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Literature / Star Trek: String Theory

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A trilogy of novels in the Star Trek Novel Verse, featuring the characters of Star Trek: Voyager. Set between seasons four and five of the show, the books attempt to bring a degree of closure to several plot points previously unresolved, chief among them the activities of the Sufficiently Advanced Aliens to which the Caretaker belonged. In other words, who was the Caretaker, really?

The three books are Cohesion, Fusion and Evolution.

With the release of The Eternal Tide, this trilogy (the third book in particular) has become important to the Star Trek: Voyager Relaunch series.

This series contains examples of:

  • Action Girl: General Lia of Ocampa.
  • Ancient Artifact: The Key to Gremadia. Occasionally it seems to overlap with Artifact of Doom.
  • Bodyguard Crush: In the Back Story for Ziv and Sem; Ziv was Sem's bodyguard, and in violation of their people's custom they had a sexual relationship.
  • Cosmic Retcon: The solution to the entire mess eventually involves rewriting thousands of years of history. An event which actually occurred within the current story (all photons within a certain range being drawn into Exosia, a realm of subspace) is now placed many millennia in the past. The starless Void from Season Five's opening episode is the result of this event; its existence is therefore one big Cosmic Retcon, down to the species who developed there but technically didn't exist until a few weeks prior...
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  • Department of Redundancy Department: Kaytok's attempts to describe his grandsire Gora:
    "An unusual person. Unusually intelligent, unusually persuasive, unusually...unusual."
  • Did You Just Romance Cthulhu?: See Interspecies Romance, below.
  • Earth-Shattering Kaboom: Monorha, which in a very Hitchhikers-esque moment is destroyed as part of a game on the higher dimensional planes.
  • Electronic Eyes: B'Elanna temporarily gains one, derived from Seven of Nine's Borg technology, after her true eyes are damaged in a shuttle crash. Only one, not two:
    "Great, no depth perception."
    "In the kingdom of the blind, the one eyed man is king."
    "But he'd still have no depth perception."
  • Fake Memories: When a Nacene inserts herself into Voyager’s crew, she takes the form of Janeway’s sister Phoebe. Everyone suddenly has an entirely altered set of memories, in which Phoebe was aboard the ship all along. The Doctor doesn’t share the illusion, of course, but “Phoebe” simply turns him off and bugs his program; problem solved.
    • Almost everyone - Harry and Naomi Wildman don't have their memories altered because they were from the alternate Voyager that was created in "Deadlock" and thus have a slightly different quantum signature than the rest of the crew.
  • Fictionary: Mororhan social terms sometimes require a peek at the glossary:
    • Ati-harat: An artisan in service to the rih-hara-tan.
    • Hara: A group or pack.
    • Harat: A male leader of a hara.
    • Haras: A female leader of a hara.
    • Haran: A member of a hara, male or female.
    • Linuh-harat: A seer or prophet, and an advisor to the rih-hara-tan.
    • Rih-hara-tan: The leader of an entire Monorhan tribe. The rih-hara-tan can establish the same psionic link with all tribe members that a harat or haras can with a hara.
    • Shalla: The head of a secular committee of Monorhans, established by the Interim Emergency Council.
    • Shi-harat: The personal bodyguard to the rih-hara-tan.
  • Fix Fic: Why is Janeway so out of character at the beginning of Season Five, and other points later on? Why did the Nacene Caretaker species not show up after season two? Why is Voyager in top condition as of the later seasons despite dwindling supplies? Why did Kes suddenly turn bitter and evil in Fury? This trilogy fills in all the gaps, and helps make Voyager’s continuity a lot easier to swallow. Some readers have suggested that the answers given here are weirder than the possible plot holes they try to plug, others that the things being fixed weren’t too much of a distraction anyway.
  • A Form You Are Comfortable With: The Nacene and their realm of origin, much of the time, and the Q and the Q Continuum, all of the time.
  • Horse of a Different Color: The ancient Ocampa used amphibians as mounts; this was when the planet Ocampa was covered in swamps. After the Nacene removed the moisture from the atmosphere, all life not preserved in underground cities died out, including the beasts of burden.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: The three books are One-Word Title-s that end in "ion": Cohesion, Fusion and Evolution.
  • Infinite Supplies: Voyager’s supplies weren’t infinite after all; the crew stocked up and completely refuelled the ship at a Nacene station between seasons 4 and 5. See Fix Fic, above.
  • Interspecies Romance: One of the oddest in all of Star Trek, with a Nacene (super-powerful spore-based creatures from another dimension) and an Ocampa (lithe humanoids with a 9-year lifespan).
  • "Leave Your Quest" Test: In the second novel, Tuvok is given a shot at reaching a Vulcan philosophical ideal...but he'll have to die as a result. He is so attached to the idea of his transformation that he offers his farewells to Janeway and the others, intending to remain how he now is rather than work to save himself. Of course, Foregone Conclusion and Status Quo Is God are both in play here, given that this is set mid-way through the series. He therefore survives, doesn't reach the ideal state of being, and recommits to the journey home with the others.
  • Maximum Fun Chamber: The Ninth Dimension. Apparently, the Q and other omnipotent beings dread being Spaced to the Ninth Dimension as punishment, though it's never explained why.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Averted with the names chosen by the Nacene in human form. Tremble, as the forces of Phoebe face down the forces of Vivia in epic battle!
  • Neural Implanting: Offered as an explanation for how Ocampa manage to function on the same level as other humanoids despite their brief lifespan. Because they have little time to assimilate new information and experiences, they instead download memories and skills from their ancestors through a natural process.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Voyager's meddling around in the Monorhan system starts the chain of events which ultimately open a wound in the fabric of reality. The cosmic strings start to unravel, threatening the premature death of creation several billion years too soon.
  • Rich Bitch: Sem, basically.
  • Sufficiently Advanced Alien: The Nacene. Captain Janeway notes that their technology apparently exceeds anything the Federation has ever encountered, at least in terms of the ability to synthesise fuels and raw materials, and adapt to service ships of any description. Seven of Nine adds that the Borg, too, have never encountered anything this sophisticated.
  • Wacky Racing: The Q and the other beings on their level host a party inside a cat, which involves racing around its bloodstream for the thrills.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Sem, a rather important character in the first book, is revealed at its conclusion to be pregnant. This looks like it might be important - but Sem doesn't appear in the remaining two books, and the conclusion of the series skips her specific fate, though we do get resolution for her race as a whole.