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Literature / Star Trek: Stargazer

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A series of novels in the Star Trek Expanded Universe, connected to the mainstream modern continuity of the Star Trek Novel Verse through Broad Strokes. The series features Captain Picard's first command, the U.S.S Stargazer, and his early years as a command officer. There are six books in the series proper:

  • Gauntlet
  • Progenitor
  • Three
  • Oblivion
  • Enigma
  • Maker

Other novels to feature the characters and setting of the Stargazer include:

  • Reunion (their first appearance)
  • The Valiant (essentially a "pilot" leading into the series proper)
  • The First Virtue

Three short stories have been published which involve Stargazer characters:

  • "What Dreams May Come" from the anthology Tales of the Dominion War (2004)
  • "Darkness" from the anthology Tales from the Captain's Table (2005)
  • "The Traitor" from the anthology ''Shards and Shadows'' (2009)


This series contains examples of:

  • A God Am I: Brakmaktin.
  • Actually, I Am Him: Admiral McAteer is strolling the Starfleet Academy grounds, and starts thinking about Boothby, whom he admires. At least, he's heard good things about the man. He encounters an elderly groundskeeper whose general attitude annoys him (and who has the gall to tell him off). Eventually, he demands the groundskeeper's name. Upon being told he's talking to Boothby, McAteer walks off spluttering.
  • Alien Arts Are Appreciated: Nol Kastiigan, of the Kandilkari race, greatly enjoyed Romeo and Juliet. He particularly liked the ending, in which the lovers perish. See Death Seeker, below.
  • Alternate Universe: In Three.
  • And I Must Scream: Picard's torture by Brakmaktin in Maker.
  • Berserk Button: In Binderian culture, the society in which Obal originates, an assault upon a friend who comes to your aid cannot be tolerated. A Binderian responds with immediate - and highly uncharacteristic - violence if their supporter is threatened.
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  • Bothering by the Book: Elizabeth Wu is the living personification of the trope, stalking the halls of the Stargazer and writing up everyone from Captain Picard to the lowest junior officer for minor infractions. She gets better later on, though, after Ben Zoma engages in his own bothering to show her how ridiculous she's been.
  • Broad Strokes: The relationship of this series to the modern continuity. Events, characters and locations from Star Trek: Stargazer are frequently mentioned or featured elsewhere, but not every little detail adds up.
  • Broken Bird: Guinan begins as one in Oblivion, her spirit shattered by the loss of most of her people to the Borg and her experiences in the Nexus, until she meets Picard for the ‘first time’ (from his perspective) and witnesses his courage and compassion even for a relative stranger like her.
  • Call-Forward:
    • On several occasions Dr Grayhorse complains that he's not qualified to deal with psychiatric problems, and the ship really needs a trained counselor.
    • In Progenitor, a teenager on a trading vessel is fascinated by Ensign Jitercia being an organic lifeform who directly interfaces with a machine (her containment suit). He turns out to be Magnus Hansen, whose interest in such beings will eventually lead to him, his wife, and his daughter Annika being assimilated by the Borg.
    • When Picard shaves his head as a disguise in Oblivion, he says it's "only a temporary condition", to Guinan's amusement.
  • Character Witness: Picard tells Werber he'll put in a good word for him at the court-martial after Werber helps them expose a major plot. Werber is surprised, considering that he's in the brig for trying to mutiny against Picard.
  • Cross-Cultural Handshake: The Gnalish greet others with a ritualistic movement of the hands; extending them outward, palms down.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Obviously the reader is already aware that Guinan has lost her family to the Borg and spent a brief time in the Nexus, but Oblivion expands on that to reveal that the family Guinan lost included her youngest daughter, the child most like Guinan who she gave birth to after all her other children had grown up and moved on.
