The Great Star Trek Pocket Novel Reread

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by CaptainSarine, Aug 22, 2012.

  1. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2008
    Location:
    #istandwithcbs
    Oh god, I hope it's not like those "extra chapters" for Marshak and Culbreath's novels supposedly sold at conventions years back!:barf2:
     
  2. Timewalker

    Timewalker Cat-lovin', Star Trekkin' Time Lady Premium Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2007
    Location:
    In many different universes, simultaneously.
    I'm pretty sure it's light-years better than anything those two could come up with. Gah, even Diane Carey is better than those two, and I've made no secret of my intense dislike for her writing.

    I just took a quick look through the introductory notes. Would you be satisfied to know that both Bjo Trimble and Theodore Sturgeon read the original rough draft and recommended that Ms. Cooper submit it to Pocket Books?
     
  3. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2008
    Location:
    #istandwithcbs
    It's less quality of writing and more content. Don't be too shocked if Spock and Desus get in on in this version.

    But if Bjo and Sturgeon liked it, hopefully they don't.
     
  4. Timewalker

    Timewalker Cat-lovin', Star Trekkin' Time Lady Premium Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2007
    Location:
    In many different universes, simultaneously.
    Well, I'll come back and let people know after I've read it then, how's that? ;)

    The entire novel is not included in the fanzine, since that would have violated Pocket Books' copyright. So I will have to read this with the 'zine in one hand and the novel in the other, switching back and forth whenever the 'zine indicates that the novel's material comes next in the story.

    And I'm not into slashfic anyway, unless it's a necessary part of the story, or explores some aspect of a character in a non-gratuitous way.
     
  5. Starbreaker

    Starbreaker Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2001
    Location:
    Chattanooga, TN
    I envy someone who can read a book in two hours and still come away with some reading comprehension. I can only read about 50 pages an hour tops and still understand what is going on and fully understand the novel.

    I could never get caught up on ALL the novels, but I do plan on going back to the beginning of the DS9 relaunch after I rewatch the series next year. I only made it Mission Gamma: Twilight before I kind of gave up on Star Trek for a long time. Not because of that specific book though. I also need to read all of Kirsten Beyer's Voyager novels. AND I want to read all of Vanguard. This task alone seems daunting.
     
  6. CaptainSarine

    CaptainSarine Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2009
    Location:
    Lyon, France
    Star Trek: The Motion Picture Thoughts

    [​IMG]

    First book published under the Pocket line way back in 1979 (yikes, 5 years before I was even born!), and first book I read as part of this Great Reread project. Although I have seen the film, I hadn't read this novel before I started this adventure. So, thoughts?

    Overall, I enjoyed it more than I did the film. The book seemed to have a more interesting pace, delving into just enough of the thoughts and backgrounds of the characters to add something, without becoming bogged down in what could have been pages and pages of description as the crew of the Enterprise encounter the V'ger entity.

    I doubt I have to delve too much into the plot of the book as it follows very closely that of the movie. Suffice it to say that everything is here, from the Klingon ships being destroyed at the opening of the story through to the creation of a new entity through V'ger's joining with her Creator at the end. That first scene I felt was especially well done, even though it occured only thanks to a technological device that has never again be mentioned anywhere in Star Trek lore as far as I know. Still, this allows Gene Roddenberry to show the important scene of the Klingon attack through the eyes of James T. Kirk, thus introducing us to our main character at the same time.

    The characterisation was excellent, as could be expected of a novel coming directly from the pen of Star Trek's Great Bird of the Galaxy himself. Kirk, McCoy and Spock especially were very well drawn, and it was as much of a thrill to read about their return aboard the Enterprise as it was to see it on film. The novel also delves a little bit more into exactly how Kirk comes back to be in charge of the Enterprise, giving us a glimpse at two characters who will be familiar to readers of either the Lost Years Quadrology or the Vanguard series, namely Lori Ciana and Admiral Nogura.

    Overall, a good beginning to the Pocket line of books, a good start to this Reread and a fine companion to the movie that - no matter what else we as fans may think about it - made all the rest (Wrath of Khan, the other movies, TNG, DS9, VOY, ENT) possible.

    Next up - The Entropy Effect
     
  7. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    While even just reading Pocket's complete Star Trek output is a monumental undertaking, I find it a bit disappointing that you didn't start with the Bantam novels and the Ballantine Star Trek Logs -- or even Mission to Horatius if you really wanted to be complete about it, although I've never read that one myself.

    Although since you've already started reading in chronological order, it's a bit too late for that -- although you could still slot in Bantam's Perry's Planet, The Galactic Whirlpool, and Death's Angel, which came out between the TMP novelization and The Entropy Effect (which is why TEE was delayed so long -- Pocket obtained the license in '79 but had to wait until Bantam had released all the books they had under contract before that point). Although the only one of those I'd actually recommend is Whirlpool.
     
  8. zarkon

    zarkon Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2011
    Which of the other bantams would you recommend?

    And I concur as far as the logs go. ADF did a great job on those, especially the expanded "The Eye of the Beholder", the second part of that is one of my favourite TOS reads. Jawanda were fantastic.
     
  9. CaptainSarine

    CaptainSarine Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2009
    Location:
    Lyon, France
    I'm not actually reading in chronological order, so I could go back and include them. However, at the moment, the reading order is publishing order, starting with the ones I already have and gradually going back and fitting in the ones I don't. I have brought a couple in order to read the first 4 at least, but then I'll be skipping a few which I'll come back to later. So I may branch off to some of the Bantam ones later on.
     
