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Literature / Star Trek: A Time to...

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A series of nine novels in the Star Trek Novel Verse. A Time To... is a Star Trek: The Next Generation miniseries covering the events of the year leading up to Star Trek: Nemesis. The series consists of four duologies (each telling a mostly standalone tale, yet also contributing to an overall arc) and a final novel tying it all together. The series continues the story of the Enterprise crew and the changes that took place prior to Star Trek: Nemesis, e.g. Riker and Troi becoming engaged. Besides leading into "Nemesis", the series also sets the stage for the continuing stories set after the film, such as Star Trek: Articles of the Federation, the Star Trek: Titan series, the Star Trek: The Next Generation Relaunch, and others.

Each book is titled after a line in The Book of Ecclesiastes, popularly known through the Byrds' song Turn! Turn! Turn!.

  • A Time to Be Born
  • A Time to Die
  • A Time to Sow
  • A Time to Harvest
  • A Time to Love
  • A Time to Hate
  • A Time to Kill
  • A Time to Heal
  • A Time for War/A Time for Peace

This series contains examples of:

  • A Father to His Men: At one point, Captain Picard explicitly compares his feelings for Riker as that of a father to a son.
  • Alien Arts Are Appreciated: Klingon Councillor Kopek decorates his office with items of art from across explored space. Among the paintings, artefacts and sculptures are those created by humans, Vulcans, and Betazoids. This despite the fact that Kopek despises those races. To be honest, he probably justifies them as "trophies".
  • Ambadassador: Gorn Ambassador Zogozin gives off these sort of vibes, as does Klingon Ambassador K'mtok. The latter because he is, like all Klingon nobles, a warrior; the former because Gorn in general can be quite intimidating, particularly when showing their fangs. Although, it's possible Zogozin's just smiling.
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  • Apocalyptic Log: The destruction of Dokaal and the Dokaalan people's struggle to survive in their asteroid colonies is presented through the journal of their later prime minister.
  • "Ass" in Ambassador: Recurring "Ass" in Ambassador character K'mtok makes his first appearance in book 8. A particularly hawkish Klingon ambassador, he was appointed as a replacement to the more reasonable Ambassador Lantar. When Federation President Zife went over Lantar's head to talk directly with Chancellor Martok, Martok's political rivals on the Klingon High Council used the opportunity to force their man into the ambassadorship, claiming Lantar had been proven ineffective.
  • Asteroid Miners: This is how the modern Dokaalan live, following their planet's Earth-Shattering Kaboom.
  • Balkanize Me: The Federation fears splitting in two as the complications of the post-Dominion War rebuilding begin leading to member worlds dropping out. There is also an economic division between those worlds damaged by the fighting and those left intact.
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  • Beleaguered Bureaucrat: Alexander, as of the final book. Thank god for Giancarlo Wu.
  • Breather Episode: A Time for War/A Time for Peace functions largely as this, coming between the Darker and Edgier duology of A Time to Kill + A Time to Heal, and Star Trek: Nemesis.
  • Bus Crash: After being surprisingly absent from Star Trek: The Battle of Betazed, Mr. Homn (the usually ever-present valet of Lwaxana Troi) is confirmed in A Time to Kill as having died. He was killed in the Dominion invasion of planet Betazed, during the Dominion War.
  • Call-Back: Sunrise on Qo'noS. In multiple books of the series, Worf's admiring it feeds into his character arc. The progression from reasonable satisfaction in his diplomatic role to frustration and a desire to return to Starfleet is demonstrated in part through a string of similiar watching-the-sunrise scenes (albeit brief ones).
  • Continuity Nod: Many. As an example, President Zife ends up getting a list of crises which occurred on his watch recited to him. These are, of course, all references to other novels. There was the Genesis Wave, the Holostrike, the Trill debacle, the Selelvians...
    • A Time to Love and A Time to Hate reference the plots of several novels that filled in the backstories of Will Riker and his father Kyle, including ''Deny Thy Father'' and Imzadi.
  • Corrupt Politician: Kopek. Also Nelino Quafina.
  • The Coup: At the end of A Time To Heal Picard, along with Admirals Ross, Nechayev, Jellico, Nakamura and Paris essentially decide the only way to prevent the Tezwa incident from starting a war between the Klingon Empire and the Federation is to force President Zife to resign. Ross, Nechayev and Nakamura confront Zife, Azernal and Quafina with the evidence, and the three surrender to "Starfleet security" (in reality, a Section 31 team that quietly had all three of them assassinated after Zife gave his resignation speech).
