Tuesday, December 05, 2006


After The Fall
by Peter David
Pocket Books
369 pages

Perhaps no single science fiction franchise has spawned as many books as Paramount's STAR TREK, based on the 60s television show created by the late Gene Roddenberry. Now I don't presume to know how many of these books based on that original series and the its four subsequent sequels have been released. I know I've read lots of them, most of which were from STAR TREK THE NEXT GENERATION, my personal favorite of all the incarnations of Roddenberry's dream of "the final frontier."

By far the most popular series of all the Pocket Book Star Trek is not based on any of those television shows or the feature films they launched. Rather, the most amazing, original, and thoroughly satisfying adventures based on the Star Trek franchise are those invented by writer Peter David and aptly called New Frontier.

The New Frontier books, of which AFTER THE FALL, is the 18th, center around the Federation Starship Excalibur as helmed by Captain McKenzie Calhoun, a one-time junior warlord, savior of his planet and protege to Captain Jean Luc Picard. McKenzie and his bizarre, fascinating and always intriguing alien crew are the most realized characters ever to populate the Star Trek universe. From the rock-humanoid Kebron to Burgoyne, who is a half-female/half-male Hermat. I won't ever try to explain that; read the books. David has filled his crew with the supporting players from the various TV shows, to even include a couple from the short lived animated Star Trek series, mixing them beautifully with his own creations.

Having said all that, I do have to add that the books do not stand alone all that well. Each is a continuing chapter in an ongoing saga. So, although AFTER THE FALL, is a terrific read, unless you've read the previous books, you are going to be completely lost as to who these people are and what they are about. Still, if you like fast paced, absolutely unique and powerful characters, then I would urge you to make the effort; find those early books and jump on board. It's one hell of a fun ride. One Roddenberry would have truly appreciated.


BobbyNash said...

I love the New Frontier books. David is a talented writer and these books certainly rank among some of his best.

Ron, have you checked out any of the new Deep Space Nine books? They are stand alones, but have continuing subplots of a sort. Basically, this is season 8 of the series, picking up after the show ended. I would definitely recommend this series as well.


Ron Fortier said...

Interesting, Bobby. Although Next Generation was my favorite of all the series, I do believe the best written Star Trek was Deep Space Nine. The last three years of that show were amazing. So the thought of that saga continuing via the paperbacks is
intriguing. Should I decide to pick one up, which would you recommend I
start with it?

BobbyNash said...

I'd recommend the two parter called Avatar, which kicks off the new series. Also good is Unity, which returns some characters to DS9 you might not have expected to see again. All 3 of these are by S.D. Perry. Another good one is Warpath by David Mack. There are others, but these are the ones that really grabbed me.