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At last! The long awaited novel featuring both famous crews of the Starship Enterprise in an epic adventure that spans time and space.

Captain Kirk and the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701 are faced with their most challenging mission yet—rescuing renowned scientist Zefram Cochrane from captors who want to use his skills to conquer the galaxy.

Meanwhile, ninety-nine years in the future on the U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701-D, Picard must rescue an important and mysterious person whose safety is vital to the survival of the Federation.

As the two crews struggle to fulfill their missions, destiny draws them closer together until past and future merge—and the fate of each of the two legendary starships rests in the hands of the other vessel...

467 pages, Hardcover

First published January 1, 1994

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Judith Reeves-Stevens

41 books90 followers

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 183 reviews
Profile Image for Alejandro.
1,142 reviews3,565 followers
October 2, 2017
Kirk's crew and Picard's crew, in the same book!


I was real lucky to be able to get this novel virtually right when it's got out on the hardcover edition.

The book got out in November 1994, and I bought it on January 1995.

This novel was published, presenting an original story, was a marketing tool, as part of the big event of the meeting of both captains, Kirk and Picard, on the theatrical film Star Trek: Generations that it was premiered around that date too.

In my country the film got some months later (back then, there weren't simultaneous premieres like nowadays) so I didn't have to think much to decide to buy this novel.

I was aware that it wasn't a novelization of Star Trek: Generations but a different story, only available in this prose novel. It had an impressive hardcover and in the cover you have both captains, Kirk and Picard, together...

...what else could you ask?!

I know that eventually, William Shatner himself did his "Shatnerverse" Star Trek prose novels featuring Kirk and Picard together in almost all his books, but back then, at the time of Star Trek: Generation, it was totally outstanding to have Kirk and Picard in the same story, so this novel was quite big deal then.


One of the cooler elements of the novel was that while the film Star Trek: Generations had to struggle to just have some members of the original crew (Kirk, Scotty and Chekov)...

...on this prose novel, thanks to the power of writing and no limitations of "casting" characters for the book, you have here the entire original crew and in their prime time of Star Trek: The Original Series time period, and...

...of course you have the full crew of Star Trek: The Next Generation too!

So you have here, in this prose novel, the biggest dream of many trekkers (at that time)...

...a crossover story with BOTH full crews!!!

But if you think that it was all, no, there is more!


You also have Zefram Cochrane, the inventor of the Warp Drive!

And if Star Trek: Generations was just debuting, just imagine that it was two years before of Star Trek: First Contact!

How about that, mmh?

I told you!

This book was da bomb!


The book has 3 storylines...

...interchanging along the chapters...

...one sub-arc with The Original Crew,...

...another with The Next Generation Crew,...

...and yet another with Zephram Cochrane.

Each sub-arc works separately in three different time periods, but...

...along the reading you will finding the connexion between the three sub-arcs to form the main storyline of the book.

I won't spoil anything. I just want to let you know that if you are a trekker, you will be delighted more than any possible way to describe it...

...when Zefram Cochrane will explain in a graphic way his theory of the warp travel.



Profile Image for Chelsea.
86 reviews5 followers
June 15, 2009
I just finished reading what is probably the best Star Trek novel ever written. Federation by Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens. I read it for the first time a good while a go, I was probably in 8th grade or so. I knew then that it was a book I would probably re-read someday, but since I'd borrowed it from the library, I couldn't exactly keep it. Recently, I found a copy for less than a buck in the Amazon Marketplace, and acquired it. Now, about a year later, I've finally gotten around to reading it.

It's hard to describe much of what transpires in the book without giving it all away. What I will say, however, is that it was written before the First Contact movie and portrays a much more realistic first contact scenario, and a much more realistic Zephram Cochrane.

What I like most about this book is that, while acknowledging and confronting the ugliest side of humanity, it's still optimistic about us and the progress that we will make. Much like the rest of the Star Trek universe, but with less of the blind allegiance and abject stupidity that often crops up.

That said, it's also a great space romp, and will bend your brain thinking about time, space, and space-time. If you let it, anyway.

Honestly, it's stories like this that keep my faith in modern culture, we're still thinking, questioning, exploring, just in different backdrops. As I'm learning to be open to them, I can only hope that others are too.
Profile Image for Jerry.
4,694 reviews63 followers
January 13, 2022
Years ago, the Reeves-Stevenses were among my favorite authors; I devoured every book by them I could find, even outside of the Star Trek universe. I also randomly bought a direct-to-video computer-animated G.I. Joe film on DVD at my local MovieStop because the back cover said that the Reeves-Stevenses wrote the screenplay.

However, in recent years, I hadn't read much by them; today, after completing this novel, I know why I liked their writings as much as I did back then.
Profile Image for Sud666.
1,980 reviews160 followers
June 4, 2016
This was a truly superb read. The story, managing to avoid the common Star Trek trope of time travel,covers three different time periods. The first story-line is about Zefram Cochrane, the developer of the warp drive and occurs around 2061. The second storyline concerns Captain Kirk and occurs around 2267 and the third storyline is Captain Picard and occurs around 2366.

