Author Topic: ST: Destiny Trilogy Excerpt & Covers  (Read 53429 times)

Offline Bond, James Bond

  • Administrator
  • Minor Board Deity
  • Posts: 31,805
  • Licensed to Ban
    • View Profile
ST: Destiny Trilogy Excerpt & Covers
« on: August 23, 2008, 03:13:06 AM »
Pocket Books posted an excerpt for the upcoming first book in the Star Trek Destiny novel trilogy, Gods of Night, written by David Mack and on sale October 2008. Here is the excerpt, have a good reading (beware of spoilers).

Captain Ezri Dax stood on the bow of the Columbia and made a silent wish that returning to the wreck wouldn't prove to be a mistake, at a time when Starfleet couldn't afford any.


Engineers and science specialists from her crew swarmed over the derelict Warp 5 vessel. Its husk was half interred by the tireless shifting of the desert, much as she had remembered it from her last visit, as Jadzia Dax, more than seven years earlier. The afternoon suns beat down with an almost palpable force, and shimmering waves of heat distortion rippled above the wreck's sand-scoured hull, which coruscated with reflected light. Dax's hands, normally cold like those of other joined Trill, were warm and slick with perspiration.


Lieutenant Gruhn Helkara, Dax's senior science officer on the Starship Aventine, ascended the ramp through the rent in the hull and approached her with a smile. It was an expression not often seen on the skinny Zakdorn's droop-ridged face.


"Good news, Captain," he said as soon as he was within polite conversational distance. "The converter's working. Leishman's powering up the Columbia's computer now. I thought you might want to come down and have a look."


"No thanks, Gruhn," Dax said. "I'd prefer to stay topside."


One of the advantages of being a captain was that Ezri no longer had to explain herself to her shipmates if she didn't want to. It spared her the potential embarrassment of admitting that her walk-through of the Columbia earlier that day had left her profoundly creeped out. While touring D Deck, she'd been all but certain that she saw the same spectral blue flashes that had lurked along the edges of her vision seven years earlier.


To her silent chagrin, multiple sensor sweeps and tricorder checks had detected nothing out of the ordinary on the Columbia. Maybe it had been just her imagination or a trick of the light, but she'd felt the same galvanic tingle on her skin that Kira had described, and she'd been overcome by a desire to get out of the wreck's stygian corridors as quickly as possible.


She'd doubled the security detail on the planet but had said nothing about thinking the ship might be haunted. One of the drawbacks of being a captain was the constant need to maintain a semblance of rationality, and seeing ghosts didn't fit the bill -- not one bit.

Helkara squinted at the scorched-white sky and palmed a sheen of sweat from his high forehead, up through his thatch of black hair.

"By the gods," he said, breaking their long, awkward silence, "did it actually get hotter out here?"


"Yes," Dax said, "it did." She nodded toward the bulge of the ship's bridge module. "Walk with me." The duo strolled up the gentle slope of the Columbia's hull as she continued. "Where are you with the metallurgical analysis?"


"Almost done, sir. You were -- " He caught himself. "Sorry. Jadzia Dax was right. We've detected molecular distortion in the spaceframe consistent with intense subspatial stress."


Dax was anxious for details. "What was the cause?"


"Hard to be sure," Helkara said.


She frowned. "In other words, you don't know."


"Well, I'm not prepared to make that admission yet. I may not have enough data to form a hypothesis, but my tests have ruled out several obvious answers."


"Such as?"


"Extreme warp velocities," Helkara said as they detoured around a large crevasse where two adjacent hull plates had buckled violently inward. "Wormholes. Quantum slipstream vortices. Iconian gateways. Time travel. Oh, and the Q."


She sighed. "Doesn't leave us much to go on."


"No, it doesn't," he said. "But I love a challenge."


Dax could tell that he was struggling not to outpace her. His legs were longer than hers, and he tended to walk briskly. She quickened her step. "Keep at it, Gruhn," she said as they reached the top of the saucer. "Something moved this ship clear across the galaxy. I need to know what it was, and I need to know soon."


"Understood, Captain." Helkara continued aft, toward a gaggle of engineers who were assembling a bulky assortment of machinery that would conduct a more thorough analysis of the Columbia's bizarrely distressed subatomic structures.


Memories drifted through Ezri's thoughts like sand devils over the dunes. Jadzia had detailed the profound oddities that the Defiant's sensors had found in the Columbia's hull, and she had informed Starfleet of her theory that the readings might be a clue to a new kind of subspatial phenomenon. Admiral Howe at Starfleet Research and Development had assured her that her report would be investigated, but when the Dominion War erupted less than two months later, her call for the salvage of the Columbia had been sidelined -- relegated to a virtual dustbin of defunct projects at Starfleet Command.


And it stayed there, forgotten for almost eight years, until Ezri Dax gave Starfleet a reason to remember it. The salvage of the Columbia had just become a priority for the same reason that it had been scuttled: there was a war on. Seven years ago the enemy had been the Dominion. This time it was the Borg.


Five weeks earlier the attacks had begun, bypassing all of the Federation's elaborate perimeter defenses and early warning networks. Without any sign of transwarp activity, wormholes, or gateways, Borg cubes had appeared in the heart of Federation space and launched surprise attacks on several worlds. The Aventine had found itself in its first-ever battle, defending the Acamar system from eradication by the Borg. When the fighting was over, more than a third of the ship's crew -- including its captain and first officer -- had perished, leaving second officer Lieutenant Commander Ezri Dax in command.


One week and three Borg attacks later, Starfleet made Ezri captain of the Aventine. By then she'd remembered Jadzia's hypothesis about the Columbia, and she reminded Starfleet of her seven-year-old report that a Warp 5 ship had, in the roughly ten years after it had disappeared, somehow journeyed more than seventy-five thousand light-years -- a distance that it would have taken the Columbia more than three hundred fifty years to traverse under its own power.


Ezri had assured Starfleet Command that solving the mystery of how the Columbia had crossed the galaxy without using any of the known propulsion methods could shed some light on how the Borg had begun doing the same thing. It had been a bit of an exaggeration on her part. She couldn't promise that her crew would be able to make a conclusive determination of how the Columbia had found its way to this remote, desolate resting place, or that there would be any link whatsoever to the latest series of Borg incursions of Federation space. It had apparently taken the Columbia years to get here, while the Borg seemed to be making nearly instantaneous transits from their home territory in the Delta Quadrant. The connection was tenuous at best.


