Selbst Jahrhunderte später werden die letzten Jahrzehnte des zwanzigsten Jahrhunderts – von denen, die die Wahrheit kennen – immer noch als das dunkelste und gefährlichste Kapitel der Menschheitsgeschichte betrachtet. Es gibt noch viele offene Fragen über die schrecklichen Eugenischen Kriege, die während der 1990er auf der Erde tobten. Es war ein apokalyptischer Konflikt, der die Zivilisation an den Rand eines neuen finsteren Mittelalters brachte. Als eine uralte und verbotene Technologie die Menschheit erneut verlockt, muss Captain James T. Kirk tief in die Geheimnisse der Vergangenheit vordringen, um den wahren Ursprung der berüchtigten Eugenischen Kriege zu entdecken … sowie den Ursprung des Mannes, der zum vielleicht gefährlichsten Gegner wurde, dem er sich jemals gegenübersah. Im Jahr 1974 startet ein Konsortium von Wissenschaftlern das Chrysalis-Projekt, ein streng geheimes Genforschungsexperiment. Das Ziel ist nicht weniger, als die Erschaffung ku¨nstlich verbesserter Männer und Frauen: klüger, schneller und stärker als gewöhnliche Menschen – eine Superrasse, um die Führung des gesamten Planeten zu übernehmen. Gary Seven, ein Undercover-Agent einer hochentwickelten außerirdischen Spezies, ist von den Zielen des Projekts zutiefst beunruhigt. Mit seiner Kollegin Roberta Lincoln und der geheimnisvollen Isis riskiert er Kopf und Kragen, um die heimtu¨ckischen Pläne zu vereiteln und die Bedrohung auszulöschen, die das Projekt fu¨r die Zukunft darstellt. Aber vielleicht ist es schon zu spät. Eine Generation von Übermenschen wurde bereits erschaffen.
The author took an interesting approach for the basis of the story, investigating Khan's origins from the perspective of Gary Seven and his assistant Roberta Lincoln (from the TOS episode Assignment: Earth), on one of their many secret missions to save humanity from itself in the late 20th century. We get a brief look at Khan's parentage and the eugenics movement that spawned him, his early formative years, as well as the budding ambition and megalomania that would propel him to later infamy. Unfortunately, the story ends rather abruptly, before we learn anything of the actual eugenics wars. Several other of Seven and Lincoln's missions are described as well, making this as much about them as it is Khan.
The Good: Greg Cox spins a wonderful yarn here; it takes place mostly in the past, but there are some future scenes as well. It paints a vivid picture of the late twentieth century and illustrates the fact that our present affects our future. I'm looking forward to reading the sequel whenever I can get my hands on it.
The Bad: As usual for Star Trek novels, the main content concern is profanity. Also, some of the violence is a bit brutal, particularly when a kid bites a grown woman in the arm.
I have absolutely no idea why this makes so many lists of "the best Star Trek books" because frankly it's just awful. The main characters in the flashback are honestly really boring and the author's need to insert pop culture references into every damn scene just make it feel hackneyed as hell. NEW COKE! LEGWARMERS! SONY WALKMAN! HAS IT SET IN THAT IT'S 1986 YET? Like gimme a break. Also the weird political choices the author makes are absolutely absurd? Like Khan makes a lot of excellent points when he criticizes Seven for not acting to stop western capitalist exploitation. Seven claims he's trying to set humanity down the right path but he seems to spend most of his time causing communist governments to collapse which is silly for a couple of reasons: 1.) in Star Trek canon the collapse of communist governments doesn't stop nuclear war from happening 2.) the federation is basically full communist lmao Like literally the only reason one could hold the argument that Gary Seven is doing the right thing here is if you believe in technological singularity or whatever and if you do well like. Why doesn't Seven just use his magic technology to bring it about? It's just nonsensical. Take away Khan's inconsistent hatred of baseline humans and he's the character that makes the most sense in this train wreck.
This book is little more than a vehicle for Greg Cox to demonstrate his knowledge of political and cultural history of the late 20th century, as well as his knowledge of the Star Trek universe. Khan and Gary Seven (with faithful sidekicks Roberta and Isis) tromp through world history a la Forrest Gump except with an agenda. Allegedly, their agenda is the same, to help humanity survive into the 21st century, although Khan already shows signs of being the anti-hero we know from episode and movie. How he goes from being so idealistic, if ruthless, to being exiled on the Botany Bay is a question left to Volume II, which I may find the patience to read one day.
