Star Trek Novels

I know that this is really scraping the bottom of the Trek enthusiast barrel and I don’t expect more than maybe three or four replies from rjung, vivalostwages, and tarragon918, if that, but I was just reading another site when I happened upon a link to, a site that has, amongst other things, a page with upcoming Trek novels.

I never knew about that site although I have been a long time reader of the books and after looking at it, I think I’m just going to have to give up on trying to collect them all like I have been doing for the past seven years or so.

It seems to me that there are just getting to be too many of them and some, especially the S.C.E. books and the reprints of two to three novels in one large trade paperback, reeks of Paramount leeching the blood from the series instead of any true artistic endeavor. Of course, I’m reading too much into it as Trek fiction was never meant to be high art in the first place but, still… the practical inundation of novels these past two to three years is just too much.

You’ve got: The Original Series; The Next Generation; Deep Space Nine; Voyager; Enterprise; New Frontier; Starfleet Corps of Engineers*****; Stargazer; I.K.S. Gorkon; The Lost Era; the upcoming Titan; and what looks like a twelfth series, Excelsior. In addition to that bloated monstrosity of a list, there’re six tie-ins, most of which sucked, and constant unnecessary two-parters, trilogies, and series that’re just too much of a hassle to deal with.

Again, I know this means nothing to most and I’m sure that most that have read this far are probably snickering at the geek but as someone who’s been collecting all the paperbacks for eight years now, it’s a little frustrating to see something I once enjoyed festering like a zit that’s about to pop and spew its pus over everything that’s near.

I think I’ll take my old novels – probably 90% of the paperbacks published before 1999 – in addition to the DS9 Relaunch and New Frontier and just go to my corner. I think I know how the hard line TOS fans that scream about the other series not being real Trek feel now.

*****There will be 47 S.C.E. novels next year, four years after its first book. 47. That’s more than Voyager, an actual Trek series, has and it debuted in 1995, six years before the first S.C.E.

Just so you’re not disappointed, here is my take on the ST novels, Aesiron. :slight_smile:

I read them on and “on again/off again” basis. I’d been off them for the past couple of years because there were so many that were part of a series of at least two but sometimes as many as four books, which really adds up in the cost department not to mention having to wait for each book to come out to find out what will happen (that’s what annoyed me the most!). I did just buy a few Trek novels recently; I’m still working on a “Lost Era” one that is very good, but the author keeps jumping around in telling the story so it’s a bit hard to follow. I’m liking stuff like the lost era ones, it sort of fills in the gaps and this one even has McCoy! I’ve also been reading the DS9 relaunch series, although nothing lately; I do have a couple waiting for me to read, though.

One book that I really enjoyed was the “lives of Dax” book - that was very interesting! I guess they’re not really canon, but some of them can be enjoyable.

My take on things…

First off - wow, you don’t often see an original post without a single question mark.

As far as my own opinions on star trek books… I’ve read and enjoyed a few, mostly the TNG tie-ins. Don’t get the appeal of the ‘starfleet corps of engineers’ either, if there is one. The new frontier series is kinduv entertaining tho.

I used to read Trek novels on a regular basis. However, after a few years of trying to read all of them – I started reading them right when Roddenberry’s ST: the Slow Motion Picture novelization and Vonda McIntyre’s “The Entropy Effect” came out – I decided to stick with authors who’s books I liked/felt were true to the original. (I was kind of a snobby geek.) This ended up being McIntyre, Peter David, Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens, and Diane Duane.

Strangely, I still remember the books that drove me to this…

After being mightily annoyed by the Mary Sue stories that were Diane Carey’s first efforts in the Star Trek universe (Battlestations! and Dreadnought!), I turned to an older novel, called Crisis on Centaurus, by Brad Ferguson. At one point, Kirk opens his hotel room door and sees someone he hasn’t seen in a long time. After a moment of silence, Kirk says…

“I will be dipped.”

To this day, I can not comprehend how Mr. Ferguson could actually picture James T. Kirk saying this.

a recommendation: If you haven’t read Janet Kagan’s Uhura’s Song, I would highly recommend doing so. Good stuff.