All Dax had was a hunch, and she was following it. If she was right, it would be a brilliant beginning for her first command. If she was wrong, this would probably be her last command.


Her moment of introspection was broken by a soft vibration and a melodious double tone from her combadge. "Aventine to Captain Dax," said her first officer, Commander Sam Bowers.


"Go ahead, Sam," she said.

He sounded tired. "We just got another priority message from Starfleet Command," he said. "I think you might want to take this one. It's Admiral Nechayev, and she wants a reply."


And the axe falls, Dax brooded. "All right, Sam, beam me up. I'll take it in my ready room."


"Aye, sir. Stand by for transport."


Dax turned back to face the bow of the Columbia and suppressed the dread she felt at hearing of Nechayev's message. It could be anything: a tactical briefing, new information from Starfleet Research and Development about the Columbia, updated specifications for the Aventine's experimental slipstream drive...but Dax knew better than to expect good news.


As she felt herself enfolded by the transporter beam, she feared that once again she would have to abandon the Columbia before making its secrets her own.

Commander Sam Bowers hadn't been aboard the Aventine long enough to know the names of more than a handful of its more than seven hundred fifty personnel, so he was grateful that Ezri had recruited a number of its senior officers from among her former crewmates on Deep Space 9. He had already accepted Dax's invitation to serve as her first officer when he'd learned that Dr. Simon Tarses would be coming aboard with him, as the ship's new chief medical officer, and that Lieutenant Mikaela Leishman would be transferring from Defiant to become the Aventine's new chief engineer.


He tried not to dwell on the fact that their predecessors had all recently been killed in fierce battles with the Borg. Better to focus, he decided, on the remarkable opportunity this transfer represented.


The Aventine was one of seven new, experimental Vesta-class starships. It had been designed as a multimission explorer, and its state-of-the-art weaponry made it one of the few ships in the fleet able to mount even a moderate defense against the Borg. Its sister ships were defending the Federation's core systems -- Sol, Vulcan, Andor, and Tellar -- while the Aventine made its jaunt through the Bajoran wormhole to this uninhabited world in the Gamma Quadrant, for what Bowers couldn't help but think of as a desperate long shot of a mission.


He turned a corner, expecting to find a turbolift, only to arrive at a dead end. It's not just the crew you don't know, he chided himself as he turned back and continued looking for the nearest turbolift junction. Three weeks aboard and you're still getting turned around on the lower decks. Snap out of it, man.


The sound of muted conversation led Bowers farther down the corridor. A pair of junior officers, a brown-bearded male Tellarite and an auburn-haired human woman, chatted in somber tones in front of a turbolift portal. The Tellarite glanced at Bowers and stopped talking. His companion peeked past him, saw the reason for his silence, and followed suit. Bowers halted behind the duo, who tried to appear casual and relaxed while also avoiding all eye contact with him.


Bowers didn't take it personally. He had seen this kind of behavior before, during the Dominion War. These two officers had served on the Aventine during its battle at Acamar five weeks earlier; more than two hundred and fifty of their shipmates had died in that brief engagement. Now, even though Bowers was the new first officer and a seasoned veteran with nearly twenty-five years of experience in Starfleet, in their eyes he was, before all else, merely one of "the replacements."


Respect has to be earned, he reminded himself. Just be patient. He caught a fleeting sidelong glance by the Tellarite. "Good morning," Bowers said, trying not to sound too chipper.


The Tellarite ensign was dour. "It's afternoon, sir."


Well, it's a start, Bowers told himself. Then the turbolift door opened, and he followed the two junior officers inside. The woman called for a numbered deck in the engineering section, and then Bowers said simply, "Bridge." He felt a bit of guilt for inconveniencing them; he and the two engineers were headed in essentially opposite directions, but because of his rank, billet, and destination, the turbolift hurtled directly to the bridge, with the two younger officers along for the ride.


He glanced back at the young woman and offered her a sheepish grin. "Sorry," he said.


"It's okay, sir, it happens," she replied. The same thing had happened to Bowers countless times when he had been a junior officer. It was just one of many petty irritations that everyone had to learn to cope with while living on a starship.


The doors parted with a soft hiss, and Bowers stepped onto the bridge of the Aventine, his demeanor one of pure confidence and authority. The beta-shift bridge officers were at their posts. Soft, semimusical feedback tones from their consoles punctuated the low thrumming of the engines through the deck.


Lieutenant Lonnoc Kedair, the ship's chief of security, occupied the center seat at the aft quarter of the bridge. The statuesque Takaran woman stood and relinquished the chair as Bowers approached from her left. "Sir."


He nodded. "I'm ready to relieve you, Lieutenant." A more formal approach to bridge protocol had been one of Bowers's conditions for accepting the job, and Captain Dax had agreed.


"I'm ready to be relieved, sir," Kedair replied, following the old-fashioned protocol for a changing of the watch. She picked up a padd from the arm of the command seat and handed the slim device to Bowers. "Salvage operations for the Columbia are proceeding on schedule," she continued. "No contacts in sensor range and all systems nominal, though there have been some reports from the planet's surface that I want to check out."

Bowers looked up from the padd. "What kind of reports?"

A pained grin creased her scaly face. "The kind that make me think our teams are more fatigued than they're letting on."


He grinned and tabbed through a few screens of data on the padd to find the communication logs from the away teams on the planet.

"What gives you that impression?"


"A pair of incident reports, filed eleven hours apart, each by a different engineer." She seemed embarrassed to continue. "They claim the wreck of the Columbia is haunted, sir."


"Maybe it is," Bowers said with a straight face. "Lord knows I've seen stranger things than that."


Kedair's face turned a darker shade of green. "I don't plan to indulge the crew's belief in the supernatural. I just want to make certain none of our engineers have become delusional."


"Fair enough," Bowers said. He glanced backward over his shoulder. "Is the captain in her ready room?"


"Aye, sir," Kedair said. "She's been on the comm with Admiral Nechayev for the better part of the last half hour."


That doesn't bode well, Bowers realized. "Very good," he said to Kedair. "Lieutenant, I relieve you."


"I stand relieved," Kedair said. "Permission to go ashore, sir?"


"Granted. But keep it brief, we might need you back on the watch
for gamma shift."


She nodded. "Understood, sir." Then she turned and moved in quick, lanky strides to the turbolift.


