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A series of books in the Star Trek Novel Verse. Although each is a stand-alone (even the Terok Nor books, billed as a trilogy, are largely accessible on a one-to-one basis), they tie into an overarching account of a particular period in the Star Trek timeline; between Kirk's apparent death in 2293 and the launch of Picard's Enterprise in 2364. The novels also link in with other books set in this period but not considered a part of the Lost Era, such as Star Trek: Vulcan's Heart and The Captain's Daughter. There are eleven novels in the series:

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  • The Sundered: Captain Sulu aboard the Excelsior, on a diplomatic mission to the Tholian Assembly.
  • Serpents Among the Ruins: Captain John Harriman aboard the Enterprise-B, and the infamous Tomed Incident, as political tensions between the Federation, Klingons and Romulans reach a head.
  • The Art of the Impossible: An eighteen year political epic detailing a cold war between the Klingons and the Cardassians.
  • Well of Souls: Captain Rachel Garrett aboard the Enterprise-C, and the criminal underbelly of the Star Trek universe.
  • Deny thy Father: The exploits of Kyle Riker (Will Riker's father), and Will Riker's early Starfleet career.
  • Catalyst of Sorrows: Aging Admiral Uhura recruits a collection of familiar characters for an undercover operation to investigate a suspected Romulan bioweapon.
  • The Buried Age: Captain Picard pursues an archaeological mystery.
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  • The Terok Nor trilogy of Day of the Vipers, Night of the Wolves, and Dawn of the Eagles, detailing the history of the Cardassian occupation of Bajor.
  • One Constant Star: Demora Sulu as captain of the Enterprise-B eight years after Serpents Among the Ruins.

Many a Continuity Nod to the events of these novels is to be found in other Star Trek books.


Tropes:

  • Abandoned Mine: In Well of Souls, briefly. A scene on Farius Prime takes place at one of these.
  • Abandon Ship: The Buried Age begins with the Battle of Maxia, and Picard having to abandon the Stargazer, going into some length as to the hows and whys (he had intended to scuttle it, but the mechanisms got broken. Then the plan was to deposit it in the nearby planetary atmosphere, but poor luck and Daimon Bok prevent that).
  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: The monomolecular-edged swords in use by the Tholians.
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  • Abusive Parents: The mother of Zetha, from Catalyst of Sorrows. Zetha's only memories of her birth mother involve yelling and violence; apparently, the woman blamed her daughter for "ruining her life".
  • Actual Pacifist: The Halkans, who insist that there is no violence of any kind in their hearts. As a result of this, anyone capable of violence cannot be truly Halkan. Halkan character Lojur is even exiled from the planet for using violence in defense of his village. It was under attack by murderous raiders, but even then the majority of his people found fighting inconceivable.
  • Alien Arts Are Appreciated: Enabran Tain, a Cardassian, is fond of human stained-glass windows. Another Cardassian, Danig Kell, likes Lissepian paintings. And Curzon Dax, a Trill, is more Klingon than some Klingons.
    • In One Constant Star, a Tholian movie is mentioned, having somehow made its way out of the Tholian Assembly to the Federation. John Harriman and his wife wonder what a Tholian film even looks likenote .
  • Alien Non-Interference Clause: The Manraloth find this sort of thing immoral and cowardly, in contrast to the Federation. This is one of several fundamental issues on which the Federation and Manraloth disagree, although both groups work to bring peace and prosperity to the galaxy.
  • Alternate Universe: One Constant Star sees a visit or two to an alternate universe, courtesy of both alien technology and a very unusual star.
  • Amplifier Artifact: The mask in Well of Souls. Useless to those who are not psi-sensitive, it enhances and focuses the talents of empaths and latent telepaths. It's designed to allow members of its planet's ruling family to enhance their psi talents to the degree that their mind can serve as a vessel for the spirit lifeform Uramtali. Without the mask, these talents would no longer be adequate, as the rulers' genes were diluted by centuries of inbreeding.
  • Ancient Tomb: In Well of Souls.
  • Arc Welding: The Art of the Impossible skilfully links the Romulan politics of the novel Star Trek: Vulcan's Heart with established canonical events in both Klingon and Cardassian history, as well as plots and characters seen in other "Lost Era" books.
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: In Catalyst of Sorrows, as with many Trek novels focusing on Romulans, the aristocracy comes across considerably worse than the common people, who are usually sympathetic.
  • Artifact of Doom: The Dithparu mask in Well of Souls. See Amplifier Artifact, above. Having Uramtali inside your mind isn't a lot of fun.
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Everyone in the galaxy did this simultaneously a quarter of a billion years ago, the result of a Manraloth experiment gone wrong. Trying to unite the multiverse as they had the galaxy, the Manraloth and their allies attempted to tap into the higher dimensional planes with their minds. The resulting surge of energy proved too powerful, overloading the telepathic centres of every Manraloth and transmitting it to any other brain capable of receiving it. The entire galactic population was forced into a state of pure energy, long before most races were ready. Ariel, who was revived from a quantum status field erected to save her during the above catastrophe, eventually chooses to ascend too, and join the rest of her people, though this time they decide to ease into it, which works out a lot better.
