Tag Archives: star trek

Star Trek Enterprise: The First Adventure [Review]

A stylized delta shield, based on the Star Tre...

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I’m always really disappointed when I read a Star Trek book and declare it to be a flop. While reading a poor book in general is always painful I’m constantly jonesing for Star Trek so I crave each moment that I actually get of it to be perfection. Vonda N. McIntyre’s Star Trek Enterprise: The First Adventure is far from perfection.

Thousands of years before the most recent Star Trek movie there wasn’t a strong back story for the Kirk-era crew and in 1986 Ms. McIntyre provided one. One which Gene Roddenberry is quoted on the back of my edition as saying, “I heartily recommend ENTERPRISE: THE FIRST ADVENTURE as a most creative and enjoyable tale of Star Trek’s beginning…”

I heartily don’t recommend it.

I’m sorry to say that it all comes down to Ms. McIntyre’s poor writing and story pacing. While reading through this 371 page soft back novel I couldn’t stop thinking that I was simply bewildered.

Ms. McIntyre’s writing struck me as blocky and awkward. Take this little block of text from page 101:

At the captain’s table, Leonard McCoy got tired of making up excuses for Jim’s absence. After all, it was Jim’s idea to invite the company to sit with him tonight.

“Pardon me just a moment,” he said. “I’ll be right back.”

A minute later, the lift let him out in the officer’s territory. He headed toward Jim’s cabin. He felt in better physical condition than he had enjoyed for years. Even the ache of his deeply bruised thigh muscle reminded him of a moment of sheer, terrified exhilaration.

He knocked on the door of Jim’s cabin.

I’m sure that we can all agree that the writing is blocky but the question that I feel needs to be raised is the following: What’s up with McCoy’s thigh? Doesn’t it seem a bit strange of a place to start suddenly talking about McCoy’s physical condition? I can personally say that after reading the novel myself I really can’t answer where the heck that came from. So I’m not a big fan of Ms. McIntyre’s writing, next point.

This novel has a bizarre plot. While the sketchy premise of it is sound (the first adventure of Kirk’s crew, a first contact, tense Klingon hostilities) the actual plot is painful. Each scene feels disjointedly stuck together and the pacing strikes me as one-legged (you know, hard to balance and awkward and all that). Also, there’s too much going on. Here are all the plot points that Ms. McIntyre tries to push out:

  • Kirk and his crew have to adjust to each other.
  • Kirk falls in love with a younger women (shocker!) who doesn’t love him back (actual shocker!).
  • A rogue Klingon stealing a ship and going after the Federation.
  • A first contact.
  • Klingons pursuing said rogue Klingon.
  • A vaudeville company on the ship.
  • Janice Rand’s history.
  • Spock’s potentially homosexual love affair personal issues.

While some authors could pull it off Ms. McIntyre doesn’t really get it together and everything just kinda fizzles around.

There are some elements that are nice. I did enjoy most of the Uhura-Rand backstory and Sulu provided a nice background and McCoy was well-written for chunks of the novel (like I said, she was able to do a few good dialogs between him and Spock) and I felt that this new species provided an example of exactly what Star Trek can do with aliens.

I am so sorry to say that I personally can not recommend this novel.

2/5 stars.

And just in case you want some more prose that’s painful to read here’s some that also happens to feature Bones:

McCoy called the Enterprise. He fumed at the delay of getting a ground-to-space frequency. Why hadn’t he brought along his communicator?

The he though, You didn’t bring your communicator on purpose. For one thing, it’s against the rules. For another, you can’t hear it beep and not answer it. Don’t let the universe drag you back into its modern state of hyperactivity.

He smiled to himself and waited.

Enterprise, Lieutenant Uhura here.”

“This is Leonard McCoy, chief medical officer. What’s the plan?”

“Dr. McCoy! What are your transporter coordinates?”

“I have absolutely no idea,” he said.

The manager recited a set of numbers.

“Stand by to beam on board,” Lieutenant Uhura said.

The cool tingle of dislocation caught him and sucked him away.


