Library Computer: “Star Trek Mere Anarchy” Review + “Haynes Enterprise Manual” Announced

This week the Library Computer is catching up with a review of the paperback reprint of “Mere Anarchy”, a six part mini-series originally produced in eBook format to celebrate the fortieth anniversary of Star Trek. This week we also have news of the original book set in the new Star Trek continuity – and it’s sure to be a surprise!




The “Mere Anarchy” collection started its life in 2006 as a series of six e-books. Editor Keith R.A. DeCandido recruited writers and put them to task to tell the tale of the the planet Mestiko, and it’s inhabitants, the Payav. Unique to this series was that, over a six month period, one was able to follow the story of the people of Mestiko from the pre-pilot era of The Original Series through and beyond the ‘death’ of Jim Kirk aboard the Enterprise-B. On the whole, “Mere Anarchy” is a really engaging and interesting reading experience. But let’s take a few moments and break down some thoughts about each story.

Things Fall Apart

by Dayton Ward & Kevin Dilmore
(Set in 2265 – prior to the episode “Where No Man Has Gone Before”)

It might seem like a bit of writer’s hyperbole, but to begin their story (and the series) with the words, “First Consul, believe me when I tell you that every living thing on this planet is going to die.” Is no hyperbole. Ward and Dilmore dig in to some interesting and plausible scientific concepts to set the disastrous stage for a series of adventures that worthily celebrate the fortieth anniversary of Star Trek. The Federation learns of the impending events because of the presence of a pre-First Contact team stationed on Mestiko, a team who comes out of hiding initially to contact the scientists of the world, but who become known to the civil government, a government which then proceeds to beg for help. Enter the starship Enterprise, with the newly-minted Captain James Kirk in command, and with new, experimental technology designed to help avert the catastrophe on the planet. We are treated to an interesting setting on the bridge of the Enterprise, one very much in keeping with the vibe of “Where No Man Has Gone Before”, right down to the voices of the crew and the commands issued through the ship. Ward and Dilmore get the story off to an engaging and rousing start. “Things Fall Apart” is easily the best story in the bunch.

The Center Cannot Hold
by Mike W. Barr
(Set in 2267)

Two years after the events of the previous story, Mike W. Barr brings the Starship Enterprise into Mestiko orbit in an attempt to assist with post-disaster recovery on the planet. Joining the crew is a Federation scientist, Dr. Lon, who has a strong desire to assist in the cleanup and revitalization of the planet. Of course, since the planet is in disputed territory between the Federation and the Klingons, the Organian Peace Treaty gives the Klingons a footing on the planet, one they intend to exploit for every benefit they can. And, since we are talking about the Klingons, you can bet that they don’t care whose ecosystem is destroyed, or what intelligent species goes extinct – just so long as they get what they want. And yet, the Klingons aren’t acting directly, far from it… and Barr goes a long way to give several central Payav characters strong motivation for cooperating with the Klingon’s urgings. Barr presents a solid story, one that is fast paced and packed with story development. It definitely keeps the ball-a-rollin’!

Shadows of the Indignant
by Dave Galanter
(Set in 2271)

Welcome to the Lost Years, and a journey with Admiral James Kirk (acting more like Commander James Bond) and retired Starfleet surgeon Leonard McCoy. After being rudely accosted in a Kentucky eatery (not KFC!), McCoy agrees to join Kirk (or should I say Mr. Temple) on an undercover journey back to Mestiko in an effort to figure out just what is going on on the planet. Kirk is playing a hunch, to be sure, but he and McCoy soon learn just how much of a pain following a hunch can be. While Kirk suspects the Klingons, what the pair will discover will draw them into a time on the run, and a confrontation with the planetary leader, Raya elMora. On reading “Shadows of the Indignant”, the presence of McCoy initially felt out of place, given the setting between the Original Series and The Motion Picture. However it becomes quickly apparent that only McCoy could have fulfilled the role that Kirk needed in this story, and his ‘old country doctor’ approach to things serves to compliment well the brashness of Kirk as they together aim to continue doing their part to put to rights the situation of the Payav.

