10 Reasons to Read a Star Trek Novel

November 1, 2022 – 09:51 am

Sequel to the Enterprise Incident!You need something to get you through the cold, dark days until you can finally Trek Into Darkness, but Star Trek novels are so much more than something to tide you over until the movie comes out. Here some reasons you should consider picking up a Star Trek novel.

1. So, how’d that work out?

If you’ve ever wondered about the aftermath of an Original Series episode, there’s probably a novel for that. If you don’t like that novel, there’s probably another one that answers the question a different way.

2. They hold the secret history of the 1980s.

Neil Gaiman cameo!And 70s. And 90s. And those other decades when they were published. If you want to see how people’s fears and hopes for the world have changed over time, pick up a range of Star Trek novels. Gene Roddenberry’s original plan for the series was to give people an optimistic vision of the future where the people of Earth could join hands with each other and with the universe and boldly go where no man has gone before. That has meant different things to different people, a number of whom recorded their visions (and thus, their feelings about events that were current to them) in Star Trek novels.

3. They hold the secret history of Star Trek fandom.

Really weird aliens!Where does the crew of the Enterprise go when they need information about the mysterious and obscure? In the television series, they turn to the ship’s computer, but it’s portable. It can’t possibly hold ALL the information about the mysteries of the universe and the unique and varied histories of trillions of people on billions of planets! For that, you need the archives of Memory Alpha, the actual database created by fans, referred to lovingly in more novels than I can count. In addition to celebrating this community effort, Star Trek novel writers routinely inserted themselves, their editors, their fellow writers and their fans into their work.

4. The Bechdel Test.

Cooler than Davy Jones!Female characters in the Original Series ranged from the neglected to the limited in scope. The female protagonist in any given Star Trek novel may be a Mary Sue, but unlike in the television series, she inhabits a universe with lots of other women, and they have conversations about music, medicine, dreams, careers, strategy, ambitions, engineering, and their assorted friends all the time. If this were just an exercise in political correctness, it wouldn’t matter, but there’s a reason why the Bechdel Test works—strong characters who have a lot to say are a vital part of compelling stories.

5. Aliens.

The people that you meet who are wearing a lot of makeup. Maybe they’re a funny color. Maybe they all have wigs. If the episode had a big budget, you might get both! The novels are completely unconstrained by these limitations. Cat-people, re-incarnating glass spiders, Hortas, sand-whales, flying monkeys, and a species that looks kind of like Irish setters all make appearances. Lots of appearances. Often as fully realized three-dimensional characters.

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Source: www.tor.com

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