  10. zarkon

    zarkon Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2011
    Heh, I'll join in when you hit The Klingon Gambit - I reread TEE recently, and I don't think I'll do it again. It's a favourite for quite a few people but sufficed to say I'm not one of them.
     
  11. CaptainSarine

    CaptainSarine Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2009
    Location:
    Lyon, France
    I'll look forward to it! I quite enjoyed TEE, but not a big fan of Gambit, though! :klingon:
     
  12. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    The only ones I think are really good are The Galactic Whirlpool by David Gerrold and Planet of Judgment by Joe Haldeman, although they both (particularly PoJ) offer rather idiosyncratic takes on the ST universe. TGW is Gerrold writing in a Heinleinian voice and fleshing out the Trek universe and its history in some very interesting ways that unfortunately don't mesh with later continuity. PoJ is Haldeman approaching an ST "powerful godlike aliens with illusion powers" story as filtered through his own military experience, so that the characters have equipment and protocols that they didn't have on the show but probably should have had, like body armor, predetermined search/rescue/survival strategies, and so on. Haldeman was clearly a fan, or at least did his research on the show thoroughly, since there's a lot of detail that he gets right, but he also adds a lot of his own that makes it feel different from what we're used to.

    Spock Must Die! by James Blish is rather weird, as the first-ever original adult ST novel, but worth reading for its concepts. Haldeman's second book, World Without End, is decent and has some interesting worldbuilding, including a noteworthy effort to flesh out Klingon culture somewhat, which gives it sort of a "what might have been" quality, since of course it's different from later interpretations of the Klingons.
     
  13. zarkon

    zarkon Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2011
    Cool, thanks for that, I've ordered them(except for Whirlpool which I have). POJ sounds quite interesting. I always did think redshirts should have had some kind of basic armour...

    Heh, I own it and I don't even remember it, not sure whether that's a good thing or not, but it's an ex-library copy so I'm guessing I haven't read it since I was a kid.
     
  14. Markonian

    Markonian Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2012
    Location:
    Cork, Ireland
    With so many people rereading older novels, this is a good opportunity to help fleshing out the corresponding Memory Beta articles... :techman:
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2012
  15. JWD75

    JWD75 Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2010
    Location:
    jovian system
    If I remember correctly, the Motion Picture novelization established that Kirk was named after his mother's first 'love instructor' while ST09 established that Kirk was named after his maternal grandfather. Thank god the novel is not considered canon otherwise the implications would be disturbing.
     
  16. Dave Scarpa

    Dave Scarpa Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2004
    You have alot more free time than I do.
     
  17. Garrovick

    Garrovick Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2012
    Location:
    wallowing in a pool of emotion
    I've always thought The Galactic Whirlpool was far and away the best of the Bantams, but I'd also recommend Death's Angel for what I consider to be a nice little whodunnit (although it's not without its flaws), and Trek to Madworld is also worthwhile. I also have to give a plug to Star Trek Log Ten which took "The Slaver Weapon" and expanded it to a full-length novel. The actual adaptation of the episode is actually a rather small part of the book, but it explains in detail (1) why Spock, Sulu, and Uhura were out there in a shuttle with their stasis box in the first place, and (2) where Kirk and the Enterprise were. There's also a fantastic subplot involving Lieutenant M'Ress and a few other Caitian crew members.

    Oh, and I agree with Zarkon 100% about the Jawandas from Log Eight - they are awesome!
     
  18. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    Trek to Madworld is kinda fun in a goofy, "We're doing a comedy episode now" kind of way, and David Gerrold's introduction is a classic piece of absurdism. But Death's Angel? I couldn't recommend that. I can't recall the mystery well enough to know if it was any good, because I was too distracted by the ludicrous aliens (giant blue crocodile, giant cat whose name is Japanese for "cat," giant koala, actual vampire, actual mermaid, talking pyramid with Egyptian-sounding name, etc., etc.), the out-of-character portrayals of the main cast (especially Spock, though he was even more out of character in the author's previous novel Vulcan!), and the most blatant Mary Sue in the history of professionally published Trek literature (or at least tied with Sola Thane from Triangle).
     
  19. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2004
    Location:
    New Therin Park, Andor (via Australia)
    I find there's something quirky/worthwhile with each of the Bantam novels. Agreed that "The Galactic Whirlpool" is the most enjoyable (the sample chapters in "Starlog" made it the one I waited for with great anticipation, having only become an avid ST fan with ST:TMP, and my memories of TAS).

    As a TMP alien fanatic, I should have liked "Death's Angel" but, like you, the coincidental analogies to Earth creatures was annoying. But a new friend I met not long after it came out saw it as a comedy and he thoroughly enjoyed it. Here he is, in a Si-s-s-s (click) costume he created for a January 1982 ST convention:

    [​IMG]
    Si-s-s-s (click) by Therin of Andor, on Flickr

    The whodunnit aspect of DA was great; I didn't guess the antagonist and was surprised with whom the author chose.
     
  20. Garrovick

    Garrovick Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2012
    Location:
    wallowing in a pool of emotion
    I always thought the biggest "Mary Sue" in Trek literature was probably Jean Czerny from Pawns and Symbols, closely followed by Hunter and Mandala Flynn from The Entropy Effect. Sola Thane is a good choice too. I never thought Elizabeth Schaeffer was worse than those, but there's certainly room for different opinions in that area. Hmmm - might be an interesting excercise to do a poll of various Mary Sues in Trek-lit, if it hasn't been done already...