doyle: tardis (Default)
[personal profile] doyle
I'm worried that making a post before the importer's done its job will cause this post to vanish into the ether, crash Dreamwidth, or break the internet, but I think on balance I'll risk it.

While I'm waiting for the new Trek film to make its way to the cinemas I'm revisiting The Original Series. I think it's safe to say this was my first true love, as TV shows go; I'm a bit fuzzy on the timing, but I think I got into TOS before The X-Files (and unlike The X-Files I never fell out of love with it). I'm sure that I got into Star Trek through the novels before I'd ever seen the TV show, and when you've started off by falling in love with library copies of Uhura's Song and Pawns and Symbols it's a bit jarring to finally find it on TV and realise that Uhura's not the main character and there are far less Klingons than you were led to believe. Still, I gave it a chance and spent my early teens as a massive Trek nerd. So, with the new movie upon us I'm watching some episodes I haven't seen in years (alt!Spock/McCoy? Hot.) and finally getting around to sticking some books onto my shiny ebook reader.

This week I spent a commute and a lunch hour reading The Vulcan Academy Murders. My one-word review: lol.

This is just a hoot. Spock's mother Amanda is in stasis on Vulcan being treated for a lifethreatening illness, so Spock, Kirk and McCoy take extended shore leave and jaunt off to visit. Since I'm a huge fan of Uhura and Sulu I'd usually get annoyed at this complete ditching of everyone but the big three, but in this case... eh, why not. The power quickly fails at the Vulcan Science Academy and a Vulcan woman in the next stasis chamber to Amanda dies, and I decided Sulu, Uhura et al were off having hilarious swashbuckling adventures and settled down to enjoy the murder mystery. This, admittedly, would have been easier if the murderer hadn't been so obvious that she might as well have been twirling her moustache and cackling maniacally to herself. I assume this wasn't an intentional Columbo-type style choice, both because there's a half-hearted attempt to make it look like another character is the killer and because it's not so much 'thrill as the wily detective closes the net on the unsuspecting killer' as 'laugh as the characters stumble around ignoring the bleeding obvious because the only person with a motive, opportunity and no alibi's a pretty lady.'

The mystery - such as it is - seems tacked onto the author's real interest, which is Vulcan/human romance. I'm a Vulcan fan myself and I think I read some of Jean Lorrah's Amanda/Sarek fanfic back in the day. Their interaction here's quite sweet; the romance between the OCs is less so, though I think I was just skeeved out by Corrigan marrying his best friend's daughter, who he's known all her life ("you never married because you were waiting for me to grow up" - ick). Also, this is possibly an unfair point given when the book was written, but Vulcans seem to be unaware of even the concept of bi/homosexuality or same-sex attraction; there's plenty of "ah, this human's single - must find them a human of the opposite sex to marry" as well as a lot of guff about the sacred union of male and female, etc. I sniggered a bit at Kirk thinking that both Spock and Sarek are very attractive men, mind you.

My favourite bit was the exciting exclamation marks in the narration! Sometimes many in one scene! As if it was intended to be an audio book! Read out by Shatner!

It was a slight, fun read and I certainly don't resent the couple of hours I spent on it. What should be my next odyssey into TOS published fanfic? I have most of them in ebook and I'm veering towards The Entropy Effect or Dwellers in the Crucible, both of which I remember liking when I was a kid, but I'd be keen for Moar Sulu or Uhura.

on 2009-05-02 11:26 pm (UTC)
glinda: truth, justice, freedom and reasonably priced love (terry pratchett knows all) (ideals/eggs)
Posted by [personal profile] glinda
My icon feels strangely appropriate...(in that its off at a tangent)

I will admit to having no great investment in Star Trek but the title of the book alone made me lol a little, and the full review itself even more so.

on 2009-05-03 11:54 pm (UTC)
glinda: truth, justice, freedom and reasonably priced love (terry pratchett knows all) (ideals/eggs)
Posted by [personal profile] glinda
Yes, you definitely need to post about your discworld re-read. Night Watch is awesome in so many ways (Discworld plus time travel with a protagonist who knows exactly what he stands to loose and still does the right thing. (L) ) but then I'm probably a little biased as I adore all the Guards books.

on 2009-05-03 12:21 am (UTC)
seangaffney: (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] seangaffney
Vulcan Academy Murders and its sequel, The IDIC Epidemic, are both books I remember liking a lot as a kid but really didn't care for as an adult. Not sure why. IDIC also has an insanley obvious mystery.

Oh, I definitely vote for Dwellers in the Crucible as your next Trek. How Trek got away with even putting it out in 1985 is beyond me. It's S&M porn with sado-masochism and lesbian overtones galore. And one of many books of that mid-80s period where the Trek cast is a minor player.

If you want Moar Sulu, though, The Entropy Effect is the one for you.

