Monday, August 14, 2017

Literary Treks 199: Star Trek Murder Board

Star Trek: Preserver
By William Shatner (with Garfield & Judith Reeves-Stevens)

Hardcover: Amazon.com | Amazon.ca | Amazon.co.uk
MMPB: Amazon.com | Amazon.ca | Amazon.co.uk
Kindle: Amazon.com | Amazon.ca | Amazon.co.uk

What if our actions are not our own? What if all of us are merely pawns in a universe-spanning game, controlled by vastly older races with agendas and motivations that remain obscured? How would we know? And, most importantly, how would the mighty Captain Kirk deal with them?

In this episode of Literary Treks, hosts Dan Gunther and Bruce Gibson talk about the Shatnerverse novel Preserver. We discuss the nature of the Preservers, fate versus free will, duplicate Earths, secret groups within the Federation, the two Kirks, Teilani, and wrap up with our final thoughts and ratings.

In the news segment, we talk about Star Trek comic news from SDCC and review issue #10 of Boldly Go.


Literary Treks 199: Star Trek Murder Board
Preserver by William Shatner with Judith & Garfield Reeves-Stevens






Previous episode: Literary Treks 198: Behold the Scourge of Neil
Next episode: Literary Treks 200: Klingon Travel Guide by Dayton Ward

Literary Treks 198: Behold the Scourge of Neil

Star Trek: The Next Generation #48
The Q Continuum Book 2 of 3
Q-Zone by Greg Cox

MMPB: Amazon.com | Amazon.ca | Amazon.co.uk
Kindle: Amazon.com | Amazon.ca | Amazon.co.uk

As the Enterprise holds her own against a swarm of energy creatures determined to keep the crew from completing their mission, Q leads Picard on a journey through his past, where a force even greater than Q and with an even wider cruel streak wreaks havoc on the galaxy.

In this episode of Literary Treks, hosts Bruce Gibson and Dan Gunther are joined once again by Earl Grey's Amy Nelson to discuss the second book of the Q Continuum series, Q-Zone. We talk about stardate snafus, peer pressure, bad parenting, 0's gang of evil-doers, the end of the TKon Empire, and wrap up with our final thoughts and ratings.

In the news segment, we discuss the upcoming e-book release, I, The Constable by Paula Block and Terry Erdmann, a new activity book called Search for Spock by Robb Pearlman, a resolution to the issue with Discovery novel pre-orders at Amazon UK, and we talk about the IDW comic releases for October, including some news about the Star Trek: Discovery comics.


Literary Treks 198: Behold the Scourge of Neil
TNG #48: The Q Continuum Book 2 of 3: Q-Zone by Greg Cox






Previous episode: Literary Treks 197: You've Been Macked
Next episode: Literary Treks 199: Star Trek Murder Board

Friday, August 4, 2017

Books and Comics News From STLV17!



Over on my YouTube channel, I've just posted a video featuring news from the Creation Entertainment Official Star Trek Convention, happening right now in Las Vegas!

Click here to watch the video on YouTube, or click the embedded player below for exciting news about Star Trek: Discovery comics and books, as well as some surprising news regarding the upcoming Pocket Books Star Trek book schedule!

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Literary Treks 197: You've Been Macked

Exclusive Interview with Una McCormack
New York Times Bestselling Author of
Deep Space Nine: Enigma Tales

MMPB: Amazon.com | Amazon.ca | Amazon.co.uk
Kindle: Amazon.com | Amazon.ca | Amazon.co.uk

Garak has gone from spy to revolutionary to ambassador to castellan of the Cardassian Union in just a few short years. In that time, Cardassia has changed immensely. But the people of Cardassia still share a lot of guilt, and ghosts of the past may be rising again to ruin the lives of some of Cardassia's finest. Now, it is up to Dr. Kate Pulaski to discover the truth before it is too late!

In this episode of Literary Treks, hosts Dan Gunther and Bruce Gibson are joined by New York Times bestselling author Una McCormack to talk about her new novel, DS9: Enigma Tales. We discuss the plot, the characters, some historical touchstones that the story parallels, the nature of Cardassian enigma tales, the state of Dr. Bashir, and wrap up with Una's upcoming projects and where you can find her online. Please note: the first part of the feature is spoiler-free, and we get into spoilers for the second half.

In the news segment, we have a link to a short supplemental to Dayton Ward's Klingon Travel Guide: "7 Common Offworlder Questions Klingons Are Tired of Hearing."

