Commentary From the Ruins of the Slacker Generation
Last Updated: 6/18/2012
If you know me, then you know that I am a Star Trek fan, and that in particular I love the Star Trek: Titan series of books, chronicling the adventures of Riker and his crew of the USS Titan as they spearhead a new era of exploration for Starfleet. Star Trek: Titan has been describe by former Senior Editor and creator of the series, Marco Palmieri, as “The Original Series in the Next Generation time frame.”
I had created this page a while back on my old blog since a fair number of hits I was receiving were from searches for USS Titan. So, I thought I’d put together a sort of mini-guide, cobbling together information and try to give someone new to the series a decent introduction. I am re-posting it here and will update as time permits.
The Titan is a Luna-class ship. The Luna-class is Starfleet’s newest-generation long-range explorer, a starship not built specifically for combat, but like the Constitution-class of the previous century, a vessel designed for a long-term multipurpose mission into uncharted space. Equipped with conventional tactical systems (deflector shields; phasers; quantum torpedoes), Titan also boasts state-of-the-art propulsion and cutting-edge scientific equipment, as well as being a testbed for experimental science tech not yet available on other classes.
The Luna-Class Development Project was initiated in 2369 in response to the discovery of the Bajoran wormhole, and originally conceived as leading a planned Starfleet wave of deep-space exploration in the Gamma Quadrant. The project was spearheaded by Dr. (Commander) Xin Ra-Havreii, a Starfleet theoretical engineer at Utopia Planitia. Field testing on the prototype U.S.S. Luna was under way by 2372 in the Alpha Quadrant, and construction of the fleet was scheduled to begin the following year. Unfortunately, contact with the Dominion and the subsequent outbreak of hostilities mothballed the project indefinitely, as Starfleet redirected its shipbuilding resources to the production of vessels better suited to combat.Upon the war’s end in late 2375, Dr. Ra-Havreii correctly judged that the Federation’s cultural psychology would eventually shift back toward its pre-war ideals, and pushed to have the Luna-class revisited as a major step toward resuming Starfleet’s mission of peaceful exploration (even though the class would no longer be assigned exclusively to the exploration of the Gamma Quadrant).
Construction of an initial fleet of twelve Luna-class vessels was completed by 2379, and the Titan was offered to William T. Riker, one of many command officers eager to put the strife of the last decade behind him.The Titan is manned by the most varied multispecies crew in Starfleet history, with humans taking up less than 15% of the 350-member crew. The diversity of the crew is intended to facilitate stories that will explore the ways that beings of different cultures, biologies, psychologies, and physical appearances learn how to work together, or fail to, depending on the circumstances they encounter.
Titan has eight shuttlecraft of various sizes.
The USS Titan was designed by Sean Tourangeau, who won a contest held to determine the ship’s design.
The bridge has been described as a smaller version of the bridge on the Enterprise-E. Two differences mentioned in the novels thus far have been ramps leading to and from the lower levels of the bridge (as opposed to steps) and a railing separating the upper and lower levels (behind the captain’s chair) of the bridge. Below is a design by Sean Tourangeau.
Titan has 8 Type 11 shuttles, all named after Jazz performers. They are:
As of the novel Over a Torrent Sea, Titan has a Flyer-class heavy shuttle, the Horne, as part of its compliment. The Horne is based off of the Delta Flyer from Star Trek: Voyager:
Captain: William T. Riker
William Thomas Riker most famously served as the Federation flagship Enterprise-D‘s executive officer under Captain Jean Luc Picard. As the vessel’s first officer, Riker was offered his own command numerous times, but repeatedly turned them down in favor of remaining aboard the flagship, admitting to Picard that he had always hoped he would take command of the Galaxy class starship. Following the destruction of the Enterprise-D, Riker transferred to its successor, the Enterprise-E, with Picard, and continued to serve as first officer for a continuing number of years, helping to defend Earth against the Borg, prevent the illegal relocation of the Ba’ku and destroy the Reman warbird Scimitar. Shortly before the Scimitar‘s destruction, Riker married his on-again, off-again lover, Deanna Troi, who thereafter transferred to the Titan with him to serve as the vessel’s counselor and chief diplomatic officer.