  • Damn, It Feels Good to Be a Gangster!: Ihazs.
  • Darker and Edgier: A Time to Kill and A Time to Heal are pretty dark for Star Trek.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Nanietta Bacco, particularly when she hasn't yet had her coffee.
    • Zhres.
  • Den of Iniquity: The pirates at Rashanar have one inside a derelict spaceship.
  • Derelict Graveyard: Rashanar, a battlesite now littered with the wrecks of starships, revolving around a gravity well created by the combined artificial gravity generators of the vessels. The first two books are set here, as the characters confront the inevitable mysterious goings-on.
  • Distress Call: The Dokaalan send one via long-range probes after discovering that their planet is about to explode. It takes centuries for someone to respond, by which point the surviving Dokaalan are living as Asteroid Miners.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: A Time to Kill and A Time to Heal are essentially the Iraq War...IN SPACE!!. To be fair, it's not exactly disguised; the analogy is quite up-front.
  • Drunk with Power: Kinchawn, Tezwa's insane Prime Minister. What makes it worse is his apparent self-image as a Well-Intentioned Extremist. He sees his own children's death as merely a means to acquire more sympathy and thus more support and power, and seems to truly believe this is somehow reasonable. Eventually, his successor Bilok succumbs to a bit of this too. Arguably, Koll Azernal is also Drunk with Power in his own way.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: By the end of the series, Picard and his crew are angered that they are still being sidelined and effectively “punished” over the events of the first two books, despite having spent the preceding months preventing wars and planetary disasters, as well as solving a centuries-old mystery.
  • Dumb Muscle: Gorul the Chalnoth and Zhod the Gorn, aboard the Orion Syndicate vessel Caedera. Also, Ihazs' two Balduk bodyguards.
  • Earth-Shattering Kaboom: Dokaal.
  • Elves VS Dwarves: The ongoing feud between Dorset and Bader can be viewed as this, more or less. Dorset are tall, elegant, slender and artistic, whereas Bader are short, stocky and suited to more physical work.
  • Fantastic Racism: The ethnic divisions on Tezwa.
  • Fish People: Nelino Quafina is an Antedean, who resemble humanoid fish.
  • Government Conspiracy: The Zife Administration's actions on Tezwa, and their attempts to cover it up afterwards. Essentially, President Zife violated the Khitomer Accords with the Klingon Empire by illegally arming Tezwa, a neutral border world, as part of a contingency plan during the war against the Dominion. Later, the Tezwans use these weapons to attack the Klingons. Zife and his Chief of Staff, Koll Azernal, then order the planet occupied by Starfleet troops, ostensibly to help it rebuild from the Klingon counterstrike, but really to dismantle any evidence of Federation involvement. They also seek to frame another government for arming the Tezwans. Fake evidence is smuggled through the Defense Secretary via criminal organization the Orion Syndicate. Koll Azernal is also involved in multiple other conspiracies including attempting to transform the inhabitants of Delta Sigma IV into a society of chemically-controlled soldiers should a second Dominion War- or equivalent conflict- flare up.
    • It at first looks like the Dokaalan are facing one of these; turns out it's merely alien invasion.
  • Government Drug Enforcement: The only way to save Delta Sigma IV in the short term is to re-drug the inhabitants into passivity. See: Hate Plague.
  • Grappling-Hook Pistol: In A Time to Kill, Starfleet officers use them to scale part of Mount Ranakar on the planet Tezwa.
  • Gunboat Diplomacy: The Klingons make a typically Klingon diplomatic protest- which is of course pretty much a declaration of war. Klingon diplomacy causes many headaches.
  • Hate Plague: This sort of happens on Delta Sigma IV, in A Time to Love and A Time to Hate, only with a twist. The plague isn't really causing the hate and violence- in fact, it's curing the populace of a mind-altering drug that kept them peaceful. Suddenly confronting emotions such as hate and rage for the first time, the Delta Sigma inhabitants can't cope, and old racial tensions erupt into violence. Riots soon spread across the planet.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: A Klingon Fleet Captain named Krogan; "krogan" would later be the Proud Warrior Race of another popular sci-fi universe, Mass Effect. Michael Dorn even voiced a krogan character in one of the games.
  • Hurricane of Aphorisms: Emperor Kahless in the final book. Martok calls it "tiresome".
  • Hypercompetent Sidekick: Giancarlo Wu to Ambassador Worf, and especially Alexander, who replaces Worf.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Kant Jorel's specialty.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Kant Jorel, more or less.
