TOS: Mere Anarchy: The Darkness Drops Again

Star Trek Mere AnarchyStar Trek: Mere Anarchy Book 4: The Darkness Drops Again 

Mere Anarchy: A new six-part epic covering thirty years of Star Trek® history, continuing with an adventure that takes place between The Motion Picture and The Wrath of Khan!

Book 4: The Darkness Drops Again
The rebuilding of Mestiko is starting to make progress: the atmosphere is partially restored and Federation scientists are introducing new methods of replenishing the planet’s biosphere. But their efforts are being stymied by the growing power of the mar-Atyya, who shun all offworlders.

The arrival of the Starship Enterprise under the command of James T. Kirk proves less than fortuitous, as the ship becomes a flashpoint for all of Mestiko’s troubles. Now Raya elMora, the leader of the planetary council, finds herself facing exile — which could spell doom for Mestiko….

Trade paperback collection:


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Original e-book:


Barnes & Noble

My first opportunity to follow up on the characters and situations of Ex Machina came from an unexpected direction, as eBook editor Keith DeCandido invited me to participate in this 40th-anniversary project.  The plan was to tell six novella-length stories spanning the entire TOS era, and I was invited to contribute the post-TMP installment on the basis of ExM.  Dayton Ward & Kevin Dilmore came up with the overall outline and premise for the miniseries, but all the participating authors (Dayton & Kevin, Mike W. Barr, Dave Galanter, me, Howard Weinstein, and Margaret Wander Bonanno), along with Keith, participated in a lengthy and wacky e-mail correspondence wherein we all contributed to hashing out the premise and keeping everything consistent.

But this story isn’t as direct an ExM followup as it could be, since I wanted it to work primarily as a part of Mere Anarchy and be accessible to people unfamiliar with ExM.  So it’s in the same continuity and uses some of the same ideas (and includes some movie-era elements I didn’t get to work into ExM, such as Andrew Probert’s modular-shuttlecraft designs), but focuses mainly on the core TOS cast rather than the supporting characters I developed for the novel.  And although it takes the characters well beyond the ExM timeframe, it leaves plenty of room for further storytelling in the post-TMP era.

My story happened to fall into the largest gap in the series, between the first two movies — a timespan that, according to conventional Trek chronology, corresponds to roughly 12 years (2273 to 2285).  So rather than limiting myself to one point within this timeframe, I took on the task of telling a more sweeping tale that explored how the Enterprise crew evolved between the two movies, while also taking the planet Mestiko through years of political and social upheaval.  This makes mine a rather different story from the others, but then, each one is a distinct kind of tale.  Book 1 is a disaster movie, Book 2 a classic tale of Kirk taking on Klingon meddlers, Book 3 a buddy movie, Book 4 a sweeping historical epic, Book 5 an action-packed tale of interstellar brinksmanship, and Book 6 a more introspective piece bringing it all closure.  That’s part of what made this such a fascinating collaboration to be a part of.  The fun we had in our e-mail exchanges was also a major part of that.

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