Book Stats

  • A Deep Space Nine relaunch novel
  • Published by Pocket Books in 2017
  • Space Opera
  • 386 pages


Vic Fontaine was a holoprogramme like no other. A true friend and trusted advisor to the crew of Deep Space Nine. And now he’s in danger. As Nog explores the depths of Vic’s new programme, Quark seeks out another old friend, who hasn’t been heard from in a very long time . . .


I was at Sci-Fi Weekender last month – a convention that distracted me from posting for a while – and one of the guest speakers was Chase Masterson, DS9’s Leeta. One of the comments she made was that the series was likely popular because the station felt like home. I don’t fully agree with that. To my mind it was more like a place of work for most of the crew, and Cardassian design hardly feels homely. But I understand where she was coming from. Spending seven seasons in the same location, with the same faces around you, it builds a sense of familiarity that not many shows have. Even outside the main cast, there were recurring characters like Garak, Nog, Vic Fontaine, and Leeta herself, who brought a sense of continuity to events that no Trek show before or since has managed to equal.

The relaunch novels continued that for a while, but over time things changed. Characters departed for other walks of life. Worf returned to Enterprise, Dax became a captain, Sisko was a guest of the Prophets, and Bashir infiltrated Section 31. Into their shoes stepped other characters, most notably Ro LAren as the station’s new commander. Then, with the calamitous events of the Typhon Pact series, there was another large change. Deep Space Nine got blown to pieces. The novels after that point are set on a different space station orbiting Bajor. One that has the same name, but a very different feel. This far into the series, we’re deep into Ship of Theseus territory. With so many people and places replaced, is it really the same storyline?

The Long Mirage is a book of two halves. The major plotline sees Kira Nerys (now a vedek rather than a major) returning from a long absence and seeing how life has gone on without her. One of the benefits of George’s writing style is that the heavy use of recapping means it doesn’t matter that I haven’t read some of the earlier books. Sure, not every detail is provided, but there’s enough for me to go on to keep up with these sections. Unfortunately, very little of what happens in the present is all that interesting to me. Far too much time is spent on a doomed romance between two people who never actually met. Plus, Kira being a religious figure is one part of the Litverse I’ve never bought into.

The other plot thread is something that would have worked better on screen than it does on the page. Personally, I don’t think David R. George III is very good at capturing the voices of the station’s Ferengi, largely because of how great the performances of Aaron Eisenberg and Armin Shimmerman were. I’m also dubious of the effectiveness of having large parts of the novel set in a miniature holodeck. Nog’s quest to save Vic Fontaine would not be out of place in the show, but in prose the lounge singer’s perils fall flat. Slightly more lively is Quark’s mirroring quest to find Morn (whose never talking on screen shtick is unconvincingly stuck to here). This section has a nice little adventure feel to it, and a neat crossover with another part of the Litverse. Though Quark too is saddled with an unconvincing romance arc. Ah well, at least there is symmetry.

While there are a handful of good elements and fun moments to be found in The Long Mirage, it’s not a novel I’d recommend unless you’re as deep into the Litverse continuity as I am.

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Deeper Dive: Why I’m Still Reading David R. George III

This is my sixth novel by David R. George III, and it’s the sixth that I haven’t enjoyed as much as I’d hoped. A lot of the ideas are good, but the execution leaves me cold. There’s just something about the man’s writing that I don’t get along with. It’s thick, and lifeless, and occasionally even a chore to read. I’ve mentioned this fact a couple of time snow, yet I keep coming back to his books. You’re probably wondering why. So let me explain.

Obviously, I would rather read books that I enjoy than ones I do not. I’d be shocked if there were anyone out there who disagreed with that statement. There are some standalone David R. George III books out there that I have no intention of reading. But the DS9 relaunch novels are different. There are books in this series by authors whom I enjoy greatly. In order to get maximum satisfaction out of those books, in order to best understand them, I need the context provided by the other books in the series. Simply put, Una McCormack’s books in the series build on and towards David R. George III’s books. If I am to appreciate the full scope of the series, and the Star Trek Litverse as a whole, then I need to read the occasional unenjoyable book. For me personally, that is a sacrifice I am willing to make.

One response to “BOOK REVIEW: The Long Mirage, by David R. George III”

  1. MONTHLY ROUNDUP: April 2023 – At Boundary's Edge Avatar

    […] Book: The Long Mirage, by David R. George III […]


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