Star Trek Novels circa Nemesis

Sci-Fi Pubcast update! We finally released a new episode!
https://www.scifipubcast.space/scifi-pubcast-47
Joel is hoping to have more time to record shows again. We’re doing away with the Discord channel, Facebook, and You Tube video episodes, but we’ll still be on Twitter.

With the release of Nemesis in 2002 (and the subsequent cancellation of Enterprise in 2005), live action Star Trek was officially over.  But the franchise lived on in the novels and with a new opportunity.  Just like Star Wars before them, now Trek Lit was the only game in town, which meant they now had the ability to decide the course of the franchise with tight nit continuity and serialization.  What followed was dozens of novels all fitting together into a larger whole.

I’ve been very, very slowly making my way through this mass of mass media and there are a lot of great gems in here.  DS9 is my favorite Trek series by far, but the novels managed to make TNG the more interesting series by introducing DS9 style continuity, serialization, and moral ambiguity.  The casts also became intermixed and regularly teamed up together.  It’s been amazing! 

I’m sorry to say I haven’t enjoyed the post-series DS9 novels as much, mainly because the vast majority of the original characters simply aren’t in it and the station is no longer the center of the Alpha Quadrant and the war to decide the fate of the galaxy.  It just doesn’t grab me.  So my focus has been on the TNG novel series.  I’ve only read a fraction of what’s out there.  I haven’t even touched the Voyager, Enterprise, Titan, New Frontier, or Vanguard series!

While the novels always adhered to their own continuity, after Nemesis they became the primary focus of the franchise and it began with the A Time To TNG series.  It was a ten book series leading up to the Nemesis movie.

Based on what I’ve read, the first seven books aren’t that important in the long run so I skipped them.  I began with the David Mack two parter A Time to Kill and A Time to Heal.  These books are excellent and Mack instantly became my favorite Trek Lit author.  He excels at telling grim and violent stories with cinematic action sequences and moral ambiguity.  Anything he writes is worth checking out.  I’ve also read his original (not Star Trek!) Dark Arts trilogy which is basically grim-dark Harry Potter in WWII.  Highly recommended!

Anyway, as I recall Mack’s Time two parter was a thinly veiled metaphor for the US invasion of Iraq.  It also dealt with the post Dominion War political situation.  I remember a lot of amazing war sequences, a great story, and the return of Section 31.

The tenth and final book was Keith DeCandidio’s A Time for War, A Time for Peace.  Drastically different in tone from Mack’s books, this is a charming and often hilarious series of vignettes including Federation politics and Worf’s change from Federation Ambassador to rejoining the Enterprise crew.

That was the final pre-Nemesis book.  I’ll talk about the post-Nemesis series in the next article.