First Officer: Commander Christine Vale
Executive officer of the starship Titan, Vale previously served as the Enterprise-E‘s chief tactical officer. Coming from a long line of peace officers, Commander Vale’s family was gravely disappointed in her choice to join Starfleet.
Second Officer/Chief Tactical Officer: Commander Tuvok
Tuvok shares the cold and logical nature associated with his people. His first Starfleet assignment was aboard the USS Excelsior under Captain Hikaru Sulu. During his service Tuvok become disenchanted with non-Vulcans and resigned from Starfleet, only reenlisting decades later, where he eventually settled aboard the USS Voyager under Captain Kathryn Janeway. In 2371, Tuvok was on an undercover mission infiltrating the Maquis when he became trapped in the Delta Quadrant. He was later re-united with Voyager and served as the vessel’s head of security and second executive officer until its return home. Following his return, Tuvok worked for Starfleet Intelligence within Romulan space at the time of the Shinzon uprising, and was later rescued from imprisonment by the Titan crew, which he joined when their previous tactical officer became comatose as a result of battle.
Chief Medical Officer: Dr. Shenti Yisec Eres Ree
Chief Medical Officer of the starship Titan, Dr. Ree’s friendly bedside manner is juxtaposed by his fearsome appearance. Standing over two meters tall, this bi-pedal reptile reminds Captain Will Riker of one of Earth’s extinct, pack hunting dinosaurs.
Chief Engineer: Dr. Xin Ra-Havreii
Ra-Havreii designed the Luna-class starship, and is haunted by the disaster aboard the USS Luna. After Titan‘s chief engineer is killed during its first mission, Ra-Havreii stays aboard as its Chief, perhaps to put some of his ghosts to rest.
Science Officer (through Sword of Damocles): Lieutenant Commander Jaza Najem
Lieutenant Commander Jaza Najem was a former member of the Bajoran Militia who joined Starfleet in 2376 after his homeworld of Bajor joined the United Federation of Planets. By the year 2380, Jaza was assigned as Science officer on the USS Titan under Captain William T. Riker on that vessels exploratory mission on the unexplored Gum Nebula.
Science Officer (from Star Trek: Destiny, Book One: Gods of Night on): Lieutenant Melora Pazlar
Melora graduated from Starfleet Academy as a stellar cartographer. In 2370, she was assigned to Deep Space 9, her first deep-space assignment, to survey a sector in the Gamma Quadrant. Later on, she served aboard the Enterprise-E and subsequently joined Riker’s crew aboard Titan as Head of Stellar Cartography. After Lt. Jaza Najem was lost in Sword of Damocles, Pazlar was promoted to Senior Science Officer.
Chief Diplomatic Officer/Counselor: Commander Deanna Troi
Half-human, half-Betazoid female
Wife of Captain Riker, Troi serves as the vessel’s chief diplomatic officer as well as ship’s Counselor, a position she previously held on both the Enterprises D and E under Captain Picard, to whom she often served as a moral advisor. Despite being only half Betazed, Troi is a capable empath and has been shown to communicate telepathically with other Betazoids, specifically her mother, Lwaxana Troi.
Chief of Security: Commander Ranul Keru
Unjoined Trill male
Chief of Security and Tactical Officer. Commander Keru was rendered comatose from injuries sustained during a battle between Romulan and Reman forces. Captain Will Riker subsequently offered the post to Commander Tuvok until Commander Keru’s recovery. (Trivia: Keru was modeled after a friend of Andy Mangels; thus, his picture- courtesy of Andy Mangel’s site- has been used here)
Head Nurse: Lieutenant Alyssa Ogawa
Like Riker and Troi, Alyssa Ogawa served for a number of years on both the Enterprises, having begun her Starfleet service aboard the Enterprise-D as an Ensign and nurse under Dr. Beverly Crusher in 2367. At the recommendation of Crusher, she was promoted to Lieutenant junior grade in 2370 and became a senior sickbay staff member as Head Nurse, and would report to the command staff of the vessel in Crusher’s absence. She also married Lt. Andrew Powell in the same year, and the two had a son. Powell was killed during the last attack on the Enterprise during the Dominion War, and though Ogawa did transfer to the Enterprise-E, she readily took the opportunity to leave the vessel with her son and serve within the Titan‘s sickbay.
