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Spartacus (Star Trek: The Next Generation) [Paperback]

T.L. Mancour
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

20 Feb 1992 Star Trek: The Next Generation
For a race of slaves, the Enterprise is all that stands between freedom and destruction.

Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Titan Books Ltd (20 Feb 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1852864192
  • ISBN-13: 978-1852864194
  • Product Dimensions: 16.8 x 10.6 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,200,706 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Howard Fast is the bestselling author of MOSES: PRINCE OF EGYPT (0684039113), THE IMMIGRANTS and MASUTO INVESTIGATES. --This text refers to the Unbound edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An above average effort a good read for TNG fans 17 May 2001
This supposed to be one of the earlier missions for the crew of the enterprise and Data finds the mission particulary intresting. The plot flows well but jumps around at the begining. Overall this is a nice book doesn't take too long to get into and rewards you with some good tatics by the crew of the Enterprise! Go on Read it- whats the worst than can happen?
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.1 out of 5 stars  14 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars STNG #20 Spartacus - A great early novel! 14 Sep 2003
By K. Wyatt - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I found this particular early Star Trek The Next Generation novel to be quite interesting in its premise, plot and execution. It is, quite unfortunately, the only Star Trek novel written by this author, lending one to the belief that it either didn't originally sell too well, or the author "stepped up" to the plate only this one time! That is too bad, considering that T. L. Mancour did a wonderful job with the story. It's not quite, five star material but it is certainly a very good early STNG story.
The cover art for this numbered novel is definitely among the better ones of the early Star Trek The Next Generation titles.
The premise:
The Enterprise answers a distress call and finds a disabled alien vessel known as the "Freedom," which is crewed by a species known as the Vemlans. The vessels captain, Jared asks for and receives very welcome help from Captain Picard and crew. After the relief effort begins, they're interrupted by the arrival of an entire fleet of vessels from Vemla and they claim that Jared and his crew are escaped slaves and request that their property be turned over at once. Reminiscent of one particular STNG episode and a later Star Trek Voyager episode, it turns out that Jared and his crew are Androids, which prominently brings Commander Datas' involvement into the story.
Here is where this novel stands outs, as of course, Jared and his crew request asylum with Captain Picard and the Enterprise. The author plays this out very well as Captain Picard wrestles; not only with his personal convictions but with the Prime Directive as the Vemlan fleet is threatening the destruction of the Enterprise if they do not return the slaves and his decision "must" be made.
What follows is certainly, as stated above, one of the better early STNG novels that makes an excellent addition to your Star Trek library and I'd definitely recommend this novel to any and all fans of Star Trek fiction! {ssintrepid}
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The debate about what characteristics make a group "Federation worthy" make this one of the most interesting ST novels 23 Dec 2008
By Charles Ashbacher - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This novel explores the concepts of what it means to be alive, sentient and worthy of being considered a distinct race. It begins with the Enterprise weathering a Gabriel, a violent cosmic storm that can cause great damage to ships as powerful as the Enterprise. When it disperses, they encounter a ship called the Freedom, and Jared is the captain. With his engines badly damaged, Jared asks the Enterprise for assistance, which is readily granted. During the repairs, the Enterprise crew discovers that the crew of the Freedom are very sophisticated androids.
During the repairs a fleet of warships from Velma under the command of Alkrig a politician and Sawliru a soldier arrive and demand that Picard turn the crew of the Freedom over to them. The Velmanian culture and economy is based on the labor of the androids and there has been a deadly civil war between the biological units and the androids where hundreds of thousands have died. Sawliru brands the crew of the Freedom as terrorists and murderers and argues that they are simply property. The androids, supported by Data, claim the right of self-determination.
Picard first rules that the Federation has no jurisdiction, so he prepares to leave the area, even though he knows that the androids will be completely destroyed. However, with the prodding of Data, the androids petition Picard to be accepted as a member of the Federation, an action that he must rule on. The hearing brings up issues of the definition of life, what is intelligence, what rights androids have, and what are the necessary preconditions to be considered a race. This is a philosophically interesting point that should have been explored in greater detail. Given the mission of exploration and new contact of the Enterprise, the answers to these questions go to very heart of the structure of the Federation and how it will interact and incorporate other species. Even though the two sides go to the brink of war, a solution is found that will allow the androids to join the Federation and advance the Velmanian society.
As a consistent and logical story, this one has several flaws, the most major of which is how the Velmans could have such primitive military and weapons technology yet be more advanced than the Federation in the area of android creation. The Velman androids show more flexibility in thinking emotionally than Data does yet the Velman weapons are totally incapable of even denting the Enterprise. Nevertheless, the story is good in the philosophical pursuit of understanding what qualities make a race and which of that set of qualities makes them worthy of being part of the Federation.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad, good Star Trek entertainment 2 Jun 2009
By Roger J. Buffington - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
"Spartacus" is an interesting novel that explores the attitudes of organic intelligence versus machine intelligence, specifically androids. When do intelligent machines cease being property and instead acquire the same rights as organic beings? This TNG novel does a fair job of exploring this question.

