DS9: Proud Helios by Melissa Scott Review Thread

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by rfmcdpei, Oct 1, 2015.

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Rate Proud Helios.

  1. Outstanding

    2 vote(s)
    50.0%
  2. Above Average

    1 vote(s)
    25.0%
  3. Average

    1 vote(s)
    25.0%
  4. Below Average

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  5. Poor

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. rfmcdpei

    rfmcdpei Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2008
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    As I mentioned before on my blog, starting in the late 1980s and continuing into the mid-1990s, I bought Star Trek tie-in novels consistently. I bought only the tie-in novels of shows actively running. I stopped buying Star Trek: The Next Generation novels at #37 or so, while with Deep Space Nine I never got past #10. Proud Helios, #9, may in fact have been the las...ikipedia.org/wiki/Melissa_Scott]Melissa Scott Star Trek novel, as noted on its Wikipedia page, is a novel about space pirates.

    When asked why she wanted to write a Star Trek novel, Scott commented, "Partly, I think, it's the simple fact that when you encounter a world and characters that you enjoy, you want to be a part of it, too. In a TV series, that temptation is particularly strong, because, after all, it is a series. There are people out there who contribute the stories, create the world, and there's always the possibility that you can become one of them. In my case, because I came to Trek from the Blish novelizations, and was acutely conscious of how the written versions compared to the actual episodes, the idea of writing not screenplays but novels was very appealing. Plus, of course, I'm a better novelist than I am a screenwriter!"

    Scott remembers how she got the assignment to write Proud Helios. "John Ordover approached me, knowing I was a Trek fan as well as an established SF writer in my own right, and asked if I'd be interested in doing a book in the DS9 universe. I really liked the series, particularly the constraints of keeping the show to the single station (this was early in the show's evolution), so I jumped at the chance. I asked if he had any guidelines, any stories he particularly wanted to see, or any he didn't, and he said, no, not really, he'd leave that up to me. So I went home, mulled it over and came up with the proposal that became Proud Helios. I sent it to John, who called me back almost at once, laughing. He'd promised himself that he wouldn't do any stories with space pirates--- and here I'd sent him one he wanted to use[."]


    Re-reading the used copy I bought here in Toronto, Proud Helios still stands out as a good novel. Set in the third season as the pirate ship Helios ventures desperately from Cardassian space towards the Bajoran wormhole, this is a fast-moving and well-written novel, with believable antagonists and many nice little character moments that shows Scott understood the show's characters nicely. There felt like things were at risk, always an achievement in tie-in novels contemporary with the show. I also looked coming across the notes of queerness in the novel, particularly the smuggler couple Tama and Möhrlein.

    I posted this review on my blog, but thought I would crosspost here. There did not seem to be any substantial references to this novel, which I think deserves one.

    What say you all?
     
  2. borgboy

    borgboy Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2005
    I haven't read this one, but what you say does spark my interest.
    I know Scott is a queer person and has written indie sci fi with queer characters as well as media tie ins, but I wasn't aware she was sneaking in queer characters in the Trek books.
    I have read her Voyager book The Garden and liked it, but I don't recall any gay type characters.
    You say you came across some queerness in Proud Helios. Are Tama and Mohrlein a male or female couple? Are there other hints of queerness in the book?
    Since we're on the subject of Scott's media tie in novels, does anyone know if Scott's Stargate books have gay characters? For such a big franchise Stargate is nearly as erased as Trek, although they did manage to have some safe attractive femme lesbians in SG Universe. Knowing they managed to get more diversity in the Stargate novels would motivate me more to read them.
     
  3. rfmcdpei

    rfmcdpei Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2008
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    They were a male couple, described as partners. They were smugglers together, but I had the feeling on re-reading that there was more to them than that alone. They had built something of a life together.

    Apart from that, the extent to which Kira was not traditionally feminine was brought up by Odo, in relation to her possibly befriending a female visitor to the station. Gender, there, but not sexuality.
     
  4. Stevil2001

    Stevil2001 Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2001
    I remember that I borrowed this one from the library, and I remember that pirates owned a Klingon bird-of-prey, and now we have come to the end of things I remember about it.
     
  5. rfmcdpei

    rfmcdpei Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2008
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    It had elements of a Klingon bird-of-prey, but it incorporated technologies from multiple civilizations.
     
  6. Stevil2001

    Stevil2001 Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2001
    Then I guess I just remember the cover!