Which are the most hard scifi Trek novels?

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Sho, Jul 19, 2011.

  1. Sho

    Sho Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    From time to time I enjoy digging into a hard scifi tome, e.g. something by Greg Egan. Trek lit traditionally skews more towards social scifi (along with adventure and bit of space opera at times), but I'm sure there have to have been a few outliers toward harder stuff in the range, or at least some heavy-duty subplots. When you think of hard scifi in Trek novels, which ones come to mind?
     
  2. Art Vandelay

    Art Vandelay Captain Captain

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    What you're looking for is novels by Christopher L. Bennett. His Ex Machina is not only highly enjoyable, it is as close to hard science as Star Trek gets. Christopher slips his predilection for science into most of his other Trek works as well. Another really great read is The Buried Age.
     
  3. Mage

    Mage Commodore Commodore

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    I was showing my girlfriend the acknowledgement-section of Over A Torrent Sea, and she was impressed by the amount of research Christopher had done for this novell.
     
  4. The Laughing Vulcan

    The Laughing Vulcan Admiral Admiral

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    Corona, Greg Bear
     
  5. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Actually I consider Over a Torrent Sea to be the most hard-SF of my Trek novels, the one that's the most grounded in scientific extrapolation and depends the least on more fanciful stuff like transporters and telepathy and the like. But I always try to bring as much hard SF as possible to my work.


    A number of other Trek novels have been written by authors who were known for their original hard-SF work and brought the same sensibilities to Trek. Twilight's End by Jerry Oltion is a good example. Anything by George Zebrowski (with either Pamela Sargent or Charles Pellegrino) would also count. And there's some good hard(-ish) science in the novels of Judith & Garfield Reeves-Stevens.

    The SCE novella Spin had some pretty nifty hard-SF content, I thought.
     
  6. Yevetha

    Yevetha Commodore

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    I suggest The BUried Age Too.
     
  7. FatherRob

    FatherRob Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    I'll second that one!
     
  8. sulfur

    sulfur Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I would also recommend David Brin's "Forgiveness" comic. Done with WildStorm I believe.
     
  9. Idran

    Idran Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Going back to Christopher Bennett, I'd say Watching The Clock is the most hard sci-fi a story about time travel could possibly be. He put the same amount of research into it as any of his other books, and found a way to justify Star Trek time travel using actual concepts from our present understanding of quantum mechanics.
     
  10. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Well, let's say it's as hard-SF as I could make a novel about Star Trek time travel. There are certainly more solid hard-SF time-travel novels out there, many of which I drew ideas from -- things like Timescape by Gregory Benford, The Time Ships by Steven Baxter, and Timemaster by Robert L. Forward.
     
  11. DorkBoy [TM]

    DorkBoy [TM] Captain Captain

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    I always considered Vanguard to be the most hard sci-fi Trek that Pocket has done so far. Especially the first 3 books.

    Anything by Christopher Bennett is a good answer too though.

    I was surprised that Over a Torrent Sea got fairly negative reviews on this board (rare for your books). I rather liked it. For some reason, it reminded me of a David Brin novel I had read not too long before it - Startide Rising. Not that they had the same plot or anything, just that they had some interesting similarities - a hard sci-fi book with a starship exploring a water world, where the protagonist starship had a mix of human and aquatic crewmembers. (Dolphins in this case.) This book felt similar in a way that's hard to explain.

    I haven't read Watching the Clock yet.
     
  12. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^Well, that's a very flattering comparison. Startide Rising is a classic.
     
  13. Art Vandelay

    Art Vandelay Captain Captain

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    Looking forward to it - because I haven't read yet, I could not recommend the book. I'm only now delving into the various relaunches. Owning a Kindle somehow, inexplicably makes me set apart more time for reading, and now - finally! - going through all those unread relaunch novels doesn't seem as daunting a task as it did before.
     
  14. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    David Gerrold has a liking for "hard science" in his science fiction, so "The Galactic Whirlpool" (Bantam Books) might be of interest.

    If you like the kzinti of TAS, many of Larry Niven's "Known Space" novels and short stories, including the "Ringworld" books, would be great. And his "Man-Kzin Wars" anthologies, which he opened up to other authors. Not ST, but a ST alien race.
     
  15. Sho

    Sho Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Thanks for all the responses folks. I've yet to start reading the Titan series; I guess "Over a Torrent Sea" adds something to look forward to, then :).
     
  16. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    The hardback ones, silly! You could beat someone to death with Avenger.
     
  17. The Laughing Vulcan

    The Laughing Vulcan Admiral Admiral

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    Gulliver's Fugitives is also a really neat sci-fi concept, an exploration of a twist in society and the consequences.
     
  18. UncleRogi

    UncleRogi Commander Red Shirt

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    I'm dating myself, but a good hard science Trek novel is one of the very first--Spock Must DIE! by James Blish. Transporters gone wrong, biological science...it's got it all.

    IMHO, of course.

    Edit: It might be hard to find these days. Actually, and Christopher will correct me if I'm wrong, but I think this was the FIRST Trek novel not eposodic.

    Edit II: Though a lot of folk around here don't like it, Spock,Messiah is also rather technology based. Immortal Coil a must read
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2011
  19. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Whereas I've always found it to be rooted in a categorically ridiculous premise, that tachyons are particles of thought. The rationale behind that was nonsense -- that the only way you can remember or envision something is by sending tachyons through space or time to the actual event and perceiving it directly, rather than, ohh, I don't know, storing the memories in your own brain or using your imagination.

    So sure, it's got some good SF imagination behind it (along with the bad), but I wouldn't call it hard SF.



    The first Trek novel was Whitman's Mission to Horatius, but it was a young-adult book. Spock Must Die! was the first original "adult" Trek novel.


    But the technology is really just a McGuffin to set the story in motion. It's not the primary focus of the story. And it's basically a mind-reading technology, so it's pretty fanciful.
     
  20. UncleRogi

    UncleRogi Commander Red Shirt

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    ok. What about Prime Directive? Given that it has human drama, but it's all about technology in a setting foreign.

    How much for just the Planet?

    To go episodic...Landru, Shore Leave, Tomorrow is Yesterday

    All good, but I seem to remember a novel, not Immortat Coil, that dealt with the Exo robototarium

    And, of course--Damn the Romans--

    Sorry, Christopher, had to put a Dune plug...
    Maybe some folk should read your books
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2011