  • Ascended Extra: The Brunyg and Gororm species, both from The Buried Age, are Ascended Extra races. They are based on background aliens who never got a name or a line onscreen.
  • "Ass" in Ambassador: Vreenak in Serpents Among the Ruins, although technically he's simply an aide to the actual ambassador, who is truly diplomatic.
    • Ditagh from the same novel, though in part that's simply his Klingon warrior caste roots.
    • In The Sundered, Ambassador Burgess of the Federation and Ambassador Kasrene of the Tholians actually cause problems due to their NOT being this. They are genuinely interested in opening a dialogue, sometimes working against the interests of their respective militaries, for better or worse.
  • Batman Can Breathe in Space: A Neyel in The Sundered, beamed aboard after being blown out into space, isn't quite dead after all; it turns out Neyel have engineered themselves to survive vacuum for a time. As is pointed out, they're not the only race who can survive space; mention is made of the Nasat, a nod to Starfleet Corps of Engineers.
  • Bi the Way: The prologue to One Constant Star mentions in passing that Demora is in a relationship with another woman, and the two of them have started dating a man.
  • Binary Suns: The Naxeran homeworld, which never experiences true night. The suns are named for mythological brothers who also inspire the Naxeran caste system; the stronger brother, G'Dok, is the brighter sun and gives his name to the ruling caste, while the second sun is named for the weaker brother Leahru.
  • A Birthday, Not a Break: Picard has to spend one of his birthdays in a small fleet of escape pods and shuttle craft, running low on air and supplies, waiting on the chance of a Federation ship rescuing what's left of the Stargazer crew.
  • Bizarre Alien Biology: The Frunalian "shift", essentially a second puberty. Their exoskeleton falls off, their biochemistry (and personality) change and a fleshy mane-like sensory organ erupts down their backs.
  • Blessed with Suck:
    • Miras Vara in the Terok Nor trilogy, after she becomes Astraea and serves as a vessel to Oralius, reviving the Oralian Way. Her spiritual awakening may be for the good of Cardassia, but her new life is hardly a happy one. Another example is Pahl in Well of Souls. A Naxeran child, he's also a telepath. His untrained telepathy doesn’t have much of a benefit - it mostly just leads to delusions, hallucinations, accidental Mind Rape of his closest friend, and being targeted for Demonic Possession.
    • Guinan regards her connection to the Nexus as one.
  • Blue and Orange Morality:
    • The Manraloth, whose hat is skilled communication and manipulation, and who use these skills to aid in bringing peace to the galaxy. Their methods of doing so conflict with those of the Federation, and they are very, very sneaky and manipulative. Always, though, their intentions are good and noble.
    • The Regnancy of the Carnelian Throne, whose citizens are metaphorically slaves to the Carnelian Throne itself. They ritualistically "play along" with subjugation as part of their "enslavement" to the values it represents.
    Given how passionate Federation people were about democracy, Guinan thought, they wouldn't have been too open-minded about the Carnelians' symbolic conquest and enslavement. And the Carnelians would've taken their resistance as a rejection of the justice and righteousness that the Throne represented, and concluded that the colonists were enemies of justice.
    • In The Sundered, Sulu acknowledges this trope when agreeing to honour the Tholian warrior caste's legal determinations of truth, which are arrived at through combat.
  • Blunt Metaphors Trauma: The Buried Age depicts the first meeting between Picard and Data, with the latter being even worse about this at that point in time than he is at the beginning of The Next Generation. After about a minute of the conversation, Picard feels like some of what's left of his hair is probably falling out from exasperation.
  • Book-Ends: The Art of the Impossible begins with a scene where a Klingon child is on a hunting expedition, and is told a story by his parents, who are educating him in his people's history. This scene also sets up the political context for the novel. The novel ends with a very similar scene where a Cardassian child is on a fishing trip. She too is told a story, and educated in her people's history. The closing scene also serves to evaluate the political events of the novel...from a certain point of view.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: The officers sent to kill Kyle Riker in Deny Thy Father.
  • Call-Back: The events of "Time's Arrow" play an important part for Guinan in The Buried Age. She's waiting for Picard to become the man she met four hundred years ago, which is still a few years off for him.
  • Call-Forward:
    • In the Distant Prologue of One Constant Star, set eight years before Serpent Among the Ruins. Harriman is considering the possibility of "manoeuvring" the Romulans into peace.
    • In The Buried Age, Picard hears about the idea of nanotechnology, and thinks about how he might not have a problem seeing where that goes. You'll change your tune soon enough, Jeany-boy...
    • Janeway, after her well-meaning attempt to free some Manraloth from their security field kills most of the frostees, declares that in the future, if she's ever forced to chose between her own desires or the well-being of aliens, she's damn well going to go for the later.
    • On meeting Worf, he initially wants a security posting, and is pretty miffed when Picard instead gives him the broader function he serves in TNG season 1.
    • The Buried Age also depicts the situations where Picard first comes into contact with Geordi La Forge and Tasha Yar. Picard describes the former in The Next Phase and the latter in Legacy.
