Sunday, January 18, 2009

Warping through the Treks

Finished Sarek, and decided to indulge in my favorite Trek writer, Vonda McIntyre. I started with her novelizations of Wrath of Khan, Search for Spock and Voyage Home. (Yeah, I finished them all. This is not what you call very heavy reading...)

Vonda loves her Trek, and I do like her visions of the universe. Her stand alone novel, The Entropy Effect (Star Trek, No 2), is her love letter to Sulu, complete with a Mary-Sue heroine who kicks ass and a time travel storyline that twists the mind while you try to figure out who is when and why they are doing whatever it is they are doing. Vonda, by the way, is the one who gave Sulu his cool first name. Believe it or not, the studio had once suggested it was...George. Hikaru is MUCH better.

What I especially like about Vonda is that she looks into the future of relationships as well as technology. Sometimes, it misfires, especially with technology. After a page explaining how huge the memory banks are on a station, and why the people there need to delete a game that was taking up too much room, it is revealed the game is...50 megs.


But what is nice is glimpses of things we don't have now - like legal poly relationships, including one to which Kirk is invited. Acknowledgment of gay and lesbian existence. A relationship between a woman and a much, much younger man; no eyebrows raised. People discussing the 24th century version of safer sex! (Happy sigh.) It's a pity not all writers of the future can expand their forward thinking in the same way; when you can imagine faster-than-light speed but can't see anything other than heterosexual monogamy between similar people, you are missing out on some of the most fascinating speculative stories.

Anyway, her Trek books are my favorites. Other writers who use part of what she helped sculpt and who write with the same sensitivity are the ones I like to return to again and again.

No comments: