A good starting place for Trek literature?

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by kat0203, Apr 7, 2021.

  1. Damian

    Damian Commodore Commodore

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    That's all true. I was just trying to think of novels that 'felt' like they could be part of the shows and many of Duane's novels just don't 'feel' like original series episodes.

    I was just trying to think of a good Star Trek story that feels like it could be just another episode of the TV series where there are no continuity issues (granted, most novels would probably be more like a 3 or 4 part episode but they can still 'feel' like just another episode).

    I figured since there were plenty of Star Trek books that fit the bill....they're great books that have the feel of the TV series and don't conflict with what's on screen, why not start with something like that. Certainly you can always dive into other types of novels down the road. I'd never let continuity issues stop me from reading other novels.
     
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  2. dupersuper

    dupersuper Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    It may or may not matter to them. Recommending things to others is about what they're looking for, not us.
     
  3. JWolf

    JWolf Commodore Commodore

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    The best place to start is Death in Winter by Michael Jan Friedman and go from these in published order. You'll probably have to read eBooks as that's the best way to make sure you can get all the books.
     
  4. Jinn

    Jinn Mistress of the Chaotic Energies Rear Admiral

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    Looking at amazon, the first seven books are all available as physical books, although the eBooks are cheaper.
     
  5. mastadge

    mastadge Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    I strongly disagree. When I tried to start the post-Nemesis TNG in order, it was ROUGH. Death in Winter was soooooo boring and unnecessary, and I also bounced hard off of Resistance. But Death in Winter half reads more as a coda to Friedman's Stargazer stuff than it does as an introduction to a new era of TNG, and the who's-who of obscure and not-obscure Romulan characters was stultifying. We did not need TNG: Reunion: The Reunion to kick off the new era. Basically everything that DiW needed to accomplish could have been accomplished in a prologue to another book without losing anything of value.
     
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  6. Damian

    Damian Commodore Commodore

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    To be honest, the relaunches are probably outside what she's looking for. It sounds like she's looking for standalone novels that could basically be like an episode of the original series or TNG themselves. I'm not sure if the relaunches fit the bill.

    Though if someone wanted to dive into the relaunches I'd actually probably start with the Genesis Wave novels. That seems to be the starting point for the storylines that the relaunches pick up on from. I'd consider Vendetta and the Gemworld duology as sort of a prequel to the relaunches since they are also referenced to some degree so you could start with those if you really wanted to go back to the ' very beginning'. Vendetta might be a TNG novel I'd recommend anyway as a good TNG story. Gemworld was ok too, but I didn't find it to be in the upper tier of excellent when it comes to TNG novels.

    Death in Winter is the first post-Nemesis novel in the timeline, but really I think the narrative starts pretty much with The Genesis Wave. And yes, I agree, Death in Winter was a bit of a slog. I mean, it wasn't Phoenix level bad or anything, I just found it meh. Kind of a shame because I found I liked most of Friedman's books. I found that to be a rare miss for him. I don't remember much about Resistance, except that was when the Borg threat really started building.

    And of course if you really wanted to do a comprehensive relaunch read you'd have to dive into the DS9 novels which starts with Avatar (I believe A Stitch in Time was retroactively added as well, and maybe the Lives of Dax? not sure about that one though my copy has the relaunch DS9 typeface which is why I wonder about that one). Down the road there's some crossovers between TNG and DS9. You could probably leave out the Voyager relaunches, there's less crossover there, though it too is part of the same 'universe' overall.
     
  7. JWolf

    JWolf Commodore Commodore

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    While Death in Winter is not great, it's a quick read and is the place to start from being the first book post Nemesis. There are post TV series and post movies and it's easier to start post movies. But if you start at a certain point, then it's very easy to go forward.Once you've finished going forward, you can then go back to the beginning or as much of the beginning as you can start from.

    The reason for eBooks is they are cheaper and more readily available. If you do want a Reader to use for reading eBooks, go with Kobo. Much better then Kindle.
     
  8. Damian

    Damian Commodore Commodore

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    Hmm, it just seemed the post-Nemesis novels were a direct continuation from the A Time To....novels and there are several new characters and situations from the post-Nemesis novels that were introduced earlier in those novels (and in turn the A Time To....novels seemed to pick up where The Genesis Wave left off). And of course there are the Titan books I forgot about (though I suppose you could leave those out to start with).

    But rereading kat's original post it's probably moot. It sounds like she's looking for a novel that could be part of the TV series. Perhaps I'm reading too much into it but I took that to mean a standalone novel that actually takes place during the TV series of either the original series or TNG. I doubt the relaunch novels would fit the bill for what she's looking to start with.
     