The Darkness Drops Again
by Christopher L. Bennett
(Set over a period from 2274 to 2283)

Political upheaval is a part of any society, and in the wake of The Pulse disaster, the planet Mestiko becomes wrapped up in the ongoing debate between scientific advance and ritual purity. Several political and religious entities on the planet have taken to blaming, quite vocally, the Federation for the disaster that has befallen their world, and it is their express intent to ensure that it is well known how they feel. Public dissatisfaction with the recovery of the planetary ecosystem leads to a widespread revolt as the planet’s political body, the Zamestaad, is exiled to a barren dump of a backwater that they will need to plow and work into submission. In the wake of the revolt, Kirk returns to the Admiralty and, after a few years, returns to the planet in an effort to retrieve Dr. Lon to assist another world. Lon, however, is a prideful and stubborn man, has found his pet project, and he has no intention of leaving without a fight. In a jam-packed part three, Kirk has retired, Spock commands the Enterprise, and, among others, Captain Terrell and Commander Chekov of the starship Reliant come to Mestiko to observe the planetary elections. Eventually, we meet-up with a retired Kirk who is enjoying retirement in the Sierra Nevada Mountains in California, when an unexpected guest arrives and plants in him the seed that will lead him to leave his cabin, Antonia, and the quite of everyday life to return to Starfleet – and place him on a collision course with Khan. “The Darkness Drops Again” is an extremely packed story, but it was so well paced that it never became boring or formulaic. Bennett kept a strong balance of action and reflection in the tale which made it quite an interesting and welcome approach to a long period in the planet’s history – and in the lives of the crew of the Enterprise.

The Blood Rimmed Tide
by Howard Weinstein
(Set in 2291)

With the Zamestaad restored and things moving forward on Mestiko, the planetary government establishes a ‘Discovery Center’ on one of the planet’s moons. Imagine the shock of those who funded the work when an attack sees the death of several scientists and the theft of a new subspace weapon, one that can rip the fabric of subspace itself. Kirk, Chekov, Saavik, and the Enterprise crew must chase down this stolen weapon to keep it out of the hands of the Klingons. Along the way they meet up with Admiral Morrow (ST:III) and Captain Spock, behind Klingon lines. “The Blood Dimmed Tide” serves as an interesting bridge between the fifth and sixth feature films, but the storyline of a galactic super-weapon being stolen lacks a certain feeling and seems almost out of keeping with the rest of the stories in this collection. Though it is well written, Weinstein’s contribution to the series is easily the weakest of the bunch, and it comes the closest to losing one’s interest of any of the stories in the book.

Its Hour Come Round
by Margaret Wander Bonanno
(Set in 2293)

James Kirk is dead, but the hearings on the planet Mestiko concerning joining the Federation must go on. Captain Sulu and the crew of the Excelsior ferry Federation diplomats, including Spock, McCoy, and Uhura. The Klingons are there too, with their delegation headed by Chancellor Azetbur, but in the wake of the events at Praxis, there is a different feel to their visit. Initially, Kirk’s absence causes a bit of a furor, but on the heels of the announcement of his death to those gathered together in council, things get (essentially) underway. As a part of the process, McCoy is reviewing medical records on the planet when a strange situation attracts his interest. He heads out into the backwater of Mestiko to investigate, and finds far more than he bargained for – a secret that, at least to some, is worth killing over. While all this is going on, weeks and weeks of debate and discussion occurs as the planet forges its future. Bonanno makes an unusual story choice at the end of “Its Hour Come Round”, one that may not set well with every reader. From my perspective, it was a unique and open-ended way to conclude the story (while offering the chance for a follow-up visit in the future) but I recognize that some will feel unfulfilled. Either way, Bonanno’s concluding contribution is as engaging as any other part of the story, and is a fitting way to conclude an anniversary story that may very well have earned the moniker of ‘epic’, at least from a Trekker’s point of view.

"Star Trek: Mere Anarchy" (available now)


BOOK NEWS – Haynes Enterprise Manual announced
In a bit of a surprising announcement, Simon and Schuster (parent company of Pocket Books) is teaming up with Haynes (yes, the company who makes the automotive manuals) to produce a the "Haynes Enterprise Manual" for the new Enterprise featured in J. J. Abrams’ “Star Trek” feature film. According to a press release from CPLG (the rights marketing agency for Star Trek in Europe) the Haynes Guide will be

the ultimate guide to the Enterprise, applying its famous ‘step-by-step’ approach of stripping the ship down to its essentials and reassembling it with detailed illustrations.

