Star Trek: Logs Nine and Ten (Star Trek: Log, #9-10) - Alan Dean Foster I've been in a Star Trek "mood" ever since I picked up a scale model of the rebooted Enterprise. Of the three original series versions, I think I like this one even more than the movies'.

Plus, I keep seeing all these rave reviews of Foster's Logs and decided to check it out for myself.

Plus plus, I've been reading some brain-bending serious stuff lately and need some cognitive downtime.

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I just couldn't finish it. I tried. But I just couldn't.

I chose this volume and the combined Logs 1-2 for two reasons: This one contains "The Slaver Weapon" and Log 1-2 contains "Yesteryear," the justly famous episode where Spock uses the Guardian of Forever to travel back in time and save his 7-year-old butt.

I wanted to read "The Slaver Weapon"* because I like Larry Niven's Known Space stuff - at least the earlier work. (The latter Ringworld novels weren't terribly good, and after the disappointing sequel to The Mote in God's Eye, he's dropped off my radar.) I've also enjoyed Foster's many novelizations of movie fare - often an afternoon or evening was whiled away reading Alien A Novel and [b:Aliens by Alan Dean Foster] or [b:Outland by Alan Dean Foster] or [b:Darkstar by Alan Dean Foster]. Unfortunately, in "The Slaver Weapon," Foster was unable to rise above his material to create anything interesting.

The writing is plain awful; clunky and overwritten. For example:

"Vedama's ancestors had fought for a subsistence existence outside a bloated city on Earth named Bombay. Now the great-great-grandson of those struggling peasants commanded more knowledge at his fingertips than had all his ancestors combined." (p. 209)


or

"`The man's name is Jaiao,' she began tiredly. `One of our excavators. Just because he's not as bright as some of our scientists was no reason to suspect him of harboring dishonest thoughts. Jaiao's difficulty is not unique. He simply feels he's not as wealthy as he would like to be.'" (p. 214)


And then there's the contrived plot: Prolog - Uhura kills a fake lion as part of her coming-of-age ceremony in her homeland of Kenya. I don't know if this ever plays a role later in the story since I couldn't finish it. Chapter one and following, Enterprise is tagged to represent the Federation in sensitive negotiations with the Briamosites (try to say that without wincing), who may go over to the Klingons. Conveniently, the Briamosites are sticklers for punctuality and will not tolerate tardiness (does the Fed really want to ally themselves with a bunch of interstellar hall monitors?). While enroute to Briamos, the ship picks up a priority call from a group of scientists who have discovered a Slaver stasis box that needs to be secured before enemies hands can get to it. Unable to divert Enterprise, Kirk sends Spock, Uhura and Sulu in a shuttlecraft to pick it up. The story continues its descent into one contrivance after another until the transporter accident that scrambles the personalities of Kirk, Spock, Uhura and Sulu.** At that point I gave up; threw in the towel; cried "Uncle" and "have mercy."

I don't know why anyone thinks these elaborations of the animated series are very good, and I can't recommend this to anyone (even a Klingon).

* In the Known Space series, Slavers were the dominant species in the Galaxy 1 billion years ago. They and the tnuctipun who overthrew them left behind stasis boxes filled with various treasures from the era. Niven, in the original script, just lifted them into the Star Trek universe.

** For the curious - Spock got transferred to Uhura's body, Uhura got thrown into Kirk's, Sulu into Spock's, and Kirk into Sulu's.