While the novel is a bit talky at times, overall this is good Star Trek TNG entertainment for a lazy afternoon.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Read! 20 Jan 2006
By Christopher S. Hayes - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This story is classic Next Generation problem solving for Captain Picard. Commander Data learns just how alive he really is through this experience. And you may find you have a heart for the tin man without one and his fellow man...

A non stop read.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good read 7 July 2005
A Kid's Review - Published on
Spartacus begins with the Enterprise answering a distress call from a ship that turns out to be crewed by androids, who are fleeing the planet of Vemla. The Vemlans themselves consider the androids slaves and rebels, and want to kill them (although they say "destroy", since they don't think the androids are people).

The androids petition the Fedaration for asylum (or provisional membership- I can't remember), and Picard must hear arguments for and against that. Basicly, this comes down to "Are they people? are they alive? are they a race?" The Vemlans (an annoying [female]official and a male captain who hates the androids, but shows more sense; there would've been less of a stereotype if their genders had been reverced) make plausible arguments that can't be blown away easily. Their ideas are wrong, but beleivable. After all- this's what they've believed for centuries, so it has to be moderately plausible.

The Vemlan captain is a plausible character, who has both positive and negative qualities. The official is a jerk and too obsessed with vengeance and her own power.

The androids (who decide to be called "Spartacans" and people, instead of Vemlan androids because "android" means "a manlike object" and the historical figure Spartacus reminds them of themselves) have distinct personalities. For the most part they are positive, but they have flaws, as would be expected. The android captain (I can't remember his name; sorry)is mostly a good character, but he is willing to do almost anything for his peoples' survival. He plans to destroy the Enterprise if he has to, and the crew never find out. His wife and second-in-command is a bit gentler, but still developed some. The only other developed android (sorry, Spartacan) character is Maran, the librarian, who has a friendship/romance with Data. I like her; she talks with him about why he immitates humans, and if he should try to make his own way of doing things instead.

The interactions among the Enterprise crew were believable- I don't remember all, but Data and Geordi's friendship was there. The Enterprise people aren't paragons in this story- they're people. Picard is suspicious, and Data fails to win over hte Vemlan captain.

Also, in the debate, everyone had valid points. Picard brought up the Borg, and along wiht the question of "Are the androids a race?" he said, the same question could be asked of the Borg. Crusher asked if they could be considered a race since they needed a labrotory to reproduce. Ultimately she thought that the Spartacans were people, but not a race. The Vemlan captain's opinions had to do with experiance and emotion.

My only problems were a) it was stiff in places- but that's Next Generation, period and b) if Data is the only successful android in the Fedaration, after many tries- how did these other people, with less advanced technology, manage to mass-produce them?

That aside, it's a great book. It ends well, but not perfectly. The Vemlans don't change their minds (well, the captain decides to rebel)and it's possible that the Spartacans won't be accepted into the Fedaration. I like the realism of that imperfection, within a satisfying conclusion.
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