CPLG would not provide any additional details or images, except to say the Enterprise guide will be out in 2010. TrekMovie will keep an eye on this exciting project.

The USS Enterprise is going to get the Haynes Manual treament

The Library Computer heads to the latter days of the original five-year mission as Spock encounters a being who will forever alter his perception of himself, and his take on his own future. Dave Galanter’s “Troublesome Minds” is on the docket for next week. Hope to see you then!

Available for pre-order for May: "Troublesome Minds"


In our ‘dueling reviews’ of the Alan Dean Fosters adaptation of the new Star Trek movie, we announced that a limited edition signed hard cover was coming out in June. Each book is signed by the author and comes in a leather box. All are numbered and have a letter of authenticity.

"Star Trek" collectors edition

The ‘collectors edition’ of "Star Trek" is available on June 8th and costs $35. You  can pre-order the book now at


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Boy, for a made up world, Trek sure has a lot of history!

I wish I had an Enterprise to actually go through a teardown as described in the Haynes. I’d need some help on that though. Couldn’t do it by myself, you know.

Oooooo… That’ll be nice to add to my book collection!

OK, the Haynes guide is a good step. But where are my “Art of …” and “Visual Companion”-type books for the film?

As much as Paramount was promoting the movie, I think Pocket dropped the ball on this count. The adaptation is nice and all, but that’s only a piece of the experience. I want to see the sketches and read about how it was done.

Can’t wait for that Haynes Manual!

I can finally get that damned starship on my front lawn and off of those blocks…

Lessee here… Okay… “disconnect pasma coil” thinga-me-bob… Alright, done… “then take mains offline”… OK… “lower anti-matter containment field”… OK, check… “but first purge anti-matter from chamber or it will react to matter causing a large megaton yeld explosion within a five mile radius and…”

Oh, crap… Run!!!!


Do It Y-arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr-self…


The Haynes manual is something I will definitely be looking for in the future. I would also like a book on the art of the new Star Trek, but I suspect that’s in the cards as well.

… “Haynes Enterprise Manual announced”…

Ah, but where will they put the bowling alley? ;p

I can just see it now, canonistas opening the manual:


Also, I ordered my signed copy. Delicious.

#8 – Maybe one or two decks below the brewery. :)

SO getting that manual!

4 – yeah there was no ‘Making of’ type book and no Comic of the movie either!!

You know, having a brewery on the ship is an excellent idea in my opinion. They’ve obviously had a breakthrough in technology in the new timeline, allowing them to use brewery by-products to power the warp engines instead of anti-matter. This is why the engine room is in the ship’s brewery, and why the nacelles are bigger. The nacelles now have to house large amounts of brewery waste.

As an added bonus, the crew is happier and more stable as a result of being able to produce their own alcohol, as opposed to relying on sythehol. This also frees up power normally used for the replicators that is used to power the many floodlights all over the ship.

It all makes sense. :)

Cannot wait for the Haynes manual!

I’d love to see that Haynes manual be a two parter…. one side new ship… flip it over, and the other half of the book is the classic ship.

All I can say is that the new ship had better still have bowling alleys! Where else will they have the formal balls?

I noticed Alan Dean Foster wrote the book adaptions for not only Star Trek, but Terminator Salvation and a prequel to Transformers 2 as well.

I’m sure none of his work suffered accordingly.

Blueprints. And posters. Mr. Scott’s guide to the Enterprise, (updated) will have to wait till after the next movie WHEN THEY GET THE DAMN BREWERY OUT OF STARFLEET.

I’m really annoyed with Pocket Books. They can make a Making of Insurrection but not the new movie? What were they thinking? Now if we get anything they are going to put it out a year late. Great. They’ll probably undersell and we won’t get anything for the new movie. I’m very annoyed there’s an visual companion for Angels & Demons but not Star Trek! And this movie is just calling out for an “Art of”

If Pocket Books didn’t believe in the movie enough to do some basic tie-ins then Paramount needs to take their license for non-fiction books to a publisher who does.

#9: You say “canonista” like it’s a bad thing! We are all canonistas – unless you prefer your Star Trek to have no internal consistency among series, movies, or episodes, or even internal to a single episode. If lack of consistency in any respect doesn’t bother you, perhaps a less well-thought-out series would better suit your tastes. But if it does bother you – even a little bit – you care about canon too.

