New Star Trek Book Hits Retail Shelves December 21

For the Star Trek fiends, a new novel will be available in less than two months.

It’s called Revenant, and it’s a Star Trek: Deep Space Nine tale written by Alex White.

Alex White, author of Revenant

The book, due out December 21, is described by Amazon like this:

“Jadzia Dax has been a friend to Etom Prit, the Trill Trade Commissioner, over two lifetimes. When Etom visits Deep Space Nine with the request to rein in his wayward granddaughter Nemi, Dax can hardly say no. It seems like an easy assignment: visit a resort casino while on shore leave, and then bring her old friend Nemi home. But upon arrival, Dax finds Nemi has changed over the years in terrifying ways…and the pursuit of the truth will plunge Dax headlong into a century’s worth of secrets and lies!

When Star Trek returned to the small screen in 1987, no one believed it would work. The first Star Trek series was canceled 18 years earlier. The Next Generation needed to be familiar.

It followed the same basic formula, even featuring a starship called Enterprise. But this time, its registration number was NCC 1701 D. TNG evolved over its seven-season run, tackling heavier topics, hinting at story arcs. Yet, at its core, it was the same show.

When Deep Space Nine premiered midway through TNG’s sixth season, it needed to be different. As the second spinoff (not counting The Animated Series) and running concurrently to TNG, it simply couldn’t be more of the same.

The Next Generation’s fourth season introduced viewers to the Cardassians, an adversarial species that the Federation had previously been at war with off-screen before and during the early parts of TNG. Recurring character Transporter Chief Miles O’Brien, who would become a prominent cast member in Deep Space Nine, still bears the emotional scars of that conflict that we all remember so well. An uneasy peace now exists between these two powers, and the resulting storylines and conflicts are further developed throughout the remainder of the series and into Deep Space Nine.

Among these is the Cardassian occupation of a planet called Bajor, which has lasted a generation. The Federation is then able to put political pressure on the Cardassians, and coupled with changing politics and the general economic strain of a prolonged conflict, the occupation of Bajor finally ends. This provides the setting and backdrop of Deep Space Nine.

The titular station is a Federation outpost in Bajoran space, orbiting Bajor at the beginning of the series. During the occupation, it was a Cardassian mining station, Terac Nor, but was surrendered to the Federation when the occupation ended. Starfleet is present at the request of the Bajoran Provisional Government to help secure Bajor’s safety. The Federation’s goal is to get Bajor to sign on as a member world. The station is soon after jointly operated by a Bajoran and Starfleet crew. Many of the station’s other inhabitants represent a diverse group of colorful characters from various non-federation worlds.

Shortly after Commander Benjamin Sisko (Avery Brooks) takes command of the station, a stable wormhole connecting the Alpha Quadrant (where much of Star Trek, across its various iterations, takes place) to the Gamma Quadrant, many thousands of light-years away, is discovered. To the Bajorans, this phenomenon isn’t entirely new, called the “Temple of the Prophets” and forming the basis of much of their religious beliefs. This wormhole puts Bajor and Deep Space Nine on the map as a major trade port, not to mention a strategic military outpost.

When the Bajoran religious leader, Kai Opaka, meets Commander Sisko, she is convinced that he is the Emissary of the Prophets. This puts Sisko in a very difficult position, as interfering in or playing a significant role in a culture’s religious beliefs doesn’t look great on a Starfleet resume; the Federation prides itself on non-interference. On the other hand, it sounds like a great setup for a TOS era evil admiral episode.

Tenuous peace on an often lawless frontier outpost — to suggest that DS9 isn’t interesting because they “don’t go anywhere’ demonstrates a failure of imagination.

A little context on the character of Jadzia Dax (Terry Farrel), who is one of the central characters in the forthcoming Revenant novel: Jadzia is a joined Trill.

In her world, a small percentage of the population joins with an organism called a symbiont. Symbionts live many hundreds of years and retain the memories of all of their hosts. When a Trill joins with a symbiont, their personality changes, becoming a blend of the many personalities shared by the symbiont. The Dax symbiont had been joined to seven previous hosts, including Curzon, a notable Federation ambassador to the Klingons and friend of now station commander Benjamin Sisko (Avery Brooks). On Deep Space Nine, she is the science officer.

Jadzia Dax was a popular character on Deep Space Nine that many fans were able to identify within a variety of ways. She was a strong and independent woman, serene with wisdom from her many lifetimes of experience, making her something of a feminist role model. Among the LGBTQ+ community, her experiences in past lives as both a man and a woman were viewed by some as a transgender analogy, and for others, as simply a “coming out” analogy. One episode even featured her having a romantic encounter with a woman from a past life, likely justified to 90’s era censors by the ‘past life’ motif. Such encounters are considered taboo on Trill.

The cover art also features Kira Nerys (Nana Visitor), a major in the Bajoran Militia, and Bajoran liaison officer aboard Deep Space Nine, as well as second in command.

White’s book can be preordered here.