  • Death Seeker: Nol Kastiigan. It's actually played for laughs; Kastiigan is eager to be placed in peril, so as to just maybe die heroically and earn his family honor. He's not psychologically ill, it's just Blue-and-Orange Morality. Kandilkari culture holds that a heroic death is to be sought out at all costs. He has a habit of sidling up to Captain Picard or another command officer in times of danger, hinting that if a single crewman is needed for a perilous solo mission... well, he's your man. He's usually told, "no thank you, back to work". Unfortunately for Kastiigan, he's a science officer, so his talents simply aren't what's usually called for in such missions.
  • Doomed by Canon: The Ubarrak Primacy may be a powerful rival to the Federation and Cardassians here (at least in one particular sector) but their lack of appearance in Star Trek: The Next Generation or Star Trek: Deep Space Nine means they can't actually become the major power they're aiming to be.
  • Enemy Mine: Commander Dojjaron of the Nuyyad teams up with the Stargazer crew to take down Brakmaktin.
  • Fantastic Caste System: The Balduk, with their High Order, Middle Order and Low Order militaries. Also the Pandrilites, whose elevated and lower castes are supposedly now united by their adherence to the Three Virtues. Pandrilite protagonist Vigo has come to question this, though; an old mentor became involved with a radical sect insisting oppression of the lower castes is ongoing, and Vigo's faith in his people was shaken. Vigo takes a leave of absence in the final book so that he can return to Pandril and find out of his mentor was right, thinking that if so, a famous upper-caste member like himself would be harder for the government to ignore.
  • Follow in My Footsteps: Cole Paris, son of Iron Mike Paris, and brother of Owen Paris complains that there was never any question that not only would he join Starfleet, he'd be one of the greatest Starfleet officers ever. When he arrives on the Stargazer, he suffers panic attacks when attempting anything that might bring shame on the Paris name if he gets it wrong.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Played with twice. In Enigma, Obstructive Bureaucrat Admiral McAteer seems to defrost into a Jerk with a Heart of Gold. After a dangerous mission alongside Commander Gilaad ben Zoma, he appears to make a peace offering and reveal a more understanding side to his character. However, it transpires he was merely trying to manipulate ben Zoma. In Maker, murderous super-powered alien Brakmaktin also appears to be reconsidering his former conduct and having an epiphany. It turns out it was just him screwing with his captive. He's a jerk, is Brakmaktin.
  • Hypocrite: Admiral McAteer's primary objection to Picard is the idea that he's too young to captain a starship. Yet one of his attempts to get Picard removed involves offering command of the Stargazer to Gilaad ben Zoma...who's a year younger than Picard.
  • Interspecies Romance: A truly odd example with Cole Paris and Jiterica, a non-Humanoid being whose natural form is essentially a cloud of mist.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Phigus Simenon.
  • Lizard Folk: The Gnalish, who are members of the United Federation of Planets, and represented in the main cast by Phigus Simenon. They are split between three subspecies; one is strong and powerful, the second swift and lithe, the third particularly smart. Simenon is of the third group.
  • Martyrdom Culture: Nol Kastiigan's culture, the Kandilkari. Dying heroically is their greatest purpose, apparently.
  • Mind Rape: Brakmaktin pulls off a few in Maker.
  • Misaimed Fandom: invokedAdmiral McAteer's total Jerkass status is confirmed when he watches Macbeth and starts wondering what William Shakespeare had against people with ambition.
  • Multicultural Alien Planet: The Gnalish, of which chief engineer Phigus Simenon is a member, have three separate subspecies, although they'are able to interbreed (or, at least, fertilize the same eggs). Simenon's subspecies, being either weaker or slower than the others, have learned to be highly resourceful and wily, which helps when you're Picard's chief engineer.
  • The Mutiny: Lieutenant Werber tries to pull one shortly after Picard ends up in command, but Vigo overheard the plot and tipped Picard and Ben Zoma off.
  • New Neighbours as the Plot Demands: The series has a habit of inventing new, supposedly powerful spacefaring cultures that are rarely if ever mentioned in other Trek novels. The Ubarrak Primacy is the most prominant of these; apparently a major local power, it's only been mentioned (offhand) in one non-Stargazer novel. Then there's the Nuyyad, the Aristaani... at least the Balduk were canonically established. The Nuyyad at least have the excuse of living on the other side of the Galactic Barrier.
