The Kobayashi Maru by Julia Ecklar
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
The Kobayashi Maru is getting a five star rating not because it's a dramatic well written novel that graces not only the scifi genre but any genre, it's getting the rating because I just love reading the novel. The basic story is pretty straight forward, a serious accident on a shuttle leaves it helpless inside a rubble strewn solar system and the Enterprise has no practical way to determine it's location. On board are Scotty, McCoy, Chekov, Kirk and Sulu with the latter two being injured and seriously in Sulu's case. As the men deal with what seems to be a helpless situation the similarity to the Kobayashi Maru simulation is mentioned, McCoy is confused and asks for clarification and the no-win scenario from command school is explained to him.
We then get a recounting of the simulation from those who took part, yes we learn how Kirk beat the scenario by creative means (some would say illegal). Chekov had to deal with his serious approach to the test and the consequences within his peer group. Sulu who during a bad time and facing demerits was forced to examine himself and his reasons for being in Starfleet and finally Scotty who loved engineering but was being groomed for command.
All these stories offer fascinating insights into each of the crew and of course McCoy the observer is taking our part, he is not surprised how Kirk handled such a test and learns a lot about those he shares a ship with.
Yes I also prefer this explanation or at least the specifics of how Kirk triumphed to that offered in the 2009 movie :)
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