The Cochrane story deals with how Zefram dealt with Col Thorsen and the Optimal Movement, a proto Neo-Nazi movement that lead the world into World War III. It tells a great story of how Cochrane had to deal with the fame from developing his drive and the effects on humanity. The Optimal movement, and Col Thorsen specifically, wanted to co-opt the technology to develop a warp-bomb. Cochrane flees into space and disappears from human history.

In the second story arc Captain Kirk nearly 200 years later runs into the same Cochrane and some alien entity known as the Companion. But, Kirk hides their location, respecting Cochranes wish to be left alone. Starfleet sends an Admiral who is intent on ferreting out a spy inside Starfleet and is suspicious of Kirks intentions, as he is of hers.

The third arc has to do with Capt Picard nearly a hundered years after Kirk, and the Enterprise-D is looking for what might be a Romulan defector with access to captured Borg technology.

The joy of this story is how it ties in these three separate, yet connected, story arcs. I shall not ruin the story by saying how. The story explores many of the foundational histories of the Federation and the conflict between it's scientific and military missions. As Starfleet develops, told through the eyes of either Kirk,Picard or Cochhrane, you see the world that people who watched the Next Generation are familiar with. The authors are very well versed in their scince fiction and the things they describe are quite plausible, if one had access to similar technology.
If you are interested in the Federation or the development of Starfleet or just enjoy Star Trek-this is a book I can not recommend highly enough.
Profile Image for Michael.
1,231 reviews115 followers
May 8, 2023
Everything that we hoped "Generations" would be but wasn't.

The first meeting of the classic "Trek" and "Next Gen" is one of the better Trek novels written by someone not named Peter David.
Profile Image for Kate.
1,470 reviews54 followers
August 21, 2015
Could we not have received this on film instead of Star Trek: Generations? Please? I mean I get that this film probably would have been really long and drawn out perhaps for a film but man it would have been awesome. This book really pulls everything together and it is just such a great, feel good, and amazing story more about the Federation and its legacy than it is a single man.

We alternate between three stories mainly: Kirk's time (just after the events of the season 2 episode "Journey to Babel"), Picard's time (just after the events of the season 3 episode "Sarek"), and Zefram Cochrane's time. Even before the stories eventually meld there are echoes of familiar elements (like certain sentences, certain observations, certain characters) and it just wonderfully orchestrated across the century. I found our villain worked better in the beginning but as the book continued on I wasn't as much on board with him. The man was like the Energizer bunny but it just seemed like it was getting even outside of my realm of "okay this is Star Trek novel so I'm going to make certain allowances.'

Not that that much applies here anyway. Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens know the Star Trek world inside and out and they make their books nothing if not immersive. Everything is fascinating whether it's quantum physics, the explanation of differences between technologies of three different time periods. It would be so easy to bypass stuff like this but they either have the imagination to make it up and/or the research skills (in both Star Trek canon and otherwise) to try and explain something or at least make it seem plausible. It is fabulous.

There is also, as always, a lovely amount of humour throughout the book. We open Kirk's storyline, pretty much right after the credits roll on "Journey to Babel" with him playing a round of poker with Spock and Sarek as everyone is recovering in sickbay. Picard's observations on his bridge crew giving him ideas are fantastic and Picard's crew's teamwork is very clearly highlighted - going so far as Picard noting which crew member contributed which part to certain plans. There are a lot of characters to deal with here but everyone still manages to shine in their own way.

It's a fantastic novel. Really. For a Star Trek fan who wishes Generations had maybe gone about it differently, this is definitely a wonderful thing to have.
Profile Image for James.
34 reviews7 followers
March 18, 2010
I've recently been on a big Star Trek reading kick. The hype for the new movie got me nostalgic for the old stuff, probably. I used to read these books all the time when I was young and loved them.

One of the things I have now that I did not have then was the internet. I could find out what other Star Trek book readers enjoyed and I found a few message board threads online where people discussed their favorite Star Trek books. This book seemed to appear more often than the others. So, I hunted down the next time I was at the used book store.

It lived up to the hype. While the first couple chapters start a little slow, but the story picks up really quickly. Pretty soon, each chapter is ending in a cool cliffhanger.

The writers handle the characters of both the original series crew and the Next Generation crew very well. You can see and hear the characters in your head and at no time is there a feel that this is something you couldn't have seen on the screen. Certainly, this was a much better crossover between the two Captains than we would eventually get in Star Trek: Generations.

The story follows three storylines, all interconnected. The first is the story of Zephram Cochrane, recently returned to Earth from the first warp flight in the 21st Century and having to deal with a greatly changed political climate at home. The second story follows Kirk and crew as they deal with a conspiracy of some support in Starfleet involving Cochrane. The third story seems to have little to do with the others at first, but follows Picard and crew as they deal with an ancient artifact discovered by the Romulans.

