siege, Station Rage, The Long Night, Warchild, Betrayal,Valhalla, Millenium Trilogy), most of them are just "nice story, not really memorable", while others are totally avoid at all costs (i.e. [i]The Laertian Gamble, Proud Helios, Terok Nor Trilogy). But for the Season 8 books, definitely start with Avatar, and while some say that you should read the books in order, I've jumped around the entire relaunch series and read the books out of order and I've found that I still enjoyed the books.
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Old March 28 2014, 03:58 PM   #6
dansigal
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Re: TNG, DS9, and VOY - Where is a Good Place to Start?

Thrawn wrote: View Post
More specifically, I would start with "Avatar" in DS9 and read all of the DS9 novels up to The Soul Key. (Note that the first few DS9 novels are collected in the omnibus "Twist of Faith". Buy that, rather than the individual ones.) Then I would start TNG with "A Time to Kill" - skip the first 6 in that series, and jump straight there. After that, just follow the flowchart, reading everything in TNG, Crossover, and Titan columns that come after that.

Start Voyager with Full Circle, after you read Destiny. There are 4 other Voyager novels before that, but they're pretty bad, and Full Circle tells you what you need to know.

It's a lot of reading, but this whole novel universe is soooo good.
The most important thing is to each their own, you can use the previously cited litverse reading guide to start in at whatever series you want. However, if you want to be comprehensive (or if DS9 is something you like) I would recommend the above advice, which is almost exactly how I did it. Except I read all of the Time To series and the first 4 Voyager novels as well, but I'm a little OCD in that regard.
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Old March 28 2014, 04:30 PM   #7
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Re: TNG, DS9, and VOY - Where is a Good Place to Start?

If you are going for 24th century continuity, starting with the DS9r is a great place to start and fantastic to boot
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Old March 28 2014, 05:24 PM   #8
anthony_lynch15
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Re: TNG, DS9, and VOY - Where is a Good Place to Start?

As other's have mentioned, if you like Deep Space Nine, Avatar (or the Twist of Faith omnibus) would be a great place to start.
For me the omnibus was a great entry point in to the Star Trek Lit-verse.

If you enjoy that you could continue on with the DS9 books.
I went as far as the Unity book (which I always think of as how the TV show should have ended) before moving on the the Next Generation books.

For the Next Generation books I began with Death in Winter, which continues on from the Star Trek:Nemesis film, but seeing as I've been organising my reading order since then from Thrawn's flowchart, maybe his/her recommendation of A Time to Kill is a better start for Next Gen.

For Voyager I did read the first 4 Voyager books and quite enjoyed them.
Although it's been even better since Full Circle.

Beyond that if you're really enjoying the books the magical flowchart is the way to go.

Thrawn wrote: View Post
Then I would start TNG with "A Time to Kill" - skip the first 6 in that series, and jump straight there.
Was planning on going back and reading the "A time to....." books.
Are the first 6 not worth reading?
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Old March 28 2014, 06:14 PM   #9
dansigal
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Re: TNG, DS9, and VOY - Where is a Good Place to Start?

anthony_lynch15 wrote: View Post
Was planning on going back and reading the "A time to....." books.
Are the first 6 not worth reading?
"worth" reading is kind of a nebulous question. I guess it depends on what you are trying to get out of them. They are not the best, although I did enjoy the second duology a bit more than the first or the third, I think it has the best story of the three. If you're a Wesley fan, you get a lof that in the first duology. The third duology is by far my least favorite, but it does do all the Riker-Troi background stuff for their later plot developments, if that's what you're interested in.
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Old March 28 2014, 10:03 PM   #10
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Re: TNG, DS9, and VOY - Where is a Good Place to Start?

anthony_lynch15 wrote: View Post
...maybe his/her recommendation...
His, for the record

anthony_lynch15 wrote: View Post
Thrawn wrote: View Post
Then I would start TNG with "A Time to Kill" - skip the first 6 in that series, and jump straight there.
Was planning on going back and reading the "A time to....." books.
Are the first 6 not worth reading?
I don't think so, but opinions vary. The first 6 do make some stabs at long-term arcs, but they're all pretty lame. For instance, the TNG crew does the best it can in an awkward situation in the first pair, and for some reason that's enough for the ship to be put on the Admiralty shit-list for like a year. Like their prior legendary adventures wouldn't have been enough to give them the benefit of the doubt?

