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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars And now Voyager gets the anthology treatment, 19 Jan 2006
David Roy (Vancouver, BC) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Distant Shores: Star Trek Voyager Anthology (Paperback)
Star Trek: Voyager was ten years old in 2005, and as part of the celebration, Pocket Books published Distant Shores, an anthology of stories set during the television series. Edited by Marco Palmieri, this collection is definitely better than a lot of the episodes, with great characterization of the regulars, imaginative extrapolations from existing episodes, as well as original stories that don't have anything to do with the episodes. One of the things I've noticed about these anthologies (Prophecy & Change for Deep Space Nine is another one) is that the stories are often used to show us things that the various episodes weren't able to show, for whatever reason.
Thus, we get some closure to the relationship between Neelix and Kes ("Closure"). We see some of the survivors of the Equinox (from the episode of the same name) who joined the Voyager crew, and then disappeared into the vast Central Casting pool, never to be seen again. Some of the stories are quite touching, while others are fun. This is definitely a collection for any Voyager fan, and even non-Voyager fans might actually like it a little bit.
The anthology begins and ends with "Da Capo al Fine" (Heather Jarman),told in two parts and separated by a cliffhanger. The Admiral Janeway from the future who came back to help Voyager home (in the finale) is being mentally assaulted by the Borg Queen. Or is she? Could some alien be returning to deliver what he promised? She visits numerous instances of the life and death decisions she's had to make over seven years in the Delta Quadrant, and she must decide whether to turn down a final offer that could eradicate all of that. I wasn't sure what to make of this story at first, but ultimately it could almost be an analogy for the whole Voyager series. If we had it all to do over, would we begin this tragic journey again? These seven long years? Ultimately, the answer is a given, but it's still an interesting exploration in Jarman's hands.
Probably the best story in the entire book is "Brief Candle" (Christopher L. Bennett). Lieutenant Marika Willkarah has recently been rescued from the Borg collective, but unfortunately her severing from the link is going to kill her soon. She decides that she has to live her life to the fullest in her limited time. She becomes attracted to Ensign Harry Kim, who feels he can't return her feelings because he would get too close to her and her death would be too painful. Whether or not she convinces him to ignore that fear, we see her carry out her goal. And when it's time to go out, she is able to make the choice her own way. This is an incredibly touching story that did leave a tear in my eye at the end. It ties in nicely with the episodes that are supposedly around it, and Bennett's characterization is wonderful. Kim is a great mix of naïve and afraid, and his best friend, Tom Paris, is not afraid to let him know when he's being an idiot. The coda to the story is what definitely makes it work, however. This is a must-read for any Voyager fan.
Coming very close to "Brief Candle" is "Letting Go" (Keith R.A. DeCandido). What about those who the Voyager crew left behind? Told from the eyes of Mark Johnson, Janeway's fiancé, this is the story of the survivors and how they coped with the supposed loss of Voyager. It covers about three years in time, from the one-year anniversary of Voyager's disappearance to just after they discover the Voyager is stranded, and it's a very poignant story. Mark is basically living his life from day to day, never quite severing his ties with Janeway, until a friendship develops with another Starfleet officer who also lost a loved one on Voyager. She finally forces him to let go and live his life again, and he finds a woman right under his nose. Meanwhile, a young man whose father was on Voyager also can't let go, and that may have more tragic consequences. This is a side of Voyager that the television show could never show us, and I'm glad DeCandido did. It almost brought a tear to my eye. It's a story of love, loss, and mourning, and ultimately how we can hold too tight to the past if we don't let go. It's simply wonderful.
There really isn't a bad story in this book, with just minor characterization problems, or slightly boring bits, being the main problem with any of them. I could only say that about one or two of the stories, though. Otherwise, this is a standout story collection, and a must-have for any true Voyager fan.
David Roy
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Brilliant Read!, 26 July 2006
This review is from: Distant Shores: Star Trek Voyager Anthology (Paperback)
If you're a Voyager fan, then you're bound to find at least one story in this book that either answer's a question, or touches on a part of the show you liked, or thought neglected.

For me, personally, it was the latter. And I'm sure for many Voyager fans out there, you will agree with me.

