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Watching the Clock (Star Trek: Department of Temporal Investigations #1)

3.97  ·  Rating Details ·  667 Ratings  ·  79 Reviews
There’s likely no more of a thankless job in the Federation than temporal investigation. While starship explorers get to live the human adventure of traveling to other times and realities, it’s up to the dedicated agents of the Federation Department of Temporal Investigations to deal with the consequences to the timestream that the rest of the Galaxy has to live with day ...more
Paperback, 498 pages
Published April 26th 2011 by Pocket Books (first published April 12th 2011)
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Nov 22, 2011 Jeff rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
I'm beginning to think Bennett is my favorite Star Trek author; his style is comfortable, humorous, and he captures the canon characters correctly, completely, and comprehensively. Bennett knows his Trek and we feel like we do, too, after reading one of his novels.

Agents Lucsly and Dulmer, Department of Temporal Investigations, were first introduced in the Deep Space 9 episode "Trials and Tribble-ations." (One of my all-time favorite Star Trek Episodes.) Bennett takes the time to develop the tw
Jan 02, 2016 Susan rated it really liked it
This not a book that you can just pick up as a Sci-fi reader and read, it helps to be a die hard Trekkie.
Based on the DTI agents, Lucsly and Dulmur from DS9's episode Trials and Tribble-lations. This book covers all the different series TOS, TNG, DS9, Voyager and Enterprise, as well as the movies. It bring a episode of time travel from each series, as well as bringing in characters such as Jean-Luc Picard, Kathryn Janeway, William Riker, Deana Troi and Worf. So if you haven't seen them it will c
Phil Howell
Oct 31, 2012 Phil Howell rated it it was ok
This book is kind of a mess. It's the first in what I guess will be a series of novels detailing the adventures of the Federation's Department of Temporal Investigations, or DTI. As it is the first in a potential series there of course has to be a significant amount of character development. The problem then, is that the book is mostly character development. Each central DTI member gets a few chapters devoted to their "origin story", if you will, and every now and then the author sprinkles in a ...more
C.T. Phipps
Jan 23, 2016 C.T. Phipps rated it it was amazing
Shelves: star-trek
Star Trek: Department of Temporal Investigations: Watching the Clock is a Star Trek novel by Christopher L. Bennett. My first thought: its title is a bit of a mouthful. My second is: Goody-goody! Time Travel! I love time travel!

For the uninitiated, the Department of Temporal Investigations was introduced in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Trials and Tribble-ations." Someone in the writing room must have noticed that with the literally dozens of time-travel related plots in Star Trek, t
Sean Randall
Jun 22, 2011 Sean Randall rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"'So was it altruism or fear?
'It can be both. People are complicated.'
'Hm,That's the problem with them.'"

I bought this on a whim, figuring a story out of the flow of any of the television series' or novel arcs would be different enough to warrant spending 5. Bennett has nailed characterisation superbly, and the fact that many of the characters aren't ones with which we are overly familiar means he's got an open canvas - and boy, does it show.

"a force of negative entropy acting on a holistic le
Jan 08, 2012 Dan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: star-trek, dti, e-books
I highly recommend Star Trek: Department of Temporal Investigations: Watching the Clock, but only if you are very familiar with the many "canon" stories of the Trek universe. Watching the Clock contains spoilers for literally every incarnation of Star Trek (yes, even the 70s animated series!), and readers who haven't watched all of the episodes may find themselves either lost or annoyed at having future viewing experiences spoiled.

Absolutely outstanding, and I hope Department of Temporal Investi
Feb 13, 2015 Aaron rated it it was amazing
I'm not usually a fan of Christopher Bennett writing, but this book was his best writing I've seen. I loved his take on the DTI and time travel and thought he did a wonderful job with the introduction of DTI. He seamlessly brought a storyline together while at the same time explaining temporal mechanics, which is no easy feat, but he successfully pulled it off. I am definitely looking forward to reading the next couple DTI books.
Mark Webb
Oct 07, 2012 Mark Webb rated it liked it
Watching the Clock by Christopher L. Bennett represents a thread of the Star Trek universe, where a couple of once off characters from an episode of Deep Space Nine. The two characters (Lucsly and Dulmer)represent the somewhat bureaucratic Department of Temporal Investigations and become the core of a novel based on said department's operations.

I don't actually mind the conceit, I remember those two characters and the idea of exploring the bureaucratic side of the Star Trek universe appeals to m
Dec 04, 2015 Jarezal rated it really liked it
Lucsly y Dulmur aparecen durante apenas tres minutos de un capítulo de las 5 series y 12 películas de Star Trek. Y aun así son dos personajes de esos que se quedan en la memoria. No sólo por salir en uno de los capítulos más memorables de DS9 sino por lo que representan.

