Devil's Bargain was the first book from author Tony Daniel that I've read, a stand alone original series Star Trek novel which proved itself to be rather entertaining despite a rather ominous cover on the paperback.
The story begins with the Enterprise on a humanitarian mission to the planet of Vesbius which was once a Federation world but took an independent path while still keeping close trading ties to nearby Federation worlds. An asteroid is closing on the world and Kirk is shocked to find that the people are not going to leave but have been digging huge tunnels believing they will survive the initial impact and immediate fallout but Spock is clear in that it's an extinction event. As the story unfolds we find that the 20,000 or so people on the planet have a very good reason for not wanting to leave their world and it is tied to their talents in genetic manipulation which has also given birth to an element of xenophobia within their culture.
I stayed away from the feature that was done on Devil's Bargain and Tony Daniel in the Trek.Fm podcast Literary Treks Ep 14 last year, in any media I don't like to be spoiled beyond in a books case the blurb so the story and it's twist came as a nice surprise. It's an interesting idea that ideas and beliefs no matter how they have been worked through by generations past continue to raise their heads sometimes in a similar situations and sometimes in a totally different situation.
Without giving too much away one of the best aspects of the book was the interweaving of an original series species into a significant aspect of the story, when Tony writes about them experiencing their first taste of space travel and the freedom offered by what amounted to an unexpected space walk it was inspirational. The way the minds of the youngsters were expanded to encompass the wonders and joys the universe could offer counterpointed some of the attitudes on Vesbius clearly defining the goals of Star Trek story telling.
Devil's Bargain is currently available as a paperback and ebook from Amazon UK and US and other many other retailers such as the Book Depository.
Literary Treks 14
Tony Daniel Facebook Page