Author’s Annotations

Note: The annotations for Harbinger contain some spoilers. They are meant to be used as reference after reading the book. Read them before at your own peril.

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Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 | Chapter 4 | Chapter 5
Chapter 6 | Chapter 7 | Chapter 8 | Chapter 9 | Chapter 10
Chapter 11 | Chapter 12 | Chapter 13 | Chapter 14 | Chapter 15
Chapter 16 | Chapter 17 | Chapter 18 | Chapter 19 | Chapter 20




p1 – Commodore Matt Decker’s habitual scruffiness; the identities and quirks of his first officer, science officer, and yeoman; and his habit of forgetting the names of junior officers and other personnel all were established in The Brave and the Bold, Book 1, by Keith R.A. DeCandido.

p4 – The Ravanar system was previously referenced in the TNG novel A Time to Kill by David Mack, as the location where a Starfleet Special Ops team captured a Breen ship in 2379.

p9 – Deep Space Station K-7 and its proximity to Klingon space were established in the TOS episode “The Trouble with Tribbles.” Its proximity to the Taurus reach is conjecture by the author.

Chapter 1

p11 – The Enterprise’s mission to breach the galactic barrier, and the events that followed concerning Gary Mitchell, Elizabeth Dehner, Lee Kelso, et al, were all established in the second TOS pilot, “Where No Man Has Gone Before.”

p12 – Engineer Alden was established in “Where No Man Has Gone Before.”

p14 – Although a “Starbase 47” was mentioned in the TNG episode “Parallels,” it is unlikely that it and Vanguard are the same facility. In the 100+ years separating the events of Harbinger and TNG, the author assumes Vanguard was decommissioned and its numerical designation was reassigned. Also, the Starbase 47 in “Parallels” was part of an alternate reality, and might not exist in “official” 24th-century Star Trek continuity.

Chapter 2

p17 – The green liquor in Quinn’s flask is a tip of the hat to the TOS episode “By Any Other Name,” in which a Kelvan in human form asks Scotty of their drinks, “What is this?” And Scott replies, “It’s green.”

p18 – The name of Cervantes Quinn’s ship, the Rocinante, is a nod to his namesake, 17th-century Spanish novelist Miguel Cervantes, who wrote Don Quixote de la Mancha. In that novel, Rocinante is the faithful if somewhat pathetic steed of the title character. (The class of Quinn’s ship is also a nod to its literary source: It’s described in Chapter 13, p228, as a “Mancharan starhopper.”) The ship’s name also serves double duty as an homage, to the ill-fated fictional ship of the same name in the song “Cygnus X-1” by Rush.

Chapter 3

p28 – The U.S.S. Sagittarius is an Archer-class scout vessel, named in honor of pioneering starship commander Captain Jonathan Archer of the NX-01 Enterprise.

p30 – Clark Terrell, the XO of the U.S.S. Sagittarius, was established as the captain of the Starship Reliant in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. The character perished in that movie.

p31 – The existence of the Martian Colonies and their prominence in Federation politics were established in the TOS episode “Court Martial.”

p33 – The uniform styles mentioned for the ships detailed to Vanguard differ from those of the Enterprise crew because Starfleet began the process of implementing the new uniform code while the Enterprise was out at the galactic barrier. These changes are being emphasized in Harbinger in order to bridge the stylistic differences in the uniforms and equipment seen in the TOS second pilot “Where No Man Has Gone Before” and the first regular episode, “The Corbomite Maneuver.”

p33 – The Miranda-class of starship was first seen in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. In that film, the Miranda-class had similar hull and nacelle designs as the refit Constitution-class Enterprise, suggesting that theMiranda-class ships had also undergone a recent refit and upgrade. TheMiranda-class U.S.S. Bombay depicted in Harbinger is assumed to be pre-refit, with a hull and nacelle design closer to the original Constitution-class ships of TOS.

p34 – The mechanics of the turbolifts and wall-based companels are consistent with their depictions in TOS.

p35 – The compartment nomenclature for the quartermaster’s office on theBombay is consistent with the signage styles depicted on p446 of the expanded edition of The Star Trek Encyclopedia.

p36 – Tellarites’ tenuous grasp of human social niceties has been established in Star Trek Enterprise, and in various recent novels and novellas, including the character of Lieutenant Commander Mor glasch Tev in Star Trek: S.C.E.

p37 – The specialist title of “A&A officer” was first established in the TOS episode “Who Mourns for Adonais?”

