Hello,

In the recent years, I have had much less time available to watch new shows (I have a young kid). So I am quite lagging behind: I haven’t seen PIC, nor the last season of DIS, nor SNW. I tended to not find the right moment to read books either. I finally started reading e-books and I realise how convenient they are to take advantage of 15 minutes of calm and discretly (and without noise) read a chapter or two. I used to read books on paper exclusively, and to find reading on screen difficult, but it turns out that I am now becoming an e-book reader and they allow me to spend much more time reading.

So, I’ve started with Robinson’s Stitch In Time because I heard a lot of good reviews. And it is indeed GREAT. Beautifully written. I wanted to read more, so I looked up what else Robinson had written, and bought “Prophecy and change Anthology”. I read it entirely though I was initially interested only in “The Calling”. But I was a bit disappointed as I found “The Calling” too esoteric for my liking. Nevertheless, I was eager to read more about Garak. So I bought and read “Enigma Tales” by Una McCormack, and it is AWESOME! Very well written. I like her writting style.

I am aware that I am not reading in the proper order, but I then decided I wanted more from Una McCormack, so I read “The Fall: Crimson shadow”. But I decided to read The Fall in order, so I read Revelation and Dust before. I liked “Revelation and Dust” much much less than Enigma Tales. The writer style is quite heavy, especially when it comes to describing female characters. But it was OK. “Crimson shadow” was AWESOME. I found the description of the transition towards democracy on Cardassia, and the challenge with the facist old guard trying to take back control by various demagogical means very well written. And with a lot of references to real world issues: Starfleet leaving Cardassia somewhat reminiscent of western forces leaving occupied countries in the middle east, the fascist rethoric of Cardassia First reminiscent of some policians IRL. This is SF like I like it: the reader escapes into the Star Trek world, and at the same time is invited to reflect on IRL issues (a bit like Persian letters).

I was less impressed by the rest of the mini-series. The shenanigans on Andor were ok and I finally longed for the characters. But the conspiracy inside the Federation with the moustache-twirling villains that are Velk and Ishan made little sense to me. How could it be that the Federation which has existed for so long has so little counter-powers? How could an unelected person (president pro tempore) be allowed to wield that much power and make decisions without democratic oversight? Why do so many Starfleet personnels obey direct orders if this is illegal to do so? Why not telling him that he isn’t authorized to issue them direct orders if that is so?

The shenanigans made sense on Cardassia which was a military dictatorship for at least a century. It made sorta sense on Andor because of what they endured in their recent past and the dangers for their survival (though it was already far fetched that people would be so uninformed after 200 years in the Federation). To top it up, the last book (poisoned chalice) is much too predictable. You know the answer basically after the first few pages, and the story is just lagging. It almost felt like the author is just trying to fill pages (though I was still willing to keep reading until the end). There is also (I don’t remember in which books in the mini series) all this discussion about Kira in the wormhole and things she experience there, but it is an unused Chekov gun. There are chapters about her, and then nothing.

So my question is: what to read next? What are good series worth reading? Are there more featuring Garak? Is there a book with Kira coming back from the Wormhole? Do we get to see Crusher under Captain Ro on DS9?

As I stated in introduction, I haven’t been able to keep up with the new shows, and I don’t want to get spoilt. So, I’d rather not go with books taking place after the events of PIC until I have had to opportunity to watch the shows (unless they don’t spoil anyway).

Any advice?

  • japps13OPA
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    10 months ago

    Thank you for the detailed and insightful answer. I’ll bookmark it to decide on the next books to read.

    First, the Relaunch Treklit novelverse is a separate continuity from the new television series. I personally prefer a lot of the choices of major political arcs in the Relaunch timeline better than the new shows. Interestingly, the last season of Picard started to bring in some parallels from the books, despite being a very different future for Picard himself.

    OK good to know. So I can continue forward and not get spoilt. Does it mean that they have stopped writing for this timeline, now that the new shows are out ?

    Una McCormack has a few more Cardassia focused books. If you haven’t read them all yet, I’d suggest those given your preference for her book in the Fall. The book with Dr Pulaski is great and important but should be read after the Bashir S31 sequence if you’re going to do that.

    You mean Enigma Tales, and Neverending Sacrifice, or are there others ?

    the Voyager books advanced much more slowly through the timeline. I found the Christie Golden books exasperating (mainly due to the constraints out in her by the IP holder). When Kirsten Beyer took over and started the Full Circle sequence she was given freedom to fix many issues. It’s a great set of return to the Delta Quadrant books. Some recommend just starting with ‘Full Circle’ and going forward from there. Beyer takes about the first half of that book catching you up and moving things forward.

    As a matter of fact, I remember reading some of the earliest of those Voyager books (paper version). But it is so long ago that I could as well reread them now. What’s “IP holder” ?

    • StillPaisleyCat@startrek.website
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      10 months ago

      The Relaunch Litverse continued a bit after the new shows started to wrap up the political storyline and some of the other sequences. A trilogy called Coda concluded that timeline. Most fans have mixed feelings about it.

      Una McCormack has one more book ‘The Missing’ which is the Pulaski one I mentioned.

      The IP holder is the owner of the intellectual property and franchise rights. This shifted over time with the Viacom breakup then more recent. For a while Paramount had the movie rights and CBS the television rights. Simon & Schuster basically licenses from them to contract tie-in writers for hire. The IP rights from all the books stay with the IP holder. What the writers can do is limited by what the IP holder will allow the licensee.