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#065: A Rock and a Hard Place (TNG #10)

This week, Riker takes a temporary transfer to troubled terraforming territory. His seemingly unhinged replacement wants you to know how he got these scars, but he’s not much of a joker. While Troi tries to figure out the new guy’s whole deal, Riker ventures where the Wild Things are when some old friends of his go missing in the boonies. Has Galaxy-class life made Riker soft? Will anyone ever appreciate the chuS’ugh? Whose idea was it to let O’Brien into the poker game? It’s the book that somehow passed the psychological exams.

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#063: A Call to Darkness (TNG #9)

This week, Picard yet again vetoes Riker’s call on not joining the away team, and gets his brain wiped for his trouble. While he and a few other senior officers make uncredited cameos in the planet’s televised war games, Riker has to deal with standoffish leaders, planetary shields, and an assistant doctor with different priorities. Is Riker just chopped liver or what? Does Picard really care about his friend’s daughter? How much research should you do before you throw a coworker under the bus? It’s the book that desperately needs a ratings boost.

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#060: The Captains’ Honor (TNG #8)

This week, a planet of peaceniks needs help controlling its feral cat infestation, and the Enterprise is one of two ships enlisted for ad hoc animal control. But when the other captain recommends an aggressive plan of attack, Picard thinks doing as the Romans do may not be such a great idea. What exactly is Admiral Delapole’s nickname? Is there a regulation against quoting regulations? How can a society based on a total lack of self-preservation maintain itself? It’s the book where you can totally tell it’s a stunt double.

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#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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#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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