This book is essentially two stories in one. One is of Kirk and the Enterprise going to check out a planet full of genetically modified humans, while the other is the history of Khan, as told by Gary Seven. (don't know who that is? He was a James Bond/Dr Who character from the original TV series) While doing this novel in this nested story style is interesting, it also creates a number of issues.
The parts told from Kirk's point of view are all interesting and engaging. Cox does a wonderful job portraying the original Enterprise crew, and captures their personalities perfectly. I actually had no issues with any of the Kirk parts of this book, except for that there were far too little of them. The interactions with the genetically modified humans were handled in a believable manner and that part of the story I want to see more of.
Then there's the parts about Khan. Cox chose an interesting route using Gary Seven as the medium in which to tell this story. I actually had to struggle to remember the uninteresting episodes that involved this man and his transforming feline. In the original series, Seven was a test for a possible spin off series that never saw fruition, and probably for good reasons. (he has a female companion, carries a 'servo' which is a pen that can do different things... Dr Who rip off anyone?) Still, it does have its benefits, such as time travel and references to things that happened in Next Gen and the movies for example.
Which brings us to an interesting point. Kirk is reading these files that Seven left behind. Files that make reference to the Borg and Ferengi. Species that Kirk and others in his time have not had experience with, so it seems weird that he would be reading it and not questioning it. An argument can be made that as those were thoughts by Gary, and thus technically not included in his reports, there were points where things were mentioned that Kirk would have had to read. It all creates an interesting point that most may not catch, but for me it broke me away from the story.
Then there's Khan himself. Where the newest rebooted movies portrayed Khan as a sympathetic character who was just looking out for his own people, the Khan in this book (once he gets of age) is nothing but a ruthless, blood thirsty tyrant. Cox tries to inject a small amount of reasoning behind Khan's behavior, but the man's actions show otherwise and there is really no redeeming qualities to the super-human.
Those elements aside, the writing is strong and carries the story well. Seven, Isis, and their female companion are written well, and the interspersing of real events in human history was interesting and eye opening. (Underground nuclear explosion in India. Never knew about that one...) There were a lot of things I really enjoyed about the story, but it is very much a story about Seven rather than Khan, which was disappointing. In fact, when I was a lot younger, I saw my dad reading this book and asked him how it was. His response? "It's okay, nothing special." That statement kept coming to mind while reading this book.
Cox has created both an interesting and uninteresting novel here. There are parts that work extremely well, and then there are aspects that did not. I had issues with rating this and kept going from 2-3 stars, and in the end settled on 2 because as much as I liked the good, there was just so much that I didn't like that I couldn't give it the higher rating.
If you like a piece of fiction that mixes in parts of human history, and you enjoy spy thrillers with a science fiction bent, this is a book for you. But if you are looking for something to give you a better idea of Khan (the original series) and his motivations, you may want to keep away from this and instead watch episodes of Enterprise.
As I was reading this I thought to myself: "What an unexpected and delightful surprise!" (Mostly because the back cover didn't have a synopsis) But my thoughts began to sour as I moved past page 300. Don't get me wrong, I still had fun reading the whole book. However, I had the distinct impression that Greg Cox wrote a great 300 page story to introduce young Kahn, then his publisher told him to inflate it into 500 pages.
The first section of the novel has very little to do with the man himself (the cover is very deceiving), but it reads like a fun and campy spy novel--loved it. A random, uninteresting story involving Kirk and crew is sprinkled about at intervals, so the 'Star Trek' moniker could be justified on the cover.
I might be underselling this read. It was good. If you liked Kahn, you'll like this. But I just can't get over the disappointment I felt when the book ended on page 300, then kept going. I don't think it would have been the author's fault, and I think the two-volume set should have been a little more creatively organized. 'The Adventures of Gary Seven: The Rise and Fall of Kahn, Vol.s 1-4'?
In the Original Series episode “Space Seed,” Star Trek introduced us to Khan, a ruthless genetically advanced conqueror of over a quarter of the earth back in the 1990s (Funny…I don’t remember that, and I lived through the 90’s…). He was later brought back in the strongest of the Star Trek films, Star Trek 2: the Wrath of Khan, to wreak havoc and avenge himself on Captain Kirk. This book is about the rise of that villain…well, sort of.