No sooner had Bowers settled into the center seat than a double chirrup from the overhead speaker preceded Captain Dax's voice: "Dax to Commander Bowers. Please report to my ready room." The channel clicked off. Bowers stood and straightened his tunic before he turned to the beta-shift tactical officer, a Deltan woman who had caught his eye every day since he had come aboard. "Lieutenant Kandel," he said in a dry, professional tone, "you have the conn."

"Aye, sir," Kandel replied. She nodded to a junior officer at the auxiliary tactical station. The young man moved to take over Kandel's post as she crossed the bridge to occupy the center seat. It all transpired with smooth, quiet efficiency.


Like clockwork, Bowers mused with satisfaction.


He walked toward Dax's ready room. The portal slid open as he neared, and it closed behind him after he'd entered. Captain Dax stood behind her desk and gazed through a panoramic window of transparent aluminum at the dusky sphere of the planet below.

Though he'd known Dax for years, Bowers still marveled at how young she looked. Ezri was more than a dozen years his junior, and he had to remind himself sometimes that the Dax symbiont living inside her -- whose consciousness was united with hers -- gave her the resources of several lifetimes, the benefit of hundreds of years of experience.


Since they were alone, Bowers dropped the air of formality that he maintained in front of the crew. "What's goin' on? Is Starfleet pulling the plug on us?"


"They might as well be," Dax said. She sighed and turned to face him. She sounded annoyed. "We have twenty-four hours to finish our salvage and head back to the wormhole. Admiral Jellico wants us to be part of the fleet defending Trill."


"Why the change of plans?"


Dax entered commands into her desktop's virtual interface with a few gentle taps. A holographic projection appeared above the desk. According to the identification tags along its bottom, it was a visual sensor log from the Starfleet vessel U.S.S. Amargosa. There wasn't much to see -- just a brief, colorful volley of weapons fire with a Borg cube followed by a flash of light, a flurry of gray static, and then nothing.


"The Amargosa is one of five ships lost in the last sixteen hours," Dax said. "All in the Onias Sector, and all to the Borg. No one knows if the same Borg cube destroyed all five ships."


"If it was the work of one cube, it might be another scout," Bowers said. "Another test of our defenses."


"And if it wasn't," Ezri said, "then the invasion just started -- and we're out here, playing in the dirt." She shook her head in frustration and sat down at her desk. "Either way, we have to break orbit by tomorrow, so we can forget about raising the Columbia. We need a new mission profile."


Bowers crossed his arms and ruminated aloud, "Our main objective is to figure out how the Columbia got here, and our best chance of doing that is to analyze its computer core. We could beam it up, but then we'd have to re-create its command interfaces here, and that could take days, since it wasn't what we'd planned on. But if Leishman and Helkara's adapters work, we can leave it in situ and download its memory banks by morning."


"And then we can parse the data on our way back," Dax said, finishing his thought. "Not my first choice, but it'll have to do." She looked up at him. "Let's get on it. Before we leave this planet, I want to know what happened to that ship."

In the darkness, there was a hunger.


The need was a silent pain in the blank haze of awareness -- a yearning for heat, for life, for solidity.


Mind and presence, the very essence of itself lay trapped in stone, its freedom a dream surrendered and forgotten along with its name and memory.


It was nothing but the unslaked thirst of that moment, unburdened by identity or the obligations of a past. All it knew were paths of least resistance, the push and pull of primal forces, and the icy void at its own core -- the all-consuming maw.


For so long there had been nothing but the cold of empty spaces, the weak sustenance of photons. A momentary surge of energy had roused it from a deathly repose and then slipped away, untasted.

Now, in a dreamlike blink, it had returned.


At long last it was time.


After aeons of being denied, the hunger would be fed.


http://trekweb.com/articles/2008/08/19/Read-an-Excerpt-of-Star-Trek-Destiny-Gods-of-Night-Novel.shtml
_____________________________________________________________






_____________________________________________________________

After sucking ass in the previous two TNG novels, the Borg have finally been done justice by Christopher L. Bennett's 'Greater than the Sum' and will feature in a big way in David Mack's 'Destiny' trilogy, though like GttS it's not entirely focused on the Borg. Mack's written some of Trek's better novels and no one does epic combat scenes better than him.

