Best Numbered TNG universe novels to read

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by GaryH, Mar 11, 2023.

  1. GaryH

    GaryH Commander Red Shirt

    Nov 4, 2015

    the joy that is the new Picard season has me on a TNG buzz. I noticed a thread about old TOS novels, so I thought one for TNG/DS9/Voyager might be fun.

    What do people recommend?

    Peter David’s novels are obviously a highlight, but I found my old copy of Jean Lorrah’s Survivors in my parents attic and enjoyed it last week. Some of the writing style is dated but the Tasha and Data scenes were lovely.

    I have bought The Romulan Stratagem (for Sela and Ro) and Double Helix Vectors (for Pulaski) on eBay to read on a beach holiday next week. I always liked it when the novels dig deep into characters that didn’t get enough love on screen.

    What old novels do people remember fondly?
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  2. Markonian

    Markonian Fleet Admiral Moderator

    Jun 2, 2012
    Derbyshire, UK
    I read Survivors and The Romulan Stratagem to get more of the rarer characters, too.
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  3. GaryH

    GaryH Commander Red Shirt

    Nov 4, 2015

    I really want a Sela cameo before this season is over.
  4. Laura Cynthia Chambers

    Laura Cynthia Chambers Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Jun 1, 2016
    I enjoyed "The 34th Rule" when I read it, back when the library still had it.
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  5. Stevil2001

    Stevil2001 Vice Admiral Admiral

    Dec 7, 2001
    From TNG:
    • #3. The Children of Hamlin: a long time since I read this, but I remember an interesting alien society and good characterization.
    • #4. Survivors: one of my favorite Star Trek books, really good look at Yar.
    • #8. The Captains' Honor: probably not very good in many objective senses, but a very fun concept: Picard vs. Romans.
    • #18. Q-in-Law: Lwaxana vs. Q; everyone will tell you it is fun, and they are right.
    • #45. Intellivore: even minor Diane Duane is superior to most other authors' best days; very creepy in a good way.
    • #61. Diplomatic Implausibility: well-done story about Worf's first adventure as an ambassador; arguably the beginning of the "novelverse."
    From DS9:
    • #5. Fallen Heroes: not a perfect book but ab Hugh goes big and has a good command over (some of) the character voices.
    • #7. Warchild: one of my favorite numbered novels; Friesner gets the character of Bashir better than the show writers did at this point, in my opinion.
    • #23. The 34th Rule: one of the first "post-hoc" novels, set several years before it was written, and thus able to do good stuff with the characters.
    • #27. A Stitch in Time: well, duh.
    From VGR:
    • #16: Seven of Nine: good character-focused tale.
  6. Smiley

    Smiley Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Feb 8, 2005
    Chandler, AZ
    TNG: The Q Continuum trilogy #47-#49 , Diplomatic Implausibility #61
    DS9: The 34th Rule #23, A Stitch in Time #27

    My first Trek book I owned was TNG's The Romulan Prize #26. I think it is fantastic, but I can hardly be objective about it. Still, if you like judo, mysterious environments, and arrogant Romulans, then it's worth looking at.
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  7. GaryH

    GaryH Commander Red Shirt

    Nov 4, 2015
    Q-In-Law is an all time classic for a reason.

    i forgot about that Seven of Nine novel. Must look it up…
  8. DrBeverly

    DrBeverly Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Nov 11, 2012
    I recently read Rogue Saucer, which is absolutely bonkers, but really enjoyable.
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  9. D Man

    D Man Commodore Commodore

    Apr 14, 2004
    Tropical Wisconsin
    Wasn't Greg Cox's Q Continuum trilogy originally released as part of the "numbered" TNG series in in the late 90s? Then they did an omnibus version collecting the three books a couple years later. It was a terrific adventure story starring Picard and Q as I recall, highly recommended.
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  10. GaryH

    GaryH Commander Red Shirt

    Nov 4, 2015
    It was. Never read that one!
  11. Paul K

    Paul K Ensign Newbie

    May 13, 2022
    TNG #30: Debtor's Planet by W.R. Thompson is one of my personal all-time favorite Star Trek books.
  12. STMSTS

    STMSTS Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

    Aug 30, 2016
    Rogue Saucer is one of my favorites, ditto for Children of Hamlin and Fallen Heroes. One not mentioned that I’d give a shout-out to is TNG’s Here There Be Dragons, by John Peel which is a fun romp and he has a good handle on the characters. I always found the TNG novels to be on pretty solid ground once the series itself stabilized.

    I’d rank the Voyager numbered novels next (although they seemed to have a long inventory of novels written before the series debuted), and I really liked The Murdered Sun and Death of a Neutron Star.

    Poor DS9, I think by the time the characters were fully formed on screen, the show became so serialized it was tough for authors to keep up. I do recall enjoying Station Rage and Saratoga (yes - I know).
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  13. E-DUB

    E-DUB Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Oct 28, 2011
    From TOS, I always liked "The Wounded Sky". Especially for the portrayal of Kirk.
  14. Trek Survivor

    Trek Survivor Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Jan 12, 2009
    Some of my favourite numbered TNG novels:

    #16 Contamination (John Vornholt) - murder mystery pairing up Worf and Troi (long before the show did)

    #23 - War Drums (John Vornholt again) - remember really enjoying this one. One of those "colony has a secret"-type stories with some Klingons thrown in for good measure.

    #7 Masks (I must be a John Vornholt fan) - really interesting culture established, and the plot itself is good

    #9 A Call to Darkness (Michael Jan Friedman) - I find Friedman's contributions to Trek are generally undervalued - this is a good novel though. A few members of an away team lose their memories while on a mission.

    Having reread some Peter David stuff recently...yeesh. I'm afraid most of his humour I found poor/unfunny and really distracts from the plot itself. For me, they haven't aged that well.
  15. GaryH

    GaryH Commander Red Shirt

    Nov 4, 2015
    I don’t want to reread Peter David’s stuff as I love my memories of them so much.
  16. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Commodore Commodore

    Dec 19, 2011
    #25 “Grounded” is a good book about the Enterprise getting infected and needing to be destroyed.

    #17 Boogeyman is a good romp.

    #7 Masks is a better Season 2 novel than some of the actual episodes.

    #8 “The Captain’s Honor” is a sequel to the TOS episode “Bread and Circuses”.

    #4 Survivors—-even though Tasha Yar did not get her stand-alone episode is Season 1, she managed to get the first character-focused book in the line.
  17. BillJ

    BillJ The King of Kings Admiral

    Jan 30, 2001
    "Strike Zone" and "A Rock and a Hard Place" by Peter David are both very entertaining reads.

    Also, another vote for "Rogue Saucer"!
  18. Zapp Brannigan

    Zapp Brannigan Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

    Nov 7, 2022
    A Rock and a Hard Place aka "Prototyping New Frontier's Mackenzie Calhoun."

    Another vote for Q-Space, Q-Zone, and Q-Strike (books #47, 48 and 49). There's several neat concepts/plot points in it, such as the involvement of Q's family and the origins of some classic TOS energy-beings-of-the-week.
  19. BillJ

    BillJ The King of Kings Admiral

    Jan 30, 2001
    As much as I generally love @Greg Cox work, I have had trouble getting into these particular novels. Not sure why.
  20. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

    May 12, 2004
    Lancaster, PA
    For what it's worth, that was my very first stab at writing a trilogy and I remember struggling a bit with figuring out how to pace a story over three volumes.

    Still my bestselling Trek books, however, when it comes to royalties.
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