on January 5, 2000
Which is to say, not enough Trek short stories, just full-length novels. It gives more opportunity for a specialized story. Like a Mr. Data story. A Cyrano Jones sequel. What goes through Captain Pike's mind as an invalid. A story where Reg Barclay gets to be a hero rather than just swept along by events. A rite of passage for Cadet Nog. Lots of intriguing stuff like that. These stories may be by amateurs, but there's not a thing amateurish about them. This is the first of three such anthologies, and they're asking for contributors for a fourth. Here's a hint, all of you pro Trek writers. Don't leave it entirely up to us fans to come up with stuff like this. The very first Star Trek print fiction was when the late James Blish did adaptations of the Original Series episodes. In the form of (drum roll) short stories
on April 21, 2003
After years and years of requests to do so, Pocket Books and Paramount were finally able to come up with a way to publish fan fiction which culminated in this, the first of the Strange New Worlds anthologies. Prior to this I�d had only one other experience with fan fiction which I found to be quite enjoyable and I figured this would be the case here and it was. Although I found a few of the stories to have been somewhat tedious, taken as a whole, Strange New Worlds I is an enjoyable Star Trek experience and I look forward to reading the latest editions of them. It is interesting to finally now have read through this anthology and have the advantage of a couple years to see which of the authors within were able to become professional writers based on their experience with Strange New Worlds and of course their talented writing.
A Private Anecdote (Grand Prize winner) by Landon Cary Dalton **** - This is an interesting and very intriguing tale about Captain Pike. I believe it to be somewhat prior to �The Menagerie, Parts I & II�.
The Last Tribble by Keith L. Davis ***** - I found this particular story to be quite well written and very interesting as the author takes us through what happened to Cyrano Jones after �The Trouble with Tribbles.�
The Lights in the Sky (Third Prize winner) by Phaedra M. Weldon *** - I found this story to be somewhat interesting as the author brought closure to what happened to Shahna after �The Gamesters of Triskelion.�
Reflections by Dayton Ward ***** - I found this authors writing to be quite fluid and a perfect fit for Star Trek. It is no wonder at all as to why he continued on from here to being a professional author. The author takes us to when Captain Kirk died and that �split� second of time where he looks up and says �Oh my� and during that time Kirk is taken to the Organians who were originally seen in �Errand of Mercy.�
Star Trek The Next Generation
What Went Through Data�s Mind 0.68 Seconds Before the Satellite Hit by Dylan Otto Krider **** - The author did a wonderful job of capturing Data�s �style� in this particularly intriguing short story.
The Naked Truth by Jerry M. Wolfe ***** - This is a great Barclay story as the author takes us through the nervous engineers first away mission in which he�s in command.
The First by Peg Robinson - ***** - This is a great and very original story as the author brings us into the world of the Enterprise during the Dominion War. A less technologically advanced species, more specifically one of them shows up in the middle of contested space using technology that would benefit the Dominion greatly. Fortunately Picard and the Enterprise reach her prior to the Jem�Hadar.
See Spot Run by Kathy Oltion ***** - This is a very funny story and again this is why this particular author has gone on to author/co author other published Trek with her husband. As the title would suggest, the most unlikely of all heroes is about to have his/her day.
Together Again, for the First Time by Bobbie Benton Hull ***** - This is an absolutely wonderful tale about Guinan and her arranging the first meeting between her and Picard.
Civil Disobedience by Alara Rogers ***** - The author did a wonderful job with this story depicting the trials and tribulations Q went through to get Picard and the Enterprise through the events depicted in �Best of Both Worlds� parts I & II.
Of Cabbages and Kings (Second Prize winner) by Franklin Thatcher ***** - Out of all of the stories within this anthology, for me this was the best of them. The Enterprise suddenly finds itself far away from home minus its crew and must figure out what to do from there based on its programming.
Star Trek Deep Space Nine
Life�s Lessons by Christina F. York ***** - This is another example of one of the authors whose work brought them to the professional ranks of Trek publishing. Nog is back from the Academy and he�s found he has more than a casual interest in Mrs. O�Brien.
