It’s been a minute since I’ve done a book tag. I’d been thinking of doing one soon but I had no idea which one to do, as there are quite a few out there. Then I saw ZeZee’s entry fot the Star Trek Book Tag, and I thought, ‘Yes! I’ll do that one!’ I’m a Star Trek fan, after all, and it’s apparently Sci-Fi month, so here we go.
The original creator of the Star Trek Book Tag was created by BookTuber James Holder.
The Original Series
Pick a book that has influenced you or has been influential in your choice of career.
The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
This one was obvious. It’s the book that has most influenced my taste in literature the most and pushed me into a love of all things Medieval. I think I can also blame my Anglophilia on it. The friendships in it have meant so much to me over the years, and so have its messages of hope in the face of despair and loyalty to your friends. There’s also this incredible sense of nostalgia for this world I’ve never been to. That’s partly by design on Tolkien’s part. He understood what it was to leave entire worlds behind, and then spend a lifetime longing for them again.
The Next Generation:
Pick a book in the same genre as TOS published between 20 and 100 years later.
The Winternight Trilogy by Katherine Arden
I adore these books. They’re so atmospheric that I can feel the bitter cold of a Russian winter and imagine the far northern woods in the summer. I love how Vasya learns from the fae folk of her forest, and how Arden blends the old Russian beliefs with the newer Christian beliefs. Instead of portraying one set of beliefs as good and the other as bad, Arden shows how both of them can be misused in the wrong hands. And what’s more, she potrays the characters (the human ones, anyway) as complex people with their own motives and ideas, and while you may hate certain characters, you do come to understand why they do what they do. And Arden’s writing is beautiful. I can’t wait until her next adult novel comes out.
Deep Space Nine:
Pick a book with a strong sense of setting.
Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell
This historical fiction novel is about Agnes, the wife of William Shakespeare, who lived back in Stratford while he lived and worked in London as a playwright. She raised their children and maintained the household, and rarely saw her own husband. O’Farrell’s novel is a shimmering depiction of a life lived on a small scale– mostly in a house or in the garden, and sometimes in the nearby woods. While so many historical novels are about kings or queens or people who have adventures, Maggie O’Farrell shows that even an ordinary life, lived without sound or fury, is full of significance.
Pick a book about a journey or a voyage.
Wild by Cheryl Strayed
After wrecking her marriage and hitting rock bottom, Cheryl Strayed decided that she was going to hike the Pacific Crest Trail, a 2,650 mile trail that runs from southern California to northern Washington, and takes hikers through remote wilderness areas and up into the Sierra Nevada. Strayed had essentially no hiking experience, and made many, many mistakes. While she wasn’t able to hike the entire trail (why that was is detailed in the book), she hiked most of it, and along the way she found many people who helped her out, and in so doing found a way out of her despair.
Thanks to this book, I decided to stop putting off travel, and just go and do it. It wasn’t long after finishing Wild that I book my first trans-Atlantic flight and went to England by myself. I’m so grateful to this book for getting me to travel, because those experiences have been priceless.
Returning to TOS and TNG, pick a book published between 20 and 100 years before your TOS pick.
Dracula by Bram Stoker
A young English lawyer heads to a castle in the Carpathian mountains to finalize a real estate transaction with an odd Romanian Count. Things start going strangely, the lawyer finds himself imprisoned in the castle, and the strange Count heads to England to take possession of his new property. Mayhem ensues, people die, and the first vampire craze takes hold in popular culture. I want to smack all the male characters upside the head for being dense, but Mina is fantastic.
Mina Harker is who I named my own little Gothic terror after.
Pick a book that has divided the fandom or community.
King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo
Though a lot of Grishaverse fans were looking forward to this book, which was ostensibly about the adventurous Nikolai Lantsov, quite a lot of fans didn’t care for the events of the second half of King of Scars. I’ll admit, it did take a bit of a strange turn, but I quite enjoyed what Bardugo did with the characters, and how she challenged their beliefs. But I may be in the minority. A lot of people didn’t like this one.
Pick a book that wears its influences on its sleeve.
The Half-Drowned King trilogy by Linnea Hartsuyker
When I read this trilogy about a Norse family struggling to survive in the early years of King Harald Fine-Hair of Norway in the midst of the Viking Age, I could clearly see that Hartsuyker had drawn on the Icelandic sagas. That seems obvious, but I’m sure I could do a lot more reading into historical novels set during the Viking Age and not feel as though the author had read any of the sagas. But Hartsuyker’s novels really felt like they took place in the late ninth century with people who were from that period of time, rather than feeling like they were modern people dressed up in period costume.
And that’s the end of the Star Trek Book Tag! Feel free to do this one if you’d like.