Spoilers TOS: Miasma by Greg Cox Review Thread

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Defcon, Feb 21, 2016.

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Rate Miasma

  1. Outstanding

    4 vote(s)
    12.1%
  2. Above Average

    12 vote(s)
    36.4%
  3. Average

    15 vote(s)
    45.5%
  4. Below Average

    1 vote(s)
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  1. Defcon

    Defcon Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    [​IMG]

    Blurb:
    Star Trek continues its fiftieth anniversary celebration in 2016 with an all-new enovella from New York Times bestselling author Greg Cox, set in the popular and blockbuster Original Series era!

    The Enterprise-A is transporting a party of diplomats when it picks up a mysterious alien signal emanating from a nearby world. The planet’s dense, impenetrable atmosphere makes it unclear if the beacon is a distress signal, an invitation—or a warning to stay away. Spock, Doctor McCoy, and Chekov are part of a team sent to investigate, but an unexpected catastrophe forces a crash landing. Now the landing party is stranded on a hostile world, unable to communicate with the Enterprise. While Captain Kirk and Saavik race to locate the lost crew, a badly wounded Spock struggles to keep McCoy and the others alive until they can be rescued, even if that means making an unthinkable sacrifice...

    About the Author


    Greg Cox is the New York Times bestselling author of numerous Star Trek novels and short stories. He has also written the official movie novelizations of Godzilla, Man of Steel, The Dark Knight Rises, Daredevil, Ghost Rider, and the first three Underworld movies, as well as books and stories based on such popular series as Alias, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, CSI, Farscape, The 4400, Leverage, The Green Hornet, The Phantom, Roswell, Star Trek, Terminator, Warehouse 13, Xena: Warrior Princess, and Zorro. He has received two Scribe Awards from the International Association of Media Tie-In Writers. He lives in Oxford, Pennsylvania. Visit him at GregCox-Author.com.
     
  2. ryan123450

    ryan123450 Commodore Commodore

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    I was lucky enough to receive an advanced copy of this and here's my review.

    Another of the recent ebook novellas having to do with the movie era of The Original Series, Miasma is a perfectly sized tale of Spock, McCoy, and Saavik. The brief length of these ebook novellas keeps the suspense up in this "lost-on-an-inhospitable-planet" story that could easily have been an episode of an Enterprise-A tv series.

    I've made no secret in the past about the fact that I am totally tired of the planet of the week 5YM story that has no repercussions and adds nothing new to the story of Star Trek other than another in the hundreds of missions crammed into those seemingly endless five years. And Greg Cox has made no secret in the past that he loves writing TOS stories. But he has also proven that he is more than capable of giving us TOS stories that don't fall into that annoying category that I am tired of reading. Miasma is another proof of his ability to give an otherwise basic TOS story just enough twist to make me interested.

    Miasma's inclusion of Saavik, and thus the requirement that it be set on the Enterprise-A, was a great twist in the TOS formula to get me intrigued. Adding to my enjoyment of this book is the fact that I've been reading through the old DC Comics for the past couple of years, and I'm currently in the exact era that this story takes place in. Going along with the DC Comics conceit that Saavik returned to the Enterprise to replace Sulu after his promotion to the Excelsior, Greg Cox crafted a great story for me to mix in with my DC Comics reading, and at just the right moment.

    I've also not read any stories featuring Saavik any farther down the timeline than this. The insights into Spock and Saavik's relationship giving during Saavik's attempt to rescue Spock, McCoy, and Chekov from a monstrous Degobah-like planet will be great for me to have in mind moving forward down the TOS chronology. This was in fact my favorite portrayal of Saavik I've read, inching out the impressive The Pandora Principle and Usnpoken Truth, which I didn't really enjoy.

    All in all I really enjoyed this ebook, and it makes me more excited to get to Greg Cox's other recent Enterprise-A novel Foul Deeds Will Rise and his newest book Child of Two Worlds. Definitely worth the read and the few dollars.
     
  3. John Clark

    John Clark Commodore Commodore

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    I thought it was pretty good and liked the inclusion of Saavik. I would like to see more in this era:)
     
  4. Leto_II

    Leto_II Captain Captain

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    Downloaded it, it's on my Kindle, but haven't had the time just dive into this one (have only read the first couple pages), but for those who've finished it, is it mentioned somewhere in the story in which year it takes place? Thanks!
     
  5. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    Sometime between the fifth and sixth movies, after Sulu left to captain the Excelsior. Can't remember if I specified a precise date.
     
  6. Leto_II

    Leto_II Captain Captain

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    Cool, thanks, Greg -- will be sitting down to read this one very shortly, here. At the very least, we can pinpoint it as taking place prior to "A Question of Loyalty" (DC Winter Special #2), when Saavik finally departs the Enterprise-A (circa 2291).
     
