As I said I am a huge fan and I just finished the latest Typhon Pact Mini-series novel, Brinksmanship :
To begin this series review, I must first tell you a bit on what happened after the Dominion War. Gene Roddenberry's United Federation of Planets is no longer as naive or idealistic as it once was. The Universe after the war has become a very hostile and unstable place. With the Borg invasion about a year ago, the entire balance of power has unraveled throughout the galaxy.
The series is politics and action heavy, like a sci-fi version of Tom Clancey's novels. Intrigue, massive warships, strategic bases, and spy games abound everywhere. You don't need Section 31, even Starfleet Intelligence is acting like them now, it's gotten that bad. The smaller races and non-aligned powers are becoming proxies for this cold war between the big powers.
Here's some key points from the novels:
First, the biggest and saddest spoiler, Andoria has seceeded from the United Federation of Planets and reformed into the Andorian Empire aka back to the era of 22nd century Enterprise politics due political instability and social unrest over their social systems and structures. This storyline makes me and I think other readers think about the political divisions we see forming within our own nations and reflect the issues soundly on whether common good or freedom should hold paramount within any society.
Second, the title issue of the miniseries, the "Typhon Pact" has been formed. They are a coalition of anti-Federation/Klingon species that are sowing discord within the Federation and other allied worlds. Basically, they are what Star Trek could reflectively describe as the old Communist bloc, right down to the issue of a divided Romulan Empire (Yes, part of their state has also seceded and formed a new government).
Third, the Federation is losing its spirit for exploration, instead they are turning far more towards internal security and military build up. Part of this can be a commentary on the US after World War II and during the Cold War or even after 9/11, despite idealism and beliefs in freedom, the US could not escape the bitter realities of the world. One of my favorite areas of Star Trek is the social commentary, there was no way to create an ideal universe anymore after those shocks of the Dominion War and Borg Invasion.
This part of Star Trek history is far darker than Gene Roddenberry would have ever allowed if he were alive today, but it is a truthful reflection on our world. The Federation fears subversion, fears conquest, and fears the unknown, sadly. Despite what some trekkies will say about the turn in events, I think it is tragically the right note to move in. No nation after major wars and an ongoing cold war could ever be innocent as they once were. However, this mini-series shows us why fans love this universe, the characters despite their flaws and despite the knowledge of the evils inherent in nature, strive to be better. Exploration may be held back, but the human heart cannot be held back.
Some trivia and notes:
Jean Luc Picard has married Beverely and now have a son named Rene, after his dead nephew from Star Trek Generations
Worf is now Commander and XO of the USS Enterprise serving under Captain Picard, who has refused an admiral promotion (Kirk's words are still active today)
Riker is now Captain of the USS Titan
Benjamin Sisko is back, but he's very depressed, because the Prophets have basically told him that his job is done and shut the wormhole off. He has not purpose anymore and only his command keeps him tied down.
Kira is now a Bajoran priest, she's no longer in the military anymore and chose to return to Bajor seeking peace
Garak is the Cardassian Ambassador to the United Federation of Planets, much to the chargin of UFP president Nanietta Bacco, who thinks he's a "cold hearted" asshole. (Yes, Garak really is bisexual,)
Ezri Dax is now a captain and broke up with Bashir, she also has her own series, weird to think as she is not my favorite character