  9. JWolf

    JWolf Commodore Commodore

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    From what I've read of the OP's post is that she is looking for a TOS or TNG book that's well written that feels like it could be part of the TV series. That does not mean a book that takes place during the TV series. Just that the story could have taken place during the TV series.
     
  10. JWolf

    JWolf Commodore Commodore

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    So if someone wanted to pick a place in Trek Lit to start from and read in published order from there, what would be the recommended place to start if it's not Death in Winter?
     
  11. Jinn

    Jinn Mistress of the Chaotic Energies Rear Admiral

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    Avatar, Destiny and Full Circle come to mind, but I'm sure there are more. Really, any good story. The point is to get a person invested enough in the LitVerse, that they're okay with reading one fairly boring story, for the sake of completeness. But if you start with the boring story, they probably won't get invested and will give up.

    That being said, it is of course possible that someone enjoys Death in Winter and get super invested from there. It's just that I (and apparently at least some other people) find it somewhat uninteresting and less likely to hook someone. Which is why I'm not recommending it.
     
  12. Timewalker

    Timewalker Cat-lovin', Star Trekkin' Time Lady Premium Member

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    That's why they're better than TNG. Duane's Romulans are individual people who don't have weird forehead appliances (aren't they supposed to be displaced Vulcans who rejected Surak's teachings and therefore went off to found their own civilization?). They don't all go to the same hairdresser or wear clothing modeled on Sue Ellen Ewing's insanely-padded "business suit" tops that make me wonder if she's intending to play football after attending a meeting of the Daughters of the Alamo (if you never watched Dallas in the '80s you won't have a clue what I'm referring to).

    Duane gets bonus points for writing in a Horta character as a member of the crew.

    In that case, go with Alan Dean Foster's adaptations of the Animated Series (the Log books). The first six volumes are similar to the Blish books in that they're simply prose versions of the episodes with nothing extra added. But the last four are devoted to a single episode each and have a generous amount of original material added to make them novel-length.

    Actually, if you really want a standalone novel that "feels" like an episode, I'd recommend a DS9 novel called Fallen Heroes. That would have made a hell of a great episode, with Odo and Quark trying to figure out what's going on, and the reader/viewer would be on the edge of their metaphorical/literal seat yelling for the characters, "don't do that, you're gonna die!" - hoping they won't... but...

    Actually, just read it. Even though it's not TOS or TNG, it's the best DS9 novel I've read.

    As for TOS... some of the early novels were actually fanfiction that was given a quick makeover and published. I have both the professional version and the fanfiction version of Black Fire, for instance. Nobody would ever mistake that one for a story that could have been on TV, but I found it entertaining and it's a bit more special to me since I had the pleasure of meeting the author, Sonni Cooper, at a science fiction convention in Calgary in the '80s. She and Bjo Trimble were the co-Guests of Honor that year, and extended an invitation to the attendees to tag along with them on the Monday following the con when they went to the Calgary Zoo. About half a dozen of us took them up on it, and we had a wonderful time.
     
  13. F. King Daniel

    F. King Daniel Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I found Chain of Attack and The Final Nexus to be very authentic to the TOS vibe.
     
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  14. JWolf

    JWolf Commodore Commodore

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    Would idea a good idea to start with the first A Time to book and go from there or would anyone suggest an earlier book to start from?
     
  15. Bryan Levy

    Bryan Levy Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    I’m doing that right now. I finished all the A Time To... books and I just finished Resistance last night. I’ll start Q and A this afternoon. I have DS9 post-finale stuff in the mail, so I’ll start adding that stuff in, too. I started all this reading to prepare to read Destiny. It’s been a lot of fun.
     
  16. JWolf

    JWolf Commodore Commodore

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    Are you going to go all the way to current in published order?
     
  17. Bryan Levy

    Bryan Levy Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    I’m working on it! I’ve lost count at this point, but I’ve read a couple hundred Star Trek books over the last two years, from the Bantam stuff on through. The vast majority has been TOS, but there’s been twenty or twenty five or so TNG-era books in there as well.
     
  18. JD

    JD Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    This is more or less true, but when I'm reading tie-ins, I always put stuff that I know is inconsistent with the source material down quite a ways on my reading list. When I'm reading a tie-in that is meant to take place in the same world as the source material, having an inconstancy pop up will break that illusion for me. It's not enough to ruin it, but I still prefer stuff that is as consistent as possible. If it's good, I will still read it, but stuff that is consistent at the time I'm reading it, will always go higher in my reading list.
    Even though they're out of print, most of these books are pretty easy to find from third party retailers on sites like Amazon, EBay, or if you prefer to go the book and mortar route you can usually find some Trek books at most used book stores.
    I prefer e-books, but I also understand that not everybody likes them.
     
