Monday, February 6, 2017

Monday, January 30, 2017

Reading Harbinger: Prologue

In which mold is discovered


What Happens:
In 2263, Commodore Matt Decker, in command of the U.S.S Constellation, is exploring an unknown section of space called the Taurus Reach when his science officer reports finding an odd form of mold on a planet called Ravanar IV. Or rather, it is ordinary mold, but possesses gene sequences that are both wildly advanced and superfluous to the mold itself. It's an intriguing discovery, but the ship lacks the resources to research it properly. The data is sent to Starfleet Command, who orders the Constitution back to Federation space to patrol the Klingon border. Decker is disappointed but resigned.

So the story kicks off with mold. This is hilarious to me. Mold! If it becomes sentient and starts attacking people I'll either laugh hysterically or throw the book at the wall. Which would mean throwing my iPad, so let's hope it doesn't come to that.

I like prologues short and to the point. This one qualifies. This brings us into the world of Star Trek, establishes that there's something weird going on in the Taurus reach (mold!), and proves David Mack has a deft hand with character, which I already knew but was struck by again. I mean, it starts off with Decker ruminating on his facial hair! He immediately feels like a real person.

Speaking of Decker, I'm not the kind of Trekkie who memorizes and obsesses over minutiae. Mostly because my memory is a sieve. Also, TOS isn't really "my" area of Trek, Niner that I am. So a lot of the allusions and references are going to go right over my head. Still, Commodore Decker rang a very loud bell, though I couldn't place him (I could, however, remember Will Decker from The Motion Picture, because "Decker-unit" is a phrase I have tried and failed to scrub from my mind.) Turns out I was right and the Commodore Decker and the Constellation appear in the TOS episode "The Doomsday Machine." It...doesn't end well for either. In less sad news, I also caught the reference to station K-7, which if I'm not mistaken will be dealing with a tribble infestation down the road. The business with getting the yeoman's name wrong is a thing I vaguely recall Kirk doing in some episode or another.

The prologue ends on what may be the best line:
But as the starfield on the viewer blurred and shifted, and the Constellation turned homeward, he knew that the work he and his crew had begun here, hundreds of light-years from home was no doubt in very good hands.
Well, that's not ominous at all, nope.

This was a short one. Next post should be more substantial, since I'll do Chapters 1-4 all in one!

New Year, New Project!

So, I've come out of hibernation for a brand-new project, combining two things I love: Star Trek and reading! There is a whole lot of Star Trek books out there and most (or the ones I've read, anyway) range from pretty-good to excellent. I thought I would read (or re-read) some and post my thoughts, chapter by chapter, kind of like how they re-read books over at Tor, only probably more rambling and silly. (Full disclosure: I'm hoping this will help break my own writing block.)

So. I thought about re-reading the books in what is known as the Deep Space 9 Relaunch, because that was my favorite Trek show and also those books were excellent, but then I thought that maybe I should try a series I'd never read. After dithering a bit, I decided on Star Trek:Vanguard. So I bought the first book, Harbinger (by veteran Trek author David Mack).

Here's what I know going in:
  • Vanguard is set at the same time as the original series.
  • On a space station. On the "frontier." Which sounds familiar.
  • Kirk, et al. appear, but it's not about them.
  • It's been described as Star Trek done HBO-style. (Which sounds awesome. If there are shades of Deadwood here I may die.)
  • There's a lesbian Vulcan.
So, I'm excited!