Sunday, 27 November 2016

The Rift by Peter David

The RiftThe Rift by Peter David
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The USS Enterprise under the command of Christopher Pike discovers a tear in the fabric of space, a signal is sent though and they are surprised when they get a reply and an invitation to enter the rift and pay these people a visit. They find a highly developed culture on a single world who admit they are a little xenophobic but are willing to open their world to the Enterprise crew for the duration the rift allows passage. Years later when the rift reopens the USS Enterprise under Captain Kirk awaits complete with ambassadors and other vested interests ready to once again visit this enigmatic world on the other side of the rift.

Another interesting tale of Star Trek which deals with Captain Pike and his very different command style to that of Kirk. Of course the 33 year gap between the closing and opening of the rift allows two story arcs to play out but also it's not to long for certain crewman to have been on the Enterprise then and now, one of them was Spock as you no doubt would guess:)
I enjoyed the story and the concept of the Calligar, I would have love to see their world rendered in HD on any of the TV shows or movies but perhaps my own imagination will serve. I wasn't quite sold on the relationship which underpinned most of the plot but I was willing to go with it and I didn't quite buy the fact Federation member worlds ships would engage Starfleet no matter what the reason.
Still a worthy addition to the original series lineup with the welcome addition of Pike and his crew.

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Sunday, 20 November 2016

Buck Rogers in the 25th Century

I was surprised to see there was an Australian Blu-ray boxset of Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, naturally I purchased it.







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Legacy by Michael Jan Friedman

LegacyLegacy by Michael Jan Friedman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Landing parties beam down to Alpha Octavius Four for a brief survey, Spock is attacked by a huge subterranean dwelling tentacled creature and is fortunate to be rescued before being eaten and is beamed back to the ship. Kirk then finds himself in an earthquake and as the world around him collapses the Enterprise receives a priority order to rush to a colony in the Beta Cabrini system which under attack. Scotty is forced to leave his missing Captain and landing party behind and deal with the threat of Merkaan pirates.
Spock is suffering from a toxin delivered by the creature that attacked him and McCoy is unable to find a cure so Spock imposes his own control on his metabolism to allow him to function. Spock is indeed the best man to deal with the Merkaan threat as years earlier serving under Christopher Pike he was a principal player in their defeat when first encountered.
Legacy chooses to split the main characters between two storylines, this makes sense to allow Spock to take center stage in dealing with a threat he is familiar with and for the "flashback" elements of his time with Pike not to feel out of place along with current Pike and Vina on Talos IV. It is a tricky juggling act and that's where Kirk's narrative fighting for survival along with three of his crew counterpoints the main story very well.
An enjoyable Star Trek novel made more so for the inclusion of a Pike both then and now and the focus on Spock without ignoring the regular characters as well as a villain with some substance and a mystery for Kirk to solve.



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Sunday, 13 November 2016

Stargate Communication Stones

The communication stones, first introduced in SG1 and allowed Daniel and Vala to visit the ORI homeworld with all the complications that brought. They played a small part in Stargate Atlantis but really came to the forefront in Universe after the technology was reverse engineered to work with an SGC interface. Many fans still hold them in shall we say contempt as a symptom of why Universe never really caught on or a shortcut to incorporate fresh characters and ties to Earth when billions of light years away. Either way when SG1 Props manufactured some and offered them for sale I decided that I could certainly see them on my shelf, not cheap but they are mighty pretty even in the cheapish wooden box I bought for displaying them.



Renegade by Gene DeWeese

RenegadeRenegade by Gene DeWeese
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Chrellkan IV located in the same star system as it's colony world Vancadia have been a peace with each other for nearly a century and on track for Vancadia to be given its independence within a few years as agreed from first planet fall. It's surprising to the Federation and Starfleet that with around a decade to go civil war has broken out and accusations and counter accusations thrown between the two worlds as military and terrorist action takes place.
The Enterprise picks up representatives from Chrellkan IV who present evidence of the terrorist actions but Kirk refuses to act until he listens to the people of Vancadia. The Enterprise is welcomed into orbit, Spock and McCoy beam down and almost immediately a very high tech shield appears cutting the ship off from it's landing party.
The crew continue to look for ways to counter the obviously more advanced technology present and dealing with the demands of the Chrellkan premier and the escalation of military action in system.
Renegade on the surface is a standard Federation in the middle of a civil war fought between planets story, not an unusual premise but Gene throws in some added ingredients via interference with the cultures from an outside source as well as an epic plot to not only defeat Kirk but bring Starfleet to it's knees. We get some great Spock and McCoy moments and that kinda offsets how mildly annoying it was to see how long it took Kirk, Scotty and other crew to understand what was happening.
Overall a solid Star Trek novel with some good call backs and twists and turns.

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A Flag Full of Stars by Brad Ferguson

A Flag Full of Stars (Star Trek: The Lost Years, #2)A Flag Full of Stars by Brad Ferguson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Admiral James Kirk seems to be happy in his new role, he has just over seen the initial refitting of the Enterprise and the world watches as the saucer is flown into orbit for attaching to the engineering section. However all is not well, his marriage to Admiral Lori Ciana is crumbling and he is still estranged from his friends from his time on the Enterprise.
As the world looks to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landings which will include an epic flyby of vintage spacecraft including a retrofitted Space Shuttle Enterprise a Federation naturalised Klingon scientist named G'dath makes a breakthrough in energy generation. Thus the players are in place for a action based and politically charged clash of intelligence and Starfleet services as the fruits of G'dath's creation are up for grabs.
A Flag Full of Stars continues the storyline brought to us in the novel Lost Years and expands upon Kirk's time in the admiralty before the arrival of V'ger. We see that his time wasn't wasted and he is responsible for some major changes in procedures within the fleet thanks to the benefit of his experience and insight. We also see that the wanderlust is still within him and that as much as anything leads to his failed marriage. The addition of G'dath a Klingon who finds a home on Earth thanks to the Organian intervention was eye opening as is the more real world Federation Brad writes about. I have to be honest and say it may not offer the most "Trek" like conclusion to the paths some of the characters tread in the narrative but it makes sense in terms of how they have been presented to us so you'll come away satisfied if not too happy.
Oh and credit to Brad for making me question my own opinion of the presence of families onboard the Enterprise D :)

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