Star Trek
The Next Generation

Author: J. M. Dillard
Pocket Books
RRP: £6.99, US $7.99, Cdn $9.99
ISBN-13: 978 0 7434 9955 2
ISBN-10: 0 7434 9955 7
Available 01 October 2007

His ship repaired, Captain Picard must now reassemble his crew. With the departure of William Riker and Deanna Troi, he must replace his two most trusted advisors. A Vulcan, T’Lana, is selected as ship’s counselor. For his new first officer, Picard has only one candidate: Worf. However, the Klingon refuses the promotion, and T’Lana does not approve of Worf. A simple shakedown cruise should settle things, but once again the captain hears the voice of the Borg Collective. Admiral Janeway is not convinced that the Borg remain a threat. Picard knows she is wrong, and if he doesn’t act immediately, the entire Federation could fall under the domination of its most oppressive enemy...

It’s a good title, Resistance. Not only does it fit right in with the one-word designations of the Next Gen movies Generations, Insurrection and Nemesis, which the events of this book follow, but its significance to the plot is multi-layered. It refers not only to humanity’s resistance of the dreaded Borg (who are now regrouping in the Alpha Quadrant, deadlier than ever), but also to Worf’s refusal of promotion, Picard’s defiance of Janeway’s orders, T’Lana’s reluctance to accept her captain’s point of view, her dismissive attitude towards Worf... the list goes on.

I have great respect for the writing of J. M. Dillard. Any author who can turn Star Trek V: The Final Frontier into a decent novelisation is OK by me, and this book is as readable as ever. Characterisation and series continuity are both practically spot-on. Having novelised all the Next Gen movies, she certainly knows the territory.

It takes the author a while to get around to addressing the inherent contradiction of Picard’s attitude to the Borg (he was once liberated from the hive mind, so why should he and his crew consider other “assimilatees” a lost cause?) but she does so eventually. Beverly Crusher’s willingness to go on the offensive against the Borg remains at odds with her “There’s been no formal declaration of war” attitude in I, Borg, so let’s just consider that an off day for her. I am less convinced by the notion that all long-term Borg apart from the Queen are androgynous. Seven of Nine was assimilated for many years but she was obviously female even before she was disconnected from the Collective.

In addition to the Next Gen characters, Dillard throws in elements that will also appeal to devotees of Deep Space Nine and Voyager. Picard communicates with Admiral Janeway, who name-checks Seven of Nine (setting up the events of Peter David’s forthcoming follow-up Before Dishonor, a preview of which appears at the end of this book). Meanwhile, Worf remembers his late wife Jadzia Dax and his former commanding officer, Captain Sisko, with particular reference to the events and consequences of the Deep Space Nine episode Change of Heart.

Some well-rounded secondary characters ultimately prove to be cannon fodder, which is a shame. However, T’Lana shows great potential for future development, especially considering her uneasy relationship with Worf.

All in all, Resistance is far from futile.

Richard McGinlay

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