I read a lot of Star Trek novels when I was young and am now reading a decent amount again. Star Trek novels are basically the geeky equivalent of reading Romance novels most of the time. There are tons of them and they are quick, fun reads. Every once in a while a book stands out that deals with some of the deeper themes and meanings in Star Trek. This is one of them. Like the others recommended this book on online forums, I will now list this as one of my favorites.
Profile Image for Rusty.
Author 10 books27 followers
August 31, 2015
*Updated with an actual review*

Never let it be said that there aren't any great Star Trek novels out there. Or if it is said, then this is my exhibit A in defense of... wait, I think I'm about to get my legal stuff mixed up here...um... Habeas Corpus! Exacto Petronum!

There, check and mate.

So, now that I've proven, legally, that Star Trek is capable of producing some great novels, I can tell you that this should be right up there in that conversation. An interesting side-note, Judith was a writer brought in in the final season of Enterprise to try to get the show back on track after it lost legions of fans, it seems, after every new episode. I've heard that the fourth season of Enterprise is quite possibly one of the best overall seasons of Star Trek ever produced, but alas, I was one of those legions of fans that stopped watching the show a few episodes after its debut. So I don't know about all that.

I am, however, well into my quest to watch every episode of every incarnation of Trek ever produced. So if I can hang in there for a few years longer, I'll see it eventually. By which time I'll probably have forgotten that I've read this book, which was great.

Also, I seem to forget things a lot more than I used to. At least I don't remember forgetting stuff when I was younger. But that might be because I've always been forgetful but I've forgotten how bad I am at remembering stuff and so all this seems new.

So, what was this book about? I don't know. I've forgotten.

See, I read it a few weeks ago, and have read stuff since then. All I have is... shoot, I posted on accident. I'll finish later.


...So I'm back. Apparently hitting 'Save' is identical to hitting 'Post.' You'd think I'd have known that, having reviewed a few hundred books here already, but you'd be surprised at the things I don't know. This was one of them.

And like I was saying, I have read other things since I finished this book, I'm left with more of an impression than with details. I think I can reformulate the plot if I think about it though. Zephram Cochrane has his life story detailed here. His time in the mid 21st century is very compelling. It's nothing at all like what we found in the movie (First Contact)and, in my opinion, this one is way better.

Not to digress, but the movie's take on the character - a drunken, greedy, cowardly genius that shirks responsibility and is a walking sexual harassment lawsuit - never worked for me. This version, a humble genius that takes the most breathtaking invention in all of human history (the invention of warp drive) and wants to only use it for the betterment of mankind. Well, that fits a bit better.

It also ties in his history with the one TOS episode that aired featuring this character beautifully.

In fact, this novel weaves a thread of Cochrane, Kirk and Picard pretty beautifully. I marveled at how well the three stories each played off the others. Mixing Star Trek lore and using the episodes we all know and love as connective tissue in order tell a whole new tale.

The reason this isn't a five-star rating is simply because I felt that the final set piece, where all the storylines combine into a single climax didn't quite work as well as I wanted it to. I don't want to get spoilery here, so I won't mention details. But it took what I thought was shaping up to be one of the greatest Star Trek stories ever told (which it still might be) and made it into simply a great one.
Profile Image for Gary.
167 reviews67 followers
September 16, 2017
this book should of been made into a film it is that good
September 3, 2015
My first Star Trek book! After 20 years of watching all the shows and movies, I actually got around to reading a book.

And what a treat! It was like discoverying 3 new episodes I did not know about. The Crew of the 2 enterprises are instantly recognizable and makes for very comfortable reading.

The third storyline that involves earth and the past gets a little tedious, but cannot drag down the rest of the book.

The main villan though is downright cartoony. SUCH EVIL! Then again, this is trek ;)

Much recommended for everyone who loves Sci-fi!
Profile Image for Jamie.
1,197 reviews116 followers
May 8, 2019
Quite a good, fast paced Star Trek story with a full complement of both the TOS and NG Enterprise crews! The story features Zefram Cochrane, the inventor of warp drive technology, providing some interesting background on his origins and the chaotic, war torn Earth of his time. Some intrigue and much ensuing action develops as a megalomaniac warlord pursues Cochrane in an effort to capture and coerce him into weaponizing his technology. If you've ever wondered what ultimately became of Cochrane, read on. Needless to say, there is some time travel involved here :)
Profile Image for Mike Crate.
459 reviews5 followers
March 19, 2017
Federation is a pretty epic story covering the events on and around Earth prior to the third world war including the discovery of the warp drive through the Enterprise under Kirk era and onwards towards the D commanded by Picard. Zefram Cochrane is the key to everything, his story as he develops and then exploits the drive to help spread humanity to the stars is entwined with the political pressures of the day and the rising fascism under yet another guise led by Colonel Green and for this story's purpose one Colonel Adrik Thorsen who is obsessed with the notion of a warp bomb. Cochrane is pursued by Thorsen across space and time forcing the brilliant scientist to lose himself into history only to be found decades later by the Enterprise and of course Federation commissioner Nancy Hedford. This is not the end of his story though, technology allows for many things and as Cochrane lives long beyond his timeline with the aid of the companion Thorsen with a fanatic's obsession finds technology to maintain himself and the battle for the soul of mankind begins again.
Federation is very entertaining and genuinely interesting novel, it contradicts many things as most Trek novels do when put up against the canon offered by tv and movies but it does what only a novel can do and takes us on a trip through time and space with our favourite characters unafraid to cover aspects of stories the tv/movies shy away from. The timeline covered by the novel allowing for the TNG crew to exist alongside the TOS crew in the novel no doubt will appeal to a broader audience but for me being more old school the "D" elements were less interesting although their conclusion was pleasing. I really really did enjoy the bookending chapters (including Picard) with the older Admiral Kirk and the Guardian of Forever and of course the look far into their future which sums up Starfleet and I hope humanities best attributes.
A highly recommended novel with some very satisfying writing and exploration of characters and events.
Profile Image for Checkman.
517 reviews75 followers
February 24, 2018
I have been a fan of Star Trek since the mid-seventies when I was introduced to afternoon re-runs of the original series. As the decades have gone by I have remained a fan though the white hot enthusiasm that I had for the franchise back in middle school and high school (1981-1986) has cooled considerably. I never missed a movie and was a consistent viewer of the many television series, but I would only read the novels sporadically. Many of the novels were written by the same authors who churned out the Harlequin romance novels (thought not all of them - there were some excellent exceptions of course) and I found them to be sub-standard reads. The science fiction equivalent of the romancers and the "men's action novels".

