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Star Trek: Myriad Universes #1: Infinity's Prism: Myriad Universes Bk. 1 [Kindle Edition]

Christopher L. Bennett , William Leisner , James Swallow
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)

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Book Description

It's been said that for any event, there are an infinite number of possible outcomes. Our choices determine which outcome will follow, and therefore all possibilities that could happen do happen across countless alternate realities. In these divergent realms, known history is bent, like white light through a prism -- broken into a boundless spectrum of what-might-have-beens. But in those myriad universes, what might have what actually happened.

A Less Perfect Union: More than a hundred years after the Terra Prime movement achieved its dream of an isolationist Earth, humanity is once again at a fork in the river of history...and the path it follows may ultimately be determined by the voice of a single individual: the sole surviving crewmember of the first Starship Enterprise.™

Places of Exile: Midway through Voyager's journey across the galaxy, Captain Kathryn Janeway and Commander Chakotay must choose whether to brave a deadly war zone or abandon their quest for home. But an attack by Species 8472 cripples the ship, and the stranded crew must make new choices that will reshape their destinies...and that of the Delta Quadrant itself.

Seeds of Dissent: Khan victorious! Almost four centuries after conquering their world, genetically enhanced humans dominate a ruthless interstellar empire. But the warship Defiance, under its augmented commander, Princeps Julian Bashir, makes a discovery that could shake the pillars of his proud civilization: an ancient sleeper ship from Earth named the Botany Bay.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

James Swallow has written several books, including Star Trek: Terok Nor: Day of the Vipers and Seeds of Dissent (from Star Trek: Myriad Universes: Infinity's Prism); the Sundowners quartet of ?steampunk' science fiction Westerns (Ghost Town, Underworld, Iron Dragon and Showdown); the best-selling novelization of The Butterfly Effect; The Flight of the Eisenstein, Faith and Fire and Jade Dragon; the 2000AD tie-ins Eclipse, Blood Relative and Whiteout; Stargate Atlantis: Halcyon; and the Blood Angels duology Deus Encarmine and Deus Sanguinius.

In addition, Swallow's short fiction has appeared in Inferno! and Stargate magazine, the anthologies Star Trek Voyager: Distant Shores, the Doctor Who Short Trips collections Dalek Empire and Destination Prague, Something Changed, Collected Works, What Price Victory and Silent Night.

His non-fiction includes Dark Eye: The Films of David Fincher and books on writing, genre television and animation; he has also written for Star Trek: Voyager, Doctor Who and Space 1889, along with several scripts for audio and videogames.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.


There was definitely something out there, coming their way.

Captain Christopher Pike kept his gaze fixed on the forward viewscreen as it once again rippled and distorted the star field ahead. Around him, his crew checked circuits and consulted readouts, attempting to determine what exactly was throwing the Enterprise's sensor array into such an uproar. A pair of oversized spaceborne rocks flew past them, both easily swept aside by the ship's forward deflectors. "Could be these meteorites," said Lee Kelso at his navigator's post.

"Meteoroids," the science officer corrected him in a haughty tone.

"No, it's...something else," said Number One, looking from the screen to the data readouts on the helmsman's console. "Something is still out there."

And as if to prove the first officer's claim, the Red Alert signal at the center of the forward console began to flash, and the harsh whoop of the alarm filled the bridge. The viewscreen distorted again and again, like a shallow pond being hit by a series of pebbles.

"It's coming at the speed of light," Kelso reported. "Collision course."

Number One turned to face the captain. "Evasive maneuvers, sir?"

Pike kept his eyes on the screen. "Steady as we go."

The first officer gaped slightly at that. "Captain, we have no idea what -- "

Pike looked away from the screen then, and directed the full power of his intense blue eyes toward the younger man. "Was my order unclear, Mister Kirk?"

Commander Jim Kirk hesitated a half second, then broke eye contact and turned back in his seat. "Steady as we go, sir."

Pike's glare lingered a moment longer on the back of Kirk's head. He knew he shouldn't have slapped him back quite so hard; he was taking a gamble on whatever it was coming at them, and Kirk had good reason to question the wisdom of flying at it straight on. Kirk was a good man, and the best first officer Pike had had in ten years -- and the only one in all that time with whom he'd felt comfortable using the nickname "Number One." But he was young, and more than a little cocky. And then, there was what had happened to the Galileo six months earlier...

Pike turned his attention back to the screen. It was warping wildly now, wavering almost like a flag in a stiff breeze, while the Red Alert klaxon continued its ear-piercing whoop-whoop-whoop. Still, no foreign object or vessels appeared on the distorted viewer, even as every sensor on every console indicated that they were seconds from impact.

