Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Literary Treks 190: As the Q Turns

The Next Generation: Q-Squared
by Peter David

During the original five-year mission, Captain Kirk and his crew found themselves at the mercy of a seemingly-omnipotent being: Trelane. Discovering that he was merely an out-of-control child, Trelane was corralled by his parents, members of the Q Continuum. However, he has now returned to exact vengeance on a new generation...

In this episode of Literary Treks, hosts Dan Gunther and Bruce Gibson are joined by special guest Amy Nelson to talk about Peter David's novel Q-Squared. We discuss Trelane's status as a Q, the Picard-Beverly-Jack Crusher triangle, Riker and Deanna, Jack Crusher's uniqueness, alternate universes, funny moments, a cosmic temper tantrum, and wrap up with our ratings.

In the news segment, we review Mirror Broken #0, talk about the upcoming Juan Ortiz artbook featuring his TNG works, and rate the cover of the Klingon Empire Travel Guide by Dayton Ward.

Literary Treks 190: As the Q Turns
The Next Generation: Q-Squared by Peter David

Previous episode: Literary Treks 189: Embrace the Worf
Next episode: Literary Treks 191: The Entropy Effect

Cover for Patterns of Interference Revealed!

New cover day! Revealed is the stunning art featuring Trip Tucker that serves as the cover for the upcoming Enterprise novel, Patterns of Interference, the fifth book in his Rise of the Federation series.

Check out the cover art below, as well as links to pre-order Rise of the Federation: Patterns of Interference from Amazon! The release date for Patterns of Interference is August 29th, so be on the look out!

Publisher's Description:

The time has come to act. Following the destructive consequences of the Ware crisis, Admiral Jonathan Archer and Section 31 agent Trip Tucker now both attempt to change their institutions to prevent further such tragedies. Archer pushes for a Starfleet directive of noninterference, but he faces unexpected opposition from allies within the fleet—and unwelcome support from adversaries who wish to drive the Federation into complete isolationism. Meanwhile, Tucker plays a dangerous game against the corrupt leaders of the clandestine Section 31  hoping to bring down their conspiracy once and for all. But is he willing to jeopardize Archer's efforts—and perhaps the fate of an entire world—in order to win?

Pre-order Rise of the Federation: Patterns of Interference from:

Mass-market paperback: | |
E-book (Kindle): | |

Friday, May 19, 2017

Literary Treks 189: Embrace the Worf

Enemy Unseen Part 2: "Embrace the Wolf"

100 years earlier, a malevolent entity that feeds on fear threatened the crew of the Enterprise under Captain Kirk and framed Scotty for murder. At the time, Redjac, also known as Jack the Ripper, was thought to have been banished for all eternity. However, he has returned to terrorize the crew of another Enterprise!

In this episode of Literary Treks, hosts Dan Gunther and Bruce Gibson present part two of our discussion about the Star Trek comics collection Enemy Unseen, which includes the story "Embrace the Wolf." We talk about a sequel to "Wolf in the Fold," Redjac, the unorthodox method used to defeat him, overcoming our fears, and wrap up with our final thoughts and ratings.

In the news segment, we discuss a pair of interviews with the creators of the TNG mirror universe comic story Mirror Broken, announce that the UK Comics collection #3 is available for pre-order, judge the cover of the new DTI novella Shield of the Gods, and talk about David Mack's upcoming original novel The Midnight Front.

Literary Treks 189: Embrace the Worf
Enemy Unseen, Part 2: Embrace the Wolf

Previous episode: Literary Treks 188: Children of the Corn
Next episode: Literary Treks 190: Q-Squared

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Literary Treks 188: Children of the Corn

Dark Victory by William Shatner
with Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens

James T. Kirk has faced many enemies over the course of his life: Klingons, Khan, Romulans, and countless others. However, none of them will prove as worthy an opponent as his most dreaded enemy: himself! The mirror universe shows us dark reflections of ourselves, and Kirk's counterpart, Tiberius, is the deadliest of them all!