Dos burócratas de una organización cuyo objetivo es controlar que no se producen alteraciones en la línea temporal y eso en el universo de Star Trek cuando cada dos por tres hay un capítulo de viaje en el tiempo, universos parale
Time travel! It's a staple of Star Trek. No crew among the show's five series has been able to resist gallavanting around in the timestream, not even in the movies. But for every temporal adventure, there's a mess left behind to clean up...and that ornerous task falls to the Department of Temporal Investigations. DS9's "Trials and Tribble-lations" introduced us to Agents Lucsly and Dulmur, two humorless grey-suited cosmic bureaucrats whose are renoun for their skill at keeping the timeline ...more
Jan 25, 2014 Barry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Christopher L. Bennett creates a fantastic, twisty, timey-wimey story that simply rocks.

Fully researched and clearly the work of an expert in both Trek and understanding of the MWT (Many Worlds Theory), the author takes two of the (very) appealing characters that briefly appeared in a time travel story set on DS9, and fleshes them out believably whilst at the same time explaining, referencing and moulding an ongoing narrative to the Temporal Cold War introduced in Enterprise.

Nearly every known t
Cathrine Bonham
May 01, 2015 Cathrine Bonham rated it liked it
The first book in the Department of Temporal Investigations series, yes I did read them backwards, is just as convoluted as the second one. The basic premise seems to be, Every time travel episode of every Star Trek series are actually all connect by a giant web of conspiracy and espionage.

Agents Lucsly and Dulmur are with the DTI. When Time related incidents occur within the Federation they file the paperwork. But lately they've had more paperwork than normal. As they investigate they fear the
Sean O'Hara
I normally hate attempts to retcon a long list of inconsistencies into a coherent storyline, such as the execrable final season of Enterprise or the big reveal in season four of Angel, but Christopher Bennett does a fine job of fitting Star Trek's many contradictory accounts of time travel together while handwaving away the numerous plotholes, including the end of "Tomorrow Is Yesterday." For that alone he has my admiration.

The story follows various members of the Department of Temporal Investig
Mike McDevitt
Nov 22, 2011 Mike McDevitt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
And that's all in a day's work for the Department of Temporal Investigations!

Having a problem with causality? Reality modification via accident or malicious design causing your timestream any flow problems?
Parrallel timelines?
Parrallel timelines?
What about those pernicious paradoxes?
Then look no further! From repeating timeloops repeating timeloops and recursions to repeating timeloops to not-so-innocent deja vu, the Federation's most unsung champions of normalcy are there to do the paperwork an
Jul 21, 2011 Douglas rated it really liked it
This is the first Star Trek book that I've read set in the post-Nemesis time period and it's amazing how much has happened. Its seems that Star Trek has taken the Star Wars route and done better coordination in the novels to move the story of the universe forward.

This book features a couple of minor characters from a throwaway scene in an episode of DS9: Luclsly and Dulmur from the Department of Temporal Investigations. The author did a great of looking the universe from a civilian bureaucrat's
Jul 26, 2012 Leo8 rated it liked it
Shelves: page-turners
Christopher wrote one of the most well thought through time-travel books that I have read. He successfully tied it in with most of the time travel incidents from the StarTrek universe. Gave a nod to some writers and smirk to others. Everything regarding time-travel: in-universe and IRL is very well researched and even referenced at the end of the book. Thumbs up for proper referencing!

Now on to the downsides. The book has very poor interleaving of the chapters. Although it makes the story more d
Tony Laplume
Jul 26, 2013 Tony Laplume rated it liked it
If i weren't a Star Trek fan, I probably wouldn't have finished reading this. As it is, I stopped reading Star Trek fiction more than a decade ago because of writing exactly like this.

To be blunt, the author should read a little more. Enough with the winking and the dialogue that sounds like it comes from a children's cartoon. And clearly, if he doesn't do it already under a pseudonym, the author could just as easily write porn, er, romance.

That being said, the dude is still a Star Trek fan, an
Jan 01, 2016 Nicole rated it it was amazing
I Absolutely Loved This Book.

As a sci fi / fantasy fan I usually don't mind scientific language, technobabble and in-universe terms used in fiction as I know many of the terms and understand the context they're used in. Yet reading Watching the Clock was a whole 'nother experience and I have to admit: I loved it! Actually, I would happily read the book again (and again and again) just to re-read all the explanations with regards to time travel, alternate universes and such.

Apart from a few 'wait
Nov 06, 2014 Carrie rated it did not like it
Shelves: not-completed
I tried very hard to enjoy this book. After 150 pages of trying, I realized that it was more of a chore than enjoyment and I decided to shelve it.

I do enjoy well researched and well thought out sci-fi. What I enjoy more than that, however, is something resembling a plot. When a third of the book has gone by and I still have not found any trace of one beneath pages upon pages of extremely complicated chrono-based technobabble, it's time to give in, I think.

As interesting as the chronobabble was,
John Kirk
Oct 11, 2014 John Kirk rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: star-trek
This is the Star Trek version of Avengers Forever: it links lots of other time travel stories together, and sorts out continity issues with a new theory. However, I didn't think that the main story was particularly interesting, and I had trouble keeping track of all the characters, possibly because I haven't read/seen all of the novels/episodes that this references. Certainly not one for a casual reader, but worthwhile for committed fans. The most interesting part was left implied: (view spoiler ...more
Aug 19, 2011 David rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
There are some good ideas in here, but the book suffers from being terribly unfocused.

