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Thursday, 26 March 2020

The Almighty Star Trek Lit-verse Reading Order Flow Chart 2020 update

Times are changing in the Star Trek universe, and it rather feels like the world of Star Trek tie-in fiction as we've known it for the last two decades is drawing to a close, while new opportunities open up in the space created by a very different new 24th century canon continuity introduced in Picard. But, twenty years of Star Trek novels woven together into one of the most rich and complex mega-book series ever written don't just disappear, and sometimes you might need a little help finding your way through the world of those books. Which is why The Almighty Star Trek Lit-verse Reading Order Flow Chart should still be a useful tool; and as it's been three years since the last update, it just got a whole lot more useful!

For the uninitiated: After DS9 ended as a TV series, the books began to push the story forward in a way Star Trek tie-in fiction never had before. While most older novels have existed as standalones, now each book built upon ongoing story arcs. As the TNG movies, Voyager, and Enterprise all came to an end too, the books picked up those threads as well. The authors coordinated their efforts, and over the years a vast interconnected and internally-consistent world has been created, moving far beyond the status quo of each series finale, and not just continuing the TV series, but introducing new heros and settings, such as the starships Titan and Aventine under captains Riker and Dax, Voyager's return to the Delta Quadrant via slipstream drive to continue exploring strange new worlds, the formative years of the Federation in the Enterprise novels, and a whole new Star Trek saga in the 23rd century in the Vanguard series. These series have overlapped and interwoven, and from time to time come together in massive crossover events, most notably the Borg invasion seen in the Destiny trilogy.

With so many series and sets of characters overlapping in a vast continuity, sometimes it got as little tricky to figure out where to go next when you're reading. Thankfully an ingenious person, Thrawn, had the solution, and created the first version of the flowchart, which back then basically told us what threaded in and out of Destiny. Things have got a whole lot more complicated since then, but hopefully the chart still makes it a bit easier to find your way around.

We've recently been busy working on the latest iteration, which brings it up to date with all the latest releases, plus a few other fun additions. Star Trek novels haven't been produced at quite the same rate then once were over the last few years, so there were just a few new books to add onto the long runs of each series. Some of those books have dived deep into the continuity of the Star Trek lit-verse though, drawing together threads from across the book series, and thus, across the chart. We've also made some extra new additions, expanding on The Lost Era books a little, adding in a chunk of interconnected TOS books, and my favourite new section, linking up the the surprisingly extensive collection of books that explore the Star Trek universe of the 20th and 21st century.

As Picard and other coming series seem to be pushing the lit-verse as we know it into an alternate timeline, it seems likely this could be the last major update for the chart. Don't lament that too much though, as we now have a whole new timeline of future tie-ins to come. Meanwhile, we can still enjoy the rich tapestry that is one of the greatest ongoing interconnected book series ever created!

To check out the updated chart, head to the chart's dedicated page, which you can always find linked from the navigation bar at the top of this site.

Thanks as always to Thrawn for creating the chart in the first place, and working with me over the years to expand and refine it.



4 comments:

Aaron said...

Thanks so much for keeping this updated. This is what got me started on my lit-verse journey about five years ago. I've only read about 1/5 of the books on my "list" but I've been slowly making my way through them. I just added about 10 more (mostly TOS books) after reviewing your update. Again, thanks.

Fox said...

FWIW one of the writers... I forget who... did a Q&A on his blog a few weeks (months?) back and was asked about the state of the LitVerse. He indicated there were plans to do something, and that it wasn't over yet... but we'll see.

8of5 said...

Aaron, super cool this helped you find some more books! Fox, I think it was David Mack or Dayton Ward, in very vague terms.

Cybersnark said...

Star Trek Online appears to be continuing, despite it also being irreconcilable with the "official" timeline moving forward. As does the Kelvin timeline (via upcoming novels), despite no new movies on the horizon.

It'd kinda suck for TrekLit's timeline to be the only casualty.