  • Killed Off for Real: Kyle Riker, and President Zife and Koll Azernal.
  • Like a Son to Me: Again, Picard thinks this in regards to Riker.
  • Loud of War: During General Minza's interrogation.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Koll Azernal is really running the United Federation of Planets; Zife is almost a figurehead at times. See: Government Conspiracy.
  • Missing Floor: The sub-subbasement in the Federation Embassy on Qo'noS. Section 31 maintained a listening post down there. Ambassador Worf isn't supposed to know about it, but old family friend Lorgh, of Imperial Intelligence, had discovered its existence, and he gave the information to Worf in book 7. In book 9, Worf puts the Missing Floor to good use when attempting to retake the embassy from a terrorist organization.
  • Mildly Military: Starfleet as always, however much less so in this series. They more closely resemble a professional military and are clearly stated to be military several times, both by Starfleet themselves and other Federation officials.
  • Naked People Are Funny: In the last book. Wesley himself arrives for Troi and Riker's wedding. Being a Traveller now, he simply teleports himself to the reception. He thought they were having a Betazoid wedding, though, so he shows up in appropriate Betazoid wedding dress; in other words, wearing nothing. Picard is quite pained. Luckily, they find Wesley a uniform before there's any real embarrassment.
  • Never Found the Body: Rov, the leader of the Klingon terrorists in the final book. Worf even seems to lampshade the trope, noting that the lack of a body was "predictable".
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: Admiral Nakamura, throughout the series. Plus Dr. Toby Russell and Sabin Genestra, who are appointed by him in the final book to investigate the Enterprise crew, clearly in the expectation that their previous experiences with Picard and Co. will make them a stumbling block. Captain Go skirts around the edge of this (and Nakamura was clearly intending her to be just as much an obstacle for Picard as Russell and Genestra), but she turns out alright.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Councillor Ra'ch B'ullhy. As usual, Admiral Nechayev veers between being this and being another obstacle for Picard. The Dokaalan Prime Minister is also a perfect example.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Erokene Yaelon, a Tezwan military leader, and a supporter of power-mad prime minister Kinchawn - at least at first. After Kinchawn's Drunk with Power outrages lead to a brutal Klingon counterstrike that kills Yaelon's family (among many others), he loses faith in his leader. Eventually, he earns a degree of redemption for his earlier support by helping Commander Riker escape captivity, at the cost of his own life.
  • Salvage Pirates: In the first duology, when Orion pirates board Picard and Vale's ship at Rashanar.
  • Shout-Out: Kant Jorel, press liaison (from the names of Superman's journalist alter ego and father, of course).
  • Sidetracked by the Analogy: In one scene in the final book, two alien characters relate to human metaphors in the same way humans would relate to theirs. When confronted with the phrase "a lame duck", Ra'ch B'ullhy (a Damiani) has to ask how a lame waterfowl fits the situation. Worf points out "it is a human metaphor; they are often abtruse".
  • Slasher Smile: Gorn Ambassador Zogozin.
  • Smug Snake: Klingon Councillor Kopek. A very smug snake.
  • Sour Supporter: Several of Rov's followers in the Klahb terrorist group. After the revelation that he didn't fight in the Dominion War, though, they mostly drop the "supporter" part altogether.
  • Space Pirates: In the first duology. Lots of them.
  • Starfish Aliens: The Antimatter Collector shapeshifting lifeform in the first duology, which is from another universe. Also the Ontailians, a race of furry sloth/boa/octopus people who drape from trees.
  • Stuffed In A Fridge: Colleen Cabot.
  • The Syndicate: The Orion Syndicate in A Time to Kill and A Time to Heal.
  • Terraform: The planet Ijuuka in books 3-4 is being terraformed by the Dokaalan, though the Satarrans interfere with the project, sabotaging the equipment to ensure the world is recreated suitable for them instead. This duology also features a Continuity Nod to the Star Trek: The Genesis Wave series, the events of which are on several character's minds as they contemplate the dangers of terraforming.
  • To the Pain: Worf, more or less, to Kl'rt son of Krul (a Klingon terrorist), during the events of the final book.
  • Underwater Base: One of the firebases on Tezwa.
  • Warrior Poet: Kahless.
  • Weapon of Mass Destruction: Tezwa's illegally-acquired W.M.Ds drive the plot of the seventh and eighth books.
  • With Friends Like These...: The Klingon Empire is a really, really difficult ally at times.