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: Admiral McAteer.
  • Proud Warrior Race: The Daa’Vit. Bonus points for their ongoing Blood Feud with Trek’s most famous Proud Warrior Race, the Klingons.
  • Raised by Natives: After their parent's death, the Asmund sisters were raised by Klingons.
  • Red Herring: The reader is obviously supposed to think the female bartender that Picard meets on Oblivion is Guinan. Nope, she's just a random bartender. Guinan is an unemployed drifter at this time.
  • Scary Dogmatic Aliens: The Balduk, the Ubarrak, the Nuyyad... the series likes this one. Of course, there are far more aliens who aren't of the "scary dogmatic" type, but most of the villains seem to fit the trope.
  • The Schizophrenia Conspiracy: Played with - at one point Lieutenant Ulelo is misdiagnosed as a schizophrenic who believes he is sending classified information to mysterious alien masters for unknown reasons.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: Ensign Caber tells Picard that his father, a high-ranking Admiral, will not be pleased when he finds out Picard booted his son off the Stargazer. But subverted when Admiral Caber admits his son is a brat that has only gotten by because his other commanders were afraid to discipline him due to his family name.
  • Space Station: Oblivion, or rather Obl'viaan in the original Ubarrak. It's an enormous construction in orbit of a lifeless planet, consisting of hundreds (if not thousands) of ships and stations welded together. In fact, it's not so much a space station as a space city. It is definitely of a Wretched Hive variety. It's also the place where Picard first meets Guinan, although she's a little upset he doesn't know who she is.
  • Starfish Aliens: Nizhrak'a. Native to a gas giant, they are basically sapient clouds of mist. In their usual state, they can grow to the size of a starship. Their representative in Starfleet, Jiterica, compresses herself down to humanoid size, and squeezes into an environmental suit. It's rather uncomfortable.
  • Stock Ness Monster: Apparently, the trope isn't just confined to Earth. The Kandilkari have "The Lake Dweller That Roars", though it's unclear as to whether it's real or not. Nol Kastiigan seems to think so, but it's not certain.
  • This Is Unforgivable!: Simenon tells Werber that their friendship is over - not just because Werber attempted to start a mutiny, but also because Simenon stood up for him and Werber abused that trust.
  • Twin Threesome Fantasy: The Asmund twins were raised by Klingons and are not very familiar with human sexuality. One of the sisters notices a crewman ogling them and asks her sister why he's doing that. The sister, being a little more versed in the subject, explains that he's probably imagining what it'd be like to sleep with both of them. The first sister is confused, as Klingon sex is extremely violent, and a threesome would be deadly. Also, she thinks that the man should want to have sex with two women who look different, for a little variety.
  • Water Source Tampering: In The First Virtue, a fanatical Cordracite poisons her city's water supply in order to escalate a conflict with another race, assuming they'll be blamed.
  • We Will Not Use Stage Makeup In The Future: Averted. Guinan disguises herself and Picard as Cataxxans by shaving their scalps and dying their skin purple.
  • You Are in Command Now: In The Valiant, Captain Daithan Ruhalter and First Officer Stephen Leach of the Stargazer are killed and critically injured, respectively, suddenly forcing Picard into the position of temporary CO. He doesn't exactly have an easy time of it, but he eventually gets a two-grade jump to Captain. Subsequent novels reveal that not everybody was happy about the promotion. Specifically, Admiral Arlen McAteer has his own vision of Starfleet, and it doesn't include young upstart captains like Picard. While McAteer can't demote Picard himself, as Picard reports to Admiral Mehdi, he can set tasks for him that would reveal Picard's incompetence or lack of experience, forcing Mehdi to reverse his decision.
  • You Have Failed Me: The Cardassians apparently have a saying; "Those who fail the Union are not demoted; they are eliminated".


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