Star Trek: Coda, Book 1 – Moments Asunder
It’s the end of the Star Trek Extended Universe as we know it, but luckily it’s not going out the way the Star Wars EU did, just being shoveled into a trash heap and fans told “that stuff never really happened”. Star Trek has a built in safety valve for that sort of thing with how it’s traditionally dealt with alternative realities, going all the way back to the original series’s episode named “Mirror, Mirror” which was released in 1967 during the show’s second season, continued in every single series since then, and was the primary method of getting new actors into the TOS crew seats.
“Moments Asunder” brings in a large number of Next Generation and Department of Temporal Investigation characters, most of whom are going to be familiar to anyone that’s been reading along in the EU adventures that picked up with the end of DS9 and Enterprise, continuing the story of the Federation in the years after Trek officially left television back in 2005, it would have been nice to have a full timeline of all the incredibly cool things that happened since then, with the return of Sisko, the destruction of DS9, the USS Aventine and her new captain, Picard and Beverly getting married and having a child, Riker’s going off on the USS Titan, getting married, then getting promoted to fleet Admiral, the assassination of a Federation President, the continued frustrations of Section 31 running around, the Andorian crisis, all that and many many many other cool things. I didn’t even mention what was going on with Voyager during that time period, mostly because I somehow didn’t read a single one of those books. I want to, but a man only has so much time on his hands!
Because the writers of the TV shows want to justifiably do their own things with the characters they’re responsible for, the EU stuff that contradicts the new shows has to be contextualized somehow, either by just giving up on it Star Wars style, or explaining where it is in the infinite web of diverse and verdant multiverse realities that Trek has always acknowledged are out there doing their own thing. It’s an extremely ambitious goal that they’ve set for themselves, and for the most part, this first book does that it sets out to do, with old and familiar characters popping back into the picture and things moving extremely quickly once they start going. My one complaint about the book would be that with the extremely fast pace of the book, some events are unclear, there was a death of a captain that I swore wasn’t a death but ended up being one on the next page, and there was an unfortunate scene that I think mirrors that scene from Star Wars when Leia ignored Chewy when they got back from destroying Star Killer base, the location where her ex husband was just murdered by her kid. Chewy should have gotten the damn hug, not Rey! Well after you read the book, you’ll know what I’m talking about, it’s the same damn thing. In the sum of things, it’s an exceptionally minor complaint.
If you’ve been reading along for the last 20 years, this is going to do it for you. If you haven’t, read a primer, maybe a timeline or two, then jump right in, it’s fairly accessible, just know that nearly everyone you’re familiar with has 20 years of time on them since you last met them.