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Sunday, 9 April 2017

Tales of the Dominion War

Tales of the Dominion War (Star Trek: The Next Generation)Tales of the Dominion War  Edited by Keith R.A. DeCandido
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Tales of the Dominion War is an anthology of stories which deals with the events within Starfleet and the Federation during the timeframe of Deep Space Nine as covered in the television show. As we know DS9 was the prime focus of the war thanks to proximity to the Bajoran wormhole but the war spread throughout the Alpha quadrant and would have affected all of the characters from the franchise as a whole.
The stories in this collection are written by a number of very familiar names to readers of Star Trek novels from all aspects of the franchise and offer up some very entertaining events and insights into characters which we may never have heard of or were just a throwaway reference in DS9.
The scope of the anthology will appeal to every fan of Star Trek and yes that includes the original series thanks to one or more of the original crew still alive and kicking in this era.
Highly recommend, very easy to read and if not every story ticks every box for the reader they all offer up something a Trek fan will recognise and enjoy.

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"What Dreams May Come"
by Michael Jan Friedman

On the world of Illarh the Dominion forces have landed led by a Vorta named Sejeel, they intend to fortify the world for the war with the Federation and disguise themselves as travelers who will be moving on shortly. Sejeel is delighting in the deference the natives are offering him and one morning Draz a servant while bringing him his breakfast tells him of a dream. The Vorta is intrigued but as the dream unfolds he dismisses the uneasiness he begins to feel, after all these natives are helpless and subservient, what could there be too fear...

"Night of the Vulture"
by Greg Cox

Deep Space Nine has fallen under the Cardassian and Dominion pressure but the wormhole to the Gamma quadrant has been mined. A covert operation to infiltrate Starfleet command to gain the codes to subvert the minefield was a success and the agent and her guards are returning under the guise of a small trading vessel. Unbeknown to them they are being tracked by the entity that struck at Kirk's Enterprise and Kang's Battlecruiser around Beta XII-A (Day of the Dove) and it is hungry, a galaxy wide war will be a feast and if this vessel with its precious cargo allows the Dominion to crush the Alpha quadrant the feast will over over far too quickly.

"The Ceremony of Innocence is Drowned"
by Keith R.A. DeCandido

Lwaxana Troi is at home entertaining friends and the discussion turns to the war but that's far away and Betazed is deep within Federation space and while her defences are not state of the art a Starfleet battle group are stationed not too far away. Then the unfathomable happens, Lwaxana senses the alien thoughts of the Dominion forces, she feels the deaths of those close to her and the failure of Starfleet to prevent the invasion of her world as cities burn. The battle is lost but the war continues and Lwaxana Troi Daughter of the Fifth House, Holder of the Sacred Chalice of Rixx, Heir to the Holy Rings of Betazed will not let this stand, her world in time will once again be a safe home for her people.

"Blood Sacrifice"
by Josepha Sherman & Susan Shwartz

The Romulan Senate already full of division and self interest argue back and forth over the Dominion presence in the Alpha quadrant and in the background Spock whose infiltration of this society continues to slowly subvert the young to a more logical way of life watches on. In a shocking turn of events the Emperor dies ( probably murdered ) and then the news of the Dominion assassination of Senator Vreenak who was dealing "peace" with the invaders shakes the world but offers opportunities.

"Mirror Eyes"
by Heather Jarman & Jeffrey Lang

A deep cover Tal Shiar agent on Deep Space 9 recounts her days and mission in a journal (not standard procedure) and writes of her dissatisfaction of playing Seret a Vulcan medic in a position that offers little in terms of valuable intelligence. A Vulcan crewed ship is brought to DS9, the crew infected with an unknown contagion and it soon becomes apparent it's designed to strike at the Alpha quadrant. The doctors and medics of DS9 and other Federation sources combine to prevent an outbreak but only Seret seems to have any form of immunity but she can not allow anyone else to analyse her blood and reveal her secrets or would that be a relief.

"Twilight's Wrath"
by David Mack

Shinzon a human raised by Remans earned his reputation during the Dominion war and his major achievement was that strike on a secret Romulan facility that has been captured by Dominion forces. The Romulan high command need this facility destroyed but Shinzon realises whatever they consider to be so dangerous to them would in his hands be a benefit to his Reman family. A brilliant yet costly battle strategy wins the day and the events on this world eventually lead to the Reman revolt and events covered in Nemesis.

"Eleven Hours Out"
by Dave Galanter

The Breen assault Earth and cause significant damage in and around San Francisco, how could they have gotten so deep into Federation space and inflicted so much damage, granted the propaganda aspect was more significant than the material cost but still it should not have been possible. The Enterprise is not in the Solar System but her captain is on Earth attending the graduation ceremony of his niece (by marriage) Ensign Lebel. When weapons fire begins to strike the academy and starfleet command Captain Picard organises the survivors and attempts to understand what was required to allow ships so close to Earth and begins to organise the immediate response while under a communications blackout. As the Enterprise warps back to Earth to face the unknown crews on board Starbase One struggle to launch a trapped Starship while weapons fire continues to rain down on a defenceless planet.

"Safe Harbors"
by Howard Weinstein

Admiral Leonard McCoy and Captain Montgomery Scott are still alive and kicking thanks to some unexpected events and technologies and their runabout is perhaps if anything in worse shape then the two former officers of the Enterprise. They learn of the Breen attack on Earth but are unable to return until their ship is repaired so land on the Bakrii homeworld known as a free port with expert ship maintenance facilities. The locals are not over joyed to see them given the potential for reprisals from the Dominion and then a badly damaged USS Saladin arrives and the Dominion are on their way.

"Field Expediency"
by Dayton Ward & Kevin Dilmore

The Starfleet Corps of Engineers USS da Vinci is tasked to aid in a covert operation to obtain some Breen encryption technology, they steal a ship but crash on a remote world. The removal of the technology is proving difficult and then a Breem contingent arrive in system, the ships engage and a landing part of Breen assault the captured ship.

"A Song Well Sung"
by Robert Greenberger

Klag, son of M'Raq is the only survivor of IKS Pagh after a battle with Dominion forces, the ship crash lands on the planet Marcan V and the enemy vessel impacts not too far away. Klag minus one limb equips himself and sets out to avenge the death of his ship and comrades by the only thing that matters, blood.

"Stone Cold Truths"
by Peter David

Many decades after the end of the Dominion War the long lived Zak Kebron recounts his experiences during the war to his son for a school assignment, the discussion with his son and eventually the "mentor" highlight the complexity and ramifications of any conflict be they to the individual or on a galactic scale.

by Michael A. Martin & Andy Mangels

Reese was a survivor of AR-558 but he did not leave that world intact, nightmares and psychological issues affect the Federation soldier but eventually he is cleared for duty and he asks for and is reassigned to DS9 and the Defiant. At the ceasefire he observes the captured Founder and strikes up an unusual relationship with a Cardassian soldier Glinn Ekoor, the two of them have much in common and both have reasons to consider the trial and imprisonment of the Founder to be betrayal of the millions who have died thanks to her orders.

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