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"Boldly go where no man has gone before...." Actually, many people have gone to the bookstore to buy the best Star Trek books, but in case you don't feel like leaving the comfort of the Starship Enterprise, we have compiled the ultimate list that can be beamed up into your Kindle. From the beginning of James Kirk's career as Captain, to his death, and all the incredible missions in between, these books include the best of the original crew and all the people who join them along the way. Titles like Federation, Q-In-Law, and Avatar are sure to delight the Trekkies from the past and entertain the Trekkies of the future. A large number of authors have attempted to successfully narrate the story of Star Trek, but only true Trekkies know who stands out among the rest. These are the best Star Trek books that will "live long and prosper" among fans and stand the test of time.
Federation by Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens
Written by Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens, Federation was anticipated by many Star Trek fans. The novel is broken up into three parallel arcs that include Zefram Cochrane, Captain James Kirk, and Jean-Luc Picard. Captain Kirk and the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701 are given their most difficult mission to date as they rescue Zefram Cochrane from his captors. Ninety-nine years in the future, the U.S.S. Enterprise-D and Picard must rescue an important person whose survival is imperative to the safety of the Federation. As past and future get closer, these two crews struggle to fulfill their missions completely.
Q-in-Law by Peter David
A wedding is being held on the U.S.S. Enterprise for the Tizarin, two powerful rival families of the space faring merchant race. While Captain Picard is pleased about the pending ceremony, his content is cut short by the arrival of a Federation delegate. Despite romantic advances by the delegate toward the captain, all goes well with the celebration. Soon though, it will be complicated by the appearance of the notorious being called Q, who visits to examine the human concept of love. The ceremony is thrown into chaos as the families are on the verge of a war and Q is about to learn a lesson in love that will be impossible to forget. The humor that author Peter David incorporates into his novels like Q-in-Law keeps readers coming back for more.
Avatar by S.D. Perry
As the Federation gets ready to launch a counter strike against the Dominion, Colonel Kira searches for an alternative option. Faced with the threat of all of Bajor falling into chaos, Kira is faced with a difficult choice. At the same time, the united crews of Deep Space 9 and the Starship Enterprise work to stop a terrorist plot to annihilate the station and the ship. The first in a two-part book pair, S.D. Perry takes a TV series that has concluded and kept the action going between the pages of Avatar.
The Romulan Way by Diane Duane & Peter Morwood
Federation Agent Terise LoBrutto has hidden among the Romulan population for eight years. When a Starfleet officer is captured, she is forced to choose between maintaining her cover or save Dr. Leonard McCoy. Written by Diane Duane and her husband Peter Morwood, The Romulan Way, part of the Rihannsu series, breaks the norms of novels at that time. Much like the TV series, early Star Trek novels are very episodic. This particular series was successful because the novels were all connected and told one longer story, outside of the standard episodes' narratives.
Crisis of Consciousness by Dave Galanter
The crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise is concluding a mission with the Maabas, an alien race with whom they seek to sign a treaty. As refugees from a great war long ago, the Maabas are not native to the solar system or the planet that they now inhabit. The Federation's interest in this alien race stems from their great intellectual resources. As the peace treaty is signed, the Enterprise is attacked by the Kenisians, a race that used to rule this planet, and are now seeking to regain power. Crisis of Consciousness is written by Dave Galanter and launches readers into the action from the first page.
The Returned, Part 1 by Peter David
The first installment of a three-part series, titled Star Trek: The New Frontier, fan favorite Peter David writes another crowd pleaser. Captain Calhoun and the U.S.S. Excalibur are back after an attempt to track down Xenex to no avail. Consequently, he now seeks the race that killed them to exact revenge on them. His search lands the crew in a pocket universe where he finds his enemies, and another race. Now, the test is on to see if this third race is an ally or an even greater threat.
Enterprise: The First Adventure by Vonda N. McIntyre
This Star Trek book, Enterprise: The First Adventure, by Vonda N. McIntyre, narrates the promotion of James T. Kirk. As the youngest man to be promoted to captain in Federation history, his crew consists of a first officer, a chief engineer, a chief medical officer, and a helmsman who all aren't Kirk's biggest fans. But this young crew is made up of the individuals who would later become the legendary space explorers, such as Mr. Spock and Dr. McCoy. They must put aside their differences when a gigantic starship appears in their flight path and the young group must come up with a plan.
Prime Directive by Judith Reeves-Stevens
Starfleet's most sacred commandment, forbidding interference with alien cultures, has been betrayed. As a result of the violation of the Prime Directive, the Enterprise is in pieces, the most honored captain is disgraced, and the crew is scattered among a thousand worlds. But Kirk and his comrades are determined to restore their reputation by finding out the truth about what happened on Talin IV that lead to their unintended shame. The Reeves-Stevens duo has struck again with Prime Directive, as they take a preexisting concept and expand upon it in one of the best Star Trek books.
