Friday 5 November 2021

Star Trek: Discovery: Dead Endless - Dave Galanter

Title: Dead Endless
Author: Dave Galanter
Published: 2019
Chronological Period: 2258

Available at:

"Dead Endless" by Dave Galanter is a Discovery novel which tells the story of what happened to Hugh Culber when he was trapped in the mycelial network after his death at the end of Season One. What makes this even more interesting however is that the novel is primarily set in an alternate universe and not either of the ones we are used to from the TV show. In this Universe, the Battle of the Binary Stars never took place and Burnham is captain of the Discovery and the story follows her and the crew as they responds to a startling distress call originating from within the mycelial network. However, upon arriving in the network they soon find themselves trapped when their mycelial fuel mysteriously goes missing. The crew are soon in a race again time to find some way to escape before they all perish.

When I first started reading the book, I didn't realise it was set in an alternate universe and you begin to wonder if Galanter paid any attention whatsoever to the TV series. There was so much different going on that I was quite perplexed but once it became clear that this wasn't set in the prime universe it all began to make a little bit more sense. I really hope no one else just put the book down before this became apparent as this really is a superbly enjoyable and engaging novel. Despite Culber being the only character present from the prime univerrse, the rest of the crew are pretty much the same as those from the show, they have just had their lives changed by there being no war with the Klingons. This meant that I was easily able to understand the way they were acting based on my knowledge of them already, espcially when Galanter has captured them all perfectly, especially Stamets and Culber who are the prime focus for the novel.

Ultimatly, this novel is about the relationship between Stamets and Culber and it does a great job in exploring this, even if the Stamets we are seeing isn't the one we are used to. Whilst this Stamets get to realise what he is missing, Culber get opportunity to rekindle a relationship he thought was lost. Although Galanter doesn't shy away from the complicated questions raised in relation to this being a strange and conflicted experience as he is beginning a romance with a man who is and yet isn't his partner. It is handled expertly and I really appreciated how the complicated and messy feelings around love and relationships was explored in such a novel manner.

Overall, this has to be one of my favourite Discovery novels, Galanter has used the novel to show us something we didn't see on the screen but has done it in a manner which doesn't impact canon at all. The use of the alternative universe to ensure he didn't uspet what was shown on the TV show was a very clever trick even if this was a bit confusing at first. I quite like Hugh Culber as a character so I was glad I got the chance to see what he went through and get more of an understanding of his relationship with Stamets.