#178: Crossover (TNG event)

This week, Spock’s first field trip with his class ends in their capture. But help is on the way, from a cantankerous Starfleet admiral hitching a ride on the flagship and a friend who still checks his Google Alerts. Will Admiral McCoy become everything he used to hate? Has the typesetter gone on an unannounced vacation? And can that shuttlecraft settle on a dang name already? All this and more in Crossover, the book born under a blood-green sky.

#177: The Captain’s Daughter (TOS #76)

This week, when Demora Sulu turns into a wild animal on an away mission, John Harriman has the unenviable task of putting her down. But her father refuses to accept how it went down, and risks a good old-fashioned court martial to unlock the truth. Can Captain Harriman’s reputation survive another high-profile death? How many kids has Kirk actually fathered? And will my new Boothby theory break the internet? All this and more in The Captain’s Daughter, the book that’s brought to you by Lifeshot.

RIP Margaret Wander Bonanno

QUOTES BY MARGARET WANDER BONANNO | A-Z QuotesMultiple sources, among them Trek scribes Michael Okuda and David Mack, have reported that Margaret Wander Bonanno has died in Los Angeles of natural causes. She was 71.

Her list of literary contributions to Star Trek is short but potent. She is often celebrated by both fans and colleagues for her portrayals of Vulcans in such novels as Dwellers in the Crucible, which examined the t’hy’la bond between Kirk and Spock through a feminine lens; the 2004 Lost Era novel Catalyst of Sorrows; and the event novel Strangers from the Sky, which numerous fans of extra-canonical Trek material uphold as their preferred version of the First Contact Day story. Up until Discovery, her 2006 novel Burning Dreams was widely considered the definitive treatment of the Christopher Pike character.

Bonanno’s third novel for Pocket Books was at the center of an infamous fiasco, in which her original manuscript of a sequel to Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, submitted in 1990 and entitled Music of the Spheres, was thoroughly gutted by the editorial regime of the day and given over to a reluctant Gene DeWeese for a wholesale rewrite, which was eventually published in 1992 as Probe. However, because the covers had already been printed prior to the rewrite, hers was the name featured on the front of the book. Bonanno disowned the published product. A brief breakdown of the debacle is available on her website. She continued to make the original manuscript for Music of the Spheres available at no charge through email correspondence. Although that, needless to say, is no longer an option, a PDF can thankfully be easily procured.

Notable non-Trek works by Bonanno include the Others trilogy; a 1987 biography of Angela Lansbury; Saturn’s Child, a science fiction novel co-written with Nichelle Nichols; and the sci-fi trilogy Preternatural, the first book of which was edited by one Greg Cox, who called it “a weird, ambitious, metafictional, loosely autobiographical tour de force about a struggling midlist science fiction writer who may or may not actually be in contact with alien intelligences.”

Bonanno was one of Star Trek‘s finest authors, and she will be greatly missed.

#176: Incident at Arbuk (VOY #5)

This week, when Voyager finds a space city melted to slag, Janeway wants to figure out who pointed the gun at their own faces. But when Tuvok eats the brown acid by proxy, he’ll need a heaping helping of Vulcan control to overcome oppositional defiant disorder. When does space-ifying concepts go too far? Who’s the real first officer? And is a portable replicator too much for Voyager’s status quo to bear? All this and more in Incident at Arbuk, the book that has only a mouth and must argue.

#175: Station Rage (DS9 #13)

This week, when an exploration of the station’s deepest depths turns up a few cold plates of Cardie corpses, only Garak knows the true value of their find. But when he reanimates the dormant bodies, an old Gul gets the Google Alert he’s been dreading for decades. Will a misused homonym portend a bad book? What’s the right amount of Earth idioms for aliens to use? And is this the part where Odo blows up? All this and more in Station Rage, one of the tightest MVP races to date!

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