Ashes of Eden by William Shatner, Judith Reeves-Stevens & Garfield Reeves-Stevens
In this novel by William Shatner and the married Reeves-Stevens pair, we experience Shatner's talents as a writer, director, producer, and actor. Captain Kirk has decided to resign from Starfleet as his old nemesis Androvar Drake is promoted to commander-in-chief. Losing his drive for life, Kirk decides to accept a final adventure with the alluring, young Teilani, who seeks him to protect her planet. Kirk and Montgomery Scott revive the old U.S.S Enterprise-A and head for Chal and Teilani. Trouble awaits them as they get closer. The story in Ashes of Eden begins and ends with the death of Captain Kirk, but the storyline in between is Kirk's last great adventure.
The Return by William Shatner, Judith Reeves-Stevens & Garfield Reeves-Stevens
When the Borg, inhabitants of planet Veridian III, steals Kirk's body after his death, they have plans to use it to destroy the Federation. Using science technology, they bring Kirk back to life but fill his head with false memories in an effort to destroy Picard and the Starfleet. At the same time, Picard and another are on a mission that lands them on the Borg vessel. Kirk goes through a mess of obstacles and attempts at murder while he is being controlled by the Borg. Eventually, the ultimate choice must be made: will Kirk or Picard sacrifice themselves and be the ultimate hero? Another Star Trek book by William Shatner, Garfield Reeves-Stevens, and his wife; the three have created this imaginative unification of Spock and McCoy in The Return.
Imzadi by Peter David
Imzadi is a favorite Star Trek novel among fans, and is regarded to be the greatest ever written, even landing a spot on the New York Times Bestseller list. It explores the relationship between Deanna Troi and William Riker. It looks into the Genesis, the early days of that love during Riker's assignment to Betazed. Peter David is a renowned author, having created comics, novels, TV shows, movies, and video games, in addition to sci-fi novels. In this non-canon Trek novel, he uncovers the hidden possibilities of that fictional universe to bring us a story which is as timeless as it is original. Though it's in some ways a classic adventure story of love and rescue, it's got a surprisingly complex plot. Its weird architecture takes us across multiple timelines- explored through flashbacks as well as time travel-and into parallel universes. Imzadi is a story truly space-operatic in scope.
My Enemy, My Ally by Diane Duane
My Enemy, My Ally was written by sci-fi and fantasy author Diane Duane and published by Pocket Books in 1984. This book focuses on the Romulans, that most enduringly fascinating of Star Trek species. Duane has made great strides in exploring Romulan culture over the years through her six-part Rihannsu novel series published between 1984 and 2006, and this book, the first in the series, is no exception. This novel's ripping plotline sees Captain Kirk teaming up with a dissident Romulan commander, Ael i-Mhiessan t'Rllaillieu. Despite their previous hostilities, Kirk and the commander band together to foil a nefarious plan by the Romulan empire, capturing Vulcans and trying to appropriate their mental powers for themselves through cruel medical experiments. The novel explores the theme of solidarity across the species in the face of tremendous galactic evil, and is moving in its portrayal of the bonds formed in this struggle. It's an engrossing read a recommendation for all Trek fans looking for a deeper insight into the Romulan Empire.
How Much for Just the Planet? by John M. Ford
This Star Trek tie-in novel from 1987 is an offbeat work of comic genius. It's similar in tone to some of the classic comedy episodes, like "The Trouble with Tribbles and Mudd's Women," that fans of The Original Series may well remember fondly. And as an extra surprise, it contains many of what are known as 'Tuckerisations'- real-life people inserted as characters in the novel. They include other science fiction and fantasy writers who John M. Ford knew, including Pamela Dean, Neil Gaiman, and Diane Duane. With a cover illustration that brings to mind the current US primaries, Ford's novel is a witty exploration of economic power and political rivalry. But it's far from an impenetrable opus- its central premise is a planet whose inhabitants communicate by spontaneously breaking into song. John M. Ford was a sci-fi and fantasy writer, game designer, and poet.
The Entropy Effect by Vonda N. McIntyre
Published in 1981 by Pocket Books, Vonda N. McIntyre's thrilling novel is one of the earliest Star Trek books and to be picked up by the publishing house. The story plays out like a classic adventure from The Original Series, as Spock travels back in time to avert the murder of Captain Kirk. The book fleshes out various aspects of the Trek universe, filling us in on the origins of Sulu, for one. It's a fast-paced adventure that proves the novel form can be used to tell stories just as exciting as on TV. Vonda N. McIntyre is a science fiction author who has won Hugo and Nebula awards for her work and has authored many Star Trek novels over the years, of which The Entropy Effect is a fan favorite.
