Some look at newspaper strips with an eye less serious than they view other graphic stories. Some believe that the strips don't hold the depth that you sometimes find in traditional comics. Believe me. I'm here to tell you that's Klingon propaganda.
I wasn't sure what to expect when my pre-ordered copy of this beautiful book arrived. Although skeptical, I ordered it because I am a Trek fan, and my favorite stories feature Kirk & Co., the orignal crew.
I'm just going to come out and say it now. The stories I've read so far (I've now finished the first four of 10 tales told in this book.) have blown me away. They're "Trek" stories. And, I mean GOOD "Trek" stories.
If you are a Trek fan, then you know what a good Trek story is. It's a real science fiction story. It's a story that explores the human condition. It's about ethics and philosophy and the BIG UNIVERSAL QUESTIONS. I've read about a quarter of the book, and I am extremely impressed. This is good stuff.
I highly recommend it.
To help you decide whether you'll like the book as much as I do, I'm going to tell you about the first story. If you've already made up your mind to get the book, then stop reading here. I'm about to spoil the first story. But, if you're still teetering back and forth, wondering if this book is for you, read about the first story to see if it appeals to your sense of what a good Trek story is....
The Enterprise picks up an old style radio message. All it says is, "Come." Investigating, Kirk and crew are drawn to a solar system where the main planet is dead, ravaged by a nuclear war that took place 900 years ago.
The signal, though, is coming from the world's moon. Kirk, Spock, and McCoy, wearing those neat thruster suits you saw in ST:TMP, head down to the surface of the moon. There, they find a crashed, pre-warp vessel. And, outside the vessel? Footprints!
Following the prints, they are surprised when a moon vehicle breaks towards them from the horizon. As it approaches, it fires a burst of energy that paralyzes the three Starfleet officers. Then, these Dr. Octopus-like flexible arms appear from the machine, gather the three men up, like specimens, and carry them across the moon...to a rock...that opens, showing a ramp leading down into the moon.
The Enterprise men are conscious. They just can't move. And, Spock now realizes why the gravity on the moon was so low for its size. The moon is hollow.
There's a scene that cracks me up. The machine puts Kirk and crew in these box units that they realize are hypersleep chambers. Specimen chambers. There is a soporific hum that, as Spock thinks, "This vibration...like slow delta waves, inducing sleep...by altering the electrical period of the cortical neurons..."
One frame shows Kirk, fighting and losing the battle to stay awake. The next frame shows Spock, in his Spartan way, using his Vulcan mind disclipline to fight the effect. Then, in the next frame, we see McCoy. He's sawing logs!
That just cracks me up.
Anyway, the Enterprise locates and beams up the three of them plus two others in adjacent hypersleep pods. It turns out, the little aliens are from the planet below. They left just before the extinction event, trying to find an answer to save their world. And, they think the Enterprise crew are...gods. The aliens worship their moon.
As it turns out, the moon was constructed by some alien race (V'Ger anyone? Nomad anyone? The Doomsday Machine, anyone?) that seeded this part of the galaxy then used these artificial moons to monitor their creations. Once the species developed the technology to reach the moon, the moon would leave the world and return to the Seeders with a sample of the more evolved race that has previously been planted.
The big climax to the story is the Enterprise, locked in a powerful tractor beam battle with the moon, as the moon/robot/vessel attempts to recover the aliens.
But...the aliens want to return to the moon. They worship the thing. They want to go meet their gods--those that created them.
Kirk lets them go, and the Enterprise gets free.
Neat story, eh? Very Star Trek-y?
I think so.
If you agree, then buy this book. You won't be sorry.