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Star Trek: Strange New Worlds VII [Paperback]

Dean Wesley Smith , John J. Ordover , Paula M. Block , Elisa J. Kassin
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

June 29 2004 Star Trek (Book 7)
Our seventh anthology features original Star Trek®, Star Trek: The Next Generation®, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine®, Star Trek: Voyager®, and Star Trek: Enterprise™ stories written by Star Trek fans, for Star Trek fans!
Featuring new stories by new writers and a few contest veterans, Strange New Worlds VII spans the entire Star Trek universe from the original days of Captain Kirk and throughout the tenures of Captains Picard, Sisko, and Janeway and back in time again to Archer. Each of these unforgettable stories explores the past and future of Star Trek from many different perspectives.
This year's contributors include Kevin Lauderdale, Kevin Killiany, Christian Grainger, Paul J. Kaplan, Muri McCage, Pat Detmer, Gerri Leen, Julie Hyzy, Kelly Cairo, John Coffren, Scott Pearson, Jeff D. Jacques, Jim Johnson, Anne E. Clements, Russ Crossley, Susan S. McCrackin, Catherine E. Pike, G. Wood, Annie Reed, Louisa M. Swann, Brett Hudgins, Amy Sisson, and Frederick Kim.

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About the Author

Dean Wesley Smith is the author of over 30 Star Trek novels either solo or written jointly with Kristine Kathryn Rusch. He has edited all six volumes of the Star Trek STRANGE NEW WORLDS short story anthologies and lives in Eugene, Oregon.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Introduction

Dean Wesley Smith

Every year for the past seven years I have looked forward to October and reading Star Trek® short stories by the very talented, very smart fans of the shows. I have often said that as a Star Trek fan, I have the best job in the world, and the hardest. And again this year, that proved to be true. I had to pick just twenty-three stories out of the boxes and boxes of wonderful stories that poured into the contest. The wonderful part was reading them all, the hard part was picking just twenty-three.

But now this book of stories is in your hands, and I need help from all you Star Trek fans out there. I need you to write one or two or three or more Star Trek short stories, following the rules in the back of this book, and send them in by October 1, 2004. Why am I putting out a call for even more stories than I normally get? Simple. Many of the fans who have been sending me stories and trying to get into this contest for the last six or seven years have sold too many stories. This contest, by its rules, has a limit of only three professionally published short stories by the deadline of the contest. That's why you might see the same name two or three years running, or scattered over the years, and then that author is disqualified from sending in any more. As you might have noticed, many of them are still writing Star Trek, only over in the novels. Authors like Ilsa Bick, Dayton Ward, Christina York, and others. They started here and then eliminated themselves with too many sales, leaving room for new writers to join the fun.

On a few Star Trek boards in different locations, people have pointed out to me this year that a very large number of the writers I have bought once or twice can no longer be in the book again. And this includes this year's Grand Prize winner, Julie Hyzy, who has been sending in stories regularly for five or six years now. She and many others have "graduated," as they say on the boards.

And as an editor, that scares me, which is why I need all of your help. Come on, haven't you been watching an episode, seen a detail, and thought, "Wow, that would make a wonderful story?" Well, I need you to write that story this next year and send it in. I give every story the exact same chance at being in the book, and if you write a great story, it will make it in.

What kind of stories am I looking for? My best suggestion on that question, which I get a lot, is to read this volume, and then go find copies of the previous volumes of this anthology. Not only will you have a wonderful reading experience, but by the time you are done reading all seven of the books, you will have a very good sense of the stories that have made it into Strange New Worlds over the years.

So pass the word. Tell other Star Trek fans that the cutting edge of the Star Trek world is right here, in the short stories in these volumes, stories written by fans like you. Tell your friends, tell the other members of your starship crews, maybe challenge other writers in your writers' group, then sit down and write a story or two and send them in. You'll discover that the writing is a lot of fun, and if one of your stories makes it into the book, you'll have added to the Star Trek universe and be a Star Trek author. And trust me, the only thing more fun than reading Star Trek is being a Star Trek author.

This is your chance. Enjoy the reading, then get to the writing.