My other favorite Pocket books: How Much For Just The Planet, Pawns and Symbols, the Piper books (yes, I know I'm in a minority there), Time for Yesterday, and The Kobayashi Maru (another great Sulu one).

on 2009-05-03 04:16 am (UTC)
rhivolution: Freema Agyeman is badass (save the time lord save the world: Marth)
Posted by [personal profile] rhivolution
I mostly read TNG ones, but I've done a few TOS--mostly the big thick novels instead of the numbered ones. I really like AC Crispin's Sarek for the look at cultural crosses--Amanda and Sarek, Peter and Valdyr, the Freelans--and for how well it wraps up what happened just after Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, which is a great film but leaves a lot of potentialities.

I also recall enjoying the Reeves-Stevens' Prime Directive, which also has good world-building and starts from a place of 'everything has gone to hell'.

And I need a Trek icon.

on 2009-05-04 01:34 am (UTC)
rhivolution: David Tennant does the Thinker (lost in a good thought: DW/DT)
Posted by [personal profile] rhivolution
Ha! Actually, those would be the ones I'd recommend the most. As a youngun, I read most of #20-#35 of the standard TNG novels and I remember liking most of them. Michael Jan Friedman's Reunion is fairly good too.

on 2009-05-03 04:56 am (UTC)
kindkit: Picture of the TARDIS, captioned "This funny little box that carries me away . . ." (Doctor Who--TARDIS)
Posted by [personal profile] kindkit
Oh, dear, I feel like the universe is conspiring to drag me into Star Trek fandom. There's the film itself, of course, which I'll be seeing because Simon Pegg is in it (and despite the fact that Zachary Quinto is in it). And you're talking about ToS, and so is [livejournal.com profile] eponymous_rose, and [livejournal.com profile] penknife is a longstanding Kirk/Spock fan. I am quite possibly doomed.

on 2009-05-03 01:03 pm (UTC)
raven: Karen Gillan as Amy Pond, wearing green and red and looking up (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] raven
The Diane Duane ones are lovely. I especially like The Wounded Sky, but Doctor's Orders is fabulous, as is Spock's World.

on 2009-05-04 12:17 am (UTC)
txvoodoo: (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] txvoodoo
Which ebook reader do you have?

on 2009-05-03 02:02 pm (UTC)
blueswan: (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] blueswan
*waves* It's so good to see you posting here.

A chance to revisit TOS and drag out my old Trek novels? Fantastic! (I wonder how many I've kept over the years?)

on 2009-05-03 06:48 pm (UTC)
txvoodoo: (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] txvoodoo
It's been years since I read The Entropy Effect, but I have a feeling it'd be majory lulzy now :D

If you have the Diane Duane penned books, (aka The Rihannsu series), I'd give those a read. She's very good at world-building, and I like her take on Romunlans, aka Rihannsu.

Dwellers in the Crucible kind of feels like a Mary Sue, but a good one. I like the hints of non-heteronormative in it.

I know you're younger than I am, but one ST book, Ishmael, gave me major giggles because of its tie-in to another 60s TV show, Here Come the Brides.

Pawns and Symbols was a different take on Klingons - one that TNG completely un-canonized ;) but good.

I also liked Strangers from the Sky

Guilty Fandom Secret: hubby and I have an almost complete collection of the TOS books. We're missing the first book and the "Wanderer" books. (See here for a complete list.)

on 2009-05-04 12:16 am (UTC)
txvoodoo: (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] txvoodoo
What you don't realize, because you're too young - Bobby Sherman, who played the other brother, was FAR more popular back then than David Soul. It took Starsky & Hutch to really launch D Soul. Bobby Sherman was also a musical teen idol.

Seriously though, when you read the book and read about the show, it's all kinds of cracktastic crossover love :D

on 2009-05-03 09:45 pm (UTC)
eponymous_rose: (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] eponymous_rose
Seconding How Much for Just the Planet? and The Kobayashi Maru - those are the two that really stood out in my recent (re-)read of a bunch of those novels. I really enjoyed Doctor's Orders as well, and Diane Duane's books are generally all winners (the world-building is very impressive).

Also, hurrah! Another Sulu and Uhura fan! I always get all excited when I come across something written for them, much as I love the big three. As another commenter mentioned, The Kobayashi Maru is particularly good for Sulu, which makes me endlessly happy.

on 2009-05-04 12:17 am (UTC)
txvoodoo: (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] txvoodoo
Oooh. I love Uhuru books. I love Uhuru. :D

on 2009-05-05 03:11 pm (UTC)
Posted by [personal profile] lizvogel
Ah, yes, The Vulcan Academy Murders. Aka, Jean Lorrah's fanfic with a token plot grafted on to get it published. Which is fine and plenty fun, as long as that's what you're there for.

Since you've already got Uhura's Song, I'll just echo everybody else's vote for Dianne Duane's stuff. And say "hi!" from LJ-land, which is the real reason for this comment. ;-)

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doyle

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