Saturday, March 20, 2021

Positively Trek Book Club: Serpents Among the Ruins

 Star Trek: The Lost Era
Serpents Among the Ruins
By David R. George III

Mass-market paperback: | |
E-book (Kindle): | |

The voyages of the Enterprise-B are some of the biggest unknowns in the Star Trek universe. Besides the fateful first voyage at the beginning of Star Trek: Generations, almost nothing is known about the trials and tribulations of the third Federation starship to bear the name Enterprise. What a perfect opportunity for the novels to step in and chronicle one of the many adventures of Captain John Harriman and his crew as they attempt to stop a horrific war with the Romulans before it starts!

In this episode of the Positively Trek Book Club, hosts Dan and Bruce discuss The Lost Era novel Serpents Among the Ruins by David R. George III. We talk about the impending war with the Romulans, Harriman’s tumultuous relationship with his father, the rehabilitation of a Starfleet captain, the Tomed Incident, some familiar lit-verse characters, and wrap up with our final thoughts and ratings.

Previous episode: Star Trek Online: The Needs of the Many


  1. Just a heads up: the audio in your post is for ep 93 instead of 96.

    1. Whoops! Thanks so much for letting me know, it's now been fixed.

  2. No problem!

    Good episode, by the way. I really want to like this book, but it has a fatal flaw: I just don't buy that Harriman's plan would work. Sulu figures out the truth when she recognizes the name of an officer who's death she had witnessed a year earlier on the list of Tomed victims. So what's to keep the friends, family, and colleagues of the other 4,000+ "victims" from noticing the same thing? I mean somebody had to witness or have knowledge of most of these deaths, right? You would need some mass killings to get to 4,000 people and I just can't think of a way that it could be done without their friends, family, crewmates, superior officers, or adversarial alien races from realizing that something was up.

    I think DRGIII may have been a bit too clever here. It would have been much more believable if Harriman's plan involved replacing a lost or destroyed Excelsior class ship with a duplicate ship. Ship A, on a deep space mission, falls into a black hole/pitcher plant/Nagillum. Starfleet hushes it up. Another Excelsior class ship is created and becomes ship A's doppelganger, complete with the same crew. The only difference? This ship has "hyperwarp." Hiding the construction of one new vessel seems a lot easier than hiding the deaths of over 4,000 people.

    Positives: I love the fact that the Harriman is finally shown in a positive light as a (very) capable officer. The way he was portrayed in Generations was ridiculous. An audience of Trek already thinks Kirk is awesome - there's no need to have the Enterprise captained by a jobber just to make Kirk look better.

    Another thing that you guys pointed out that I missed: the book did a very good job of subverting expectations.