Wednesday, June 4, 2014

How Much for Just the Planet?, by John M. Ford

Rating: 1.5/5
253 pages
Publisher: Pocket books
Source: Borrowed from family

Description: Dilithium. In crystalline form, the most valuable mineral in the galaxy. It powers the Federation's starships... and the Klingon Empire's battlecruisers. Now on a small out-of-the-way planet named Direidi, the greatest fortune in dilithium crystals ever seen has been found.

Under the terms of the Organian Peace Treaty, the planet will go to the side best able to develop the planet and its resources. Each side will contest the prize with the prime of its fleet. For the federation-- Captain James T. Kirk and the starship Enterprise. For the Klingons-- Captain Kaden vestai-Oparai and the Fire Blossom.

Only the Direidians are writing their own script for this contest-- a script that propels the crew of the Enterprise into their strangest adventure yet! (from the back cover.)

Review: Maybe this book was doomed to never live up to its reputation. Maybe its just been too long since I watched Star Trek. Maybe its because humor is subjective. Maybe its because I just don't like Gilbert and Sullivan.

Whatever the reason, after a very promising first couple of chapters, the humor in this book just fell flat for me.

While I really can't dissect why the humor didn't work for me, I can explain the other problem I had with this book, the Klingon-Federation relationship. Frankly, it was far too chummy for me to believe.

As we saw in the Star Trek episode "The Trouble with Tribbles", even when they're forced to play nice by the Organian Treaty, Klingons and Star Fleet personnel don't get along very well. They can co-exist in the same close space, but there's enough antagonism between them that it doesn't take much to spark a brawl.

In this book, there just isn't that feeling. Members of the two sides even comfortably settle in to drink together in chapter five, with no real issues. I just couldn't buy it.

While I know the two sides do end up getting along at some point in the future, and this book was published shortly after Star Trek: The Next Generation first aired, but that point is still a long way off from this book's setting.

Overall, many people love this book and find it hilarious, but I don't know why.

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