When I was a little kid my parents gave my brother and I each 1.25 for our school lunch every day. And almost every single day I skipped lunch so that I could save the money and buy a paperback book on the weekend. This was quite a while ago (which explains the amount of money needed for lunch or the book). At the time I was a huge Trekker and loved watching The Next Generation, which was still on the air, and reading the series of novels that were being published. Almost every other month there was a novel from either the original series or TNG and I read as many as I could get my hands on at B. Dalton.
Back then there were a lot of books written by the authors Peter David, Michael Jan Friedman, and John Vornholt. There were also incredible books by Jean Lorrah, Diane Duane and L.A. Graf. Both male and female writers tended to use the cast fairly well, though in both series as time passed they seemed to focus more on the Kirk/Spock or Picard/Data characters. I was happy with LA. Graf because that trio of authors had several novels about Chekov, Uhura and Sulu as the main focus instead.
I want to get all of that out here because I have something to say about the group of writers who are currently writing the Star Trek books. There is no regular numbered series, with a novel every couple months, any longer and there hasn’t been for several years. I love the chance to get to read new Trek books (from all series/movies) though. However, I am having trouble with the diversity that is lacking amongst these authors, who seem to be 95% male now. It wouldn’t be a problem if any of them could write a decent female character. Unfortunately, with maybe one exception, they cannot.
I would like to go into a lot more detail in posts soon, but let me set up my issue here. I have two main problems; One, the women of TNG have been lead into the baby-zone. Both Troi and Crusher have been married off and had children, and in most of the books if they are mentioned it is in relation to having a child or trying to get pregnant. I do love that they have kept their original names, Deanna is still Deanna Troi, but after being married to Jean-Luc Picard for at least three years he still refers to Beverly Crusher as Crusher (and not Beverly or even Bev) in his own thoughts and the privacy of their quarters. That is really weird to me. Neither woman would have had to have a child to be involved with interesting plots, but the male authors have reduced them to female tropes; wife and mother and no longer a good officer on the ship with a job that is vital to the missions (even though they do have those jobs still). More on this another time.
Second, most female characters are very two-dimensional and only act as NPCs to further the storyline or development of a male character. Choudhury, in the newer TNG novels, has been Security Chief on the Enterprise for more than three years but more is written about her relationship with Worf than her duties. And when it is convenient to have a death, she becomes the third intimate of Worf’s to be killed off so that he can have an emotional revelation/story development in more novels. I think they hook him up with women just to torment the female or kill them for Worf’s storyline. And this is not unique to these characters.
I have found that even in episodes, when a women is going through development (if ever) she is the one who faces adversity or dramatic torment. I cannot recall a single instance where they killed a male to make her suffer/pay for an action she took in TNG or TOS. However, when they want to develop a male character they torment or kill the woman in his life more often than they torment him. When something happened to Wesley Crusher it was an episode about his growth, not to have a reaction for Beverly Crusher. And I have a lot more to say about these topic also, but for now I will leave it at that, except to say that this is pissing me off and I do want to say there is at least one exception in the Data/Geordi friendship.