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

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Old October 4 2013, 10:47 AM   #1
NightJim
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Strike Zone review

As part of my Peter David read through, next up was Strike Zone. Actually the book that started this whole thing other than just New Frontier - which was how it started - as someone (I think Thrawn, maybe) informed me that the alien species introduced here go on to play a role in the later series.

Strike Zone is interesting but also a little odd - almost like someone decided to write a sitcom episode based aboard the Enterprise. Everything seems to be played for laughs to some extent. Data throws out 'misunderstood' one liners with rapid ferocity. There's actual physical comedy during the big fight scene near the end, which means for the most part you really never take the whole thing seriously.

As it's written in 89 it also suffers from the problem a lot of tie-in novels do when done at the time when the show was in early production. That of some of the characters don't sound quite right. A couple of phrases David injects goes against those that TNG settled on, and he's also pretty brave with a couple of historical moments, such as Klingon politics, that later shows went completely the opposite on. Still I enjoyed it, though I think it might be completely missable, if not for the fact PAD brings back the other alien race, the Kreel, in his later series of New Frontier, which is pretty much why I read it.
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Old October 4 2013, 11:09 AM   #2
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Re: Strike Zone review

This book hasn't aged well. It felt very comic booky. With just about every character acting like a smart ass. David greatly improved his TNG writing with later books, such as Imzadi, Vendetta and Q Squared to name a few.
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Old October 4 2013, 02:09 PM   #3
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Re: Strike Zone review

NightJim wrote: View Post
Strike Zone is interesting but also a little odd - almost like someone decided to write a sitcom episode based aboard the Enterprise. Everything seems to be played for laughs to some extent.
I'm reminded of PAD's author's note to A Rock and a Hard Place:

Be warned: I think this novel is even more serious than my last ST:TNG novel, Strike Zone. Rock features borderline psychotics, tragedy, loss, narrow escapes... and at least one genuine cliffhanger. But probably everyone will tell me they loved the poker game and it's another David laugh riot (just as they did with Strike Zone, which featured such side-splitting topics as terminal illness and nervous breakdowns.)
PAD has always been a writer who tackles very edgy and dark subject matter with biting wit. Although some do feel the humor overwhelms the rest.
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Old October 4 2013, 02:31 PM   #4
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Re: Strike Zone review

I remember a part in the book where Worf has a young Klingon woman in his quarters; he's showing her a weapon of his and the chapter opens with the woman exclaiming "Worf! It's so BIG!", leading the reader to think she's referring to....well, you get the idea. And Riker thinks "Oh, shit!" at one point.

It's also interesting that the character of the Honorable Kobry was intended by PAD to be Moron/Bernie, the albino Klingon-human hybrid dwarf from his TOS comic series.
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Old October 4 2013, 02:46 PM   #5
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Re: Strike Zone review

^That Klingon woman is one of the elements of the book that was overwritten by later Trek, since she's depicted as the first half-Klingon, half-human woman Worf has ever met, something which was contradicted when K'Ehleyr was introduced.
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Old October 4 2013, 03:24 PM   #6
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Re: Strike Zone review

Noddy wrote: View Post
It's also interesting that the character of the Honorable Kobry was intended by PAD to be Moron/Bernie, the albino Klingon-human hybrid dwarf from his TOS comic series.
Is there some reason PAD had to make up a new name, since he wrote those comics AND the novel? Or did he just do it for purposes of the story?
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Old October 4 2013, 03:34 PM   #7
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Re: Strike Zone review

George Steinbrenner wrote: View Post
Noddy wrote: View Post
It's also interesting that the character of the Honorable Kobry was intended by PAD to be Moron/Bernie, the albino Klingon-human hybrid dwarf from his TOS comic series.
Is there some reason PAD had to make up a new name, since he wrote those comics AND the novel? Or did he just do it for purposes of the story?
This was when Richard Arnold was vetting the tie-ins and didn't want continuing guest characters. PAD had been forced to abandon the ongoing characters and storylines from Vol. 1 of the TOS comic, so he wrote Strike Zone as a stealth continuation, not only bringing back Bernie under a changed name, but resolving the Cognoscenti arc he'd begun in the comics. I'm a bit surprised he got away with it under the circumstances.
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Old October 4 2013, 04:06 PM   #8
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Re: Strike Zone review

George Steinbrenner wrote: View Post
Is there some reason PAD had to make up a new name, since he wrote those comics AND the novel?
"Kobry", of course, is a name made from Konom and Bryce, the names of his 23rd century carers.
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Old October 4 2013, 04:36 PM   #9
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Re: Strike Zone review

Christopher wrote: View Post
PAD has always been a writer who tackles very edgy and dark subject matter with biting wit. Although some do feel the humor overwhelms the rest.
Indeed, and I'm a huge fan of his from comics. Strike Zone just goes a little too far. Reading about Jaan, his terminal illness and slow slide into being a bit of a bastard felt very at odds with the rest of it. It almost felt like Carry On Star Trek, but I'm not sure how well that reference will travel.
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Old October 4 2013, 08:20 PM   #10
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Re: Strike Zone review

I have a feeling I suggested the book to you, but I don't think it was for the kreel. You'll find out why when you get further into New Frontier.

I agree the main arc was sometimes pushed a bit too far into the world of the zany, but I feel the wesley/jan subplot made up for it. He got more characterisation in Strike Zone then he did for pretty much the entire tv run...
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Old October 4 2013, 09:38 PM   #11
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Re: Strike Zone review

PAD did well by Wesley, whenever he appeared.
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Old October 5 2013, 08:52 AM   #12
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Re: Strike Zone review

Yeah Wes was really well done by, his constant drive to cure the disease and his refusal to back down from that, his learning to fail, and the explanation of his drive was all brilliantly done. OF course the fact he comes out of his fugue state with the disease to immediately fix the transporters is interesting, but hell, this is Wesley, it's less then the show did.
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Old October 12 2013, 12:26 PM   #13
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Re: Strike Zone review

I didn't know the Cognoscenti originated in PAD's first volume of DC Trek stories.
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