However ,as I just stated, there were/are exceptions. Federation is one of those exceptions. I first read the novel during Christmas of 1994 when stationed in Germany. "Generations" had been released a few weeks before and I had liked it immensely. A fellow soldier gave me his copy of Federation to keep. He told me that it was something of a tie-in to the movie and I would probably enjoy it. He was right I did.

A few nights ago I was looking for something to read ,that wasn't very heavy, and I stumbled across the same battered old copy that managed to return with me from Germany in 1996. It was buried in a box. I picked it up and decided to see if things do sometimes age well.

Federation has aged well over the past twenty-two years.

I have to say this is an excellent science-fiction/adventure novel. Though now considered to be "non-canonical" in the Star Trek universe it's still one heck of a fun read. It reminds me of some of the better episodes and movies and explores the big ideas so beloved of ST fans, but not skimping in the action department. In addition it's also suspenseful and fast moving. I could practically hear the orchestra playing in the background while I was reading it.

The one thing that needs to be stressed is the book focuses on three characters; Picard, Kick and Cochrane. The story is written from their perspective and all the other characters are strictly supporting roles in Federation. It's a muscular Star Trek story that might not be canonical, but should be in my opinion. I much prefer this Zefram Cochrane to the version portrayed by James Cromwell in "First Contact" (1996), but the story is true to the James T. Kirk and Jean-Luc Picard that fans know and love. There is much in this novel to be enjoyed by fans of the franchise.

If you're looking for an easy, but exciting read I reccomend Federation.
Profile Image for Amber Colored Wolf.
11 reviews5 followers
August 15, 2011
While this book took a very long time to read and I absolutely loved it.

The amount of work and thought put into this title really blew me away. It surrounds three pivotal men in the history of the Federation, Zefram Cochrane, James T. Kirk and Jean-Luc Picard. All three of them end up having to work together in order to defeat a common foe.

But really it's the themes of this story that make it make the impression that it does. Honor, duty and love. It is expressed numerous times through the text that these are the driving forces between all three of these men's actions.

Also the idea that we should never stop living because even at the end of our own life the adventure will always continue.

A must read for any Star Trek fan!
Profile Image for Kerry.
519 reviews73 followers
August 3, 2017
I have very low expectations for Star Trek fiction, I'll admit. But this book was fantastic. Casts from both the TOS and TNG eras are involved (not to mention Zefram Cochrane!) and everyone acts as you'd expect them to act. There's enough pseudo-science to make it interesting, but not so much that one's suspension of disbelief becomes difficult to maintain. The action was well written as well. If you're only going to read one Star Trek book, this is the one. (I'll get back to you after I finish Final Reflection, of course.)

I have nothing but respect for the Reeves-Stevenses. They're good Trek people.
Profile Image for Dan.
312 reviews
February 25, 2013
Many people list Federation as one of the best Star Trek novels of all time, and I'm hard-pressed to disagree. Epic in scope and rich in characterization and history, Federation was a true pleasure to read. One of the primary reasons I love Star Trek is its portrayal of a future in which humanity has moved beyond revenge and petty jealousy, and while Federation does feature the darker side of mankind, its message is ultimately optimistic in the true Star Trek fashion. As much as I love First Contact and, to a lesser extent, Generations, I think that Federation would have made an amazing film.

