"must read' Star Trek novels?

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"must read' Star Trek novels?

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1freelunch
jun 18, 2009, 9:28am

so I guess I'll need to wait a while for new novels featuring the rebooted Enterprise crew...

in the meantime, can anyone suggest a few "must read" ST novels. I'd prefer stand-alone books I can read without tracking down a complete story arc/series and the more continuity-free the better.

the only ST novel I've read is Shadows On The Sun and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

2Morphidae
jun 18, 2009, 9:42am

3jpers36
jun 18, 2009, 10:15am

Final Frontier / Best Destiny by Diane Carey provide an interesting backstory to Kirk and his father.
Spock's World by Diane Duane fleshes out the history of Vulcan, as well as examining its place in the Federation.
Federation by Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens fleshes out Zefram Cochrane's backstory, but is totally contradicted by First Contact.
Dark Mirror by Duane and Q-Squared by Peter David are excellent alternate universe stories.
How Much for Just the Planet? by John Ford is Star Trek humor done right.

4TheMadTurtle
jun 18, 2009, 11:14am

How Much for Just the Planet - definitely. I loved that book. The Vulcan Academy Murders is also good.

5MadBluebird
jun 18, 2009, 12:08pm

Federation by Judith Reeves-Stevens

6saltmanz
jun 18, 2009, 2:20pm

Lots of good stuff in msg #3, especially Federation, Q-Squared, and How Much For Just the Planet?.

But my favorite ST novel has long been Prime Directive.

And it's been a long time since I've read them, but I also loved Dreams of the Raven, Doctor's Orders, and Double, Double.

7freelunch
jun 18, 2009, 5:09pm

thanks for the suggestions. I've just given my bookmooch.com account a good workout :)

8TheMadTurtle
Redigeret: jun 19, 2009, 2:27pm

You like bookmooch? Have you checked out paperbackswap.com? Tell them TheMadTurtle sent you. ;)

9MerryMary
jun 19, 2009, 7:55pm

I also like A.C. Crispin's two related books - Yesterday's Son and Time for Yesterday. Both of them have to do with Spock, and a young lady he met in an ice age cave on the original TV series.

10freelunch
jun 19, 2009, 9:13pm

8> paperbackswap.com appears to be US only, so its no good to me.

9> related out-of-print books are trickier to find than stand-alones, but I'll look out for them.

11freelunch
jun 29, 2009, 6:58pm

3,4,6> LT indicates How Much For Just The Planet? is part of a series. do I need to read The Final Reflection first?

12jillmwo
jun 29, 2009, 7:22pm

Ishmael by Barbara Hambly.

13MerryMary
jun 29, 2009, 7:40pm

I second Ishmael. Wonderful book!

14TheMadTurtle
Redigeret: jun 30, 2009, 9:03am

I don't think you do. I didn't read The Final Reflection and really enjoyed How Much for Just the Planet. The Final Reflection looks good, though. I think I might pick it up.

15freelunch
jul 13, 2009, 10:42am

>6 saltmanz: I read Prime Directive last week and thoroughly enjoyed it, thanks for the suggestion

I've managed to find most of the books mentioned in this thread so I should be set for ST reading for a good while, at least until novels set after the new movie are released :)

16gilroy
jul 13, 2009, 11:53am


I have two to recommend from the TNG crew:

Imzadi
Day of Honor (I got the omnibus, but just the single book is good too.

17jpers36
jul 15, 2009, 10:18am

11> The two are not really related. They are two very unique takes on Star Trek by Ford, but are otherwise unrelated. Pocket repackaged them as "Worlds Apart" as a conceptual thing, I guess.

18freelunch
jul 15, 2009, 10:30am

17> Thanks. I've managed to track both down so I can read them together :)

16> I have Imzadi and Imzadi II (acquired years ago after learning the first book was an inspiration for Human Nature, one of my favourite Doctor Who novels). I don't usually bother with novelizations but I'll look out for the Day of Honor omnibus

19Razorback
aug 16, 2009, 2:48pm

Here's a few good ones that wern't mentioned yet.