Copyright © 2004 by Paramount Pictures

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4.0 out of 5 stars Star Trek: Strange New Worlds VII July 14 2004
Format:Paperback
Star Trek: Strange New Worlds VII edited by Dean Wesley Smith, with John J. Ordover, Elisa J. Kassin, and Paula M. Block is the seventh edition in the Strange New Worlds series. This collection of short stories is from the readers of Trek submitting their works for review. What makes this book interesting is that you get to read some of the early works of some very promissing writers along with some seasoned submitters of previous editions.
Getting to read about what the readers think should be going on in the Trek universe is intriguing. There are seven submissions in the Star Trek Original Series, six submissions in the Star Trek: The Next Generation... included are the Grand Prize and the Third Place writing of the contest. There are two submissions in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine section, while the Star Trek: Voyager section has four submissions. The Star Trek: Enterprise has one submission and the is a new category called Speculations with three submissions and includes the Second Place prize.
There are some very inventive and interesting stories in this years crop of stories and I truly enjoyed them I hope you get a chance to pick up a copy for your library and you can later compare some of these stories to later ones written by some very promissing authors later in time as these writer compete for a writing contract with pocket books for future stories.
The three prize winners and the ones that I liked the best are:
"Life's Work" (Grand Prize) by Julie A. Hyzy
"Guardians" (Second Prize) by Brett Hudgins
"Adventures in Jazz and Time" (Third Prize) by Kelly Cairo
There are other stories in this book that could have been winners of a prize as they were that good, but alas, there could only be three winners.
Read more ›
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4.0 out of 5 stars Ho-hum...good but not great... June 25 2004
Format:Paperback
...it might have been a bad omen that the release date was 01 June but SNW7 was not available until late June. The story ideas had promise (the repercussions of cadet Kirk's "solution" to the Kobayshi Maru, tribble thinking, Kirk & McCoy dealing w/post-traumatic shock after Rura Pente, Juliana leaving Noonien Soong, the first meeting btwn Keiko & Chief O'Brien) but the endings left me wanting. It wasn't til the final section (Speculations) that my favorite stories appeared: the Horta guarding the Guardian of Forever, Dax gets an assist from an old friend, and how the Borg came to be. A good read but not as good as SNW5 or 6...
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Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars  9 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fan fiction is coming up in the world... Jan. 6 2005
By David Roy - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
In this seventh edition of the Strange New Worlds anthology series, we once again have the winners of the writing contest Pocket Books does every year for Star Trek stories. Will some of these writers go on to become part of the stable of Trek writers for the ongoing series? Perhaps, though I don't know if any of the stories in here justify that completely. Still, there are definitely some good stories in here, well worth checking out.

The stories are divided by the television series they are attached to, with another section called "Speculations." These are stories that are too broad to be tied to just one of the series. Perhaps it's something that spans almost all the shows. Or maybe they bring together elements from more than one series. The other two stories in this section of Strange New Worlds VII don't really fit this concept, however, as one deals with a Dax, from Deep Space Nine (though it is a future Dax) and one deals with Picard and the history of the Borg. Still, the stories are a bit broader than just "another adventure with the crew of the Enterprise," so maybe that's why.

The grand prize winner was the Next Generation story, "Life's Work," by Julie A. Hyzy. This is the story of Data's creator, Noonian Soong, and the time when his wife finally left him because he was too wrapped up in his work. He was working on a final emotion chip that he would be able to put in Data when a crisis in his marriage happens. His wife, Juliana, has determined to leave him because he's more married to her work rather than to her. The weird thing is (as established in one of the Next Generation episodes), Julianna is actually an android that Noonian fashioned after his real wife died, because he couldn't bear to be without her. He made her a perfect copy of his wife, so much so that she doesn't even realize she's an android. He's understandably shocked when she tells him she's leaving, and it's a testament to his craftsmanship that he created her so perfectly that she has enough emotions to actually leave him. Hyzy captures the characters perfectly, especially during a poignant scene where Noonian has deactivated her to examine what's happening, and carries on the conversation with her that he knows he would have if she were currently activated. It's a touching story, compelling despite the fact that it doesn't have any of the regular Trek characters in it. Definitely worthy of the grand prize.

The second prize entry is "Guardians," by Brett Hudgins, one of the "Speculations" stories. This story travels a *long* way into the future. It's about the Horta and how they've interacted with the Federation throughout the 50,000 year lifetime of the mother Horta. Eventually, humans leave the Horta home planet of Janus VI, and leave them alone (though the former head of the mining colony there does make regular visits to his new Horta friends). However, when a scientific station on the planet containing the Guardian of Forever (an ancient time portal discovered by Kirk & the Enterprise) is wiped out, an ancestor of the original mining colony head remembers the Horta and thinks that they would make great protectors of the guardian. The rest of the story is various vignettes through almost 50,000 years, as various races come to the Guardian planet. Some to try and conquer it (like the Borg) and some to just look at the past (like a certain founder who is remembering his past Bajoran lover many, many years in the future). At times, this story seems to gloss over events a little too quickly, but all of the vignettes are good in their own way. Some are just little snippets (such as a couple of visits by Q, complaining about how humanity is suddenly becoming equal to the Q as they move on to the next level) and others are a bit more detailed. I did have a little trouble with some of the future history (the Federation is still around, virtually unchanged politically and socially, thousands of years in the future, though they have obviously improved technologically), but overall, the story was quite good.

Finally, the third prize winner is "Adventures in Jazz & Time," by Kelly Cairo. This is the story of a gift that Wesley (still a futuristic Traveller, and disguised as a Federation professor) decides that he wants to give something back to one of his role models, Commander Riker. He gives him a truly interactive jazz holoprogram containing the jazz great Stan Kenton. Even better for Riker, Kenton asks him to sit in with him and is willing to give him some lessons. This is a dream come true for Riker, who has idolized Kenton for a long time. Cairo captures Riker's love of jazz wonderfully, and the story, while pretty short, covers all the bases. Wesley leads Riker to the program and then dutifully bows out of the picture. While I don't know anything about Kenton, she manages to capture the feel of a jazz great as well. There's no conflict in this story. Just a young man wanting to do something nice for one of his mentors, and the love of jazz. Just poetic.

