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Alvaro Zinos-Amaro

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Reread — Ferenginar: Satisfaction Is Not Guaranteed

Worlds of Deep Space Nine #3
Ferenginar: Satisfaction Is Not Guaranteed

Keith R. A. DeCandido
Publication Date: February 2005
Timeline: November 2376, seven weeks after Unity

Progress: Quark’s Bar—excuse me, Embassy—is feeling the repercussions of recent Ferengi economic reforms, like income tax, championed by Quark’s brother, Grand Nagus Rom. A Ferengi named Chek, the head of Chek Pharmaceuticals, books Quark’s embassy (“the last outpost of true Ferengi values”) for a private meeting of ten notable businessmen, which Quark attends. Chek makes the case that, as a result of Rom’s reign, Ferenginar is heading towards both a financial and a moral crisis, and that the only way to stop the decline is to oust Rom from power.

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Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Reread — Bajor: Fragments and Omens

Worlds of Deep Space Nine Volume Two
Bajor: Fragments and Omens
J. Noah Kym
Publication Date: February 2005
Timeline: Three weeks after Unity; also October 2376

Progress: The core Sisko family—Kasidy, Sisko, Jake, and newborn “avatar” Rebecca—begin to find their groove on Bajor, but Jake feels like this isn’t the place he belongs. “Where would I go?” he asks. “Back to Earth to see Grandpa? He was just here and, frankly, I don’t feel like cleaning oysters. Back to the station? I’m not sure I have a life there, either.” So he sets off on an exploration of Bajor, and his travels bring him together with Azeni Korena, who goes by “Rena,” a young Bajoran artist on her way home to fulfill family obligations.

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Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Reread — Trill: Unjoined

Worlds of Deep Space Nine, Volume Two
Trill: Unjoined
Andy Mangels & Michael A. Martin
Publication Date: February 2005
Timeline: October 2376

Progress: This story takes place a week after Unity, but the novel itself begins a week into the story’s timeline, and it does so with a gripping set piece: Doctor Bashir is on Trill, tending to Trills wounded by some kind of “bioelectric attacks,” bombs that set off symbiont-harming radiation in addition to electromagnetic pulses. While providing this emergency relief, Bashir worries about Ezri Dax, who is at the Mak’al caves on an unspecified mission. Then we jump back a week to the events leading up to this scene.

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Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Reread — Andor: Paradigm

Worlds of Deep Space Nine Volume One
Andor: Paradigm
Heather Jarman
Publication Date: June 2004
Timeline: November 2376

Progress: Jarman’s novel takes up the Shar storyline, picking up about four weeks after Unity. Shar’s zhavey Charivretha asks him to come to Andor and provide assistance with a delicate political situation, which involves Thriss’s mother, Thantis, dialing up the temperature of her party’s political antagonism to Vretha’s. Meanwhile, Lieutenant Commander Matthias is looking to attend Thriss’s funeral on Andor, so the group decides to make the trip together. Once there, instabilities due to both storms and political riots essentially force the three of them to continue their journey as a group, rather than Shar and Prynn breaking off on their own (though they do get hold of a shuttle for a bit). Matthias comes into possession of an Andorian drug known as saf, which is eventually used to drug Vretha and kidnap her.

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Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Reread — Cardassia: The Lotus Flower

Worlds of Deep Space Nine Volume One
Cardassia: The Lotus Flower
Una McCormack
Publication Date: June 2004
Timeline: December 2376

Unity represents a natural breaking point in the DS9 relaunch novels. Forthcoming stories in this series spin off in different directions, featuring increasingly new and diverse characters on various worlds. As a result, we’re doing away with the review sections used in the prior entries of this reread and transitioning to a looser model going forward. I’ll provide a brief plot synopsis, jump right in to my overall thoughts, single out a few memorable character beats or lines at the end, and conclude with an “orb factor” rating.

