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Hotel Royale

A copy of the Hotel Royale displayed in Hauze's ship

Hotel Royale was a novel written by Todd Matthews some time in the early 21st century. It is the story of a group of gamblers caught up in a web of crime, corruption, and deceit, narrated by Mickey D, who only appears at the climax of the story to carry out the murder of the hotel Bellboy. The novel also includes a subplot about an older man conspiring with a young woman to murder her husband.

A copy of the novel was carried by Colonel Stephen G. Richey of NASA on board his ship the Charybdis in 2037. It proved to be an unfortunate choice, as the novel was filled with clichéd characters and bad writing. When Richey's ship crashed on the planet Theta VIII in 2044, an unknown alien force created a physical representation of the novel, including the hotel and all its characters, in an artificial environment meant to provide a simulation of normal life for Richey.

Unknowingly, though, the aliens had sentenced Richey to a sort of Hell, dooming him to live the remainder of his life in the world of the novel with its poorly written characters and no real Human interaction.

The opening line of the novel was "It was a dark and stormy night." Jean-Luc Picard was less than enthusiastic about its literary merits.

Richey described it in a diary entry as being "a badly written book, filled with endless cliché and shallow characters." (TNG: "The Royale")

In the episode's script, Data reviewed it thusly: "The writing is elementary, the plotting predictable, the characters one-dimensional."
The book's opening line is a reference to the infamously bad first sentence in Edward George Bulwer-Lytton's 1830 novel, Paul Clifford. (Quotable Star Trek)