The rest of the stories in the volume are hit or miss. Some have some glaring errors (one has Seven of Nine, from Voyager, speaking with a lot of exclamation points, something the rather monotone Borg woman wouldn't do). Others are decent but don't carry that spark that carries them over the top. Still, it's an interesting read, and a number of the current Trek authors got their starts in Strange New Worlds collections, so it may be something to pay attention to if only for that. It's worth a looksee.

David Roy
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Star Trek: Strange New Worlds VII July 14 2004
By Joe Zika - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Star Trek: Strange New Worlds VII edited by Dean Wesley Smith, with John J. Ordover, Elisa J. Kassin, and Paula M. Block is the seventh edition in the Strange New Worlds series. This collection of short stories is from the readers of Trek submitting their works for review. What makes this book interesting is that you get to read some of the early works of some very promissing writers along with some seasoned submitters of previous editions.

Getting to read about what the readers think should be going on in the Trek universe is intriguing. There are seven submissions in the Star Trek Original Series, six submissions in the Star Trek: The Next Generation... included are the Grand Prize and the Third Place writing of the contest. There are two submissions in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine section, while the Star Trek: Voyager section has four submissions. The Star Trek: Enterprise has one submission and the is a new category called Speculations with three submissions and includes the Second Place prize.

There are some very inventive and interesting stories in this years crop of stories and I truly enjoyed them I hope you get a chance to pick up a copy for your library and you can later compare some of these stories to later ones written by some very promissing authors later in time as these writers compete for a writing contract with pocket books for future stories.

The three prize winners and the ones that I liked the best are:
"Life's Work" (Grand Prize) by Julie A. Hyzy
"Guardians" (Second Prize) by Brett Hudgins
"Adventures in Jazz and Time" (Third Prize) by Kelly Cairo

There are other stories in this book that could have been winners of a prize as they were that good, but alas, there could only be three winners.

If you like some off the common road short stories than this is your book as you can read a short story from this anthology before bed to get a quick fix of Trek. Enjoy these stories as I did and you can follow the progress of these writers in the future.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Seven is a 10 Aug. 12 2004
By B. Everett - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Every year I count the days to the release of Strange New World. Each year I delve into the collection hoping to be capture by the amateur tails woven together by the wonderful editor Dean Wesley Smith. Each year I miss a night of sleep as I struggle to put it down. This year was no different.

The grand prize winner this year was `Life's Work' is a wonderful tail of the final android that we know Dr. Soong created. Last year I questioned the grand prize winner but this year I am in full agreement. This creation was not the most original but was the best written summation this year.

One story I personally enjoyed was `Full Circle.' It was a great return to the Captain of the Enterprise-B during the mission the Federation lost Kirk. Now he is involved in the mission that returned Kirk to save the Veridian people.

This collection is one of the best in the last few years. My personal enjoyment in the group of stories is the ability for these fans to be great story tellers and select the smallest hook from the episodes to stretch out of.

Pick up this collection and loose some sleep.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent idea and suprisingly good reading. Aug. 4 2004
By T. J. Doss - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The Strange New Worlds series is an outstanding idea - giving amateur/aspiring authors the opportunity to submit their own Star Trek short stories for consideration and inclusion in the book and to compete for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place prizes. I was impressed by the quality of the work. It is not surprising that several of these prospective authors have gone on to become professionals.

Volume VII continues the tradition of excellence. My favorite was the Second Place Winning entry "Guardians."
4.0 out of 5 stars A Feast Of Star Trek Fandom May 31 2007
By K. Parmalee - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
May I open myself to you (cue Hubble Telescope joke...)? I'm readying myself for the Strange New Worlds 11 call for contributors by reading the previous anthologies in reverse order. My writing already suffers from enough handicaps without the embarrassment of duplicating a previously-published story. And again, I find myself pleased with the quality of storytelling and a bit depressed with finding some stories I wish I'd written.

My two faves -

"Barclay Program Nine" - a reminder of probably the funniest Star Trek episode ("Hollow Pursuits") of all time. ("The Trouble With Tribbles" doesn't count...)

"Forgotten Light" - one wonders how the Borg have managed to escape assimilation by the novel publishing collective for so long. Tales of the precursor race might make a viable product. But one can imagine the obstacles inherent in such an adventure - opinions on the Borg are as common as red diode lasers at a sci-fi convention, yet fan rejection would probably not pose the greatest problem. The big question remains -- Who would (or more importantly could) write a Borg-centric series?

I remember reading C.S. Lewis describe his agony while writing through his famous Screwtape persona - and Screwtape at least kept his sense of humor. To become humorless, relentless, and mechanical in thought and deed would probably kill the story, if not the author.

But greater "heresies" have been perpetrated. Witness the Second Foundation trilogy published a few years back.
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