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Old August 28 2012, 06:03 PM   #43
Christopher
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Re: The Great Star Trek Pocket Novel Reread

Use of Time wrote: View Post
^ Where do you stand on LCDR Piper from the Dreadnought! and Battlestations! novels by Diane Carey. Mary Sue?
Not really. Those books were basically an attempt to do a "Lower Decks"-style spinoff focusing on a younger cast who paralleled the main characters. It wasn't having a guest character come in and overshadow the heroes; it was an experiment in telling a Star Trek story from a different perspective than we were used to, to show how Kirk, Spock, and McCoy were perceived by their crew. In a way, you could say that Dreadnought! is to TOS as the Young Justice TV series is to the Justice League.

It was also, I suppose, somewhat in the style of a Heinlein juvenile novel, a coming-of-age story for a young hero with a lot to learn. Piper, Sarda, Merete, and Scanner are the young surrogates of Kirk, Spock, McCoy, and Scott, and they have to learn how to function as an effective team following their elders' example, yet Piper is two or three steps behind Kirk every step of the way, and while she and her friends are wrestling with their own problems which are often the result of their own mistakes, Kirk and his command crew are doing their usual thing largely off-camera, orchestrating their own master plan that Piper and her friends get caught up with and are ultimately able to contribute to.

At least, that's where Dreadnought! is concerned. I do think that Battlestations! drifts into Mary Sue territory, by having Piper swiftly promoted in rank, welcomed into Kirk's inner circle of friends, and playing a pivotal role in saving the Federation from a heinous internal conspiracy for the second time in as many months.
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