First we have to be reintroduced to another pair of original series characters, Gary Seven and Roberta Lincoln and their mysterious cat/woman Isis, who all appeared in the “Assignment: Earth” episode which was meant to be a pilot for a spinoff series (it was never picked up). We pick up with Seven and Roberta about 6 years after that episode and we follow them through their search for missing biochemists and genetic scientists who have disappeared without explanation. Their search leads them though East Berlin to New York and then eventually to India, where they come across a secret lab and the child version of the future villain, Khan.
It’s a clever fusing of fiction and reality and canon and for the most part entertains and informs on the back end of the story that fans know. I for one would have liked to have seen the Assignment Earth series come to reality, but a book like this is the next best thing.
I suppose the title is not a misnomer since there is a part two. This is not the rise and fall but the beginning of the rise and the break from student (Khan) and mentor (seven). This is only half the story, kind of like the Star Wars Prequels and the rise of Darth Vader. Knowing where Khan is headed and how dangerous he will become is certainly fruitful territory for Star Trek writers. The story will continue and I’m game for reading the sequel.
One complaint I have about this book might seem churlish, but…I really don’t see why it had to have Captain Kirk or the crew of the Enterprise at all. It can stand on its own as Star Trek history and background of what is always hinted at as terrible period in future World History. The fact that this story is framed around an Enterprise mission feels obligatory and kind of clunky. I’m no purist, but it could have lost about 50 pages of Captain Kirk and company and been just fine. Maybe that’s just me.
All in all, a terrific read in my 2 month quest to go through some of the better Star Trek novels.
My husband has been trying to get me to read this book for years.
Finally, I succumbed. I finished it in two days. That's not unusual for me, but the particular days I was reading this were busy ones. I couldn't put the book down.
I've been a Star Trek fan since the very early seventies. When I was a child, I used to creep out into the living room late Saturday night, turn the volume on the TV WAY DOWN LOW before I switched it on, and try to watch the three episodes of Star Trek on our local PBS station without waking my father up. (He wouldn't fuss at me for staying up past my bedtime. He'd just be thankful for my star trek theme song alarm which would pull him out of bed to watch wrestling.) I had to be almost the equivalent decibels of a submarine on a silent run to get through all three back to back episodes.
Almost always, my dad would wake up, walk into the living room in his boxers and switch from PBS (channel 44) to channel 16 wrestling before my binge was over.
"Space Seed" was one of my favorite episodes. The idea of a superman falling in love with a normal girl riding on the Enterprise really appealed to me. I only reason I hated the movie "Wrath of Khan" is because we discover that McGivers had died. I really mourned her.
I didn't expect to like this book because of that, but I did. The backstory for Khan is believable (at least it is for someone who romanticized him as a child).
I loved the pop-culture references. I remember when the wall went down. I remember when the hole in the ozone layer first made the mainstream news.
Seven and Roberta were great to follow around spying and saving the world.
A fantastic blend of real historical events with Star Trek canon -- most of the book feels like a spy adventure in the 1970s, featuring Gary Seven, his assistant Roberta, and their super-intelligent alien cat Isis, as they investigate and take down a lab breeding dangerous mutant bacteria... and genetically altered super-children (including the 4-year old who would one day be Khan Noonien Singh)
The book dragged a bit in the 1980s with all the Soviet intrigue, but by the end Khan comes into his own as a force to be reckoned with. The references to previous Trek adventures (Ferengi landing on Earth in the 1940s, Pavel Chekov getting arrested in the 1980s, and everyone's favorite Original Series Klingon Koloth) are a highlight.
I rather enjoyed this and loved seeing Gary Seven and Roberta again. I was, strangely enough, possibly more fascinated by learning of Khan's Sikh background. I am curious how he became the clean shaven superman in the future.
Star Trek II: The Wrath of khan was always my favorite of the old Star Trek movies. When I saw this trilogy detailing the Eugenics Wars and the story of Khan Noonien Singh, I was excited to pick it up.
It is a strange story in that the typical cast (Kirk, Spock, etc) make up less than 2% of the story. The story begins in 1974. The Chrysalis project is looking to create genetically enhanced humans. Gary Seven, alien raised human from the future, and his sidekick Roberta seek to undermine this project. The story covers their infiltration of the project and their insights into the children. Once Seven is able to disrupt the program the children scatter.
