where to start?

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by drunkenkarma, Aug 25, 2010.

  1. drunkenkarma

    drunkenkarma Cadet Newbie

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    i've been a pseudo-trekkie for most of my life, but my obsession has only progressed as far as tv serials and movies. sci-fi that i can really get into via those avenues has been lacking lately. i'd like to get into some of the literature, but have no idea where to begin. i would say i have a bias for the next generation era, but not necessarily... what would a real trekkie consider required reading? specific series or authors?
     
  2. Maestro

    Maestro Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I've just returned to the New Earth series, which is set between The Motion Picture and Wrath of Khan. I never finished the third book when it came out. On rereading, the first and second are excellent, and TOS Trek really at its finest. I can see why I got bogged down in the third, but I'm about finished and it's outstanding too.

    I'm afraid that I don't much care for the current state of affairs in Trek Lit. Lots of people absolutely LOVE the Titan series. If you're a Riker or Troi fan, it may be for you.

    I am a fan of the Vanguard series, but it's not the main Trek characters and it's set early in TOS's run.

    Otherwise, I really think that Trek Lit's hayday was in the 8 years between The Motion Picture and the start of TNG.
     
  3. Thrawn

    Thrawn Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    TrekLit has one big, unified continuity that's been going for about a decade now, give or take, but don't be intimidated. This post is going to seem crazy complex, but this is literally everything you need to know.

    If you want the short version: just read Star Trek: Destiny, an amazing trilogy, and the stuff that comes after it. Find it on Amazon and buy it right now. It's awesome and you'll love it, and you don't need to read anything else to enjoy it. It features four different starship crews, and a ton of other characters, and will really give you a feel for the amazing scope that the Trek novels have been going for lately.

    But I always want to know everything there is to know, so if you're like me and you want the long version, well, there's a lot.

    First thing: there are post-finale adventures of DS9, called the DS9 relaunch, and so far it all takes place in a 1 year period from April 2376 to early 2377. It's fantastic, but also getting a little out of print, and scheduling problems led to it losing some steam. Not a good place to start right now. If you'd like to know more, go here: http://memory-beta.wikia.com/wiki/DS9_relaunch but skip The Left Hand Of Destiny and the comics.

    Then, there's a VOY relaunch, which consisted of four pretty bad books before both author and editor moved on to other things, all taking place in early 2378. It was sort of re-relaunched, with a VASTLY better author, more recently (see below). I'd also consider those four books a bad place to start.

    Everything else in the 24th century is now together chronologically following Nemesis, which takes place in 2379. This post-Nemesis ongoing continuity is totally awesome, and the high point of TrekLit in my opinion. THIS is where to start. Here's everything you'd have to read to really get all the references:

    A Time To Kill
    A Time To Heal
    A Time For War/A Time For Peace - the last 3 books of a 9 book series setting up Nemesis; the first 6 are unimportant.
    (Nemesis falls here)
    TNG: Death In Winter - crew reorganization post-Nemesis
    Titan: Taking Wing - first adventure of Riker's crew
    Titan: The Red King
    Articles Of The Federation - a year in the life of the Federation president
    Titan: Orion's Hounds
    TNG: Resistance
    TNG: Q&A
    TNG: Before Dishonor - these last three TNG books are unfortunately inconsistent; the only real weak point on the list
    Titan: Sword Of Damocles
    TNG: Greater Than The Sum
    Destiny: Gods Of Night
    Destiny: Mere Mortals
    Destiny: Lost Souls - epic crossover trilogy about the Borg invasion, following 4 crews. AMAZING.
    TNG: Losing The Peace
    A Singular Destiny
    VOY: Full Circle - re-relaunches VOY, starting after the Spirit Walk books and covering the next 3 years, through and past Destiny
    VOY: Unworthy
    Titan: Over A Torrent Sea
    Titan: Synthesis

    Then, coming in November, the Typhon Pact miniseries, which will also catch DS9 up to the unified 24th century timeframe.