And then, as suddenly as it had started, the alert ended, and the bridge fell silent except for the quiet chirps and bleeps of standard operation. Kirk and Kelso exchanged confused looks, while Pike waited for someone from one of the rear stations to officially confirm his suspicions.

It was, unsurprisingly, Alden at communications who figured it out first. "It's a radio wave, sir. We're passing through an old- style distress signal."

Pike nodded slightly. "They were keyed to cause interference and attract attention this way." He noticed Kirk had turned in his seat again, looking from Alden to the captain, looking properly chagrined. Looks like the old man still has a few tricks up his sleeve, eh, he thought. He wondered if the Academy even still bothered teaching cadets about subwarp emergency procedures.

"A ship in trouble, making a forced landing," Alden added, repeating the communication now coming through the miniature speaker he held to his right ear. "That's it, no other message."

From the other rear station, science officer Ann Mulhall picked up the report. "I have a fix. It originates from . . . inside Coalition territory."

The entire bridge crew reacted to that. Even Pike let his unflappable demeanor drop for a split second. Earth had been at odds with the Interstellar Coalition for over a hundred years, ever since the Vulcans, Andorians, Tellarites, and Denobulans decided to resume the catastrophically ended Coalition of Planets negotiations on their own, without Earth's participation. What the hell is a human vessel with an obsolete radio disruption beacon doing on their side of the border? Pike asked himself.

Mulhall continued, "Their call letters check with a survey expedition: S.S. Columbia. Reported missing twenty-nine years ago, in 2235."

Twenty-nine years ago -- meaning the radio wave had traveled twenty-nine light-years. "That's pretty deep into Coalition territory," Pike said.

The science officer nodded as she continued to scan her library file. "The ship was registered to the American Continent Institute. The expedition's mission..." She turned away from her monitor to face the rest of the bridge and offered them a wry expression. "...'to explore strange new worlds.' "

Inwardly, Pike sighed. He could picture them now: a menagerie of scruffy, gray-haired professors, clinging onto an outdated, romanticized notion of space exploration that had gone out of style with the Xindi attack. They'd no doubt ignored every warning once they left Earth, refusing to keep to the regularly traveled trade routes, wandering aimlessly through regions where no man had gone before -- or worse, where men had gone before, and had been warned not to go again, at least not without a fully charged phaser bank.

"Sir," Number One interrupted, "our charts show the signal originating near Talos, a star system with eleven planets. Long- range studies indicate the fourth planet could be Earth-type."

Pike hesitated. If the Columbia crew had managed to land on a habitable world, it was possible that, even three decades later, there could be survivors. The chances were achingly slim, though, and rescuing them would mean traveling through hostile territory.

The captain turned to meet the younger man's gaze. After their exchange earlier, his first officer hesitated to speak up and suggest the course of action he was contemplating. But even if Jim Kirk were a complete stranger to him, Pike could clearly read the thoughts in his eyes. They said that, if there was the slightest hope those humans were still alive, they couldn't just leave them.

Pike sighed. "Any indication of Coalition patrol ships in the area near Talos?"

Both Kirk and Kelso checked their boards. "Negative, sir," the navigator answered. "The system is well off their normal patrol and trade routes."

Pike set his jaw, then moved back to the center chair. "Address intercraft."

Kelso flipped a toggle switch on his console. "System open."

In his mind, Pike saw the entire crew on every deck pausing as the address system came to life. He lifted his head to address them all: "This is the captain. Our destination is the Interstellar Coalition. Our warp factor, five."

All decks reported back ready, and on his order to engage, they started for enemy territory.

There are, of course, no border lines in space. Nor are there any true natural landmarks, along the lines of rivers and mountain ranges, which can be reliably used to demarcate one region of space from another. The Vega Colony was indisputably one of United Earth's commonwealth worlds. Regulus, some nine light-years distant, was a long-time Vulcan base, and thus recognized as part of the Interstellar Coalition. Everything in between was more or less open to interpretation.

Jim Kirk interpreted the Enterprise's long-range sensor reading and astronavigational data, and tweaked the warp propulsion field's output just so, putting the ship on a course that he determined was as close as they could get to Coalition space without risking an interstellar incident.

Not that he would have been averse to trading a couple shots with the bastards, if it came to that. The Enterprise was one of Starfleet's top-of-the-line starships, Constitution class, named for the legendary American frigate. He had no doubt it would make small work of any Coalition ship that dared to challenge them.

"Coming up on the Robinson Nebula," Kelso reported.