Full review: http://treklit.blogspot.com/2013/02/f...
1,107 reviews3 followers
March 12, 2016
The only reason I gave this book 4 stars is because there's about 15% near the end of this novel that's just awesome. I really enjoyed the TOS chapters throughout the entirety book the book but the TNG & the Cochrane chapters weren't as interesting & the TNG crew just didn't seem right,...in my opinion they were out of character at times. However the very well written TOS chapters & that 15% of awesomeness saved the day & definitely made it worthwhile. Just a thought here but,...I've started thinking lately that as many great pre-Nemisis written ST novels there are they don't seem to measure up (on the average & generally speaking of course) to the post-Nem novels & I think that can be said about all incarnations of ST, TOS included not just TNG. I believe ST lit writers that have been employed post-Nem might be a little better overall & maybe better editing exists post-Nem too, I don't know. But that's just my opinion, & if you have an opinion on that then please drop a comment, because now that I think about it I'd like to know everyone's thoughts on that.
Profile Image for Michael Mangold.
103 reviews4 followers
September 17, 2010
Using the original series episodes "Metamorphosis" and "Journey to Babel" as launching points for three separate stories, the lives of Zefram Cochrane, James T. Kirk and Jean Luc Picard entwine as the United Federation of Planets is born and matures. Chapters alternate between the three time-lines, with Cochrane fleeing a Khan-like madman in the 21st century, beginning an obsessive pursuit that ensnares the USS Enterprise and ultimately its successor vessel the Enterprise-D. Hardcore Trekkies will appreciate the full use of Trek's rich backstory, with TV and film references aplenty. The action is frequent and vivid, the stories compelling. I did a fair amount of research before choosing "Federation" as my first Star Trek novel, and I'm so glad I did. I can't imagine a better tapestry of all things Trek.
Profile Image for Chris Friend.
378 reviews17 followers
October 21, 2007
My all-time favorite Trek book, hands-down. The only book I've wanted to re-read (that wasn't for teaching). Fantastic story that brings together all the science, all the characters, all the mystery, and all the fascination that makes Trek great.
Profile Image for David Agranoff.
Author 23 books149 followers
July 31, 2020
Also have a podcast review here:



Fancy pants critics and literary types may not like Media Tie-in novels but I grew up reading them and enjoy many of them. There are various degrees of quality in any genre, but The tie-in genre is no different. There is nothing wrong with expanded universes and prose takes on beloved comic book, Movie, or TV characters. I love it when Award-winning genre authors like Brian Evenson does Aliens, or Christa Faust doing Fringe. Hell My favorite author in the world John Shirley gave us his takes on Hellblazer, Batman, Predator, and more. When these well-established writers bring their talents it almost always raises the bar. Some writers are just born to write in the existing universes. I was thinking of Michael Reeves in Star Wars. I don't know that he has ever published outside of Star Wars but he writes amazing books in that universe. Authors like Greg Cox and Kirsten Beyers for two examples seem born to write Trek novels and the later has become important to Trek TV.

Somewhere in the middle is a married couple Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens. They have written a lot of Star Trek, besides working on the final season of Enterprise, they ghostwrote Shatner's insane off-shoot Shatner-verse and mainline Trek novels. At the same time, the couple has written Techno thrillers like Wraith and several original sci-fi horror novels.

Their early original series novel Prime Directive is incredible and with good reason, this novel Federation is considered the Citizen Kane of Star Trek novels. I read it when it came out, a few years later and one time fifteen years ago I listened to the audiobook. I am certain it is the only Star Trek novel I would read repeatedly.

This novel has a strange place in the ST universe, while almost universally loved and praised it is almost knocked out of canon by the existence of the second TNG movie First Contact, and at the same time, I think it greatly outdoes Generations in combining the crews. Thus it has a strange relationship to both those films as well which podcaster Seth Heasley and I will discuss deeper in an upcoming episode Star Trek Story, Myth, and Arcs.

While it is possible with a little bit of handwavium to say that Federation and First Contact can exist together they really can't. That is a spoiler and we will come back to that. First, why is Federation and Reeves-Stevens team so goddamn good at Star Trek?

Federation is a story that spans over three hundred years of future history which is an epic task for any storyteller with perhaps Miller's A Canticle for Lebowitz being the best example in science fiction. The authors here had the benefit of being able to call on the known established canon but the connective tissue involved lots of creative stabs at the times that bridged our times to the primarily utopian future. In 1994 when this book came out Enterprise had not happened or the Bell riots on Deep Space Nine so this era was mostly a mystery.

One of the few hints was an often overlooked melodramatic romantic episode of the Original Series Metamorphasis written by producer Gene L. Coon. Featuring Zefram Cochrane of Alpha Centauri who according to the episode invented the warp drive and disappeared into deep space. Kirk, Spock, and McCoy are transporting by shuttle with a dying Ambassador, who just discovered her life is ending despite her concern for the war she was trying to prevent. They end up on a planet with the long-stranded Cochrane who should have died 100 years earlier but is being kept alive by a (ridiculously gendered as a female) cloud of energy named the Companion.

The story ends with the ambassador dying and allowing the Companion to become human in her body thus finally being with the lifeform she loves Zefram. Considering he is a famous person Kirk agrees to keep the mission secret and leave the Companion and Cochrane in peace. TOS stories like this mostly were stand-alone as TV did at the time. Like Wrath of Khan with Space Speed, this novel seeks to answer questions about the episode and look at the consequences. In the Sixties, the consequences of each episode were dropped but often the novels did pick up these threads.