  • Captain Smooth and Sergeant Rough: In his time working under J.P. Hansen, Picard is called up to his office for breaking an inverted version of this. How is Admiral Hansen supposed to intimate the lower ranking officers, when Picard's already being nasty to them?
  • Character Development: The Buried Age shows Picard transitioning into the man we meet at the beginning of The Next Generation, the more-than-a-little closed off grump who immediately surrenders in the face of Sufficiently Advanced Aliens rather than risk his ship (with the justification of losing a ship to a fight he started prompting guilt).
  • Les Collaborateurs: Kubus Oak, who sold out his entire world to Cardassian invaders, becoming the chief collaborator in the Bajoran government. He first appeared in an episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and is fleshed out in the Terok Nor books.
  • Compelling Voice:
    • The Manraloth. This is only one technique of many with which they subtly influence and guide the thinking of others.
    • Picard has a semi-serious version of this, his "Captain's Voice", which tends to make people automatically obey him. He doesn't like using it when being a lecturer, preferring the students listen because they're actually interested.
  • Continuity Nod: The Buried Age, being written by Christopher L. Bennett, has a metric ton of these scattered in and among the plot.
    • Pretty much every advanced ancient species from Trek lore, both TV and bookwise, gets a nod, either in Picard's lecture on them, or through the rest of the novel.
    • Early on, Picard thinks about France, noting how he's not going back to Paris after what happened with Janine Manheim, and going back to the family farm is a no-no.
    • In Picard and Ariel's discussion on precursor species, the entity from the animated series episode "Beyond the Farthest Star" gets brought up. Apparently it's still around, and still stuck on the dead star Kirk left it on, but Starfleet is wisely staying the hell away from it. The mind-switching machines from "Turnabout Intruder" get brought up. They were around in the Manraloth days, but were used for simple body-tourism, rather than psychotic revenge plots on exes.
    • When the Organians come up, the ones Archer and co ran into in "Contagion" get a nod, with their different characterization given the justification that they're rebellious spirits about whom the other Organians prefer to not speak of.
    • In Data's conversation with Ariel, we see things from his viewpoint, and as mentioned many times over TNG, his attention is never entirely focused on her alone because his android brain is focused on lots of other things as well.
    • The discussion on the victims of the aforementioned Ascending-To-A-Higher-Plane gone wrong hints that some of them were the Redjac entity Kirk ran into (or the like).
    • Ariel's first impression of Guinan is her breaking up a potential bar brawl with her "souvenir from Makus III".
    • In her time in the Carnellan Regnancy, Guinan goes under an assumed name. Q had intimated in "Q Who?" that she had gone under many names, but this wasn't followed up on elsewhere. She also introduces herself to Ariel by stating "I tend bar", as she did to Ensign Ro.
    • When Picard gets subject to the accidental Mind Rape of the Manraloth, he sees his father saying "look what happened to you", and his mother, accompanied by her tea-set.
    • The interlude with Ariel notes the higher species hanging around the shallow end of the Godlike Alien pool, such as the Travellers, the Douwd (who apparently all tend to hide their nature), and a brief cameo from V-Ger.
    • The final part of the book is a reproduction of the first past segments from "All Good Things", only without the Q interference. Even Torres, the Redshirt Q froze, gets mentioned.
  • Cool Old Guy:
    • Klingon ambassador Kage in The Sundered, although his aide Ditagh simply can't see it.
    • Uhura is probably the female equivalent as of Catalyst of Sorrows.
    • It's also worth noting Elias Vaughn, who shows up in several of these novels. In the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Relaunch he is the Cool Old Guy, but here he's still a relatively young man.
  • Cool Ship: The Albatross in Catalyst of Sorrows, a one-of-the-kind spy ship with the latest in holographic and communication technologies. It's a shame it doesn't make it back from its first mission.
  • Courtroom Antics: Picard's tribunal for the loss of the Stargazer, mainly thanks to JAG officer Phillipa Luvois, who acts massively unprofessionally in the proceedings, despite prior warning. And it's deconstructed; Phillipa's behaviour nearly gets the whole case thrown out repeatedly until she quits.
  • Culture Clash: Early Ferengi impressions of the hew-mons and the Federation spook the Ferengi. They can't wrap their heads around the idea that a species isn't driven by the relentless pursuit of profit, and come to the conclusion they're either lying or just insane.
  • Damned by Faint Praise: Ariel thanks Coray for all her species have done assisting Picard's archaeological expedition to free her. Coray takes it as an insult, since she knows all her species have done is obstruct and manipulate out of selfish greed.
  • Dark and Troubled Past:
    • The Neyel, as an entire race, and explored in some detail in The Sundered. Readers of Star Trek: Titan will know they also have a dark and troubled future.
    • Pretty much every character in Well of Souls.
  • Death Is Dramatic: Klingons live for dramatic death (it's the hoped for highlight of a warrior caste Klingon's existence). In keeping with this trope, major Klingon characters tend to have very dramatic deaths, including Azetbur and Kravokh, who are both assassinated in rather climatic scenes. It's averted with General Worf, though, whose underwhelming and pointless death isn't even shown. He deserved better.