    Now, if that's too intimidating, I totally understand, and I want to make clear that you can just start with Destiny because it's TOTALLY FREAKING AWESOME all by itself. But if you're paranoid about missing references, that's the whole ongoing 24th century continuity at this point, and it's certainly easier than reading several hundred :)


    You should also read Vanguard. It's an original series set during TOS, five books strong so far: http://memory-beta.wikia.com/wiki/Star_Trek:_Vanguard It's like TOS re-imagined by HBO, and it's consistently jaw-droppingly awesome.
     
  4. Maestro

    Maestro Vice Admiral Admiral

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    And this entire list, minus Vanguard and the DS9 relaunch books, which should include, I believe, Lefthand of Destiny, is such an out of control fangasm that it represents everything that has gone off the rails with TrekLit since 1987.
     
  5. Thrawn

    Thrawn Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Whereas I think New Earth was repetitive, bland, and stereotypical :lol:

    Well, at least we agree on Vanguard.

    Anyway, you have to admit, your opinion on the recent TrekLit direction is HUGELY in the minority around here. Even on Amazon, Destiny has incredibly positive reviews, and there's a new thread with someone raving about how much they love the trilogy popping up about every week and a half, it seems like.
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2010
  6. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    There are loads of classic TOS novels, like Prime Directive, Spock's World, The Lost Years, My Enemy My Ally and loads more, and classic TNG ones like Vendetta, Metamorphosis, Q-Squared and Reunion that can usually be gotten from Amazon or elsewhere online for virtually nothing more than the cost of shipping.

    I think it's about time we got a sticky thread for Treklit newbies.
     
  7. Paris

    Paris Commodore Commodore

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    Agreed. It seems like one of these threads pops up every other week :p
     
  8. indianatrekker26

    indianatrekker26 Captain Captain

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    Yeah, agreed. the forums over at www.theforce.net have a sticky where they lay out where to start reading, they break it down by the different eras. I think a sticky like that would be great for those newbies that come in here every so often.
     
  9. drunkenkarma

    drunkenkarma Cadet Newbie

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    i had presumed as much. i appreciate the graciousness to indulge me. some minor surfing turned up little that struck me as very current or specific enough. this forum, however, struck me as worthwhile and informed- i'm confident my presumption was worthwhile.
     
  10. USS Lancelot

    USS Lancelot Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    If you're just getting into Trek lit, a decent idea might be to pick up a few of the numbered novels and see how you like them. The numbered novels are different from most of the current Trek lit, in that each one is pretty much a stand-alone affair. The downside to the numbered novels is that none of them do anything to contradict or further events that happened in the series' proper. Take TNG novels, for instance. It's usually, there's a crisis of some sort and the crew solve the crisis in 280 pages or less. Actually, that's more or less true for most of the series numbered novels. For this reason, a lot of people find many of the numbered novels boring. Personally, I don't. They're fun in their own way -- kinda like a stand-alone episode you've never seen playing in your head.

    A good place to start looking would be Ebay. Search for 'Star Trek Lot' in the books category, and you'll find dozens of lots of Trek books cheap. Opinions vary greatly on which numbered novels are good and which aren't, but the advantage to buying a lot is that, even if you get a couple that didn't thrill you, hopefully, you also got a couple that did. In any event, you're probably not out much money. I've bought most of my Trek books from Ebay, and I now have over 500. :bolian:
     
  11. DigificWriter

    DigificWriter Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    My advice is to pick one of the standalone serialized novel lines (Vanguard, New Frontier, SCE, Titan, or IKS Gorkon/Klingon Empire), since you really don't have to have any specific knowledge of the five existing TV series in order to read them. Of those 5, I'd personally reccommend both Vanguard and Titan (even though I've only read through part of Taking Wing, the first book in the latter series [Titan]).
     
