Fantasy/SF Book ReviewsThe Internet Writing Journal
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The Definitive Star Trek Trivia Book by Jill SherwinPocket Books, April, 2000.
Trade paperback, 242 pages.
How many tribbles did Spock calculate had bred aboard Deep Space Station K-7? What new type of circuitry does Voyager use? For Star Trek fans, these are fascinating questions -- and this is the book which answers them. Thirty-four years of Star Trek history, from the original series to the motion pictures and the current voyages of Captain Janeway and her crew in the Delta Quadrant, are distilled into this thorough compendium of trivia questions and memory testers. The questions are separated into categories: The Original Series, The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, The Films, New Life and Civilizations, Starfleet, Personnel Files, Abstract Knowledge, and Answers. Writers hoping to write in the Star Trek genre, Star Trek fans who want to relive their favorite episodes or those who just want to stump their friends with their impressive knowledge of Star Trek minutiae will surely want to add this book to their collection.
Star Trek: New Worlds New Civilizations by Michael Jan FriedmanPocket Book, 1999.
Hardcover, 185 pages.
Star Trek fans can rejoice with the publication of this well-researched and beautifully illustrated atlas of over two dozen of the worlds, life forms and galactic phenomena from the Star Trek universe. Visit the Ferengi homeworld, home of the Rules of Acquisition and the rabid pursuit of profit in "A Dry Day On Ferenginar" or the hot dry desert sands and stark beauty of Vulcan in "Tempered by the Force," or listen to a reporter interview the Guardian of Forever in "An Enigma Wrapped in a Puzzle." Each section tells a story about one of the worlds -- xenobiologists tell of their work studying the tribbles, and Captain Catherine Janeway of the U.S.S. Voyager tells us about her visit to the Q continuum. With vivid illustrations and maps, this volume is a must-have for Star Trek fans who want to experience the various worlds of the known universe for themselves.
Waiting by Frank M. RobinsonTor, Feb., 2000.
Paperback, 430 pages.
Artie Banks, a television news reporter, is a member of a group of friends called the "Suicide Club". At each meeting a member of the group speaks about a subject of interest to them. Larry Shea, a doctor, never made it to the latest meeting; he was killed in an alley near the restaurant where they were to meet. As Artie begins to investigate the strange death, he finds that someone or something does not want him to find who murdered Dr. Shea and why. When he is at home something starts controlling his mind while he is climbing a ladder, nearly convincing him to jump to his death. Luckily, his son comes to his rescue and he regains control of his mind. Somehow, his friend was killed for something he was going to discuss at the meeting. When he uncovers a research paper of Shea's from a computer disk, he realizes that his friend was about to discuss and publish a feature about an autopsy he performed, in which the subject had features that were not human. When another close friend is killed he begins to wonder who to trust -- and who are really Homo sapiens. Artie has to determine who is after him, what this other species of humans wants and which members of the "Suicide Club" are on his side, if any.
Armed with such a fantastic premise the author could have delivered better characters and a more interesting plot. Instead, the characters are unappealing and the story is often awkward and slow-moving. However, the novel idea of another species of humans living among us and the well-researched anthropology and paleontology topics, make Waiting worth reading, despite these drawbacks.
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