  • Death Seeker: Pahl, in Well of Souls, sort of. Though not a warrior (he's a 12-year old child), he certainly has a death wish and seems to understand on some level that Sealed Evil in a Can Uramtali has unpleasant things in mind for him.
  • Decon-Recon Switch: The idea of the Galaxy-class ships having children aboard is given a drubbing throughout The Buried Age, with a mixture of alarm and confusion at the idea that anyone's putting children and families aboard starships which routinely get attacked or destroyed, but it's also noted people going on long space journeys don't want to leave their families behind.
  • Demonic Possession: In Well of Souls. The afore-mentioned unpleasant thing.
  • Double-Meaning Title: Catalyst of Sorrows. The bioweapon is the catalyst of the character's sorrows, but it is also codenamed "Catalyst".
  • Downer Ending: The ending of Well of Souls isn't really a downer ending for most characters - it's actually reasonably upbeat considering the Dysfunction Junction setting - but that's only true of the adults. The two children have quite the downer ending, really. Well, they're alive; that has to count for something.
  • Dramatic Irony: In The Buried Age, Data does some number crunching and comes to the conclusion that all the Galaxy-class starships won't manage to make it to ten years before something destroys them. It turns out this is actually the result of Manraloth sabotage, but as anyone familiar with their Trek knows, the Enterprise, Yamato and Odyssey are in fact doomed to not make it to a double-digit lifespan.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Sadly, despite having essentially saved the Klingon Empire from self-destruction, the remaining disciples of Gorkon, such as his daughter Chancellor Azetbur and Ambassador Kage, are mocked and condemned by the new generation of restless warriors, e.g. Ditagh. They insist Azetbur's government prepare for war to satisfy their own desire for glory, caring nothing for the sacrifices Gorkon's people made or why they made them.
  • Dysfunction Junction: The crew of the Enterprise-C in Well of Souls. And how.
  • The Empath: Jason Garrett (male example).
  • The Empire: The Neyel Hegemony.
  • Even the Girls Want Her: Deanna Troi notes absently that she's occasionally noticed women expressing attraction to her, as well as guys.
  • Everybody's Dead, Dave: When her memories return, revived Manraloth Ariel (in The Buried Age) is suddenly hit with the weight of this observation.
  • Everyone Meets Everyone: The Buried Age is how Picard met some of Starfleet personnel who would become his command staff on the Enterprise-D. He meets Geordi, Deanna and Data for the first time in the novel, and Worf at the very end.
  • Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: The B'nurlac, who are (or were, since they're extinct) a race of club-tailed ankylosaurids.
  • Everything's Better with Sparkles: And the Manraloth know it. Sparkles are one of the features with which they've augmented themselves.
  • Evil Albino: Played with in Well of Souls. Pahl is essentially albino, or his race's equivalent, and while he's certainly not evil himself, he serves as a vessel for a possessing evil.
  • Evil Counterpart: Uramtali to Oralius, seemingly. Perhaps more accurately, Uramtali represents fear and isolation where Oralius represents love and connection with others.
  • Failsafe Failure: At least part of the reason things go badly for the Stargazer is the ships' fire suppression systems don't work. After-battle analysis results in Starfleet overhauling the system across the fleet.
  • Fantastic Caste System: The Naxerans have three castes, named for mythological figures that also correspond to the stars and moons of their home system. The G'Dok are the clan of the stronger brother (and the first star), and rule the planet; the Leahru, clan of the weaker brother (and second sun), are subserviant and tread carefully around the G'Dok. Then there's the Efram, apparently wretched slaves who are seemingly identified with eclipse.
  • Fantastic Honorifics: In The Buried Age, a very minor character named Deb'ni has the academic title "Questor". Qr. Deb'ni is Algolian, and Questor seems to be the Algolian equivalent of "research scientist".
  • Fantastic Racism: Data, pre-Enterprise, is on the receiving end. When Picard first meets him, he's been dumped in a records office to be forgotten and ignored by his coworkers, who convinently all get transferred to other places on the Starbase because, hey, Data can do all the work for them, right? Picard has some suitably harsh words for them after meeting him.
  • Fantastic Rank System:
    • The Ferengi rank DaiMon was canonically established, and similar to "Captain". The Buried Age introduces the next rank up: GuiMon, roughly analogous to "general".
    • The Neyel, a human Lost Colony, have "Drech'tor" for captain and "Subdrech'tor" for commander, which have obviously evolved from the titles "director" and "sub-director". They also have "subaltern", an archaic British term for any commissioned rank below captain.
  • Fantastic Slurs: Gul Monor calls the Klingons "foreheads".
  • Fascinating Eyebrow: In Well of Souls, Talma Pren can’t do it, but Vaavek can. Talma muses that all Vulcans seem capable of doing so.
  • A Father to His Men: Picard. He's outraged on Data's behalf at his poor treatment, and advises him to find ways to deal with that, and when Troi reveals what Hansen ordered her to do, she senses outrage at the man coming from Picard, who apparently then goes to confront the man.