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Filed under The Bookshelf

For the Vegetarian On the Go

A frozen, boxed Tofurky roast

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Between not finishing my novels, being a lawyer on a Star Trek simulation, not doing homework and kvetching about the treatment Helen Thomas received (yes, I am still angry about it and no, I will not let it go) I don’t always have time to cook up carrot ginger soup or some other wonderful vegetarian meal so I like to turn to some quick and easy and still delicious vegetarian pre-cooked meals. Here are some of my favorite:

  • Tofurky Vegan Loaf: A lovely tofurky loaf stuffed with fantastic stuffing and with its own mushroom gravy this is the complete package for a not just vegetarian but also vegan dinner. From Pangea Vegan Products.
  • Annie’s Certified Organic All Stars: Delicious stars of David in red sauce, Annie’s has once again produced a delicious lunch product.
  • Annie’s P’sghetti Loops with Soy Meatballs: If you’ve got a slightly bigger appetite then just the “All Stars” I’d recommend these. The soy “meat”balls are really delicious and even my anti-soy friends are big fans of these.
  • Quorn Chik’n Nuggets: I’ve written about these before and my loving words still stand today. A lunch standard for the past few years (I think that I’ve eaten at least one box every school week for the past year and a half) this is one of my favorite microwavable foods ever. I love Quorn!
  • Amy’s Vegetable Pot Pie: Sometimes it’s nice to be able to unwrap a block of ice, toss it into a preheated oven (we’re living in the 1940s and still don’t have a microwave) and pull out a piping hot, delicious vegetarian pot pie. Amy’s is a bit pricey (as most delicious things are) but well worth it.
  • Amy’s Rice Mac & Cheese: When I’m feeling classy but not too classy there’s nothing I like better then orange cheese on macaroni noodles. And once again Amy’s satisfies. Yum.

And of course, if you’re feeling a bit ambitious but still crunched for time make some English muffin pizzas and put some sliced tofurky on it (I’d recommend putting it between the sauce and cheese to stop it from crisping). Tasty, low maintenance and you’re still getting your protein.

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Filed under The Pantry

Must Love Books

I want to be the Jack and Avery of Democrats

I love chairlifts because you and your friend have just enough time to get into personal matters but just as things are becoming rather intimate you’re at the top of the mountain and in the middle of a crowd. Recently a friend of mine brought up The List. The List Of What You Want In A Partner. You have one. Admit it.

And because I’m a slightly compulsive list-maker (BBC article about us here) here’s my version of The List.

The List: A Partner…

  1. Must love books.
  2. Must be obsessed with history.
  3. Should be able to, at the very least, tolerate Star Trek, Star Wars, Doctor Who, Battlestar Galactica.
  4. Must be able to enjoy BritComs (really anything British), if not be passionate about them.
  5. Would benefit from an avid interest in cross-country skiing .
  6. Needs to be able to critique writing.
  7. Is required to put up with my moods. (MANDATORY.)
  8. Should probably be neat or I might have to kill them when we move in together.
  9. Is encouraged to enjoy folk-Klezmer-classical music.
  10. Must be able to put up with Rachel Maddow, The Onion and John Stuart.
  11. Has to be a member of their local NPR station. (I can be flexible here, I can settle for someone who is addicted but not a member.)
  12. Is required to enjoy reading the same book together and to each other. (So maybe my romantic fantasies involve curling up and reading pages of Bill Bryson together, what’s it to you?)

Alright, after reading this list I have to admit… there’s probably a reason why I’ve been single all throughout my eighteen years…


Filed under The Diary

What I Do When I Get Online

I really hadn’t intended for this blog to be a list of what I do all day (and it isn’t) but that doesn’t stop me from posting this:

When I boot up the internet (I don’t know if this is the right term or not but it is a fun term, is it not?) I go to these pages in rapid-fire-new-tabs order:

  1. Gmail
  2. Facebook
  3. My A.O.L. e-mail account, also known as my Star Trek e-mail account where all of my Star Trek P.B.E.M. mail is delivered
  4. WordPress

I don’t know if this worries me, amuses me or just interests me (actually that’s not true, it’s all three) but I am fascinated by how conditioned I am to check these the instant I get online.

Well, that was a short post.


Filed under The Diary