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Starfleet Corps of Engineers
19 September 2014
 
 

Better Late Than Never

Last year, when reviewing the book “Pathfinder,” I wrote:
For as long as I can remember, I have loved science fiction and fantasy stories — at least as far back as junior high school. During my teen years I devoured science fiction books by authors like Larry Niven, Arthur C. Clarke, Robert Heinlein and others. In addition, there was the delight of visual science fiction, like Lost In Space, Star Trek and Star Wars.
Seeing that I am a citizen of a Kingdom that is not of this world — hey, that sounds like sci-fi! — I'm pretty much out of the loop when it comes to the latest trends, fads, or whatever else is popular in mainstream culture. So it shouldn't be surprising that it took me about 14 years to discover a “new” series of Star Trek books.








Not that I ever read any of the previous Star Trek books that have been published for decades. Somehow they just didn't seem appealing. Because my experience with Star Trek has been visual — TV shows and movies — having stories in printed form seemed to be a diminishing of Star Trek. Nevertheless, earlier this year I somehow came across a series of books called Star Trek: Starfleet Corps of Engineers.

As you will read below, the 74 stories of this series were originally published as short novels (or novellas) in electronic format. Later, batches of novellas were grouped together and published in a series of 13 omnibus editions in both paper and electronic formats. In May of this year I bought the first omnibus volume, containing the first four novellas, in Kindle format. By the time I finished reading it, I was totally hooked!

From Wikipedia to Brian’s Bits

Because these stories are available both individually and in omnibus editions, it can be tricky to figure out what is what when shopping on Amazon. Fortunately, I found a Wikipedia page which clearly catalogued the entire series and all the editions available.

Because I wanted to make a PDF of that Wikipedia article, adding my own notes about which books I had purchased and read, I downloaded that Web page to my computer, even though I almost never do that with any other Web pages. After all, why save a Wikipedia article when you can just bookmark it and return to it at any time?

Why? Because the article might disappear, that's why! And that is exactly what happened to the Starfleet Corps of Engineers article on Wikipedia! Someone decided that it wasn't useful information, so they deleted it! Just a couple of months after I had save it, the article was GONE! I was so shocked that I just could not believe it!

Even though much of the information in that article can still be found on other Web sites — see the Additional Resources section at the end of this article — I still think it was a very useful article that presented a lot of valuable information all in one place. Therefore, because I had saved a copy, I have decided to resurrect it on this Web site.

Starting with the original Starfleet Corps of Engineers Wikipedia article as a foundation, I have put a lot of work into improving it by double-checking the content for accuracy, correcting any mistakes, adding additional information, and providing a TON of links to related Web pages. I believe that the result is an even more valuable resource than was the original.

Just a few notes before we proceed to the main event. The information presented below is accurate, as far as I can tell. Because different sources sometimes had conflicting data, I can't guarantee that everything I have presented is 100% accurate. But I tried!

I've provided Amazon.com links to the 13 omnibus editions for the first 66 novellas, and to each individual novella for the remaining eight. All of the omnibus editions are available in both paperback and Kindle formats. During mid-2014 when I purchased them, the Kindle version was usually cheaper, except in four cases where the paperback version was cheaper. The links I have provided are to the versions I purchased. If you want the book in a different format, I'm sure you can navigate around Amazon to find what you're looking for.

Caveat Emptor

Be aware that for omnibus volumes 3 through 12, the title of the omnibus book is taken from one of the novellas in that edition. Even though all of the novellas are still available for purchase individually, you'll save a LOT of money buying the omnibus editions. But be careful! It is easy to confuse the omnibus with the novella of the same title.

I made this mistake when I wanted to buy the third omnibus, Some Assembly Required. I didn't pay close enough attention, and I accidentally purchased the novella Some Assembly Required instead. Seeing that the omnibus version costs exactly the same as the single novella, even though the omnibus edition contains three additional novellas as well, you'll really want to steer clear of the individual novellas — except for the last 8 novellas, for which no omnibus editions exists.

Good, Fairly-Clean, Star Trek Adventure

I am currently making my way through omnibus volume #10 — Creative Couplings. I've just finished the 44th novella, which puts me exactly two-thirds of the way through the 13 omnibus volumes. After all of that reading, I can report that these stories have a minimum of profanity, sexual immorality, and violence. The crew is on a science ship, not a battle cruiser or starbase brothel!

Even though the 74 novellas in the series were written by 41 different authors, there is a remarkable consistency in tone and style among them. If you didn't know better, you could believe that they were all written by the same person. But because of this huge variety of authors, I think there is a richness of imagination which might be harder for a single author to attain. All in all, I've been very impressed with the series and enjoying it very much.

So, without further ado, here is my modified version of the now-defunct Wikipedia article....

Star Trek: Starfleet Corps of Engineers

Starfleet Corps of Engineers (S.C.E.) is a series of 74 novellas set in the Star Trek universe, initially under the title Star Trek: Starfleet Corps of Engineers (2000-2006), and later under the new title Star Trek: Corps of Engineers (2006-2007). Like other Star Trek books, the books are officially licensed, but not considered canon.