The story then jumps forwards about a decade and we see the young Singh developing into a very different person than the one Seven wants. In Singh we start to see the signs of the conqueror that we know from later Star Trek lore.
A fun and interesting story. It was unusual to read a Star Trek story that had little of the standard Star Trek plot as this story takes place on the Earth of our times. It was an interesting read and I certainly look forwards to reading the second volume of this series. Any Star trek fan and anyone who liked the movie will enjoy this look into one of Star Trek's most infamous villains.
This is a pair of books by Greg Cox, written just a few years ago and incorporating as much of established Trek history as could be crammed into the late 20th century. I was interested in reading a fully fleshed-out treatment of the Eugenics Wars, possibly the most fascinating period in Trek's fictional history, and one that reportedly attempted to mesh reality with fiction. Even though the main events of the Eugenics Wars were established in 1967, three years before Khan Noonien Singh's supposed birth, the idea of him as a product of his times, and solidly a member of our own generation (two years younger than myself), was fascinating to me. I shouldn't have expected much, and I got even less.
When OST originally aired, the millennium seemed infinitely far away. Trek writers liberally seasoned the late 20th century with tantalizing historical convulsions. As time goes by, however, we catch up with these events and disprove them. The hardest concept for Trek writers to grasp, it seems, is that Trek takes place not in the future, but in an alternate universe. This universe has its own timeline, including a 20th century that is similar to our own in many ways but also very different. For example, there is no Star Trek in the 20th century of the Trek universe. How could there be? We accept that in the 1930s, the Dixon Hill stories were published in the Trek universe — but not in our own. In 1969 the Enterprise appeared in US airspace and accidentally captured USAF Captain John Christopher — again, not in our universe. In 1993 the Eugenics Wars occurred and somewhere around the 2050s World War III. Not in our universe.
Unfortunately, Trek writers have a habit of trying to maintain Trek as some sort of extrapolated present, which necessitates ever more squashing and squeezing as Trek's own past becomes better established. Greg Cox, unwilling to accept that Trek's 1993 is not our own, recasts the Eugenics Wars as something that took place "under the radar," camouflaged by religious and ethnic strife around the world, such that no ordinary citizens were aware of it. To the greatest extent possible, Cox tries to render the events of his book as something that could have happened in our own world, while we weren't looking. The fact that this isn't, after all, possible doesn't bother him.
When most of us first saw "Space Seed," we got the impression of the Eugenics Wars as a period of deep global strife over the idea of genetic engineering. A philosophical and technological crucible upon which the Earth was tested and nearly ruined. A time when all of humanity went to war over whether or how humanity itself should be improved upon, the very idea of humanness called into question. Something which, to be blunt, is almost sure to happen for real if we ever do become capable of true genetic engineering. According to the history established in that episode, in 1993 over forty nations were simultaneously seized by genetic supermen in bloody coups. Khan himself controlled a quarter of the globe. Multiple regional wars flared up, both against the supermen and between them. Finally defeated, Khan and his most loyal followers escaped in 1996 on a stolen sleeper ship, just invented by NASA.
*** spoiler alert ***
None of this happens in Cox's book. How could it? We would have heard something on the news! Instead, the genetics lab that produced Khan and his siblings remains isolated and secret, destroyed shortly after his birth. The ‘supertots’ are dispersed throughout the world to various orphanages by Gary Seven. Yes, Gary Seven and Roberta Lincoln are pretty much the main characters of this book. Khan rises to power mostly as a shadow government, controlling the "legitimate" regimes in the various countries he supposedly rules by threats, blackmail and the occasional assassination. He struggles against the other supermen, but always behind the scenes. There are no wars, other than those nebulous power struggles that took place in our own universe: Somalia, Bosnia, North Korea, Peru, etc. Cox tries to lay all of these at the feet of Khan and his ilk, but of course this can't give them the global reach and apocalyptic import that the Eugenics Wars supposedly had. He's forgetting what the point really was: This was not about the rise and fall of a single megalomaniac. It was about humanity's catastrophic flirtation with genetic engineering, and the reason such engineering is still banned in the Federation "today."
Finally, Khan doesn't steal the Botany Bay so much as make a deal with Gary Seven, who has already appropriated it. Forced to acknowledge his inevitable defeat at the approach of Bill Clinton's 1996 bombing raids in the Middle East, Khan agrees to get the hell out of dodge and go look for a new future on a new planet. Bah. I don't buy it, not for one slip of latinum.