The episode is essentially the foundation of this novel. Why had Cochrane disappeared into deep space and would Kirk lying about the death of a UFP Ambassador have consequences? The TOS storyline also takes place just days after the events of the classic DC Fontana written episode Journey to Babel. The chapters surrounding the TNG crew are directly after the episode when Picard's mind-meld with Sarek. (which lead to actor Mark Lenard reading the abridged Audiobook)

As Deep Space Nine was dipping its toes into the long-form storytelling Federation being tied to events in the timeline is an underrated aspect of what makes this novel great. One of the skills the authors brought to Star Trek was making it feel real and lived in. Kirk still being in pain from being stabbed in Babel, Picard unable to get Sarek's thoughts out of his head. It gave weight to episodes that the reader remembers.

This, not the only way the Reeves-Stevens manage to give Trek weight and life. Consider the Enterprise's operation to rescue hostages. The author thought out details of how the crew had prepared medical and engineering teams for the mission. It is clear they studied the published Star Trek Technical manuals. Halfway through the narrative Kirk and the Enterprise rescue hostages being held by a crew of Klingon and Orion pirates.

This operation in the novel is one of the best ST action scenes in any media period. Like the best of the movies each member of the crew has a job, the operation required level of skill and strategy which required the Enterprise being the best at what they do. This is a little less obvious on Picard's Enterprise and it would be easy at first wonder how this part of the story fits in. In the third act, the threads come together in genius ways. (Spoilers in the podcast)

As a writer myself I am a fan of plotting, and structure the three timelines are so well-woven together. Most chapters end with intense cliffhangers and the storylines parallel each other enough that they build off each other in clever ways. It is hard to talk about what makes this ST novel so great without giving up details. Seth and I cover that in the podcast.

Let's just say this. Federation combines the first two crews across the generations in a way that has a deeper meaning than what we saw on screen. It is a story that is built on themes that span the generations with stakes that require the bold canvas in a way that Generations the film didn't. It is a story that couldn't be done on film and takes great advantage of the strengths of a novel. It is subtle the crews don't stand in rooms together but trapped in a singularity across time they see each other, have to trust each other and work together. It might sound goofy and hyperbolic but it has a beauty to it that the Kirk and Picard making breakfast and riding horses didn't.

The villain Arick Thorn is my second favorite Trek villain to Khan, his hatred and drive are so well woven into the story it makes him a powerful force. It is cartoony sure but in all the right ways. He is perfect evil, weird, and driven in a way the best bad guys always are. Cochrane's story is better explained and woven into the canon here compared to First Contact and it makes more sense with the history TOS fans know.

Federation is THE BEST Star Trek novel I have read and I have read probably 100 of them over the years. I admit I burned out on them, and don't have the space to read as many as I would like with my responsibilities as a critic and general science fiction podcaster. That said I don't think you can go wrong with this one.

Podcast is recorded, I will add it here in a few days...
Profile Image for David.
Author 6 books26 followers
August 14, 2019
This 1994 Star Trek offering is a strong entry into the series, with a story that spans TOS and TNG, and refers to events that take place in The Generations movie.

The story bounces between the two crews of the two Enterprises but is linked by an old episode of TOS which introduced the viewers to Zephram Cochrane and the Companion.

It starts with a break-in at Starfleet Memory Alpha where the sealed logs of Kirk’s old mission are compromised, and a figure from the days before World War 3 who becomes fixated on getting his revenge on Cochrane. Meanwhile, in the future, Captain Picard and crew come across a valuable artifact that may provide a clue to a weapon they can use against a 24th century foe.

Pretty sure the authors took turns every other chapter. I might have enjoyed the TOS bits a little more, maybe in part because the TNG was not as established at that point. But it all comes together, perhaps not as satisfyingly as it could have. But it gets there.

You know what? It’s a Star Trek book. It’s fun. I enjoyed the hell out of it anyway.

Profile Image for Brian Ruddock.
16 reviews1 follower
August 11, 2021
Couldn’t make it past the first 90 pages. The authors rant about historic events and implications without knowing their subject matter. For instance, the lecture about technology leading to greater violence, or in spite of it—while citing random conflicts that happened to spring up—cherry picks anecdotes while getting the trend wrong.

They also seem to have an Asimov-like tendency to assume we can predict the future from the past. Most actual historians know that random, unpredictable events and decisions have a massively outsized impact on history. These monologues sound eloquent but are misplaced.

I can see potential for the story, and maybe the scientific exposition is smart. (I’m ill-equipped to opine there.) But after the fourth or fifth sophomoric historic analysis, I had to quit.
Profile Image for Brayden Raymond.
393 reviews6 followers
December 23, 2017
Having not been alive at the time of release I am slightly sad I was not apart of the hype surrounding this novel when it released but WOW does it ever do an amazing job at well EVERYTHING. This is easily the best Trek novel I have read, and while I have read relatively few Trek novels that is still saying something as the ones I have read, have all been exceptional in their own right. I was extremely impressed with this book and absorbed it in days, I simply could not put it down!
Profile Image for Richard Bracken.
156 reviews2 followers
March 20, 2022
A wonderful guy named George Ross taught my Sunday school class when I was probably around the age of 14. One Sunday he presented a game of sorts where we were all given a scenario. In it, we couldn’t communicate with the other members of the class. If we silently cooperated and trusted each other, everyone in the group would share equally in the benefit, whereas the first person to act selfishly would claim the entire reward, while everyone else would get zero. It wasn’t easy to trust each other. What were my fellow class members going to do? Would my ego be left high and dry if someone else grabbed it all and won?

