Next ‘Star Trek: Picard’ Novel Is A Prequel Set On USS Titan With Riker And Troi

Simon and Schuster has announced the next tie-in novel to the CBS All Access Star Trek: Picard series will be a prequel focusing on Captain Riker and his family on the USS Titan.

The Dark Veil

Coming in January 2021, Star Trek: Picard – The Dark Veil was written by veteran Star Trek novelist James Swallow. The book is set a year after Jean-Luc Picard’s resignation from Starfleet, while William Riker and Deanna Troi are still serving on the USS Titan.

Official synopsis:

The Alpha Quadrant is mired in crisis.

Within the United Federation of Planets, a terrorist strike on the shipyards of Mars has led to the shutdown of all relief efforts for millions of Romulans facing certain doom from an impending super­nova.

But when the USS Titan is drawn into a catastrophic incident on the Romulan-Federation border, Captain William Riker, his family, and his crew find themselves caught between the shocking secrets of an enigmatic alien species and the deadly agenda of a ruthless Tal Shiar operative.

Forced into a wary alliance with a Romulan starship commander, Riker and the Titan crew must uncover the truth to stop a dev­astating attack—but one wrong move could plunge the entire sector into open conflict!

Here is the cover with art by Jim Salvati.

James Swallow has written many Star Trek novels, including a few in the Star Trek: Titan series. In a blog post today he noted that this Picard tie-in will have some differences, but also some connections:

It was a thrill for me to revisit the Titan once again – I’ve previously written about the ship and its crew in my novels Synthesis, The Poisoned Chalice and Sight Unseen – and a unique challenge to write in the ‘new’ continuity set up by Star Trek: Picard. Long-time fans of the Titan series will notice some differences, but also some familiar faces too…!

Star Trek: Picard – The Dark Veil arrives on January 5, 2021, in hardcover, eBook, and audio editions. You can pre-order it now on Amazon.

Keep up with all the news and reviews of Star Trek books at

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“Long-time fans of the Titan series will notice some differences, but also some familiar faces too”

I have a feeling that TG47 will be very pleased to read this!

I’m there.

Swallow is definitely one of the Trek-lit Relaunch novelists that I’ll pre-order.

The only reason I haven’t done so yet is that Amazon Canada is lagging in making it available. (Due to IP issues, in Canada we recently seem to be getting some genre novels distributed from the UK or print-to-order.)

I’ve read Swallow’s Titan novels, and it will be interesting to see how he bridges between the new continuity in the Prime Universe and some of the beloved characters that the Relaunch writers room established in what I guess we now call the “Relaunch Universe.”. Titan was established to be one of the most diverse crews in the fleet, with alien characters from many species, including some callbacks from TNG, Voyager and DS9.

Given how timelines for television have been more messed up than for books, I’m wondering if there are any signals about possible television products development in the choice of Titan for this novel. It could lay the foundation for either an animated series in the early 2380s or a made-for-streaming movie.

I notice also that Simon & Schuster has again chosen a British author for a Picard tie-in novel. Likely smart for marketing.

You are speculating a lot here. There could be a show on the USS Titan set after the Dominion war and before Picard.

The new canon is really fascinating. Never really got into Star Trek novels.

The Relaunch novels were well done for the most part.

They really kept many of us going when there was no Trek in production.

I’ve grieved that the new television series have created a new continuity, but I can accept that the Relaunch novels form a third universe, separate from Prime and Kelvin.

What made these books rise above most of the earlier Trek novels (with notable exceptions), was that the characters and overall narrative could advance. Events could have impact. They didn’t have to “put all the toys back in the box the way that they found them.”

To make this work, Simon & Schuster put a great editor in charge who acted like a showrunner, and the authors collaborated as though they were in a writers room in mapping out arcs.

With this approach, we’ve got great series, including some pre-TNG series like Vanguard that we can still hope are within the Prime continuity.