Is Mary Sue an expression? What does it mean?

I do read them from time to time but I would never try to collect them. I remember my dad collected the original series ones for a while but gave up pretty fast.

“Mary Sue” novels are novels (usually written by young women) where a new character arrives on the Enterprise (usually a young woman ) and is central to the plot/saves the day/whatever. They’re written by people who are for all intents and purposes putting themselves into the plot to live out a fantasy. Battleststions! and Dreadnaught! are perfect examples of the genre, but because Diane Carey is a talented writer, they are actually very good books, I enjoyed them quite a lot. Most Mary Sue works are pretty bad.

As to the rest of the posts, let me just add yes, yes, YES! I collected all of the books because I am an avid reader and I enjoy Star Trek. That is, I collected all of the books up until a few years ago ( It was about ST: TOS #80 something, TNG #60 something, DS9 #20 something and Voy in the mid teens) when everything became a part of a multi book story arc. Suddenly I couldn’t just pick up one book and enjoy it, I had to pick up seven, and in the correct order too. I just gave up. Except for the wonderful New Frontiers books, I haven’t bought a ST book in a bookstore in at least 3 years. Paramounts marketing strategy has totally alienated me, and I’ve bough a lot, a LOT of St books in my day (I have three bookshelves, almost 8 feet long (94", I measured :slight_smile: ) full to overflowing (books are stacked horizontally on top of the regular row of books) with just Star Trek books. I’s a geek). I’ve never talked to anyone who reads ST who didn’t feel the same.

On a side note, one type of ST book that i hate, hate, hate is where the menace confronting the crew is one that they’ve encountered before, yet act like this is the most baffling new thing in the Universe. Enemy Unseen is the worse example of this, a shape shifter has Kirk totally flummoxed. I guess Garth of Izor is a filament of my imagination then, right? Gah! Garbage!

Nyeh. I read some of them in the 70s. Blish’s ‘Spock Must Die’ and Haldeman’s ‘Planet of Judgement’ are two I remember.

I tried reading some of the later ones but was too disappointed to get very far. They seem less about character development or original ideas than just getting content out there and damned to the quality. When it’s the same personality traits popping up again and again from a writers bible what’s the point in reading?

FWIW, I felt the same way about the Star Wars books after the first Zahn series. Anderson’s ‘Jedi Academy’ stuff was just TERRIBLY written.

I haven’t read many, but I did highly enjoy Spock’s World. Interwoven into the plot of Vulcan considering leaving the Federation was a nice history of the planet.

Funny how tastes can differ, isn’t it? :slight_smile:

Me, I’ve always thought of her as one of the biggest hacks in the business. I’ve enjoyed one of her ST books. One. Every other book of hers that I’ve read (a disappointingly large number, but I was optimistic) was garbage.

Busier in here than I expected it to be. I guess I should never understimate the SDMB’s geekiness.

I refuse, absolutely refuse, to read a series that has not been finished when I pick up the first book. The only exceptions to his are Harry Turtledove’s current three part trilogy (three sets of trilogies… I know what I meant to say) starting with How Few Remain and the current DS9 Relaunch. I wait on everything else and Paramount (or Pocket Books, whichever) pulling this type of stunt when it’s unnecessary really pisses me off. To the point where I started this thread.

That’s part of the DS9 Relaunch, which has been as good as most of Deep Space Nine ever was. It’s almost so good that I don’t want a movie (not that I ever expect one but that would be a Pit thread, not a CS one) and would prefer to just believe that these are its continuing missions instead of whatever Berman and Braga came up with. Especially since DS9 was so great thanks to Behr, Piller, and Wolfe, three people no longer on the payroll.

On second thought, I definitely don’t want a movie.

Which books? It’s a safe bet I’ve read them. I hate McIntyre from the handful of books she wrote, by the way. Her novelizations were so boring and it took a huge force of will for me to finish The Entropy Effect. And that prologue? Ludicrous. Of course, I read it after TNG premiered and it *was *a Bantam book. So maybe I shouldn’t hold it against her so much.

Love the others you listed though, especially David, and my favorite Trek novel was Prime Directive by the Reeves-Stevenses. Did you know they wrote one of the recent episodes in the Enterprise Vulcan arc?

