Star Trek: New Frontier

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Cover to the 1997 Star Trek: New Frontier debut novel, House of Cards, showing main character Captain Mackenzie Calhoun, in the center. Art by Keith Birdsong.

Star Trek: New Frontier is a Star Trek novel series created by John J. Ordover and Peter David and published by Pocket Books. The idea behind it was to create a Star Trek book series with its own continuity and not one that is purely a reaction to the television shows. Nearly every story of the series is written by series co-creator Peter David. New Frontier centers on the adventures of Captain Mackenzie Calhoun and his crew aboard the USS Excalibur.

Origins[edit]

According to David, "The basic concept was John Ordover's, as was the notion of using several already existing characters. I fleshed out the concept and created the original characters."[1]

First published in 1997 as a serial consisting of four short novels, New Frontier is set in the Star Trek: The Next Generation universe, but in the unexplored Sector 221-G, home of the recently fallen Thallonian Empire. Starting the series with a combination of new characters and former Next Generation guest stars gave David the opportunity to create his own corner of the Star Trek Universe. Characters from New Frontier have been involved in several crossover events with novels based on the television series (the Gateways, Double Helix, Captain's Table and mirror universe novel series).

Star Trek.com announced in March 2015 that a trilogy of eBooks called The Returned would be released in July, August and September of the same year, continuing the New Frontier story.[2]

Books[edit]

Main series[edit]

Unless otherwise noted, all of the following novels, short stories, and comic books were written by Peter David.