In the first pair, Data also removes his emotion chip and Wesley appears for the first time in a while; in the third pair, you find out why Riker's dad wasn't at the wedding in Nemesis. And while that sounds like the sort of thing I'd really like - filling in continuity gaps like that is one of my favorite things in TrekLit, really - the stories there were worse than I'd have come up with if I'd had to just make my best guess.

Opinions do vary, but even the people that like them tend to view the second pair as the best, and that's the pair that stands alone the most, that contains no gap filling or continuity of note.

Mostly, I feel like the interconnected TrekLit universe is of an unusually high average quality - books are genuinely impressive in some way most of the time. They aren't just "here's a thing that could've happened next"; they're ambitious and meaningful and surprising and powerful. And the last three A Time To... books fit into that kind of high-stakes, taking-chances, interconnected quality brilliantly. The first 6 feel like they're still playing the standalone-numbered-novels game; stories that feel right, that remind you of your favorite characters, that don't surprise you or tell you anything new.

And since nothing later on really refers to the first six A Time To... novels anyway, for my money you're better off jumping in when the getting gets good.
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Old March 28 2014, 11:49 PM   #11
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Re: TNG, DS9, and VOY - Where is a Good Place to Start?

Thrawn wrote: View Post
More specifically, I would start with "Avatar" in DS9 and read all of the DS9 novels up to The Soul Key. (Note that the first few DS9 novels are collected in the omnibus "Twist of Faith". Buy that, rather than the individual ones.) Then I would start TNG with "A Time to Kill" - skip the first 6 in that series, and jump straight there. After that, just follow the flowchart, reading everything in TNG, Crossover, and Titan columns that come after that.

Start Voyager with Full Circle, after you read Destiny. There are 4 other Voyager novels before that, but they're pretty bad, and Full Circle tells you what you need to know.

It's a lot of reading, but this whole novel universe is soooo good.
With Voyager, what about Homecoming and Further Shore? I've always been curious about what happened right after Endgame (It's actually a reason I consider Endgame to be the worst of the finales) but I remember when those came out, they weren't looked upon really fondly.

By the way, I just added Twist of Faith to my Itunes wishlist. When I have the funds, it's a book I'm going to buy. It will make some good reading this summer and beyond. I also think I do want to dive into the DS9 relaunch since that was such a big deal when it came out. After that book, I might switch gears and do the A Time To series. There's just so many options out there it really is hard to just dive in. I appreciate the recommendations, all.
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Old March 29 2014, 12:10 AM   #12
Thrawn
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Re: TNG, DS9, and VOY - Where is a Good Place to Start?

They're fine, I guess, but there's a certain feel to most of the interconnected TrekLit universe, that things are important and anything can happen, that's totally missing in those books. They're soap opera novels. Everything works out well and everyone's so happy! No real conflicts or story arcs.

I think it's an insanely missed opportunity. Voyager's return could've been something so complex and fascinating, full of surprises. Instead, no one faces consequences for anything and everything Golden doesn't like is just ignored or swept under the rug and no one grows or changes or has to make any important decisions or anything. When Beyer took over, the Voyager novels became arguably the best thing TrekLit has going - they're incredibly fantastic. A lot of what Golden missed or skipped or didn't think of, Beyer comes back with later in fine form. But it makes Golden's novels pretty staggeringly pointless in hindsight.
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Old March 29 2014, 12:23 AM   #13
anthony_lynch15
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Re: TNG, DS9, and VOY - Where is a Good Place to Start?