Chapter 4

p40 – The details of Tholian nomenclature and their species-specific telepathy and communal mindspace known as The Lattice were established in Star Trek – The Lost Era: The Sundered, by Michael A. Martin and Andy Mangels.

Chapter 5

p44 – The freighter Chichén Itzá is named for the ancient Mayan city in the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico.

p46 – On this page Reyes thinks of himself as a forty-year veteran of Starfleet, but his bio in the back of the book states he is a thirty-year veteran. In fact the bio is correct, and the internal monologue was wrong. The author and editors regret the error. This is exactly the sort of thing that would be fixed if the book goes for a second printing, so if you would like this fixed, buy lots of copies as gifts for your friends and family this year.

p49 – The Federation News Service was established in “Call to Arms” (DS9). Its existence in the 23rd century is conjecture.

p50 – Rigellian Chelons were established in Star Trek: The Motion Picture.

p51 – The relative locations of the Klingon and Tholian empires, and Vanguard’s position between them, is based on the data in Geoffrey Mandel’s Star Charts.

p52 – The fact that the president of the Federation in 2265 was male was established in Errand of Fury by Kevin Ryan.

p53 – Dr. M’Benga first appeared in the TOS episode “A Private Little War.” His first name, Jabilo, is a contrivance of the author; it is a Kenyan name that means “healer.”

p58 – The Klingon word for their own language is from Marc Okrand’sKlingon Dictionary.

p62 – The Klingon practice of surgically altering their spies to infiltrate enemy institutions was established with Arne Darvin in the TOS episode “The Trouble with Tribbles.”

p62 – The Klingon-language elements were either taken or loosely adapted from The Klingon Dictionary.

Chapter 6

p65 – Kaferian apples were established in the TOS episode “Where No Man Has Gone Before.”

p67 – Oriana D’Amato’s husband, Lieutenant Robert D’Amato, was established in the TOS episode “That Which Survives,” in which he was killed ca. 2268. No mention was made of his marital status in that episode; his marriage to Oriana is a creation of the author.

p72 – Again, the transition of uniform styles is highlighted in order to emphasize Harbinger’s place in Star Trek chronology/continuity.

p74 – Captain Christopher Pike’s acclaimed command of the Starship Enterprise was established in the first Star Trek pilot, “The Cage,” and again in the two-part TOS episode “The Menagerie.”

p78 – The character of T’Prynn was established and killed in the DS9 novel Mission: Gamma, Book Four: Lesser Evil by Robert Simpson, and she also appeared briefly in The Art of the Impossible by Keith R.A. DeCandido.

p84 – Reyes’s allusion to a story about a bird and a cow pie is this:

Once upon a time, a little bird sat on a branch when a harsh winter freeze suddenly descended. Paralyzed with cold, the bird fell from the branch and could not even call for help as a cow passed above him. Then the cow defecated on the little bird, and the warmth of the cow’s manure slowly thawed the bird back to health.

So elated was the bird that he began to sing. The bird’s singing attracted the attention of a cat, who found the bird mired up to its head in manure. “May I help you out of there?” he asked the bird. “Please do,” the bird said. And the cat ate him.

The moral of the story? Not everyone who shits on you is your enemy; not everyone who gets you out of shit is your friend; and if you’re up to your neck in shit but also are basically warm, safe and happy — keep your mouth shut.

Chapter 7

p89 – Fans of hard rock might recognize the names of some of the Bombay‘s engineering staff as the members of the female rock quartet The Donnas. (Anderson, Robertson, Ford, Castellano)

p90 – Andorian nomenclature is consistent with that established in the Deep Space Nine post-finale novels.

p91 – The pink hue of Loak’s hair was the malicious plan of Ming Xiong back in Chapter 3 (p39).

p94 – The reference to a Sigma Seven utility that screwed everything up is a jab at the corporate-efficiency program known as Six Sigma.

p98 – The reference to a refit of the Enterprise bridge alludes to the physical differences between its appearance in the TOS pilot “Where No Man Has Gone Before” and the first regular episode, “The Corbomite Maneuver.”

p100 – The description of Zett Nilric is consistent with depictions of the Nalori species in S.C.E. #7/#8 Invincible by David Mack and Keith R.A. DeCandido. (Zett is identified as a Nalori in Chapter 10, p165)

p100 – Note that although the Omari-Ekon is docked at Vanguard, the interior of the ship is considered sovereign Orion territory; ergo, Orion laws, or lack thereof, rule the activities aboard Ganz’s ship.

