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The Tears of the Singers

(Star Trek: The Original Series #19)

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  930 ratings  ·  43 reviews
Captain Kirk and the U.S.S. Enterprise join the Klingons to avert disaster in the Taygeta V system, where a time/space warp has swallowed a spaceship without a trace. Spock suspects a link between the anomaly and the inhabitants of Taygeta, semi-aquatic creatures killed for the jewel-like tears secreted at the moment of death. But a mutinous Klingon officer threatens the v ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published August 15th 1989 by Pocket Books (first published September 1984)
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Average rating 3.68  · 
Rating details
 ·  930 ratings  ·  43 reviews

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Aug 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
From the brilliant organic mind who brought fans such fantastic Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes about the fan favorite positronic brained android such as season two's “The Measure of a Man” and the
teleplay for “Pen Pals,” just to name a few, comes a literary marvel.
I have found that even some of the most fanatic trekkies don't bother
to crack open the spine (this was what humans did before things such
as ebooks and devices like Nooks and Kindles) of a Star Trek novel or
other literary work
May 30, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
When a freighter disappears into an expanding time/space warp in the Taygeta V system, Starfleet sends the USS Enterprise to investigate. With them is Guy Maslin, a brilliant but temperamental composer seconded to the mission to help the crew understand the song of the native Taygetans, who may hold a clue to the problem of the warp. When they arrive, however, they encounter a force of two Klingon vessels commanded by James Kirk's old adversary Kor, who has been dispatched on a mission similar t ...more
Jan 01, 2016 rated it liked it
A fairly solid Star Trek story. Pass it on to someone else on listia. =)
Octavia Cade
For the most part, I really liked this. I liked the focus on music, I liked that Uhura was given a love interest - and that it was essentially her story. I liked the aliens, who were genuinely interesting, and I thought the problem they were both causing and about to suffer from was compelling. I even liked the Klingons... well, some of them. Kor was done very well indeed. I always like when the Klingons are given more to do than bluster and be violent.

Honestly, I liked so much of this that it w
Nov 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Charming - another story around song, and Uhura!

After re-reading Uhura's Song recently, I had to get a copy (in print!) of this classic Trek novel.
A nice adventure wrapped around a mysterious space phenomena, "space baby seals," Klingons and a genius musician. Love, adventure and tragedy all wrapped together.
Mike McDevitt
Jul 06, 2010 rated it did not like it
Stop clubbing, baby seals!

Took months to finish because I could not care any less.
Quite apart from the bad, bad men who club magic reality-bending alien seals for their salty tears, is the jerk Uhura's sleeping with.
Main character Guy Maslin, (tortured musician drafted to play his synth to seals by bad, bad Captain Kirk), is really unappealing, like an unfunny Alan Alda with no doctor skills to fall back on. But Uhura loves him hard enough to make wedding plans. Guess who dies?

Liked Kor's wife K
Sep 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
another reread - first time since I bought it in 1984 - but I still liked it. Maybe not quite as much as the first time, but that's my own change of perspective. Well written, good use of the ST characters, including Kor, the Klingon commander from the episode with the Organians.
Mar 21, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: star-trek
tragic heroic Romantic composer dies of SPACE CONSUMPTION while saving telepathic singing seals with his synthesizer; or, SPACE OPERA (pun oh-so-intended).
Oleta Blaylock
Oct 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I guess the best thing to say about this story is that it is a story of highs and lows and cooperation between enemies. This is a love story and a tragedy. The story focuses on Uhura and a musician that she idolizes. While on leave during a refit of the Enterprise Uhura meets Guy Maslin. Maslin is a musical genius and has the attitude to go with the fame he has achieved. Uhura, Spock and Kirk go to a concert to listen to Maslin perform during the performance Kirk is called away. The commander of ...more
Aug 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was a fun, nicely paced, classic-feeling Trek story. I'm a little confused about some of the "economic" details that part of the plot hinges on, but I'm not sure if that's because of a later "Next Gen" retcon of how money works in the Federation, or if they just got that detail wrong here. Other than that, this had the feel of a classic TOS episode, with some pretty blatant moralizing and lots of character interplay. Snodgrass has a good grasp of the characters' voices, which goes a long wa ...more
April Harrison
Jun 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Surprisingly good! Plenty of twists and turns, a good character, and surprisingly fun romance. Uhura's character was explored more, as she comes out really well-written here. Some nice Spock and McCoy moments. The only thing that kept it from being great was the message, which was hammered in rather heavily. We get it, don't hurt the cute critters. Still, the other message that came from having to work with Klingons was much better. And I loved those glimpses into Klingon life it afforded.
Kieran McAndrew
Oct 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The planet Taygeta V is a prized hunting ground as it yields the tears of the Singers, beautiful and highly prized crystals in all areas of the galaxy.

Kirk and the 'Enterprise' are dispatched to investigate a subspace anomaly which threatens the Taygetian system and find that the rift and the enigmatic tears are connected.