Distant Shores fills in the gaps left by 'The-Powers-That-Be' for various reasons: what happened to the Doctor when he was left on the planet in 'Blink Of An Eye'; what happened to those the crew left behind in the Alpha Quadrant; the Talent Night mentioned in 'Coda'; the former Borg, Bajoran 'Marika Wilkara' who was liberated in 'Survival Instinct' and elected to stay on Voyager for the month or so she had left; and also a look at the unique relationship of Voyager's 'Command Couple'.

I am biased when it comes to chosing my favourite story, and I have to say that the one of the most interesting stories is 'Isabo's Shirt', by Kirsten Beyer. I don't want to give anything away, as to attempt to do so would ruin the wonderful and slightly mysterious story Beyer weaves - but we all have a niggling feeling we know to whom she refers from the beginning. The events of this story are probably what a lot of people would have liked to see happen in the TV show, but had no chance of occuring because of other directions the Producers wanted to take. It is my favourite because I finally got to 'see' what I wish had been shown only briefly, even if it is taken away to set everything back to normal. Part of me wonders, however, whether if it had happened in canon whether things could have ever gone back.

I digress, but it is hard not to on a subject one feels passionately about.

Overall, it has to be say the Distant Shores anthology is worth it. The stories are short, as they are fillers between episodes or seasons, so you don't have to sit and read all 389 pages in one go, and each is uniquely intesting. Whether you're a Chakotay, Neelix, Doctor or B'Elanna fan, you'll enjoy this collection.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read, some stories better than others, 16 Feb 2010
Mrs. A. M. Sekowska "Drum mum" (NOTTINGHAM, NOTTS United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Distant Shores: Star Trek Voyager Anthology (Paperback)
I love Star Trek Voyager and really enjoyed the further development of well-known characters and filling in the gaps of others like the Equinox crew and the disconnected Borg who had a month to live. There was merit in each story, one was annoying due to the American writing style but all in all, a good read and a book I will be picking up again.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Voyager Season 7.5, 11 April 2007
This review is from: Distant Shores: Star Trek Voyager Anthology (Paperback)
Voyager was exasperating. The crew never ran out of fuel, food, or shuttles, the characters never really changed, and there was never any sense of peril, that the characters might die or that Voyager might not make it home. But still, after seven years together I couldn't help feeling a little wistful after the last episode knowing I'd never see those characters again, except in reruns.

Which is why Star Trek Voyager: Distant Shores was such a pleasant companion for a couple of weeks, a collection of 12 short stories each of which reads like a typical television episode. The stories cover all seven seasons and with the exception of Tuvok, all the major characters are featured in at least one story.

The writers in this volume must be great fans themselves. They've succeeded in capturing the essence of the show and the characters, recreating in print what we saw each week on television. Their faithfulness, however, sometimes goes too far and as a result we get ridiculous plot contrivances, such the first season story in which Tuvok withholds the command codes from Chakotay even though the ship is under alien attack and Janeway incapacitated because, well, Tuvok's not really sure if he can trust the former Maquis. There's also the sentimental, ripped-from-a-Harelquin-romance episode in which Chakotay confesses his love to Janeway, and 38 pages of stuporous logs recorded by the doctor while stranded on the planet Tahal (which answers the question of how a being made of light could have a "son.").

The better stories in this collection equal and even outdo the better televised episodes. Harry Kim finally gets the girl, a very special person who teaches him the value of living in the present. At Janeway's suggestion, the crew puts together a talent show, full of wit and humor with a rather sorrowful and touching ending. And perhaps the best episode of all, the story of how Kes and B'Elanna learn to build a windmill and in the process learn something about themselves and each other.

You're sure to find something of interest in Distant Shores, a wonderful volume for anyone who has ever enjoyed Voyager. Even those of us who sometimes couldn't wait for it end.

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4.0 out of 5 stars To boldly go...., 16 Aug 2012
A thouroughly enjoyable collection of stories involving much loved characters from Voyager as they traverse the Delta quadrant in an effort to get back home to Earth.
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Distant Shores: Star Trek Voyager Anthology by Gene Roddenberry (Paperback - 1 Nov 2005)
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