It has a B-plot that is entirely disconnected from the A-plot, but which has stronger ideas (and deserves a book of its own).

The A-plot combines the origin story of one of the main characters (who has had about 5 minutes of screen time previously, so we don't care enough about him to worry about his backstory that much) with an attempt to reference every time travel episode of TNG and DS9 with the odd dip into
Jul 28, 2015 Tom rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015
A lot more sci-fi than Star Trek. Not necessarily bad, but time theory does not make for light reading. A typical Star Trek book takes maybe 3 hours of quiet reading for me. I had to space this one out over a week.

I know it's the first book of an ongoing series, but with all the time jumping, and the new characters, you really have to pay attention. Since almost every time travel story ever done in Star Trek gets talked about in the book, you need to be on your toes for that as well. This is no
Jun 08, 2011 Lance rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Star Trek fans
Recommended to Lance by: No one
This book continues a trend over the last few years of building stories off minor characters. Lucsly and Dulmer of Temporal Investigations are too unlikely heroes given their dull bureaucratic portrayal on the show (DS9 is where I remember them from; not sure if they've appeared at other times).

The book actually contains two separate story lines, one of which has absolutely nothing to do with our two heroes, and only interfaces with them indirectly. The second storyline is in some respects bette
Francis      x
Oct 23, 2015 Francis x rated it it was amazing
Shelves: book
find read. It covered the whole star trek universe from the First TV series, the Movies, Star TrekNG,Deepspace 9, Voyager series,and the Star Trek - Enterprise.

Here are the finer points that I got from the book:
Mysteries AEGIS Group from the Comic series 1 to 5,star trek -assignament Earth
Axis of Time
Quantum Divergence
Department of temporal investigations agents (DTI)
Delphic Expanse
Earth Vs Xindi
Transdimensional Species
Mid 26th centure 2100ce to 2250 ce
Plus the way the author use the ti
John Carter McKnight
Jan 30, 2015 John Carter McKnight rated it really liked it
A police procedural about time travel? Even done moderately well, that's a winner of a concept, and Bennett does it moderately well. Somebody's apparently stalking the Federation's top temporal physicists, and time cops from several major powers across six centuries are vying for jurisdiction - and, incidentally, trying to solve the case.

Great fun, marred by Bennett's odd project of trying to retcon much of the silliness of TOS into something like coherent contemporary sci-fi science. He does a
Joseph Lallo
Sep 27, 2013 Joseph Lallo rated it really liked it
I don't usually read tie-in novels, but ever since I caught the episode of DS9 with the DTI, I've been thinking about how cool a spin-off about them could be. What you've got here is essentially Dragnet In Space With Time Travel. Just about ever time travel episode of Star Trek is at least referenced, and many are tied together and given deeper meaning. There's an awful lot of technobabble infodumps explaining the fictional mechanics of time travel, which could be fascinating or mind-numbing ...more
Jan 30, 2014 Scott rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This was a great concept, but very poorly executed. There seemed to be little in the way of an overall plot, just self contained episodes interspersed with endless dialogue. It also was very obvious that the author researched every single episode of any Star Trek series that involved time travel, and was determined to mention each and every one of them in the course of the story. Occasional references to events we all remember from the various series is kind of cool, but overdoing it just makes ...more
John Goode
Jun 10, 2011 John Goode rated it really liked it
An incredible book for Star Trek fans, not for the uninitiated for sure. A wonderful weaving of every Trek era the story is compelling and makes what were but characters enjoyable. The only part I didn't enjoy as much as the final part, where the exposition the story had been racing a step ahead of catches up with the plot and the inevitable explanation brings it to crashing halt. No fault of the author, there is simply too much story to sum up in half a chapter. The science of the book is ...more
Roger McCoy
Nov 24, 2012 Roger McCoy rated it it was amazing
Awesome. A must-read for Trek fans that don't mind some very well-thought out technobabble. Introduces and develops interesting characters while providing a unifying theory of time travel in Star Trek, wrapping up many loose ends from Enterprise, filling plot holes in other stories (like First Contact), and just overall telling a good story.

Also recommended: The author's extensive annotations.
Roy Tottie
May 26, 2011 Roy Tottie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Despite the fractured nature of the narrative the author manages to keep the pacing very tight. I never felt lost, or as if I didn't know what was going on. I'm a sucker for time travel stories and this one while not a classic example of the genre (the organization featured is actually about preventing time travel, and dealing with it's aftermath more than they are about actually traveling in time themselves) is incredibly smart and inventive. There is a follow up book already scheduled and I ...more
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Star Trek Reads: DTI: Watching the Clock 7 22 May 14, 2013 08:01PM  
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  • Trill and Bajor (Worlds of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Vol. 2)
  • Seize the Fire (Star Trek: Typhon Pact, #2)
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  • Brinkmanship (Star Trek: Typhon Pact, #8)

Other Books in the Series

Star Trek: Department of Temporal Investigations (4 books)
  • Forgotten History (Star Trek: Department of Temporal Investigations, #2)
  • The Collectors (Star Trek: Department of Temporal Investigations #3)
  • Department of Temporal Investigations: Time Lock

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