  19. Damian

    Damian Commodore Commodore

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    Well, it's possible I was taking her too literally.

    I hope we didn't scare her off. It looks like she hasn't been back since last week :ouch:

    I keep saying it but I loved Chain of Attack. It was one of the few times I read a novel over one weekend. I couldn't put it down. It's rare that I read a book that quickly. It typically takes me 2 to 3 weeks to read a book, even if I really like it (if I don't like it, it can take longer, The Price of the Phoenix took me weeks to get through :barf2:).

    Chain of Attack was a great original series story that can be read on it's own. It has suspense, mystery, exploration, battles and diplomacy. DeWeese managed to cover a lot in the novel and it moved at a good pace, but it was well written.

    I also really liked his Engines of Destiny, though with that one I have read some not so favorable comments by some readers so I might be an exception there. And that one probably wouldn't fit Kat's request anyway since it's more of a meta-story covering 2 periods of time and an altered timeline.
    But I liked how because Scotty prevented Kirk's 'first death' that it led to the destruction of the Enterprise on Veridian III, which meant they weren't there to stop the Borg in First Contact. What I liked wasn't so much just the effects themselves, but the fact that what Scotty did in changing history had huge implications. He thought he was being careful in making sure he didn't 'rescue' Kirk until after he was believed to have died, but he couldn't have known he was really in the Nexus and would be there to help Captain Picard all those years later.
    I liked that it asks the question if you could go back in time and stop Hitler, or prevent the 9/11 attacks, or even prevent the assassination of President Kennedy, should you? Star Trek is sometimes at its best when it asks those hard questions.

    I'd probably at least start from the A Time To...books because it seems the books that follow Nemesis really do follow pretty clearly from the A Time To...novels. Those events were referred to quite a bit, characters followed through from there, and later events, like the Section 31 novels down the line and TNG novels as late as Collateral Damage, are directly related to some of those novels. So I don't think I'd skip those in a relaunch reading.

    But if someone really wanted to do a comprehensive read of the 'relaunch' novels for TNG, I think I'd still want to start with The Genesis Wave trilogy. Having read all the relaunches up to this point, it seems like that is the starting point, where it began. Those events were referenced a number of times in the A Time To...series and some of the later novels. I think if you were going to go to the trouble of reading them why not start with the beginning? And I thought the first two Genesis Wave novels were pretty good anyway, why skip them (the 2nd two books were ok, but not quite as good as the first two).

    I could throw out Vendetta and the Gemworld duology as potential starts as well (and I'd probably recommend Vendetta regardless, relaunch or not, since it was such a good book). But if we're splitting hairs I would say those aren't as key to the relaunches. There's probably enough information when it's relevant in the later novels that you could skip those for now and maybe read them later. It didn't feel as crucial to me to have read those before reading the rest.

    I understand what Christopher is saying. And I have been re-reading some of the older Pocketbook novels from the 1980s. In some ways it's interesting to read those novels when they had so much less material to work off of.

    My argument was that for someone just starting out, like Kat, who wanted something that felt like it could be part of the TV series, I'd probably recommend novels that were really good reads that aren't in conflict with canon continuity. I'd certainly recommend reading some of those novels later. But for what she was looking for it seemed that recommending novels that could literally be part of the original or TNG series would be better.

    I mean, if it were a case where there were only a few good Star Trek novels out there, that might be a different story. But there are a ton of Star Trek novels, and many excellent Star Trek novels that in general could fit with the canon continuity. So why not just start there?

    Yeah, it's pretty easy to find hardcopy prints. I'm the opposite, I prefer printed books and only do the E-books if that is the only option. And I had no issues finding older books (just watch some of the shipping costs, sometimes it's cheaper to pay a bit of a higher price on the book and get free shipping). I even found some first editions. My edition of Killing Time for instance, was actually the first release version before the editorial changes. I lucked out there :lol:. And I managed to snag some first printing Bantam novels and a really good copy of a first printing of The Making of Star Trek. And a first printing copy of Mission to Horatius by Whitman. I don't expect that they're really worth anything except to me but they're nice to have in my collection.
     
  20. JWolf

    JWolf Commodore Commodore

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    Starting at Genesis Wave, Book One is not a bad idea, but you can ignore the New Frontier books.

    Genesis Wave, Book One is from September 2000. So going forward with the eBooks is a lot easier then trying to find the pBooks. Plus, there are some that are not available as pBooks.

    Actually, start with Have Tech, Will Travel omnibus as that Is the first 4 Starfleet Corps of Engineers novellas and the first one (The Belly of the Beast) is right before Genesis Wave, Book One and was released in August, 2000.

    Also, if there are any books that are part of a subseries and the subseries starts before the start point, just go with those as well.