Tag: scotty

Judgment Rites, Week 6: Museum Piece

Way back at the beginning of “Sentinel”, Scotty expressed his enthusiasm for the upcoming shore leave at Nova Atar. Four missions later, that dream is finally coming true—with one caveat: before they can go floating down the cognac river, Admiral Richards asks them to make an appearance at a ceremony for an exhibit from the planet Lachian that is being returned to the influential Seransi family and do a little kowtowing and gladhanding. Said exhibit is summarily invaded by terrorists from a clan who believes their claim to the relic is equally legitimate. It looks like getting blackout-drunk will have to wait until Kirk, Scotty, and Chekov can avert the crisis at hand.

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#054: Vulcan’s Glory (TOS #44)

This week, we’re going all the way back to the oldest of the old-school: Captain Pike, sweaters, a number-one named Number One, the whole shebang. It’s Spock’s very first mission aboard the Enterprise, and Starfleet thinks it’s got a lead on the location of one of Vulcan’s most treasured artifacts, the long-missing titular jewel. Like most emeralds, however, where this one goes, chaos follows. Meanwhile, Pike’s reunion with some old road bros gets interrupted by an impromptu production of Romeo and Juliet. What makes Number One number one? How much is T’Pring making off Spock in US dollars? It’s the book that probably could have used a few more gamma rays in its hooch.

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#047: The Three-Minute Universe (TOS #41)

This week, an adjacent universe has been opened up by some aliens who got hit with the ugly stick, as well as the smelly stick, the loud stick, the yucky stick, and the no-touchy stick. But while their reign of terror and their slick new ship both seem pretty scary, the tables turn in the Enterprise crew’s favor when it becomes apparent that the babies are running the orphanage. Will Uhura overcome her fear of fire as suddenly as we learned she had it? Can one truly become desensitized to anything? And where I can get a billion CCs of that dream-DVR drug? It’s The Three-Minute Universe, the book where it’s all over but the puking.

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#008: Black Fire (TOS #8)

Some of these early Star Trek books have unctuous introductions that tell tall tales about the authors and lavish heaps of sickly-sweet accolades on them. Black Fire is one of those books. Its introduction was written by Theodore Sturgeon, a man of myriad science-fictional accomplishments, the most relevant of which for the purposes of this review are that he wrote the indisputably top-five TOS episode “Amok Time” and that he coined an axiom known as Sturgeon’s Law, which famously states that 90 percent of everything is crap, a figure some might argue is conservative when it comes to Star Trek novels.

Fluff jobs like these are a risky gambit that, to my way of thinking, don’t really have much of an upside. If the book sucks, the intro writer ends up with pie all over his face, and if he talks up the author and the book ends up being all right or good, the net gain is negligible. It’s not like it somehow reaffirms the strength of the mythos.

What I mean by all of this is: for a guy with credentials like Sturgeon’s, he sure picked a heck of a book to stick his neck out for.

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