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Good starting point for Star Trek?

Old 05-12-09, 07:21 PM
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Good starting point for Star Trek?

Was interested in dippping my toes into the extended universe Star Trek novels. Was wanting to get a consensus on where a good place to start was. Ive read some of the Star Wars novels, and while it has its clunkers, there were some jewels in there. Im looking for good stories, looking at the original series cast. Thanks for the help, guys.
Old 05-12-09, 09:53 PM
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Re: Good starting point for Star Trek?



It's actually the only Star Trek book that I've read, but it's very entertaining. It contains the stories of how Kirk, Chekov, Sulu, and Scotty reacted to the Kobayashi Maru scenario. It's OOP, so you'll have to find a used copy or buy the kindle version if you have one.
Old 05-12-09, 11:03 PM
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Re: Good starting point for Star Trek?

Here's the only Star Trek book I've ever read. It was a fun kid when I was a kid, and it's like a Choose Your Own Adventure book in which you play an ensign:

Old 05-13-09, 02:59 AM
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Re: Good starting point for Star Trek?

I used to read the novels as a kid/teen - I'm actually revisiting some of them on my kindle right now for some fairly mindless entertainment while I study for a certification exam.

Some of the better authors are people like Diane Duane, John M Ford, J.M. Dillard, Vonda McIntyre, Diane Carey.

Right now I'm just starting at the beginning of the Pocket Books TOS series. I was surprised while reading the novelization of the motion picture at just how many very unsexy sexual references there are in that book. I learned that the word 'genitals' does NOT have a very high turn-on probability, especially when talking about a starfleet admiral *shudder*

Also, read The Entropy Effect which was better, but still reminds me why I eventually jumped off the ST novels for better hard SF

Michael
Old 05-13-09, 05:15 PM
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Re: Good starting point for Star Trek?

Thanks for the suggestions! Going to Half Price books with a list and a fistfull of cash tomorrow.
Old 05-13-09, 05:25 PM
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Re: Good starting point for Star Trek?

I'll say this about most of the Trek lit: you have to really go back a ways to find some that doesn't sound like fan fiction or require you to have the Star Trek Encyclopedia handy just to follow the back cover synopsis. My biggest complaint about the franchise altogether was, and is, that somewhere along the line, the writers took the Treknobabble seriously and paid far more attention to name-checking that stuff than telling an interesting story.

That said, there are four that I actually would recommend.

Bloodthirst by J.M. Dillard - It's something of a campy horror story set during the original series. It wouldn't have worked for any of the spin-offs, but it totally works as part of that series. Bonus points for having Chekov utter the line, "Starfleet security can do nothing about...wampires!"

Prime Directive by Judith & Garfield Reeves-Stevens - Captain Kirk is on trial for genocide as a result of an engineering experiment gone wrong. They nailed all the main characters, and the story--while devoid of the social commentary stuff I normally prefer--is actually a fairly engaging mystery.

The Ashes of Eden by William Shatner, with Judith & Garfield Reeves-Stevens - Captain Kirk deals with retirement. Set betwixt Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country and Star Trek Generations. There's a fairly nice "Indiana Jones" type
third act, too.

Imzadi by Peter David - The nature of Riker & Troi's relationship. The underlying premise of the book is that something went wrong and Troi died in the present and bitter old man Riker uses the Guardian of Forever to go back and fix it. That part of the story never really worked for me, but the stuff set in the past about Riker's courtship of Troi was charming and frequently funny. Any guy who ever pursued a hard-to-get case should be able to relate to this part of the book.
Old 05-13-09, 09:42 PM
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Re: Good starting point for Star Trek?

The very first Star Trek novel is still one of the best: Spock Must Die! by James Blish. A very quick read but heavier on the hard science than many later Trek books.
Old 05-14-09, 11:20 AM
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Re: Good starting point for Star Trek?

I have probably 100 or so of the old ST novels on my shelf at home. You can normally go into a used book shop and buy the things for dirt cheap.

I personally loved going through as many of TOS novels as i could find.
Old 05-14-09, 04:31 PM
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Re: Good starting point for Star Trek?

For some good Robert April and George Kirk stories (not like that)
I recommend the following novels

Final Frontier (not the movie tie-in)
Best Destiny

Also, like The Entropy Effect, Vendetta, Q-Squared, Spock's World
Old 05-14-09, 04:35 PM
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Re: Good starting point for Star Trek?