# Year Title Plot
1 1997 House of Cards Sector 221-G has been controlled by the Thallonians for centuries, but their empire has collapsed and the sector has fallen into chaos. The Federation must send a starship to help where it can and report what it finds.
2 1997 Into the Void The crew of the Excalibur is assembled including: Captain Mackenzie Calhoun, an unorthodox, decisive captain, Commander Shelby, a woman of strong opinions and strong values, and Burgoyne 172, a hermaphroditic chief engineer "with the decisiveness of Calhoun, the strength of Shelby, and the gender of both."
3 1997 The Two-Front War Two mysteries vie for the attention of the crew of the Excalibur. Is the hospitality of the people of Nelkar too good to be true? And does a stranded spaceship truly hold the object of Si Cwan's quest... or is it instead an all-too-deadly trap?
4 1997 End Game As the Thallonian homeworld faces catastrophe, Captain Calhoun must confront his own bloody past in a life-or-death struggle for survival and honor. But when the planet's ultimate secret is revealed, only Captain Calhoun and the USS Excalibur can save the last remnants of the Empire from total destruction!
* 1998 Star Trek: New Frontier The first four novels have also been published in a single hardcover omnibus edition by Pocket Books, entitled simply Star Trek: New Frontier
5 1998 Martyr When Captain Calhoun is captured, Lieutenant Commander Burgoyne must find him before an alien fleet launches a holy war against the Federation.
6 1998 Fire on High Lieutenant Robin Lefler's mother died in a shuttle explosion ten years ago. So is the woman being held prisoner in Thallonian space really her? If it is, what is her connection to the mysterious woman holding a weapon that could doom entire worlds?
* 1998 Prometheans The fifth and sixth books have also been published in a single hardcover omnibus published by the Science Fiction Book Club
* 1998 Captain's Table Book 5: Once Burned Six years ago, long before he took command of the Excalibur, a young Starfleet officer named Mackenzie Calhoun served as first officer aboard the USS Grissom. Then disaster struck, and Calhoun took the blame. A court-martial led to his own angry resignation from Starfleet... or so it appeared.
* 1999 Star Trek:TNG #55: Double Helix Book 5: Double or Nothing Captain Jean-Luc Picard joins forces with Captain Mackenzie Calhoun of the Excalibur to track down and confront the hidden architects of the plagues—and avenge the deaths of thousands.
* 2000 Double Time (graphic novel) With artists Mike Collins and David Roach. Captain Calhoun takes his ship and crew back in time to prevent a genocide, only to alter the timeline in an unexpected and not entirely welcome way.
7 1999 The Quiet Place Ever since the fall of the Thallonian Empire, Si Cwan has been searching for his younger sister, the only other survivor of the royal family. His quest has been a hard one, filled with many disappointments, but now it may be nearing its end...
8 1999 Dark Allies Many years ago, a bizarre alien life-form known as the Black Mass consumed and destroyed an entire solar system in what was then the Thallonion Empire. Now the Black Mass has returned and its target is Tulan IV, homeworld of the fearsome Redeemers.
9 2000 Excalibur Book 1: Requiem When the USS Excalibur was suddenly and mercilessly destroyed, Starfleet lost one of its finest starships. But the crew members of the Excalibur lost their captain... and their home. Now, in mourning for their ship and Captain Mackenzie Calhoun, First Officer Elizabeth Shelby and the rest of the crew await new assignments.
10 2000 Excalibur Book 2: Renaissance Following the birth of her child, the Vulcan doctor returned to her homeworld, determined to raise the child exclusively in the way of logic. But the child's father, the Hermat Lieutenant Commander Burgoyne, has hir own views regarding their offspring's future, and s/he intends to fight for hir paternal rights, even if it means appealing to the highest authorities of two worlds!
11 2001 Excalibur Book 3: Restoration The ever resourceful Captain Mackenzie Calhoun abruptly finds himself at a loss—marooned on the primitive outback world of Yakaba after his ship, Excalibur, is destroyed by deadly sabotage. On Yakaba's dry frontier, Calhoun meets and befriends Rheela, an extraordinary woman beset by enemies trying to control or destroy her and her gift—summoning rain to her parched homeland.
* 2001 Gateways Book 6: Cold Wars A century ago, the imperial Thallonians separated two feuding alien races, depositing each of them on a new world safely distant from that of their ancestral enemies. Now, however, the Gateways have made it possible for the long dormant blood feud to begin anew. Captain Mackenzie Calhoun of the USS Excalibur and his partner, Captain Elizabeth Shelby of the USS Trident, find themselves fighting a losing battle. Meanwhile Lieutenants Arex and M'Ress take separate time slips from the 23rd century and end up serving together on Shelby's Trident.
