Category: The Star Trek Project

One Trek Mind: 10 Least Threatening Star Trek Villains

“When Captain Kirk declared “risk is our business” in the season-two TOS episode “Return to Tomorrow” yes, he was discussing the nobler aspects of human potential. But he was also talking about big, nasty, oftentimes hairy space creatures that could turn your internal organs into chunky tomato soup with a glance. The strange, new worlds of Star Trek have some of the best villains in science fiction, but with all that infinite diversity in infinite combinations come a few that no amount of disbelief suspension can make scary. Here, then, are the 10 Least Threatening Star Trek Villains.”
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Star Trek: Vanguard: Open Secrets

I won’t lie and call this a masterpiece, but it is an extremely enjoyable and brisk read continuing the fun fun fun that is the Vanguard series.
The noble T’Prynn: forever locked in a Katra battle with the devious Stel from a koon-ut-kal-if-fee gone wrong!
The righteous Diego Reyes: on trial for a crime he’s defiantly proud to admit he committed.
The calculating Chel, Ambassador Jetanien, slurping fetid soup and trying to negotiate back channel deals between the Federation, the Klingons, the Tholians and. . .who else?
The enthusiastic Ming Xiong, a young scientist and researcher put in harm’s way to discover the truth behind the mysterious Taurus Reach Genome.
And, etc etc.
It’s a lot of fun, if you can’t tell. Reading Trek fiction with your pals Kirk & Spock (or Picard or whomever) always feels like a little bit of a put-on. The expanded universe stories do it for me. I’ve already got Book 5 in the series. . .but may not jump in right away.

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: A Stitch in Time

I’m not going to read the “Season Eight” Deep Space Nine expansion novels. At least not this year. I can say, however, that this one (which is, unofficially, the first of two books in that continuing series) is quite good. Really.
I mean, think about it – what DS9 did best was present rich, full, fascinating characters, and Elim Garak was one of the best ones. So much of what made him interesting was his mysterious past and now it’s time to learn the whole story.
Yes, friends, its the Garak’s full backstory – everything you ever wanted to know about your favorite Cardassian tailor/intelligence operative. His childhood, schooling, early years with Obsidian Order and his eventual banishment to Terok Nor is all here – in surprisingly readable prose from . . .Andrew Robinson? The actor who played him? Hey, why not.
The framing device is a letter composed to Dr. Bashir from Cardassia Prime just after the end of the Dominion War, so if this was meant as a gateway drug to Season Eight, well, it just might have worked.

Star Trek: Infestation

First, how awesome is that cover?
This dopey 2-issue arc is part of IDW’s greater crossover series involving most of their licensed brands (GI Joe, Ghostbusters, Transformers.) I’m ignoring the rest of it because it a) reeks of boardroom nonsense that, at the very least, is disrespectful to the mythologies of these universes, and b) because zombies are so fucking played out that even joking about how played out they are is a joke.
But a Trek comic must be read if I’m to keep my blood pressure down, and this has a few good yuks. It is set in the movie timeline, so expect to see Spock call Kirk “Admiral” and expect to see those dopey helmets on the security staff. Also: I can not tell a lie. I really liked the dopey sentient computer/robot who looked like a washing machine that could smile. Wouldn’t mind seeing him again some day.

Star Trek: SCE #64 (What’s Past Book Four) – Distant Early Warning by Dayton Ward and Kevin Dilmore

The purchase of my new Amazon Kindle inspired me to sink my teeth into my first official e-book.
While this and many other SCE (Starfleet Corps of Engineers) titles have been released in omnibus editions, I zeroed in on this one for two reasons. It is a prequel of sorts to the Star Trek: Vanguard series, of which I have read the first three of (currently) five, and it is named for a Rush song.
If this is any indication of what the SCE books are like, they are zippy problem-solving tales of the biggest nerds in a nerdy Universe. (It’s no surprise these characters would be the ones for early adapters of e-books.) The ship, the Lovell, is like a flying IT department and it is pretty awesome.
Anyhow, not too much of what the Vanguard is actually like carries over from this short tale, so I would hardly call it essential. I will call it fun, however, and I read 85% of it on a flight from Dallas to Austin. . . which ain’t that long.



Jordan Hoffman is a New York-based writer and film critic working for The Guardian, Vanity Fair, Thrillist, Times of Israel, NY Daily News and elsewhere.

He is the host of ENGAGE: The Official Star Trek Podcast, a member of the New York Film Critics Circle and challenges you to a game of backgammon.