Thursday, January 18, 2007

In 1984, Diane Duane's Star Trek novel My Enemy, My Ally was published by Pocket books. The novel introduced readers to the Rihannsu, and introduced us to the Romulan language.

I have to confess that I read this book five or six times in 1985-1986. I still consider it one of the best Star Trek novels ever written.

In 1987, she wrote (with her husband Peter Morwood) The Romulan Way, the story of McCoy's arrest and transport to Romulus, or ch'Rihan as it's called in this series. I didn't like it quite so much, but it actually had a Rihansu dictionary at the back!

Thirteen years later, Duane returned to the series with a two-book continuation, Swordhunt and Honor Blade. The two book series apparently left the Romulans and Federation on the brink of war.

I say apparently because it's been 6 years since I read the books. They were unsatisfactory, at best, and were meant to be a continuation of The Romulan Way. I have completely forgotten what went on in the two books.

Finally, in 2006, 22 years after this series began, Duane deigns to finish her story in The Empty Chair.

So far, I'm not terribly impressed. Duane is an excellent writer, but her habit of referring to Captain Kirk as Jim is annoying. I can't think of another writer who has done that, and this makes her books jarring when compared to the rest. The book opens as Ael and Jim prepare for war. We are dropped in with the expectation that we will know what is going on, and why. I'm halfway through the book, and there has still be no recap of the previous books. I could have tolerated it six years ago, but now?

I'm hoping Duane's skills will allow me to enjoy the book, but I'm not too optomistic.



Blogger Diane said...

"Deigns"? Is it possible that something else (life? other work?) got in my way? ;)

Meanwhile, good luck with it: let me know how it comes out... :)

3:34 AM  
Blogger hiikeeba said...

Point taken. Please accept my apolgy for using the word "deigns."

When Swordhunt and Honor Blade came out as the beginning a Rihannsu series of mini books, I was excited. I had hoped that the whole series would have been written, but it obviously hadn't. Their other "trilogy" events all came out within a few months, except Kevin Ryan's current Mercy trilogy.

I eagerly look forward to a new Diane Duane Star Trek book. (Spock's World is my second favorite Trek novel, followed by The Wounded Sky. Doctor's Orders was classic Star Trek. I could almost hear the TOS soundtrack in my head. And in The Empty Chair, you've once again captured the voices of the cast.) But the wait between Honor Blade and The Empty Chair was almost too long.

Could you do a Harb Tanzer book next?

8:38 AM  
Blogger Diane said...

Hi Jeffrey!

Hey, don't sweat it: from outside, where people can't see interior events surrounding a publication, it sometimes can look like somebody's getting lazy, or careless, or disengaged. Let's just say that a lot of strange things happened between the book that got turned into Swordhunt / Honor Blade, and the completion of the group in Empty Chair.

If I can slip it past my agent (who frankly will tear his hair on hearing about this, as he feels -- with some reason -- that I should be working on other things), I have one more Trek book in me before I step aside. I hadn't thought about Harb Tanzer being there much, but now that you mention it, it seems almost inevitable, as there are some things about this book that...never mind, let's get it approved by Paramount first. :)

4:07 AM  

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