Literary Treks 197: You've Been Macked
Exclusive Interview with Una McCormack, author of Deep Space Nine: Enigma Tales






Previous episode: Literary Treks 196: Kindergarten Teachers of the Galaxy
Next episode: Literary Treks 198: Behold the Scourge of Neil

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Literary Treks 196: Kindergarten Teachers of the Galaxy

Department of Temporal Investigations
Shield of the Gods by Christopher L. Bennett


The Department of Temporal Investigations is responsible for maintaining the timeline, preventing galaxy-ending paradoxes, and stopping temporal criminals. Their track record for meeting these goals has been put in jeopardy by a criminal named Daiyar who intends to use an item stolen from the DTI's vault to change history, and it's up to the agents to put an end to her scheme.

In this episode of Literary Treks, hosts Bruce Gibson and Dan Gunther discuss the latest DTI e-novella, Shield of the Gods. We talk about Daiyar's scheme, character vs. plot, the Aegis Prime Directive, the Deltan concept of love, Ranjea's ultimate fate, the meaning of the title, and wrap up with our final thoughts and ratings.

In the news, we mention the imminent releases of Eaglemoss's Star Trek Graphic Novel Collection volume 2 and Dayton Ward's Hidden Universe Travel Guide to The Klingon Empire.

Literary Treks 196: Kindergarten Teachers of the Galaxy
Department of Temporal Investigations: Shield of the Gods by Christopher L. Bennett






Previous episode: Literary Treks 195: Big Q, Big Q, and little q
Next episode: Literary Treks 197: You've Been Macked

Monday, July 24, 2017

Literary Treks 195: Big Q, Big Q, and little q

The Next Generation #47
The Q Continuum, Book 1 of 3

Q-Space by Greg Cox


When Q appears on the bridge of the Enterprise-E to stop a scientific experiment, Picard is understandably annoyed. Defying Q, the Enterprise presses on in its attempt to breach the galactic barrier that surrounds the Milky Way. However, they may be in over their heads as cosmic forces collide that may spell doom for the crew of the Enterprise and the rest of the galaxy!

In this episode of Literary Treks, hosts Dan Gunther and Bruce Gibson are joined by Earl Grey's Amy Nelson to discuss the first book in the Q Continuum trilogy, Q-Space by Greg Cox. We talk about the Enterprise's mission to the galactic barrier, Q's vulnerability, the cliffhanger ending of the novel, some fun bits in the story, and wrap up with our final thoughts and ratings.

In the news segment, we discuss the recently announced release date for David Mack's Star Trek: Discovery: Desperate Hours, and we review the latest comic, issue #2 of Mirror Broken.

Literary Treks 195: Big Q, Big Q, and little q
The Next Generation #47: Q-Space by Greg Cox






Previous episode: Literary Treks 194: Mr. Worf, don't put that in your mouth!
Next episode: Literary Treks 196: Kindergarten Teachers of the Galaxy

Friday, June 30, 2017

Control

Star Trek: Section 31
Control by David Mack
Release date: March 28th 2017
Read March 15th 2017


Previous book (Section 31): Disavowed

Previous book (Deep Space Nine): The Long Mirage
Next book (Deep Space Nine): Original Sin


Mass-Market Paperback: Amazon.com | Amazon.ca | Amazon.co.uk
E-book (Kindle): Amazon.com | Amazon.ca | Amazon.co.uk

Spoilers ahead for Control!

Publisher's description:
No law…no conscience…no mercy. Amoral, shrouded in secrecy, and answering to no one, Section 31 is the mysterious covert operations division of Starfleet, a rogue shadow group pledged to defend the Federation at any cost. The discovery of a two-hundred-year-old secret gives Doctor Julian Bashir his best chance yet to expose and destroy the illegal spy organization. But his foes won’t go down without a fight, and his mission to protect the Federation he loves just end up triggering its destruction. Only one thing is for certain: this time, the price of victory will be paid with Bashir’s dearest blood.

My thoughts:

Click here to watch my video review of Section 31: Control, or click play on the embedded video below!





Final thoughts:

Control is a novel that redefines much of what we think of the Star Trek universe. While this may irk some fans, I loved this novel. The emotional and physical sacrifices that the characters have to make to achieve their goals and the nature of the enemy they are fighting were very compelling to me. A perfect Trek novel, and the best of the year's crop so far.

More about The Long Mirage:


Also by David Mack:

Next time on Trek Lit Reviews:

My next video review will be for The Next Generation: Hearts and Minds by Dayton Ward, while my next written review will be for Enterprise: The Romulan War: Beneath the Raptor's Wing by Michael A. Martin. Stay tuned!


Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Release Day! DS9: Enigma Tales by Una McCormack!