Not all the writers-for-hire are as good as the others, which makes it challenging to skip books when you don’t like them, but most are solid and some of the work is top notch.

Considering that the future for feature length Trek is likely going to be direct to streaming, novels would be a great source for content. It won’t be a stretch to imagine that possibility, it’s just a question of narrowing down the choices.


More, ViacomCBS already has the rights, not the writers-for-hire. The are no IP credits to resolve.

One of the authors, David Mack, has noted that one of the issues is that the incentives aren’t as great for the EPs. When they adapt a script, they don’t get a “created by” credit which reduces their financial return.

However, with the need for more content, selecting among the best and adapting them to the television continuity seems a natural next step.

As does bringing more of these writers on board as writers, especially when writers rooms are working remotely. Mack for example is consulting on the two animated series, but he had story and writing credits on DS9, including “It’s Only a Paper Moon” where Nog retreats into the Holosuites with PTSD.

There’s a wealth of untapped potential in the Trek universe. That’ll be something the fan base will need to get used to, that some Trek may bear little resemblance to a bunch of Starfleets finest cruising around the galaxy on a starship….

I love them all .I was on Voyager 4 last season +. Star Trek Enterprise. For four gr8 seasons, adventurers time’s unforgettable moment’s much love. Nothingbut butt gr8tness which serve under. Soarin’Roc Sir.Gr8 Capt’n Scott Bakula. Fantastico Pitbull’s the bests Leadership. I leprechaun the historical shows such a huge honor. Love 4evermore willin’it well managed motorized tank .Rolls Royce’s top ten 5 ***** 5 *****businessmen honorable .

It would of been far more interesting to continue off the story you started rather than jumping all over. We have a new race of sentient synthetic beings that are in need of trial from the Q collective for one smdh

How will this Star Trek: Picard novel tie in to season 2?

The USS Titan was in Lower Decks so I’m excited to see Riker and Troi again.

The Alpha Quadrant is at the brink of war. The Federation and Romulans are at each other’s throats.

The terrorist attack on Mars and a supernova in Romulan space. What can go wrong!

Considering where they left Picard at the end of season one, it’ll not likely tie in at all.

Interesting setting! If this is set in 2386, then Thad Troi–Riker should be about 5. Kestra’s age isn’t that firmly established in “Nepenthe,” but if Kestra is the same age Lulu Wilson was when she played her, then she would have been 13 in 2399, which means she was born in 2386! So this novel may have either a newborn Kestra on board the Titan, or a heavily pregnant Deanna!

I bet Deanna breastfed her babies on the bridge, because that would be badass.

I guess Boimler probably won’t be on the Titan any more by the time this is set. It would be cool if we got some LD references though.

Maybe a throwaway line from Capt. Riker: “The Cerritos? How does that ship manage to stay afloat? I had a couple of officers that transferred over from the Cerritos, and boy were they awful! I’ll never make that mistake again!”

Yes more Riker family in episodes please.Bring back Sisko and worf too.

Would be cool if Frakes would do the audiobook.

I bet he has a good Counselor Troi voice.

Those STP uniforms are hideous.

Just to provide some balance, I’m feeling the exact opposite as you about those uniforms. ;-) I wish they were the primary uniforms of the PIC era.

100% agreed. Not Trek costuming at its finest.

Can we please have this as a TV show/film/one-off miniseries instead?

Yes! Yes! Yes!!

I still think a Rikers’ Tittan TV show would’ve been a homerun instead of something like Discovery! Most fans wanted a post Nemesis show and I think that would’ve been the perfect way to go. The way fans reacted knowing Picard was coming back would’ve been just as excited with Frakes and Sirtis back. I’m happy we are somewhat getting that on Lower Decks now. It really does prove how much of a fanboy McMahan himself is to even come up with having a Titan element in the show next season.

But the novel sounds great too. And it’s cool it’s tied directly into Picard.

I bet the Romuan Starship Commander is Sela.