  • Fatal Family Photo: "Iron Mike" Paris.
  • Fish out of Temporal Water: Ariel, in The Buried Age, who finds herself in a time period 250 million years after her people's extinction.
  • For Your Own Good: Anything the Manraloth do, ever. See Blue and Orange Morality, above.
  • Foreshadowing: In The Buried Age, Picard's musings on cybernetics are an example of ironic foreshadowing; it's still several years before he meets the Borg.
  • Gambit Pileup: Seeing as Starfleet Intelligence, the Cardassian Obsidian Order, the Romulan Tal Shiar and the Orion Syndicate show up in multiple novels across the series, this is the inevitable result.
  • Good Shepherd: Kai Meressa, Hadlo and Bennek all count.
  • Gossipy Hens: The prologue of The Buried Age has the Stargazer crew casually shooting the breeze, even ragging their captain, as they explore the Maxia system. Lovouis, jerk that she is, tries using this relaxed atmosphere as ammunition against Picard's case during the trial.
  • Gratuitous Iambic Pentameter: In The Buried Age, there's a scene where Picard and Ariel discuss Shakespeare, and he realises afterwards that she was casually speaking in iambic pentameter, including finishing with a rhyming couplet.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Jason Garrett, half human and half Betazoid.
  • Happiness in Slavery: Other cultures don't immediately understand that the citizens of the Regnancy of the Carnelian Throne are metaphorically slaves, who play along with subjugation as a ritualistic expression of their "enslavement" to justice.
  • Harmful To Minors: 12-year old Jason Garrett and his friend Pahl don't have a very nice time at all, what with all the evil possessing spirits and violent gunmen and loved ones being essentially murdered in front of them.
  • Has Two Mommies: There are several same-sex couples with children in this series. They include a pair of female scientists in The Buried Age and two male parents on one branch of the Paris family in Serpents Among the Ruins. As well as these human examples, there's a female Romulan who is briefly mentioned to have an adult son, and a wife.
  • Heroic Willpower: When the Manraloth inadvertently inflict mind-rape on everyone in the area in their misguided attempts to "help" the lower species, only two people resist: Guinan, whose connection to the Nexus allows her to shrug it off, and Natasha Yar, who has no such advantage.
  • Hive Mind: The Tholian "lattice" is probably halfway there. Tholians are certainly not a true hive mind, being fully individual, and just as capable of dissent as any other race. However, a network of telepathy known as the lattice connects the minds of all Tholians, distributing basic race-knowledge and allowing individuals to commune with one another. The lattice is regulated carefully, with different castes having different degrees of access.
  • Hold Your Hippogriffs: "The Bloodwing's Share" (the lion's share), "like h'vart in an alley". Both of these are Romulan expressions.
  • Humans Are Ugly: In one of the novels, a Romulan reflects on how humans look horribly unfinished to Romulan eyes; as if their ears and brows were only half-formed. Another book in the series suggests that to those humanoid races with ridged foreheads or brows, humans actually look infantile, reflecting a "typical" humanoid baby (the young having less pronounced ridges). Among the human-like races, humans are thus bland and disturbingly undistinguished.
  • Human Shield: In Well of Souls, Su Chen-Mai uses Captain Garrett's son Jason as a Human Shield.
  • Ignorance Is Bliss: The Renagans, in Catalyst of Sorrows. They know aliens can't possibly exist, so they simply ignore those aliens who do show up until they go away again. Arguably this trope also applies to the Halkans, who can't handle the harsh realities of the outside galaxy, due to their Actual Pacifist culture.
  • Ignore The Fanservice: Picard in The Buried Age, with the Mabrae official Coray, who insists on trying to be seductive as a manipulative diplomatic tactic. Picard knows what she's doing and brushes her off. A young Argelian doesn't, however, and finds out that responding with genuine interest is not a good idea, thanks to Bizarre Alien Biology.
  • Immortal Procreation Clause: The immortal Manraloth rarely need to reproduce; when they do they can alter their own physiology to bring their body back into breeding mode, although it takes some time to completely undergo the changes.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: Janeway makes one in The Buried Age. Getting a good look at a Mabrae security officer (whose uniform is literally made of tree bark), she responds to an assertion he makes with "yes, I imagine you...would"
  • In-Joke: Vreenak is the only Romulan character of note who refuses to believe the official story behind the Tomed Incident. He believes (correctly, actually, though his reasons are simply the result of his paranoia not genuine knowledge) that the Federation wasn't attacked by Admiral Vokar as everyone thinks. The Federation must have planned a false attack to frame Romulus. In other words, Vreenak thinks it's a fake. Fans of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine will get the subtle joke.
  • Insane Admiral: Not a Federation admiral, amazingly, but a Romulan one. The main plot of Serpents Among The Ruins involves portraying Admiral Vokar as one of these while setting up the now-infamous Tomed Incident, in which Vokar's flagship Tomed performed a suicide run at a Federation sector and deliberately destabilized its quantum singularity while at high warp.
