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Star Trek: Vanguard (or VAN) is a book series centering on activities on and around Starbase 47, aka Vanguard, set from 2265 to 2268, the same time period as Star Trek: The Original Series. The series began in 2005 with Harbinger and ended in 2012 with Storming Heaven. It was followed by a coda, In Tempest's Wake, and a spin-off series started in 2014, Star Trek: Seekers.

Overview[edit | edit source]

Star Trek: Vanguard provides a greatly expanded look at the geopolitical and cultural context to the events of the Star Trek: The Original Series. Set on a starbase in the Taurus Reach, a region outside Federation space and tucked between Klingon and Tholian space, the series, in setting itself upon a centralized space station with ambassadorial, legal, and colonizing purposes, purposefully avoids traditional depictions of Starfleet and the Federation to examine the bigger picture of the events of the TOS era.

The series follows the life of Vanguard, under command of a flag officer, Commodore Diego Reyes. Filled with an ensemble of characters, the series focuses also on unusual Federation characters, such as a Rigellian Chelon ambassador, Jetanien, a Starfleet Intelligence mandarin, T'Prynn, a Federation journalist, Tim Pennington, a JAG officer, Rana Desai and an Archaeology and anthropology officer, Ming Xiong.

The USS Sagittarius and the IKS Zin'za

The station is supported by three starships, the Constitution-class USS Endeavour, the Miranda-class USS Bombay, and the Archer-class scout ship USS Sagittarius. Though each is central to the series, and are filled with perhaps characters more familiar to traditional Star Trek narratives (captains, first officers, science officers, chief medical officers, engineers, etc.), the authors of the series ensure each ship's distinctiveness from one another and from other, more familiar, Starfleet vessels.

The setting of Vanguard during the events of The Original Series and between Klingon and Tholian space also ensures that the series concentrates on examining these two states during the 2260s. The earlier careers of important figures such as Gorkon and Chang are examined, the vying statues of "ridged" and "smooth"-headed Klingons, and the events leading to and surrounding the brief Federation-Klingon War of 2267 ended by the Organian Peace Treaty. The Tholians are depicted in great detail, proving a history to the events of TOS episode: "The Tholian Web", which is placed within the context of Vanguard's operations. The emergence of the Romulan Star Empire from its century of isolation is explored, as well as how the Klingon-Romulan alliance of the 2260s occurred. Finally the origins of the failed "Planet of Galactic Peace" seen in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, Nimbus III, are explored also.

As the hub of a massive colonization effort, Vanguard Station is populated by a number of civilian inhabitants and ships. One person is a colorful trader and smuggler, Cervantes Quinn, in the same vein of Cyrano Jones. At the beginning of the series, he is beholden to another civilian resident of the station, the Orion merchant-prince Ganz. The relationship of these two to the intelligence and espionage apparatus of Starfleet and the Klingon Empire proves central to the series's narrative. Characters are revealed to be, like Arne Darvin in "The Trouble with Tribbles," surgically-altered Klingon spies, and the ruthless efforts taken both by the more militaristic Starfleet of the TOS-era and the other interstellar powers add further realpolitik to the series.

The central mystery of the series, and the secret reason for the Federation push into the Taurus Reach, is a massive genetic mystery, the Shedai Meta-genome. As the series continues, its connection to a powerful and violent ancient threat becomes clearer, as well as this threat's relationship to the origins and emergence of the Tholian species. The scientific successes and failures of the Genesis Device are given foundation in the exploration of the meta-genome in the series, with the 2260s Carol Marcus explored, a civilian scientist imposed by the Federation Council to limit militaristic excesses.

Summary[edit | edit source]

The events of Vanguard commence in 2263 when the USS Constellation discovers on a scan of the Taurus Reach a complex and unknown genetic marker. Unable to spare the resources to study the finding, Commodore Matthew Decker sends the information to Starfleet Command.

Two years later, after the return of the USS Enterprise from the galactic barrier and the transformation of Gary Mitchell and Elizabeth Dehner into superbeings, the damaged ship expects to take several months to reach Federation space. Instead, it finds in the Taurus Reach a fully operating starbase, numbered 47 and called Vanguard.

References[edit | edit source]

Characters[edit | edit source]

For a complete list of characters, see characters in Star Trek: Vanguard.

Starships and vehicles[edit | edit source]

Novels[edit | edit source]

title author published cover
David Mack
August 2005
Harbinger cover
Summon the Thunder
Dayton Ward
& Kevin Dilmore
June 2006
Summon the Thunder cover
Reap the Whirlwind
David Mack
June 2007
Reap The Whirlwind cover
Open Secrets
Dayton Ward
May 2009
Open Secrets cover
David Mack
December 2009
Precipice cover
David Mack,
Marco Palmieri,
Dayton Ward &
Kevin Dilmore
July 2011
Declassified cover
What Judgments Come
Dayton Ward
& Kevin Dilmore
October 2011
What Judgements Come cover
Storming Heaven
David Mack
March 2012
Storming Heaven cover

Appendices[edit | edit source]

Related Works[edit | edit source]

Connections[edit | edit source]

Stories featuring Starbase Vanguard
Star Trek: Vanguard novels HarbingerSummon the ThunderReap the WhirlwindOpen SecretsPrecipiceWhat Judgments ComeStorming Heaven
Short stories and novellas Distant Early WarningThe Black FlagDeclassified (Almost TomorrowHard NewsThe Ruins of Noble MenThe Stars Look Down) • In Tempest's Wake
Star Trek series and films
Television series and related media Star Trek: The Original Series (TOS proseTOS comicsTOS games) • Star Trek: The Animated SeriesStar Trek: The Next Generation • (TNG proseTNG comicsTNG games) • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (DS9 proseDS9 comicsDS9 games) • Star Trek: Voyager (VOY proseVOY comics) • Star Trek: Enterprise (ENT prose) • Star Trek: Discovery (DSC proseDSC comics) • Star Trek: Short TreksStar Trek: Picard (PIC prosePIC comics) • Star Trek: Lower DecksStar Trek: Strange New WorldsStar Trek: Prodigy
Films Star Trek: The Motion PictureStar Trek II: The Wrath of KhanStar Trek III: The Search for SpockStar Trek IV: The Voyage HomeStar Trek V: The Final FrontierStar Trek VI: The Undiscovered CountryStar Trek GenerationsStar Trek First ContactStar Trek: InsurrectionStar Trek NemesisStar TrekStar Trek Into DarknessStar Trek Beyond
Novel series New FrontierChallenger (New Earth) • StargazerCorps of EngineersKlingon Empire (IKS Gorkon) • Vanguard (Seekers) • TitanDepartment of Temporal InvestigationsStarfleet Academy (1990s2010s)
Novel miniseries The Captain's TableDay of HonorDestinyThe Dominion WarDouble HelixThe FallGatewaysInvasion!The Lost EraMirror UniverseMyriad UniversesNew Earth (Challenger) • PreyPrometheusRise of the FederationSection 31Terok NorTyphon Pact
Comic series Star Trek UnlimitedEarly VoyagesStar Trek (IDW series) • Starfleet Academy (MarvelIDW) • Waypoint
Games Starfleet AcademyStar Trek Online
Other Starfleet AcademyStarship Trekkers

External links[edit | edit source]

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