2022 Stark Trek reading challenge


The book has three alternate universe Star Trek novellas.

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Publishing year: 2008

Format: Print

Publisher: Pocket Books

Page count: 501

Each of the three novellas is set in a different universe, so they aren’t related.

The Chimes at Midnight: in this novella, Spock died as a young boy. Kirk’s best friend is an Andorian named Thelin. Thelin is a passionate and impatient man so this throws the Kirk-Spock-McCoy trinity off kilter. McCoy is the logical one here. The story starts near the end of Wrath of Khan and continued with the Search for Spock and the Voyage Home.

Admiral Kirk and a crew of cadets face the Genesis device. Thelin and David Marcus manage to shield the Enterprise so it remains in one piece, if only barely. When Carol and David Marcus return to Earth, Starfleet wants to employ Carol as a civilian scientist to research the Genesis planet. However, David volunteers.

Aboard the Grissom, he meets the half-Vulcan, half-Romulan Saavik who is a diplomat and a civilian scientist. They transport down to the Genesis planet to find out whatever they can before the planet disintegrates. However, someone attacks and destroys the Grissom. The culprits are renegade Klingons and they take the two hostage. When the Klingon commander Kruge realizes that David is Kirk’s son, he blackmails Kirk to get the Genesis device.

Meanwhile, Kirk thinks that his son has died. When he finds out that David is alive, he recruits his old friends (Thelin, Scotty, Sulu, Chekov, and McCoy), steals the Enterprise, and is off to rescue his son at any cost.

However, soon after the Enterprise leaves, Starfleet notices a huge alien probe going toward Earth. Kirk decides to continue to meet Kruge.

While this story isn’t as dark as the next one, it did get quite dark about halfway through. Except for that rather graphic torture scene which didn’t feel like Star Trek to me. David and Thelin are the main POV characters. Unfortunately, this meant that we didn’t see much of Kirk-Thelin-McCoy banter which I was rather looking forward to.

A Gutted World: the darkest of these stories. Bajor is still under Cardassian rule but the ore mines are depleting. Kira is the last surviving member of her resistance cell and she has knowledge that the rest of the galaxy needs to know. She decides to turn to the Federation. However, it’s not easy to steal a mining shuttle and drive it to Federation space.

Meanwhile, the great powers of the galaxy are near total war. A Romulan ship attacks and destroys a Klingon outpost without warning. The outpost commander’s kin attacks Romulans in retaliation. The Cardassians have engulfed the Ferengi. The Enterprise-E has just returned from the past where they stopped the Borg from assimilating the Earth. The ship is in a bad shape and many crewmembers died. However, the Enterprise is ordered to reinforce the Klingon Defence Force against Romulan retaliation. Captain Picard is tired of war but has no choice but to obey.

The story starts with multiple POV characters ranging from the Romulan ambassador to the Klingons, the Romulan Praetor, and a journalist in the Federation. However, the major POV characters ended up being Worf and Kira.

This is one of those dark alternative realities where we get to see the characters we love dying. The world is fascinating, though. Since the Cardassians still hold Bajor, the other powers don’t know about the wormhole. Voyager didn’t end up in the Gamma Quadrant. Commander Sisko builds starships, Odo has vanished from Terok Nor, and Quark has bought himself his own planet.

Brave New World: my favorite of the stories. In this world, Soong didn’t create just a couple of androids: he created hundreds of them. Federation created thousands more and they’re serving aboard spaceships and space stations, on colonies and homeworlds. Ten years ago, the androids received citizenship as sentient beings. Well, not quite a full citizenship: they can’t reproduce. When that decision became public, Data and thousands of other androids left without telling why or where they were going. Now, Data has sent an urgent message to Picard asking the Enterprise-D to come to a planet on the Romulan Neutral Zone. Picard is curious and agrees.

In this story, Romulan-Klingon Alliance is the strongest faction in the Alpha Quadrant rather than Klingons allying themselves with the Federation. Commander Ro Laren is Picard’t tactical officer, LaForge is his first officer, and Wesley Crusher is the chief engineer. In addition to androids, the story has also people who have uploaded their minds into android bodies (Ira Graves from Schizoid Man was successful), in essence becoming immortal.

I enjoyed all of these tales, even though the Gutted World was darker than I’d like. I wouldn’t mind reading more stories set in these worlds, but that’s not going to happen.

The 12th Star Trek: TNG book.

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Publisher: Pocket Books

Publishing year: 1990

Format: Print

Page count: 276

I read this book when it first came out and even remembered something from it. I think it’s set during the second season.

A long-dead species made an artificial world that is now called Kirlos. It has both a Federation embassy and a K’Vin Hegemony embassy. Yes, this book introduces a couple of new humanoid species which we never see again.

The K’Vin are a military race, bent on conquest. Currently, they have an uneasy alliance with the Federation because they don’t like how the Federation “meddles”. The Sullurh are an unassuming race that serves both the Federation and the K’Vin embassies.

Kirlos has one underground city. It also has a huge archeological dig. The leading archeologist asks for Geordi LaForge, in the hope that his VISOR can reveal something. Geordi, Data, and Worf beam down to the dig. Meanwhile, the Enterprise-D receives a distress signal and must leave the Kirlos to protect a small colony against an attack by mysterious spaceships.

On Kirlos, someone puts explosives in the Federation embassy. The next day, someone bombs the K’Vin embassy. The civilian population on both sides fears for their safety and needs someone to blame. The K’Vin blame the three Enterprise crewmembers.

This was a solid, quick read. Geordi, Worf, and Data have a few amusing adventures on Kirlos before the tension starts to rise. They’re cut off from the other crew, which was a bit unusual. The Federation ambassador is Stephaleh, an elderly Andorian, which was interesting because I haven’t seen Andorians much. The two ambassadors have a good relationship which is, of course, strained when the attacks start. The real villains aren’t seen until near the end. Unfortunately, the archeological dig wasn’t seen much.

I noticed that Worlds Without End has a Star Trek reading challenge:

Space – what many unread Star Trek books occupy on my book shelves. Read 3, 6, 9, or 12 Star Trek books from any series in the Star Trek Universe. Review your favorite and comment about the other books you’ve read in the Challenge thread. Twelve books won’t make a dent in my pile, but it’s a start! Live Long and Prosper.

My situation isn’t quite that bad, but I have three shelves full of Star Trek books, mostly from my favorite Trek, TNG. I do have Star Trek books I’ve owned several years without reading them. But that’s going to change.

I’m starting carefully so I chose the lowest level, 3 books which is the Janeway level. Of course, I’m hoping to read more.

Books read

1, Carmen Carter, Michel Jan Friedman, Peter David, Robert Greenberger: Doomsday World

2, Geoff Trowbridge, Keith R. A. Candido, Chris Roberson: Star Trek: Myriad Universes: Echoes and Refractions

3,