Wrath: Klingons - "The Unhappy Ones"
I haven't read any of the Klingon-related fiction related to the conflict between the smooth-heads and the ridge-heads, so this was a new theme to me.
It was a new one, generally. There hasn't been much that dealt with it, given that Enterprise
only gave us this answer in the late fourth season, and book production takes a while.
(I can't bother to remember the Klingon words. BTW, did I ever mention that I hate it when Klingon episodes and stories feature a lot of Klingon words that actually can be perfectly translated to English? It's not just because I have to come home and look for the meanings on the net, but because stories about other alien culture rarely feature 'alien' words, and when they do it's just the specific untranslatable words like the name of specific meals and drinks.)
Which is, in fact, what I try to do in my Klingon fiction. I don't think I've ever, for example, used HaDIbaH
, which translates to "animal" because, well, it translates to "animal."
Even with QuchHa'
, I tried to also use the terms "smooth-head" and "ridge-head" as well. But generally, I try to only use the Klingon words for untranslateable words or proper names.
It was one of the more compelling stories that I read very fast - whether it was the pacing and structure, with mini-stories about each of its many characters, making an entire mini-society the protagonist rather than one character, or the fact that racism and injustice tend to get the reader emotionally involved. Contrary to what some posters have said, there is a lot of anger in the story from pretty much everyone, whether it is something that the reader immediately condemns, like racism, or something that we can relate to, like anger at the injustice and incompetence. I agree with the point made earlier than the ending is a little too neat - but I'd be lying if I said I weren't hoping for such a resolution, and Sorkav really had it coming not just for his racism but for his gross incompetence, so it was a logical ending. It's just Kor's speech at the end that makes the ending seem too neat and happy: it's not like Sorkav's downfall and the resolution of his particular case will solve the problem of racism in the Empire.
I don't think anyone thought it would, but I think Kor in particular wanted to prove that his heart was Klingon even if his forehead wasn't, in light of Sorkav's behavior, the treatment of Jurva, and of the conversation among him, Kang, Mara, and Koloth over dinner. Sorry it felt too pat, though -- that's on me....