S.C.E. was conceived and created by Keith R.A. DeCandido and John J. Ordover. Including these two founders, the 74 stories of the series were written by 41 different authors, over a period of seven years.

The S.C.E. books were unique among officially published Star Trek fiction as they were initially published exclusively in the eBook format for electronic download. Most of these novellas have subsequently been reprinted in paperback and eBook omnibuses, with anywhere from three to eight stories per volume.

Star Trek: Corps of Engineers

In September 2006, DeCandido announced that, as of #67, the series would drop the word “Starfleet” from the title, being renamed Star Trek: Corps of Engineers, and the numbering reset in an attempt to bring new readers to the line. The number of eBooks published per year would be reduced from twelve to six, to allow other series to be developed.

It was announced in March 2008 that all new eBook publications from Pocket Books would go on “hiatus” following the end of Slings and Arrows — but that paperback reprints of the existing eBooks would continue. Jens Deffner wrote:
Did this unfortunate timing ever make editor Keith R.A. DeCandido wonder about what could have been had the series been given just a bit more time? “All the time, sadly. It frustrates me that they pulled the plug around when the Sony eReader and the Kindle started to show up — not to mention Nooks and iPads. In a lot of ways, what we were doing was about ten years ahead of its time.”
Although Pocket Books started publishing new eBooks in 2011, the Corps of Engineers series was not featured among them. However, the characters have made cameo appearances in other novels set in the 24th century.

Scenario

S.C.E. is a spinoff series from Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, taking place primarily in the time period immediately following the end of the latter series.

The stories mainly concern a special Starfleet division called the Starfleet Corps of Engineers, stationed aboard the U.S.S. da Vinci (NCC-81623) a Saber-class starship.

Main Characters

For more information about these and other recurring characters, see the full list of USS da Vinci personnel.

Individual Novellas & Omnibus Collections

No Title Author Released
Omnibus Book One — Have Tech, Will Travel — January 2002
1 The Belly of the Beast Dean Wesley Smith August 2000
2 Fatal Error Keith R.A. DeCandido September 2000
3 Hard Crash Christie Golden October 2000
4 Interphase, Book 1 Dayton Ward and Kevin Dilmore February 2001
Omnibus Book Two — Miracle Workers — February 2002
5 Interphase, Book 2 Dayton Ward and Kevin Dilmore March 2001
6 Cold Fusion Keith R.A. DeCandido July 2001
7 Invincible, Book 1 David Mack and Keith R.A. DeCandido August 2001
8 Invincible, Book 2 David Mack and Keith R.A. DeCandido October 2001
Omnibus Book Three — Some Assembly Required — April 2003
9 The Riddled Post Aaron S. Rosenberg October 2001
10 Here There Be Monsters Keith R.A. DeCandido November 2001
11 Ambush Dave Galanter and Greg Brodeur December 2001
12 Some Assembly Required Scott Ciencin and Dan Jolley January 2002
Omnibus Book Four — No Surrender — April 2003
13 No Surrender Jeff Mariotte February 2002
14 Caveat Emptor Ian Edginton and Mike Collins March 2002
15 Past Life Robert Greenberger April 2002
16 Oaths Glenn Hauman May 2002
Omnibus Book Five — Foundations — March 2004
17 Foundations, Book 1 Dayton Ward and Kevin Dilmore June 2002
18 Foundations, Book 2 Dayton Ward and Kevin Dilmore July 2002
19 Foundations, Book 3 Dayton Ward and Kevin Dilmore August 2002
Omnibus Book Six — Wildfire — November 2004
20 Enigma Ship J. Steven York and Christina F. York September 2002
21 War Stories, Book 1 Keith R.A. DeCandido October 2002
22 War Stories, Book 2 Keith R.A. DeCandido November 2002
23 Wildfire, Book 1 David Mack December 2002
24 Wildfire, Book 2 David Mack January 2003
Omnibus Book Seven — Breakdowns — May 2005
25 Home Fires Dayton Ward and Kevin Dilmore February 2003
26 Age of Unreason Scott Ciencin March 2003
27 Balance of Nature Heather Jarman April 2003
28 Breakdowns Keith R.A. DeCandido June 2003
Omnibus Book Eight — Aftermath — November 2006
29 Aftermath Christopher L. Bennett July 2003
30 Ishtar Rising, Book 1 Michael A. Martin and Andy Mangels July 2003
31 Ishtar Rising, Book 2 Michael A. Martin and Andy Mangels August 2003
32 Buying Time Robert Greenberger September 2003
33 Collective Hindsight, Book 1 Aaron S. Rosenberg October 2003
34 Collective Hindsight, Book 2 Aaron S. Rosenberg November 2003
35 The Demon, Book 1 Loren L. Coleman and Randall N. Bills December 2003
36 The Demon, Book 2 Loren L. Coleman and Randall N. Bills January 2004
Omnibus Book Nine — Grand Designs — July 2007
37 Ring Around the Sky Allyn Gibson March 2004
38 Orphans Kevin Killiany April 2004
39 Grand Designs Dayton Ward and Kevin Dilmore May 2004
40 Failsafe David Mack May 2004
41 Bitter Medicine Dave Galanter June 2004
42 Sargasso Sector Paul Kupperberg July 2004
Omnibus Book Ten — Creative Couplings — December 2007
43 Paradise Interrupted John S. Drew August 2004
44 Where Time Stands Still Dayton Ward and Kevin Dilmore September 2004
45 The Art of the Deal Glenn Greenberg October 2004
46 Spin J. Steven York and Christina F. York November 2004
47 Creative Couplings, Book 1 Glenn Hauman and Aaron S. Rosenberg December 2004
48 Creative Couplings, Book 2 Glenn Hauman and Aaron S. Rosenberg February 2005
49 Small World David Mack March 2005
Omnibus Book Eleven — Wounds — October 2008
50 Malefictorum Terri Osborne March 2005
51 Lost Time Ilsa J. Bick April 2005
52 Identity Crisis John J. Ordover May 2005
53 Fables of the Prime Directive Cory Rushton June 2005
54 Security Keith R.A. DeCandido August 2005
55 Wounds, Book 1 Ilsa J. Bick August 2005
56 Wounds, Book 2 Ilsa J. Bick October 2005
Omnibus Book Twelve — Out of the Cocoon — July 2010
57 Out of the Cocoon William Leisner October 2005
58 Honor Kevin Killiany November 2005
59 Blackout Phaedra M. Weldon December 2005
60 The Cleanup Robert T. Jeschonek January 2006
Omnibus Book Thirteen — What’s Past — August 2010
61 Progress Terri Osborne February 2006
62 The Future Begins Steve Mollmann and Michael Schuster April 2006
63 Echoes of Coventry Richard C. White April 2006
64 Distant Early Warning Dayton Ward and Kevin Dilmore May 2006
65 10 Is Better than 01 Heather Jarman June 2006
66 Many Splendors Keith R.A. DeCandido July 2006
 