One good idea as you read the books is find places where they contradict the new movie. Then, go into the movie thread and complain how J.J. Abrams got it wrong.
Old 05-14-09, 05:12 PM
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Re: Good starting point for Star Trek?

Originally Posted by Groucho View Post
One good idea as you read the books is find places where they contradict the new movie. Then, go into the movie thread and complain how J.J. Abrams got it wrong.


I laughed at this far more than i probably should have.
Old 05-14-09, 05:38 PM
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Re: Good starting point for Star Trek?

I have also read around 100 ST books. My absolute favorite, and the best place to give you a good history, etc. is Federation by Judith & Garfield Reeves-Stevens. Then go with what you enjoy, in terms of learning more about Klingon crap, etc. Shatners books that take place directly after the Generations movie are really good as well, and are co-authored by Judith & Garfield Reeves-Stevens. you can almost figure than anything written by them or Peter David is going to be very good. But I haven't honestly read too many that i didn't enjoy.
Old 05-14-09, 07:29 PM
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Re: Good starting point for Star Trek?

Originally Posted by kvrdave View Post
I have also read around 100 ST books. My absolute favorite, and the best place to give you a good history, etc. is Federation by Judith & Garfield Reeves-Stevens. Then go with what you enjoy, in terms of learning more about Klingon crap, etc. Shatners books that take place directly after the Generations movie are really good as well, and are co-authored by Judith & Garfield Reeves-Stevens. you can almost figure than anything written by them or Peter David is going to be very good. But I haven't honestly read too many that i didn't enjoy.
Sweet! Glad to see it isn't just me. Also, of those 100 ST books probably 95 of them are TOS. I only have read a handful of TNG books and don't think i have kept many of those.
Old 05-14-09, 10:06 PM
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Re: Good starting point for Star Trek?

Wow. Thanks for the response guys. Picked up Kobayashi Maru on my Kindle (thanks for the heads up, dirt cheap) and The Return. Ive heard good things about the Reeves-Stevens books, so I thought it would be a good one to go with.
Old 05-15-09, 08:45 AM
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Re: Good starting point for Star Trek?

Peter David writes the best Trek, IMO. I recommend Imzadi and Q-Squared. Very entertaining.
Old 05-15-09, 11:26 AM
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Re: Good starting point for Star Trek?

Originally Posted by burnside986 View Post
Wow. Thanks for the response guys. Picked up Kobayashi Maru on my Kindle (thanks for the heads up, dirt cheap) and The Return. Ive heard good things about the Reeves-Stevens books, so I thought it would be a good one to go with.

Before you read The Return, you owe it to yourself to rewatch the ST:TNG Generations movie. The book starts where the movie ends. It is excellent.
Old 05-15-09, 11:29 AM
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Re: Good starting point for Star Trek?

Originally Posted by Xander View Post
Peter David writes the best Trek, IMO. I recommend Imzadi and Q-Squared. Very entertaining.
Q-squared was really good. Peter David's series Star Trek New Frontier is also surprisingly good. New crew, new missions, etc. I liked Imzadi, but I probably like them all.

It is nice to be able to get more of Q or other characters that you just don't get enough of.
Old 05-15-09, 11:31 AM
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Re: Good starting point for Star Trek?

Originally Posted by xmiyux View Post
Sweet! Glad to see it isn't just me. Also, of those 100 ST books probably 95 of them are TOS. I only have read a handful of TNG books and don't think i have kept many of those.

What nerds we are. I would guess that I am 75-25 for TOS. Once I picked up a few TNG books at a library sale for a dime each, I got pulled into them as well. Even a few DS9 ones. I have only read one Voyager book, however. I never watched that entire series, so I figured I should wait until I do to read more (if that makes me want to).

The one bad thing about Trek books is that if you also enjoy audio books, almost every one of them is abridged. I can't do abridged things.
Old 05-15-09, 12:14 PM
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Re: Good starting point for Star Trek?

I read a few in the 80s and remember enjoying Strangers From the Sky and Enterprise pretty well.

Always wanted to read the Khan books. How are they?
Old 05-15-09, 12:28 PM
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Re: Good starting point for Star Trek?

