TrekMovie continues our 2011 retrospective today with a look at Star Trek on the printed page. We chose the best in books (fiction and non-fiction) and comic books (new stories, collections and covers). Find out what made the grade below.
BEST STAR TREK BOOKS & COMICS OF 2011
Compiled by TrekMovie editors John Tenuto, Mark Martinez and Robert Lyons
Best short story/novella – Star Trek: Typhon Pact: The Struggle Within
The clear winner for short stories and novellas (and in fact for all Star Trek fiction in 2011) was Christopher L. Bennett’s "Star Trek: Typhon Pact: The Struggle Within" ebook. It may seem odd to give top marks to what amounts to a novella, but everything about the final installment in the Typhon Pact series for the year was outstanding. The pacing was perfect, the story was rooted in the classic traditions of Star Trek (i.e., contemporary social commentary told through aliens), and right down to the chapter breaks, it felt like the entire outing was designed as an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation 2.0. Even if you are not generally an eBook reader (which I am not; I read it on my desktop computer, ouch!), "The Struggle Within" is an absolute must-read for any serious Star Trek: The Next Generation fan.
Best Novel – Star Trek: Mirror Universe: Rise Like Lions
As far as the best full-length novel for 2011, the hands down consideration has to the recently released "Star Trek: Mirror Universe: Rise Like Lions" by David Mack. "Rise Like Lions" is a story of the last days of the Terran rebellion in the Mirror Universe. Masterfully told, and easily accessible, this second full-length Mirror Universe novel is filled with plenty of twists and turns to both engage the reader’s interest, and to serve as the potential seed of future stories in Star Trek’s ‘alter-ego’ existence. The pages may drip with blood and mayhem, but true to Star Trek’s greatest stories, seeds of hope are found in even the darkest moments. It’s an outstanding journey for Star Trek fans. (Full TrekMovie review for this novel is coming shortly). This is the third time in the last four years that Mack has topped
TrekMovie’s favorite Novel list (with "Star Trek: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game" in 2010 and the "Star Trek: Destiny" trilogy in 2008).
Best Non-Fiction Book – Star Trek Vault
Star Trek Vault (by Scott Tipton) is part personal memoir, part nostalgia tour, part history lesson, and all good. There are two things that make Star Trek Vault unique: first, Tipton’s text is replete (like the universe’s turning points) with photos tracing not only the history of Star Trek, but also its merchandising and collectibles, something that hasn’t been done before. Second, the Vault includes reproductions of production items and collectibles (a favorite: the Wrath of Khan pendant and TMP stickers) adding to the fun. For Trekkies familiar with the history, the collectibles discussion adds some nice detail usually ignored. for those new to Trek, this is a great way to learn about the program and the items it has spawned. How about a TNG version next?
Best Comic Book Series/Arc – Infestation: Star Trek
IDW Publishing took a six-month break from Star Trek comics during 2011, so it was a lean year for new Star Trek comics. IDW came storming back Fall 2011, with their first ongoing Star Trek series and a crossover mini-series featuring characters from the original series and DC Comics’ Legion of Super-Heroes. However, TrekMovie staff agree (with some surprise) that the best story of the year was a two-issue story arc, Star Trek: Infestation, published February 2011 as part of a multi-title crossover Infestation event. Written by Scott and David Tipton, with art by Gary Erskine and Casey Maloney, and colors by Luis Antonio Delgado, Star Trek: Infestation stands on its own and you don’t need to read all the other Infestation titles unless you want to. Sporting the comfortable look and feel of an original series television episode, with zombies, Star Trek: Infestation was entertaining in spite of the crossover hoopla. Both issues have been collected in a trade paperback, Infestation Volume 2, and in a forthcoming hardcover collection. See Alex Fletcher’s TrekMovie reviews of Star Trek: Infestation #1 and Star Trek: Infestation #2.
Best Comics Cover Art – Infestation #2 Gold Key Cover
Although IDW only published nine new Star Trek comics in 2011, more than 40 variant covers were produced, featuring an astonishing variety of art and movie set photography. TrekMovie staff agree that the best cover art for 2011 is a toss-up. John K. Snyder III created a cover for Star Trek: Infestation #2 that brought back fond memories of Gold Key Star Trek comic cover art by George Wilson. Joe Corroney is creating a standout series of Starfleet recruiting poster covers for IDW’s first ongoing series, set in the alternate TOS universe of the latest film, Star Trek (2009). A TrekMovie favorite is the unpublished cover for Star Trek Ongoing #2 which was revised and used as a cover for Star Trek Ongoing #3. Orion or Andorian? Which do you prefer?
Honorable mention for best cover art goes to Gordon Purcell who spent ten days sketching 400 zombies by hand (200 Kirks, 100 Spocks, and 100 McCoys) for a retailer incentive edition of Star Trek: Infestation #1. As you can see below, Kirk never looked better.
Best Comics Collection/Trade Paperback – Star Trek: Captains Log
IDW Publishing took a brief break from Star Trek comics in 2011 so there weren’t many collections published. IDW began publishing a series of trade paperback reprints titled Star Trek Classics and a series of budget reprints, Star Trek 100-Page Spectacular, but the standout trade paperback for 2011 collected some fascinating one-shot comics published the previous year. The Captain’s Log tales feature Hikaru Sulu, John Harriman, Edward Jellico, and Christopher Pike in command. Unfortunately, a fifth issue featuring Rachel Garrett was cancelled. Nevertheless, this series of one-shot comics is well worth reading. See TrekMovie reviews of Star Trek: Captain’s Log: Pike, Star Trek: Captain’s Log: Harriman, and Star Trek: Captain’s Log: Sulu.
Honorable mention for best collection goes to the Star Trek Movie Universe Trade Paperback Box Set which combines the 2009 Star Trek movie adaptation with "Star Trek: Nero" and the "Star Trek: Countdown" prequel in a nice box.
Star Trek books and comics available at Amazon
More 2011 look back to come
Stay tuned for more retrospective looks back at the year that was.