In December 2006, the eBook series was relaunched under the Corps of Engineers title, with numbering dropped. No omnibus collections of these last eight novellas have been published, nor are paper editions available.
 
Title Author Released
Turn the Page Dayton Ward and Kevin Dilmore December 2006
Troubleshooting Robert Greenberger December 2006
The Light Jeff D. Jacques January 2007
The Art of the Comeback Glenn Greenberg May 2007
Signs from Heaven Phaedra M. Weldon June 2007
Ghost Ilsa J. Bick July 2007
Remembrance of Things Past, Book 1 Terri Osborne September 2007
Remembrance of Things Past, Book 2 Terri Osborne November 2007

Post-Hiatus

Since the publication of the final ebooks in 2007, the S.C.E. characters have appeared or been mentioned in other Star Trek novels.

The Star Trek: Destiny trilogy and its follow-up, A Singular Destiny, establish that Captain David Gold resigned from Starfleet in 2380 — approximately two and a half years following the last S.C.E. story — and rejoined his wife on Earth.

Sonya Gomez was thus promoted to captain of the da Vinci, with Domenica Corsi as her first officer, and Tev as the head of the Corps team. Corsi and Fabian Stevens were married, necessitating his transfer to another vessel.

In the Star Trek: Voyager novel Unworthy, the chief engineer of the da Vinci, Nancy Conlon, has transferred to the same position aboard the USS Voyager.

In addition, the 23rd-century S.C.E. characters established in Foundations continue to play a role in the ongoing Star Trek: Vanguard novel series.

Additional Resources

This article is 17th a series of articles on this Web site related to Literature, Music and Photography which also includes (scroll to see the entire list):
1.
17  Oct  2009
2.
24  Oct  2009
3.
12  Dec  2009
4.
2  Jan  2010
5.
9  Oct  2010
6.
10  Jan  2011
7.
1  Sep  2011
8.
13  Mar  2012
9.
28  Mar  2013
10.
29  Jul  2013
11.
22  Sep  2013
12.
26  Oct  2013
13.
2  Aug  2014
14.
12  Aug  2014
15.
14  Aug  2014
16.
12  Sep  2014
17.
Starfleet Corps of Engineers
19  Sep  2014
18.
12  Apr  2015
19.
21  Dec  2016
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Reader Comments
On January 21, 2017, Nicholas wrote:
Hi there. Thank you for putting this together. I read your intro and I have the same experience as you. I have watched all the Star Trek series and movies. I watched the Captain Kirk original series on TV when it first came out, and never read a book about it. So the Star Trek Corps of Engineers is my first Star Trek book. Just a thank you for the information you posted. Live long and prosper.
 
You can also send comments to me privately at: 2bits@briansbits.com
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