I enjoyed this, my first Star Trek novel for a long while.
The book takes place after the early TOS episode "Where No Man Has Gone Before". The crew ofI enjoyed this, my first Star Trek novel for a long while.
The book takes place after the early TOS episode "Where No Man Has Gone Before". The crew of the Enterprise plays a role in the story, but not the central role. There are many characters being set up (I assume) for the rest of the story - this is Book 1 of 7.
The most interesting character was T'Prynn, a vulcan female troubled by a katra that refuses to leave her mind.
The book is not big idea stuff, but is an entertaining story in a comfortable universe.
How to describe Pavane? Two things are simple to say: first, it's a fix-up novel, or a mosaic. A collection of stories set in the same universe that aHow to describe Pavane? Two things are simple to say: first, it's a fix-up novel, or a mosaic. A collection of stories set in the same universe that are brought together and presented as a novel.
Second, it's an alternate history. In 1588, says the prologue, Queen Elizabeth I was assassinated, which set into motion a series of events that prevented the Protestant Reformation. The Catholic Church (the political, militant Catholic Church) ended up controlling half the world. These stories take place over a few generations in the late 20th century.
The things that are more difficult to convey about the book are how beautifully it's written and how vivid and moving the stories are.
Also difficult are my mixed feelings about the presentation of the Catholic Church, which is not really the Catholic Church at all. The world is very different under its stifling power, the most obvious thing being that the Church has prevented the use of many technological advances. The Pope issues papal bulls with titles like "Petroleum Veto" that forbid the use of internal combustion engines. The remnant of the Inquisition (called the Court of Spiritual Welfare) is present, too.
Yet the 20th century feudal world presented is a fascinating setting, and the stories are very moving, like I said. And then there's The Coda - the last short story in the book - which is thought provoking.
This is a book that I'm not likely to forget.
Neil Gaiman Presents did an audio version of this over on Audible. Stephen Crossley narrates. I listened to a couple of stories and it was excellent. I also enjoyed Gaiman's introduction.
Added: I would compare Keith Roberts (this book, anyway) to Gene Wolfe, Jack Vance, Tim Powers....more
"We intend to begin on the first of February unrestricted submarine warfare. We shall endeavor in spite of this to keep the United States of America neutral. In the event of this not succeeding, we make Mexico a proposal of alliance on the following basis: make war together, make peace together, generous financial support and an understanding on our part that Mexico is to reconquer the lost territory in Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. The settlement in detail is left to you. You will inform the President of the above most secretly as soon as the outbreak of war with the United States of America is certain and add the suggestion that he should, on his own initiative, invite Japan to immediate adherence and at the same time mediate between Japan and ourselves. Please call the President's attention to the fact that the ruthless employment of our submarines now offers the prospect of compelling England in a few months to make peace." Signed, ZIMMERMANN
The result of the interception and decoding of that telegram was the entry of the United States into World War I.