While I know that Deep Space Nine and the other Trek series have their own books, and I might check them out some day, I wanted to create a list of the certain elements from DS9 I really like and would like to see in otherwise completely different stories.
1. Space Station Life
The show Babylon 5 also executed this extremely well, but I would love to read a YA book where life is set on space station (not a spaceship, and I’ll explain the differences in a minute) and you really get the full feel for it. A ship is always on the move, and it largely has the same people on it. Since people live there, it does include many of the things a space station also would, but there are some things it does not include that the station does. Deep Space Nine included shops, a school, a bar (where you can eat, drink, play darts, and gamble), and holodecks, and it was all there not just for the regular crew of the station (and their children), but also for the guests coming and going in and out of the station. Having so many people come into the station also means a wide variety of aliens are likely to be there at any given time, which also makes it all the more interesting!
2. A Secret Agency, a la Section 31
I don’t want to say too much about the role of Section 31 on Deep Space Nine for anyone who has not seen the series, and I only mention it since anyone who has seen Star Trek: Into Darkness will be familiar with it already. The concept of a covert, morally ambiguous organization within a larger organization like Star Fleet is something that just fascinates me. I’d love to see something like this played out in a book.
3. An Unlikely/Untrustworthy Friendship
For me, one of the most interesting dynamics of Deep Space Nine was that of Dr. Bashir and Garak. The two have a very odd friendship, where they frequently dine together and Bashir will never stop insisting that he believes Garak is a spy. In the episode “The Wire,” when Bashir discovers just how much Garak has lied to him, he asks him what was actually the truth, and Garak tells him, “It’s all true, especially the lies.” This, in a nutshell, describes Garak and his relationship with Bashir, and really with everyone. He’s never straightforward and sometimes you think you can trust him, but sometimes you know you can’t. I would love to read about a friendship as complicated and dynamic as theirs.
4. Important Arcs for Secondary Characters
One of my favorite episodes of Deep Space Nine is “It’s Only a Paper Moon.” (BTW, if you’re ever going to watch the series, do NOT look up the synopsis for this episode! Major spoilers!) The whole episode centers on Nog, a secondary character whose name does not ever show up in the main credit sequence. And it is an amazing episode, because it’s about a defining moment in Nog’s life, and the arc he experiences in the episode alone does more for Nog than some characters get out of a whole series of a show. For this much emphasis on a secondary character for a book, it would probably need to be a series, but just the same, I’d love to see amazing growth from secondary characters in books in addition to the primary ones.
I could think of more elements from DS9 I’d love to see in a book, but talk about spoiler city! There’s just so much goodness to be had, so watch the show and discover it!
What elements from Deep Space Nine or your favorite science fiction show would you like to see in a book?
I love this post Amy! And I can’t believe I forgot to read your guest post on Kelley’s blog until seeing this one… but now I get a double dose of Star Trek elements. ^_^
I always thought it would be so much fun (but at the same time terrifying) to live on a space station or spaceship. I always love movies and shows that have a scene zoomed all the way out, showing the station floating around slowly in space, then all of a sudden you’re inside. But all those scenes where something goes wrong on the smaller spaceships and air starts leaking out? Terrifying! I guess I watch too much sci-fi horror or something. 😉
In regards to the secret agency of Section 31: I still haven’t gotten into Star Trek episodes so I don’t know about this society… But ohmygoodness is that William Sadler I see?
I agree with you completely, I would love to see more growth in secondary characters in books. If I have to read a whole series to see it, that’s fine with me!
I agree about seeing those larger shots of a ship or station that then zooms into the inside! So neat! But when you’re contained and in the middle of space, bad and scary things can definitely happen!
And yep, that’s William Sadler. He’s in a few episodes of DS9.
Great post, Amy! Right now my husband and I are about halfway through season 3 and we’re both just like O_O with every new episode we watch! Things started off slow, but they’ve picked up speed rather suddenly, and I’m loving it!