In chronological order…
By Michael A. Martin and Andy Mangels
(Released: April 2005)
After almost a decade of strife again foes such as the Borg, the Cardassians, the Klingons, and the Dominion, the United Federation of Planets is at the dawn of a new era. Starfleet is renewing its mission of peaceful exploration, diplomacy, and the expansion of knowledge. Among the starships spearheading that endeavor is the U.S.S. Titan, commanded by Captain William T. Riker and manned by the most biologically varied and culturally diverse crew in Starfleet history.
But their mission does not begin according to plan.
In the wake of Star Trek Nemesis, Praetor Shinzon, slayer of the Romulan Senate, is dead. The power vacuum created by his demise has put the Romulan Star Empire, enemy of the Federation, at the brink of civil war. Competing factions now vie for control of their fragmenting civilization, and if the empire should fall, that entire area of the galaxy could destabilize.
To restore order to the region, Titan‘s long-anticipated mission of exploration is delayed as Starfleet assigns Riker to set up power-sharing talks among the Romulan factions. But even as the first tentative steps are taken toward building a new Romulus, the remnants of the Tal Shiar, the dreaded Romulan intelligence service, are regrouping behind the scenes for a power play of their own. With no other help available, Riker and the Titan crew become the last hope to prevent the quadrant from falling into chaos.
The Red King
By Michael A. Martin and Andy Mangels
(Released: October 2005)
Investigating the disappearance of a secret Romulan fleet, the U.S.S. Titan, commanded by Captain William Riker, is unexpectedly propelled more than 200,000 light-years into the Small Magellanic Cloud. One of the Milky Way’s satellite galaxies, the Cloud is also home to the Neyel, the long-sundered offshoots of Terran humanity, with whom the Federation has had no contact in over eighty years.
Nearby, Riker’s uncertain ally, Commander Donatra of the Romulan Warbird Valdore, rescues a young Neyel, the survivor of a mysterious cosmic upheaval that seems at times to be both unraveling and reweaving the very fabric of space… the fulfillment of an apocalyptic vision that has already claimed millions of lives. Titan’s science team soon finds evidence that the ravaging of Neyel space is the work of a vast and powerful intelligence: the stirrings of a dormant consciousness that is maintaining the existence of the Small Magellanic Cloud–and all life within it–from one moment to the next. And if it should awaken, the consequences are unimaginable.
As Riker considers his options, his new crew struggles with the scientific and philosophical implications of what they’ve discovered… while the young Neyel in their midst forges a bond with the captain, conjuring old ghosts Riker has yet to lay to rest.
By Christopher L. Bennett
(Released: January 2006)
As the U.S.S. Titan ventures beyond the outermost reaches of known space, the telepaths in her crew–including Diplomatic Officer Deanna Troi–are overwhelmed by an alien cry of distress, leading the ship to the scene of a shocking act of carnage: a civilization of interstellar “whalers” preying upon and exploiting a familiar species of sentient spaceborne giants.
Appalled but reluctant to rush to judgment, Captain William Riker and his crew investigate, discovering a cosmic spawning ground in a region of active star formation–the ecosystem for a bewildering array of diverse but similarly vast life-forms. While attempting to negotiate an end to the victimization of these creatures, Riker’s crew inadvertently grants them the means to defeat their hunters’ purpose… only to learn that things are not exactly as they seem.
Sword of Damocles
By Geoffrey Thorne
(Released: December 2007)
Fate: It is an idea as old as life itself. Do our choices shape the future, or is it the other way around? And if the path we walk is predestined — if the way we are to meet our end is knowable — what might that knowledge compel us to do?
Titan ‘s travels take it to a world at the edge of reason. Orisha is a planet whose people have lived for centuries beneath an unfathomable celestial body in their sky. From the moment it first appeared, the object was thought to be something unnatural, an ill omen that has made them feel watched, exposed, vulnerable — provoking a primal fear that has steered the course of their civilization. The Orishans call it “the Eye,” and because it has consistently defied every scientific attempt to decode its true nature, many are convinced it represents an intelligence that is studying their world…and perhaps waiting to destroy it.
