Sunday, January 3, 2010

what have you read by Chrispher L. Bennett?

Hah. Perhaps that's an unfair question. His books cater to a rather specialized demographic. He's an author of the current generation of Star Trek books, and one who I am really enjoying. I just finished Titan: Over a Torrent Sea. My favorite book by him is a toss up between Buried Age (Lost Era: Picard) and Titan: Orion's Hounds (Captain Riker). Many many Star Trek fans do not have the time to read the books, or don't have the interest, or have lost interest, or simply aren't readers at all. And even for someone who does read the books, they often pick and choose what they have time and inclination to read. I myself have ignored various series of novels out of sheer necessity.

I was having a conversation about his books recently (about a phenomenon he mentioned offhand called Cerenkov Radiation), and I found out that he has a physics degree. (By the way, I had no clue whatsoever what the Cerenkov Effect referred to until I looked it up.)

I wrote the following on the TNB (The New Buzz).

"Perhaps I should actually read up on authors that I write about ;-)

It makes a lot of sense, actually. Judging from his books, they do indeed lean quite towards "hard SF."

I also learned something else about Bennett from this book, or rather learned more, or rather guessed more. Bennett dedicated this book, Torrent, to his deceased house cat. That, and he reads *a lot* of time-consuming scientific periodicals. From that, I am guessing he enjoys being at home a lot. A sci-fi fan a learned introvert? Who ever heard of such nonsense ;-)

I have also supposed that Bennett is notably kinky. I have seen a steady development in his expression of romantic wildness since his earliest books, such as Ex Machina. My suspicion is that the editors are giving him greater freedom as time goes on, and that he himself may feel a bit more confident. I can give plenty of examples of this (which I consider refreshing if questionable) but if you read the books, you'll see what I mean.

Don't at all infer that I am judging him: I have an enormous respect for the guy. More than that, I respect his choices and/or nature. Even if I didn't see their value as I do. Being a well-read home-body has a certain elegance to it. And being kinky, well, zest for life is admirable in its own right. Again, all these are mere suppositions that may be dead-wrong.

He is also quite the trivia buff and genuine Trek fan. His return of major characters long unseen has been a high spot for me (examples might be spoilers, so I won't go into detail. Unless, you want me to). I loved how he brought back moments of episodic Trek (the Fabrini, [TOS "For the World is Hollow and I have Touched the Sky"] , the Ressikan flute and Picard's time as Kamin [TNG "The Inner Light] and Soren's philosophy [ST Generations], and the space jellies [TNG: "Encounter at Farpoint"]). It has made me smile to see Bennett flesh out various Federation species that were never well seen: the Betelgeusians and the Rhaandarites (both from TMP), among others."

Official website:


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  2. Interesting I haven't purchased a Trek tie-in-novel in probably 5 years. May have to take a look at these.

  3. @jmnlman:
    For a reader hopping into the current generation of books, I'd recommend Buried Age without reservation. It's part of the Lost Era saga, and follows Picard in the events preceding the launch of the Enterprise-D. Thus, very little "building" upon other books. Beyond that, it's an outstanding piece of fun writing to boot. Hope I helped in some small way.