  • Insistent Terminology: The Naxerans have frills on their noses - not whiskers, frills.
  • Interservice Rivalry: Captain Qaolin of the Klingon Defence Force and his Imperial Intelligence liasion, in The Art of the Impossible.
  • Irony: As in TNG, despite his discomfort around kids, Picard finds himself stuck with kids who worship him, and no means of handling it.
  • Jerkass:
    • The opening of The Buried Age shows us Daimon Bok's son. He attacks a Federation ship unprovoked when it wanders into the Maxia system simply because he thought they were trying to steal his mining rights, and never bothered checking.
    • Phillipa Louvois. Let's just say it's not hard to see why Picard wanted to smash a chair across her face the next time they meet. She acts in an entirely unprofessional manner during his hearing, despite repeated censure before and after, and when called for nearly scuppering the whole case, insists it's not her fault and storms out.
  • Jerkass Gods: The Manaloth had Q too. They dealt with him the same way Picard did - getting annoyed and telling him to bugger off 'till he got the hint.
  • Karma Houdini: The Neyel are a race of xenophobes who never once given any indication that they think murdering and enslaving other species is wrong. Yet Sulu embraces them like long lost relatives as soon as he finds out they're descended from humans, because Humans Are Good and therefore they must be nice really.
  • Karmic Death: Aventeer Vokar in Serpents Among the Ruins. He dies in disgrace aboard Tomed, furthering the cause of peace by serving to shock Romulus into withdrawing its forces; the exact opposite of what he'd want. He was so deeply unpleasant most would say he deserved it.
    • Su Chen-Mai, who pretty much had to die after trying to murder captain Garrett's family.
  • Leave No Witnesses: The crime cartels in Well of Souls have a policy of this, as shown during the search for technological artifacts on the Dithparu planet. Not only are the criminals on the site preparing to murder the civilians they've hired, but the masterminds of the operation are also planning on killing them in turn.
  • Literal Metaphor: In The Buried Age, Picard recalls an incident where a temporal anomaly had "quite literally blown the Stargazer into the middle of the next week".
  • Literary Allusion Title
    • The Art of the Impossible is a play on Otto von Bismark's "Politics is the art of the possible".
    • Deny Thy Father is from Romeo and Juliet
    • The Buried Age gets its title from Shakespeare's Sonnet 64. The first section of the book (about Picard's court martial) is titled "The Quality of Mercy", from the courtroom speech in The Merchant of Venice, and the following three parts (featuring the character Ariel) all take their titles from The Tempest.
  • Living Legend: Picard becomes famous after the loss of the Stargazer. He's not remotely happy about it.
  • Lost Colony: Holy Vangar' is a lost colony of Earth, and the Neyel are human.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Ariel may be benevolent, but she's also this. Definitely. The Fates tend to be this too; certainly Uramtali is, and Oralius has Her moments.
    • From the Romulan viewpoint, John Harriman may well be this.
    • Pasir, who is about as manipulative and bastardly as you can get.
  • Married to the Job: Darrah Mace and Rachel Garrett are both accused of this by their respective partners. Both these partners leave them.
  • Mask of Power: Oralian recitation masks. See Day of the Vipers, Night of the Wolves and Well of Souls. See also Amplifier Artifact, above.
  • Mayfly–December Romance: Ariel and Picard. Ariel is effectively immortal, and has been alive longer than humans have existed as a species. Her relationship with Picard was genuine while she had amnesia; since her memory returned, she's been stringing the "innocent child" along as part of her master plan. Being as old as she is, she's an complete expert at manipulation, plus her people are naturally designed for it anyway.
  • Mean Boss: Picard develops a reputation as one by the third part of The Buried Age, thanks to his frustration with the Ariel situation. He is and he isn't - he is definitely cantankerous, but only on those he feels aren't trying hard enough and being lazy. He's awed to hear about Geordi LaForge working himself to exhaustion to fix a shuttle just because Picard had made an absent comment about it, when confronted by the guy's captain.
  • Mind over Manners: The reason Ven Kaldarren doesn't telepathically scan the shady characters he's travelling with, despite their highly unpleasant personalities. He later acknowledges he was foolish not to. Indeed, they're planning to kill him, and his son.
  • Mind Rape: Uramtali does this, quite brutally, to several people, including a child.
  • Monumental Damage: The Sundered has a mention that Mecca was hit hard by World War III, including somebody detonating a nuke there in the 2050s.
  • Must Make Amends: Troi manages to peg this as part of the reason for Picard's obsessive behavior in The Buried Age. Being so used to success, he's having a hard time coming to grips with a colossal screw-up unleashing a group of well-intentioned extremists.
  • My Country, Right or Wrong: Aventeer Vokar.
  • Nice Hat: As always, wherever Guinan goes, the giant hats follow (it's practically a running gag that her hats are the first thing about her identified). Unless she's travelling, in which case she wears smaller, more practical ones.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: At the end of The Buried Age, a freshly ascended Ariel points Q, already interested in humanity, in the direction of one Jean-Luc Picard.
