I absolutely love the TNG era of Star Trek. It doesn’t matter if it’s DS9, Voyager, or Next Gen, they all really appeal to me. The characters are so likeable and stories so comforting that there is not many other television shows that truly don’t get tiresome to me. What makes that so strange is, I didn’t grow up watching them. I actually watched them all over a few years a little over a decade ago. Still, they made that much of an impression.
My love of Trek has never extended to the original series and I still struggle to get through Enterprise. I do watch the new shows, but they are a mixed bag. In actuality, Star Trek Prodigy, the Nickelodeon kid’s cartoon seems to hit more those same feelings of optimism and fun storytelling even more so than the current slate of shows. But I’m getting off topic here, today I’m here to say a few words about Deep Space Nine: Fallen Heroes, Trek Lit, and No Man’s Land.
I wanted to discuss my love of Trek so I could express how frustrated I get when it comes to Trek books. In the early days, the books were small and written as sort of “missing episodes” a common writing tactic for tie-ins of TV shows of the time. As time progressed and the shows ended, various continuations began that encouraged (some might say required) readers to read all the books in order to appreciate the long-term storytelling. These storylines jumped from various series and well… there is a scary looking flow chart online to help Trek readers figure out where to go next.
Then like Star Wars, the canon that was built up for a couple of decades was recently wiped clean (although unlike Star Wars, it was given a proper send-of). The events that took place in the Picard TV series reset the canon and now new books are written around the currently airing television shows and maybe we will get new ones for the old shows in the future?
Long story short, it’s very difficult to get into Trek reading and even more so to determine whether or not it’s even worth the trouble. I’ve loved some books like Avatar and A Stitch in Time and part of me really wants to dive into more like these, but I can’t. It’s just too daunting and I don’t have the time nor the commitment to do so.
Still, I found myself wanting some new Trek the other day and so I went in search of a short Trek book. I found one of the early standalone audiobooks streaming on Scrib titled Fallen Heroes. It’s less than three hours and is a Quark and Odo story, and who doesn’t love those?
I’m no literary critic, but I enjoyed the story for what it was. Quark imports something he shouldn’t, he accidentally sets it off and he and Odo wake up three days later and everyone on DS9 is dead. Now they are forced to try and figure out what happened, who did this, and why? It reads just like a DS9 episode and well… being voiced by Rene Auberjonois helps a ton.
All of the characters acted as expected and the story went by very quickly. Should you read it? Do you like DS9? Then yea, it’s worth your time if you are looking for a quick Trek fix without all the baggage of a flow chart.
Another Trek fix I got was the recently released Picard audio drama called No Man’s Land starring Jeri Ryan and Michelle Hurd. This takes places between season one and two of Picard and exists in the current time-line. It’s well acted, has some great effects, and is a decent story, although it’s not very, uh, Trek I guess. It’s a bit of a love story, a bit of a story about trauma, and one of my more recent complaints about Star Trek is that it’s not fun lately. This falls into that category.
It’s well produced and brings some depth to side characters, but overall it’s not a fun adventure. It’s not inspiring and well… it’s a bit depressing in parts. I guess, it’s par for the course for most of recent Trek episodes I’ve watched.
I’m hoping with the debut of Strange New Worlds, Trek will get back to having more fun. Picard season two is already off to a good start, and as I mentioned before Prodigy is a blast. Lower Decks can also have some great moments. All-in-all, I’m thrilled we are getting so much new Trek, even if it doesn’t all appeal to me the way the TNG generation does.