* 2002 Gateways Book 7: What Lay Beyond (anthology): Death After Life Captains Calhoun and Shelby have taken the ultimate gamble: hurling themselves through a gateway without any knowledge or forewarning of what lies beyond.
* 2003 No Limits (anthology) By various authors, including Peter David. Star Trek authors tell new tales of the Excalibur crew including: Shelby's first experience with the Borg, the origins of "Lefler's Laws", an adventure with Soleta and Ambassador Spock, the tale of Arex's time slip, a chronicle of Selar's encounter with the Q, and the longest day of Zak Kebron's life. Peter David tells the story of Calhoun and Shelby's honeymoon on Calhoun's home planet of Xenex.
12 2001 Being Human Mark McHenry, the navigator on the USS Excalibur, has demonstrated abilities beyond those of the somewhat odd human being he appears to be. When the inhabitants of an innocent solar system are confronted by a menace linked to the source of McHenry's powers, his true heritage is revealed at last.
13 2003 Gods Above As Captain Kirk did before him, Calhoun has encountered beings of unnatural power and abilities verging on godhood, and who claim to be the very individuals who inspired the Greek, Roman, Norse, and other pantheons from Earth culture.
14 2004 Stone and Anvil A crewman has been murdered aboard the USS Trident, and all evidence points to Ensign Janos of the Excalibur. Calhoun is reluctant to accept that Janos, a powerful non-humanoid whom the captain has known and trusted for years, could be a killer, and immediately launches an investigation into the crime. But this troubling murder mystery soon escalates into a full-fledged diplomatic crisis that threatens to pit Calhoun and Shelby against the entire United Federation of Planets.
* 2005 Tales from the Captain's Table (anthology) "Pain Management" The USS Trident is being refit after being damaged in an attack during the Selelvian/Tholian war. At the starbase, Soleta, science officer of the Exalibur is attending a conference and offers Shelby a ride back to Excalibur to see her husband while the Trident is being repaired.
15 2005 After the Fall Three years have passed since the events depicted in the novel Stone and Anvil, and for the past and present crew members of the USS Excalibur, life has taken many surprising twists and turns. Captain Elizabeth Shelby has been promoted to admiral and heads Space Station Bravo... while her former ship, the USS Trident, has a new captain.
16 2006 Missing in Action Captain Mackenzie Calhoun and the crew of the USS Excalibur find themselves catapulted headlong into another universe, far from the New Thallonian Protectorate and Sector 221-G... a place where an ancient war rages between two powerful alien races. Calhoun adopts the time-honored philosophy of "the enemy of my enemy is my friend", and takes it upon himself to somehow persuade one side or the other to help him and his crew get back home.
* 2007 Star Trek: Mirror Universe Book 2: Obsidian Alliances (anthology) Cutting Ties Following the Terran Empire's collapse, its longtime rival, the Romulan Star Empire, has absorbed many of the fringe civilizations spread across that part of the galaxy. One of the Romulans' slaves is M'k'nzy of Calhoun, a savage and unpredictable Xenexian who dreams of death, and who learns the value of freedom from the unlikeliest of teachers, a Romulan named Soleta.
* 2009 Star Trek: Mirror Universe Book 3: Shards and Shadows (anthology) "Homecoming" The crew of the liberated Excalibur must infiltrate Romulan space to capture a thalaron bomb before the Alliance claims it for themselves.
* 2008 Turnaround (graphic novel) A five-part story written by Peter David, with artwork by Stephen Thompson and published by IDW Publishing. A prototype time ship has vanished, and it appears that the man who stole it is none other than Starfleet Admiral Edward Jellico. Only Captain Mackenzie Calhoun and the crew of the Excalibur have a hope of finding him before the ship, intended purely for scientific exploration, is used to disrupt the space-time continuum.
17 2010 Treason In the New Thallonian Protectorate, Robin Lefler is facing growing danger because of her newborn son, the heir to the line of Cwan. Following an assassination attempt, Robin has no choice but to flee New Thallon seeking refuge with Captain Mackenzie Calhoun. Doctor Selar, increasingly desperate over the plight of her son, hatches a highly illegal plan to save him.
18 2011 Blind Man's Bluff Captain Calhoun faces simultaneous threats from the D'myurj (with their Brethren allies) and the mind of Morgan Primus, now integrated with the Excalibur's computer.
* 2012 Tales of the Dominion War (anthology) "Stone Cold Truths" A hundred and fifty years after the Dominion War, a now-retired Zak Kebron tells his son of an experience during the war, and teaches him and his teacher a valuable lesson about viewing conflict.
19 2015 The Returned (ebook) Three months after Blind Man's Bluff, Captain Calhoun and Excalibur crew travel into a pocket universe, where he discovers not only the homeworld of the D’myurj, but another race that shares Calhoun's determination to obliterate his opponents.

