The latest installment of Alvaro Zinos-Amaro’s Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Reread, which has been going through the various post-finale DS9 novels, has reached the Worlds of DS9 miniseries, and this week he got to my part in it, Ferenginar: Satisfaction is Not Guaranteed, which appeared in Volume 3 alongside David R. George III’s Dominion tale (which he’ll review next week). Best part is that Alvaro really liked it, even though he’s not a huge fan of Ferengi episodes. Yay me!
This novel passes the basic litmus test I mentioned earlier of being engaging even without its comedic frills, and I’m impressed by how DeCandido was able to compensate for the lack of actors channeling this material through his writing skills. Thankfully, he also refrains from making any of our protagonists dolts, the way that Ira Steven Behr and Robert Hewitt Wolfe sometimes did. Is this as thought-provoking and meaty as the previous novels in this mini-series? No. But a change of pace was welcome.
On the one hand, this episode is a less surreal redo of TNG‘s “Frame of Mind,” also a Brannon Braga script (and one that heavily featured Jonathan Frakes, who directed this one). It takes a much more linear approach to the main character’s breakdown, but given that the main character is a computer program, this makes sense.
And the main reason why it works despite its derivative nature is the same reason why every episode that focuses on the EMH works, to wit, the superlative work by Robert Picardo in the role.
Having done a Precinct story and a Cassie story, I move on to the Super City Cops, a series about cops in a fictional city filled with costumed superheroes and super-villains. The story is “Stone Cold Whodunit,” which appeared in the 2014 anthology With Great Power, edited by John L. French & Greg Schauer, and has Detectives Kristin Milewski and Jorge Alvarado dealing with a very peculiar death…..
And Eisenberg hits it out of the park here. He beautifully conveys the character’s adolescent turbulence, trying to balance the needs of his people with the fact that he very obviously doesn’t actually want to die, nor does he really want to kill Chakotay. But he’s trapped by the cultural mores of the Kazon. If he doesn’t kill Chakotay, his own sect will kill him. No other Kazon sect will take him in, and no one else in the Delta Quadrant will take in a Kazon.
We get a bit of Kazon history here to go with the cultural mores—which really are akin to that of street gangs, with initiation rituals and early indoctrination of youth—and their past enslavement by the Trabe has left them with a cultural distrust of uniforms and military order and such. So the option of coming on board Voyager is also rejected by Kar, because he finds the very idea of being on a Starfleet vessel repugnant.
So many of us are kinda stuck staying home a lot, and that means more reading time! Or, at least, time spent reading so you don’t go batshit because you’re stuck staying at home a lot……
As one possible thing to read, how about my writing? I’ve already posted about my Star Trek work, and now we move on to other TV show tie-ins, which are listed below in alphabetical order, and include: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, CSI: NY, Doctor Who, Farscape, Gene Roddenberry’s Andromeda, Heroes, Leverage, Orphan Black, Sleepy Hollow, Stargate, Supernatural, The X-Files, Xena, and Young Hercules.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
The Xander Years Volume 1 — novelizing three Xander-focused episodes, “Teacher’s Pet,” “Inca Mummy Girl,” and “Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered”
Blackout — a novel focusing on previous Slayer Nikki Wood, who worked in New York in 1977 and faced off against Spike and Drusilla
The Deathless — on Ring Day at Sunnydale High School, an evil Russian sorcerer is attempting to be resurrected
“Ten Little Aliens” in Farscape: The Role-Playing Game — Crichton, D’Argo, and Crais are among those kidnapped for a contest among aliens to capture a prize
Farscape Omnibus Volume 1 (written with Rockne S. O’Bannon) — collecting four post-finale storylines, “The Beginning of the End of the Beginning,” “Strange Detractors,” “Gone and Back,” and “Tangled Roots” — Rygel returns home to claim his throne, a vicious disease spreads through the Uncharted Territories, Crichton visits an Unrealized Reality, and Aeryn learns a shocking truth about the Peacekeepers — and the three D’Argo miniseries D’Argo’s Lament, D’Argo’s Trial, and D’Argo’sQuest — which provide D’Argo’s backstory as well as what he did between seasons three and four
Red Sky at Morning — Moya returns to the homeworld of the Pilots and learn of a new threat to the Uncharted Territories
Compulsions— Moya teams with another Leviathan to deal with a new foe
The War for the Uncharted Territories — the Peacekeepers have a surprising new leader, the Kkore are invading, and Crichton must bring the species of the UTs together or risk losing everything
Gene Roddenberry’s Andromeda
Destruction of Illusions — a prequel to the series, showing what both Tyr Anasazi and Beka Valentine and the crew of the Eureka Maru were doing in the nine months leading up to the discovery of Andromeda Ascendant and the time-frozen Dylan Hunt
The Zoo Job — a small zoo in central Massachusetts didn’t get the black rhinos they paid for, leading half the Leverage crew to west Africa and the other half to the world of the uber-rich who illegally purchase wild animals
