Space, the final frontier…
It’s been a while since I dove into a Star Trek novel, but I felt like it was time, and the next one on the list was this 1988 classic by Diane Duane. It was also the first Star Trek hard cover novel.
Set just after the events of The Motion Picture, the story is all classic Trek as it deals with philosophy, diplomacy, and Spock’s homeworld, Vulcan.
It seems there is a movement by some of the Vulcan population to secede from the United Federation of Planets. While not neccessarily xenophobic, Vulcans are quite happy to live without the help of the Federation and conduct their own exploration.
They feel that humans, and Starfleet are putting the Vulcan people in a position where they are forced to commit acts of violence.
Sarek and Amanda, Spock’s parents, are recalled from Earth, where Sarek serves as the Vulcan ambassador. And on the refurbished U.S.S. Enterprise, Captain James T. Kirk, Spock, and Dr. McCoy have been summoned to speak as well.
These chapters, set in the 23rd century, are intercut with chapters charting the history of Vulcan. The way the planet was once green and lush to the rise of the bipedal species that would become Vulcans as we know them, despite some growth spurts, which included warlike behavior before the arrival of the great philosopher, Surak.
Duane ties this novel into other novels set after TMP by using recurring characters, as well as recalling her previous novel, The Wounded Sky.
Her story is character driven, and lets them discuss the history of Vulcan, how it fits into the Federation, as well as the philosophy and logic that govern the people, and allow them to keep their emotions in check.
It’s an interesting tale, and the idea of seccession isn’t so far-fetched, especially in today’s place and time, with things that are happening in the real world. I will say that the story’s trio, Kirk, Spock and McCoy, don’t neccessarily feel like the version of themselves after the encounter with V’ger. There are hints at some of the effects the years have had on the characters, but with some adjustments it could have been set during The Original Series as well.
Still, it was easy to visualize in my mind’s eye, TMP uniforms included (something I’ve grown more and more to like over the years) and it all played out as it had to, but with some interesting developments on the way.
I think this just means I’m going to have get back into reading Trek books on a regular basis again, because the Human Adventure continues…