Offline The Daft Punk

  • Senior Member
  • Posts: 3,932
  • An Erotic Adventurer Of The Most Deranged Kind
    • View Profile
Re: ST: Destiny Trilogy Excerpt & Covers
« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2008, 09:06:15 AM »
It's too bad the prose is lackluster. Still, sounds kinda interesting.
Harder.Better.Faster.Stronger
~~~~~~~~
"Until a man is 25, he still thinks, every so often, that under the right circumstances he could be the baddest motherfucker in the world. If I moved to a martial arts monastery in China and studied real hard for 10 years. If my family was wiped out by Colombian drug dealers and I swore myself to revenge. If I got a fatal disease, had one year to live, devoted it to wiping out street crime. If I just dropped out and devoted my life to being bad."
- "Snow Crash", Neal Stephenson

Offline CX

  • Distinguished Member
  • Posts: 9,682
  • Bully!
    • View Profile
Re: ST: Destiny Trilogy Excerpt & Covers
« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2008, 09:14:54 AM »
Yeah it does, almost makes me want to read the books when they come out.
"Black care rarely sits behind a rider whose pace is fast enough." - TR


Offline Torlek

  • Veteran Member
  • Posts: 1,183
  • Burn it all down and start over.
    • View Profile
Re: ST: Destiny Trilogy Excerpt & Covers
« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2008, 09:30:39 AM »
I've obviously been out of the loop on the continuing timeline too long.  Slipstream, Captain Dax and a Borg invasion?  Now I've got to play catch-up.
The battle of modern programming is one waged between the engineers trying to craft a bigger,better idiot-proof program and the universe trying to breed bigger, better idiots.  So far, the universe is winning.

Offline Bond, James Bond

  • Administrator
  • Minor Board Deity
  • Posts: 31,805
  • Licensed to Ban
    • View Profile
Re: ST: Destiny Trilogy Excerpt & Covers
« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2008, 10:03:54 AM »
With the Borg becoming a persistent threat Starfleet decided it was time to start breaking all those discoveries Voyager made out of the warehouse where they keep the Ark of the Covenant and putting them to work. The rationale for not using transphasic torpedoes before was that they were saving them as a last ditch weapon against resurgent Borg and they didn't want the Borg to assimilate any species that had encountered or stolen blueprints of the weapon.

Ezri becoming captain (assuming command as the Second Officer when the Captain and XO were killed in battle with the Borg) of the slipstream capable USS Aventine (part of a series of new Vesta Class ships which are the first to be capable of slipstream) is an entirely new development of the Destiny trilogy, so you haven't missed anything because the DS9 Relaunch is still a few years in the past chronologically from this series and mentions none of this (a few secondary DS9 Relaunch personnel do appear in this as part of her crew though). So, everything with Ezri and slipstream only takes place in this novel and requires you to read no previous stories and tells you how she got there through flashback.

To know the Borg situation since their resurrection, you might want to read 'Resistance' and 'Before Dishonor,' but it's not really necessary because those novels are both terrible and the temporary Borg resurrection in that bears little resemblance to the form they are in since the end of 'Greater than the Sum,' which I would recommend reading. The Borg of the end of GttS and in Destiny are the Borg we know from the Delta Quadrant and their only connection with the rebooted Alpha Quadrant Borg are that they gave them access to a means of untraceable slipstream travel (which replaced their destroyed transwarp network) where they can simply appear and disappear anywhere in the galaxy at will and strike at the heart of the Federation.

The only difference between these Borg and the ones we know from previous Trek is that they are no longer dispassionate and willing to assimilate the Federation. They're angry about being decimated and plan to wipe the Federation out once and for all.

Greater than the Sum ends with a twist on the familiar Borg greeting (SPOILERS and some plot details below):

"We are the Borg. You will be annihilated. Resistance is futile, but welcome."

The Borg say this as they completely destroy the surface of two Federation planets with billions of people on them, the first strike in their new offensive against the Federation.

Greater than the Sum also wraps up every dangling thread about the Borg you ever wanted to see dealt with. Hugh and his renegade Borg have a major part in it. Unimatrix Zero is mentioned extensively. The 18 people who were sucked out of the Enterprise-D in 'Q-Who?' get mentioned, with one survivor returning to the Enterprise.

Oh, and the now married Picard and Crusher decide to have a baby to carry on the Picard line after much consternation.


The surprising thing is that GttS does this without the Borg being entirely in the spotlight, and there's a major scientific discovery that drives the story just as significantly.

So, definitely read Greater than the Sum and you should be entirely caught up on everything you need for the Destiny trilogy, because anything dealt with previously is explained in flashback or discussion.

Offline Greg

  • Lord of Lava Lamp
  • Eminent Member
  • Posts: 6,995
  • Old Fart
    • View Profile
Re: ST: Destiny Trilogy Excerpt & Covers
« Reply #5 on: August 23, 2008, 10:35:23 AM »
How extensive is this Trek "Expanded Universe" becoming? By the sounds of it, there's a lot more interlinked books around than I realised. Of course, the latest Trek book I've read was Mission Gamma 3, so thats to be expected. I didn't realise they were making all the books linked like the Star Wars EU.

Offline Torlek

  • Veteran Member
  • Posts: 1,183
  • Burn it all down and start over.
    • View Profile
Re: ST: Destiny Trilogy Excerpt & Covers
« Reply #6 on: August 23, 2008, 03:02:52 PM »
Ezri becoming captain (assuming command as the Second Officer when the Captain and XO were killed in battle with the Borg) of the slipstream capable USS Aventine (part of a series of new Vesta Class ships which are the first to be capable of slipstream) is an entirely new development of the Destiny trilogy, so you haven't missed anything because the DS9 Relaunch is still a few years in the past chronologically from this series and mentions none of this (a few secondary DS9 Relaunch personnel do appear in this as part of her crew though). So, everything with Ezri and slipstream only takes place in this novel and requires you to read no previous stories and tells you how she got there through flashback.
Ah, good.  I was worried that they'd slipped several DS9 books out that I hadn't noticed.  Guess I'll add Greater than the Sum to the list for next time I make a book run.
The battle of modern programming is one waged between the engineers trying to craft a bigger,better idiot-proof program and the universe trying to breed bigger, better idiots.  So far, the universe is winning.

Offline Jimi James

  • So Say We All
  • Administrator
  • Distinguished Member
  • Posts: 9,322
  • Abandon Ship
    • View Profile
    • The New Haven Chronicles
Re: ST: Destiny Trilogy Excerpt & Covers
« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2008, 03:08:50 PM »
