Book Report> Star Trek: Prime Directive

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I have quite a few Star Trek novels, mostly from the original series but I do have a few from The Next Generation while the only Deep Space Nine or Voyager novels I have were part of that crossover horror storyline “Invasion”. I didn’t get anything from the other series, including at least one series that was original to the Simon & Shuster novels. The last Star Trek novel I reviewed was a possible first mission for the USS Enterprise with Jim Kirk as captain, which I thought was okay but things were a bit off for me. I’ve also reviewed a comic trade collection that revisited the Mirror Universe. So now that we’re caught up with Star Trek book reports it’s time for the next one.

Published by Simon & Shuster’s Pocket Book division in September, 1991, Prime Directive is one of many novels written by the wife and husband team of Judith And Garfield Reeves-Stevens. Told in four parts over numerous chapters, you would think by the title, especially if you’re a Star Trek fan, that this is a story involving the titular Prime Directive, Starfleet General Order #1. A response to colonialism and not wanting to repeat old mistakes when there are so many new ones to make, the order sets ground rules for when to get involved in the affairs of non-Federation worlds, especially ones that haven’t had first contact yet. As a storytelling tool it’s often been abused by writers. I recommend checking out SF Debris’ examination of the Prime Directive in writing in the follow-up video to his review of the Enterprise episode “Dear Doctor” for more on that. This was a book I couldn’t remember if I had read, though as I went through it I realized I had read it a long time ago so it was a semi-new experience for me. I was curious how two well-praised writers of novels and television including and beyond this franchise handled the Prime Directive. The short answer is…they didn’t.

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Comic Book Report: Star Trek–The Mirror Universe Saga

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Star Trek: The Mirror Universe Saga trade paperback

DC Comics (June 1991)

collects Star Trek issues #9-19 (December 1984-July, 1985)

WRITER: Mike W. Barr

PENCILER: Tom Sutton

INKER; Ricardo Villagran

COLORIST: Michele Wolfman

LETTERER: John Costanza

These issues of DC’s first series of Star Trek comics ran into a slight problem. They came out around the time of Star Trek III: The Search For Spock, in which the ending would lead right into the beginning of Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, a whole two years to wait to resolve the events of the previous movie. And yet somehow the writers of the comic, Mike Barr for this story (he was also one of the editors according to comics.org), had to keep the adventures of the crew going without interfering with the next movie. Admittedly they may not have been as successful in hindsight, but these are the only comics I have from this period so I could be wrong. Crafting a good story on the other hand was a success so take the victory you can on this one.

The “Mirror Universe” dates back to the classic Star Trek episode “Mirror Mirror”, in which a transporter accident switches Kirk, McCoy, Scotty, and Uhura with their counterparts in a reverse dimension, where things are similar but not exact. In this universe the Federation is replaced with an Empire and are very cruel. This allowed the other actors (although Spock is still mostly Spock, just with a nasty streak) a chance to do something a bit different and the episode is a favorite among fans. There’s also a running gag in sci-fi fan circles that Mirror Spock’s goatee has become a symbol for evil universe counterparts.

I don’t have the individual issues but I did get this trade collection for the entire eight chapter story, originally subtitled “New Frontiers”. At the end of the article I’ll link to the individual reviews I did of each issue for my other site. This is an overview of the arc and a review of the trade collection.

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Book Report: Star Trek: Enterprise – The First Adventure

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Star Trek Enterprise novel

Another of my other site’s “Chapter By Chapter” series finished up, and once again it’s time for a full review. This is not based on the series with Scott Bakula, by the way. In fact, this novel came out before Star Trek: The Next Generation. This is supposed to be the first ever voyage of the Enterprise crew we all know and love–Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Uhura, Scotty, Rand, Sulu, they even get a Checkov cameo in there. We’ve seen other possible origins in official channels as both the comics and the JJ Abrams reboots have done their own version. The question is how this one stacks up. First, the stats:

Star Trek: Enterprise – The First Adventure

by Vonda N. McIntire

Pocket Books (September, 1986)

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Toy Report: Star Trek Phaser Pistol

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Star Trek TOS logo

Image via Wikipedia

Last week I attended a local fan convention, which ate up time and I couldn’t get anything done for this site. I did try to do a video review of something I bought there, but it wasn’t finished in time. This week I had to work an extra day, which ate up time and I couldn’t get anything done for this site. However, the video is done, so here’s me reviewing a replica of the classic Phaser prop from Star Trek, demonstrating the various sound and physical features.

This is my first video toy review, so focus on the toy and not my off-the-cuff review.

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Book Report: Star Trek Invasion!

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Being a fan of the Star Trek series and a semi-avid reader, having graphic novels based off of the series is a given. I have quite a few actually and most of them I enjoy. In a move taken from the comics Simon and Schuster (who publishes the books through their “Pocket Books” divisions and also via “ebooks”) decided to make a crossover of the four active properties at the time; the original series (TOS is the official shortcut, but I’ll just call it the original or classic for this article), Star Trek: The Next Generation (TNG), Deep Space Nine (DS9), and Voyager (official shortcut “VOY”, but for my purposes, “Voyager” will do).

The mini-series, created by John J. Ordover and Diane Carey (who would write the opening chapter in the four-parter), was called “Invasion” and told a story that would encompass all four starships. Four of the top writers were brought in to tell the story which did what Star Trek likes to do with religion, mythology, and folklore–blame it all on space aliens. So how well did it do?

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