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#070: Doctor’s Orders (TOS #50)

This week, the Enterprise is making first contact with a world where three distinct species evolved from a common ancestor and peaceably coexist, and Starfleet is keen to get all of them on board for Federation admission. Kirk gives McCoy the conn for laffs, but when he disappears shortly after going planetside, it’s not so funny all of a sudden. Before he knows it, Bones has Starfleet and the Klingons, among other threats, breathing down his neck. What’s the most alien-sounding Earth language? Is Dr. McCoy a closet capitalist? When Naraht’s not on-screen, should everyone be asking, “Where’s Naraht?” It’s the book that reminds us that the universal translator wasn’t built in a day.

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Judgment Rites Week 8: …Yet There Is Method In It

(This is really late, I know. Christmas and all. Sorry to anyone who was invested in it!)

Picking up immediately where the previous mission left off, it’s clear right off the bat we’re not in Kansas anymore. Geometric shapes stand out against a dense star field, and a giant three-eyed head of lettuce presides over the group. This is it: the final test.

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#037: Strangers from the Sky (TOS event novel)

Remember First Contact? Of course you do, it’s great. (At least, I recall that being the case. Not gonna lie, I’ll be kind of shook if it’s not when I revisit it.) Well, this week’s event novel is more like the supermarket tabloid version of that well-known tale. A tell-all book has just been released positing that the series of events generally 555accepted as Earth’s first exposure to Vulcan were in fact not as such, and that the real first contact happened twenty years prior. Meanwhile, Kirk and Spock have dreams, each independently of the other, that they were involved in the whole crazy shebang somehow. Were they? or is the book just that gripping?

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#034: Chain of Attack (TOS #32)

For the first time in recent memory, we’ve got an introduction. I think they fell by the wayside because authors realized we’re interested in our favorite crew and not their silly self-indulgent life stories, but mercifully it’s a short one. Still, even in only six short paragraphs, I found enough to give me pause (emphasis = my own):

“Over the years, it’s gotten ever harder to resist the temptation to watch the reruns, particularly when they’re showing gems like the Gary Seven episode, ‘Assignment: Earth,’ and ‘The Menagerie.'”

“Assignment: Earth” a gem? Really? “Assignment: Earth” is in my bottom five episodes. Should this seismic divergence of opinion worry me about the story ahead? Only one way to find out…

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#031: Enterprise: The First Adventure (TOS event novel)

Part of what we love so much about Star Trek, and the original series in particular, is the lived-in camaraderie between the senior officers. But it’s rarely considered by fans and authors alike that those relationships took time to develop and endured a heap of growing pains in the process. Enterprise: The First Adventure, the first instance of what we will come to know and recognize as the “event novel”, takes us back to a time before that rapport was locked in, when the crew we know as legendary were almost torn apart by the vagaries of the rumor mill and each other’s baggage before ever having a chance to become the chums we know and love, and imagines that ragtag bunch thrown together for the first time. Published exactly twenty years after Star Trek made its television debut, let’s join Kirk as he learns on a particularly stressful first outing that heavy lies the wrist that wears the command stripes.

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