AI Absence Explained in Star Trek Books
Let’s face it. The Star Trek television series released on September 9th 1966 is a very different TV show than Star Trek: The Next Generation which premiered in 1987. The universe seems to have changed a lot in a hundred years. First of all Kirk and Spock run into godlike beings constantly. Picard and crew run into godlike beings too but much less frequently. There is Q, and Kevin Uxbridge and umm… Q. What happened? Did we scare them off some how?
Another big different is the presence of Artificial Intelligence. Kirk and crew encounter an almost endless line of sentient computers whether humanoid or otherwise. Here is a short list: M-5, Landru, Beta 5, The Oracle, Vaal, Nomad and The Guardian of Forever. Half of these Kirk had to talk to death! The original Enterprise crew also encountered a whole lot of androids from Roger Korby to Harry Mudd and his android planet. In short, there was no shortage of artificial intelligence in the universe.
One hundred years later when hologram of Moriarty becomes sentient Picard and crew flip out! And everyone acts like Data is the most amazing android they have ever seen! He doesn’t even have emotions. Back in the day you could make an android just by spinning a table. They just don’t make them like they used to. All the androids they encounter on TNG come from the same guy. So the question is:
WHERE HAS ALL THE AI GONE!?!
Luckily for those of us who read the Star Trek novels we have an answer. Jeff Lang does an incredible job of bridging the gap between the abundance of Artificial Intelligence in the Original Series to their apparent disappearance in The Next Generation. For this reason and many others I highly recommend Jeff Lang’s novel Immortal Coil as well as David Mack’s sequels. Check them out below.
Amazon – Star Trek: The Next Generation: Cold Equations: The Persistence of Memory: Book One (Star Trek Next Generation: Cold Equations)
iBooks – Star Trek: The Next Generation: Cold Equations, Book I: The Persistence of Memory – David Mack