Real World article
(written from a Production point of view)

Immortal Coil is a Pocket TNG novel written by Jeffrey Lang. Published by Pocket Books, it was first released in February 2002.


From the book jacket
He is perhaps the ultimate Human achievement: a sentient life-form; self-aware, self-determining, possessing a mind and body far surpassing that of his makers, and imbued with the potential to evolve beyond the scope of his programming. Created by one of the most brilliant and eccentric intellects the Federation has ever known, the android Data has always believed he was unique, the one true fulfillment of a dream to create children of the mind.
But is he?
Investigating the mysterious destruction of a new android created by Starfleet, Data and the crew of the USS Enterprise uncover startling secrets stretching back to the galaxy's dim past. That knowledge is coveted by beings who will stop at nothing to control it, and will force Data to redefine himself as he learns the hidden history of artificial intelligence.

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Background information

  • Although the Pocket DS9 novel Abyss is Lang's first published Star Trek novel, he began work on Immortal Coil first. He considered it "a bear of a story", noting that it was also his first experience of writing prose fiction. (Voyages of Imagination, p. 221-223)
  • It was Pocket editor Marco Palmieri, who Lang had approached about writing Star Trek fiction having worked with him previously at DC Comics, who devised the idea of exploring Noonien Soong's development of Data. This eventually led to a wide-ranging exploration of artificial intelligence in the Star Trek universe. As Palmieri observed "One of the things that’s always troubled me while watching Star Trek is how casually sentience is created […] and how often it went wrong. With the possible exception of "The Offspring", it seemed as if the power to create a mind was pretty much taken for granted. I thought someone needed to step up and point out what was wrong with that – be a voice for AI. From that we came up with the idea of the character of Emil Vaslovik, who has very well-established, personal reasons for taking up that cause." (Voyages of Imagination, p. 221-223)
  • Many of the characters and concepts featured in this novel would later be explored in the Cold Equations trilogy, and in Lang's own follow-up to that, The Light Fantastic.


Reginald Barclay 
A member of the android development team, with Vaslovik and Bruce Maddox
Emil Vaslovik
Part of the survey team to Exo III, the creator of Rhea; in reality, the immortal Flint
Ira Graves 
Part of the survey team to Exo III
Admiral Haftel 
Summoned the Enterprise to Galor IV
Bruce Maddox 
Member of the android development team, heavily injured in the storm that supposedly killed Vaslovik and destroyed the android.
Rhea McAdams
Security chief on the Enterprise-E, android
Commander Heyes 
A new addition to the Enterprise crew, watch officer for beta shift.
Ranul Keru
Maury Sullivan
Ensign Wells
Ensign Rixa


Flint owns two exocomps, Winken and Blinken, who help him control the station
Galor IV
Wolf 359
Deep Space 9

Episodes referenced

External link

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