It's sad that the Trek franchise has felt it necessary to rewrite so much of its own established history, one that is every bit as exciting and complex as our own 20th century has been. This is obviously a sore point with me. From the depredations wrought by Voyager and Enterprise to this book, the universe of Trek has been rendered watery, inconsistent and uneventful. At this rate, we'll never get to World War III, let alone the invention of warp drive. At some point, we have to acknowledge that Trek is not about the future. It's just a story. And if the franchise is to survive as Paramount obviously hopes it will, they will either have to deal with that or allow it to balkanize into dozens of mutually incompatible individual storylines. I'm not holding out much hope.
For Trekkie fanboys, though, Cox has done an admirable job of stuffing as many little Trek references into his book as possible. Gary Seven and Roberta Lincoln are here, as previously mentioned. The secret genetic engineering project is being funded and supplied by, among others, Ralph Offenhouse, later rescued from a sleeper ship in the TNG episode "The Neutral Zone." Walter Nichols, to whom was bequeathed the formula for transparent aluminum in Star Trek VI, is recruited by NASA to help develop the DY-100 sleeper ship. Also on that development team are Jackson Roykirk, designer of the Nomad, and Shaun Christopher, who will become the first man on Saturn in 2009. Naturally, the drive systems for the DY-100 class are based on observations of the Ferengi shuttle that crashed at Roswell in 1947. And finally, in a fight scene in a bookstore, Roberta Lincoln defends herself with a copy of the just-published Chicago Mobs of the Twenties.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
I have always considered "Star Trek" to be one of my guilty pleasures. This book really got to me, on many levels. I had always been curious as to Kahn's past. This book answers those questions. This character was, without a doubt, the best "bad guy" Kirk had ever faced.
As a pleasant surprise, the author does great tribute to the characters and the actors who played them. Gary Seven, who was played by Robert Lansing in the series, gets an "Equalizer" nod when a certain "friend" named "McCall" is mentioned. Lansing, of course, played the character "Control" on the CBS series "The Equalizer." And Kahn, rather Mister Rourke-like, welcomes his adversaries to a "certain" island.
"It's all true!" Those words from Galaxy Quest fit for this stellar exercise in retconning!
I'd read this book when it came out, and recently got Kindle editions of the whole trilogy - it's a fun read. Carefully weaving 40+ years of Trek - and REAL - history into a narrative that explains how we didn't notice the "Eugenics War" and the rise (and fall) of Khan. Oh, and there's a story woven through with Kirk, Spock, McCoy, et al facing a new planet of genetic supermen.
It's easy to be warey of delving into another universe, or to explore the expanse of a universe you thought you were already familiar with, but there comes a time when curiosity gets the better of even the most seasoned devotee. To think that more of a particular universe exists beyond that which we already known can be a gauling prospect. Especially when the general concensus is that, the expanded areas of that universe are generally a bit crap. That was my earliest reservation about the Star Trek expanded universe, that most of the novels ranged between dreadful and awful. In fact i was told that they flat out sucked. They said that about the Star Wars expanded universe pre disney may it rest in peace, and i now own every single star wars expanded universe book in that series. To be honest i can see something similar happening with star trek. My first star wars book read was about "Darth Plageus" a villain that we didnt even see yet fans hold in high repute. My First Star Trek novel read was about another much beloved villain. Non other than Khan! So after watching the dvd of star trek 2 - wrath of khan, i saw the special feature about star trek novels where by Greg cox talked about his Khan books. I must have seen this feature 50 times and for one reason or another, i only recently thought i really should read those books. One amazon shopping trip later and i'm diving into a book that i was led to understand was a blending of what was OUR real world and the world of Star Trek. I never thought that such a thing was possible seeing as OUR history and trek history varied so dramatically in terms of the history of Khan himself. But then again how could the original series possibly predict the future in such a way. Simple answer it can't. But Greg Cox certainly had a bloody good go. Modern History as we know it serves as a backdrop to the action rather than a pro-active arena where by the action takes place. It's a cheap trick but one i think works really well. While the real world events play out, these unseen adventures are happening right beneath everyones nose. Very Clever. So, the book itself. The actual story. Now I was told that Gary Seven and Roberta Lincoln were in this story, what i found to my delight that this is in fact a fully fledged, 100% Gary seven and Roberta Adventure. Happy Days! I saw these two in Assignment: Earth and i absolutaly fell in love with the pair of them. What i adore is that we get complete access to both of them and dear Isis. What makes me want to punch Greg cox straight in the cox for, is teasing us with all the little nods to "unseen" adventures of the two agents, i want to see what happened to gary and roberta in the 4th dimension, and what happened when they travelled back in time, and after this book i want more gary seven and roberta lincoln! I love these two. Their story is a proper fun romp! A sprawling spy thriller 60's trek style and i absolutaly adore it. There are smiles and the pure manliness of Gary 7, the sheer loveability of Roberta and kiss ass-ness of Roberta who is a martial arts wileding lady who you cant help but root for EVERY step of the way. Isis comes into her own being clearly established as a shapeshifter, would be nice to know who isis really is. This is a Gary 7 book rather than a khan book in my eyes, so what about the man himself.