Ha, there was a ton of Watchmen stuff out for that movie, but it bombed. Now, there’s a ton of Terminator stuff out, and that movie looks terrible.

#10 Rick Sternbach

Are you the same Rick Sternbach that did cover art for the Larry Niven known space books in the late seventies? The first science-fiction books I ever read were Ringworld and A World Out of Time and I remember how I found the cover art so beautiful and inspiring. From then on I was hooked to sci-fi and Larry Niven’s books in particular.

Parts of the schematics for the new Enterprise Engineering should be easy. Write that brewery for their layout. Cut. Paste. Viola!

#20 —

That’s the same Rick Sternbach who contributed greatly to Trek’s technical awesomeness for the last couple of decades.

Here are a few examples from Doug Drexler’s blog:

Warp Cores for Dummies? Self sealing stem bolts?

I’m still waiting for the new Quantum Mechanics Quarterly to come out.

14. Don’t forget the swimming pool! Did the TOS ‘E’ have the botanical garden in the secondary hull, or was that only after refit?

The Haynes guide is a really clever twist on the “incredible cross-sections” series, once again tied to our modern world.

I absolutely do not need an assembly guide for a fictional starship, and I absolutely will get it on publish day and devour every detail. They know my nerd buttons.

#10 Rick Sternbach

Is the brewery above or below that communications section where they store all the beer? Is that what all those pipes were for?

And was that basically what the original Enterprise would look llike if they didn’t have any walls?

I didn’t know that Willie Wonka designed the interior . . .

(just kidding . . .)

#24 —

There was an arboretum in a couple of third season episodes (“And The Children Shall Lead” and one other that escapes me). Can’t say if it was in the secondary hull or not.

I’m assuming the room in “The Man Trap” where Sulu was working and Beauregard lived was some sort of botanical lab, as it bore no resemblance to the later arboretum.

love the mere anarchy cover. its a strnage combination of TMP uniform on kirk, mcCoy sporting the WOK and spock in the where no man has gone before pilot. Nice.

Greg UK

#17 – You are making an assumption about Pocket Books (and Paramount for that matter) of which you have no evidence. Pocket produces what the studio gives them clearance to produce. They have a liaison who reviews all that they do. There may also be other agreements in place that bind or constrict Pocket Books, the studio, and others. Instead of reviling the details we are not privvy to, let’s be thankful for what we are getting!


re: 1. Harry Ballz – May 20, 2009

” Boy, for a made up world, Trek sure has a lot of history!”

…not any more!

The Haynes book is a step in the right direction. But I am with the other people that think Trek has been woefully mishandled in regards to this movie. Barnes and Noble, Hastings, and Borders all have tons of Star Wars books. Tech manuals, fiction, species books, the list goes on and on. Trek sections feature some fiction books I’ve either read or hold little interest and the Trek Encyclopedia which is incomplete. And a bit dull, I might add.

Come on, Star Trek! Let’s get back to producing some really cool books. This franchise used to lead the world in the making of books.

Haynes guide sounds cool and all but um why didn’t they get their tails in gear last year on this to oh I dunno know- coincide with the movie release? I’m not a marketing expert but I hear there’s this thing called synergy.


I’ll say straight up that I have no idea whose decision it is to commission new books. Whoever that person is, however, dropped the ball.

“Thankful for what we are getting” …

OK. The novelization. Oh, and in a year, the Haynes manual.

That’s it.

Again, a ball was dropped in providing some real synergy for one of the summer’s biggest movies. A movie that — by all accounts — Paramount loved to death, as evidenced by their moving it to be a May tentpole. And yet they aren’t making the books to back it up? Books that they know the rabid fanbase and newcomers would snatch up?

Ball. Dropped.

I think the brewery finally explains the lack of recognizable currency in Star Trek. They just trade with intoxicants instead! What’s better, people: the gold standard or the beer standard?

Now if only TNG’s producers had had the stones to show us the cargo bay Riker surely set aside for his grow-op…

The more I stair at the cover of Troublesome Minds, the more I think Quinto doesn’t fit the role of Spock… Sorry! :-P

For me Spock will always be Nimoy. :-)

#20 – Same ol’ me. Wish somebody would option RINGWORLD for real and finally make the movie.

