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markk

markk

Currently reading

Thinking Wisely, Planning Boldly: The Higher Education and Training of Royal Navy Officers, 1919-39
Joseph Moretz
Progress: 141/528 pages
The Pursuit of Power: Europe 1815-1914
Richard J. Evans
Progress: 219/928 pages
Young Wilhelm: The Kaiser's Early Life, 1859-1888
John C. G. Röhl
Progress: 551/1016 pages

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third season episode "The Savage Curtain," in which a racial reference to Uhura by "Abraham Lincoln" was portrayed as outdated and inappropriate.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 without even giving it a thought.