Space, the final frontier…
I dove into another Trek novel from Pocket Books this week, and this was one I wouldn’t have read when I was younger despite the fact that it was penned by one of the writers of The Original Series, D.C. Fontana. In fact this was the only Trek novel she wrote before she passed away in 2019.
As a youth I was only interested in the stories of Kirk and company, or Picard and company, because I had the television series and movies to help make the connection. I wasn’t so interested in reading a Spock story that featured only him, and the Enterprise’s previous captain, Christopher Pike.
Times change, and I’m a little more open-minded in my Trek reading than I was as a teen, and after seeing Anson Mount’s portrayal of Pike in Star Trek: Discovery in Season Two, it was easier for me to dive into this story.
Fontana makes sure there is a lot going on.
Starfleet sends Pike and the Enterprise to a remote planet that the captain visited years ago, and helped set up trade routes between factions on the planet. They want him to follow-up on that. Meanwhile, they receive a side mission, it seems a long lost gem, the Vulcan’s Glory, may be located on a planet in the system when they discover the remains of a missing Vulcan craft.
Spock, and other Vulcans aboard are assigned the away mission, but once the gem is recovered, and Pike is planetside, murders occur all centring on the gem, and it looks like a Vulcan will be responsible.
There’s also a side story involving one of the new engineers who has come aboard, Montgomery Scott, and the engine room hooch he concocts with an illegal still.
This one was so easy to visualise, and was a lot of fun to read. And beacuse it’s all in the theatre of the mind, I was able to cast it in my head, and see it all accordingly. And it totally works.
The story is wonderfully Trek, and could easily have been an expanded script from The Original Series. There are some wonderful tie-ins to events that happen later in the series as well.
The moments on these pages convey Trek as it was created by those involved in it. There is humour, adventure, discovery, and the human condition. And it’s a great adventure for Pike and his crew.
The Human Adventure continues, and there are still so many Trek novels to delve into.