How extensive is this Trek "Expanded Universe" becoming? By the sounds of it, there's a lot more interlinked books around than I realised. Of course, the latest Trek book I've read was Mission Gamma 3, so thats to be expected. I didn't realise they were making all the books linked like the Star Wars EU.

I think almost everything since the start of the DS9 relaunch, and some things before it...for example the New Frontier novels and their whole storyline is part of the new EU...and some of the new ENT books are part of them as well.  The Good That Men Do, had some stuff with Jake and Nog that could be included in the EU.  I'm not sure about the Voyager, SCE, and I think the Shatner-verse books are safely outside the new EU.
https://www.patreon.com/JonMichaelMay
Help me make art, by joining me on Patreon. Various subscriptions tiers are in place, allowing you to support my addictive art habit for as little as $1 a month.

Offline Torlek

  • Veteran Member
  • Posts: 1,183
  • Burn it all down and start over.
    • View Profile
Re: ST: Destiny Trilogy Excerpt & Covers
« Reply #8 on: August 23, 2008, 04:29:45 PM »
Thankfully Shatnerverse is the farthest from canon.  But the "EU" as it were seems to encompass some TNG leading up to Nemesis, TNG post-Nemesis, DS9 relaunch, Voyager relaunch, Enterprise relaunch, Vanguard, New Frontier (sadly), SCE, Titan, the Lost Era, some of the Mirror Universe stuff and I think some of the newer TOS stuff ties in somehow although that kinda seems to be off limits for now with the movie in development.  I noticed that they started weaving it together back with the Mission Gamma set in DS9 and the Gateways crossover, but reading up a little on it now and it looks like they're trying to really start turning out a few of cohesive time periods that all tie together in the wider universe.
The battle of modern programming is one waged between the engineers trying to craft a bigger,better idiot-proof program and the universe trying to breed bigger, better idiots.  So far, the universe is winning.

Offline Bond, James Bond

  • Administrator
  • Minor Board Deity
  • Posts: 31,805
  • Licensed to Ban
    • View Profile
Re: ST: Destiny Trilogy Excerpt & Covers
« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2008, 02:51:13 AM »
How extensive is this Trek "Expanded Universe" becoming? By the sounds of it, there's a lot more interlinked books around than I realised. Of course, the latest Trek book I've read was Mission Gamma 3, so thats to be expected. I didn't realise they were making all the books linked like the Star Wars EU.

There are two main groups of somewhat intertwined TNG-era novels divided chronologically.

There's the DS9-Relaunch/Mission Gamma, Klingon novels, Gateways crossover, and Starfleet Corps of Engineers novels set during the entire year of 2376 (immediately following the end of DS9 and the Dominion War).

Then there's the TNG A Time To... novels set in 2378 in the year leading up to Nemesis, the Voyager-Relaunch in 2378, the Titan novels starting in 2379 immediately following Nemesis and currently in 2380, the TNG-Relaunch starting while the Enterprise-E is in drydock post-Nemesis in late-2379 and currently in early 2381, and the entire year of 2380 covered by Articles of the Federation.

The 2376 group is skipping ahead five years to 2381 for Destiny (though only Ezri and some secondary DS9-Relaunch characters will appear), Titan is skipping ahead one year, Voyager is skipping ahead two years and will be affected by the death of Janeway (though she was kind of a secondary character anyway with Chakotay now the Captain) though they won't be a major part of Destiny I believe, and the TNG-Relaunch leads directly into Destiny.

The main focus of the Destiny trilogy will be on Picard and his mix of old and new crew on the Enterprise-E, Titan, Ezri and the USS Aventine, President Bacco from Articles of the Federation, and Captain Erica Hernandez and the NX-02 Columbia from Enterprise which disappeared into the Gamma Quadrant until it was discovered at the end of the Dominion War by the Defiant and Jadzia Dax (mentioned in Destiny only - so you didn't miss anything). There will probably be appearances from Seven of Nine since she figured prominently in the two previous TNG-Relaunch books about the Borg (though not Greater than the Sum).

Edit: On a side note - I'm currently reading 'Excelsior: Forged in Fire' by Martin and Mangels which deals with Sulu taking command of the Excelsior from Captain Styles in 2290 (though it goes through several years later as well) and is all about the Augment Virus which gave the Klingons smooth heads (and how it was reversed), the Albino from DS9 (the primary story), Kang, Kor, Koloth, Curzon Dax, Sulu's daughter Demora and Captain Harriman, the early negotiations that led to Khitomer, the TNG Trills with the bumpy foreheads (caused by the same Augment Virus spreading to a colony they shared with the Klingons), and even features a brief appearance by TOS-era Kirk. So they managed to get in ENT, TOS, ST3, ST6, TNG, Generations, and DS9 in that one, and even Voyager if you consider that this establishes Sulu's prior encounters with Kang as hinted at during 'Flashback.'
« Last Edit: August 24, 2008, 03:04:28 AM by Bond, James Bond »

Offline Torlek

  • Veteran Member
  • Posts: 1,183
  • Burn it all down and start over.
    • View Profile
Re: ST: Destiny Trilogy Excerpt & Covers
« Reply #10 on: August 24, 2008, 10:36:49 AM »
Edit: On a side note - I'm currently reading 'Excelsior: Forged in Fire' by Martin and Mangels which deals with Sulu taking command of the Excelsior from Captain Styles in 2290 (though it goes through several years later as well) and is all about the Augment Virus which gave the Klingons smooth heads (and how it was reversed), the Albino from DS9 (the primary story), Kang, Kor, Koloth, Curzon Dax, Sulu's daughter Demora and Captain Harriman, the early negotiations that led to Khitomer, the TNG Trills with the bumpy foreheads (caused by the same Augment Virus spreading to a colony they shared with the Klingons), and even features a brief appearance by TOS-era Kirk. So they managed to get in ENT, TOS, ST3, ST6, TNG, Generations, and DS9 in that one, and even Voyager if you consider that this establishes Sulu's prior encounters with Kang as hinted at during 'Flashback.'
Wow, that's a fuckton of connections even for Martin & Mangels.  I've been wanting to get the book but I've feared that they'd try too hard to turn Sulu gay or bisexual.  That's the one thing I always dislike about their writing, at least one character must be gay.  Not that that itself is a bad thing, just that it seems too forced most of the time.
The battle of modern programming is one waged between the engineers trying to craft a bigger,better idiot-proof program and the universe trying to breed bigger, better idiots.  So far, the universe is winning.

Offline Broken Subspace Scene

  • Prolific Member
  • Posts: 701
    • View Profile
Re: ST: Destiny Trilogy Excerpt & Covers
« Reply #11 on: August 24, 2008, 01:52:56 PM »
The only difference between these Borg and the ones we know from previous Trek is that they are no longer dispassionate and willing to assimilate the Federation. They're angry about being decimated and plan to wipe the Federation out once and for all.

Greater than the Sum ends with a twist on the familiar Borg greeting (SPOILERS and some plot details below):