Snodgrass has a fine grasp on Uhura and the place of the feminine in the future world. The novel is uplifting and empowering.
Oct 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: star-trek, sci-fi
I very much enjoyed this Uhura-centric story and the return of Kor. I was actually surprised with this book as I didn't expect a lot from it as I expected it to be more of a "stop kiling animals!" plotline but it did not go that way instead sticking to the mystery of how to communicate with these creatures and stop a phenomenon from destroying the surrounding area.
Aug 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
An enjoyable and brisk read: fun to hang out with the original crew. Snodgrass doesn't always capture the personalities of the characters perfectly but does well enough to make this one of the better Star Trek books. She seems to not quite get Spock but nails McCoy and Kirk. This is what you'd call an "afternoon" read. I finished it up in a day.
Karen Cowgill
May 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Great! I haven't read a Star Trek book in YEARS! I took this to an appointment, and I finished it in one sitting.
Amelia Nichole Defield
Oct 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017, startrek
I liked the mystery, I especially enjoyed the Klingons and the unique aliens.

I wasn't fond of how Uhura and the female Klingon Kali were handled.
May 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, trek
Quite good. I could see this being a TOS episode. Uhura gets to be the star in this one in an admittedly cheesy love story. But still a lot of fun.
May 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, star-trek
Probably the best Star Trek novel I've read to date. Love the way the author characterized Uhura, and I wish we could have gotten an Uhura-centric episode like this in the original show.
Jul 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Good solid story although its slightly terrifying just had sexist something published in 1990 seems today
Mar 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Thoroughly enjoyed this Star Trek novel. I loved that Uhura was featured prominently in the story. I felt she wrote true to the personalities of Star Trek.
Jul 18, 2020 rated it liked it
Took some time to get going.
Jan 29, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, fiction, star-trek
A good plot (including strong Uhura) but with a too-convenient ending.
Mar 21, 2019 rated it it was ok
I'ved loved Star Trek since the first episode and the first book. However I could not finish this book. It is sooooo obvious that this book was written pre 90s by a person that grew up in the 60s. This book uses words like "CompuSynthesizer" and "Computer Tapes" Tapes? In the 23rd century? Are you kidding me? Those things are obsolete now and it is only 2010! They couldn't even imagine the web? The writer described this "compusynthesizer as very large and heavy. Sounds like a eight track reel to ...more
Sep 27, 2016 rated it it was ok
Definitely no favorite of mine.
Mike Crate
Apr 24, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi, star-trek
The Klingon Empire and the Federation send ships to investigate an anomaly which is causing issues with shipping and threatening the region in and around the Taygeta system. Taygeta V is the home of a creature that is reported to sing constantly and is being hunted for a jewel created by ocular secretions at the time of it's death. The Enterprise "drafts" one of the Federations premier musicians to aid them in their research and he isn't very happy about it but Uhura already has a "relationship" ...more
May 29, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: 1984, star-trek
[These notes were made in 1984:]. By now the plot line is formulaic. Kirk and his crew must co-operate with either the Klingons or the Romulans in the presence of some universe-threatening phenomenon. An
earth-person is reluctantly dragged in and learns from our heroic crew all about compassion &/or cooperation. In this case, it's the Klingons - specifically Kirk's old enemy, Kor, with wife Kali in tow - and a "phenomenon" caused by missing harmonics in the song produced by powerful creatures do
Dec 22, 2014 rated it liked it
Melinda Snodgrass wrote a Star Trek novel in which Uhura and her cranky, Beethoven-esque, musical genius boyfriend try to stop evil hunters from clubbing magical singing baby seals.

Don’t get me wrong; it’s actually pretty good as far as Star Trek books go, especially if you can keep reminding yourself that it was written in 1984, when a future full of super-advanced synthesizers and “Computer Tapes” seemed plausible.

I posted a full review of this book at my blog Trekkie Feminist if you want to r
Daniel Kukwa
May 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: star-trek
A fantastic, satisfying tale as only "Star Trek" can present. Part eco-fable (with an idea that manages to pre-empt STAR TREK IV by two years), part human drama, part Federation vs Klingon action-adventure...all adding up to something that truly qualifies as epic. I wouldn't expect anything less from Melinda Snodgrass, who would go on to write for "Star Trek-The Next Generation" with equal skill...whether it be "The Measure of a Man" or "The High Ground". The archetypal novel to use as proof of ...more
Apr 20, 2016 rated it it was ok
Enterprise solves the mystery of the singing seals and the dangerous rift in time and space. There's a lot in this book that is troublesome. Kirk requires a great musician for this mission, so he impresses a nearby pianist/composer into Star Fleet service. This is apparently legal, and Spock endorses it. Spock is, however, unable to imagine any legal way to prevent hunters from killing intelligent aliens. Kirk is more imaginative: he beats the hunters up. Uhura bizarrely wonders whether she must ...more
Craig Tyler
Jul 14, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: star-trek
Okay, so the back cover had me scared that this would be some very strange Uhura centric novel about her singing to some aliens, and after reading the first few chapters, I realized it was not as bad as I thought it would be. Yes Uhura sings to aliens, but the story is fleshed out, the mystery is mysterious, and the Enterprise crew rises to the occassion once again. And if you like Uhura, as a character, she is very central in this novel.
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Melinda Snodgrass was born in Los Angeles, but her family moved to New Mexico when she was five months old making her almost a native. She studied opera at the Conservatory of Vienna in Austria, graduated from U.N.M. with a degree in history, and went on to Law School. She practiced for three years, and discovered that while she loved the law she hated lawyers so she began writ

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