On Deep Space Nine Novels

I received a question from John recently:

I’m wondering if any pre-relaunch DS9 books are worth picking up. I’m particurally interested in “Invasion! #3: Time’s Enemy”. Is it worth reading and are there any others I should pick up that won’t interfere with the continuity of the series?

Three of the best pre-finale DS9 novels are Fallen Heroes, Warped, and Time’s Enemy. Interestingly, all three are solid Dax stories. Not Jadzia stories. Dax stories. I think the reason for that is that, free of the limitations of what film can show, the alien nature of the Dax parasite comes to the fore and can be played with in ways that are clear to a reader, but that wouldn’t be at all clear to a viewer. A book can say, “This is what Dax is; this is what Dax does,” and because of the narrative freedoms of prose be right in doing so, but on screen it required humaniform avatars to really get at, metaphorically, what Dax is in order to provide the audience with some sort of context. (This is also something I enjoyed about Cathedral, though I responded more to Bashir’s plight. But when the book is absosmurfly superb, as Cathedral was, can anyone honestly put one element above another?)

The Siege is another novel that every DS9 fan should read. I have a fondness for Warchild and The Big Game.

And can I say anything more about Stephen Barnes’ novelization of Far Beyond the Stars that hasn’t already been said?

There’s good stuff to be found in the pre-2001 Deep Space Nine novels. Good reading!

On a semi-related thought, it occurs to me that between Invasion! and Being Human/Gods Above, we’ve gotten many of the elements of Roddenberry’s The God-Thing–the gods and devils of Terran mythologies harkening not to supernatural beings but to alien beings in the pre-historical past. Kirk destroys devils, Calhoun destroys gods, and isn’t that roughly what Roddenberry had in mind? It’s a natural idea, to have man confronting the seemingly supernatural to determine his own destiny. Just an observation.

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