Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Wallowing in the crucible

A "Star Trek" novel, "Crucible: McCoy: Provenance of Shadows" was my vacation reading of choice last week. 628 pages, on super slim paper to keep the chunkiness to a minimum, it was indeed an excellent selection!

I was staying with some old ST friends in Brisbane, in sunny Queensland. The sun was up at 5.15am every day, light streaming into my room. Nothing else to do but read, until the household was awake for breakfast. One of my hosts is also about to give birth to her first child and needed lots of naps, so I had David R George III's literary company, off and on, for a whole week. I got totally sucked into the universe that is "Star Trek: Crucible", greedily sneaking off for extra chapters at every opportunity.

Mccoy
Cover art by John Picacio

The events stretch from the end of "The City on the Edge of Forever", one of the most popular TOS episodes, until several years after retired Admiral McCoy's visit to Picard's Enterprise in "Encounter at Farpoint" (the premiere episode of "The Next Generation"). Even though the "Crucible" trilogy purposely works in its own continuity, as regarding other ST novels, it seemed to me that David George purposely worded his description of the Enterprise's return from "Out there, thataway" (in ST:TMP) to include wiggle room for a recent and popular novel set in that time period, "Ex Machina".

That Filmation's animated ST series of the 70s (TAS) is so well referenced was a delight to me! Many more aspects than I expected: first names for (Paul) Bates and (Jimmy) Clayton, welcome cameo appearances by Randi Bryce and M'Ress the Caitian, and cheeky references to Mantilles, Dramia II, Edoans, Phylosians, Vedala, Aquan surgo-ops and even practical joking computers!

I'm very curious how much the upcoming "Spock" and "Kirk" instalments of this new trilogy will intersect the "McCoy" novel, and how much will focus on new events, and events barely hinted at in "McCoy". The three covers will make a triptych mural, too. A very cool 40th anniversary event!

Crucible: triptych cover
Art by John Picacio


Captain's Log, Supplemental: Too cool. Over on TrekBBS, David R George responded to my review thusly.

I've just spent the morning updating my Toon Trek pages to include all the "Crucible" TAS references.

3 comments:

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Therin of Andor said...

Sure, if you like... Thanks.

Therin of Andor said...

Wow! Over at TrekBBS, "Crucible" author, David R George III just posted me a note:

"I went on vacation with Therin and didn't even know it! Thanks for the positive comments. Believe it or not, I thought of you once or twice as I wrote 'Provenance'. Having read here of your appreciation for the animated series, I suspected that you'd be pleased with the several references to it that I made. Of course, I didn't sow my continuity nods specifically for you; rather, there is method to my madness, which you'll all discover later."

Too cool! It did seem like he was whispering conspiratorially to me as I turned the pages.

I've just spent the morning updating my Toon Trek pages.