TrekLit Recommendations/Opinions

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by kirk55555, Jun 13, 2014.

  1. kirk55555

    kirk55555 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2011
    Location:
    Washington State, USA
    I've been thinking about slowly getting some of the Trek books I'm not familiar with, mostly from near the end/after the numbered book era. There is a lot of them, so (while I may be opening myself up to some cheap shots) I'd honestly like to know some recommendations and opinions.

    First off, I've done some looking on my own, and my personal list of books I'm looking closest at is:

    New Frontier (Hardcover collection of first 4 New frontier Books)
    Have Tech Will Travel (Collection of first 4 SCE stories)
    Lives of Dax
    Hollow Men
    The Never Ending Sacrifice
    Tales of the Dominion War
    Harbinger
    Ex Machina
    Constellations anthology
    Q & A
    The Buried Age
    The Sundered

    I'm curious what people think of these books. I'm also open to recommendations. I'd prefer books that aren't part of a specific mini-series, duology or trilogy. I know I have Harbinger on there, which is the beginning of a 7 or so book series, but I mostly don't want books that have a story that I need to get the other books immediately to get a whole individual story. Its the difference between a mini series like The Fall and one story spread over two books like Avatar (which I intend to get eventually but isn't on the list right now since I'm looking for more individual stories right now). I could read any of The Fall or typhoon Pact books and at least get an individual story, even if its events interconnect with the other books in the series.

    When it comes to TrekLit, I actually like a lot of different stories (Believe it or not :vulcan: ). I'm a fan of TNG/DS9 about equally, I like TOS fairly well and I like Voyager well enough, and some of my favorite books weren't focused on any of the TV shows at all. I'm also a huge Q fan (which I mention specifically because he's a big enough character to have gotten a good amount of books, and I probably haven't heard of them all).

    Also, I've read most of the newer books from the last year or two through the library, so if it came out from about 2011-now I'm probably aware of it.

    The only thing off limits as suggestions would be
    USS Titan books
    Section 31 books
    Enterprise Relaunch (the books are still a bit pricey, and my knowledge of Enterprise is just ok, probably making the books a bit hard to get into)

    I've looked around for opinions, but I figured a thread would help me see how the books I've been looking at specifically are thought of by people currently, and there are so many books out there I've probably overlooked some good ones that deserve to be on my list of potential future purchases (I didn't even know about a good amount of the books on my list before browsing the Charting the Novelverse thread earlier today).
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2014
  2. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    I would recommend first and foremost from your list of possible choices The Buried Age. It's technically a Lost Era book, though, so I don't know if that will work against it. I heartedly recommend it either way. Early TNG will make so much sense when you watch it with this story in mind. As a prequel to TNG it's really well conceived, and it's one of the best Picard books out there. Also it features Picard's first encounter with Data, which is surely a scene any TNG fan needs to read (even more so because it's such a well-written piece).

    If not, my second recommendation from the list is The Never-Ending Sacrifice, which retells the entire Cardassian story arc from DS9 in a beautiful and intelligent way, and really effortlessly sews events together into something very emotionally provocative. Someone once described it as the closest we've come to a Dickensian Trek book, too, which is a description I quite like.
     
  3. kirk55555

    kirk55555 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2011
    Location:
    Washington State, USA
    Both of those books definitely sound good. Also, I removed the "no Lost Era" thing from the first post, because it looks like those books are less connected than I thought (some place I read seemed to imply the Lost Era Novels all went together). I realised that The Buried Age was Lost Era, and when I looked at the list most of the books don't seem to connect to each other, except for those two books with the Enterprise that existed inbetween A and C that I won't mention :lol: I also added The Sundered to the list because it seems like a cool Sulu-Excelsior book and I've liked the few books I've read that focus on Sulu as Captain of the Excelsior.
     
  4. Paris

    Paris Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2008
    Location:
    In the future's past
    My favorites from your list are The Buried Age, Ex Machina, Harbinger and Q&A. Tales of The Dominion War was also pretty good. I've heard great things about Never Ending Sacrifice, but have not read it yet.
     