"On-screen," Pike ordered. For a moment, Kirk wondered if the viewer was malfunctioning again, as the only change, so far as he could tell, was that the image of the starscape ahead of them dimmed, with a small area devoid of stars at the center. But then, the captain said, "Enhance image," and striations of color brought the dark matter mass into relief, highlighting its characteristic radiation patterns and gravitational energies.

"My god, will you look at that?" Ann Mulhall spoke in an awed whisper, looking from the main viewing screen to the image inside her station's hooded display, and then back again. " there any way we could redirect one high-res sensor cluster -- "

"All available sensors are directed toward the Columbia coordinates,"

Pike said before she'd even finished asking the question. "That's the only reason we're here." The captain's expression softened just a fraction then. "Sorry, Lieutenant."

Mulhall nodded, accepting the captain's decision, but she was still disappointed. "Jonathan Archer discovered this nebula on his Enterprise, back in 2153," she informed the rest of the bridge. "We may be the first Earth ship to visit it since."

"So?" Lee Kelso asked. "It's just another cloud of dust and hydrogen."

"No, it's not," Mulhall said, with more than a hint of exasperation in her tone. "It's a dark matter nebula."

"Okay. And?"

"And, dark matter was still only theoretical up until Archer's time. We still know almost nothing about its nature, how it's formed, anything."

"Which brings us back to my original question: So?"

"That's enough," Kirk warned the two before the captain had to speak up himself. He understood that Lee's comments were intended as nothing more than good-natured ribbing, of the kind he and Ann often enjoyed engaging in. But he also understood how Mulhall felt as a career scientist who wasn't always content to simply recite the readouts from her station's displays. The term "science officer" was something of an anachronism, carried over from the old days when the United Earth Space Probe Agency was an exploratory organization as well as a military o...

Product Details

  • File Size: 757 KB
  • Print Length: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books/Star Trek (July 22, 2008)
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0010SKUC4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #512,500 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Almost Better Than the Original July 18, 2008
So, I really like Star Trek, and science fiction in general. But one of the most annoying problems with the genre is the inability to tackle the consequences of being human. Recently I've been trying to branch out into science fiction and really found it barely comprehendable, because of the inability to make the worlds convincing in a human fashion. Particularly the use of genetic enhancements and super elongated life spans. Otherwise known as a literary device known as deus ex machina. Commonwealth Saga and The Dreaming Void, I'm looking at you. Star Trek isn't completely immune to this, but in Deep Space 9 TV and books and the Alternate Universe they just nail this. People are PEOPLE. While there are many many great things to say about this collection of stories, all of these stories just get it right, to a greater or lesser extent, but on a fundamental level.

For this review, I'll tackle each story individually and then look at the themes that run through each of them and how they fit together as a whole, in comparison to the rest of recent Star Trek books. For brief story summaries, go the the book's Amazon Page.

A Less Perfect Union is a great start to the collection. First of all, the story flows in a natural fashion, particularly if you have a rough grasp of the background of the original series. These alternate or 'myriad' universes as they call them can create authorial nightmares in terms of exposition and development. Because of the established characters and the mental acknowledgement the reader has that these are going to be different, particularly The Original Series characters, its way too easy to overload on plot exposition and positioning characters within the new universe, but this story just does that very well.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not bad at all July 26, 2008
All three stories in this collection were enjoyable, and I read it in a day and a half. Of the three, my favorite was the Voyager story, "Places of Exile." The characterizations are spot-on, and in my opinion, the developments that take place for each of the characters (the ones who make it, anyway) are more interesting and fulfilling than what actually happened on the show.

The other two stories are equally good, but are much more reference-heavy (especially "Seeds of Dissent"; make sure you've read Greg Cox's Khan books and seen "Tomorrow is Yesterday" (TOS), "11:59" (VOY), and "Future's End" (VOY)) and the casual fan may not get it. Still, great stories.

I like the whole Myriad Universe idea, especially now that the Mirror Universe stuff is about at mined-out as it can be. Good read, can't wait for the sequel next month.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 out of 3 are either one worth the price! October 18, 2008
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Alternate universes and what-ifs are -- obviously -- the life-blood of science fiction. Two of the three stories in this volume live, one just sags.

"A Less Perfect Union" features Christopher Pike at the helm and James T. Kirk as his second in command. Characters from throughout the original canon appear, including the animated series. I rated it tops until I read "Seeds of Dissent" the DS9 version in the book.

Again, capturing elements from earlier mainstream stories, it ranks as one of the few stories I've ever read that I could not stop once I had started it, and that is in the Trek universe or any other work of fiction -- and I write from the perspective of a 61 year old Trekker (I was there when it started). When Kirk banished Khan to Ceti Alpha 5, Spock wondered what it would be like to see what crop sprang from the seed they had planted. James Swallow lets us see what happened when Khan won the Eugenics War. Outstanding!