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Enigma Tales by Una McCormack

Once again, the new Star Trek novel has been showing up early on bookshelves all over the place, so there's a chance you have already picked up your copy of Deep Space Nine: Enigma Tales by Una McCormack! Her work is always outstanding, especially when she is writing about everyone's favorite plain and simple tailor-turned-Castellan, Garak!

Check out the back cover blurb below, and use the links to purchase Enigma Tales from Amazon! Using those links helps out Trek Lit Reviews, and it is much appreciated.



Publisher's description:
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Fall: The Crimson Shadow comes a compelling and suspenseful tale of politics and power set in the universe of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.

Elim Garak has ascended to Castellan of the Cardassian Union...but despite his soaring popularity, the imminent publication of a report exposing his people's war crimes during the occupation on Bajor looks likely to set the military against him. Into this tense situation come Dr. Katherine Pulaski—visiting Cardassia Prime to accept an award on behalf of the team that solved the Andorian genetic crisis—and Dr. Peter Alden, formerly of Starfleet Intelligence. The two soon find themselves at odds with Garak and embroiled in the politics of the prestigious University of the Union, where a new head is about to be appointed. Among the front-runners is one of Cardassia’s most respected public figures: Professor Natima Lang. But the discovery of a hidden archive from the last years before the Dominion War could destroy Lang’s reputation. As Pulaski and Alden become drawn into a deadly game to exonerate Lang, their confrontation escalates with Castellan Garak—a conflicted leader treading a fine line between the bright hopes for Cardassia’s future and the dark secrets still buried in its past...

Purchase Deep Space Nine: Enigma Tales:



Next Release: Enterprise: Rise of the Federation: Patterns of Interference

Monday, June 26, 2017

Literary Treks 194: Mr. Worf, don't put that in your mouth!

The Next Generation #1: Ghost Ship by Diane Carey



On Literary Treks, we have reviewed the first original novel of each of the Star Trek series. Now it's time for our attention to turn to The Next Generation, and a very unique novel that shows us a take on TNG that was written with very little of the actual show to work with. Is the story representative of what we would come to know from the crew of the Enterprise-D, or is it a pale reflection that is nearly unrecognizable?

In this episode of Literary Treks, hosts Bruce Gibson and Dan Gunther talk about TNG #1: Ghost Ship by Diane Carey. We discuss our first experiences with the book, the plot of the novel, how closely the characters match their on-screen counterparts, our thoughts on the main conflict, and wrap up with our final thoughts and ratings.

In the news segment, we judge the cover of the upcoming DS9: Original Sin, discuss the upcoming books Star Trek Beyond – The Makeup Artistry of Joel Harlow, The Art of Star Trek: The Kelvin Timeline, and the second volumes of Dark Horse's Star Trek Adult Coloring Books. We also review two comics: New Visions #16 and Boldly Go #9.

Literary Treks 194: Mr. Worf, don't put that in your mouth!
The Next Generation #1: Ghost Ship by Diane Carey






Previous episode: Literary Treks 193: Dayton's Treks
Next episode: Literary Treks 195: Big Q, Big Q, and little q

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Kobayashi Maru

Star Trek: Enterprise
Kobayashi Maru by Michael A. Martin & Andy Mangels
Published August 2008
Read June 21st 2016


Previous book (Enterprise): The Good That Men Do

Next book (Enterprise): The Romulan War: Beneath the Raptor's Wing


Spoilers ahead for Kobayashi Maru!

From the back cover:
To protect the cargo ships essential to the continuing existence of the fledgling Coalition of Planets, the captains of the United Earth's Starfleet are ordered to interstellar picket duty, with little more to do than ask "Who goes there?" into the darkness of space. 
Captain Jonathan Archer of the Enterprise seethes with frustration, wondering if anyone else can see what he sees. A secret, closed, militaristic society, convinced that their survival hangs by a thread, who view their neighbors as a threat to their very existence -- the Spartans of ancient Greece, the Russians of the old Soviet Union, the Koreans under Kim Il-sung -- with only one goal: attain ultimate power, no matter the cost. The little-known, never-seen Romulans seem to live by these same principles.

The captain realizes that the bond between the signers of the Coalition charter is fragile and likely to snap if pushed. But he knows that the Romulans are hostile, and he believes they are the force behind the cargo ship attacks. If asked, Archer can offer no proof without endangering his friend's life.

To whom does he owe his loyalty: his friend, his world, the Coalition? And by choosing one, does he not risk losing all of them? What is the solution to a no-win scenario?

