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.
Changes in the Book Schedule (00:03:44)
Enigma Tales Cover (00:11:17)
Boldly Go #7 (00:15:27)
Feature: The Escape
Voyager #2 (00:24:58)
The Title (00:29:37)
Capturing Voyager (00:33:49)
The Plot (00:40:17)
Inflexible Bureaucracies (00:52:10)
Kjanders and Drickel (00:58:52)
Impractical Shoes (01:02:52)
Final Thoughts (01:08:37)
Dan Gunther and Bruce Gibson
Matthew Rushing (Editor and Producer) C Bryan Jones (Executive Producer) Ken Tripp (Executive Producer) Matthew Rushing (Executive Producer) Richard Marquez (Production Manager) Brandon-Shea Mutala (Patreon Manager) Ken Tripp (Associate Producer) Brandon-Shea Mutala (Associate Producer) Bruce Gibson (Associate Producer)
The War of the Prophets. We talk about the events that led us to this point, an alternate future, Weyoun and the Pah-Wraiths, the mysterious Grigari, the mirror universe tactic, Starfleet's desperate "Project Phoenix," and wrap up with our final thoughts and ratings.
Robert Greenberger: A Time to Hate. We discuss the situation on Delta Sigma IV, the supposed cure, bridging the gap between Insurrection and Nemesis, Riker and Troi's relationship, Riker's relationship with his father, a dark secret revealed at the end of the novel, and wrap up with what Bob is currently working on and where you can find him online.
The Fall of Terok Nor. We talk about the periods of time the book covers, a somewhat confusing but compelling plot, some fun elements of the story, the varied cast of villains, questions we're left with at the end of the novel, and wrap up with our final thoughts and ratings.
Diplomatic Implausibility. We talk about Worf's new role, the crew of the I.K.S. Gorkon, the aliens of the week, Federation/Klingon relations, the oddity of this being a TNG novel, and wrap up with our final thoughts and ratings.
A Time to Love. We discuss the Enterprise's damaged reputation, Troi's efforts to deal with a despondent crew, Kyle Riker's role in a unfolding planetary crisis, a particularly bad case of gas, changes on the horizon for the command crew of the Enterprise, a strange b-plot that has Geordi trading with the Ferengi, and wrap up with our final thoughts and ratings.
The Farther Shore. We talk about B'Elanna's quest to find her mother, the ultimate badmiral Brenna Covington, Oliver Baines and his holographic revolution, Data's role in the story, and wrap up with our final thoughts and ratings for the novel.
Homecoming. We discuss a troubling account of abuse, fixing "Endgame," wrapping things up too quickly, a holographic uprising, the return of the Borg, and finish by sharing our final thoughts and ratings.
A Time to Harvest. We discuss the situation so far, an ill-advised plan to help the Dokallans, the familiar enemy the crew faces, Starfleet and Federation principles, and wrap up with our final thoughts and ratings.
Surak's Soul. We discuss medical mysteries, T'Pol's dilemma, similarities to the Enterprise episode "The Seventh," T'Pol's youth on Vulcan, the mysterious Wanderer, and wrap up with our final thoughts and ratings.
Phil Farrand: The Nitpicker's Guides. We discuss the origin of the guides, the process of writing them, The Nitpicker's Guild, positive nitpicking versus negativity and toxic fandom, and what Phil is currently working on and where you can find him online.
A Time to Sow. We talk about a surprise visit to the time period of Star Trek: Enterprise, Starfleet "milk runs," Data's emotions (or lack thereof), an act of sabotage, the Dokallan civilization, an outside threat, and wrap up with our final thoughts and ratings.
James Swallow: Fear Itself. We discuss the process of writing the novel, getting inside Saru's head, the various species involved in the story, Saru and Burnham's relationship, Captain Georgiou's leadership style, overcoming fear, and what other projects James has on the horizon. We also briefly talk about the current troubled state of Pocket Books' Star Trek line, and what might be in store for its future.
The Root of All Rage. We discuss the delicate relationship between the Federation and the Klingon Empire, bigotry and hate, mistreatment of people who are different, the situation back on Earth, Lwaxana Troi's role, Renao mythology, a surprise tie to a TOS episode, and wrap up with our final thoughts and ratings.