Probe - The sequel to Star Trek IV.
Vendetta - The Doomsday Machine meets the Borg.
The Kobayashi Maru - Kirk, Scotty, Chekov, and Sulu's tests.
Kobayashi Maru - Archer's actual enconter.
Engines of Destiny - Fills in the missing blank of TNG Scotty and ST VII.
Strangers from the Sky - Pre-ST VIII conception of first contact between Vulcan and Earth.
First Frontier - Phasers vs. Raptors!
Star Trek: Invasion! - This was the first crossover series, they really made a big deal out of it at the time. If you have trouble finding the Omni version, the four sub-books are:
First Strike
The Soldiers of Fear
Time's Enemy
The Final Fury

You know, this message board is a heck of alot quieter than I would expect it to be. Is there another Trek forum here on LibraryThing that's more active? Like the Trek version of Green Dragon or something?

20freelunch
aug 16, 2009, 8:59pm

Thanks. A friend sent me the Invasion series a couple of years ago (when I wasn't particularly interested in ST fiction) and I already have Vendetta & Strangers From The Sky coming (via bookmooch.com). I'll look out for the others :)

21Razorback
aug 17, 2009, 12:23am

One of the fun points of interest in Strangers is that Gary Mitchell is one of the main characters.

22abilenedave
aug 31, 2009, 3:50pm

I liked Black Fire - one of the earlier novels that really expanded Spock's character and versatility as a character.

23rsmethers
jan 4, 2011, 9:55pm

I agree with jpers36. Diane Carey's novel Best Destiny is one of my favorites. A lot of ST books out there are not accurate to the ST world and characters but this one nails it.

24Den76
mar 23, 2011, 5:04pm

TOS : The Tears of the Singers - this was the first Star Trek novel I ever read so obviously have a soft spot for it.

Also recommend The Vulcan Academy Murders although mainly for the guest charactors. Also has a sequel The IDIC Epidemic.

25MerryMary
mar 23, 2011, 7:28pm

I have lots of favorites, but must add Uhurah's Song. A story with intrigue, humor, and layers of story.

26Cecrow
maj 18, 2011, 8:18am

Wow, I've only read three or four and The Kobayashi Maru was the only standout one for me (very, very good, as I recall), so I've never gone back. But that's hardly mentioned here next to several others, so maybe I'll need to try some of these suggestions. The local used bookstore has quite a few of them.

27nhlsecord
maj 18, 2011, 10:37am

I have a lot of the earlier ST books. I think my favourite is My Enemy, My Ally. I liked a lot of them, but that's the one I remember best. I also remember Imzadi as being a really good one. Is that the one where Riker had to attend a wedding naked and didn't realize everybody could hear him think, and where they lie down naked next to one another and have to talk of other things? I always thought that was an excellent idea.

28riani1
Redigeret: sep 21, 2011, 3:35pm

Diane Duane's TOS novels are almost all really terrific, and I think they're pretty much all intertwined, plot wise. I love her McCoy, who is crusty and cantankerous and absolutely smart enough to be running a very technologically advanced medical unit on the frontiers of space.

29jldarden
sep 23, 2011, 11:09pm

Have'nt read star trek in a long time but how come no one has mentioned the Star Trek the eugenics war books with Khan's origins?

30saltmanz
Redigeret: sep 24, 2011, 12:37am

I didn't actually like those. They were decently written, and clever enough, I guess, but the thought of the Eugenics Wars turning out to be nothing more than a late 20th century behind-the-scenes power struggle that no one knew about at the time was pretty weak, in my mind.

31theapparatus
sep 24, 2011, 11:46am

After the recent recon, I have to admit that Star Trek doesn't do a while lot for me anymore.

I don't mind them starting off with new actors but tossing out 40-50 years seems like a big f' you to the fans.

32saltmanz
Redigeret: sep 24, 2011, 12:23pm

Do I need to break out the whole "parallel universe" argument again? It's not like the later films and shows didn't already "toss out" a bunch of the earlier novels (see the aformentioned—and excellent—Federation, for example.)

33riani1
sep 24, 2011, 4:12pm

I never considered the novels to be part of standard canon for a TV/movie franchise. The novels are immensely fun fanfiction, whether they're approved by Paramount or not.

I was annoyed by the new movie as well, "Hey, we need something new for the Star Trek universe, but stuff that doesn't involve Kirk and Spock and them isn't as popular. I know! Make it so it never happened the way it did in all the other shows! That'll show we're hip and edgy and creative!"

34gilroy
sep 27, 2011, 8:27am

They wanted to "reboot the franchise for a new generation" because everyone felt that Roddenbery's image of the future was too clean and happy.