Where I Fell Before My Enemy by Vince Bonasso ***** - This is an extremely interesting tale about Captain Sisko finding himself with the exact same Gorn and on the same planet as Kirk as depicted in �Arena.�
Star Trek Voyager
Good Night, Voyager by Patrick Cumby **** - This is an interesting tale about the consequences of the bio neural network failing on the ship.
Ambassador at Large by J.A. Rosales ***** - This is a great tale that brings some closure to what happened to Bailey after the �The Corbomite Maneuver.�
Fiction by jaQ Andrews ***** - This is another outstanding tale about the crew of the Voyager believing their ship was destroyed and that they�ve been living on a planet for the last three years.
I, Voyager by Jackee C. ***** - This is a somewhat intriguing tale about a non corporeal being taking a liking to the crew of Voyager.
Monthuglu by Craig D. B. Patton *** - While I found the style in which this story was told, I found the overall story to be somewhat trying and it seemingly fails.
Because We Can
The Man Who Sold the Sky by John J. Ordover ***** - This is an interesting �short� story by Trek�s Executive Editor. I guess I�m not as completely up on my Trek as I should be because I really could not discern who his primary character was?
The Girl Who Controlled Gene Kelly�s Feet by Paula M. Block ***** - This is an extremely well written short story about a young Lieutenant and a ships psychologist who just aren�t quite satisfied with the mundane.
on July 25, 1998
If this is really an amateur production, many of the so-called "professionals" had better watch out. The prose style of so many - no, all - of these stories is simply much more assured and compelling than a lot of the novels that appear month after month. The story "I, Voyager", for example, my favourite, is sheer poetry and breathtakingly beautiful. But that's just one gem among the many and to single it out is not to say that the rest are by any means substandard. This is a great collection with some words of wisdom at the end - that there really is more to life than Star Trek!
on July 11, 1999
Honestly, this is the BEST Trek book I've ever read, by a long shot. Trek was invented for the short format of TV, so it stands to reason that its admittedly simplistic characters and situations work better in a short prose format than in novel-length stories. Don't be put off by the fact that the writers are "amateurs" - they're better than the pros in many cases, particularly the VOY writers. Reading this book convinced me that the VOY characters aren't as bad as I used to think, and can be quite entertaining in the hands of inventive writers. If only the TV show were this good...
on June 18, 2002
The fifth Strange New Worlds anthology is the best to date. Although previous volumes have given us exceptional individual stories, such as "Isolation Ward 4" in SNW4 and "Whatever You Do, Don't Read This Story" in SNW3, this volume is excellent from start to finish.
There are stories from all five of the Trek series, which is sur[prising, considering how close to the October deadline for submissions the premier of Enterprise was. Yet these stories are some of the best in the book. For TOS fans, there's a visit to City on the Edge of Forever, and an exploration of just what kind of person voluteers to be a "redshirt" even knowing their high mortality rate. TNG deals with everything from investigating a new Leonardo da Vinci to Dixon Hill -- the real one, not Picard playing Dixon Hill -- saving the Enterprise. Voyager stories deal with the homecoming from two different angles and tie up a lot of loose ends left in the Delta quadrant -- including a wonderful resolution for Kes that more than makes up for the Fury. Sadly, there is only one DS9 story, but it is one of the best in the book -- set after the end of the series. All around a truly great collection and hopefully an indicator of things to come from Strange New Worlds and the fans who love to write about them.
on February 12, 2001
I'm probably not what you would call a hard core Trekkie, which is to say that I enjoy Trek, I read some of the books and I've seen the movies, but I'm not the leading expert on the intricate details of the series' and such. I guess what I'm getting at here is that I find Trek highly entertaining, just in a casual fan way.