  5. Tirius

    Tirius Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2003
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    Here's a quick run-down of your list and some thoughts on the ones I've read:

    New Frontier (Hardcover collection of first 4 New frontier Books)
    NFR is what I consider "light" reading; it's very different in tone from all the other series. I don't remember the first few stories that well, only that they were a bit short compared to the later installments. Getting the collection would be a good way to test if the series is for you though, without having to track down the individual novels. I'd put this down as a maybe.
    Have Tech Will Travel (Collection of first 4 SCE stories)
    These give a decent intro into the SCE series. I took some time warming to the short story format, but the SCE crew holds some great characters and its "conundrum-of-the-week" format might fit better into your "no series" preference than its NFR equivalent does. While these are not SCE's strongest stories IMO, it's definately fun.
    Lives of Dax
    A bit average. I generally found the stories a bit light, likely due to their limited length. A must if you're a Dax fan though.
    Hollow Men
    Una McCormack has written some of my favorite Trek novels, but this is not one of them. Again, a bit average for me, I felt the buildup failed to deliver a good ending. Will definately fit your "standalone" criteria, and if you like Garak, Sisko and/or intrigue stories, you might like it.
    The Never Ending Sacrifice
    Got some nice reviews on the board, but I've not got round to it yet.
    Tales of the Dominion War
    I'd not recommend this for you, largely because of the stories within that derive from novel-only series. Enjoyable, if a bit of a mixed bag. The only story I remember fondly is Mirror Eyes, the story about a Romulan infiltrator on DS9.
    Harbinger
    The first three or so books of Vanguard are just pure awesome (not that the rest is ever bad). If you do decide to take a chance on a series, I'd recommend this over all the other ones, save perhaps the DS9 relaunch. Can be read solo, but I fear you'll end up wanting to get Summon the Thunder ASAP after finishing it. :)
    Ex Machina, Constellations anthology
    Not read these.
    Q & A
    A lighthearted, but highly enjoyable novel. It has the disadvantage of being sandwiched between two novels that I will charitably call "bland" and "disaster", but don't let that put you off. Largely a Picard story, I think it can be read solo even if you're not entirely up to speed on the preceding stories in the TNG Relaunch. Probably my favorite TNG Relaunch story of the ones set before Destiny. Also a must for a Q fan.
    The Buried Age
    Likely my favorite novel of the ones you've listed. Excellent candidate, as it's both standalone and yet integral to the backstory of Picard "before TNG". Also just a very epic story.
    The Sundered
    Not my favorite Lost Era book, but decent read all the same and like all Lost Era books also standalone. Definately recommended if you like Sulu and/or Tholians.

    Some other books that are standalone that I highly enjoyed:
    - DTI: Watching the Clock
    - Lost Era: Serpents Among the Ruins
    - Lost Era: The Art of the Impossible
    - TNG: Diplomatic Implausibility (this functions as the prequel to the short Gorkon/KE series, but is mainly a Worf-after-DS9 tale)
     
  6. KRAD

    KRAD Keith R.A. DeCandido Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 1999
    Location:
    New York City
    Not to toot my own horn or anything, but to toot my own horn for a moment, if you consider yourself a Q fan, you really really should read Q & A. Trust me. :D
     
  7. kirk55555

    kirk55555 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2011
    Location:
    Washington State, USA
    My first purchase ended up being The Buried Age. It was a hard choice, but a story about a post Stargazer/Pre-Enterprise Picard sounded cool, and it's apparently well liked. I'm hoping to get more books as I get the funds, so I still appreciate opinions and recommendations. There are a lot of cool sounding Star Trek books out there that I've missed.
     
  8. zarkon

    zarkon Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2011
    New Frontier & Q&A are the best of your list that I've read.

    Other then that it's kinda hard to suggest without knowing how much you've read. The Final Reflection, Q-Squared & Federation are probably the best Trek books available. Here's some of my favourites from the last time this came up:

    http://www.trekbbs.com/showthread.php?p=7903762#post7903762
     
  9. TheUsualSuspect

    TheUsualSuspect Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2011
    Location:
    Reseda, CA
    The Never-Ending Sacrifice is possibly the best Trek novel ever written. One of the few Trek novels that I think almost any reader of science fiction or fiction in general without prior knowledge of any Star Trek series could pick up and enjoy. Your knowledge of DS9 and Cardassian society will only deepen your appreciation for this one.

    Q & A is a fun Q story which ties together most, if not all, of the Q episodes. While the story is big in scope, the writing is very in line with the general semi-serious, semi-humorous tome of the best Q episodes.

    Ex Machina If you enjoy TOS and are curious about what happened after TMP, this book gives a nice sense of what a TV series or movie sequel to TMP might have been like.
     