BLAH!

Not seen the new movie.

Enterprise (the TV show, not the book) threw out canon with the Klingon on Earth before the first NX launched not to mention the Ferengi raiding the vessel. I didn't think that they met the Klingons until Kirk's Era. I KNOW they didn't meet the Ferengi until Picard's Captaincy.

35saltmanz
sep 27, 2011, 9:43am

@34: Roddenberry's "too clean and happy" vision of the future hasn't been in evidence since TNG.

36mirrani
okt 1, 2011, 12:25pm

Enterprise threw a lot of stuff out, but they grew a lot of things too. I hated it when it first came out, but I was /glad/ they went back to a time at the beginning. What I wish they'd have done as a relaunch was stick to the mirror universe. You don't have to use any of the same people. Pick a random ship and go with it. If you're going to make a new movie like the new Star Trek, put it in a parallel universe and throw everything we know (including traditional actors) out the window... Introduce people to the Empire or the Alliance. :p There's a way to kill lots of people, have lots of explosions and battles... and not much character development.

37DanieXJ
okt 26, 2011, 4:33pm

>32 saltmanz:, But, they did throw pretty much everything out. Yeah, sure, parallell universe blah, blah, blah, but will there ever be another movie with the TNG crew, or the DS9, or Enterprise, or Voyager, or the original TOS guys and gals? Yeah, maybe they'll get backhanded two second scenes which will then get cut in the final movie because they're not 'essential' to their mind numbing let's light this movie like we're all huddled around a fire in a dark alley and make it so that everyone has a story, a reason.

I just don't understand movies in general these days, why the hell can't I see a happy movie (that's not horribly sexist or disgustingly disgusting). Isn't that what books/TV/movies are supposed to be. The world sucks, I'd really love it if the world in my movies was better than the real world, not 'real'.

38saltmanz
Redigeret: okt 26, 2011, 5:26pm

Do you seriously think they'd make another TNG movie if it wasn't for the reboot?

And last I checked, they're still pumping out truckloads of novels and comics for the TOS and TNG eras.

39TheMadTurtle
nov 9, 2011, 4:52pm

@38 "And last I checked, they're still pumping out truckloads of novels and comics for the TOS and TNG eras."

True, although the Typhon Pact series (TNG, post Nemesis) left much to be desired.

40mirrani
nov 11, 2011, 2:48pm

Must agree with you there, Turtle. Gosh I was so disappointed. I've never had to struggle through a trek book before that set.

41DanieXJ
mar 23, 2012, 4:55pm

>38 saltmanz: And what, because they won't make another TNG/VOY/DS9, hell, I would have settled for a frickin' Enterprise movie. So, just 'cause they put out this new crap Star Trek movie, I, what, have to like it 'cause I'm a Trekkie??

42saltmanz
mar 23, 2012, 5:27pm

LOL I guess they could still make an ENT movie; after all, TOS got canned in its third season and went on to get the film treatment a decade later.

43Maggie21
maj 19, 2012, 7:54pm

Don't forget Doctor's Orders by Diane Duane

44riani1
maj 21, 2012, 2:24pm

>43 Maggie21: Which reminds me, I must get out into the garage and find my copy of that.

45Chaos42
okt 27, 2016, 3:19am

oh, I am late to the party.:(
Star trek new voyages (1976)
The price of the Phoenix(1977)
The Fate of the Phoenix(1979) not as good as first...
Vulcan! (1978)
Death's Angel (1981)
Black Fire (1983) I love this one.
Yesterdays son (1983)
The entropy effect (1981)
The Vulcan academy murders (1984)
Ishmael (1985)

46TheCloakedLibrarian
feb 9, 2017, 4:20pm

So far I only have a few Star Trek novels in my library, and I've only read one of them (I'm making it a point to read a few more this year).

Star Trek; the Next Generation - "The Buried Age" by Christopher L. Bennett

It's truly a treasure of a book, even if your not particularly a Star Trek fan, you should still really enjoy this novel.

47DanieXJ
feb 11, 2017, 4:43pm

If you're looking for Stand Alone Star Trek novels that are pretty darn awesome, I definitely recommend Q-Squared, and I'm always a fan of getting more Media Tie Ins in libraries. They have a bad rap, some of them are extraordinarily good writing.