Dusty Ayres wrote:
This negates the fact that if the war was secret nobody would even know Khan existed let alone three hundred years later. He needs to be infamous. In order for Khan to work he must have a lasting and persistent presence in history like Hitler. "Never again!"
When Khan (who was the most famous of them all) seized power in India in the early '90's, he became known for doing so; the others (Randy Morrison, Chen Tijun, Arcturus, etc.) less so since one was a typical right-wing American survivalist with a bunch of like-minded wackos in Florida, another being a group of neo-Amazons on their own island (Chen even wears body armor), and the third-mentioned one is the head of a global space cult similar to the cult that killed themselves in order to go into space by dying (the one that Nichelle Nicols's brother was a member of.) Khan simply had more resources to do what he wanted since he controlled half of India and Asia, and had even built a submarine fleet and a arsenal of missiles. The war itself is seen by historians from the future as being one, but not perceived by the people of the '90's as being a big conflict, rather just seen as part of the conflicts and events of the time, according to (Greg) Cox.
Out of curiosity, how do you even control half of Asia? Each part of Asia hates pretty much all the other parts.
One of these days I might read 'em, but I remain dubious about the concept. Like you said, they sound more like Assignment: Earth novels than Star Trek ones, with crazy pseudo-Bond tropes that have little place in Trek outside of a holodeck episode featuring Julian Bashir. Dr. Noah: Augment?
It doesn't instill much confidence in me that the global danger plot of Moonraker is recapitulated. I mean, I actually loved the movie, but it's the high camp approach to James Bond, which works well there, but I suspect would work horribly in the context of Khan (maybe ironically, since high camp was a staple of TOS). Edit: Mem Beta says that Khan had an ozone laser. Alright. I guess.
Edit: also, I have some moral qualms with the tack apparently taken in the novels. Correct me if I am wrong.
The first I call the "Hitler is an alien" effect. Enterprise
had a version of this, for example--a relatively innocuous one, but many other works have premised their fiction with aliens either helping Nazi Germany or actually forming the upper echelons of the Nazi Party itself. These stories can be fun, but at their core is the morally offensive concept that the crimes of Nazi Germany were excused because of alien influence, or that humans aren't capable of such evil without outside assistance. At the least, the underlying idea that "wouldn't it be cool if aliens helped kill Jews and Russians?" is a tad disrespectful to Germany's victims. I have kind of the same problem with evil Augments orchestrating real life crimes and tragedies. Yeah, it's fun, but it's still a tad disrespectful. Humanity is perfectly capable of fucking up its own world. Going by Mem Beta here--is southwestern Sudan riven by racial strife wearing the cloak of dangerous religious fundamentalism? Hell, no! Khan did it.
Secondly, and this is something Cox inherited from Space Seed, is the "superior ability breeds superior ambition" conceit, which automatically puts the Augments in the category of villains, or at least megalomaniacs, instead of just people. I've never understood Star Trek's anathema to genetic engineering. In a few years, "Space Seed" will look even more chauvinistic than "Turnabout Intruder." This approach to the Eugenics War isn't very IDIC. Besides, if superior ability breeds superior ambition, why haven't the Vulcans exterminated us by the 24th century? They've had 300 years.