Sunday, 16 April 2017

Strange New Worlds 2016

Strange New Worlds 2016 (Star Trek)Strange New Worlds 2016
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Strange New Worlds was an annual series of anthology novels which offered professional published fan sourced Star Trek stories. The 2016 edition was released to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Star Trek and in this novel we have a collection of stories which not only reflect the original show (well just about) but also the series that follows but to be honest given it's the 50th anniversary of TOS there is not a lot of the original series there. I don't know what the rules were for submission back in 2015 but it seems there was a move away from anything specifically TOS.
My favourites were "A Christmas Qarol" by Gary Piserchio and Frank Tagader , "The Dreamer and the Dream" by Derek Tyler Attico and "The Last Refuge" by Roger McCoy.
The world of Star Trek fan fiction is still very buoyant and the recognition of some quality work outside of the fenced off licensed market was always a good idea. It's gratifying to see creativity acknowledged and opportunities offered, it's kind of a Trek thing:)


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"Dilithium Is a Girl's Best Friend" by Neil Bryant

What did happen to Harry Mudd after his encounters with the Enterprise and more importantly how about the three women who were using the venus drug who may or may not have had relationships with potentially wealthy minors. Years later Harry approaches Eve who now controls a huge and powerful mining concern, he convinces her to join him on one of his dodgy adventures and with stolen classified technology they flee into deep space to rendezvous with, well you'll see.

"A Christmas Qarol" by Gary Piserchio & Frank Tagader

The fight against the Borg has taken a fresh turn as the Federation have made successful attempts at reverting drones back to the original species. Q appears at a scientific presentation and decides to screw around with Picard despite the fact the event also celebrates the life of a young boy named Timothy who has undergone the procedure. The boy still has a long way to go before all the technology is removed and full use of his body returns but there is hope but Q all knowing and all seeing wants to play and notices that it's christmas on Earth, how fitting.
A snap of his fingers would all that be required to send Picard into a reality where he was Scrooge and so let it be.

"The Sunwalkers" by Kelli Fitzpatrick

Dr Crusher is still mourning the loss of her son, Wesley's decision to journey with the Traveler is affecting his mother to the same degree as would his death, unable to really get a grasp Beverley throws herself into her work. On the planet Shar-Mi'la Prime the natives have evolved under a star that really shouldn't be supporting carbon based life but it does thanks in part to the species developing technologies that support state of the art shielding. However many of their young are growing sick and they call for Federation help, faced with the potential deaths of so many children Beverly is forced to face her own loss.

"The Seen and Unseen" by Chris Chaplin

The Remans, slaves of the Empire in all but name and yet one fathered by a Romulan, raised in the mines finds a place amongst the military as a source of amusement, a Reman who hates his own kind and entertains his "betters". Yet deep in his soul Troth knows there is a better path for his people, the words of a Vulcan named Spock has reached even into the depths and maybe there is a path to tread which leads to the light and freedom.

"The Façade of Fate" by Michael Turner

A battle rages with the Jem'Hadar and the Defiant is close to destruction, a blinding light floods space and the crew find themselves on Bajor but not a Bajor they recognise, a galactic peace exists and they don't belong here but where is here and what will become of them now.

"The Manhunt Pool" by Nancy Debretsion

The First Contact Symposium meets on Deep Space Nine to decide the fate of a small society on a world known as Tasadae, there is some question over the status of the natives which will determine if the planet can be opened up for use. Garak and Odo have different reactions as many new faces appear on DS9 and things begin to get even more complicated when one of the attendees is murdered and then a young Bajoran goes missing. Odo investigates but Garak brings all his deviousness and insights into the case which is proving to be far wider than a simple murder on a space station.

"The Dreamer and the Dream" by Derek Tyler Attico

Benny Russell has suffered thanks to his obsession with the worlds within his mind and the society he lives in that already places barriers to what he is allowed to achieve. Years spent in a mental facility has taken their toll and perhaps now the decision to put aside his stories will finally allow him to walk the paths of his city. A brief discussion with his friend the janitor the only man who has continued to read his stories makes him realise how important they can be, if one person can envision a future better than it can be then who is Benny to stop writing. He makes the decision and the world around him erupts into chaos.

"The Last Refuge" by Roger McCoy

Lon Suder is dead, Tuvok who had spent time with the man in an attempt to bring him towards a more balanced psyche laments his failure but while he clears out his cabin a video file is found. Tuvok plays the tape and Lon appears and tells of a time not that long ago when there was the very real threat of a Maquis/Starfleet conflict on board Voyager.

"Life Among the Post-Industrial Barbarians" by John Coffren

Captain Braxton, marooned on Earth in the 20th century, what is he willing to do or to give up when offered the chance to return to his own timeline by none other than himself.

"Upon the Brink of Remembrance" by Kristen McQuinn

Species 3836 (Lynnrali) are protected by a volatile nebula but are masters in advanced warp technology and they are very much desired by the Borg to enhance the collective. Fully aware of the Borg steps have been taken but the Borg enter orbit never the less and the assimilation begins. Seven awakes in her alcove in a cold sweat having dreamt of being assimilated by herself and while her body was violated her last breath was spent pleading for her daughter. It can be no coincidence that the Lynnrali were the last species Seven participated in assimilating before being liberated.

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