Several of these stories have also been reprinted elsewhere.

Additional novels[edit]

Other novels have included or even focused on characters that star in the New Frontier universe. Because some of the characters originated in Star Trek: The Next Generation, some of these novels were actually released months or years before the first New Frontier book. Some of these books include:

  • Star Trek: The Next Generation books:
  • Vendetta by Peter David (featuring Shelby under her previous assignment with Captain Korsmo on the USS Chekov)
  • Triangle: Imzadi II by Peter David (featuring Shelby and Korsmo on the Excalibur)
  • #56: Double Helix Book 6: The First Virtue by Michael Jan Friedman and Christie Golden (happens in Thallonian space)
  • #61: Diplomatic Implausibility by Keith R. A. DeCandido (featuring a New Frontier cameo)
  • Q & A by Keith R. A. DeCandido (Shelby cameo)
  • Before Dishonor by Peter David (featuring a Calhoun cameo)
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation: Starfleet Academy books (for young readers):
  • #1: Worf's First Adventure by Peter David (featuring Soleta, Zak Kebron, and Mark McHenry)
  • #2: Line of Fire by Peter David (featuring Soleta, Zak Kebron, and Mark McHenry)
  • #3: Survival by Peter David (featuring Soleta, Zak Kebron, and Mark McHenry)
  • Other Star Trek books:
  • Star Trek: The Next GenerationGateways Book #3: Doors Into Chaos by Robert Greenberger (features Calhoun and Shelby in another perspective on a sequence shown in Cold Wars)
  • Star Trek: Deep Space NineGateways Book #4: Demons of Air and Darkness by Keith R. A. DeCandido (features Calhoun and Shelby in another perspective on a sequence shown in Cold Wars and Doors Into Chaos)
  • Star Trek: The Lost Era – Catalyst of Sorrows by Margaret Wander Bonanno (featuring Dr. Selar)

Comic books[edit]

  • Star Trek: New Frontier: Double Time by Peter David, Mike Collins and David Roach, Wildstorm, Nov 2000.
  • Star Trek: New Frontier: Turnaround, issues #1–5 by Peter David and Stephen Thompson, IDW Publishing, commenced Mar 2008.

Characters[edit]

The characters in the New Frontier novels are a combination of characters that had already appeared in Star Trek: The Next Generation: (Elizabeth Shelby, Dr. Selar, Robin Lefler, and Edward Jellico), characters from Peter David's Star Trek: The Next Generation: Starfleet Academy books (Soleta, Zak Kebron, Mark McHenry, and Tania Tobias), characters from Star Trek: The Animated Series (Arex and M'Ress), and newly created characters (such as Mackenzie Calhoun, Burgoyne 172, Si Cwan and Kalinda).

Ships[edit]

The New Frontier series has followed the course of several different ships.

USS Excalibur[edit]

The original Excalibur is the ship featured in the silhouette on the New Frontier logo. It was an Ambassador-class starship. The Excalibur's commander just prior to the start of New Frontier was Captain Morgan Korsmo, an old Academy class mate of Captain Picard, who was killed fighting the Borg. Command of the ship then passed to Captain Calhoun. Captain Calhoun was believed dead for a time when the Excalibur was destroyed, but upon his return he was granted command of another ship of the same name, this one Galaxy-class.

USS Trident[edit]

The Trident is the second command of Elizabeth Shelby, after the Exeter. Like the second Excalibur, it is a Galaxy-class starship. Shelby served as commanding officer of the ship for only a few years before she was promoted again to become Admiral of Sector 221-G (where the Trident was serving alongside the Excalibur), at which time her second-in-command, Katerina Mueller, became captain of the ship.

USS Exeter[edit]

Elizabeth Shelby is promoted to Captain of the Exeter in Restoration, the 11th novel in the series. Later under the command of Captain Alexandra Garbeck.

Critical reception[edit]

At Goodreads, House of Cards, the first of four mini-novels that debuted the New Frontier concept, holds a rating of 3.88 out of 5 stars,[3] while the Star Trek: New Frontier Omnibus, which collects all four of the mini-novels comprising the inaugural storyline, holds a rating of 4.1 out of 5 stars.[4]

The 2008 comic book miniseries Star Trek: New Frontier: Turnaround holds a 7.8 out of 10 at the review aggregator website Comic Book Round Up.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Peter David (October 2003). "WHAT'CHA WANNA KNOW?". 
  2. ^ startrek.com (March 7, 2015). "The Returned: Out This Summer". 
  3. ^ "House of Cards (Star Trek: New Frontier #1)". Goodreads. Retrieved May 11, 2017.
  4. ^ "New Frontier (Star Trek: New Frontier #1-4)". Goodreads. Retrieved May 11, 2017.
  5. ^ "Star Trek: New Frontier". Comic Book Round Up. Retrieved May 11, 2017.