A series of short novels in the Star Trek Expanded Universe, collected in three volumes (Infinity’s Prism, Echoes and Refractions and Shattered Light). The series presents alternate histories, wherein the familiar Star Trek universe has been warped significantly. The series uses key moments of history as the springboard to create these altered timelines, presenting realities that result from different outcomes to established events.
This series contains examples of:
- Alternate History: The series is essentially a collection of alternate histories, taking key moments in the Star Trek Myth Arc and offering hypothetically different outcomes, taking the Trek universe in different directions from the original. So, we have a history where Khan won the Eugenics Wars and took control of Earth, and another where Terra Prime succeeded in isolating Earth from the interstellar community (so The Federation formed without human participation). There’s one where Voyager turned back rather than cross Borg space, etc.
- Crapsack World: If Spock died in childhood (as was the case in the popular “Yesteryear” timeline in an episode of Star Trek the Animated Series), the 23rd century becomes a Crapsack World. As revealed in The Chimes at Midnight, Earth is devastated by the Whalesong Probe from The Voyage Home, and the Alpha and Beta quadrants are caught in an escalating arms race due to use of the genesis device. Also, if the Cardassians don’t withdraw from Bajor in 2369, the 24th century ends up in Crapsack World territory. A Gutted World presents the Dominion manipulating the Alpha and Beta quadrants into weakening themselves so significantly it looks as if Dominion takeover is inevitable.
- Fantastic Racism: Andorian Commander Thelin is on the receiving end of some, due to his part-Aenar heritage.
- Fingore: In The Chimes At Midnight, David Marcus is tortured by the Klingons and has one of his fingers broken.
- Freudian Trio: In The Chimes At Midnight, we're told that in this universe Dr McCoy tries to give Kirk the pragmatic options, in order to counterbalance Thelin's Andorian passion. Yes, McCoy is The Spock.
- Gunboat Diplomacy: In Places of Exile, the Voth send an entire city ship to Vostigye space in order to make their demands.
- Instrument of Murder: The Andorian flabjellah is a combination sidearm/musical instrument. It exists in the mainstream Trek 'verse, but is more prominant in the Tears of Eridanus timeline.
- Meaningful Name: The S'paaphonn (Many sci-fi fans will be familiar with the exclamation "Spa Fon!").
- Off with His Head: In The Tears of Eridanus, Evil!T'Pau executes Dax and presents his head as a trophy.
- Pose of Supplication: The Voth demand this from others as their due, particularly when bestowing their benevolence. As the eldest race in the Delta Quadrant (or at least they assume so), they consider themselves its rightful rulers. When agreeing to spare Fluidic Space from destruction, their condition is that the Species 8472 representative bow before them and pledge his loyalty to the Voth Council.
- Pride: “Boothby” the 8472 Groundskeeper has to swallow his in order to save his people. The Voth, who are themselves the most prideful race around, agree to spare his realm from their doomsday weapon if he declares his loyalty to the Voth Council and bows before them. Chakotay convinces him to do so.
- Sexy Discretion Shot: In The Chimes at Midnight, this gets played rather straight between Saavik and David Marcus:
Their lips met, and in perfect unison their bodies slowly sank down to the ground. On the distant horizon, another volcanic mountaintop erupted, its hot magma shooting forth into the air. And the ground once again trembled, shaken by nature's primal throes.
- Throw the Dog a Bone: According to Word of God, planet Coridan's prosperous status in The Tears of Eridanus is an example of this, seeing as in the mainstream Star Trek Novel Verse Coridan is the Federation's Butt Monkey planet.
- Unwitting Pawn: Kirk in A Less Perfect Union. His attitude towards aliens makes him relatively easy to steer into a Romulan plot aimed against the Earth/Interstellar Coalition negotiations. Also, in A Gutted World, the entire Alpha and Beta quadrants end up Unwitting Pawns to the Founders of the Dominion.
- What Measure Is a Non-Human?: One of the stories is set in a timeline where androids like Data are mass-produced for Starfleet. They are considered more disposable than organic officers. Also, in a universe where Khan was victorious, the human augments have established themselves as the dominant power in known space, fuelled by this belief. Some of the racist humans in A Less Perfect Union show a form of it, too.
- Whole-Plot Reference: Honor in the Night tells the story of a journalist trying to find out the meaning behind a famous person's last words, by talking to a lot of people who knew the deceased, and the whole thing is told in an interlocking non-linear flashback structure. Sound familiar?