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Star Trek: Picard: The Last Best Hope Fills in Some Key Gaps in the Story So Far…

Una McCormack’s The Last Best Hope, the first novel directly related to, and in explicit continuity with, the first season of Star Trek: Picard, fills in some of the gaps between Star Trek: Nemesis and the current series. It also acts as both prequel and sequel to the Picard: Countdown comic book miniseries, itself a prequel to Picard. The novel was published in between episodes 3 and 4 (“The End is the Beginning” and “Absolute Candor” respectively) of the new show, and as such, assuming you read it in the relevant two-day window, as I did, it contained some mild spoilers for the fourth episode’s setup.

More interestingly, the book furnishes us with significant detail around Picard’s spearheading of the Romulan evacuation, from its inception and early successes to its final tragic dismantlement, and it also dramatizes a few key scenes that have been alluded to, but not explicitly shown, in the series.

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Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Reread — Unity

Unity
S. D. Perry
Publication Date: November 2003
Timeline: September 2376, immediately following the end of Mission Gamma, Book Four and Rising Son

Progress: A tired Vaughn and crew travel through the wormhole and bring the Defiant back to DS9, while Jake catches Nog up on the events of Rising Son. When the Defiant emerges from the wormhole, they find a small fleet of Cardassian vessels blocking their path and communications. Gul Macet demands that Vaughn surrender the Defiant to him, but Vaughn comes up with a different plan.

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Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Reread — The Left Hand of Destiny, Book Two

The Left Hand of Destiny, Book Two
J.G. Hertzler and Jeffrey Lang
Publication Date: May 2003
Timeline: Immediately following The Left Hand of Destiny, Book One, in 2375

Progress: At some point in the future, Ezri finds herself on the Rotarran, still donning an EVA suit after a space walk. The ship has lost artificial gravity and is suffering from a major coolant leak in the wake of an attack. Worf and Alexander are there too. An ancient Trill rune-verse plays over and over in her mind as the Rotarran begins to plummet towards the icy surface of the planet Boreth (which, at the time this novel was published, we’d last seen here, but have since glimpsed again here).

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Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Reread — The Left Hand of Destiny, Book One

The Left Hand of Destiny, Book One
J.G. Hertzler and Jeffrey Lang
Publication Date: April 2003
Timeline: Days after “What You Leave Behind”, in 2375

Progress: As was pointed out in the comments section of my review of Gateways #4: Demons of Air and Darkness, Worf essentially gets absorbed into the TNG book series post Ds9-finale—with a couple of exceptions. This duology is the major one of those exceptions.

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Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Reread — Rising Son

Rising Son
S.D. Perry
Publication Date: January 2003
Timeline: April-August 2376; the Epilogue of this book syncs up with the Epilogue of Mission Gamma, Book Four: Lesser Evil

Progress: A Gamma Quadrant Tosk (the species we met in “Captive Pursuit”) discovers a mysterious “crystalline chunk of matter the size of a fist, of a luminous tint that seemed to shift between orange and red.” Touching it transports him elsewhere for an instant, and this experience instills in the Tosk a desire to find “something that was not the Hunt.”

Jake records a log on the shuttle Venture, recapping his decision (prompted by Bajoran prophecy) to enter the wormhole in search of his father. Unfortunately, he’s come up empty. Systems failing, Jake believes the end is near, and then thinks he hears the voice of the Emissary telling him that everything is going to be all right.

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Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Reread — The Lives of Dax

The Lives of Dax
Edited by Marco Palmieri; featuring stories by Garfield Reeves-Stevens and Judith Reeves-Stevens, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Jeffrey Lang, Michael Jan Friedman, Jeffrey Lang, S. D. Perry, Susan Wright, Robert Simpson, Steven Barnes, and Julia Ecklar [as L. A. Graf]
Publication Date: December 1999
Timeline: 2075 – 2375

In Memoriam: Back in my review of Gateways #4: Demons of Air and Darkness, I dedicated this reread series to Aron Eisenberg’s memory. It saddens me to hereby note the recent loss of two other major Trek figures: D. C. Fontana and René Auberjonois. Requiescat in pace.

