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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Recently read: "Star Trek: Myriad Universes: Shattered Light" by Various

Star Trek: Myriad Universes: Shattered Light

This is the 3rd book in what I guess is the Myriad Universes series. 

I used to read a lot of Star Trek fiction, but there's way too much, and most of it is forgettable at best.  I now occasionally pick up one that looks interesting.  Given the glut of Star Trek fiction in general, it's probably a good thing that we're getting something that isn't supposed to be "canon."  It is  funny, given the rise in popularity of Alternative History in the SF field, that we now have Alternative Histories of a Fictional Future. 

We get three stories here. 

"The Embrace of Cold Architects" which has the Enterprise under Riker's command defeating the Borg (killing Picard).  We also get a different outcome to the Data/Lal (his "daughter") story.  The story is ok, but feels a bit by the numbers.

"The Tears O Eridanus".  Hikaru Sulu is commander of the Interstellar Guard ship Kumari.  The Guard is the military arm of the Interstellar Union which is dominated by Andor, along with Earth and Tellar.  The Kumari is sent on a hostage rescue mission to a desert planet called by some "Vulcan".  The change in history is that Vulcan never embraced the philosoy of Surak, and remains divided and violent.  Among the hostages is Sulu's daughter Demora.  This is the most "changed" of the three stories, and probably the best.  It does suffer from what is often seen in Alternative Histories, where despite massive changes to the timeline, certain characters still appear.  In addition to Sulu and Demora, we also get Kirk (off screen), T'Pau and Sybok (though not Spock).

"Honor in the Night"  The change point is the Sherman's Planet/Tribble episode, here the ship carrying Cyrano Jones malfunctions, killing him and the tribbles.  Therefore, Kirk doesn't discover that "Arne Darvin" is a Klingon.  The Federation loses Sherman's Planet, and years later former president Nilz Baris has died, with his final words "Arne Darvin".  We then get a "Citizen Kane" type story with a Federation reporter trying to understand the story of Baris's life.  We do get a good amount of McCoy, but the rest of the Enterprise crew is typically off screen.


  1. Hi Howard! Saw your note on Facebook and followed it to your blog. :-)

    My friend Scott Pearson wrote the third story that you mention. It was a long, tortuous road to publication, with multiple changes of editor and other delays and problems. If you're interested in the vagaries of the publishing world, see his Livejournal entries:

    I too think it's funny that we have alternate histories of fictional futures. It started way back with the Trek mirror universe, and of course now the "myriad" universes, as you say. As with "traditional" alternate history (is that an oxymoron), I do not feel confident enough in my historical knowledge of classic Trek to think I will necessarily recognize the divergent point, so I don't think I'm the intended audience.

  2. Cool, my first blog comment!

    I didn't expect anyone to comment,must thought I could keep track of my "recently read" and "recently viewed" stuff here.

    I enjoyed Scott's story. All three were interesting, and "alternative histories" of a fictional future are sort of a fascinating thing.