Sunday, October 20, 2013

Book Review: Star Trek: From History's Shadow by Dayton Ward

From History's Shadow might remind a lot of Doctor Who readers of David Bishop's Who Killed Kennedy. Both stories serve to tie together a number of plot threads into a cohesive continuity.

While the original crew is part of the story, it's the parallel tale of Captain James Wainwright that really drives events. He was a minor character in the Deep Space Nine episode "Little Green Men" where the Roswell incident is the result of the Ferengi accidentally time travelling to 1947. Wainwright becomes part of Project Blue Book and throughout the 50's and 60's has run ins with the other time travelling incidents in Star Trek lore.

The book in general has an X-Files feel to it. With Wainwright and his partner Allison Marshall playing Mulder and Scully as they try to track down a group of time travelling aliens who are trying to interfere with Earth's history.  They also have to deal with the lack of support from the military and government, who regard Blue Book as a waste of time.

Gamers running a period Torchwood or UNIT campaign would find lots of interesting ideas out of this book. It plays heavily with the Temporal Cold War idea that was introduced in Star Trek: Enterprise (and honestly making it much more interesting here than the show ever did.) It's feasible the Temporal Cold War might be an extension of the Last Great Time War into the Star Trek Universe. And the book providing a look at events both through the eyes of locals trying to grasp what is happening and the time aware agents who are trying to alter events to their own advantage.

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