I have just seen the movie for the third time. To my surprise, I enjoyed it more. This time I focused on sound effects: they are really awesome, a wonderful blend between modern and classic. The more I see ST09, the more I appreciate the TOS-style storytelling. All of my non-trekker friends were very satisfied. Trek is healthy and strong again.

6. British Naval Dude – May 20, 2009
Lessee here… Okay… “disconnect pasma coil” thinga-me-bob… Alright, done… “then take mains offline”… OK… “lower anti-matter containment field”… OK, check… “but first purge anti-matter from chamber or it will react to matter causing a large megaton yeld explosion within a five mile radius and…”

Oh, crap… Run!!!!


Do It Y-arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr-self…


You are realy scaring me. I may havt to put you in the Agoniser booth for a few hours.

For a television and movie series so steeped in literary themes and references (Melville, Shakespeare, etc.) the TOS novels I read for over 20 years were amazingly lacking in that capacity and, with few exceptions, were not all that intelligent or well-written. I remember a particularly poor one (I think titled Shadow Lord, by an author named Laurence Yep) that I used excerpts from in my composition classes for years to depict bad writing. Hopefully this situation has changed for the better, but with a finite life span I decided to seek my literary pleasure outside the Trek publishing universe.

re: #39
Lawrence Yep is one of the most important authors in modern Children’s Literature. His book “Dragonwings” was a Newbery Honor book and he has written many, many books since then. I had no idea he’d written a Star Trek Book. I’ll have to check it out. It was probably one of his early works.

technical manual, yesss …can’t wait! :D

I’ve had Mere Anarchy for a couple weeks now, can’t wait to read it… Right now I’ve finally gotten to Decandido’s Singular Destiny, after having read Vanguard books 2, 3 & 4, Vulcan’s Glory, and a couple others in between. I wasn’t sure what to expect with SD, and I recall the review on this site evoked mention by fellow posters that it might be too political. I’m into SD a little less than half way, and I’m enjoying it. Decandido has a whimsical style that agrees very well with my sense of humor, that gives me little chuckles here and there. The drama so far is unfolding steadily and Sonek Pran is a cool, likeable character. He makes me think of that one teacher or profesor that is kind of a hippy and treats you like you’re equal, rather than some dope in a tie. I dig it! Can’t wait to get into Mere Anarchy as well, which is just 1 of 4 anthologies I’ve yet to get to and 4 regular sized Trek books.

28 – The story takes place across the entire spectrum of TOS from before “Where No Man…” past Star Trek VI. Thus, the various uniforms.



I’m not sure you understand how the publishing business works. The liscenser (Paramount) doesn’t TELL Pocket Books what to produce. Pocket Books gets the rights to produce books from Paramount. They are the ones who decide whether to produce a book or not. Paramount might deny them the right to produce something, but it’s of no interest to them to prohibit the tie-in books. Pocket got burned on a lot of the non-fiction books they produced for Trek in the form of low sales which is why they pretty much stopped producing them. The fact that we don’t have any tie-in books is due to Pocket not taking a chance on them. On one hand it’s understandable but frankly if there was ever a time to take a chance on producing non-fiction tie-in books now would have been the time. Their lack of courage has deprived the fans of what could be some cool books and potentially deprived them of profits. They might have some in the works and they were waiting to see how the movie did, but it’s not a great way of doing business. They dropped the ball. There should have been an end cap full of tie-in books when the movie came out like there was for Watchmen or Terminator. Any books that come out now are going to be based on how well the movie did and none of them will have the sales they could have had if they’d been better timed.

I love the Haynes manuals. They’ve saved me buckets of money over the years, and now, my lovely lass with the ample nacelles will be spread out in all her glory for me to peruse.

#43 father robert lyons

thanks for that…makes sense now. lovely cover though.


That’s a whole lotta pipes that Haynes will be illustrating!

And maybe we’ll actually see where the Enterprise’s plumbing goes, e.g. where the restrooms are located in proximity to the bridge.

Watch for the manual to show up in the next movie/series. I just wouldn’t want to be the person who has to diagram all those freeking pipes in the bilge room. Oh, I should have said engine room.

#46 The captain’s head (restroom) and all the others were show in the very first FJ Blueprints.

i hope that there will be a ‘making of’ for the next Star Trek

…and I know just the guy who can write it ;)