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Star Trek: Tales From the Captain's Table Kindle Edition

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Length: 352 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

The Autobiography of James T. Kirk by David A. Goodman
"The Autobiography of James T. Kirk" by David A. Goodman
The Autobiography of James T. Kirk chronicles the greatest Starfleet captain's life (2233–2371), in his own words. Learn more | See related books

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Keith R.A. DeCandido was born and raised in New York City to a family of librarians. He has written over two dozen novels, as well as short stories, nonfiction, eBooks, and comic books, most of them in various media universes, among them Star Trek, World of Warcraft, Starcraft, Marvel Comics, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Serenity, Resident Evil, Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda, Farscape, Xena, and Doctor Who. His original novel Dragon Precinct was published in 2004, and he's also edited several anthologies, among them the award-nominated Imaginings and two Star Trek anthologies. Keith is also a musician, having played percussion for the bands the Don't Quit Your Day Job Players, the Boogie Knights, and the Randy Bandits, as well as several solo acts. In what he laughingly calls his spare time, Keith follows the New York Yankees and practices kenshikai karate. He still lives in New York City with his girlfriend and two insane cats.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Introduction: How We Built the Bar

Dean Wesley Smith

Back in the mists of history, around 1997, the Captain's Table was built, to float forever in time and space, allowing only captains of ships through the big wooden front door. If my memory serves, the creation of the Captain's Table was slow, like any construction process -- a labor of love carried out over a number of phone calls between myself and former Pocket Books editor John Ordover.

John and I both loved the tradition of bars in literature, and often talked about the White Hart, one of our favorites. I'm not sure of the exact conversation between us that sent the Captain's Table into full construction, but I do remember that at one point John suggested I create the bar.

Since I had worked as a bartender and have a degree in architecture that I have seldom used, it was a logical assignment. I took the task very seriously, actually going to my architectural studio and drawing up floor plans. As I would in any good design, I included restrooms, determined the location of stairs, provided for liquor storage, and so on. Every detail, all to scale. Then John and I worked out the characters who would be regulars, who would be there to listen to the captains' stories.

We developed the rules of the bar, and how it works with captains of ships from any time and any space. We developed the tradition of captains telling tales, and many of the other details that threaded their way into the bar. Then John hired eight of his writers to bring the Captain's Table to life and write six novels. He assigned each the task of writing in first person, from the captain's point of view while in the bar.

Since I had designed the bar, I was given first choice and picked Benjamin Sisko, writing with my wife, Kristine Kathryn Rusch. The team of L.A. Graf took Jim Kirk and Hikaru Sulu, Diane Carey wrote about Kathryn Janeway, Michael Jan Friedman got to record Jean-Luc Picard's story, Jerry Oltion told Christopher Pike's, and Peter David told Mackenzie Calhoun's tale.

John kept everyone together in details and timeline, even managing to have the different books linked by last and first chapters, with one captain leaving the bar while another came in. John even had the artist put in the faces of the authors in the crowd scene behind the captains in the cover paintings and on the big poster. Only not always on our own books. (Hint: Kris and I are right behind Captain Janeway.)

As a hard-core Star Trek fan, this was all grand fun for me, not only the creation of the bar, but writing the novel. Since then, I have been editing Strange New Worlds, the annual-contest anthology that lets the fans into the professional writing side of Star Trek. Over the years, my biggest regret has been that the rules of Strange New Worlds don't allow Captain's Table stories. I've really wanted to read more about the bar that floated out there, giving the captains of ships a needed place to relax.

Now Keith R.A. DeCandido has solved that problem with this wonderful book, getting some of the best Star Trek writers to drop in to the Captain's Table and listen to more stories from many varied captains. I feel like I have come home.

So sit back and enjoy great stories in one of the most interesting and strange places in all of time and space. And when you leave, don't forget to tip the bartender.

Copyright © 2005 by Paramount Pictures. All Rights Reserved.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1570 KB
  • Print Length: 352 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1416505202
  • Publisher: Pocket Books/Star Trek; 1st Pocket Books Trade Pbk. Ed edition (June 14, 2005)
  • Publication Date: June 14, 2005
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000FCK9IG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #691,232 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Antoine D. Reid VINE VOICE on June 27, 2005
Format: Paperback
The "Captain's Table" was an interesting concept back in 1997 and still has some value today. This is different from the 1997 version, for it's all in a single book. This anthology features captain's that have come up through the past few years of Trek lit. I like the concept, each captain paying for their drink in this bar with a story. In the 1997 series, the main captains of Trek told stories that sort of defined them and their captaincy. Now, each captain tells a story that isn't necessarily true and doesn't always define them.