Through the Mirror. We discuss each issue of this comic series, which features two stories running in tandem: story A, in which our heroes must thwart an attempt by the mirror crew to steal resources from our universe, and story B, in which the mirror Commander Data attempts to track down former Emperor Spock and learn the secrets of the prime universe.
A Time to Die. We discuss Wesley's abilities as a Traveler, the character of Colleen Cabot and her relationship with Wesley, Picard's role in the story, the "Demon Flyer" that threatens our heroes, the Ontailians, answer some questions from our listeners, and wrap up with our final thoughts and ratings.
How Much for Just the Planet? We discuss the plot of the novel, the instances of very broad comedy, the characters who populate this colorful tale, artistic flourishes by the author including some surprise cameo appearances, and wrap up with our final thoughts and ratings.
Fallen Heroes. We talk about when the novel was written, a Quark and Odo team-up, whether the author captured the voices of characters adequately, time travel shenanigans, the alien of the week, the resolution of the novel, and wrap up with our final thoughts and ratings.
A Time to Be Born. We discuss Wesley Crusher's surprise return, the dangers of the Rashanar battle site, the damage to Picard's reputation, Data's role in the story, and wrap up with our final thoughts and ratings.
Collision Course. We talk about this novel's relationship with Star Trek 2009, Jim Kirk's relationship with Starfleet, his family dynamic, Spock in his youth, another perspective on Tarsus IV, how Collision Course fits in with Trek canon, why the Academy book series was cancelled, and wrap up with our final thoughts and ratings.
Dark Mirror. We discuss how the novel compares to other stories set in the mirror universe, a dolphin scientist named Hwii, his theory of hyperstrings, the evil and powerful Counselor Troi, the origins and nature of the mirror universe, Diane Duane's particular brand of technobabble, and wrap up with our final thoughts and ratings.
Kirsten Beyer: Architects of Infinity. We discuss a medical situation that has ethical concerns for all involved, the nature of Kriosians and Ensign Aytar Gwyn's choices, Icheb's budding relationship, the plight of the junior officers aboard Voyager, a mystery that is way above the heads of even the brightest Starfleet officers, and an ending that left us all shocked.
Last Full Measure. We discuss the plot of the novel, the conflict between the 'squids' and 'sharks,' a story of differing perspectives, Archer's ethical issues, Trip's ultimate fate, and wrap up with our final thoughts and ratings.
Captain's Glory. We discuss Kirk's tendency to go it alone, the plot against Starfleet, Kirk vs. Picard, the nature of the Totality, the connection to the galactic barrier, and wrap up with our final thoughts and ratings.
Dayton Ward: Drastic Measures. We talk about the Tarsus IV massacre, mirror Lorca vs. prime Lorca, the fate of Governor Kodos, other characters who were at Tarsus IV, the book within the book, a surprise "after the credits" chapter you might have missed, and wrap up with what Dayton is working on now and where to find him online.
Spock's World. We discuss the two tracks the story follows, the nature of Vulcans, a series of Vulcan TED talks, the diversity of the Enterprise crew, the Enterprise's BBS, and wrap up with our final thoughts and ratings.
Captain's Blood. We talk about Spock's apparent death, Reman society, Kirk's son Joseph, the threat of the Totality, crews of different generations coming together, and wrap up with our final thoughts and ratings.
David R. George III: The 34th Rule. We talk about the genesis of the story, the Ferengi belief system, politics, racism towards the Ferengi, the cycle of violence, and wrap up with our final thoughts and ratings and where you can find David R. George III online.
The Gold Key Archives Vol. 4, Part 2. We discuss the mysterious "black hole" phenomenon in "Siege in Superspace," a planet full of kids playing a deadly game in "Child's Play," and Kirk's shocking transformation in "The Trial of Captain Kirk!"
Captain's Peril. We discuss the murder mystery plot, philosophical differences between Kirk, Spock, and Picard, different ideas about risk, the Prime Directive debate, the huge left turn the story takes at the end, and wrap up with our final thoughts and ratings.
The Final Reflection. We talk about a truly alien culture, the differences between the Klingons in The Final Reflection and Trek canon since, the Perpetual Game, the Federation's duplicity, the novel within the novel, the inspiration that The Final Reflection provided to the creators of Star Trek: Discovery, and wrap up with our final thoughts and ratings.