SJSharksfan39 wrote: View Post
With Voyager, what about Homecoming and Further Shore? I've always been curious about what happened right after Endgame (It's actually a reason I consider Endgame to be the worst of the finales) but I remember when those came out, they weren't looked upon really fondly.
I read all the Voyager books from Homecoming to Children of the Storm in the last few months.
While I did enjoy the first 4 books, I would probably suggest reading Home Coming and Further Shore if you want to see the crew getting settled back in to life in the Alpha Quadrant.
And if you are low on funds skip the two Spirit Walk books, as looking back on them I don't remember anything vital happening.
Of course that's just my opinion.

SJSharksfan39 wrote: View Post
By the way, I just added Twist of Faith to my Itunes wishlist. When I have the funds, it's a book I'm going to buy. It will make some good reading this summer and beyond. I also think I do want to dive into the DS9 relaunch since that was such a big deal when it came out.
I've been buying great quality pre-used Trek-books on Amazon if that helps with your funds.
Enjoy however you purchase it!
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Old March 29 2014, 12:34 AM   #14
anthony_lynch15
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Re: TNG, DS9, and VOY - Where is a Good Place to Start?

dansigal wrote: View Post
anthony_lynch15 wrote: View Post
Was planning on going back and reading the "A time to....." books.
Are the first 6 not worth reading?
"worth" reading is kind of a nebulous question. I guess it depends on what you are trying to get out of them. They are not the best, although I did enjoy the second duology a bit more than the first or the third, I think it has the best story of the three. If you're a Wesley fan, you get a lof that in the first duology. The third duology is by far my least favorite, but it does do all the Riker-Troi background stuff for their later plot developments, if that's what you're interested in.
Thanks, for the info.
You've peeked my curiosity with the little bits of info.
So I'd probably be interested in reading them.
PS. "Worth" is a great word to use if you want fans to give a detailed answer.

Thrawn wrote: View Post
I don't think so, but opinions vary. The first 6 do make some stabs at long-term arcs, but they're all pretty lame. For instance, the TNG crew does the best it can in an awkward situation in the first pair, and for some reason that's enough for the ship to be put on the Admiralty shit-list for like a year. Like their prior legendary adventures wouldn't have been enough to give them the benefit of the doubt?

In the first pair, Data also removes his emotion chip and Wesley appears for the first time in a while; in the third pair, you find out why Riker's dad wasn't at the wedding in Nemesis. And while that sounds like the sort of thing I'd really like - filling in continuity gaps like that is one of my favorite things in TrekLit, really - the stories there were worse than I'd have come up with if I'd had to just make my best guess.

Opinions do vary, but even the people that like them tend to view the second pair as the best, and that's the pair that stands alone the most, that contains no gap filling or continuity of note.

Mostly, I feel like the interconnected TrekLit universe is of an unusually high average quality - books are genuinely impressive in some way most of the time. They aren't just "here's a thing that could've happened next"; they're ambitious and meaningful and surprising and powerful. And the last three A Time To... books fit into that kind of high-stakes, taking-chances, interconnected quality brilliantly. The first 6 feel like they're still playing the standalone-numbered-novels game; stories that feel right, that remind you of your favorite characters, that don't surprise you or tell you anything new.

And since nothing later on really refers to the first six A Time To... novels anyway, for my money you're better off jumping in when the getting gets good.
Thanks for the info. I'll probably give the books a try anyway.
Maybe after I read the shelf-full of post-Destiny books I have gathered.
If I read them and the first few don't seem good I'll know to skip to "A Time To Kill".
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Old March 29 2014, 08:24 AM   #15
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Re: TNG, DS9, and VOY - Where is a Good Place to Start?

Well, I had funds in my Amazon account so I decided to buy Twist of Faith tonight and just started Avatar. I bought the E-book version and got through the first part and the prologue. Good start so far but it's still early. One of the reasons to get an Ipad was to force myself to read more and there is a lot of 24th century trek that I still don't know about.
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