Pocket Books, out now
Jim Kirk is more than a little surprised to find two intruders on the Enterprise who have come from 300 years in the past – but when Roberta Lincoln also pops up, it’s clear that there is a catastrophe to avoid…
Like Greg Cox’s Khan stories (which Ward acknowledges in his notes at the end of the book), From History’s Shadow mixes and matches elements from both real history and all five (six if you count the animated series as a separate one) Star Trek shows to produce an alternate version of the mid-20th century. (There’s the odd reference to other TV shows as well, but that’s opening a whole other can of worms if we start crossing those over.)
Beginning with the aftermath of the Ferengi arrival at Roswell in the DS9 episode Little Green Men, this incorporates all the 20th century stories into one coherent whole, as well as telling its own tale of Captain James Wainwright and Allison Marshall, who are investigating the truth behind the Ferengi claim that there is an invasion on the way. There are indeed aliens on Earth whose presence is inimical – as well as people like Mestral, the Vulcan left behind in Carbon Creek, and the agents of the Aegis.
In addition to the 20th century elements, Ward also throws some spanners into the works by incorporating the Temporal Cold War into proceedings. Some of the aliens on Earth – and some of those encountered by the Enterprise – have knowledge of timelines which no longer exist, so are reacting to or trying to create situations based on inaccurate data…
It’s a story that will appeal to those who enjoy Steven Moffat’s timey-wimey (where do they get such phrases?) approach to Doctor Who where cause and effect exist, but not necessarily in that order, and you’ll find it hard not to smile with satisfaction as the pieces fall neatly into place.
Verdict: Very clearly a labour of love (or obsession!) this is a fascinating take on the history of the Star Trek universe. 8/10