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- The Human Adventure Continues.
- From the book jacket
- In the aftermath of the astonishing events of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, the captain and officers of the USS Enterprise remain haunted by their encounter with the vast artificial intelligence of V'ger… And by the sacrifice and ascension of their friend and shipmate, Willard Decker.
- As James T. Kirk, Spock and Leonard McCoy attempt to cope with the personal fallout of that ordeal, a chapter from their mutual past is reopened, raising troubling new questions about the relationship among God, Man, and AI. On the recently settled world of Daran IV, the former refugees of the Fabrini worldship Yonada are being divided by conflicting ideologies, as those clinging to their theocratic past vie with visionaries of a future governed by reason alone.
- Now, echoes of the V'ger encounter reverberate among the Enterprise officers who years ago overthrew the Oracle, the machine-god that controlled Yonada. Confronting the consequences of those actions, Kirk, Spock and McCoy also face choices that will decide the fate of a civilization, and which may change them forever.
"Explain to me why the designers felt it necessary to install a – a splatter guard in front of the console!"
- - Leonard McCoy, expressing his reservations about the upgraded transporter system
"Do I sound like the computer to you?"
- - Christine Chapel to McCoy, who had just mistaken Chapel's voice for the computer's
"Honestly, Leonard. Do I look like somebody's mother?"
- - Leonard McCoy and Christine Chapel
- This is the first full-length Star Trek novel from author Christopher L. Bennett.
- The novel is a sequel to both "For the World is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky" and Star Trek: The Motion Picture.
- One of the reasons Bennett wanted to explore the post-Motion Picture era was a desire to follow up on the epiphany reached by Spock. He noted that "Most novels […] tended to gloss over it, to portray Spock as essentially the same person he'd been in the series. I felt an opportunity was being missed." Bennett was also keen to explore the unique style of the film, along with the suggestion of a multi-species crew that the background performers indicated. (Voyages of Imagination, pp. 146-148)
- In looking at the effects of the Enterprise on the Fabrini, Bennett recognized that exposing the nature of the Oracle and Yonada itself would not have been a simple conclusion, and saw parallels with Earth history: "I figured there would be numerous sects arising among the people of post-Oracle Yonada, and that they'd be jockeying for the lead in defining a new direction for their society, and competing with those who embraced a more secular, Federation-type view. This resonated with the things I'd learned in college about the patterns that have been shaping Mideast affairs for the past couple of centuries, and I wanted to tell a story that illustrated those issues. (Voyages of Imagination, pp. 146-148)
- Ex Machina was named by Star Trek screenwriters Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman as among their favorite Star Trek novels. 
- Bennett has noted that he intended Ex Machina to be the first in a series, exploring a second five-year mission for Kirk and the crew (which had previously been a concept explored by the Pocket TOS series in the mid-1980s). However, although he and the Pocket editors remained interested doing so, and the novel was critically acclaimed, the marketing department did not feel the sales of Ex Machina could support further novels.   His Mere Anarchy novella, The Darkness Drops Again, and DTI novel Forgotten History have explored elements of that era.
- A Czech translated edition was released in 2021 by Laser-books. It was translated into Czech by Jakub Marek. The Czech cover art was made by Jakub Schejbal. 
- James T. Kirk
- Leonard McCoy
- Pavel Chekov
- Chief of Security.
- Montgomery Scott
- Marcella DiFalco
- Chief petty officer who takes Ilia's place as navigator.
- Enrique Mercado
- Ensign assigned as a bridge engineer.
- Mosi Nizhoni
- Ensign assigned as assistant chief of security.
- Reiko Onami
- Petty officer, 2nd class assigned as a ship's xenopsychologist.
- Joaquin Perez
- Security ensign.
- Vaylin Zaand (β)
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