Star Trek
Distant Shores

Editor: Marco Palmieri
Pocket Books
RRP: 8.99, US $14.00, Cdn $19.00
ISBN 0 7434 9253 6
Available 05 December 2005

Lost and a long way from home
Voyager must traverse the almost endless space that separates the ship from Earth. Aboard, the crew try to carry on life as best they can, but confined to such a small space personal relationships can often be just as difficult to navigate as they make their way to the distant shore that is home...

Distant Shores is a collection of twelve short stories which span almost all the Voyager seasons. The set of stories are book-ended by Heather Jarmans account of what really happened to Admiral Janeway at the end of the last episode.

The stories, for the most part, concentrate on individuals and their relationships, so, regardless who your favourite character was there will be something in this for everybody and out of twelve stories there is only one shuttle crash - thank goodness. The tales are arranged, as best they could, in a chronological order, so Command Code by Robert Greenberger is a Chakotay story set just after the events in Caretaker and reflects the real problems of integrating the two crews and the difficulties that Chakotay faces going from adversary to second in command.

Winds of Change by Kim Sheard is a story of Kes's and Lieutenant Torres growing friendship, indeed most of the stories follow a similar pattern of exploring the various relationships between the main characters. Now there's nothing wrong with that, but it does get a bit Mills and Boons after a while, with a lot of romantic and touchy feely emotions explored. The exception to this are the stories involving Torres, which should not be a surprise given the volatility of the character on-screen. Indeed, my favourite story was Or The Tiger by Geoffrey Thorne, with lots of scenes involving Torres innate distrust and dislike of the surviving Equinox crew and a new alien mystery thrown in for good measure.

Some work as back stories to action that had happened on the screen and some as resolutions of plot ends which were never explained. In Eighteen Minutes by Terri Osborne we find out just what the Doctor was doing during the episode Blink of an Eye, and get to know the family he said he had, which were only alluded to in the show.

So there you have it a new collection with a bit of something for everyone, shame that most of the stories concentrated on the emotional side of the crew as it made the whole thing seem a bit samey, but who knows maybe that was their remit.

Charles Packer

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