This is The Genesis of Khan (these gags write themselves) We see him as a toddler and then a teen, so the image of ricaldo montelban that we all hate to love, to love to hate. He doesnt turn up, this deals with Khans actual sikh heritage and his pyscho of a mother. But like in Doctor Who - Genesis of the Daleks, the daleks didnt really turn up till the end and not quite as we know and love them. The same is applicable here. We get a glimpse of the sheer genius of this man and how dangerous he is, it really re-establishes the character we grew to love and fear in space seed and indeed wrath of Khan. Like most good genesis stories, you do get part way through the book and think he could turn good, even though we ultimately know that he will turn bad and meglomanic. In essense this is how Khan turns to the Dark side and i rate this along side the turn to the dark side of magneto in xmen first class. It's that good! Theres plenty of action intrigue and curiously bracketed between a situation involving kirk and the gang where the federation is reviewing its policy on Gen-engineering. However there is the usual tussle with the klingons, Koloff turns up as camp as ever even for a klingon. The story requires kirk to look over the time of the eugenics wars to help him form a proper decision. It's a unnessersary detail in my honest opinion. The book doesnt need it. It could have been JUST the story of khan and it would have stood strong no trouble at all. So the kirk section does feel like padding. Talking of padding, the book is not without its faults, the chapters where roberta and gary travel seperatly to india, to the Chrysalis project where khan is born, those few chapters are dull as shit! No need, they could have had one concise chapter and done the same job.
Talking of being born, its curious that the genetic super beings are not test tube babies they are in fact born and the project involves selective breeding, and the darker aspects of that are chilling! I mean seriously, we see what happens to the "rejects" and other experiments. Dark stuff.
Overall, this is a REALLY good way to be introduced to the star trek expanded universe. Really worth a read, i'd recommend it too anyone!
I found this difficult to put down, in part due to the inclusion of three of the more interesting characters from one of the episodes of the TV show, managing to show some of the back story to one of the most interesting villains ever to grace the TV show and movies. The outer story seemed rather contrived, and the plot twist in the outer story seemed forced, but I am looking forward to the second book in the series.
This is a good book. Star Trek always alluded to the eugenics wars as happening before the formation of the federation. This book is a well put together scenario of present day thru the eugenics war into the federation. Very plausible.
Highly ingenius way of tying up one of the more interesting an exciting era of the original Star Trek. Cox makes Khan come alive, and you can even hear Ricardo Montalban's voice coming from the pages. A must for any original series fan.
***This book was purchased for my own reading pleasure***
I purchased the paired non-canon Eugenics Wars books by Greg Cox many, many moons ago. Khan is one of the most enduring and well-known of Kirk’s many adversaries. I was quite pleased when a version of Khan made an appearance in the new reboot of Star Trek.
This is the first of two books focused on the rise and subsequent fall of Khan Noonien Singh, one of several genetically augmented humans created by Dr Sarina Kaur and her Chrysalis team. This group of cultish scientists followed Kaur’s belief that what the world needed was an evolutionary boost. Khan was Kaur’s son, and told from birth that he was superior to 'regular’ humans. Baby Khan was adorable and precocious. He was calm, and protective to an extent, especially with Isis.
Gary Seven and Roberta Lincoln infiltrate Chrysalis and shut it down, ending the programme. This was 1974, and Khan was 4 years old. The first volume of this set follows Khan into the late 80s, seeing him grow to a young man. Gary and Roberta cross paths with Khan several times over the years. The question is- can these two agents coerce Khan to a more peaceful path? How different he might have been if raised outside of Chrysalis, if nurtured properly. There was evidence enough that he had plenty of empathy. He did care about humanity. Sarina had instilled in him a measure of steel that manifested as ruthlessness. Like Ozymandias and Ra's al Ghul, Khan wanted to protect and shepherd humanity, and felt the ends justified the means in achieving that goal.
