From History’s Shadow

Cover for From History's ShadowStar Trek

2268: Following their encounter with the mysterious Gary Seven in the twentieth century, the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise is startled by two intruders who have transported through space and time from Earth circa 1968. Incredibly, one of the infiltrators is a Vulcan, who asserts that he’s lived among Earth’s population for over a decade. The other represents a little-known race, and reveals to Captain James T. Kirk that she has spent the last twenty years working to bring about humanity’s destruction. It is then that Gary Seven’s young protégé, Roberta Lincoln, arrives seeking Kirk’s help….

1947: In the wake of the infamous “Roswell Incident” involving a crashed alien craft and beings from another world, Captain James Wainwright finds himself recruited as one of the first members of Majestic 12, a secret organization with two goals: Collect evidence of extraterrestrial activity on Earth, and develop strategies to combat alien invaders. And it is this very mission that will consume Wainwright’s life for the next two decades, driven by the knowledge that the danger is as real as the aliens living among us….


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Man, but this one traveled a long, winding road in order to end up in your hands or on your e-Reader du jour.

The seeds of this novel are contained in a story called “The Aliens Are Coming,” which I wrote for the third Star Trek: Strange New Worlds anthology. For a long time after that book was published, I often wondered what more I could have done with the basic premise I’d put forth in the story, which features James Wainwright as a member of the Air Force’s Project Blue Book confronting Captain John Christopher about the “UFO” he saw in the original Star Trek episode “Tomorrow Is Yesterday.” Over time, a larger tale weaving bits and chunks of “Star Trek history” in and around the Cold War, the Space Race of the 1960s and the whole “UFO/alien sighting phenomenon” of the 50s and 60s began to take shape.

My original version of this idea, which I was calling Aliens Among Us at the time, still featured Wainwright and his tenure with the Air Force investigating UFOs, but the “wraparound story” featured the characters from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine rather than the original series. I submitted an outline to Pocket Books several years ago, thinking it might make a decent companion piece to Greg Cox’s two-part Star Trek: The Eugenics Wars, but it was rejected. Then I moved on to other things and pretty much forgot about it.

Then, as I was closing in on finishing up That Which Divides, my editor at Pocket asked if I was interested in writing another novel for 2013 and set in the original series time frame. When an idea for a story didn’t immediately present itself, I went into my files/archives of unused and dormant story notes and pulled up the file for Aliens Among Us. I rewrote the framing story to be more appropriate for the original series rather than DS9, added some new kinks to the parts set on 20th century Earth, and did a few other things in order to keep the story consistent with other novels and stories which had come along since I’d first written the thing, and sent it off. My editor gave me the green light, and that’s how Aliens Among Us became From History’s Shadow.

So, here we are. Happy reading. 🙂

In addition to providing a permanent home for links to find and order the book, this entry also will serve as the book’s “official” Q&A thread. Those of you who want to chat about the book, feel free to post your questions/etc. to the comments section. For those of you who’ve found this page and perhaps not yet read the book, BEWARE THAT SPOILERS ARE POSSIBLE FROM THIS POINT FORWARD.

Related entries:
TOP SECRET/MAJIC – EYES ONLY.

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62 thoughts on “From History’s Shadow

  1. I am finding it very interesting that I a recognizing the names of characters in the story, i.e. Darren Benjamin and David Cardillo. Nice touch.

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  2. Stone knives and bearskins, indeed! Fascinating. Just finished this incredibly adventurous, edge-of-your-seat thriller and I must say, this romp was utterly ‘fan’tastic! Totally-loved every page of ‘From History’s Shadow’! Wow! Great new characters, some old ones fleshed-out and given incredible purpose, in some of those volatile years of our ‘past’, (not to mention, making me ‘like’ a character from that DS9 episode, that I didn’t care for, in it’s on-screen run…) and, the crew of the Enterprise was spot-on! Kirk and crew SHINE! Brilliant work! I truly was on the edge of my seat; especially, during a certain chase scene in my old southern stomping grounds… You could almost smell the interiors of those classic sedans and station wagons, and those palmetto bushes, too! The standout, for me, was Miss Lincoln, herself. I could picture Teri Garr in every scene. And, thanks for the brief, but most-welcome return, of a couple of other iconic TOS faves. Meow! Absolutely phenomenal work, Dayton! Truly.

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        1. As I’ve told others, I probably had more fun writing than this book than could be considered appropriate.

          (Trivia: in my original version of the outline, I had John Christopher in that scene. He was the Alzheimer’s patient, and when he sees the TV broadcast it spurs half-buried/half-whatever memories of his encounter with the Enterprise. However, after Greg Cox described a different path for Christopher in his TOS novel The Rings of Time, I rewrote my idea to instead feature Wainwright. The scene also was not intended to be the epilogue of the book, but once I had to shuffle some things to account for other novels which had come along since my first version(s) of the outline, I realized using Wainwright in the scene and making it the book’s tag was the way to go.)

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        2. The character you made me like was Wainwright. I didn’t know how I was going to respond, as I didn’t like the guy in DS9. Now, I’ll watch that episode with a new perspective and, appreciation. Thank you , for that. The scene at the end was all the more poignant, to me, as you saw what he went through all those years, searching for the truth. I don’t think I would’ve had the same emotional connection, had it been Christopher sitting there. It was good to see that Wainwright had reconciled with Michael, had some years of happiness with Allison and his grandchildren and had put his service in the past. I think the ending capped it off very nicely.
          I really enjoyed the Florida scenes, as-like you, I’m from a little town called Lake Butler and it always takes me back. I don’t want to live there, again, but it’s always good to ‘visit’, if ya know what I mean. The chase scene was incredible, if not tragic; I could see that crash vividly.
          Yeah…you knocked this one outta the park, brother! This was #GreatStarTrek!