I’ve read it but don’t remember much about it other than a general impression that I liked it. 200 or so novels on the same characters tend to blend in after a while.

I knew you were a Trekkie but didn’t realize you were as into it as I was. I might have to reconsider everything I’ve ever learned about you on sdmbconfess now. :slight_smile:

It sounds like you and I have pretty similar collections except I don’t have the bookcase or even the books at the moment. They’re 2,500 miles away and I don’t think Greyhound would have let me bring them along even though I wanted to. How do you stand on the non-fiction? Encyclopedias? Series’ guides? Tech manuals?

Those were the Ballantine publications if I remember correctly and I never cared for those much although I did read them. Blish’s Spock Must Die! was pretty interesting when I read it because before then, I had never considered the spiritual implications of the transporter. Now that I don’t believe in a spirit, it’s all moot though.

That was by Diane Duane and if you liked it, you should also pick up her four Romulan titles. Some of the best Trek ever written and if **Weirddave **is a true Trek connosieur, he’ll agree with me.

I don’t know about Weirddave, but I agree with you. Her and Peter David are must reads when I see a new ST book by them. David managed to get several out in the TNG books that I missed and am slowly looking for. And I did not pick up the newest New Frontier book yet since I have about 20 books in my pile to read right now. And I am really enjoying the new DS9 books. I didn’t pick up any of the earlier ones, but I was picking up the Section 31 books and got hooked. :smiley:

Those were the very first two, and Spock Must Die was written during or just after the run of TOS. I rather liked it, better than the Haldeman one. I’ve read one or two since, but there are too many, and they can’t really change the characters. I had high hopes for Enterprise, set when Kirk first took over, and I was very disappointed.

Last one I read was War Drums, which perfectly encapsulated the sanctimony and contrivances of Star Trek: The Next Generation. After that, I wrote a few short stories of my own and never looked back.

Good story. I pull it out and reread it every few years.

I’ve never been a completist when it comes to Trek novels – from the beginning, I’ve always bought stuff either because the author is a known winner (Peter David, Diane Duane), or because the premise was humorous/novel enough to catch my eye. But I’ll agree with the OP that the sheer fraggin’ flood of Trek novels is ridiculously excessive. I can’t recall the last time that I wandered over to the “Star Trek paperback aisle” in a bookstore and wasn’t overwhelmed by the numerous sub-series tie-ins that they’ve got. And then you’ve got all the multi-line tie-ins, like the Captain’s Table and Double Helix stuff they were doing a while ago.

The only one worth a damn is the New Frontier stuff, and that’s because (a) it has the freedom to completely f*ck over the characters and situations, since it’s unfettered by the need to play nice with any other part of the franchise, and (b) it’s written by Peter David, who gets more mileage out of an oversexed hermaphrodite than should be legal. :wink: Though I’m still annoyed at what’s happened with Zak Kebron…

But yeah. Trek novels, way overdone. Check.

I’ve not read any New Frontier since “Being Human”… what’s going on with Kebron? Spoilerize the text if you have to.

Deadnought and Prattlestations (sic) are the books that made stop reading any Star Trek novels.

In the beginning they were manageable (maybe 1 every other month). Now it’s just a cash cow.

The 70’s novels, like Spock, Messiah! and *Spock Must Die * were quite entertaining IMHO.

We’ll never see the likes of those again.




Untrue. And this one was better than Spock Must Die, actually.

i was an on/off reader. i would read them 8-10 at a time. wait a bit and then back in. tos series only. i stopped buying them a bit ago when i lost track of how they were being numbered.

this past year i “clean swept” my library of tos books and ended up send over 100 st books to the military through operation paperback. apparently there are quite a bunch of happy trekkers now. i kept about 20 ish paperbacks and 5 or 6 hardbacks.

y’all just don’t appreciate the great diversion of the bunny hop.

anyone remember “vulcan!” by kathleen sky?

The only two I can recall anything about are How Much for Just the Planet and The Final Reflection both by John M. Ford.

I know I read others (aside from the Blish episode adaptations) but I cannot for the life of me think of one.