  7. ryan123450

    ryan123450 Commodore Commodore

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    Greg, you did say that it was 5 years after Spock's death and resurrection. So I placed it in early 2291.
     
  8. jaime

    jaime Commodore Commodore

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    Well. That was a nice book.
    A 45 minute episode of a movie era series that never was.
    A few too many 'juat like that time' flashbacks explicitly written out, and I wasn't sure about the creatures psychology or why simply spraying the blood hypos onto the human members of the landing party wouldn't work. Though I suppose that's sort of addressed in the last attacks. It reminds me a little of pitch black in some respects (in a good way).
    I think I would have liked a little more to it, but it's a novella I suppose.
    Character voices were pretty spot on for the movie era, particularly spock and his tendencies for soundbite whimsy. Saavik was probably more kirstie alley than Robin Curtis by the end, but that's not exactly a problem for my tastes, nor a plus for them, and makes perfecr sense with the amount of thought given by characters to the end of TWOK.

    One thing I definitely dislike though is the cover.
    Wrong font. Bad shot of ship, and almost exactly nothing to do with the story at all.
    I enjoyed the book enough to consider making my own cover for it, to celebrate the too rare excursion into movie era territory (or the good old days of the DC comics version) but can't make my mind up which Saavik to use or whether to go 80s novel cover or film era poster style.
    Ah well.

    Interesting to see the Voyager genesis for it.... I would have said the rescue shuttle felt more Troi/Riker.
     
  9. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Just saw the download. My goal is to start tomorrow. 8715.3 is the initial stardate.
     
  10. gunslinger66

    gunslinger66 Ensign Red Shirt

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    Thanks for this story, Greg! For the last year I've been struggling with Trek novels. I think I've just been getting burned out on them. This, though, was just what I've been looking for. I'm really looking forward to the Legacy series now, just wish I didn't have to wait.
     
  11. Leto_II

    Leto_II Captain Captain

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    Hmmm...I'm not really seeing this at all. The cover art pretty much exactly nails what occurs in the story -- it's the Enterprise-A approaching the second planet of the Varba system (which is a lush, green, swamp-covered world). Seems pretty spot-on to me.
     
  12. dstyer

    dstyer Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Just a quick nitpick-y comment. In Chapter Two, when describing the conditions of the marsh water, the text reads, "The water was unpleasantly cool but not freezing. Spock estimated the temperature to be approximately forty degrees Celsius."

    I guess Vulcans really do have a different sense of what "cool" means. :)
     
  13. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    40C should not be that cold for a Vulcan.
     
  14. Klaus

    Klaus Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Liked it a lot, especially McCoy reflecting on how Spock had changed... and to answer
    Greg's question, I always see Kirstie. :D
     
  15. Bibliomike

    Bibliomike Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I really enjoyed this one, especially for the nifty way Spock and Saavik's experience on the Genesis Planet comes into play. The "B" plot about the diplomats didn't feel fully developed, but the "A" plot was such fast-paced fun, that's a minor quibble. I also enjoyed getting to see Chekov in full "seasoned security chief" mode (not the incompetent Clouseau-like figure he is in Star Trek VI). In the afterword, Greg says this started as a Voyager pitch, but I think it works not only just as well but worlds better with McCoy and Spock. Nicely done!
     
  16. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Finished it in one sitting. It was an unconventional tale, but info not know how I rate it. The link between Spock and Saavik should have been dissolved when they got back to Vulcan. Then Greg would have had a major ending rewrite.
     
  17. Bibliomike

    Bibliomike Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I just recently read somewhere (? - Memory Beta, maybe?) that they didn't dissolve their link until after the events of the Sherman/Schwartz novels. But since the Trek books don't always have to operate in strict continuity with each other, you could make the case that the fal-tor-pan was a mental "reset" for Spock. It certainly seems to have been in many ways. I rather like the idea of a continuing connection between the two, though.
     
  18. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    True behind-the-scenes story: an early version of the outline featured Sarek instead of Saavik, but, after thinking it over, we all agreed that the idea worked better with Saavik instead . . . .

    Hence the ship full of ambassadors, which I retained because it explained why Kirk didn't just lead the landing party in the first place.
     
  19. Bibliomike

    Bibliomike Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Interesting. Keeping Sarek would have made it even more parallel to "Journey to Babel." (Incidentally, McCoy's line about the drug's further development leading to a "lack of suspense" this time around made me chuckle out loud, right there on the commuter train. Nice!)
     
  20. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Sarek did not meld with Spock, so again the ending would radically change.
    Bibliomike,you may have a good speculation on the reset. When Spock becomes reintegrated with his body, what happens to the experiences of his brain on Genesis? None of these apply to Saavik, as a broken marriage bond can be lethal (perhaps not canonical)