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Star Trek: The Next Generation: Tales of the Dominion War
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 12 October 2004
One of the unique (as far as Star Trek TV series go, anyway) things about Deep Space Nine was the two-year "Dominion War," where the shapeshifters from the Gamma Quadrant allied with the Cardassians and waged war on the other Alpha Quadrant races. Of course, being a television series about Deep Space Nine, the series couldn't really delve into what was going on in other parts of the Federation. We get no clue what the crew of the Enterprise was doing, for example. We hear about some things, of course, but mostly in the background.
Keith R.A. DeCandido, editor of Tales of the Dominion War decided that these holes needed to be filled. Since there is a lot of Trek franchises bouncing around these days, why not have a book of short stories that tell some of these tales? You've got your title all made up for you, too, so you don't have to work very hard at that. DeCandido lined up the best and the brightest of the current crop of Trek authors to give us a sampling of the huge events that took place during this war. The stories are mostly good, but a few clunkers along the way as well as some good stories with questionable elements keep this from being a top notch book.
Probably the best story is "Safe Harbor," by Howard Weinstein. Weinstein is the elder statesman of Star Trek books, having been involved with them since the very beginning (though I think he's been away for a while). He tells the story of Admiral Leonard McCoy and Scotty, trying to get back to Earth in a clunky old ship. It begins with a chilling image of a horrible attack on San Francisco, with Jim Kirk and Spock dying horrible deaths. This image quickly moves to McCoy waking up and ultimately realizing that he's really old and that his faculties may be beginning to desert him. They find safe harbor on a planet that prides itself on its neutrality in the war. They're able to wrangle a few hours for repairs, but then they have to leave. Soon, however, a badly damaged Federation ship also shows up, with all of its senior officers dead. McCoy has to counsel the extremely young acting captain as well as deal with the news that San Francisco actually was attacked. Dominion ships are in the area, searching. Will they be able to convince a young engineer on the planet to let them stay long enough to finish all their repairs and hide from the Dominion? This story had wonderful characterization (it should, as Weinstein always gets McCoy exactly right, even when McCoy's 150 years old) and an interesting dilemma. McCoy is wonderful both with the captain as well as with the engineer, and Scotty isn't bad himself. The story did have minor problems, however, which wrenched me out of the narrative. The first was the lack of an explanation for the dream. The dream was too exact for my taste, the only difference from real life being the involvement of Kirk and Spock. Is McCoy suddenly a prophet? And why isn't it mentioned again? Secondly, the ending is a little bit too treacly for my tastes, almost drowning in patriotic sugar. Still, it is a wonderful story.
Of the rest of the stories, my least favourite was "Twilight's Wrath," by David Mack. This story involves Shinzon, from the movie Star Trek: Nemesis, and how he was able to gain some of his power. He and his fellow Remans are ordered to mop up a Tal Shiar base that's been attacked by the Dominion, retrieving some items and making sure there's nothing left for the Dominion to find. Of course, being Remans, they're seen as expendable, and they're not expected to survive (even going so far as to have them killed once they have accomplished their mission). Shinzon outwits his Romulan superiors, however, and steals the information for himself. Along the way, he finds out information about his past, including his birthright, which will propel him into the events of the movie. This story was overly violent with a lot of hand-to-hand combat, severed limbs and other gut-wrenching things. That's ok by itself, but Shinzon is not even the least bit interesting. In fact, there's not a character in this story that I wanted to follow. I was hoping they would all fall victim to a grisly death. It does explain a couple of the inconsistencies in the movie, however.
Finally, a story that just mystified me. "What Dreams May Come," by Michael Jan Friedman, is the story of a Vorta (one of the Dominion toadies who keep the footsoldiers in line) on an isolated Federation world conquered by the Dominion. It's a quiet little place and he's really set in his ways. He has made servants of some of the local populace, but one of them isn't who he says he is. He relates to the Vorta a dream that he had, one where his people attacked the Dominion base. A dream that turns out to be all too real. At its heart, the story is extremely basic, but that quality makes it really uninteresting. If Friedman was trying to say anything with the story or do anything with it, I didn't catch it. It just sits there. While it's only a few pages long and doesn't take any time to get through, it does begin the book on a wrong note.
Overall, I greatly enjoyed Tales of the Dominion War. It was interesting to see all the difference facets of the Trek universe and how they dealt with the war. There's even a couple of Deep Space Nine stories as well, which was nice. Most of the stories are worth reading with some real gems in there as well. Good stuff.
David Roy
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 24 September 2011
What dreams may come
a very short story involving a conversation between a vorta overseer on a neutral planet and his native man servant who dreams he is more than he appears.What it lacks in subtlety it more than makes up for by being obvious, pointless and did i mention pointless.
Night of the Vulture - A nice little story of a covert mission invovling changlings jem hadar ,vorta and a cardassian.The stress of the mission and thier underlying animosity for each other is brought to the surface by an old TOS villain.
not bad at all the writer clearly knows his characters and the thought processes of the varous races involved.Most novelisations of star trek(to me)tend to suffer from it always being someone elses interpretation of the trek-verse or the characters ,the dialogue and there action tend to scream out to the reader "but they wouldnt do that" or "wouldnt say that".This story was a blue moon rare spot on story KUDOS greg cox
the next is a competantly written teaser for the battle of betazed book.
Blood sacrifice - We join spock on his on going mission on romulus .When there aging figure head emperor is assasinated there is no shortage of suspects ,with bitter aurgments occuring every day in the senate about thier neutrality.Spock decides to bring the killer to justice himself.
I liked the spock characterisation and the story ,but kinda felt like "small beer" as events are immediately overshadowed by another more important assasination "by the pale moonlight"

mirror eyes -interesting little medical drama set aboard DS9 with dominion and romulan intrigue woven into the story and the writer even allows us to empathise with the narator,s perpective