Honestly, the answer to that question always depends on how much you like Trek. Some are obviously better than others, but from my perspective, I've enjoyed them all. But knowing that, I thought they were above average. I remember enjoying them while I read them. I'm trying to remember if it was one of those that switched back every chapter. I've read a lot like that, and am not a huge fan of it, but you'd still get a from me.
Old 05-16-09, 09:15 PM
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Re: Good starting point for Star Trek?

Originally Posted by Straker View Post
The very first Star Trek novel is still one of the best: Spock Must Die! by James Blish. A very quick read but heavier on the hard science than many later Trek books.
Just a quick note. While I always enjoyed James Blish's writing and had a complete collection of his Star Trek TOS adaptations, the very first Star Trek novel was published in 1968 titled Mission to Horatius. I used to have a copy when I was a kid - I don't recall the plot but do remember not being at all impressed. Not really worth looking up unless you're a completist.

Has anyone ever read any of the old comics published by Gold Key in the 70s. I inherited a few of those from my older brother and they were pretty silly and campy; however, I always thought that worked pretty well for them.

If anyone wants some really strange novels, look up some of the old ballantine publications: The Price of the Phoenix and The Fate of the Phoenix by Sondra Marshak and Myrna Culbreath. I seem to recall they wrote a couple of really strange stories in a couple Star Trek: The New Voyages collections as well.

I used to have a huge collection of star trek books as a kid, but was out of it by the time I was 15. Unfortunately for me, this thread has revived memories best forgotten

Michael
Old 05-17-09, 10:04 AM
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Re: Good starting point for Star Trek?

Originally Posted by MinLShaw View Post
Prime Directive by Judith & Garfield Reeves-Stevens - Captain Kirk is on trial for genocide as a result of an engineering experiment gone wrong. They nailed all the main characters, and the story--while devoid of the social commentary stuff I normally prefer--is actually a fairly engaging mystery.
I've only read a small percentage of the TREK books out there, but this was by far my favorite of the lot.
Old 05-17-09, 01:08 PM
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Re: Good starting point for Star Trek?

Wow! This thread is bringing back some memories!! I was hardcore into the books back in the late eighties and nineties. I would highly recommend the already mentioned Imzadi and Q-Squared. There was also a sequel to Imzadi that I can't remember the title right off that was pretty good. There was also one about the Doomsday machine in the TNG time frame that was good. Sorry my memory is fuzzy on these book titles! I also recommend Federation. If you like comics, There is a collected trade called The Mirror Universe Saga from the DC comics run that still stands out as one of my favorite Trek stories.
Hope this helps! Good luck and happy hunting!!
Old 05-17-09, 08:51 PM
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Re: Good starting point for Star Trek?

Originally Posted by Dmacsg1 View Post
Wow! This thread is bringing back some memories!! I was hardcore into the books back in the late eighties and nineties. I would highly recommend the already mentioned Imzadi and Q-Squared. There was also a sequel to Imzadi that I can't remember the title right off that was pretty good. There was also one about the Doomsday machine in the TNG time frame that was good. Sorry my memory is fuzzy on these book titles! I also recommend Federation. If you like comics, There is a collected trade called The Mirror Universe Saga from the DC comics run that still stands out as one of my favorite Trek stories.
Hope this helps! Good luck and happy hunting!!
The sequel to Imzadi was Triangle: Imzadi II. It focused on the relationship between Worf and Troi, and helps fill in the gap of what he was doing between Generations and "The Way of the Warrior" (DS9 episode). It was amusing, but I felt it not only name-dropped too many secondary characters (Sela, Thomas Riker, Lwaxana Troi) but that it lacked the heart of the original Imzadi.

I can't speak to the TNG Doomsday Machine novel, thought it does sound familiar. There was also a 3-issue Wildstorm comic book mini-series of Voyager featuring the Doomsday Machine. I'm not big on the whole crossover thing (i.e., telling a story with one crew featuring a secondary or tertiary character from another series), but this one worked fairly well. Maybe that's because it was a comic book series and not a novel.

I have The Mirror Universe Saga, and while it's been contradicted by the DS9 depictions of the Mirror Universe, I suppose there's no reason not to think of this as another Mirror Universe. It's set during the movie era of the original crew storyline. Let's be honest: Bearded Spock rocks, and this is an excuse to go hang with him. I believe a reprint of the TPB is forthcoming (or possibly already out).
Old 05-18-09, 11:30 AM
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Re: Good starting point for Star Trek?

Just out of curiosity...do authors turn out Star Trek books as a labor of love or can one actually make a living writing these books?

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