In this episode of Literary Treks, hosts Bruce Gibson and Dan Gunther discuss the William Shatner novel, Dark Victory, book two in his Mirror Universe trilogy. We talk about the plot, Project Sign, the pacing, a lack of trust, the legend of the Preservers, Kirk trying to outrun death, and our ratings.

In the news, we review two comics: New Visions 15: The Traveler, and Green Lantern: Stranger Worlds #6.

Literary Treks 188: Children of the Corn
Dark Victory by William Shatner with Judith & Garfield Reeves-Stevens

Previous episode: Literary Treks 187: Lucsly's Head Would Explode
Next episode: Literary Treks 189: Embrace the Worf

Friday, May 5, 2017

Literary Treks 187: Lucsly's Head Would Explode

Voyager #2: The Escape
by Dean Wesley Smith & Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Time travel has been covered a lot in Star Trek. Starfleet characters often find themselves thrown about the space-time continuum, usually in some sort of unintended accident. But what if there was a society out there whose entire civilization was based on controlled and regulated time travel? Torres, Neelix, and Kim find themselves at the mercy of just such a society, having inadvertently broken their highest law. The punishment? Death.

This week on Literary Treks, Brandon Shea-Mutala joins hosts Dan Gunther and Bruce Gibson to help continue our look at the first original novels of each Star Trek series by going back to the very beginning of Voyager with The Escape. We discuss why this book, how well the authors capture the tone of Voyager and its characters, the plot, the society of Alcawell, inflexible bureaucracies, the characters of Kjanders and Drickel, some impractical shoes, and end with our final thoughts and ratings.

In the news, we discuss the current Pocket Books release schedule, reveal some upcoming DS9 titles, rate the cover for Enigma Tales, and review issue #7 of Boldly Go.

Literary Treks 187: Lucsly's Head Would Explode
Voyager #2: The Escape by Dean Wesley Smith & Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Previous episode: Literary Treks 186: Tragedy in Every Sense of the Word
Next episode: Literary Treks 188: Children of the Corn

Saturday, April 29, 2017


Star Trek: Voyager
Homecoming by Christie Golden
Published June 2003
Read June 5th 2016

Previous book (Voyager): The Nanotech War

Next book (Voyager): The Farther Shore

Spoilers ahead for Homecoming!

From the back cover:
After seven long years in the Delta Quadrant, the crew of the Starship Voyager now confront the strangest world of all: home. For Admiral Kathryn Janeway and her stalwart officers, Voyager's miraculous return brings new honors and responsibilities, reunions with long-lost loved ones, and for some, such as the Doctor and Seven of Nine, the challenge of forging new lives in a Federation that seems to hold little place for them. 
But even as Janeway and the others go their separate ways, pursuing new adventures and opportunities, a mysterious cybernetic plague strikes Earth, transforming innocent men, women, and children into an entirely new generation of Borg. Now the entire planet faces assimilation, and Voyager may be to blame!

My thoughts:

Ever since the success of Deep Space Nine's Avatar, the Pocket Books Star Trek novel line has shown great interest in setting books after the finales of the various series, with novels such as Enterprise: The Good That Men Do and The Next Generation: Death In Winter kicking off the "relaunches" of their respective series. In some cases, the relaunch attempts to "right the wrongs" of the series finale, most obviously with the revelation of Trip Tucker's true fate in The Good That Men Do, undoing the grave disservice to his character in the Enterprise finale, "These Are the Voyages...". In a similar manner, I feel that Homecoming attempts to fix some of the problematic parts of the Voyager finale, "Endgame."

But what happened after the credits? Homecoming answers that question.

One of the biggest problems I had with "Endgame" is that we don't see the aftermath of Voyager's return to the Alpha Quadrant in any way. This is a goal they've been struggling towards for seven years. The culmination of that epic journey of over 70,000 light-years is a plaintive "We did it" from Janeway, an order to set a course for home, and the roll of the credits. Regardless of one's thoughts about Voyager, I felt that fans of the show deserved a better ending than that. Thankfully, we get a bit of restitution in Homecoming, which deals with the arrival of Voyager and the repercussions not only for the crew, but for the Federation as well.

