Category: TOS (Page 1 of 9)

#043: The IDIC Epidemic (TOS #38)

This week, a Vulcan science colony gets rocked by a plague that threatens to flush its reputation for diversity down the sonic toilet. But that’s not all: the local hydroelectric plant is short-staffed and falling apart, and if they don’t get it up to code before the spring thaw, the snowflakes could trigger a flood that will have everyone frantically searching for a safe space. Can Drs. McCoy and M’Benga and some old friends find a cure-all that will cure all? It’s The IDIC Epidemic, the book that makes a Benetton ad look like a Klan rally.

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#042: Final Frontier (TOS event novel)

This week, the longest Star Trek novel to date takes us once more back to the pre-TOS past to fill in some of the history of Daddy Kirk, a.k.a. George Samuel Kirk. He’s the first first officer of some new high-tech doodad called a … star … ship? But on a goodwill mission to save some families trapped in an ion storm, they overshoot their destination and end up smack dab in the middle of Romulan space. As they try to figure out how to get home without dying, Robert April and George Kirk butt heads over the best approach to commanding a ship. Is April the time of the season, or does father know best? Is it a little weird how many decent Romulans there are in the books? How empty, on a scale from very to extremely, is James Kirk’s threat to quit Starfleet? It’s Final Frontier, or, The Last Book to Have That Ugly Slanted Font Thing Going On on the Cover.

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#041: Bloodthirst (TOS #37)

The last time J.M Dillard tried to mix Star Trek with horror, it didn’t turn out so hot. The idea scored some points for novelty, but the execution was lacking. But if at first you don’t succeed, so the saying try again, and in this case, the second time’s the charm. Now, just in time for Christmas ’87 comes a good old-fashioned Halloween yarn. Though the premise—”what if vampires, but Star Trek”—could have easily succumbed to risible goofiness, Dillard never allowed it to dominate the story and fortified it with some of her best character work yet. This week, we check out Bloodthirst, or, Porphyria and Loathing in Las Tanis.

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#039: How Much for Just the Planet? (TOS #36)

How Much for Just the Planet? serves up blue orange juice and inflatable rubber starships straight out the gate and only gets weirder from there. If you’re looking for the wackiest, goofiest, zaniest, most out-there Star Trek there is to be had, then you can stop drillin’, ’cause you struck oil. The only previous novel it has anything even remotely in common with is Ishmael, and even then, that’s only in the sense that there is absolutely no way, in this day and age when publishers are supremely and exclusively concerned with The Brand, that it would ever get published today. John M. Ford’s second and final Trek book is daring, clever, silly, wildly original, and like no Star Trek adventure before it or since.

I also do not like it very much.

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#038: The Romulan Way (TOS #35)

You ever get to a point with food where you’re just completely over it? Like, nothing you can imagine sounds less appealing than eating or looking at food or thinking about food? That’s where I was with Romulans in Star Trek novels for a while. In the wake of Diane Duane’s first Rihannsu novel, a glut of stories featuring Romulans as the villains jammed up the publishing schedule—at one point, they figured into three of the four then-most recent stories—and though for the most part they acquitted themselves well enough, they just couldn’t hold a candle to Duane’s singular approach. (Though to be fair, not much can.) And now, just as I can feel my appetite for them returning, along comes Rihannsu number two—and it’s a meal fit for a Praetor.

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