It’s the beginning of March, and winter is nearly done, so it’s time to head out and grab a novel, and prepare to settle in for one final winter reading-fest. This week, the Library Computer is taking a look at “Forged In Fire,” the new Excelsior adventure by Michael A. Martin and Andy Mangels. We’ll also be catching up with Bones Rodriguez, and keeping an eye out on upcoming releases.
Articles by Robert Lyons
The "Library Computer" column is new here at TrekMovie.com. Last week we kicked off with a Valentine’s Day themed review and interview (and giveaway). But before we move on to more we thought we would take a look back at the books of 2007 and see where there were hits (and misses). Plus we gaze forward and see what you can look forward to be reading in the next year…join us will you?
NEW FEATURE: ‘Library Computer’ is our latest regular column and it is entirely dedicated to Trek Books. The goal will be to review and preview every new Trek book (novels and non-fiction), plus offer interviews, retro-reviews and retrospectives. This first ‘Library Computer’ has a Valentine’s Day theme as Rob (and Kristen) Lyons take a look at the new "Captain Kirk’s Guide to Women." Plus we have copies of the book to give away…see below.
For many years, the enigmatic Q has been a recurring companion (or should that read nuisance?) to Captain Jean-Luc Picard and the crew of the USS Enterprise. For the better part of two decades we have witnessed his exploits on the Federation’s flagship, as well as in other parts of the universe. But now, the ultimate riddler prepares to deliver the ultimate answer in Keith R. A. DeCandido’s new Star Trek: The Next Generation novel, "Q&A". Right off the top, "Q&A" sets itself apart from the recent batch of Next Generation novels, opening with quite possibly the most unique prologues of any Star Trek work I have ever picked up. To be honest, it felt more like the work of Douglas Adams (The Hitchhiker’s Guide series) than anything else.
Retread is a verb in the English language. It’s second definition, according to dictionary.com is "to repeat or do over, especially without the boldness or inventiveness of the original." A perfect example of what it means to retread is found in J. M. Dillard’s new Star Trek: The Next Generation adventure, "Resistance." Dillard’s novel, a part of the relaunch of the Next Generation franchise, pits Captain Picard up against the Borg once again… and I could swear that I was watching a fan-remix episode pieced together from elements of "The Best of Both Worlds" and "Star Trek: First Contact".
Christopher L. Bennett returns us to the Lost Era with an examination of the life of Captain Jean-Luc Picard between the destruction of the USS Stargazer to his assuming command of the USS Enterprise. Bennett crafts a multifaceted tale that opens with an outstanding look at the Battle of Maxia and its repercussions. When the aftermath gives Picard pause, he takes some time away from Starfleet to pursue his love of archaeology, taking up studies for a doctorate under Dr. Miliani Langford at the University of Alpha Centauri.
With the eleventh feature film of the Star Trek franchise on track to possibly deliver a tale of the first adventure of Kirk and Spock aboard the starship Enterprise, one might wonder about Spock’s first mission aboard the storied vessel. Veteran Trek script writer D. C. Fontana attempted to do just that back in 1989 with "Vulcan’s Glory" – recently re-released by Pocket Books. At least a decade before the arrival of James T. Kirk on the scene, Captain Christopher Pike commands the starship Enterprise. Having recently returned to Earth for repairs and upgrades, crew transfers are also effected. Enter one Lieutenant Spock, a young Vulcan scientist who seems to have problems relaxing (according to his former commanding officer), and Lieutenant ( J.G.) Montgomery Scott, an engineering whiz and moonshiner of note. Both are new assignees to the Enterprise, and both are in for quite a ride.
August 2007 features the re-release of "Death in Winter" a paperback release of a 2005 hardcover TNG novel. This release sets up a series of post-Nemesis TNG novels starting in September (just in time for TNG’s 20th anniversary). "Death in Winter" by Michael Jan FriedmanI’ve been reading books for nearly thirty years and reading Star Trek books for about twenty-two years. In all those years, there have only been a few novels that I couldn’t finish. The only reason I finished Michael Jan Friedman’s "Death in Winter" was to write a review.
Star Trek: Errand of Fury – Book 1: Seeds of Rage (Kevin Ryan)Following up on his successful Errand of Vengeance trilogy, Kevin Ryan returns with "Seeds of Rage", the first book in the three-part Errand of Fury series set before the TOS episode "Errand of Mercy." It’s a difficult time for the crew of the starship Enterprise. With a substantial casualty list in the wake of the events of the preceeding series, Captain Kirk is forced to take on new crew members and consider the futures of some who remain on board. While his security supervisor, Leslie Parrish, struggles with deciding about remaining on duty, Michael Fuller boards the ship, intent on avenging the death of his son. Both situations meet head-on in the midst of the Enterprise’s security department as the crew investigates System 7348 where a primitive Klingon culture is faced with their planet’s impending obliteration at the hand of ‘unknown’ agents.
"The City on the Edge of Forever" is one of Star Trek’s finest hours. Harlan Ellison’s tale of personal sacrifice on behalf of others serves as the touchstone from which the lives of McCoy, Spock, and Kirk flow in David R. George III’s Crucible trilogy. These books, commissioned for the fortieth anniversary celebration, are unique in that they stand outside all other literary continuity. George limits himself to the original episodes, the animated series, and what we know of the original crew from references in later Treks. Also, while the stories can, theoretically, be read in any order, they really should be read in their order of release. The interweaving stories read better in order, and could serve to spoil the enjoyment of the other books. Sadly, reading the books in order may wind up leaving readers with a sub-par feeling at the end.
Didn’t like the finale of Star Trek: Enterprise? You’re not alone. Andy Mangels and Michael A. Martin (and, incidentally, Pocket Books) are counting on that as they present "The Good That Men Do." The book is the first in the ‘relaunch’ of the Enterprise series in novel form. Primarily it is an attempt to undo the damage that 24th century Trek imposed on Enterprise in "These Are The Voyages," while also setting up the arcs for where Pocket plans on taking the series (story here). The book adequately performs these duties, but not without running into its own problems along the way. NOTE: SPOILERS BELOW