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  3. I loved the book. Great use of many time travel and alien stories from Trek lore, and I certainly wasn’t expecting Mestral or the TCW to factor into the story. The book seemed to read more like a spy thriller than a scifi novel, and I dig it when series (and authors!) go out of their “comfort zone” like that. Well done, sir. Also, like a few other readers, I recognized quite a few characters’ names in there right off the bat. I can only imagine that the real-life folks they are based on must’ve been happy as a pig in shit.

    I do have a single question: did the Certoss Ajahlan ever show up in Trek before in any form, or were they were own unique creation? The name just sounded familiar for some reason.

    One final bit of praise: you worked in a Larry Niven reference that doubled as a Trek reference. That rules.

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    1. I ran across the term “certoss” on the web and thought it sounded cool, and then figured out to call the planet “Certoss Ajahlan.”

      you worked in a Larry Niven reference that doubled as a Trek reference. That rules.

      You saw that? 😉

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  4. I love Star Trek, and I love time travel, so for me it doesn’t get better than this!
    I gave this a very rare five star rating on my FB page.
    Write me another soon please!

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  5. My book arrived yesterday. I realized how big the Phoenix metro area has gotten. Reading Luke Airforce Base near Glendale AZ, I thought no, it’s in Glendale. But then I remembered Glendale was not out here in the early 50s.

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    1. A lot of the fun I had was with the research for real locations. Lot of work, but it lead to a lot of interesting “extra reading” stuff, too. That various military bases had different names over time was one thing in particular that I had to keep going back and checking. I had a spreadsheet for some of that stuff.

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        1. Yep. That was another aspect of it, as well. Army Air Fields became Air Force Bases, etc. Wright Field and Patterson Field originally were two different entities, which later merged, and so on.

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  6. I had no idea a book like this was coming out! I’ve enjoyed the Eugenics Wars and DTI books as much as you clearly have, so I had it on my Kindle as soon as I heard about it. 🙂 My favorite part was the reconciliation of Assignment: Earth’s orbital nuclear weapons platform with real-world history, an event that tends to be overlooked when comparing Trek’s history with our own.

    I’m curious about the references to Roberta Lincoln having traveled through time and to different planets with Gary Seven…are those references to other Trek books, adventures yet to be told, and/or an extrapolation of the kinds of adventures the two might have had if Assignment: Earth had been picked up as a TV show?

    Also, was the Ian Pendleton character intended as a Doctor Who reference?

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    1. Hi!

      Sounds like you enjoyed the book 🙂

      I’m curious about the references to Roberta Lincoln having traveled through time and to different planets with Gary Seven…are those references to other Trek books, adventures yet to be told, and/or an extrapolation of the kinds of adventures the two might have had if Assignment: Earth had been picked up as a TV show?

      Yes. 😀

      Also, was the Ian Pendleton character intended as a Doctor Who reference?

      Not consciously, no.

      Thanks for reading!

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  7. I know it’s been a while since this was originally posted, so I don’t know if I’ll get a response, but I just wanted to take a moment and say how much I enjoyed this book. Really different from most Trek fare, in a good way. As a teenager I was heavily into the UFO phenomenon for a few years (though not as a believer) and it was wonderful seeing references to things I hadn’t thought about in years.

    Now for the questions. There wound up being two big things I was wondering about in the book that never got an answer:

    1) What was the secret project Professor Carlson was working on that seemed to be eating up so much of his energy? Something related to the Eugenics Wars novels?

    2) Was there a specific in-universe origin intended for the alien ship recovered in Yuma? If not, was it intended as a reference to something? The description seemed pretty specific, and I’m curious about what the other alien civilizations visiting Earth at this time may have been.

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    1. Hi, Nick!

      Thanks for dropping by. I’m glad you enjoyed the book! To answer your questions:

      1) The references to Carlson being elsewhere and wrapped up in secret projects was my attempt to connect his activities here to what Greg Cox established for him in The Eugenics Wars. If you’ve read those books, then you know what he was up to 🙂

      2) I left vague the origin of the ship found in Yuma. I was trying to paint a picture that there was quite a bit of alien activity going on during the 50s/60s, not all of which pertained to the book’s main plot, or that there were reports/sightings/etc. to which Wainwright and Marshal weren’t privy, at least at that point in their tenure with the project. If I had it to do over again, I might go back and add in another reference or two to that ship, or other stuff found by other agents, etc.

      I’ve discussed with my editor (in very general terms) the possibility of revisiting elements of the book for a future story. I have no idea if or when something like that might happen, but it’s something I’m thinking about. 🙂

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  8. I really loved this book! Time travel stories in “Star Trek” have always been the most fascinating to me, and I really like how you weaved in several time travel stories from the original series to “DS9,” “Voyager,” and “Enterprise,” especially the Temporal Cold War–that was mind-bending!

    And when I first picked up the book and saw the time and place settings, I knew I had to read it! I grew up in Dayton, Ohio, and my father was in the Air Force stationed at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base for 14 years out of the 20 years he was in the military during the 1950s, ’60s, and ’70s. He was involved with the Foreign Technology Division, and I can’t imagine anything more “foreign” than alien spacecraft. Of course he never discussed his work in any detail, but I couldn’t help wonder, especially later when I became an adult.

    The book really came alive for me as I live in Florida and have visited the Kennedy Space Center, Cocoa Beach, and the Titusville area many times, and reading the book was like watching a movie in my head. Very well done!

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