But the secret behind the Eye threatens Titan as well as Orisha…and it holds a special meaning for one member of Captain Riker’s crew in particular, whose lifelong quest to balance faith and scientific truth is tested against the harsh, unblinking glare of inevitability.
Star Trek: Destiny was a trilogy released in late 2008 that featured the Enterprise-E, Titan, characters from Deep Space Nine, and elements from Trek’s past. This trilogy has had consequences for the future of the Trek Literature line.
Star Trek: Destiny
Book One: Gods of Night
By David Mack
(Released: October 2008)
Half a decade after the Dominion War and more than a year after the rise and fall of Praetor Shinzon, the galaxy’s greatest scourge returns to wreak havoc upon the Federation — and this time its goal is nothing less than total annihilation.
Elsewhere, deep in the Gamma Quadrant, an ancient mystery is solved. One of Earth’s first generation of starships, lost for centuries, has been found dead and empty on a desolate planet. But its discovery so far from home has raised disturbing questions, and the answers harken back to a struggle for survival that once tested a captain and her crew to the limits of their humanity.
From that terrifying flashpoint begins an apocalyptic odyssey that will reach across time and space to reveal the past, define the future, and show three captains — Jean-Luc Picard of the U.S.S. Enterprise, William Riker of the U.S.S. Titan, and Ezri Dax of the U.S.S Aventine — that some destinies are inescapable.
Star Trek: Destiny
Book Two: Mere Mortals
By David Mack
(Released: November 2008)
On Earth, Federation President Nanietta Bacco gathers allies and adversaries to form a desperate last line of defense against an impending Borg invasion. In deep space, Captain Jean-Luc Picard and Captain Ezri Dax join together to cut off the Collective’s route to the Alpha Quadrant.
Half a galaxy away, Captain William Riker and the crew of the Starship Titan have made contact with the reclusive Caeliar — survivors of a stellar cataclysm that, two hundred years ago, drove fissures through the structure of space and time, creating a loop of inevitability and consigning another captain and crew to a purgatory from which they could never escape.
Now the supremely advanced Caeliar will brook no further intrusion upon their isolation, or against the sanctity of their Great Work. … For the small, finite lives of mere mortals carry little weight in the calculations of gods.
But even gods may come to understand that they underestimate humans at their peril.
Star Trek: Destiny
Book Three: Lost Souls
By David Mack
(Released: December 2008)
The soldiers of Armageddon are on the march, laying waste to worlds in their passage. An audacious plan could stop them forever, but it carries risks that one starship captain is unwilling to take. For Captain Jean-Luc Picard, defending the future has never been so important, or so personal – and the wrong choice will cost him everything for which he has struggled and suffered.
For Captain William Riker, that choice has already been made. Haunted by the memories of those he was forced to leave behind, he must jeopardize all that he has left in a desperate bid to save the Federation.
For Captain Ezri Dax, whose impetuous youth is balanced by the wisdom of many lifetimes, the choice is a simple one: there is no going back – only forward to whatever future awaits them.
But for those who, millennia ago, had no choice … this is the hour of their final, inescapable destiny.
Over a Torrent Sea
By Christopher L. Bennett
(Released: March 2009)
As the Federation recovers from the devastating events of Star Trek: Destiny, Captain William T. Riker and the crew of the USS Titan are ordered to resume their deep-space assignment, reaffirming Starfleet’s core principles of peaceful exploration. But even far from home on a mission of hope, the scars of the recent cataclysm remain with them as they slowly rebuild their lives.
The planet Droplet is a world made mostly of water without a speck of solid ground. Life should not exist here, yet it thrives. Aili Lavena, Titan‘s aquatic navigator, spearheads the exploration of this mysterious world, facing the dangers of the vast, wild ocean. When one native species proves to be sentient, Lavena finds herself immersed in a delicate contact situation, and Riker is called away from Deanna Troi at a critical moment in their marriage.
But when good intentions bring calamity, Lavena and Riker are cut off from the crew and feared lost. Troi must face a life-changing event without her husband, while the crew must brave the crushing pressures of the deep to undo the global chaos they have triggered. Stranded with her injured captain, Lavena must win the trust of the beings who control their fate – but the price for Riker’s survival may be the loss of everything he holds dear.
