The Original Series reading list lacks the
firmly established "Relaunch" that is the hallmark of the other series'
continuities. The majority of TOS novels are stand-alone, and most can
easily be read in any order. Some central storylines and stories can be
picked out however. Many recent TOS novels have included elements of
the wider Lit-verse, and several older novels have been repeatedly
In addition there are the novels that comprised the
"Original Lit-verse" of the 1980s. This was a group of stories which
were eventually linked together through references and shared
characters. Of particular importance to the later Lit-verse are the Rihannsu series and The Final Reflection, many elements of which have been more or less incorporated into the modern continuity, though undoubtedly requiring a certain amount of retconning.
The earliest book eventually connected to the "Original Lit-verse" was
published in 1977. The continuity flourished throughout the 1980s under editor Dave Stern. Around 1988, under the direction of Gene Roddenberry and Richard Arnold, a push was made to cut back on shared characters and references between novels. This was not a hard rule, and references between books and between comics continued at a slower pace through the mid 1990s under Stern and Kevin Ryan. I place the end of this era, and the advent of the modern Lit-verse, around 1995/1996, under editor John Ordover.
to these books were the DC Comics series of the 1980s. Characters were
sometimes shared between the two series. Several "Original Lit-verse"
novels have been referenced in the modern continuity, more or less
linking both bodies of work, though of course with continuity difficulties. The numbering system of the "Original
Lit-verse" included here is strictly chronological and did not originate
from the authors' or editors' intent.
In addition to the references noted below, several additional novels, short stories, comics, and audiobooks are connected due to recurring characters and various references in other books, or to other books. Other novels are connected by the six crossover series Invasion! (which is referenced several times in the Lit-verse), Day of Honor (which shares references with several things in the Lit-verse), The Captain's Table (which connects thematically with the Lit-verse spanning Tales From the Captain's Table), Section 31 (which ties into the DS9 Relaunch,) and Gateways (which ties into two Lit-verse series.)
Nine short stories or novellas are also connected, five from Enterprise Logs (which references several Lit-verse novels), two from DS9: The Lives of Dax (which ties into the DS9 Relaunch,) one from The Brave and the Bold duology (which ties into the Gorkon series,) and one from Seven Deadly Sins (which ties into three Lit-verse series.) Five novels and one ebook in other series cross over with TOS- DIS: Drastic Measures, DIS: Desperate Hours, DTI: Forgotten History, VAN: Harbinger, VAN: Storming Heaven, and VAN: In Tempest's Wake.
Also included are the stories from Constellations (one story of which is referenced in TNG: Before Dishonor), and Mere Anarchy (which references several stories.) Various references in parts of the Marvel Untold Voyages series, IDW's New Visions: Issue #5, the Wildstorm Star Trek Special, the DC Series 2 Special #2, and the anthology New Worlds, New Civilizations connect TOS stories from those works. The TOS reading list stops at the disappearance of James T. Kirk aboard the Enterprise-B and all storylines transfer to "The Lost Era", the Early 24th Century Reading List.
(Note that an explanation of the order of episodes and novels during the Five Year Mission can be seen here: The Five Year Mission: Month-By-Month. This is a very specific order that does always match production order or airdate.)
(Note that the covers of many TOS books contain Enterprise designs or Starfleet uniforms which do not match the era of the book, and which sometimes do not even match each other. These should be disregarded.)Dark blue denotes the primary narrative. Read these for the works most closely linked to the Lit-verse. Light blue denotes the more expanded storyline. Read these for other works closely connected to the Lit-verse. Dark green denotes the Original Lit-verse. Light green denotes the DC Comics continuity, which was interconnected with the Original Lit-verse novels. Many stories cross between two or more of these categories, and the categories themselves, in the case of TOS, could be flexible. The white denotes every other connected story from the entire Lit-verse. Hover for notes.