“Dax is a living anthology—a collection of stories,” writes editor Marco Palmieri in the introduction to this book, which serves as an exploration of Dax’s intricate tapestry.

Because of this book’s structure, and unique concept, in which the Dax symbiont serves as our unifying narrative element, we’re going to change our format review and talk about each story in the order in which it appears. And then, as usual, some closing thoughts.

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Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Reread — Mission Gamma, Book Four: Lesser Evil

Mission Gamma, Book Four: Lesser Evil
Robert Simpson
Publication Date: November 2002
Timeline: August 2376, following Mission Gamma, Book Three: Cathedral; plus various flashbacks (2347, 2349, 2355, 2369)

Progress: Judith—Joseph Sisko’s daughter by his second wife Rebecca, and therefore Benjamin Sisko’s half-sister (referred to as his sister in the episodes “Past Tense, Part I” and “Homefront”, before the revelation that a wormhole alien worked through Joseph Sisko’s first wife, Sarah, to conceive the Emissary)—is worried about her father’s condition. Joseph has been spending a lot of time alone in his room and Judith feels like she can’t get through to him. She shares her concerns with Kasidy Yates, who suggests someone else who may have more luck engaging with Joseph… Enter the O’Brien family!

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Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Reread — Mission Gamma, Book Three: Cathedral

Mission Gamma, Book Three: Cathedral
Written by Michael A. Martin and Andy Mangels
Publication Date: October 2002
Timeline: July 2376; following Mission Gamma, Book Two: This Gray Spirit

Progress: Ro and Sergeant Shul visit Shar’s quarters, where Thriss committed suicide. They gain zh’Thane’s consent to examine the scene in case it was murder rather than suicide, but they find no evidence of foul play.

Shar passes up the shuttle Sagan’s latest expedition, and mourns the loss of Thriss in his quarters aboard the Defiant instead, feeling like he may be overtaken by the same depression that led her to end her life. The Defiant then encounters an alien vessel pursuing another smaller ship, which has taken heavy damage. The crew appears to be an insectoid race. Universal translators fail to decipher their language, and after a brief exchange of fire, the Defiant drives the pursuer away and attempts to help their prey’s injured crew. Communication with the Sagan is lost.

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Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Reread — Mission Gamma, Book Two: This Gray Spirit

Mission Gamma, Book Two: This Gray Spirit
Written by Heather Jarman
Publication Date: September 2002
Timeline: July 2376; following Mission Gamma, Book One: Twilight

Progress: Continuing its mission of exploration, the Defiant inadvertently activates a subspace “snare” that releases a swarm of nanobots into the ship and damages all energy systems. Immediately after, an alien vessel positions itself near the ship and attempts to communicate with the Defiant, but the universal translators are initially unable to decode the messages. An alien away team beams into the Defiant’s engineering section. Fearing hostile intent, since they appear to be attempting to interfere with the warp core, Nog phasers one of the intruders. After the universal translators finally kick in, the crew learns that these aliens, the Yrythny, were trying to help. As the Yrythny “technologist” Tlaral explains, they have been subject to many such attacks by the Magiesterial Cheka Kingdom. The Cheka wish to exploit the Yrythny’s unique genetic provenance: in the distant past the ancient Others created a “Turn Key” in the Yrythny’s genome, accelerating their evolution. Vaughn accepts an offer of help from Tlaral that will take the Defiant to Vanìmel, the Yrythny homeworld.

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Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Reread — Mission Gamma, Book One: Twilight

Mission Gamma, Book One: Twilight
Written by David R. George III
Publication Date: September 2002
Timeline: May—July 2376; following Gateways #4: Demons of Air and Darkness and “Horn and Ivory”

Progress: As best I can determine, at just over five hundred pages of small print, this is the second longest Star Trek novel ever published. It’s comprised of seventy-two chapters divided into four main sections.

Deep breath.

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