  • Non-Action Guy: Ven Kaldarren.
  • No Social Skills: Part of Data's problem gelling with other Starfleet personel is that he doesn't have any social skills, often interrupting any conversation he manages to be a part of to ask any question that flits into his mind, derailing the conversation then and there.
  • Not Quite Dead: The Neyel beamed aboard Excelsior in The Sundered. See Batman Can Breathe in Space, above.
  • Not So Different: Tholian Admiral Yilskene in The Sundered comes to suspect this about his people and the humans, and concludes that humans might, after all, be just as "multi-faceted" as Tholians.
    • In the same novel, Sulu and the human crew of Excelsior struggle with the understanding that the violent imperialistic Neyel are actually the exact same race as they are.
  • Omniglot: Ariel, and all Manraloth; but then, they engineered themselves that way.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: The situation between Picard and Guinan gets so fraught in The Buried Age she actually gets angry with him.
  • Organic Technology: Manraloth nanotech, which is incorporated into their genome.
  • Our Mermaids Are Different: Los Tirasol Mentir, the Reasonable Authority Figure in Serpents Among the Ruins, is Alonis, a semi-humanoid scaled aquatic species first introduced in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Relaunch.
  • Overly Long Name: In The Buried Age, "Ariel" is more accurately known as Giriaenn Lilaeannin eb Vairan Gela-syr.
  • Pardon My Klingon: The Tellarite curse "krught".
  • Parental Abandonment: John Harriman has issues with his father, as does Will Riker. Rachel Garrett and Kyle Riker are essentially heroes who are on the guilty side of this.
  • Patrick Stewart Speech: Naturally, The Buried Age has Picard unleash one on Ariel. And it works.
  • Phlebotinum Killed the Dinosaurs: In The Buried Age, the Permian extinction event is chosen instead - it's described as a consequence of an artificially-induced galaxy-wide disaster. The Sufficiently Advanced Aliens known as Manraloth accidentally caused the entire galactic population to Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence, releasing terrible amounts of energy as a by-product. This irradiated planets, and furthemore in the aftermath the artificially-maintained habitats and star systems built by the Manraloth destabilized, making things even worse. The galaxy was an irradiated hellhole until sapient life evolved again millions of years later.
  • The Plague: The plot of Catalyst of Sorrows, as Admiral Uhura (now heading Starfleet Intelligence) responds to the outbreak of a long-dead Romulan pathogen that's spreading on both sides of the Neutral Zone.
  • Plant Aliens: The Mabrae are animals, but live symbiotically with plants that grow on their bodies, and are tailored to each individual. Security guards have tough bark as natural body armour, diplomats and politicians grow exotic colourful flowers. These plants are essentially the Mabrae's clothes. They consider segregation between leaf and flesh barbaric.
  • Politically Correct History: Averted, after being played straight in "Time's Arrow". Guinan notes that her time on 19th century Earth as a black woman was not easy-street, even with her El-Aurian listening skills. Many of the high society folk were just holding her on a pedestal.
  • Precursors: The Buried Age fleshes out the distant prehistory of the Star Trek universe, including discussion of just how many precursor civilizations have risen, branched out, and fallen over the last half billion years. The way in which these civilizations created the condition in which the modern Trek galaxy finds itself is also explored.
  • Prehensile Tail: The Neyel.
  • Prevent the War: Harriman's goal in Serpents Among the Ruins, as tensions between the Federation and the Romulans slowly but surely place them on the countdown to a probable war. Harriman's method of preventing it is rather unconventional, however.
  • Put Down Your Gun and Step Away: In Well of Souls. Captain Garrett does so, but to be fair, she's quite flustered by the fact that the hostage is her young son - and that she didn't even know he was there until this point. Her companion hesitates (no doubt knowing you don't comply with this sort of demand), but then follows the captain's lead.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Kage for the Klingons, along with Chancellor Azetbur. Senator Cretak for the Romulans. Admiral Los Tirasol Mentir for the Federation starfleet. Admiral Yilskene for the Tholians.
    • Kravokh seems this at first, but isn't really. Besides, a problem he shared with Azetbur and Kage is that Klingons don't in fact respond too well to "reasonable" a lot of the time.
  • Religious Bruiser: Thrax Sa'kat.
  • Revision: The Sundered introduces interphase tunnels that lead from the Milky Way to the Small Magellanic Cloud. The Star Trek: Titan novels later built on this by establishing a whole subspace topography that placed the Cloud "downstream" of the Milky Way. This served to allow two different ships in two different times and places to both reach the same region of space and interact with the Neyel race. In The Buried Age, a subtle offhand reference to ancient Manraloth transportation networks offers an explanation for how this improbable situation came about.
  • Rousing Speech: Gul Monor tries. He really does. He is hopeless at it.
    "...before a tragedy even more tragic than the tragedy that befell the victims today happens again"
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: Deanna Troi is ordered to spy on Picard by Admiral Hansen, but almost immediately tells him about this anyway, consequences be damned. It impresses Picard.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: The Dithparu in Well of Souls. Evil spirits, basically, who are trapped in the magnetic containment fields in an old tomb beneath the mountains.