I thought there were some good stories, then some stories that really pulled this anthology down. "Pain Management" featuring Elizabeth Shelby, "The Officer's Club" featuring Kira Nerys, and "Iron and Sacrifice" featuring Demora Sulu were the best this book had to offer. The authors of these stories not only took on something that explained part of the respective series and events, but they added depth to these characters. They were great stories, great writing, really kept me flipping through the pages.

There were others that sort of dragged on for me, those being the "An Easy Fast" and the Klingon tale. They were good, but they could have been better. Their best moments came at the end when the moral was revealed. The same can be said of Picard's post-Stargazer story, "Darkness." Great beginning, touched a little on the Stargazer book series and it's characters after everything is over. The story, due to it's shortness, was a bit bungled and the situation seemed out of place. Yet, the ending was great.

What made this a rather average book though were the "Tales" that shouldn't have been included. Comedy is nice, humor is great, but over-the-top ... no.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By R. Spottiswood on September 28, 2005
Format: Paperback
I must begin this by saying that, based on the Captain's Table books, I had very high expectations for this anthology. They were not met. Some of the stories I quite enjoyed, but several I did not, and the bar as a setting was underused. The first story, Riker's, was light-hearted, entertaining, and rather preposterous. I thought it was setting the tone for the anthology. The next few stories showed me that the theme was about family, their betrayal and abandonment, and that this story was a cheerful bookend to an often sombre collection. After Riker came Picard, with a story set between Stargazer and Enterprise. The story is about Picard's love of starship command being restored after losing his first ship, and there is no subtlety to it. It's more like a story guide than a real tale. After that comes Shelby's story. I only read New Frontier stories in anthologies, and they never fail to justify not reading the novels. Most of this story is actually a fairly rousing adventure tale, with a sardonic humour I like. The conclusion portrays Starfleet as turned into a huge collection of conspiracy freaks by the Dominion War. I don't like the "everybody on both sides of a war is an idiot" attitude and I really don't like the way it is presented. After Shelby comes Klag. It's not really a story at all, just a lonely man feeling miserable about his family problems and sharing the misery with a bar full of strangers. After reading this story, I took a break for dinner, and also to get out a previous Trek anthology and read a story that was entertaining and cheerful, because I felt that was the only way I could get through to the end of Tales.

Fortunately, the collection picked up at that point. Kira's story was from the Occupation, a tale of espionage and double agents.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Sxottlan on July 23, 2005
Format: Paperback
I finished up the anthology Tales of the Captain's Table this afternoon and really quite loved it. It's the best Trek anthology since The Lives of Dax. The stories are held together by focusing more on events happening within the Captain's Table as we start off with Picard inducting Riker into the group. The mysterious Cap is the glue as he reflects on a particular day at the bar when all our characters turn up at one point or another.

The biggest problem I had with recent anthologies like Prophecy and Change and Tales of the Dominion War was that many of the stories themselves felt inconsequential. That problem is completely remedied in Tales of the Captain's Table because the stories told deal with far more important moments in the lives of the new batch of captains. Others document events previously mentioned in earlier books. Some thoughts on the individual stories:

Riker: Hokey to the extreme, this tale of the honeymoon of Will Riker and Deanna Troi is tolerable because of the dubious credibility cast upon it. I'm sure there was a honeymoon of some sort, just maybe not this one involving pirates and mistaken identity. It's kind of a good bad story if you know what I mean. This is the kind of story you'd see in a bad episode of any given Trek series, but with the tongue firmly planted in cheek, it makes it fun. Riker is going to be a regular at the bar I think.

Picard: I ended up quite turned off by the Stargazer series by Michael Jan Friedman, so this short story by him was a nice surprise in the way it engaged me. I hadn't realized how much time had passed between the loss of the Stargazer and Picard getting command of the Enterprise. Picard's mindset is pretty dark and I rather liked seeing him during this time.
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