  12. captcalhoun

    captcalhoun Admiral Admiral

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    start at page one and carry on from there.



    what?!
     
  13. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    I'd pretty much just go with what Thrawn said. This depth and quality of the current TrekLit continuity is amazing, and the lead up to Destiny was when it really hit it's stride.
     
  14. Leathco

    Leathco Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Did you like Enterprise? I'd recommend Kobayoshi Maru and Beneath the Raptors Wing, which is the big startup of the Romulan War.

    For a good one-off novel thats nice and long, set back when the D was still going, check out Vendetta.
     
  15. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    If you're interested in those two Ent. books you would need to read The Good That Men Do the first book in the Ent. Relaunch series.
     
  16. DevilEyes

    DevilEyes Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Well, it depends on what books you are able to find... So I'll limit my post to those that are still in stock on Amazon, where I usually get my Trek books from.

    Do you like alternate universe stories, with very different versions of familiar characters and settings? Maybe you'd be interested in Myriad Universes, 2 collections of AU novellas (a 3rd book is on the way). That way you get exciting stories where you really have no idea what might happen, and you don't need to have read any other literature to be able to follow the stories, it's enough if you have seen all the shows. That way you don't need to be worried about continuity or to read previous books and sequels, and they don't suffer from the reset button problem , unlike the standalone books published during the shows' run.

    DS9 relaunch is not out of print, only a few of the middle books are. The first 7 installments are quite easy to find since they've been reprinted in two omnibus books - Twist of Faith and These Haunted Seas - which, I think, are still available on Amazon. If you're interested in DS9, you may also try to read the Terok Nor trilogy (Day of the Vipers, Night of the Wolves, Dawn of the Eagles) or the novel The Never-Ending Sacrifice (if you're interested in Cardassians) - the former is a prequel to DS9, the latter is a side-story. (I would've recommended Andrew Robinson's A Stitch in Time, but it's out of print.)

    It's a bit different with TNG and VOY post-finale books, I think the early ones are all out of print... But I guess you could listen to Thrawn's advice and read Destiny, which is supposed to be great (I haven't read it yet, because I was able to get possession of the earlier TNG, Titan and VOY books and I'm reading them in chronological order).

    ENT post-finale books are all still in print. There have been 3 so far: The Good That Men Do, Kobayashi Maru, and Romulan War: Beneath the Raptor's Wing. Of course, you should only read them if you liked ENT... but you'll especially enjoy them if you hated the ENT finale "These Are the Voyages". ;)

    Funny, I've just been reading those first two 'bad books' (Homecoming/Farther Shore) and quite enjoying them. :) (Though I'm still early into the second book, so I don't know if I'm still to come across what makes them so bad.)

    I also enjoyed The Left Hand of Destiny, which is such a crazy, epic, mythical action story (with some fantasy thrown in), basically King Arthur in Trek version. A lot of insane things happen in Trek lit (at least in what of it I've read so far), but that's why it's fun - the authors aren't limited by budget, studio demands or the necessity to stay within the limits of 'family-oriented' TV.
     
  17. AMQ

    AMQ Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Thanks for the information. I've never read any ST book and trying to decide where to start was hard. I liked Enterprise most so want to start there. Great post though for explaining about all books, very useful information.
     
  18. LightningStorm

    LightningStorm The Borg King Commodore

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    I feel like we've already got this ground covered in two of the existing sticky threads: The FAQ and Charting the Novel-verse. Perhaps the FAQ could address it better, so if we make something for this I'd rather place it within the FAQ than a separate thread.
     
  19. ryan123450

    ryan123450 Commodore Commodore

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    Plus its kinda fun for the person each time to say what their favorite series or genre is and then everyone provides their recommendations. Not that I wouldn't have loved to write up a TrekLit primer.
     
  20. Maestro

    Maestro Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Bloodthirst, The IDIC Epidemic, The Vulcan Academy Murders, and Demons. Classic TOSLit at its finest.