Tuesday, May 03, 2005

I had the day off yesterday, and decided to use it doing nothing.

Or, more accurately, reading.

I finished Peter David's latest Star Trek: New Frontier novel After the Fall. I have enjoyed the other books in the New Frontier series, but this one takes a little more getting used to. It is set three years after the last one, and just a few days before Nemesis. Soleta, the former first officer of the Excalibur has defected to the Romulans, Captain Shelby of the Trident has been promoted to admiral, and apparently there was a war.

I have two complaints about the book.

One, it seemed too short. I guess everyone is in anti-Trek mode, so the novel should only be 300 pages, 'cause we'll lose interest. As a result of the length, and reintroducing all the characters and where they are now, it takes half the book to set up the plot. Fortunately, the problem is resolved fairly quickly. This is also the first part of a new trilogy, so the problem is only partly resolved.

Second, All of David's characters argue. And argue. Then they crack a joke. Then they argue some more. Mueller, the new captain of the Trident argues with her second officer; Si Cwan argues with his wife, Robin Loeffler; Selar and Burgoyne argue about their son Xy; the Thallonian Empire argues amongst itself; and Calhoun argues with just about anyone he talks to. While I understand that conflict is a part of drama, this is carrying the conflict too far. At times it seems like an episode of Space:1999 (where a subordinate makes a suggestion in an angry tone, and Koenig yells) or a first season episode of Enterprise (Pretty much everyone gets called an ass at one point or other).

David's real strength is his storytelling, and this story should be a great one. Now I have to wait for the next installment.


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