That out of the way, I enjoyed the heck out of these fan stories. I'm more of a fan of the first two Trek series' and didn't really get into Deep Space Nine, and I've maybe seen one episode of Voyager, but I found the stories for all four series' to be highly entertaining. The Voyager stories made me actually want to watch the show. Not just entertaining are these stories, but they are creative and well written. I hope that each of these writers continues on writing, as I found each and every story presented here to be very good and interesting. One would like to see these storylines in some of the shows.
I really can't say enough good things about this book, so I'll just stop it here saying that this was a really good idea. To each and every author published in this book: Kudos! Great job all around and I hope to see your names again. And all you fans out there who're thinking about it, bring on some more! I'm definately checking out the later installments.
on August 12, 2000
hatcher's 2nd place award for this story is impressive, given the thousands of submissions the contest received. As the story chosen as second best, it is no surprise that "Of Cabbages as Kings" is an impressive, original, well-crafted story. Right from the start it is clear that this is an unusual story: it is told entirely from the perspective of the Enterprise - the ship itself, or, specifically, the ship's computer. As the ship's "thoughts" cycle rapidly, at billions of calculations a second, the ship and readers soon realize that the crew has suddenly and unexpectantly vanished. The entire story, in fact, is devoid of any characters other than the Enterprise (unless one counts a holodeck simulation of Captain Picard, which has a relatively brief but important role).
This is particularly challenging subject matter because the Enterprise is not sentient, and can merely run the routines programmed into it. This actually turns out to be quite interesting, as Thatcher addresses a legitimate question: Just what is a Starfleet ship programmed to do if it has no crew? The answers are very plausible and should appeal especially to logicians and computer programmers.
But this story becomes much more than simply a tale of a failsafe algorithm, because in order to extricate itself from its situation, the Enterprise must (as challenged by the Picard simulation) achieve some semblance of sentience. It must go beyond its orignal programming.
Certainly similar themes have been addressed before, especially with Data and Voyager's holodoc. This tale of the Enterprise, however, adds new dimensions to these concepts, while providing a detailed but very readable look deep into the "mind" of a starship, and addressing the interesting question about why Starfleet doesn't design its ships with self-awareness in the first place.
on March 19, 1999
Strange New Worlds is an excellent book. I thought many of the stories written by fans were better than most of the stories written by professional writers. This book is a must have for any true Trek fan.
on May 31, 2007
But I found myself liking the cornier stuff in this anthology. Well, maybe corny carries too many connotations of cliches and sappiness, but my faves all had an element of drama that I didn't notice so much in the other volumes reviewed so far.
Because I'm moving backward in time, certain rules cannot apply, such as banning Tribble stories from my reading. That relieves me from dismissing "The Trouble With Borg Tribbles" as a mere rehash of Bambi-versus-Godzilla. Good thing, because I made it one of my faves, and besides, the ending is not as predictable as one might think. Too bad the Federation doesn't know much about Tribbles...
"The Shoulders of Giants" brings to Trek stories a bit of the irreverence that one finds more easily in that other sci-fi franchise that begins with the word "Star". You know what I'm talking about. The story itself has a lesson for those who seem eager to take a few words from someone powerful and build a philosophy around it.
Yet my fave of all faves in the book is "Who Cries For Prometheus?", which even if the characters weren't designed to evoke sympathy, reminds me that for every Enterprise that wins an epic battle or goes out in a blaze of warp-core breaching glory, there are scores of relative nobodies that pass on with little notice.
on May 29, 1998
"The final copy of this collection of Trek Fan Fiction arrived a few days ago, and I urge everyone with any affection for Trek to read it. There have been several collections of Trek Fan stories over the years, and a number of the authors have gone on to write some very credible works afterwards. This is the best of Trek, stories written by people with a real affection, often for minor characters, and some pretty clever ideas. Two of my favorites examine just "What Went On In Data's Mind 0.68 Before The Satellite Hit" and what happens after Cyrano Jones collects "The Last Tribble" off Station K-7. Pocket Books Trek editor John Ordover couldn't help but add his own two cents, but "The Man Who sold the Sky" is as enjoyable as anything in the book and I forgive him. " -- Ernest Lilley, SF CENTRAL