So Matt, you’re asking, what’s been going on in the expanded Star Trek universe. Good question, whoever you are. You’re making introducing this essay much easier so thanks for that. I’ve been a fan of Star Trek novels for quite a few years now, sparked by an interest in the comic work of Peter David. Peter David wrote a long, defining run on the Incredible Hulk and he’s also responsible for some of the finest Star Trek novels ever written. His work on books like Q-Squared and Vendetta made me realize that Trek novels aren’t necessarily just fan fiction in a fancy ass cover with little to no gay sex.
The novels can be an excellent boost when you’re desperate for new Star Trek and the next movie is still at least a year and a half away. What’s interesting is the freedom that’s developed in the Next Generation expanded universe in the last few years. For a long time, Trek novels took place (in the case of books like Doctor’s Orders or the Three-Minute Universe) between episodes or (like The Lost Years) movies. The idea was, like a lot of series tie-in books to try not to contradict anything happening in the parent series. But with the release of Fake Star Trek, the universe of TNG has been abandoned. There are not and will not be another movie or episode featuring Captain Picard, Sisko or *ugh* Admiral Janeway. The creators of the Trek expanded universe are suddenly free to do whatever they goddamn want, resulting in a much more fascinating universe.
In the years since Nemesis, there have been many big changes for Trek. Uh, SPOILERS to follow, folks. The big stuff starts in the “A Time To… Whatever” series which bridges the reprehensible Insurrection to the merely shitty Nemesis. This leads to the breaking up of the some of the Enterprise crew as Riker and Troi get married and fuck off to the Titan. Worf gets promoted to Commander, Picard marries Dr. Crusher, Geordi still can’t get laid, and B-4 is disassembled, put in a box and shipped off to Starfleet for research purposes. SERIOUSLY. Apparently somebody at the Star Trek head offices got my letter Re: Data’s retarded little brother.
With a new universe full of unending possibility, there is of course only one thing to do. Retread old stuff that was popular. Which means it’s time to bring the Borg back again. J.M. Dillard writes the exceptionally average Resistance which features yet another Borg invasion and Picard deciding it would be an awesome fucking idea to go undercover as Locutus. This turns out exactly as expected (Bad.). Next we have Peter David’s Before Dishonor which ain’t great either. More Borgyness, Janeway becomes Borg Queen and the Borg devour Pluto. The planet. It’s pretty goddamn awesome. This one ends with *spoilers again* the death of Janeway! So… I guess Star Trek Head Offices got my other letter too. All of this leads into the Destiny trilogy.
The Destiny Trilogy is actually pretty damn good. It features the Enterprise, Riker’s Titan, Dax’s ship, the Aventine and some chick from Enterprise whom I’ve never heard of but am assured was an actual character. The Destiny Trilogy features the actual origin of the Borg (well, one of the better ones anyway.) and FINALLY (For a while at least.) the death of the Borg. Seven of Nine gets turned back into a human. One who can presumably wear regular clothes now. Picard stops having Borg nightmares whenever we do a Borg book which was all the time. Oh yeah, and the Federation is FUCKED. Billions of death. Thousands of destroyed planets. Vulcan’s been torched (not destroyed, because we are different than Fake Trek.), Risa (the pleasure planet, proving that the Borg are true monsters with no respect for the planet that gave us Dax in a one-piece.) The Federation’s remaining enemies take this as an excuse to get their shit together forming the Typhon Pact.
The Typhon Pact includes the Breen, half of the Romulans (the other half are now with the Federation.), the Gorn Initiative and Tholians. Who are awesome by the way. This all leads into the Typhon Pact series which has just started and which I am currently reading the first book of. So more on that when I am finished. For now, pour one out for Risa and the lonesome death of Dax’s shiny shiny one-piece… See you at the crossroads, baby.