Children of the Revolution — toward the end of the first season, Ichabod Crane and Detective Abby Mills must find a series of medals that were issued during the Revolutionary War before they’re used to resurrect Serilda of Abaddon
SG-1: Kali’s Wrath — toward the end of the fifth season, Jacob Carter and Bra’tac must team up to help SG-1 face off against Kali and the return of the Reetou
“Time Keeps on Slippin'” in SG-1/Atlantis: Far Horizons — a story that takes place between seasons three and four, explaining Carter’s non-regulation haircut and Teal’c’s soul patch
“Sun-Breaker” in SG-1/Atlantis: Homeworlds — on board the General George Hammond, Carter and Teal’c must stop the Lucian Alliance from acquiring a Go’auld weapon
Nevermore — in the second season, the boys go to the Bronx to solve some Edgar Allan Poe-themed killings and stop a haunting
Bone Key — two demons super-charge the ghosts that haunt Key West, but one becomes too powerful and the Winchester brothers must work with the demons to stop it
Heart of the Dragon — a violent spirit appears in 1969 San Francisco and is banished by the Campbell family of Samuel, Deanna, and Mary; it returns in 1989, and is banished again by John Winchester; and it comes back again in 2009 in the midst of the angel-demon war and must be stopped by Sam, Dean, and Castiel
John Winchester Hardcover Ruled Journal — this is a mostly blank notebook, designed to look like John Winchester’s journal, but it also includes several pages of text from that journal, which I wrote
“Back in El Paso My Life Would Be Worthless” in Trust No One — a second-season story where Mulder and Scully are to work alongside an FBI agent who’s not thrilled at being stuck with the weirdos in the basement
In the States, the Worlds of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine miniseries was six novels long, but it was published in three books, with each single volume containing two short novels. Volume 3 included both David R. George III’s Dominion tale and my own Ferenginar novel. (The other four covered Trill, Bajor, Cardassia, and Andor.)
However, when Cross Cult published the miniseries in Germany, they published it as six separate books.
The Brave and the BoldBook 1 and Book 2 — the first single story to encompass the the first five Trek TV shows, as an Enterprise prelude is followed by a novella from each of the other four (the original series, TNG,DS9, and Voyager) as they deal with an ancient, powerful artifact with the help of other ships (the Constellation, the Odyssey, the Hood, and the Gorkon)
Articles of the Federation — a year in the life of newly elected Federation President Nan Bacco in the year following Nemesis, giving insight into the UFP government
Mirror Universe: Obsidian Alliances— I wrote the first of three novels in this trade paperback, The Mirror-Scaled Serpent, a Voyager story in the Mirror Universe established in “Mirror, Mirror,” in which Kes and Neelix wind up in the Alpha Quadrant and get caught in the conflict between the Terran Rebellion and the Klingon-Cardassian Alliance
The Next Generation: Q & A — the ultimate Q story as we find out why Q has done most of what he’s done in his appearances, and nothing less than the fate of the universe is at stake
Myriad Universes: Echoes and Refractions — I wrote the middle of three novels in this trade paperback, A Gutted World, an alternate history in which Cardassia never pulled out of Bajor and the Dominion War happened much differently
A Singular Destiny — a followup to David Mack’s Destiny trilogy, showing the galactic consequences and fallout of the massive Borg invasion in that trilogy
The Klingon Art of War — not really a novel, this is a presented as a text published in the Klingon Empire with ten precepts on how to live your life as a proper warrior
S.C.E.: Fatal Error — the Starfleet Corps of Engineers has to deal with a planet-running computer that has failed and must be fixed
Special shout-outs go to “Shall Not Perish From the Earth” by Ian Randal Strock for the interesting narrative style and “We Seceded Where Others Failed,” by Keith R.A. DeCandido for the much-needed boost of levity. And though I didn’t feel that David Gerrold’s “A Brief Explanation of How Budapest Became the Taco Capital of the World” necessarily fit the brief of alternate history story, it was a solid and entertaining work of science-fiction.
Having kicked off the KRAD COVID readings with a “Precinct” story, the second installment is one of my other long-running original universes, the tales of Cassie Zukav, weirdness magnet. I read “William Did It,” a riff on the Key West legend of Robert the Doll, which originally appeared on the Story of the Month Club web site and was also reprinted in the anthology A Baker’s Dozen of Magic, the compilation of all the stories that appeared on SMC in 2015. Mine was the October story, so I did a Hallowe’en tale of Key West during Fantasy Fest.
In the interests of keeping us from all going insane in the madness the world is embroiled in, I’ve started up a new channel on the Tube of You called “KRAD COVID readings.” Every couple of days or so, I’ll upload me reading one of my stories.
The channel debuted today with a reading of “Brotherly Love.” A two-person, all-dialogue story in the “Precinct” universe, the story is read jointly by me and Wrenn. She reads Danthres Tresyllione, who is interviewing someone for a murder case, a Mr. Mathe, who is read by me. Cameo by Special Guest Cat, Kaylee, who spends much of the reading sitting daintily on the microwave.