I love this book. Rereading it after so many years brought with it a measure of nostalgia. Khan’s story is nested inside the story of the Enterprise's trip to the planet Sycorax, who wish to join the Federation. The only problem is that Sycorax is a colony of humans who practise genetic engineering, which is illegal within the Federation. To better prepare, Kirk spends the days approaching Sycorax reviewing the history of Khan, and Earth's Eugenics Wars. Rereading it also showed me my tastes had refined over the intervening years. Cox has a habit of 'head-jumping’, skipping character perspective in the same section, sometimes several times in a row. I can flow with it easily enough, but now know it is a less refined technique.
📚📚📚📚 Recommended for any Star Trek fan, and especially those who love the handsome canny Augment who shaped the path of the Federation, and became one of Kirk’s most fearsome adversaries.
Possible spoilers ahead. Although ultimately beta-canon, it seemed part of my duty as a good Trekkie to understand the story, albeit unofficial, behind the Eugenics Wars, one of onscreen Trek's most oft-mentioned events regarding Earth history. One of my first thoughts was that whoever took up the task of writing about the Eugenics Wars didn't screw up the story, given the event's importance in the Star Trek universe. So far I can safely say that Greg Cox is doing an okay job, even if this book left me somewhat torn. On one hand, his writing is well-paced, engaging, and immersive, and his storytelling is quite nice. Using Gary Seven and Roberta Lincoln as a focal point of the novel was a nice touch. On the other hand, his use of contemporary politics is somewhat confusing. I cannot say for certain since I have not read the second novel yet, but I cannot yet tell if Cox is trying to reconcile the Eugenics Wars with real history, or if there is a point of divergence somewhere. But that is neither here nor there (pun intended). Besides the rather obvious left-wing sentiments of the author, there are just too many coincidences and unbelievable incidences for me to take this element of the story completely seriously. Two of the main characters (won't say who here) just happen to find themselves in the middle of a real-life gas disaster thanks to perfect timing? Roberta Lincoln just happens to be Gorbachev's translator at a real-life summit with President Reagan in the 80s? As much as I like the Seven/Lincoln/Isis storyline, I think Cox might have used them in a more believable way. As far as the characters go, Cox seems to have a good grasp on them, but seriously, what's with all the italicized stuff? It seems like very page has some snarky character thought, especially when dealing with Roberta Lincoln. But this was nevertheless a clever and well-crafted story. Watching Gary Seven, Roberta, and Isis do their jobs was actually quite entertaining. The setup of the story, with Khan and his superhuman counterparts being raised in an underground lab called Chrysalis that Seven must infiltrate, turned out to be quite creative. It was also interesting to see Khan grow from precocious toddler into the madman he became, although I expect the later novels to develop this more. Not a bad novel; but not quite awesome either. But it was rather entertaining. Very eager to check out volume 2.
Anyone who has seen Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan or the episode of the original Star Trek series upon which it is based, Space Seed, knows the general story of Khan Noonien Singh. He is a genetically engineered human who rose up to great power in the 1990s and was eventually banished from Earth; sent away from the planet with his followers, all of whom had been put in cryogenic suspension until uncovered by Captain James T. Kirk and the crew of the Enterprise.
The Eugenics Wars Volume One gives the background to Khan’s ascent to power on Earth as well as how he came into being in the first place. It also ties up some loose ends of the original series episode involving Gary Seven, which seemed like it was the forerunner of its own series.
Captain Kirk is researching the history of The Eugenics Wars as he prepares to evaluate a genetically-engineered human colony, Paragon on the planet Sycorax, which departed Earth a century before, but is now looking to become a member of the Federation. It’s given him a very uneasy position to be in, and he wants to understand more of what led to the decision to ban any genetic engineering within the Federation.