1. I have to agree. At first, this was actually one of the big reasons I was hesitant to watch DS9. Set on a space station that doesn’t move? Bo-ring. But no, I was wrong. This really does have a different feel to it, with the bar and everything, and it’s been interesting to see the visitors they get and the conflicts that arise because they are stationary.
2. Hmmmm, I don’t know too much about this yet. :O
3. Yes! The tenuous friendship between Bashir and Garak always amuses me. You can never tell if Garak is being truthful or trustworthy, and it lends such an interesting dynamic to the episodes he’s in. I still wonder why he’s taken such a liking to Dr. Bashir, though. Maybe he’s just an easy target because he’s friendly, and prone to want to help people because he’s a doctor?
I also appreciate the way Star Trek includes pretty nice arcs for secondary characters. I’m VERY curious to see what that episode holds in store for Nog!
After having loved episodes of Trek where they go to planets I was definitely worried about the space station thing! Just buckle up your seatbelt, Kelley, is all I’ve got to say!
I’ve never watched Deep Space Nine, but I loved this post! I can’t decide which number is my favorite, they’re all great elements. The story I’m working right now on is set in space and I’m definitely going to use this post as a bit of inspiration.
I actually don’t watch a lot of science fiction shows, so I don’t know what elements I’d like to see. I used to be really into Fringe. Walter was my favorite, so I think it might be really cool to see a quirky YA character like him. 🙂
Oh good, hope it helps you!
A quirky Walter-like character! What a fabulous idea! 😀
Oooh, a YA book about life on a space station… I’m sold! And secondary character arcs are a YES too.
I really need to sit down and watch Star Trek. I’m planning on starting with Voyager – I just have waaaay too many TV shows on the go at the moment.
It’s hard to catch up with so many good shows out there, I know! Voyager is not a bad place to start… It feels more like classic but has the advantage of being a little newer than most of the other shows.
Deep Space Nine is my husband’s favorite Star Trek Series. Thanks for the reminder… I need to watch the series again!
It’s the best!
I think a book with a space station setting would be pretty awesome. I haven’t really watched much of Deep Space Nine, a few random episodes, but I did enjoy what I saw.
I alos love the story arcs for secondary characters, it’s always nice to learn more about different characters.
Yes, I always love strong secondary characters!
DS9 is my second favorite Star Trek show, after TNG. But I have to admit that DS9 has better characters. It also has continuous plot lines which TNG didn’t really have.
I also enjoyed all of the aspects that you list here. In books I tend to like the secondary characters more than the main character(s); maybe authors feel that the secondaries can be more quirky than the main characters? Anyway, when I read your fourth point, two series popped to my mind where the secondary character change and grow quite a lot: Lois McMaster Bujold’s Vorkosigan series and Elizabeth Peters’ Amelia Peabody series. Vorkosigan is science fiction and the first two books are in the omnibus “Cordelia’s Honor”. The Amelia Peabody series is historical mystery set in the Victorian times. Amelia is an amateur Egyptologist. The first book is “Crocodile on the Sandbank”. However, the secondary characters don’t get their own books.
I do like TNG, but I just love the character and story arcs in DS9. I do think there is something to your theory about authors feeling like they can create more quirky secondary characters, as I tend to do that in my own stories. I’ve never heard of the series you mentioned but that’s great that the secondary characters grow a lot in them!
I’d definitely love to read a book about space station life. It sounds like life in a space station would be so much fun and varied, with so many possibilities. An unlikely/untrustworthy friendship? Also something I’d like to see in a YA book. Especially if that kind of friendship was mixed in with a secret agency 😉
I tend to really like secondary characters (heck, even in my NaNoWriMo story, my favorite characters are the secondary characters 😛 ), so having arcs that are dedicated to them would be really nice.
Great post, Amy!
Thanks, Lesley! And um yes, the first character I have fallen in love with while writing my NaNoWriMo story is one of the secondary characters, so I understand that!