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#086: The Rift (TOS #57)

This week, a jaunt to the Gamma Quadrant leads to love for Pike!Enterprise’s goofiest-looking crewman, but the premature closure of the gate that brought them there forces them to leave before she can engage his hyperdrive. Several years later, when the Enterprise returns for a hopefully rosier second outing, she dares to quit before her people can fire her, to which they respond by holding the Federation’s contact team hostage. Will Kirk figure out how to extract his people before the gap closes for another three decades? Will Jose Tyler finally get the sweet, sweet Gamma Quadrant strange he was denied all those years ago? Is it shorter to list the things that don’t offend a Tellarite? All this and more in The Rift, a romance 33.4 years in the making.

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#085: Q-in-Law (TNG #18)

This week, it’s much ado about nothing aboard the Enterprise when our regularly scheduled Star Trek: The Next Generation gets preempted by an episode of My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding. But when Q arrives to observe the phenomenon of human love, he attracts the attention of Lwaxana Troi, and despite the better judgment of literally everyone else, she begins to fall for him. Soon enough, frustration gives way to chaos as a tiff between the young betrothed couple escalates into an all-out blood feud. Will we ever get to see what Guinan can do to Q? Which Star Trek novel has the strongest “dialogue you can hear in your head” factor? Exactly who was clamoring for a “Wesley Crusher gets a sex slave” subplot? All this and more in Q-in-Law, or, The Taming of the Q.

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#081: Vendetta (TNG event novel)

This week, an old gun destroyed by Kirk’s Enterprise turns out to have been meant for the Borg. But a new model is rolling off the lot, and its pilot will let Starfleet have it when they can pry it from her cold, dead hands. Meanwhile, a rescue team reclaims a lady Borg, and for once, Geordi’s interest in a woman comes across as sympathetic rather than creepy. How is Guinan involved? What’s Pulaski up to these days? What does an assimilated Ferengi look (and sound) like? All this and more in Vendetta, the event novel that dares the reader to wonder: maybe some of the species the Borg annihilate deserve it?

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#071: Doomsday World (TNG #12)

This week, four authors of varying notoriety in Trekdom join forces to deliver a book that any given one of them honestly probably could have written just fine on their own. Geordi, Worf, and Data get dropped off on Kirlos to assist a former teacher of Geordi’s in an archaeological dig, but when their presence in the vicinity of two explosions makes everyone think they’re terrorists, the make-out plans Geordi barely knew he had go on indefinite hold. While the gold-tunic’d trio work to clear their names and prevent war, Picard mounts a rescue effort for another planet under attack and gets a shocking amount of guff for playing a hunch. Who wrote which parts? Are four heads better than one? Should you go through with ideas you have at parties? What’s going on underneath Kirlos? And how would you seduce Data? It’s the book that didn’t have enough in the budget for Tellarites.

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#065: A Rock and a Hard Place (TNG #10)

This week, Riker takes a temporary transfer to troubled terraforming territory. His seemingly unhinged replacement wants you to know how he got these scars, but he’s not much of a joker. While Troi tries to figure out the new guy’s whole deal, Riker ventures where the Wild Things are when some old friends of his go missing in the boonies. Has Galaxy-class life made Riker soft? Will anyone ever appreciate the chuS’ugh? Whose idea was it to let O’Brien into the poker game? It’s the book that somehow passed the psychological exams.

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