It turns out that with all that has happened to the Federation recently, especially the devastating Dominion War, the concerns regarding Voyager and her crew are very much secondary. I thought this was an interesting take on the story, the idea that all of the pomp and circumstance surrounding their return as seen in the future portion of "Endgame" would not be something that a Federation which has just been through a major conflict is interested in. While the return of Voyager is an important event, it really does take a backseat to other issues the Federation is dealing with.

Voyager's return ends up being a little more low-key than some were expecting.

Another issue from "Endgame" that I felt needed "fixing" was the poorly thought-out relationship between Seven of Nine and Chakotay. The entire relationship came out of left field, and I was supremely happy when Christie Golden ended it in Homecoming. However, kudos to her for paying it the respect it deserved. Chakotay and Janeway do not immediately leap into each others' arms; after all, the Chakotay/Seven relationship did happen, and it is at least worthy of acknowledgement even though its ending is most welcome.

Seven and Chakotay's relationship ends in Homecoming, and its ending is quite welcome (in my humble opinion).

There is a lot going on in this novel, and something interesting for each character to do, which is very welcome, especially when it comes to characters who have been under-served by the television series. Conspiracies and hidden plots abound in Homecoming, with some characters perhaps having agendas contrary to what we would expect from them. Unfortunately, Homecoming ends on a cliffhanger, with the story being taken up in the following novel, The Farther Shore. With my commitments to the Literary Treks podcast, I haven't been able to get to that novel, and it looks like I won't be able to for some time. Hopefully I can read it at some point, however, because I'm eager to see how this all plays out!

Final thoughts:

Righting some of the wrongs of "Endgame," Homecoming is the return home that fans of Voyager deserved. However, while it does get a lot right for the Voyager crew, it is certainly far from perfect. The story takes some strange turns plot-wise, but a great deal of intrigue will keep the reader interested enough to pick up part two, The Farther Shore.

Also by Christie Golden:

My next read:

Look for my next video book review, for the David Mack novel Section 31: Control, coming soon! As for written reviews, the next one will be for Enterprise: Kobayashi Maru by Michael A. Martin & Andy Mangels.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

The Long Mirage

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
The Long Mirage by David R. George III
Release date: February 28th 2017
Read March 15th 2017

Previous book (Deep Space Nine): Rules of Accusation

Next book (Deep Space Nine): Section 31: Control

Mass-Market Paperback: | |
E-book (Kindle): | |

Spoilers ahead for The Long Mirage!

Publisher's description:
More than two years have passed since the destruction of the original Deep Space 9. In that time, a brand-new, state-of-the-art starbase has replaced it, commanded by Captain Ro Laren, still the crew and residents of the former station continue to experience the repercussions of its loss. For instance: Quark continues his search for Morn, as the Lurian—his best customer and friend—left Bajor without a word and never returned. Quark enlists a private detective to track Morn down, and she claims to be hot on his trail. Yet the barkeep distrusts the woman he hired, and his suspicions skyrocket when she too suddenly vanishes. At the same time, Kira Nerys emerges from a wormhole after being caught inside it when it collapsed two years earlier. She arrives on the new DS9 to discover Altek Dans already there. While inside the Celestial Temple, Kira lived a different life in Bajor’s past, where she fell in love with Altek. So why have the Prophets moved him forward in time…and why have They brought him and Kira together?

My thoughts:

Click here to watch my video review of The Long Mirage, or click play on the embedded video below!

Final thoughts:

The Long Mirage finally continues the story of DS9 beyond the whole Ascendant arc, and I’m really happy to see some movement forward. It’s sadly a long time between novels, so the progress feels slow, but the story is finally moving in a direction that I’m really enjoying. It’s great to see Vic back, and I really appreciate that David R. George focuses so much on the really strong characters of DS9 and their relationships to one another.

More about The Long Mirage:

Also by David R. George III:

Next time on Trek Lit Reviews:

Next up is a Christie Golden Voyager novel, set right after the finale, "Endgame": Homecoming!