  • Shout-Out to Shakespeare: Much of The Buried Age, including the title. A lot of the character names are also anagrams for Shakespeare characters, or otherwise based on them. Also, the Mabrae take their name from that of Queen Mab, in Romeo And Juliet.
  • Snake Oil Salesman: One shows up on Sliwon in Catalyst of Sorrows.
  • So Last Season: At the climax of The Buried Age, the Manraloth try doing what the Organians did with the Federation and Klingons, making them unable to touch their weapons or computer consoles, but the advance of technology means they can just use vocal commands and keep blasting.
  • Soldier vs. Warrior: Gul Monor discusses this in The Art of the Impossible, when contrasting his own Cardassians (soldier) with the Klingons (warrior).
  • Space Is an Ocean: Lampshaded in Catalyst of Sorrows, which gives a wink to the audience in decrying science fiction of the past's obsession with this trope.
  • Space Station: Legate Kell wants to build one in orbit of Bajor, and finally blackmails his peers into providing funds for it in The Art of the Impossible. His former underling Dukat takes control of the swiftly constructed station and, well, cue the backstory for Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Night of the Wolves and Dawn of the Eagles detail much of the station's early operational history.
  • Start of Darkness:
    • Corbin Entek, a Cardassian Obsidian Order villain from a highly popular episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, is a lowly junior probationist in The Art of the Impossible, albeit a promising one. The novel features a sub-plot in which he settles into the Order and earns the admiration of Enabran Tain.
    • Vreenak's disdain for the Federation heroes is explored in Serpents Among the Ruins, setting him up for his role in "In the Pale Moonlight".
  • Sufficiently Advanced Aliens: The Manraloth were the apex species of their day, and it shows. They had transwarp, capable of going to other galaxies, had tech that allows them to transport people or objects with waves of their hands, stored information in black holes, and have tech so advanced they consider the freaking Borg to be primitive.
  • Suicide Attack: How Vokar will be remembered.
  • Survivor's Guilt: Jason Garrett, after his father dies and his friend suffers intense trauma, the result of an encounter with aliens he could also sense, but wasn't directly harmed by.
  • The Syndicate: The Orion Syndicate and the Asfar Qatala.
  • Take Me Instead: Ven Kaldarren, who sacrifices himself to Uramtali in exchange for his son and another child. In fact, Uramtali wanted Kaldarren all along (desiring to force her consciousness into his mind), but couldn't get to him as he'd instinctively raised his telepathic shields. The children were therefore bait and "incentive"; Uramtali figured he'd pull this trope when she telepathically attacked them instead.
  • Talking in Your Dreams: The Cardassian Fates communicate like this. Non-corporeal creatures inhabiting a mysterious dimensional plane that intersects with our own, they can telepathically influence mortals. In particular, with individuals of the right genetic makeup (or whose minds have been altered by particular artifacts), they can appear in dreams and hold "conversations" - or alternatively just plant images and desires. Their apparent leader, Oralius, uses it to find the next Astraea so as to keep the Oralian Way religion and the compassionate, noble aspect of Cardassian society alive. Her Evil Counterpart Uramtali uses it to telepathically rape young boys.
  • Teenage Wasteland: The Manraloth see the modern galaxy as this. The races of today have grown up without the oversight of the Manraloth and their galaxy-spanning alliance, and are frequently at war. These unruly, rather brutal child races require Manraloth guidance to mature healthily. Or so Ariel believes.
  • That Man Is Dead: On regaining all her memory, Giriaeann insists Ariel is dead. Picard and Data agree with her.
  • Time Skip: The Buried Age jumps three years between the second and third parts.
  • Tyke Bomb: While not quite a child, Zetha in Catalyst of Sorrows is essentially this.
  • Unusual Euphemism: Because she's a Kreetassan (the race from Star Trek: Enterprise who consider eating in public akin to a pornographic act), Onna Karapleedeez uses "bolus!" as a curse.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Thamnos, the disgraced scientist working on creating the bioweapon in Catalyst of Sorrows. He's so much a case of Too Dumb to Live, though, that he almost becomes a liability to the true mastermind: Koval.
  • Verbal Tic: Data in The Buried Age tends to preface any query he makes by saying "query", because he's not yet got the idea he doesn't need to do so.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Ariel.
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: In The Buried Age, Data raises the issue with Ariel, an immortal. He points out that literature in many cultures explores the possibly unbearable tediousness of immortality. Ariel responds that to her people, life is too full of variety and opportunities to connect with others, and they have no issue with their non-aging status.
  • Willing Channeler: Anyone channeling a Cardassian Fate, most notably Astraea. The dithparu in Well of Souls cheat a bit; people are usually willing to let you possess them if you apply the right pressures - like taking their children hostage.
  • Wretched Hive: Farius Prime.
  • You Have Failed Me: Threatened by Qaolin in The Art of the Impossible:
    "I am holding you personally responsible for allowing us access to the Ch'gran remains, Commander. The next time I see you will be either your informing me that you have succeeded or my informing you of your imminent death".

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