"We are the Borg. You will be annihilated. Resistance is futile, but welcome."

The Borg say this as they completely destroy the surface of two Federation planets with billions of people on them, the first strike in their new offensive against the Federation.

I'm pretty interested in this series, especially since it seems we will see the Federation loosening a bit of its conservatism and a race for exotic new anti-Borg and Slipstream technology.  It's a shame they aren't holding another public competition for the Vesta class, like they did for the Titan novels.  Slipstream explorer circa 2380?  Swank.

However, I mentioned in the GTTS topic, I am concerned about the new direction of the Borg, even if it is leaps and bounds better than in "Resistance" or "Before Dishonor".  What made the Borg so interesting and alien in the first place was that they were an implacable, dispassionate swarm.  Though this was tainted somewhat with the introduction of the Queen (and their mystique further harmed during Voyager's run, despite some decent stories being told) it was still their core trait.  On the other hand, it is a potentially refreshing new approach.  We've never really seen an enemy bent on annihilating the Federation; the baddies have always wanted to conquer it for more conventional ends.  It'll be interesting to see a TPTB-sanctioned, professional writer's take on the themes explored in the multitudes of 'Federation doomsday' fanfics.

Offline CX

  • Distinguished Member
  • Posts: 9,682
  • Bully!
    • View Profile
Re: ST: Destiny Trilogy Excerpt & Covers
« Reply #12 on: August 24, 2008, 02:11:27 PM »
I'm kind of visualizing Clawhammer's ship from this year's SotL calender for the Vesta-class, personally.
"Black care rarely sits behind a rider whose pace is fast enough." - TR


Offline Bond, James Bond

  • Administrator
  • Minor Board Deity
  • Posts: 31,805
  • Licensed to Ban
    • View Profile
Re: ST: Destiny Trilogy Excerpt & Covers
« Reply #13 on: August 25, 2008, 02:30:41 AM »
Edit: On a side note - I'm currently reading 'Excelsior: Forged in Fire' by Martin and Mangels which deals with Sulu taking command of the Excelsior from Captain Styles in 2290 (though it goes through several years later as well) and is all about the Augment Virus which gave the Klingons smooth heads (and how it was reversed), the Albino from DS9 (the primary story), Kang, Kor, Koloth, Curzon Dax, Sulu's daughter Demora and Captain Harriman, the early negotiations that led to Khitomer, the TNG Trills with the bumpy foreheads (caused by the same Augment Virus spreading to a colony they shared with the Klingons), and even features a brief appearance by TOS-era Kirk. So they managed to get in ENT, TOS, ST3, ST6, TNG, Generations, and DS9 in that one, and even Voyager if you consider that this establishes Sulu's prior encounters with Kang as hinted at during 'Flashback.'

Wow, that's a fuckton of connections even for Martin & Mangels.  I've been wanting to get the book but I've feared that they'd try too hard to turn Sulu gay or bisexual.  That's the one thing I always dislike about their writing, at least one character must be gay.  Not that that itself is a bad thing, just that it seems too forced most of the time.

Nope, no one is gay or bisexual in this one (at least nothing in the first 3/4ths of the book). Then again it's pretty asexual altogether, with the characters mostly dealing with the half-detective story / half-chase central plot for the bulk of the book.

When I list all that stuff like that out of context it comes off as a big jumbled mess, but all the connections actually flow together fairly well within the narrative of the story, with only the revelation of the bumpy-headed TNG Trills having the Augment Virus seeming kind of out of left field, but then again it's only a minor throwaway reference that occupies a single paragraph.

The rest of the stuff are all logical outgrowths from established events: The Albino was a bio-terrorist and had to have a run-in with Kang, Kor, Koloth, and Curzon (who were at a diplomatic conference) that inspired their blood oath, and Kang and Sulu obviously had some shared history and respect after the TOS-era. Plus, they had to find a plotline that would restore the ridges of the previously ridgeless Klingon trio that predated Kang's appearance in 2293 in 'Flashback.'

It takes a while for the story to find it's footing though. For the first third I kept losing interest because of neverending time jumps back and forth that really break up the flow of the story, and I absolutely detest the fact that nearly every sentence of dialogue the Klingons utter (and they're in the entire novel extensively) has to include at least one actual Klingon word even though the rest of their dialogue is in English. No, I don't care that they call their equivalent of minutes tel'chu-qachs or whatever the fuck it is, and once you establish that you don't have to keep using it constantly. I understand the concept that when they're on their own ship speaking to other Klingons that they're actually speaking Klingonese, constantly alternating between that and English (except when the Klingons are speaking English to humans and use a Klingon word for emphasis) is completely unnecessary and annoying as hell.

So, take that as you will whether you want to get the book or not. Now that they're on the hunt for The Albino it's not so bad, but it's certainly not a great novel by any means. It's worth reading for establishing the Klingon's backstory with Curzon and for Sulu's taking command of Excelsior though, and some old friends like Sarek, Chapel, Chekov, etc. appear as well.

Offline Bond, James Bond

  • Administrator
  • Minor Board Deity
  • Posts: 31,805
  • Licensed to Ban
    • View Profile
Re: ST: Destiny Trilogy Excerpt & Covers
« Reply #14 on: August 25, 2008, 02:42:32 AM »
However, I mentioned in the GTTS topic, I am concerned about the new direction of the Borg, even if it is leaps and bounds better than in "Resistance" or "Before Dishonor".  What made the Borg so interesting and alien in the first place was that they were an implacable, dispassionate swarm.  Though this was tainted somewhat with the introduction of the Queen (and their mystique further harmed during Voyager's run, despite some decent stories being told) it was still their core trait.  On the other hand, it is a potentially refreshing new approach.  We've never really seen an enemy bent on annihilating the Federation; the baddies have always wanted to conquer it for more conventional ends.  It'll be interesting to see a TPTB-sanctioned, professional writer's take on the themes explored in the multitudes of 'Federation doomsday' fanfics.

You could say that the Borg are finally learning from their mistakes and adapting based on experiences rather than just assimilating technology. After suffering endless defeats and near extinction at the hands of Humanity/the Federation and Species 8472, it's only natural that they take a new approach or face annihilation themselves.

As far as the scope of their operations, David Mack has been pretty tight-lipped, but he did have this to say:
________________________________________________

Ezri Dax will hold the rank and position of captain aboard the U.S.S. Aventine. She will have attained this position in such a seemingly brief time since her switch to the command track as the consequence of a battlefield promotion.