p103 – The effects of green Orion females on males of various humanoid species was hinted at in the original Star Trek pilot “The Cage,” and it was explicitly confirmed in the Enterprise episode “Bound”. (In my opinion, this explains a lot about how Marta stays alive in the TOS episode “Whom Gods Destroy”….but that’s another story.)

p106 – Yet another reference to “It’s green,” in TOS “By Any Other Name”. This page also contains a dialogue homage to one of the greatest films of all time, National Lampoon’s Animal House.

p107 – Jadot Puilly-Fuisse is a respectable white wine from France.

p109 – The New Berlin colony on Luna was established in TNG episode “Descent,” Part 1.

p111 – Dr. Mark Piper’s service as chief medical officer of the Enterprise ended after “Where No Man…” but before “Corbomite Maneuver”.

p111 – Hikaru Sulu served as the senior physicist on the Enterprise’s science staff in “Where No Man…” before transferring to pilot duty in “Corbomite Maneuver”.

p114 – The Silgov species was established in S.C.E. #49 Small World by David Mack.

p117 – George Gershwin was a noted 20th-century composer of melodies and show tunes. Gene Harris was a 20th-century jazz piano player.

p118 – The friction between Spock and his father, Sarek, which kept Spock estranged from his father and homeworld for many years, was established in the TOS episode “Journey to Babel”.

Chapter 8

p120 – The physical description of the Bombay is meant to imply that it is a pre-refit design, similar to the contemporaneous design of the Constitution-class ships.

p125 – Dr. McCoy succeeded Dr. Mark Piper as chief medical officer of the Enterprise after “Where No Man…” but before “Corbomite Maneuver”.

p126 – Dr. M’Benga’s training and internship details were established in TOS “A Private Little War”.

Chapter 9

p129 – Any similarity between Ensign Berry of the Starship Bombay and Daniel Berry, aka TrekkieBez, is purely coincidental. [grin]

p130 – Details regarding Tholian ships were intended to be consistent with background information from The Lost Era: The Sundered by Michael A. Martin and Andy Mangels.

p138 – Tholian tendency not to take prisoners is from the TOS episode “The Tholian Web”.

p140 – The line about “Prep the log buoy, ten-hour delay” is an example of a detail that I should have followed up on, but didn’t. The ejection of a log buoy (also called a recorder marker) is standard procedure when the destruction of a ship seems imminent. The “delay” was meant to allow time for the Tholians to move out of range, so that they would not detect the buoy’s S.O.S. to Vanguard. Ejected as part of the self-destruct sequence, the buoy’s transmission would likely include a marker code signaling the loss of the ship. This is how the Vanguard officers know, eleven hours later, that the Bombay has been destroyed.

p148-149 – The authorization codes for the Bombay’s self-destruct sequence were modeled on those used for the Enterprise in the original series and in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock.

p149 – Oriana D’Amato’s curse in Italian translates roughly as “shithead” (though more literally as “shitface”).

p150 – Nomenclature for Tholian starships inspired by the ship names in The Lost Era: The Sundered. The author’s assumption is that the Tholis suffix component of the ship names is equivalent to the possessive initials used by other navies (i.e., U.S.S., H.M.S., I.K.S., etc.)

Chapter 10

p155 – The stardate on Pennington’s report is a rough estimate of the time difference between the last canonical stardate in “Where No Man…” and the events in Harbinger, using the Star Trek Chronology as a guideline. The crew complement of a Miranda-class starship is conjecture.

p164 – “Fontana” is an Italian word meaning “fountain,” hence a meadow with a fountain would be called “Fontana Meadow.” I’m sure it’s just a coincidence that one of the greatest scribes ever to contribute to Star Trek was Dorothy C. Fontana.

p167 – Hidden somewhere on this page is a not-so-clever homage to Black Adder II.

p169 – Ganz’s taunting query, “Do we ‘reach,’ Mr. Quinn?” is a reference to the TOS episode “The Way to Eden”.

p181 – The various forms of currency on this page have no canonical sources; they are the inventions of the author. And, just to be clear, the Tantalus referred to here is the mythological Tantalus, NOT the planet from TOS “Dagger of the Mind’s Eye”, and it definitely has nothing to do with the Tantalus Device in TOS: “Mirror, Mirror”.

p182 – The use of duotronic components in Starfleet equipment was established in the TOS episode “The Ultimate Computer”.

p187 – The Vulcan martial art of V’Shan was established in the TNG novel A Time to Kill by David Mack.

