Star Trek: Starfleet Year One – Michael Jan Friedman (Pocket Books)

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Star Trek – Starfleet: Year One
Michael Jan Friedman
Pocket Books – 287 pages
published in 2002

startrekbookI picked this novel up at a yard sale for .25 cents. While I am a certified fan boy and enjoy all the major Sci-Fi series (well, okay, maybe not ST: Enterprise, but hey, who did???).  I struggle finding myself enjoying the books based on these series… Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, Star Wars, etc.

While most books are written with love and devotion, unless a writer has created his own characters for the series, nothing very daring or intresting happens. Take Star Trek for example….every novel that features major players is pretty set in stone…finding a new weird race, bump noses, throw in a hint of romance for Kirk/Picard/Janeway, kill a few red shirts and blame the Romulans for everything.  On the surface, it seems exciting but honestly? Not so much.

When a writer gets the blessing from the House of Lucas or Roddenberry to create some new characters, fresh plots and some leeway to take said universe to a different level…then reading a series based novel can be fun.

Like this novel about the very early days of Starfleet set in the Star Trek universe. Friedman has created a totally fresh outlook without any of the series original characters (except for a cameo from T’pau) in telling how Starfleet became what it is today.

The plot concerns which way will Starfleet be run, as a solely military arm or as a peaceful exploration first command. The fleet has a new class of starship, the DAEDALUS heavy cruiser, the biggest ship yet built by Earth.  Six captains are chosen to compete for command, 3 military types, one alien, one loner and one science first captain all are vying for the captain’s chair. But in competing, they must somehow band together to defend a Earth colony under attack.

The characters in this first novel are a little thin as far as background stories go but hold promise in that Friedman will develop them further.

The story is decent and has the feel of a middle of the road Star Trek episode, nothing cutting edge and minimal violence.

If you enjoy the Star Trek series and want to know how Starfleet was created, then I would recommend picking this up.

I would suggest looking at eBay or a good used book store w/a large sci-fi/fantasy selection to find this novel.

(written by Michael Sullivan)