By James Swallow
(Released: November 2009)
The Starship Titan continues on her outward voyage of discovery. Ranging farther and farther from Federation space, Captain William Riker and the crew look forward to living Starfleet’s mission: seeking out new life, discovering new civilizations.
Striking a “sandbank”—a spatial distortion—the Titan is knocked out of warp, her crew shaken up but uninjured. Titan has stumbled across a battlefield, and floating in it, shattered and in pieces, are the remains of a ship. Searching for survivors, they discover the ship never had a crew. The away team removes the computer core, looking for answers. Once the device is restored, it becomes clear this is not just a computer, but a thinking, reasoning artificial intelligence.
It identifies itself as SecondGen White-Blue, it comes from a civilization composed entirely of sentient computers. Eons ago these artificial intelligences were charged to be the first line of defense against The Null—a destructive force so all-consuming that generation upon generation have waged unending war trying to find a way to beat back this terror. Captain Riker offers to assist them, but years of war have left the AIs distrustful and suspicious, especially of organics.
The tide of the battle is turning, and the Null is winning. Set free, it will destroy everything in this system and then, unchecked, spread its mindless destruction into the heart of the Federation.
Seize the Fire
By Michael A. Martin
(Released: October 2010)
Shortly after revealing its union with the Federation’s newest adversary—a coalition of galactic powers known as the Typhon Pact—the Gorn Hegemony suffers an ecological disaster that destroys the hatchery world of their critically important warrior caste. Fortunately, the Gorn had already been investigating traces of an ancient but powerful “quick terraforming” technology left behind by a long-vanished civilization. This technology, should it prove controllable, promises to restore their delicate biological and social status quo. But when a Gorn soldier prepares to use the technology to reshape the planet Hranrar into a new warrior-caste spawning ground, threatening to extinguish the native Hranrarii, he draws the unwanted attention of a mad Gorn trooper determined to bring the military caste into dominance.
Meanwhile, as the U.S.S. Titan embarks upon a search for this potent technology in the hope of using it to heal the wounds the Federation sustained during the recent Borg crisis, Captain Riker must balance his responsibility for his crew’s safety against the welfare of the Hranrarii and his duty to the Prime Directive. With a menacing Typhon Pact fleet nipping at his heels, Riker must not only stop the Gorn warriors but also plumb the secrets of an ancient terraforming artifact. But of everyone serving aboard Titan, Commander Tuvok may be the only one who understands how dangerous such planet-altering technology can be, even when used with the best of intentions. . . .
by Michael A. Martin
(Due: July 2012)
Though the United Federation of Planets still reels from Andor’s political decision that will forever affect the coalition, Captain William T. Riker and the crew of the U.S.S. Titan are carrying out Starfleet’s renewed commitment to deep space exploration. While continuing to search the Beta Quadrant’s unknown expanses for an ancient civilization’s long-lost quick-terraforming technology— a potential boon to many Borg-ravaged worlds across the Federation and beyond—Titan’s science specialists encounter the planet Ta’ith, home to the remnant of a once-great society that may hold the very secrets they seek. But this quest also takes Titan perilously close to the deadly Vela Pulsar, the galaxy’s most prolific source of lethal radiation, potentially jeopardizing both the ship and what remains of the Ta’ithan civilization. Meanwhile, Will Riker finds himself on a collision course with the Federation Council and the Andorian government, both of which intend to deprive Titan of its Andorian crew members. And one of those Andorians—Lieutenant Pava Ek’Noor sh’Aqaba—has just uncovered a terrible danger, which has been hiding in plain sight for more than two centuries. . . .
“Improvisations on the Opal Sea: A Tale of Dubious Credibility” by Michael A. Martin and Andy Mangels (part of the Tales From the Captain’s Table anthology)
This is the story of the newly-promoted Captain Riker and new bride Deanna Troi during their interesting honeymoon on Pelagia, as well as detailing the events that lead to Riker selecting one of his bridge officers for the Titan.
Star Trek: The Next Generation: Q & A
The Titan crew has a cameo in two chapters of Q & A that take place between Orion’s Hounds and Sword of Damocles.
Star Trek: Voyager: Full Circle
There is a flashback scene set aboard Titan where Troi informs Tuvok of Admiral Janeway’s death. This scene takes place between Orion’s Hounds and Sword of Damocles.