As the game went on, and the imaginary rewards he described got sweeter and sweeter, I began to think it would be quite clever to be the one to break ranks and take it all, which is what I eventually did. At first I felt a bit euphoric about it, but when everyone’s disappointment became clear my adolescent glee turned to internal shame. It was all appropriately magnified by good brother Ross of course, who let us all know that he often used the game as a demonstration at his job, and that in all the years he had presented it, never had someone in any group of participants NOT done what I had done to the detriment of the group. He wasn’t surprised by what I had done at all. Someone, like me, had always done the selfish thing. I hadn’t been so cute and clever after all. In the book Federation, I learned that this type of game has a name of sorts. It’s called the Prisoner’s Dilemma.

Federation is a clever book in the Star Trek genre that combines timelines and events from two famous crews from the Enterprise, one under the command of James T. Kirk, and the other under Captain Jean Luc Picard (they’re separated by about 80 years). Anyways, the two ships get into a dangerous situation where they can see each other but can’t communicate. At least one ship can see that if they take advantage of a gravitational wave, their ship escapes doom at the expense of the other one, but if they trust the other captain to recognize and execute a mutually beneficial maneuver, independent of one another, they both likely escape.

Kirk explains the prisoner’s dilemma to McCoy this way, “it’s an old problem in strategy, Bones. In this case, the first prisoner to act selfishly goes free while the other remains in prison. But if we both cooperate, we both go free. The trick is, we can’t communicate with each other. So neither prisoner knows what the other is thinking”. To which Spock replies, “Logic dictates that the first player to act selfishly will always fare better”.

At the time of this review, the age of Covid-19, we’re all prisoners of sorts. What will we do? What should I do? I know what I shouldn’t do. Thank you, George Ross.


One other thing that struck me while reading this book was in a discussion about friends and enemies. During the time of Kirk, Klingons and Romulans were bitter enemies, with no end in sight. Later, in the time of Picard, Klingons were no longer enemies, but Romulans still were. In a verbal exchange between a Romulan and Captain Picard, Picard expresses his hope for eventual peace with the Romulans, to which the Romulan says, “the Federation will never conquer my people”. Very calmly Picard replies, “the Federation does not conquer, Commander. It invites”. This exchange led me to think about effective persuasion. No matter how righteous ones cause, it seems true persuasion is never achieved through force.
Profile Image for Derkanus.
91 reviews80 followers
January 28, 2016
Summary (spoilers): The story centers around Zefram Cochrane, inventor of the superimpellor that's responsible for warp drive. Adrik Thorsen, the leader of the Optimum Movement, kidnaps Cochrane and demands that he build a "warp bomb"; Cochrane tries to explain that it's not possible, but Thorsen won't take "no" for an answer. Cochrane escapes and flies off into deep space alone to die, but he is intercepted by the Companion, who saves him.

The story jumps ahead to a point after the TOS episode "Metamorphosis" wherein Kirk, Spock, and McCoy land on the planet where Cochrane and the Companion live. It turns out that a virus hacked the Starfleet central computer and read Kirk's log detailing Cochrane's location. This virus turns out to be part of Thorsen's consciousness or something, and Thorsen, now basically a robot, tries to abduct Zefram so he can get that damn bomb he wanted. Kirk (with help from the Companion) saves Zef, but to escape Thorsen they all have to fly into a black hole, where they end up getting stuck for infinity.

In the TNG era, some clandestine dealings with the Romulan's go down and Picard gets his hands on a chunk of Borg ship that he thinks contains a "Preserver artifact". It turns out the Borg junk is fake and the Thorsen virus is in the artifact; it takes over the ship, then takes over Data. It takes them to the black hole the TOS crew and Cochrane are still stuck in, hoping to finally kill Cochrane. They get the Thorsen virus out of Data, and get control of the ship; however, the 2 Enterprises can't communicate, so some technobabble happens and by upholding the principles of the Federation (the titular and title line!), both Enterprises escape back to their respective times, Enterprise D with Cochrane's shuttle in tow.

Cochrane and the Companion, saved from the black hole, both die anyway (there's some kind of symbiosis with her planet, and it no longer exists in this century). Picard gets a letter that Kirk wrote in the past, and it's all very touching and what not.

Review: First off, this book was really well written from a technical standpoint. Story-wise, it was a real page-turner; I found myself staying up past my bedtime quite a few nights, always wanting to read one more chapter. As a TNG fan, I was surprised how drawn-in I was by the TOS sections; the characters were so well written, I didn't even mind. Plus, I had no idea that Zefram Cochrane was originally introduced in TOS!