My thoughts:

Continuing the story after the previous Enterprise novel, The Good That Men Do, Kobayashi Maru documents the march towards the Romulan War in which United Earth is plunged into a conflict with the Romulan Star Empire that will leave many dead and a quadrant changed forever. In the run up to that war, Romulan forces are disrupting shipping and commerce in the region, and Starfleet's premiere ships, Enterprise and Columbia, are assigned to convoy protection duty. Archer is convinced that the Romulans are planning war, and is continually frustrated in his attempts to convince Starfleet to change its stance to prepare to be on a war footing. Adding to his fears are the experiences of his former engineer, Trip Tucker, who is operating behind enemy lines in the service of Section 31.

Kobayashi Maru continues the story of Trip's work behind enemy lines as an agent of Section 31.

While at times Kobayashi Maru feels a bit meandering, the story's "big picture" take on the socio-political arena of the time is very welcome. I like the large scope of the story, even if it occasionally gets a bit bogged down in the minutia. I enjoy a good political thriller, and the politics of the early pre-Federation days are certainly fascinating.

The most unfortunate aspect of this novel involves its namesake. Star Trek fans know the Kobayashi Maru as the infamous test that Starfleet cadets must face, a test that has only been beaten by one cadet: James T. Kirk. The simulation involves the rescue of the Kobayashi Maru, a neutronic fuel carrier under attack by Klingon forces. The cadet must choose whether or not to risk his or her ship in a rescue attempt, in what has come to be known as the "no-win scenario." In this novel, we get a glimpse of the events of the "real" Kobayashi Maru incident, in which the freighter is under attack by Romulan vessels. Captain Archer must decide whether or not to attempt a rescue. However, an added factor is in play: if the Enterprise goes to rescue the freighter, she will certainly be captured by the Romulans using a "tele-capture" system and will be used to attack Coalition ships and planets. Therefore, in this scenario, there really is only one viable option: abandon the rescue attempt because the stakes are just too high. It is not only the ship and crew that are at risk, but the certainty that attempting a rescue will result in handing the Romulans a formidable weapon. In this way, I feel like the real-life incident was a poor template for the Kobayashi Maru test, as the real conditions eliminate any other possible choice.

In this novel, we learn about the incident that inspired the Kobayashi Maru scenario that cadets must face at Starfleet Academy. Unfortunately, the "reality" bears little resemblance to the test.

That small quibble aside, Kobayashi Maru is certainly an interesting story that moves us towards the Romulan War in a satisfactory way. While I wish there was another role for Trip other than Section 31 spy, I am at least happy that we weren't left with his fate in the episode "These Are the Voyages...".

Final thoughts:

A well-executed story about the lead-up to the Romulan War, Kobayashi Maru showcases the political climate of the newly-formed Coalition of Planets as they find themselves threatened by the Romulan Empire. A bit meandering at times, the story finds itself bogged down as it slowly moves the plot forward, but for the most part, it is an engaging novel that fills in some previously unknown blanks. The characters are my favorite part, and most of them get some interesting development. I feel like the story of the Romulan War goes a bit downhill in subsequent novels, but Kobayashi Maru is a pretty good setup.

More about Kobayashi Maru:

Podcast: Literary Treks 147: The Phantom Menace


Also by Michael A. Martin & Andy Mangels:

My next read:

I've really gotten myself behind again! My next written review will be for Enterprise: The Romulan War: Beneath the Raptor's Wing. Next up on the new release front will be my video review for Section 31: Control by David Mack.


Monday, June 19, 2017

Release Day! DTI: Shield of the Gods

Star Trek: Department of Temporal Investigations
Shield of the Gods by Christopher L. Bennett
(E-book Exclusive)

For those of you who are willing to read their Star Trek books digitally, Simon & Schuster occasionally throws an exclusive your way, and the most recent one is available for download! Get your copy of the latest adventure for the Department of Temporal Investigations, Shield of the Gods by Christopher L. Bennett. And if you use the links below, you'll be helping out Trek Lit Reviews!



Publisher's description:
An all new Star Trek e-novella featuring the fan-favorite Federation bureau the Department of Temporal Investigations!

The stalwart agents of the Department of Temporal Investigations have tracked down many dangerous artifacts, but now they face a greater, more personal challenge: retrieving a time-travel device stolen from their own vault by a rogue agent of the Aegis, a powerful, secretive group that uses its mastery of time to prevent young civilizations from destroying themselves. Blaming the Aegis itself for a tragedy yet to come, this renegade plans to use the stolen artifact to sabotage its efforts in the past, no matter what the cost to the timeline. Now the DTI’s agents must convince the enigmatic Aegis to work alongside them in order to protect history—but they must also wrestle with the potential consequences of their actions, for preserving the past could doom countless lives in the future!

