Strike Zone review

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by NightJim, Oct 4, 2013.

  1. NightJim

    NightJim Captain Captain

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    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.
     
  2. indianatrekker26

    indianatrekker26 Captain Captain

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    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.
     
  3. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I'm reminded of PAD's author's note to A Rock and a Hard Place:

    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.
     
  4. Noddy

    Noddy Captain

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    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.
     
  5. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^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.
     
  6. Ríu ríu chíu

    Ríu ríu chíu Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    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?
     
  7. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    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.
     
  8. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    "Kobry", of course, is a name made from Konom and Bryce, the names of his 23rd century carers.
     
  9. NightJim

    NightJim Captain Captain

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    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.
     
  10. zarkon

    zarkon Captain Captain

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    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...
     
  11. Thrawn

    Thrawn Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    PAD did well by Wesley, whenever he appeared.
     
  12. NightJim

    NightJim Captain Captain

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    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.
     
  13. Noddy

    Noddy Captain

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