  10. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2001
    Location:
    Per Ardua
    I think A Time to Kill/A Time to Heal are an awesome pair of books.
     
  11. Mimi

    Mimi Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2013
    Location:
    Florida
    I agree with this completely. One of my favorite novels that I went into with really no expectations. I had this idea where I thought the story was going to go, and it ended up completely different. Just a great book all around.
     
  12. kirk55555

    kirk55555 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2011
    Location:
    Washington State, USA
    The Never Ending Sacrifice is my next purchase. It's gotten some interesting praise, and its a different series than The Buried Age, so there is some variety. I've ordered them from Amazon, so hopefully both of them will arrive before too long. I'm still open to recommendations and opinions, since I still plan to get some more books as I get some extra money.
     
  13. seigezunt

    seigezunt Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    Location:
    Delta Vega
    Being a TOS fan, I really enjoyed Ex Machina.
     
  14. kirk55555

    kirk55555 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2011
    Location:
    Washington State, USA
    I got the books I ordered (The Buried age and The Never Ending Sacrifice). I've started reading TNES. I'm still pretty early in, but its good so far, although

    I question the decision to make Sisko responsible for the deportation. Last time I checked, being the emissary did not make his director of the Bajoran Child Protective Services. Also, taking a child away from the only parents he remembers just because you found his birth dad is extremely screwed up, regardless of the hand wave "explanation" of people bad mouthing his adopted dad. It would have made more sense if it had been a Bajoran bureaucrat/politician who had a thing against cardassian adoptees in general or the family in particular.

    Now, I'm just wondering why Sisko hates adopted families, and is willing to break them up and ruin peoples lives without seemingly caring about what the teen or his adopted family want or just their side of the story at all. It doesn't seem in character for sisko, who as a Dad (and an "enlightened" human) should recognition adopted families as just as legitimate and I don't think would ever do what he did. Still, I'm liking the premise of the book, and its been good so far. I just think that the author could have found a better reason to get the teen to his biological Dad that didn't involve Sisko being out of character (and an ass). I don't think this will effect my opinion of the book, its just a part of the story that I don't think quite works with Sisko's character
     
  15. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2001
    Location:
    Per Ardua
    I'd also recommend Forged in Fire (Captain Sulu) and Once Burned (Mackenzie Calhoun).
     
  16. Defcon

    Defcon Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    May 9, 2003
    Location:
    Germany
    Giving Rugal back to his Cardassian father was something established in the TV show: http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Rugal
     
  17. Jarvisimo

    Jarvisimo Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2011
    Yeah, Sisko thinks it the right thing to do in the episode:

    Of course, McCormack's book takes this decision to task. And yet doesn't condemn it either, given it is the raison d'etre for the book too, and some people's 'positive' development in encounter with Rugal.
     
  18. KRAD

    KRAD Keith R.A. DeCandido Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 1999
    Location:
    New York City
    The problem you point out is NOT a flaw in the book and is not Una's fault, but rather a flaw in the episode "Cardassians," which is where we saw Sisko make that questionable decision. But Una was just working with what was given to her onscreen.

    As it happens, I agree with you on the dubiousness of the decision, as I said in my rewatch of the episode on Tor.com, but that's not a flaw in The Never Ending Sacrifice, but rather the episode it spun off of. Una deserves credit for making quite the silk purse out of that particular sow's ear.
     
  19. KRAD

    KRAD Keith R.A. DeCandido Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 1999
    Location:
    New York City
    Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand Defcon and Jarvisimo beat me to it. :lol:
     
  20. kirk55555

    kirk55555 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2011
    Location:
    Washington State, USA
    Ok, I stand corrected. I had no idea that the character was anything but a book creation. With that knowledge, I transfer my criticism to the episode. It still seems out of character for Sisko, and I'm pretty sure he had no authority to do it and basically tore a family apart because...he doesn't count adopted families as legitimate, apparently. But, it wasn't TNES's author's fault, it's the TV shows fault. I've never seen the episode "Cardassians", but I'm kind of glad I didn't.

    Also, how the hell is Rugal's "healing" supposed to begin? Why the heck is tearing a kid away from the only family he's ever known based purely off his biological relationship with a father he doesn't remember a good thing? I would think that stuff like this would be extremely unlikely, if not impossible, in 2014. I'm surprised that the "evolved humans" of the 24th century have no respect for non biological families :cardie:

    As for the book, I'm enjoying it. Its interesting to see life on Cardassia, and Rugal is an interesting character.