Poll of the Month: What You Reading There, Willis?

Poll of the Month: What You Reading There, Willis?

March is Reading Awareness Month, a perfect opportunity to load up the e-book reader or visit a local library or bookshop to find an exciting new book to read. Why not make it a Star Trek book?

With over 850 original novels, short story collections, episode and film novelizations, graphic novels, and omnibus editions published since 1967, Star Trek has made an indisputable impact on 20th- and 21st-century popular literature. As most Trek novels exist outside of the franchise’s official canon, they often place our heroes in unconventional and unexpected situations. Trek novels are also known for expanding minor onscreen references into major plot points. A prime example of this is a scene from the DS9 episode “Rapture,” where Sisko tells a Bajoran militia officer, “You don’t belong here. Go home.” This nameless extra became Yevir Linjarin, a central character in the DS9 Relaunch book series.

The first original Trek novel was 1970’s Spock Must Die!, in which a transporter accident duplicates the Enterprise’s first officer just as the diplomatic situation between the Klingons and the Organians begins to deteriorate. Weaving together threads from classic TOS episodes “Errand of Mercy” and “The Enemy Within,” author James Bish explores the question, “What happens to your soul in the transporter?”

Although TNG fans got hints at the relationship between Will Riker and Deanna Troi during the series’ run, it was 1992’s Imzadi that delved deep into one of Star Trek’s most enduring romances. This novel tells the love story of Riker and Troi across decades, from their first meeting on Betazed to an alternate future where a bitter, aged Riker mourns his long-lost love. Bonus points: Jonathan Frakes narrates the audiobook version.

Una McCormack’s The Never-Ending Sacrifice is a classic coming-of-age story and recounts the events of Deep Space Nine but from the perspective of a Cardassian boy. Christie Golden’s Homecoming picks up almost literally where the VOY finale leaves off, but instead of a “happily ever after,” the Voyager crew returns home to a weakened, post-Dominion War Federation that has little place for them. The state of the franchise in the mid-2000s means that there are fewer Enterprise novels to choose from, but J. M. Dillard’s Surak’s Soul is consistently ranked amongst the best Trek novels. In Surak’s Soul, T’Pol is forced to choose between her Vulcan ideals and her Human captain’s orders.

With fewer episodes per season and a shift to more plot-driven storytelling, readers devour the newer series’ novels for the backstories of our heroes and to fill in the gaps between what is shown on screen. Una McCormack’s The Way to the Stars tells the origin story of one of Trek’s most relatable and endearing characters, Sylvia Tilly, while McCormack’s The Last Best Hope shows Picard’s evolution from admiral to a vintner in the lead-up to the new series premiere.

Finally, Trek novels can place our favourite characters in situations that might be impractical or unpopular for television. Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens’ Federation appeared on the New York Times Bestseller List in 1994 and has been described as a stronger Kirk/Picard crossover story than Star Trek: Generations. The Lives of Dax, edited by Marco Palmieri, isn’t even a novel at all; rather a collection of short stories about each of the Dax symbiont’s humanoid hosts.

Click here to head to the forums now and vote in this week’s poll on which you would choose, or let us know your own! Be sure to leave a comment in the thread!

Attribution: Yogan Yalu

We are a star trek roleplaying game

We are a free, fun, and friendly community of Star Trek fans who write collaborative fiction together. It’s easy to join – we’ll teach you everything you need to know!

Latest Mission Reports

Latest Interviews

Latest News

OOC Activities

Looking for something fun to do? We have a whole list of fleet activities that are looking for members like yourself! Check out the Fleet Activity List today to see where you’ll fit in.