It sucks that the primary canon overwrote most of this story in First Contact, but it's still worth reading anyway, as an alternate universe type thing.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Mikael Kuoppala.
936 reviews30 followers
May 17, 2012
An epic story that manages to hold together despite its vast array of subjects. Quality work by the Reeves-Stevens couple, "Federation" is an ambitious book that combines different areas of the Star Trek universe. It has an amazingly wide scope, as it unites different eras of the Federation's history, combining them all together, and creating a tale of epic proportions. The problem with this one is the way all this is done.

The book has three different stories combined in it, with all of them merging in the end. One tells us about the aftermath of World War III, with Zefram Cochrane, the inventor of Human warp propulsion, as the protagonist. The segment misses it's potential and is left somewhat predictable and messy.

A second story takes place shortly after the TOS episode "Journey to Babel", and deals with the aftermath of Kirk's encounter with Cochrane in the second season episode "Metamorphosis".

The third story is set right after the TNG episode "Sarek", and at first doesn't seem to have anything in common with the first two stories.

The book isn't all that beliavable with its way of bringing all these seemingly separate stories together. The scope of the novel is epic, but the actual plot is far from it, as it deals with a surprisingly simple blood feud between Cochrane and his two dimensional arch enemy. On top of that, Cochrane's character isn't being portrayed in a particulary interesting way, and is left flat and overly perfect, even though the book describes the bigger part of his whole life.

The TOS-era segment is the most interesting, as it provides good plotting and insightfull characterization. The TNG-era segment is more uninspired, even if it contains some surprises. The problems with this particular segment lies in the insufficcient and hollow characterization. The characters seem to resemble the ones from "Encounter at Farpoint", instead of the more deeper cast of the third season.

As a whole, the book is predictable an uneven, as it creates an epic crossover story out of thin air and leaves it's credibility under question. The story is well stuctured, though, and the Reeves-Stevens have managed to make the story alive against all odds and provide a rare look into the history of the Federation.

Be wary, though, that "Federation" was written before "Generations", "First Contact" and the first episode of Enterprise, wich leads to some continuityu problems between it, the "death" of Kirk in "Generations" and the appearances of Cochrane and the invention of the warp drive in "First Contact" and "Broken Bow".
Profile Image for Mark.
394 reviews8 followers
January 5, 2013
Star Trek - Federation
By Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens

Publisher: Pocket Books
Published In: New York, NY
Date: 1995
Pgs: 467

The shadows of a madman of Earth’s World War 3 collides with that of Zephram Cochrane, the father of warp drive that made the Federation possible and gave birth to the times of Kirk and Picard. These shadows stretch out through the ages of the Federation. Darkness, madness, obssession...light, discovery, ingenuity...the coin flipped. Picard, Kirk, and their crews deal with these in equal measure. From the birth of warp drive to the heart of a black hole, the Federation endures.

Science Fiction, Movies and Television

Main Character:
Zephram Cochrane

Favorite Character:

Least Favorite Character:
Colonel Adrik Thorsen. The villain of the piece. When the story works the way it is supposed to, the villain should always be the least favorite character...or the favorite character depending on the tone of th story. I’d call this mission accomplished.

Favorite Scene:
The scene with the two Enterprises

Plot Holes/Out of Character:

Last Page Sound:
A satisfied sigh

Author Assessment:
Greatness. Would definitely read anything else by them.

Disposition of Book:
This is a keep it and re-read it someday book, just like it was after the first time I read it all those years ago.

Why isn't there a screenplay?:
This should have been the movie that was Star Trek: Generations. It would have passed the torch well while leaving a time and place for the original crew.
Profile Image for Michael.
1,579 reviews5 followers
November 9, 2014
I was surprised how much I enjoyed this book. I am an unabashed Star Trek fan, and have been since I was about five years old. One of my earliest memories is of watching Star Trek with my father, who would proclaim that it was the best show in the world. I never read many Star Trek novels; maybe one or two back in high school, but a friend and fellow Trekie suggested I check one out, so I did, and I am glad! This was a fun story combining two of the Star Trek story lines--the original series and the Next Generation--into one narrative about the founding of the Federation. I was pleasantly pleased to see how many stories from the two shows made it into Federation.. Knowing Star Trek well made this story all the more enjoyable for me, and reminded me of some things I had forgotten. And: this was actually science fiction as well, not just a plot driven adventure with familiar characters.

In other words, the book was good. Quite good. Gene Roddenberry would have been proud.

One of my favorite things in the world is to curl up on the couch with my daughter and watch Star Trek. She tells me that she loves it because it makes her think. She's right.
Profile Image for Jonathan.
Author 34 books23 followers
December 19, 2014
Oh boy, where to begin... This was a ridiculous story, and I'm not even concerned with canon, just with the plot and characters and technology. Warp bombs? Zephram's Cochrane's "super impeller"? This is just so bad, how in the world did this book get published? After 80 pages, I began skipping ahead, and it just got worse and worse. Sure, I enjoyed the TOS episode about Cochrane and the Companion. It was a good episode. Did it need to be dredged up again? Canon being what Paramount does with its property, this book was rendered obsolete by the First Contact film, but I was okay with that. My gripe is with bad writing. The author describes the long process this went through--many years--to get approved, due to the end of TNG and the Generations movie. Well, maybe it should have just remained on the not-published slushpile.
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