"Places of Exile," the Voyager installment, reads like one of the early Next Generation TV shows -- tea and talk. If you don't have anything else to read, read it, but you won't miss much by skipping it.

But don't let that stop you from buying this book!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of the better Trek books of late. October 9, 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book and other like it are the only outlet of Star Trek I have left in my life. I have been an avid Star Trek book reader, but of late, Star Trek book fiction has gone in a very confusing direction and I have refused to read any of them until they get back on the right track. This book was thankfully a nice return to normalcy or atleast as normal as a Star Trek book can get.
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9 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Review of "Infinity's Prism" July 28, 2008
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Star Trek: Myriad Universes - 'Infinity's Prism' is an ambitious project that's been in the works for years. This is the 'what if' series of novellas exploring all the avenues and paths not taken in the various Star Trek series and movies. The question is, does "Myriad Universes" please the audiences or does it fall victim to being over-the-top, glorified fan fiction? For me, was by far one of the stronger anthologies and mini series put out in the past few years. Usually, there is one story included that feels far weaker and unworthy of print and makes me regret purchasing the book. That wasn't the case with "Myriad Universes: Infinity's Prism". It has some minor flaws that keep it from being perfect but in all, it's a wonderful work of fiction that definitely makes you wish the shows had been willing to take these bold chances and directions with plots and characters.

You'll enjoy how each story tends to capture the spirit of the original series. Each story, to me, comes with a lesson or moral that the writer is putting out for the audience to pick-up on. I was beside myself with the greatness of 'A Less Than Perfect Union'. This story is a blend of Star Trek: Enterprise and the Original Series. This was your classic original series episode with a twist; what would have happened if Starfleet and the Star Trek universe had not been as open minded and in turn was xenophobic? An elderly T'Pol (seen on the cover) is the last surviving member of Archer's Enterprise and through her, we see the alternate history of Enterprise and Pike/Kirk dealing with an Earth that isn't so great. The last novel, 'Seeds of Dissent' takes on a similar theme of exploring the question of 'who writes the history?
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Not The Trek You Know
“What if?” stories have always found an audience. It can be too tempting to imagine worlds where Hitler won World War II or JFK wasn't assassinated. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Matthew Kresal
5.0 out of 5 stars While not a Mirror Universe does offer some excellent...
For anyone who likes to think about the what-if scenarios that could have been, where one detail was changed that forever altered what was known as's a great read.
Published 7 months ago by BrentT
5.0 out of 5 stars Love the price And loved the book
I'm a big-time Trekkie and I love to read anything and everything I can about Star Trek. It's hard to find a lot of reading material of the local bookstores and the prices are very... Read more
Published 16 months ago by F. Buntin
5.0 out of 5 stars The book that started it
What if the Federation was never formed? What if Janeway didn't make her deal with the Borg? What if Khan was victorious in the Eugenics War?
Published 19 months ago by JohnG1701
5.0 out of 5 stars Star Trek Myriad Universe Infinity's Prism
Infinity's Prism is well written and interesting I could not put it down wanted to keep reading. For the star trek fan it is one of the best reads and it should be part of any star... Read more
Published on February 10, 2011 by AlphaMale
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Novellas from Alternate Versions of the Various Star Trek Series
The first story in this trio features characters from the Original Series as well as T'Pol from the Enterprise Series. The second novella stars much of the cast of Voyager. Read more
Published on February 7, 2011 by Michael Travis Jasper
5.0 out of 5 stars Good collection
Seeds of Dissent the ultimate Hitler Wins scenario is the best of this collection it was good to see Bashier as a "bad" guy and O'Brian as a ragging psychopath the story is... Read more
Published on November 3, 2009 by General Pete
5.0 out of 5 stars Infinite Possibilities in Myriad Universes
I stumbled upon this book while visiting the Star Trek Exhibit in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I started reading it on Monday, September 14, 2009 and finished reading it today,... Read more
Published on September 17, 2009 by P. McCoy
5.0 out of 5 stars Bashir story worth the price of the collection!
Of all the stories in this collection; the one with the former Dr. Bashir was the most compelling of all. In this one it shows how he fought the decendents of Khan's Eugenic Wars. Read more
Published on June 29, 2009 by Picardfan007
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting change of pace.
This book contains three mid-length stories, each set in an alternate timeline in which some major factor in the normal Star Trek timeline has happened differently. Read more
Published on April 23, 2009 by James Yanni
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