As Keith DeCandido posted elsewhere, the ships of the Vesta class are named for the seven hills of ancient Rome. Vesta was the Roman goddess of the hearth and home. There is no direct link between the class name and the names of the ships; the theme, if any, is merely one of names related to ancient Rome. I did not name the other ships of the class, however.

At the request of editor Marco Palmieri, I borrowed only selected characters from the post-TV Deep Space Nine books.

Samaritan "Sam" Bowers will come aboard the Aventine as Captain Dax's first officer. Dr. Simon Tarses will serve as her CMO. Mikaela Leishman, now a lieutenant, will transfer from the Defiant to be the Aventine's chief engineer.

We will hear mention of Shar, but won't see him. No other DS9 characters will be part of the Destiny trilogy, and the specific resolution of several ongoing DS9 storylines will in no way be revealed or spoiled by the trilogy.

We will see at the very least cameos from every other 24th-century incarnation of TrekLit in the trilogy. Ships and characters from New Frontier, Corps of Engineers, I.K.S. Gorkon/Klingon Empire, and Voyager will play their parts in the tale.

For those of you who are fans of Keith DeCandido's novel Articles of the Federation, rest assured: President Bacco and her administration will play a significant role in the trilogy (not so much in book one, but definitely in books two and three).

Yes, the Borg are in it. But this is not just another "battle with the Borg" book. If it were, I would not have spent nearly 18 months of my life working on it.

Let me put it this way, and then I'll say no more on the subject until after all three books are out: We have, up until now, never seen an actual Borg invasion.

Picard's first encounter with the Borg at System J-25? An incident. The Battle of Wolf 359? Incident. The Collective's two failed sorties against Earth (in "The Best of Both Worlds, Part 2," and the Battle of Sector 001 in First Contact)? Incidents.

You've never seen a bona fide Borg invasion….


I'm kind of visualizing Clawhammer's ship from this year's SotL calender for the Vesta-class, personally.

Mack doesn't say much about the Vesta Class in the books, leaving it as vague as possible for future books or the art department to flesh out for a cover later, but he said it does have a crew complement of 750, is very sleek, and has been described as being larger than the Luna Class and not far off from the Sovereign Class in size (which makes sense since the Sovereign is another very sleek combat oriented ship with a crew compliment of 750).

So it might eventually turn out to be similar or even a modified version of the Sovereign, but Clawhammer's ship, while certainly sleek and fitted with slipstream, is much smaller than this ship is.
« Last Edit: August 25, 2008, 02:51:17 AM by Bond, James Bond »

Offline Broken Subspace Scene

  • Prolific Member
  • Posts: 701
    • View Profile
Re: ST: Destiny Trilogy Excerpt & Covers
« Reply #15 on: October 14, 2008, 08:35:52 PM »
Just finished "Gods of Night".  Decent, interesting read.  The action was split roughly equally between Enterprise, Titan, Aventine, and Columbia.

  • The respective new crews continue to gel pretty well.  T'ryssa is almost nonexistent, and there aren't excessive efforts into exploring character quirks
  • The Borg are kicking ass.  However, they aren't front and centre.
  • The plot is a surprisingly balanced mix of exploration/investigation, interpersonal relations, and combat/action.  It has a much more Trek-y character than the recent Borg books.
  • This isn't important, but the tendency of the author to specify things about minor characters gets annoying at times.  I think he was attempting to do this to reinforce the multispecies nature of the 24th century crews, and the multinational nature of the Columbia crew.  However, it gets unnecessarily hammy and tends to bog down descriptions of bridge interaction and other events.  ex. 'Ensign Weinerschnitzel passed by Hernandez in a very efficient GERMAN way on his way to the mess hall for SAUSAGES, muttering "ACHTUNG" under his breath.'  They are red and yellowshirts, giving them a name and one trait doesn't mean anything.
  • On the whole, it was fairly well written, and seemed less prone to fanboyish indulgence than previous books

Plot spoilers below

Plot points of note:
- Ezri was the second officer on the Aventine prior to its massive casualties
- Starfleet kamikaze!  Zomg!1!!!1!  Nebula-class + technobabble = gigantic transphasic torpedo
- Said kamikaze strike saves Khitomer, allowing Martok to rally the Klingon political factions
- According to a comment by Picard, Starfleet has lost more ships in the last 5 weeks than in all previous wars combined.  Onscreen combat is limited and a few specific incidents are mentioned. 
- Picard describes impending events as a "clash of civilizations", and alternates between "The line must be drawn here!" attitude and feeling bleak about the Federation's prospects for survival.  His characterization is much improved over the recent Borg books.
- Multiple Starbases are destroyed, including one via ramming
- Anyone with an unhealthy love for MACOs is in for somewhat of a treat.  Showcasing the military/explorer conflict, the MACO's stage a mutiny at one point.  The MACO's are comparatively ruthless in some ways, and cunning.
- Cameos all over the place.  Admiral Paris gets blown up after sending an emotional message to Tom.  Paris has a brief cameo in which he receives said message and thinks about how B'lanna apparently separated from him (Not sure if this is new or something from a previous novel?), Martok cameo, President Bacco cameo, Leonard James Akaar, McKenzie Calhoun/Excalibur mentioned on two occasions
- Troi and Riker are having trouble conceiving due to radiation from Ian's birth during TNG.  Troi steadfastly refuses to abort a malformed fetus that will most likely kill her, resulting in the baby being put into semi-stasis in her womb
- The new alien species (Caeliar) semi-responsible for Columbia's journey are one of the most advanced we've ever seen, and one of the most staunchly pacifist.  Bucking the sci-fi cliche where the heroic captain inspires them to pick up arms, these aliens sacrifice millions of their lives to prevent the humans from dying.
- The Transphasic torpedoes still work.  One of the crews was also working on transphasic shielding using similar principles of spreading energy across multiple wavelengths.  Geordi has converted a multiple cargo bays into a Transphasic torpedo munitions factories.
- Doctor Ree, Dinosaur Doctor, continues to be awesome.  Tuvok really fits on Titan too.
- Nice attention to detail on thinking of good or fitting ship names, including Alexey Leonov (Defiant) and Gibraltar (a Sovereign)
- Sadly, little description was added to the Vesta class, save that it carries a Runabout.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2008, 08:51:23 PM by Broken Subspace Scene »

Offline Bond, James Bond

  • Administrator
  • Minor Board Deity
  • Posts: 31,805
  • Licensed to Ban
    • View Profile
Re: ST: Destiny Trilogy Excerpt & Covers
« Reply #16 on: October 15, 2008, 02:26:03 AM »
I'm about 3/4ths of the way through reading it myself.

I definitely agree about the over-descriptive and often stereotypical nature of some of the minor characters. I just took to calling the Austrian and German guys Shultz and Klink after a while. And the Italian guy might as well have been working in a Little Italy pizzeria in 1910.

