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Reading progress update: I've read 46 out of 158 pages.

The Klingon Gambit - Robert E. Vardeman

I'm nearly a third of the way in, and I'm not impressed. So far the novel is a pastiche of the original series' episode "The Naked Time' (the one where the crew gets infected with something that makes them lose their self-control) and I can't help but think that the show, as usual, did it better. But I can forgive that more easily than I can the casual racism. Here's just two examples:

Kirk nodded. The Asian knew his job and did it well.


"And if subspace transmission wasn't possible, you wouldn't have to do the report right away?" The Bantu woman's eyes sparkled.

Okay, I know this was published back in 1981, but they knew better even back in 1981! I keep thinking of the third season episode "The Savage Curtain," in which a racial reference to Uhura by "Abraham Lincoln" was portrayed as outdated and inappropriate. Seeing it in a novel written over a decade later speaks poorly of Vardeman -- and I doubt he wrote it with so much as a second thought.