Twlights Wraith - the true crown jewel of the book we get a shizon story .His assault on a dominion base leading men into battle his meticulous planning miltary genius and his passionate empathy for the plight of the reman people .A true classic felt very cinematic hopefuly a trilogy of books will be in the offing for this character

Eleven hours out- picard and deanna are on earth with enterprise is racing toward earth to stop a breen assault on san francisco unfortunatly although the plot is okay thier seem to be some major errors in continuity.
The ds9 ep which mentions the assault said "the ships were driven off by the tenth fleet" in the book there only 3 breen ships all quickly dispatched once ther covert sabotage is overcome(no tenth fleet in sight) damar even mentions "its a shame so few breen ships survived the attack" in the ep but in the book NO ships survived the attack
next we have the appearance of the national guard?, the us president? and FEMA??? for some reason.It really jared the reader out of the 24 century and back into the 21st.Were supposed to belive these organisations still exist had to wonder if the author had ever seen star trek before or merely watched the awful abrams movie.

Safe habours - scotty and bones in a beaten up runabout head for a nearby neutral planet for some repairs
bones has a prophetic dream about the breen attack on earth despite not having any precognative abilities and it not being explained in any other manner .Mccoy just happens to dream the future and we accept that????
the neutral race in question arnt worth mentoning they aren't given any real depth so we have another pointless story with a gaping "see the future" plot hole.thumbs down

field expediancy - the characters from the starfleet corp engineers books get thier chance to fight in the dominion war trying to De-booby trap a breen com device while under heavy attack the story and the characters are ok not a bad story and even has a slight twist at the end .

A well sung song - a klingon ship chrash lands on a desolate rock about he same time as the jem hadar ship it was fighting does the lone survivor is a recently one armed warrior name klag who seeks to aquit himself ,despite his injury, in combat against the jemhadar which he does.the protaganist is what you expect from a klingon officer and his view of the war and the universe is expressed through the narrative.But after a while the combat descriptions get samey and the story seems to loose steam before the end . still worth the time to read it

Stone cold truths - a character from new frontiers offers a historical perspective on one of his dominion conflicts 150 year hence and clashes with a teacher about the nature of "glorious" war.
slightly confusing and found none of the characters likeable or not annoying.

Requital - Reese the character from the DS9 ep ar 558 reappears but one wonders if the writer ever watched the ep.The character is decribed a few times as "young" the actor was clearly in his forties and at least much older than all the other guest actors in the ep.The writer seems to confuse the planetoid called ar 558 with the dominion com array on the planet refering to the array by the planet name at one point.The book portrays him as a shattered character bent on revenge.Nothing in the ep ever gave that impression he was a vet glad to be leaving the front but it felt like a completely different person to the one writer was describing.They also try to compare him to sisko's lose of his wife at wolf 359 the story endlessly quotes the pilot and the first meeting of sisko and the prophets.But the parralels really jar.Sisko had pretty much come to term with (if not gotten over) his wife's death he even re married by this point portraying him like this is beyond a retrograd step it just stinks of someone who didnt understand the character at all

Over all
twilight alone is worth the price of admission and thier are some other good gems to be had
but as with all trek novelisation you contend with others radically different interpretations of you beloved heros
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 8 September 2004
Tales of the Dominion War is the latest venture to furthering the stories set during the forementioned Dominion War. Its format is a series of short stories written by various authors of the Star Trek Universe. And with there being 12 stories there are too many to surmise.
What can be said about the stories is the effective way in which the authors at some points convey the feelings of those at the homefront. Take 'The Ceremony of Innocence is Drowned' in which we see the Dominion attack on Betazed. The author really does succeed is conveying the sheer blindness of the population in believing that the Dominion wont attack. The scene in which Lwaxana home is attacked is trully something as is when she senses the thoughts of the approaching Dominion fleet and sensing the death of the orbital defence team. Other stories extend to other areas of the galaxy from Shinzon and the Remuns (who you could actually feel sorry for if you hadnt seen what they tried to do in Nemesis). To Spock on Romulas which is debating whether or not to ally with the Dominion.
What the book succeeds in doing is extending the war beyond the traditional realm of Deep Space Nine. Saying that some of the stories are pretty bland. Taking What Dreams May Come as an example the reader has to sit through three pages of a Ben Zoma (from Stargazer) dressed up as an alien pretending to the Vorta that he had a dream of Starfleet attacking the planet and defeating the Jem'Hadar. Althought the Vorta thinking he's just a simpleton - its a very lame story and the weakest of the bunch. It has the aura of a rushed job, Friedman doesnt look like he had his heart in it.
It a fantastic book overall and fun to read. Its through these stories that you really do get a sense of sacrifice and pain the Dominion War brought to the Star Trek universe, much better than brief references by the DS9 crew to the lists of war dead. Read on and enjoy...
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on 24 August 2009
This book is a fantastic collection of short stories written by some great star trek authors. It covers most characters from the star trek franchise and what they do to contribute to the war. The stories even include characters from other novels which created added depth for me when reading. Unfortunately this isn't what I was expecting when buying the book. I would have loved a collection of stories about new crews with new situations throughout the war. Instead there were already developed characters and not all the stories were really about the war. Still a fantastic read and would recommend it to any star trek fan.
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on 5 April 2013
After watching the series on DVD again recently these stories just added so much extra depth.

A great read, a must read to enhance the history of the War even more.
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on 29 June 2015
Fully satisfactory
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