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Trek Literature "...Good words. That's where ideas begin."

View Poll Results: Rate The Assassination Game.
Outstanding 5 41.67%
Above Average 3 25.00%
Average 3 25.00%
Below Average 1 8.33%
Poor 0 0%
Voters: 12. You may not vote on this poll

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Old June 17 2012, 03:41 AM   #1
Sho
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SFA: The Assassination Game by Alan Gratz Review Thread (Spoilers!)

This month we're actually being treated to two full Star Trek novel releases: Next door to established Trek novelist DRGII's Raise the Dawn, June 26th marks the franchise debut of author Alan Gratz with a new entry in the Starfleet Academy series of young-adult fiction, titled The Assassination Game. Originally listed for release in September 2011 it was pushed back for unknown reasons, and like the preceding three Starfleet Academy books features a young Kirk & crew from the 2009 movie's alternate timeline.

Here's Simon & Schuster's official blurb for the book:

When a terrorist attack rocks Starfleet Academy, it’s clear someone has a very serious—and very deadly—secret agenda.

The rules are simple: Draw a target. Track him down and “kill” him with a spork. Take your victim’s target for your own. Oh, and make sure the player with your name doesn’t get to you first. No safe zones. No time-outs. The game ends when only one player remains.
James T. Kirk is playing for fun. Leonard “Bones” McCoy is playing to get closer to a girl. But when a series of terrorist attacks rock the usually placid Starfleet Academy campus, it becomes clear that somebody is playing the game for real. Is it one of the visiting Varkolak, on Earth to attend an intergalactic medical conference? Or could it be a member of a super-secret society at the Academy dedicated to taking care of threats to the Federation, no matter what rules they have to break to do it? Find out in The Assassination Game, the fourth installment in Spotlight’s exciting series for teens.
(Section 31 origin story? Hmm.)

Sadly neither Simon & Schuster nor Memory Alpha nor Amazon have the book's cover at this time, and there's also no excerpt to be found on Simon & Schuster's page yet.

Last edited by Sho; June 17 2012 at 04:21 AM.
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Old June 17 2012, 04:52 AM   #2
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Re: SFA: The Assassination Game by Alan Gratz Review Thread (Spoilers!

^Not an origin story, since we know Section 31 existed in the Enterprise era.
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Old June 17 2012, 06:19 AM   #3
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Re: SFA: The Assassination Game by Alan Gratz Review Thread (Spoilers!

^ True true, I guess I meant it more in terms of "first appearance through this new lense onto the Trekverse", which I feel gives it a little leeway to produce a new take on it if it wanted to.
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Old June 17 2012, 08:18 AM   #4
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Re: SFA: The Assassination Game by Alan Gratz Review Thread (Spoilers!

I wonder if this one will really be published this month. As you mentioned there's no cover or excerpt, and the author hasn't mentioned it on his blog since the original announcement, either.
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Old June 17 2012, 08:23 AM   #5
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Re: SFA: The Assassination Game by Alan Gratz Review Thread (Spoilers!

Yeah, the dearth of info made me a little queasy, too ... but the S&S page does still offer that date.
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Old June 17 2012, 10:38 AM   #6
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Re: SFA: The Assassination Game by Alan Gratz Review Thread (Spoilers!

How old is Bones suppose to be in the new Star Trek universe? He's trying to pick up a 'girl'? Is he not interested in women?
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Old June 17 2012, 10:51 AM   #7
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Re: SFA: The Assassination Game by Alan Gratz Review Thread (Spoilers!

JoeZhang wrote: View Post
How old is Bones suppose to be in the new Star Trek universe?
Since he was born six years before the timeline split, he'd be the same age in both. The only character whose age has overtly changed is Chekov.
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Old June 19 2012, 10:51 PM   #8
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Re: SFA: The Assassination Game by Alan Gratz Review Thread (Spoilers!

I'm really looking forward to this. I've read a few of Alan Gratz's books before which are pretty good. Samurai Shortstop is pretty cool.
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Old June 20 2012, 03:52 AM   #9
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Re: SFA: The Assassination Game by Alan Gratz Review Thread (Spoilers!

San Francisco sure sounds like a dangerous place in this universe. Killer gangs, assassins and who knows what else. I get the feeling that Starfleet is seen as a way to get away from Earth as opposed to a way to see the universe.
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Old June 20 2012, 04:03 AM   #10
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Re: SFA: The Assassination Game by Alan Gratz Review Thread (Spoilers!

RPJOB wrote: View Post
San Francisco sure sounds like a dangerous place in this universe. Killer gangs, assassins and who knows what else. I get the feeling that Starfleet is seen as a way to get away from Earth as opposed to a way to see the universe.
I don't see how a group of terrorists attacking San Francisco makes it intrinsically more dangerous than it is in the Primeverse, given things like the Breen attack or the Whale Probe.
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Old June 20 2012, 04:07 AM   #11
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Re: SFA: The Assassination Game by Alan Gratz Review Thread (Spoilers!

Well, of course works of adventure fiction are going to be about dangerous stuff happening, so of course an adventure fiction series that's set in San Francisco is going to have a lot of dangerous stuff happen in San Francisco. It's just part of the conceit of series fiction that whatever your setting is will be in more frequent danger than the rest of the world.
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Old June 20 2012, 05:28 AM   #12
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Re: SFA: The Assassination Game by Alan Gratz Review Thread (Spoilers!

