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Expanded Universe: Star Trek
The latest of our occasional features looking at the further adventures of beloved series...

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The first original Star Trek tie-in novel (i.e. not the novelisation of an existing episode) was Spock Must Die! by sci-fi legend James Blish, published in 1970. Since then there have been hundreds of Trek books, expanding the canon into new adventures for the TV and film crews, and characters we’ve never met off the printed page. In many ways, Star Trek's expanded universe set the model for the others that followed. To detail every single story would be the work of an encyclopaedia, and obviously there are tonnes of Original Series, Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager and Enterprise novels. But with JJ Abrams boldly going Into Darkness this week, here’s a guide to the multi-part spin-off series you might not be so familiar with…

For more extended universe explorations, read about James Bond's Literary Afterlife here and The Indiana Jones Novels here.

WORDS OWEN WILLIAMS
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Expanded Universe: Star Trek | The Vanguard Series
The Vanguard Series

Stardate: During the original series

Familiar faces: Captain Kirk and his Enterprise crew; Carol Marcus; Admiral Nogura; Chancellor Gorkon (just a Councillor at this point)

Mission: Set during the original five-year mission, the eight-volume Vanguard takes place in the remote Taurus Reach of the Alpha Quadrant. The series’ title refers to Starbase 47, and the overarching plot involves political ructions between Starfleet, the Tholians, the Orions, the Klingons and the Romulans over the discovery of an ancient and mysterious genome. Kirk and his crew show up in the first volume, Harbinger, but after that it’s a hand-over to the Vanguard crew, which includes Commanding Officer Diego Reyes, Vulcan intelligence officer T’Prynn, and archaeologist Ming Xiong. Also important is Tim Pennington, a dogged journalist. He’ll later give his name to the Pennington School, which Jake Sisko considers attending during Deep Space Nine. That’s what we call a ret-con.

If you only read one Harbinger, by David Mack. You’ll be lost if you don’t start at the beginning.

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Your Comments

1 RE:
L: partybee have you read all these?!?! Or has the Empire office collectively read them? Or did you call up your local Forbidden Planet and get the lowdown from the staff? aha - I've read a few a year since I was a student, which, horrifyingly, is getting on for twenty years ago now. So they've added up on me, sneakily... More

Posted by Owen Williams on Sunday May 12, 2013, 23:37

2
If you only read one New Frontier novel, it should be 'Captain's Table: Once Burned', quite possibly one of the best Trek novels ever written it's basically Captain Calhoun's backstory of becoming first officer on a ship and the tragic circumstances leading to his time away from the fleet before he was recruited to command Excalibur. It's also far easier to jump into blind than Treason is. And my recommendation for SCE would be to read 'Wildfire' a space-disaster movie story in which the ship is trapped in a gas giant's atmosphere and not everyone makes it out alive or in one piece. It also culminates in some read 'boldly going/strange new life' stuff that made me cry. It's a better Trek story than JJ's stuff. More

Posted by trutrekker on Sunday May 12, 2013, 20:37

3 Owen Williams...
have you read all these?!?! Or has the Empire office collectively read them? Or did you call up your local Forbidden Planet and get the lowdown from the staff? More

Posted by partybee on Saturday May 11, 2013, 10:10

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