Tag: old flame

#061: The Cry of the Onlies (TOS #46)

This week, three children from a previous episode contend with the most dangerous alien force of all: puberty. But their joyride in a stolen starship takes an alarming turn when the Federation realizes there’s also an experimental cloaking device prototype on board. It’s bad enough for Kirk to have to cancel a meeting with a council of Contra-teens (which isn’t going so hot anyway) and call in some favors from an old friend—and I do mean old. Are the kids in fact alright? Is Kirk still carrying a gross torch for Miri? Wouldn’t you have an itchy trigger finger if you were a redshirt? It’s the book that, sadly, isn’t just 300 pages of Dr. McCoy dunking on basic white people.

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#050: Memory Prime (TOS #42)

This week, Spock is honored to host a delegation of scientists who are in the neighborhood for the Nobel/Z.Magnees Prize ceremonies. It’s not long, however, before he subsequently gets framed for their attempted murder. To clear his friend’s name, Kirk will have to work on the sly to avoid ninja Vulcans and a commodore who never met an insubordination charge she didn’t like. What’s with all the robots? How freaky is Pathfinder porn? It’s the book that still couldn’t manage to make Mira Romaine interesting.

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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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#007: Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (TOS #7)

This week, dear readers, we arrive, at last, at what is unarguably the apotheosis of original-recipe Star Trek: the second film, The Wrath of Khan. To quote Hugh Laurie at the end of Blackadder Goes Forth, “This is, as they say, it.” It is as thrilling as The Motion Picture is boring. It is an ingenious work of deconstruction, the first to upend many deeply entrenched series tropes that were (to that point) taken for granted. Its greatness does not depend to any extent on your opinion of Star Trek, which is the only work under the TOS banner I would make that claim about other than possibly “City on the Edge of Forever”. It is the ne plus ultra of Trek movies, and it is highly unlikely that any that currently exist nor any that may be made in the future will ever surpass it.

I considered beginning the above paragraph with “Pardon the hyperbole”, except I’m not so sure any of it actually is.

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#002: The Entropy Effect (TOS #2)

There are some episodes of Star Trek where Kirk rekindles a relationship with an old flame. There are other episodes where the crew meets a once-respected hero or mentor figure, only to realize that person has gone completely cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs. And there are still other episodes where they’re burdened with a civilian who snoops around and asks too many questions and throws their weight around and is totally overwhelming and annoying and in the way all the time.

The Entropy Effect contains all of those tropes, plus time travel.

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