Chapter 11

No annotations.

Chapter 12

p200 – The Klingons’ distaste for the human habit of cooking food before eating it was established in the TNG episode “A Matter of Honor”.

p204 – The reference to a “High Epopt” is an in-joke of the Church of the Subgenius, and “Yoçarian” is a variant spelling of Yossarian, a reference to Joseph Heller’s classic novel of the no-win scenario, Catch-22.

p206 – Councillor Gorkon is, of course, a younger version of the man who will one day be Chancellor Gorkon (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country).

p207 – Councillor Duras is an ancestor of the Duras family-members seen in several episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation and the feature film Star Trek Generations. His existence is established in Errand of Fury by Kevin Ryan.

p208 – The Klingons’ belief in a nether realm known as Gre’thor was established in the TNG episode “Devil’s Due”.

Chapter 13

p214 – Dr. Thelex’s comment, “All part of the service,” is an homage to Peter David’s novel Imzadi.

p218 – The fact that the Enterprise had already been in service for twenty years is from the Star Trek Chronology.

p218 – Another reference to the changing uniforms, newly arrived on the Enterprise.

p220 – Mr. Leslie was a helm officer on the Enterprise before Sulu transferred to pilot duty. TOS: “Where No Man…”

p223 – The use of a tabletop bell in Starfleet official proceedings was established in the TOS episode “Court Martial”.

p228 – The Vulcan ability to overcome pain through mental discipline was established in the TOS episode “Operation: Annihilate!” The Vulcan ritual of Kolinahr, intended to purge all last traces of emotion from one’s katra, is from Star Trek: The Motion Picture. The lirpa is a vulcan weapon, first seen in the TOS episode “Amok Time”.

p230Pon farr is the Vulcan term for the time of mating; it occurs roughly once every seven years. The drive to mate becomes so powerful that it rips away most Vulcans’ logic and renders them violent and highly emotional. (TOS: “Amok Time”)

p231 – The katra is the Vulcan concept of a spirit, or essence — in effect, a soul (Star Trek III: The Search for Spock). The Koon-ut-kal-if-fee is a battle waged between rivals who desire the same mate. It was established in the TOS episode “Amok Time”, as was the Vulcan weapon known as the ahn-woon.

p232 – The Vulcan ability to “transmit” one’s katra by touch into another’s mind was established in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (in a flashback to a scene from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan).

Chapter 14

p233 – Although Kirk’s speculations here seem to contradict the certainty of Reyes’s declaration that the Bombay had been lost with all hands, I prefer to think of it as an expression of Kirk’s refusal to face no-win scenarios … and not at all as a fuckup because I forgot that I had already confirmed the deaths of those 220 personnel. [ sigh ]

p237 – The dynosPanner is me screwing up an attempt to reference the dynosCanner from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. I probably got it mixed up with the hydrospanner from Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back.

p237 – Dilithium is part of the engine system aboard warp-capable vessels. First referenced in the TOS episode “Journey to Babel”.

p244 – The Meriden continues my habit, from A Time to Heal, of naming freighters after cities. Probably because, as I was writing that scene, I was on a train that had either just arrived at, or departed from, Meriden, Conn.

p250 – Another botched attempt to reference dynoscanners. At least I got the gravitic calipers right (VOY: “Fair Trade”), along with stem bolts (not sure if they’re self-sealing — DS9: “Progress”) and sonic screwdrivers (courtesy of Doctor Who).

Chapter 15

p253 – The trace elements from the Tholian ships are meant to be consistent with details about their vessels’ interior environments from The Lost Era: The Sundered by Michael A. Martin and Andy Mangels.

p254 – Kirk’s rumination on gender politics at Starfleet Academy is a reference to, and rebuttal of, Dr. Janice Lester’s accusations of institutional sexism in Starfleet, in TOS: “Turnabout Intruder”.

p255 – The Starfleet Corps of Engineers was first referenced in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.

p256 – The description of Starfleet environment suits is based on their appearance in the TOS episode “The Naked Time”.

p266 – Kirk’s tragic mission to Tycho IV aboard the Farragut was detailed in the TOS episode “Obsession”.

Chapter 16

p267 – Quick, spot the RUSH reference…

p269 – Ultritium, a very powerful explosive compound, was established in the TNG episode “Manhunt”.

p274 – The Federation’s antipathy to genetic engineering was established in the TOS episode “Space Seed”.

