Those who read the Trek novels will know that the writers/editorial team have been teasing the idea that Picard might step down soon as captain of the Enterprise. This is indicative of something that has worried me for a while now, what will they do when these characters start getting old?

So far the novels seem to be addressing the issue by cramming all the action into incredibly short time periods and just making use of every month they have. Cold Equations, BK 1 takes place in 2384 (only 4 years are Nemesis is set) but eventually time will catch up with these characters. Can you imagine someone else as the captain of the Enterprise E with Picard sidelined as just secondary character shoehorned into stories? Eek!

TL;DR What happens when characters get old and have to retire in the novels?