That being said, it's a very exciting read so far and I'm looking forward to the next book.

Offline DarkShinobi

  • Eminent Member
  • Posts: 7,382
  • Oderint dum metuant
    • View Profile
Re: ST: Destiny Trilogy Excerpt & Covers
« Reply #17 on: October 16, 2008, 08:09:40 PM »
I just started it myself.  ;D



"You have always had a hard time finding your place in this world, haven't you? Never knowing your true worth? You can settle for less than an ordinary life. Now you feel like you were meant for something better? Something special?"    - Christopher Pike speaking to a young James T. Kirk

Offline DarkShinobi

  • Eminent Member
  • Posts: 7,382
  • Oderint dum metuant
    • View Profile
Re: ST: Destiny Trilogy Excerpt & Covers
« Reply #18 on: October 20, 2008, 10:16:24 AM »
Well...I have 1/5 of the book to finish, and I want to do it at one sitting, but let me make my comments:

I like the way the chapters are broken up into the year it takes place in, and the only thing I would have added was, say the ship's name, current stardate, and location as a preamble before going into what was happening on the Enterprise, Titan, etc...to give it more of a "Hunt for Red October" sorta feel. (But that's just me, I'm sure.)

I visualize the Caeliar as a cross between the Genoshans from Episode II and those aliens from The Abyss.

I, also, am at a loss as to when B'Ellana leaves Tom. Did she leave him to go into hiding to protect Miral? Also...when the heck is Voyager in space again? Wasn't that ship turned into a museum?

I like how the Excalibur was mentioned but not being part of the story cross over. I found myself mentally noting where the ships of my own fan fics would be during this storyline as well.

I wonder if a frustrated Riker will seek some "console" from Vale. There was a hint that he was thinking that.

The Anime Sex Kitten T'Ryssa Chen only has one line in this book and it doesn't involve her thinking about recreational sexual intercourse, having recreational sexual intercourse, or simply being with no clothes on, yet she still manages to irritate Picard.

I accidently flipped to the back of the book and notice the Appendix section. Why the HELL isn't THAT in the BEGINNING of the book??


All in all...one of the better Trek Novels I have read in a LONG time and I look forward to the next three stories!

OH...BTW... here is how I visualize T'Ryssa Chen.

 8)


"You have always had a hard time finding your place in this world, haven't you? Never knowing your true worth? You can settle for less than an ordinary life. Now you feel like you were meant for something better? Something special?"    - Christopher Pike speaking to a young James T. Kirk

Offline Shik

  • Senior Member
  • Posts: 3,113
  • There's a million things I haven't done
    • View Profile
Re: ST: Destiny Trilogy Excerpt & Covers
« Reply #19 on: October 20, 2008, 08:56:48 PM »
Who's the chick?

Offline DarkShinobi

  • Eminent Member
  • Posts: 7,382
  • Oderint dum metuant
    • View Profile
Re: ST: Destiny Trilogy Excerpt & Covers
« Reply #20 on: October 20, 2008, 09:00:32 PM »
Jamie Chung.

She appeared in the ABC Family (snick..."family") Series "Samurai Girl."



"You have always had a hard time finding your place in this world, haven't you? Never knowing your true worth? You can settle for less than an ordinary life. Now you feel like you were meant for something better? Something special?"    - Christopher Pike speaking to a young James T. Kirk

Offline Shik

  • Senior Member
  • Posts: 3,113
  • There's a million things I haven't done
    • View Profile
Re: ST: Destiny Trilogy Excerpt & Covers
« Reply #21 on: October 20, 2008, 09:07:06 PM »
Tasty. I'll take 3.

Offline DarkShinobi

  • Eminent Member
  • Posts: 7,382
  • Oderint dum metuant
    • View Profile
Re: ST: Destiny Trilogy Excerpt & Covers
« Reply #22 on: October 20, 2008, 09:11:26 PM »
I figured you'd enjoy her.  8)


"You have always had a hard time finding your place in this world, haven't you? Never knowing your true worth? You can settle for less than an ordinary life. Now you feel like you were meant for something better? Something special?"    - Christopher Pike speaking to a young James T. Kirk

Offline Bond, James Bond

  • Administrator
  • Minor Board Deity
  • Posts: 31,805
  • Licensed to Ban
    • View Profile
Re: ST: Destiny Trilogy Excerpt & Covers
« Reply #23 on: October 20, 2008, 10:40:22 PM »
Well...I have 1/5 of the book to finish, and I want to do it at one sitting, but let me make my comments:

I like the way the chapters are broken up into the year it takes place in, and the only thing I would have added was, say the ship's name, current stardate, and location as a preamble before going into what was happening on the Enterprise, Titan, etc...to give it more of a "Hunt for Red October" sorta feel. (But that's just me, I'm sure.)

I visualize the Caeliar as a cross between the Genoshans from Episode II and those aliens from The Abyss.

I, also, am at a loss as to when B'Ellana leaves Tom. Did she leave him to go into hiding to protect Miral? Also...when the heck is Voyager in space again? Wasn't that ship turned into a museum?

I like how the Excalibur was mentioned but not being part of the story cross over. I found myself mentally noting where the ships of my own fan fics would be during this storyline as well.

I wonder if a frustrated Riker will seek some "console" from Vale. There was a hint that he was thinking that.

The Anime Sex Kitten T'Ryssa Chen only has one line in this book and it doesn't involve her thinking about recreational sexual intercourse, having recreational sexual intercourse, or simply being with no clothes on, yet she still manages to irritate Picard.

I accidently flipped to the back of the book and notice the Appendix section. Why the HELL isn't THAT in the BEGINNING of the book??


All in all...one of the better Trek Novels I have read in a LONG time and I look forward to the next three stories!

OH...BTW... here is how I visualize T'Ryssa Chen.

Voyager was relaunched (in the aptly named Voyager Relaunch novels set two years before this) in Spirit Walk: Old Wounds & Spirit Walk: Enemy of my Enemy. They suck though, so don't bother reading them unless you're really a Voyager fan. The Voyager that became a museum was 35-40(?) years old and beat up as opposed to being 8 years old and state of the art (even after removing the future weapons) after coming home from the D-Quad.

The separation of Tom and B'Lanna was a completely unnecessary and stupid thing to bring up in this novel unless they plan to incorporate it in the future novels somehow (though I doubt it). It was completely out of left field and served no purpose to the rest of the story.

Offline DarkShinobi

  • Eminent Member
  • Posts: 7,382
  • Oderint dum metuant
    • View Profile
Re: ST: Destiny Trilogy Excerpt & Covers
« Reply #24 on: October 20, 2008, 11:02:46 PM »
^ Ah...okay then Bond. I figured there was a book or two I missed somewhere in regards to Voyager.

 ;D

Thanks!


"You have always had a hard time finding your place in this world, haven't you? Never knowing your true worth? You can settle for less than an ordinary life. Now you feel like you were meant for something better? Something special?"    - Christopher Pike speaking to a young James T. Kirk