Chapter 17

p288 – Reyes’s quip about the “Salem judiciary” is, in fact, a sarcastic reference to the infamous Salem, Mass., witch-hunts of the 17th century. Its inclusion in the scene was inspired by a note from Paramount licensing executive John Van Citters.

p296 – The Vulcan nerve pinch was first seen in the TOS episode “The Enemy Within”.

p300 – The reference to a “No Man’s Land” is an allusion to the original working title of Star Trek Vanguard.

p307 – In case you’re a fan of Scotch, 25-year-old Macallan single-malt is an amazing thing. I’m just saying.

Chapter 18

p316 – M’Benga’s request of a transfer sets in motion his posting to the Starship Enterprise prior to the TOS episode “A Private Little War”.

p318 – Kirk’s statements about the Tholians are intended to be consistent with the backstory described in The Lost Era: The Sundered by Michael A. Martin and Andy Mangels.

p322 – The difficulty of maintaining real-time visual communications between Vanguard and Earth is a contrivance of the author, to evoke some of the technological limitations of this early phase in Federation history.

p323 – The reference to Pennington’s desire for a Paris assignment is a nod to the fact that the Federation president’s office is there (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country).

p327 – Tholian touch-telepathy and environmental suits were described in The Lost Era: The Sundered by Michael A. Martin and Andy Mangels.

p328 – Tholian physiology described in The Lost Era: The Sundered by Michael A. Martin and Andy Mangels. The Klingon-language terms used in reference to them translate roughly as “big bugs” (ghewpu’tIn) and “aliens” (novpu).

p332Sto-Vo-Kor was established as the resting place of honored Klingon souls in the TNG episode “Rightful Heir”.

Chapter 19

p340 – Brunello di Montalcino Riserva is a truly superb red wine from Italy. In case you’re curious, the Brunello is the variety of grape, and Montalcino denotes the area in which it was cultivated. Riserva indicates that the bottle is part of a limited supply, typically one of higher than normal quality.

p343 – The climate and gravity of Vulcan were established in the TOS episode “Amok Time”.

Chapter 20

p353 – Although Commodore Reyes refers to “the lesson of the Psalms,” he is actually quoting from Psalm 1.

p356 – The exchange about Quinn’s nationality ending in, “I’m a drunkard.” — “A citizen of the galaxy, then.” is an homage to Casablanca.

p358 – Paul Tillotson is a current-day jazz pianist and a former student of the late jazz master Gene Harris.

p360 – T’Prynn’s comments about Spock learning the tactical value of falsehood is intended to foreshadow the fact that he will tell lies for tactical gain in the TOS episode “The Enterprise Incident”.

p360 – Microexpressions are a real scientific phenomenon; they have been shown to be almost subliminal in their effect, but they can be essential to people who seek to detect lies or know when someone is bluffing while gambling. Human reaction to microexpressions is currently believed to be a hardwired biological response.

p361 – The Vulcan term val’reth (a person who against their will hosts the katra of another) is a creation of the author for this character and book.

p362 – The climbing of the steps of Mount Seleya on Vulcan, and passage through the Hall of Ancient Thought, as katra-related elements of traditional Vulcan post-death ritual, were established in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock.

p365 – Stephen Klisiewicz was established in John Vornholt’s The Genesis Wave, Book One, Chapter 14 (The Genesis Report), as a Starfleet Intelligence technology specialist in 2286, with the rank of commander. Because Harbinger takes place 21 years earlier, Mr. Klisiewicz is an ensign in this story.


No annotations.

Who Would I Cast in the Principal Roles?


Commodore Diego Reyes
 Captain Rana Desai
Dr. Ezekiel “Zeke” Fisher
 Lieutenant Commander T’Prynn
Cervantes Quinn
 Tim Pennington
Lieutenant Ming Xiong
 Anna Sandesjo


Who Would I Cast in the Supporting Roles?

U.S.S. Bombay

Captain Hallie Gannon
 Commander Vondas Milonakis
Dr. Hua Sun Lee, M.D.
 Lieutenant Kevin Judge
Lieutenant Thanashal ch’Shonnas
 Lieutenant Oriana D’Amato


U.S.S. Sagittarius

Captain Adelard Nassir
 MCPO Mike “Mad Man” Ilucci
Ensign Vanessa Theriault


U.S.S. Endeavour

Ensign Stephen Klisiewicz
 Commander Atish Khatami