Purchase Department of Temporal Investigations: Shield of the Gods:



Tuesday, June 13, 2017

New Cover Reveal: DS9: Gamma: Original Sin!

Another new cover to reveal, with an extra little surprise! Coming at the end of September is David R. George III's newest novel, Original Sin. Ostensibly under the Deep Space Nine banner, Original Sin also carries the additional series title Gamma, indicating the start of a possible series or mini-series of books dealing with Captain Sisko's mission in the Gamma Quadrant commanding the U.S.S. Robinson. In any case, it's a stunning cover, showcasing the Robinson and some sort of alien-looking objects. Check out the cover art below as well as the back-cover blurb and links to pre-order Original Sin from Amazon!




Publisher's Description:

At the end of 2385, in a significant shift of its goals from military back to exploratory, Starfleet sent Captain Benjamin Sisko and the crew of the U.S.S. Robinson on an extended mission into the Gamma Quadrant. Tasked with a years-long assignment to travel unknown regions, they set out to fulfill the heart of Starfleet’s charter: to explore strange new worlds, and to seek out new life and new civilizations.

But now three months into the mission, their first contact with an alien species comes in the form of an unprovoked attack on the Robinson. With the ship’s crew suddenly incapacitated, seventy-eight of the 1,300 aboard are abducted—including Sisko’s daughter, Rebecca. But Rebecca had already been kidnapped years earlier by a Bajoran religious zealot, part of a sect believing that her birth fulfilled the prophecy of the arrival of the Infant Avatar. Does her disappearance now have anything to do with the harrowing events of the past? And for what purposes have these enemies taken Sisko’s daughter and the rest of the missing?

Pre-order Deep Space Nine: Gamma: Original Sin from:

Mass-market paperback: Amazon.com | Amazon.ca | Amazon.co.uk
E-book (Kindle): Amazon.com | Amazon.ca


Monday, June 12, 2017

Literary Treks 193: Dayton's Treks

The Next Generation: Hearts and Minds
Exclusive interview with author Dayton Ward!



Captain Picard and the crew of the Enterprise encounter an alien world with a dark link to Earth's past. When the captain and his away team are arrested for crimes supposedly committed by a sinister agency in the 21st century, it's up to them to discover the truth about what happened. Did travellers from Earth cause millions of deaths on a planet hundreds of light-years away?

In this episode of Literary Treks, hosts Dan Gunther and Bruce Gibson are joined by author Dayton Ward to discuss his new novel, Hearts and Minds. We talk about the History's Shadow trilogy, Taurik and Admiral Akaar, alt-fact history, Dayton's research methods, Captain Picard's future in Starfleet, ask some questions posed by listeners, and end with Dayton's upcoming projects.

In the news segment, Dayton Ward talks about his upcoming Klingon Travel Guide, reveals that both it and the Vulcan guide will soon be available in e-book format as well, and we discuss the upcoming Star Trek Adventures table-top RPG.

Literary Treks 193: Dayton's Treks
Exclusive interview with Hearts and Minds author Dayton Ward






Previous episode: Literary Treks 192: I'm a Doctor, Not a Captain!
Next episode: Literary Treks 194: Mr. Worf, don't put that in your mouth!

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Literary Treks 192: I'm a Doctor, Not a Captain!

by Diane Duane



For a ship's surgeon, Dr. McCoy tends to spend an awful lot of time on the bridge of the Enterprise, usually grousing to Captain Kirk about his command decisions. The tables are turned on the good doctor when Kirk decides to leave him in command while visiting an alien world. However, when Captain Kirk disappears, McCoy must remain in command until he is found. Will the doctor find himself in over his head?

In this episode of Literary Treks, hosts Bruce Gibson and Dan Gunther discuss the classic Diane Duane novel Doctor's Orders. We talk about McCoy's command style, the three species of the planet Flyspeck, when the story is set, Diane Duane's fascination with starship maneuvers, the fact that the grass isn't always greener on the other side, and wrap up with our final thoughts and ratings.

In the news segment, we talk about Christopher L. Bennett's annotations for his novel The Face of the Unknown and review two comics: Boldly Go #8 and Waypoint #5.

Literary Treks 192: I'm a Doctor, Not a Captain!
Doctor's Orders by Diane Duane






Previous episode: Literary Treks 191: #SuluStache
Next episode: Literary Treks 193: Hearts and Minds with Dayton Ward