Star Trek: Typhon Pact- Zero Sum Game by Vonda N. McIntyre
Zero Sum Game is the first in a series of seven Star Trek novels and novellas known collectively as Typhon Pact. A grand work, Typhon Pact is a crossover between the universe of the TV shows The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, and the Star Trek Titan novels. David Mack is a writer with great experience in the field, having written tens of enjoyable Star Trek novels. Zero Sum Game is no exception. It's the first in a truly epic series which sees an alliance of races including the Romulan Star Empire, the Breen Confederacy, the Tholian Assembly, the Gorn Hegemony, the Tzenkethi, and the Holy Order of the Kinshaya, face off against the Federation. This first installment of the saga stars the crew of the U.S.S. Aventine and delves into the endlessly intriguing world of the Breen Confederacy. If you're looking for a Star Trek book with complex world-building and grand galactic politics, Zero Sum Game is a good bet.
Ishmael by Barbara Hambly
Barbara Hambly takes Star Trek for a comedy Western spin in this 1985 novel published by Pocket Books. It's inspired by the TV show Here Come the Brides which aired between 1968 and 1970. The story also contains many amusing cameo appearances of sci-fi characters and characters from Western TV shows. Dorks and pop culture aficionados will enjoy the way these characters from the world of TV and cult entertainment pop up throughout the story. Even Han Solo makes an appearance. The book's amusing premise takes us (and Spock) back to a Seattle logging town in the 1800s. There, groups of women have been transplanted from the East to become brides to the men. This was an actual historical process, known as the Mercer Girls project, which was the source material for Here Come the Brides and the 1954 musical film, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. There's nothing I love more than a good historical mash-up, and seeing Spock try to disentangle the reality going on around him with his Vulcan intelligence makes for plenty of laughs.
Uhura's Song by Janet Kagan
Janet Kagan had little experience with the Star Trek universe when she signed up to write Uhura's Song. That might initially sound like a drawback. But Kagan makes it to her advantage by creating a Trek story that's original and far from formulaic. Kagan takes risks that a writer more faithful to the Star Trek series might balk at. In this novel, we get a fascinating exploration of the character Uhura, whom Kagan noticed didn't have a major role in the TV series. Here she is front and center of the tale, struggling to cure a plague through her friendship with a feline-looking diplomat from Eeiauo. Far from the swashbuckling adventurism of some Star Trek novels, this work is an intimate but thrilling portrait of friendship. This Star Trek book is a miniature classic.
Planet of Judgment by Joe Haldeman
One of the earliest Star Trek books, this 1977 work by Joe Haldeman sees a science fiction giant taking on the Star Trek universe. Haldeman is a winner of both Hugo and Nebula awards for his non-Trek sci-fi writing, and is often thought of as one of the most underrated sci-fi authors. Bringing his masterly pen to the Star Trek world, he weaves a tale which runs much like a classic adventure from an episode of The Original Series, in which Captain Kirk, Dr. McCoy, and M. Spock undergo grueling trials of strength having been trapped on an inhospitable alien planet. This book is such a joy, it just goes to show that Trek novels can measure up to the show, provided a great writer's on board.
The Captain's Daughter by Peter David
Another Peter David book, this novel from 1995 explores Captain Sulu and his little-known daughter, Demora Sulu, first seen in the 1994 movie Star Trek Generations. I've always been curious about the character of Demora Sulu, so it's great to see her given a longer treatment in this book. I have also always wanted to know more about Sulu as Captain of the U.S.S. Enterprise 1701-B, which this book explores in depth. If you're wondering how Sulu ever managed to have a family in his very busy career, The Captain's Daughter answers those questions in a very intriguing way. It's best to read this book soon after viewing Star Trek Generations, since its plot builds off the tragic events portrayed in that film. The Captain's Daughter is a very engaging book which explores the Star Trek universe better than many of the best Star Trek books.
The Eugenics Wars: The Rise and Fall of Khan Noonien Singh, Volume 1 by Greg Cox
This more recent selection in our list of the best Star Trek books is a novel by Greg Cox which looks at the life of a character well known to Star Trek fans: Khan Noonien Singh. Published in 2001, it is in my opinion the best Star Trek book set in the 20th century. Greg Cox is a skilled writer with an impressive portfolio of Star Trek novels preceding him. Unsurprisingly this offering received the great honor of being voted best sci-fi book of the year by Dreamwatch magazine readers. For his efforts, Cox is featured on the Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan DVD extras. As a contributor to the Star Trek universe, Cox is well-loved by fans and The Eugenics Wars demonstrates why: a gripping tale of evil experiments and heroic espionage forms a fitting prequel to the rightly respected movie Wrath of Khan.