While on a diplomatic mission to a planet of genetically enhanced people, Captain Kirk of the Enterprise researches Khan and studies the Eugenic Wars in Earth's history. The Eugenics War is covered in three volumes in this Star Trek novel series by Greg Cox. The conceit of the series is that the Eugenics War happened in secret with Khan and the eugenic proponents against Class 1 Supervisor Gary Seven and his mandate to protect the Earth from destroying itself with nuclear weapons. The first volume, published in 2001, is mostly centered around Roberta Lincoln, Gary Seven's assistant and it covers the time between 1974 and 1989, with Khan a Kindergartner to adult aged 20. Gary Seven destroys the compound where the child Khan was born and eventually recruits teen-aged Khan as an assistant and that does not end well. It creates a love/hate relationship for Khan with Gary Seven which has tragic repercussions. The fun of the book is how Cox works the secret history in with the real “public” history of the period. It's like a puzzle where Cox has fit in dates and real events instead of a jigsaw piece in a picture. The book ends with historical notes in an appendix where the author points out the real historical events that are shown in the book to be a cover for what really happened in secret during the Eugenics War.
International espionage, real-world political history, and a handful of Star Trek references that fans will surely pick up with glee, Cox has created the first part of a fast-paced, easy-read thriller. It doesn't lean as far into the sci-fi as, I assume, later installments will, but that doesn't make it any less fun.
All the more impressive, frankly, is how engaging the story is considering it's built from a web of one-off (and one movie) characters from Star Trek: The Original Series. I knew of Khan, of course, but I'd assumed Roberta Lincoln and Gary Seven (our primary protagonists) were created specifically for this publication. I was pleasantly surprised to learn they were actually introduced in an episode of the television show back in the 60s (their episode, I later learned, was actually developed to be the pilot to their very own series until it got repurposed into a Star Trek episode).
Congrats to Cox for finding a new life for that fascinating, world-saving duo (and their space cat?), thrusting them through major events in the Cold War not unlike Forrest Gump.
I don't know what I was expecting when I got this book out, other than I was interested in reading a good Star Trek novel. But wow...just wow. The lions share of this book is set in the late 20th century with a TOS framing device. It is a sequel/prequel to two TOS episodes - "Assignment: Earth" and "Space Seed." "Assignment: Earth" was a backdoor pilot for an adventure series set in the then "present day" of the late 1960's and introduces Gary Seven, an operative for a mysterious alien organization who want to help Earth evolve out of savageness and into a peaceful society, and Roberta Lincoln, his assistant. "Space Seed" introduces Khan Noonien Singh, a former dictator and product of late 20th century genetic engineering. While being familiar with the episodes definitely helps, it isn't entirely necessary. This book provides an origin story of sorts for Khan and his fellow genetic supermen, as viewed through the adventures of Mr. Seven and Lincoln. As the novel unfolds, beginning in 1974, as Mr. Seven and Roberta begin to investigate the disappearance of several promenent scientists. Gradually they encounter the plan to create a line of genetic superman to guide humanity to the next level. As time rolls on though the 80's the paths of Khan and Seven cross over and over through real historical events such as race riots in the wake of Indira Gandhi's assassination and the Bhopal Disaster as well as Star Trek history (spoilers.) Keep a weather eye for other tv characters from different shows mentioned from time to time. I really enjoyed this book. It definitely had a James Bond/Austin Powers feel to it, dealing with mad scientists, global corporate conspiracies and super science. But the thing it reminded the most of was the Buckaroo Banzai novelization, due to the mention of other adventures of Gary Seven and Roberta Lincoln throughout the text. It made me long for an "Assignment: Earth" tv series. There is a "present day" framing story, in which Kirk reviews historical tapes recounting the events of the book in preparation for making contact with a colony of genetically engineered humans. Yes, there are Klingons, specifically Koloth from the classic "Trouble with Tribbles" which is good (can't have enough Klingons!!) but pales in comparison with the bulk of the novel. This book is just what the Doctor ordered - a Star Trek novel that was engrossing and accessible at the same time. The Easter eggs, while numerous, actually enhanced the read for me instead of distracting me. On to Book 2!
I really enjoyed this book. It is mostly about the rise of Khan. You first meet Khan when he is four years old. Then it tells the story of how the eugenics program is started. The story starts out with the Enterprise going to a colony of genetically engineered humans that want to join the Federation. So Kirk begins reading the history of the Eugenics Wars in order to better understand the colony that he is visiting, so he can make an informed decision about recommending the colony's admission to the Federation. The author has the personalities of Kirk, Spock, and McCoy down perfectly. He also uses many tie-ins with other Star Trek episodes and also with actual history. This makes the story, unique, interesting, and entertaining. Looking forward to reading the rest of the series.