Actually, I'm hoping that the movies follow something like this. Make things different. The whole "The universe is trying to repair itself" means that it's trying to make itself back into the prime universe. It's new. Let's see something actually new. Make Earth no longer a utopia. Have the Andorians allies with the Klingons.

They have the action figures. There's no need for the sandbox to be very similar to the original sandbox.

Making Earth a place that people WANT to get away from would be a good start. We know that the black hole opened portals the the past in two different periods. Who's to say that there wasn't one further back? You don't necessarily need a ship to travel to the past for the phenomenon to have made a subtle change that has caused the new universe to be even more divergent that we've already seen.
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Old June 20 2012, 10:40 AM   #13
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Re: SFA: The Assassination Game by Alan Gratz Review Thread (Spoilers!

RPJOB wrote: View Post
Actually, I'm hoping that the movies follow something like this. Make things different. The whole "The universe is trying to repair itself" means that it's trying to make itself back into the prime universe. It's new. Let's see something actually new. Make Earth no longer a utopia.
Earth has never been a utopia in Star Trek -- but by the same token, there is also a point at which depicting Earth's social problems as being too pervasive, intractable, or serious violates the essential philosophical point of Star Trek, which is to show us a future that is much brighter than our present and more optimistic than other science fiction franchises.

(I have far more problems with the idea of street gangs on Earth than I do with the idea of the occasional foreign terrorist attack, as street gangs strongly imply pervasive economic and social inequality generating crime and gang affiliations in an economic underclass.)

Making Earth a place that people WANT to get away from would be a good start.
No, that's a horrible start. Earth doesn't need to literally be "Paradise," but the heart and soul of Star Trek is that Earth is a world without discrimination, without crime, without war, without major disease, without racism, without sexism, without classism, without oppression. Violate that, and there's no point in calling it Star Trek anymore -- it just becomes another generic Star Wars knock-off.
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Old June 20 2012, 12:59 PM   #14
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Re: SFA: The Assassination Game by Alan Gratz Review Thread (Spoilers!

"On Earth, there is no poverty, no crime, no war. You look out the window of Starfleet Headquarters and you see paradise. Well, it's easy to be a saint in paradise, but the Maquis do not live in paradise."
Benjamin Sisko

There is crime in the future. Mudd had forged papers and was selling illegal drugs. The Bele stole a shuttlecraft. Kirk stole the Enterprise. The Enterprise trespassed into space belonging to the First Federation, the Metron & Eminiar VII dispite being warned by voice or warning buoys. Ben Finney attempted multiple murder. Cyrano Jones sold dangerous animals.

McCoy often used racially charged insults towards Spock. Change "green blooded" to black and see how far that would go.


In the latest movie Kirk stole a car and destroyed it. He also got involved in a drunken brawl and was severely beaten. The parts of Earth we saw, aside from the Academy were dirty and worn, even the shots of San Francisco were grey.

http://movies.trekcore.com/gallery/a...ekxihd0959.jpg

All in all, with the exception of Starfleet Earth already has been presented as an oppressive place. The first YA novel even had a street gang, called the worst of the bunch, try to rape a friend of Kirk's.

Star Trek is about the struggle to become more than we are, not that the struggle is over.
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Old June 20 2012, 05:12 PM   #15
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Re: SFA: The Assassination Game by Alan Gratz Review Thread (Spoilers!

RPJOB wrote: View Post
In the latest movie Kirk stole a car and destroyed it. He also got involved in a drunken brawl and was severely beaten.
"Severely beaten?" He got a bloody nose, that's all. Previous series set in the Primeverse have established that minor bar fights still break out; when Sisko says there's no crime on Earth, he's therefore obviously referring to major crime, not petty bullshit like the occasional bar brawl.

The parts of Earth we saw, aside from the Academy were dirty and worn, even the shots of San Francisco were grey.
The only shots we saw on Earth aside from the Academy were the roadways of Iowa leading into a quarry, the Riverside Shipyard, and the Riverside, Iowa, bar where Kirk got into his fight. Of those, none of them looked "dirty and worn." And, yeah, it was a cloudy day in San Francisco when the shuttles took off for the fleet that was headed to Vulcan. None of that seemed the least bit oppressive to me, unless you're under the impression that a world without oppression means nothing ever gets dirty or that there's never a cloudy day.

All in all, with the exception of Starfleet Earth already has been presented as an oppressive place.
You have an exceedingly liberal definition of "oppressive" if you think that it being a cloudy day in San Francisco means Earth is such a bad place. I saw a world where a troubled young man acts out in potentially violent, self-destructive ways, yet is not condemned to an abusive and unforgiving criminal justice system like what we have today, and is still given a chance to join Starfleet and become a starship captain. That right off the bat marks the world of ST09 as being less oppressive than the system we have today, which often treats young offenders like adults and inflicts severe psychological damage on them.

The first YA novel even had a street gang, called the worst of the bunch, try to rape a friend of Kirk's.
Yes, and as I said above, I find that far more troubling than the occasional foreign terrorist attack -- or the occasional bar fight. Street gangs imply systemic economic inequality and oppression.

Star Trek is about the struggle to become more than we are, not that the struggle is over.
Certainly. But there is also supposed to be this notion that even though we aren't perfect, our social systems are no longer oppressive, at least on Earth. Going against that goes against the heart of what makes Star Trek unique.
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