MICHAEL JAN FRIEDMAN'S Star Trek: The Next Generation: Reunion (Pocket Books, 343 pp., $19) is the latest offering from the Trek industry. Star Trek is perhaps the most successful, largely commercial literary property ever created. For some readers and viewers it is a religion, for others an intensely involving diversion, and for others an occasional recreation and source of jokes.
The series is also very generic with many authors, all offering their own individual angles - like additions to the Arthurian legend but with a commercial purpose.
With Question Quest (Morrow, 359 pp., $20) Piers Anthony brings to 14 the volumes in his Xanth series. At the end of the text, Anthony lists his "toll-free number," which gives readers access to a calendar, video, Xanth T-shirts, newsletter, and the Xanth novels.
James P. Hogan's Entoverse (Del Rey, 418 pp., $20) is one of five in his Giants series. Trained and experienced as a scientist, Hogan features characters who discuss scientific issues in often intricate, intellectually satisfying fiction.
King of the Dead (Morrow, 286 pp., $19) by R. A. MacAvoy, is the second book in the Lens of the World trilogy. MacAvoy's evocative style and ability to fill her scenes with the illusion of life has made her a popular favorite.
With The Garden of Rama (Bantam, 441 pp., $20), the old master Arthur C. Clarke, writing with Gentry Lee, extends his collaboration with Lee to three books, further developing the story he began in 1973 with "Rendezvous with Rama."
The expansiveness of science fiction and fantasy series is remarkable. After all, vastness is a basic reader interest in the genre.