Star Trek: Myriad Universes: Infinity's Prism (英語) ペーパーバック – 2008/7/22
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It's been said that for any event, there are an infinite number of possible outcomes. Our choices determine which outcome will follow, and therefore all possibilities that could happen do happen across countless alternate realities. In these divergent realms, known history is bent, like white light through a prism -- broken into a boundless spectrum of what-might-have-beens. But in those myriad universes, what might have been...is what actually happened.
A Less Perfect Union: More than a hundred years after the Terra Prime movement achieved its dream of an isolationist Earth, humanity is once again at a fork in the river of history...and the path it follows may ultimately be determined by the voice of a single individual: the sole surviving crewmember of the first Starship Enterprise.™
Places of Exile: Midway through Voyager's journey across the galaxy, Captain Kathryn Janeway and Commander Chakotay must choose whether to brave a deadly war zone or abandon their quest for home. But an attack by Species 8472 cripples the ship, and the stranded crew must make new choices that will reshape their destinies...and that of the Delta Quadrant itself.
Seeds of Dissent: Khan victorious! Almost four centuries after conquering their world, genetically enhanced humans dominate a ruthless interstellar empire. But the warship Defiance, under its augmented commander, Princeps Julian Bashir, makes a discovery that could shake the pillars of his proud civilization: an ancient sleeper ship from Earth named the Botany Bay.
Christopher L. Bennett is a lifelong resident of Cincinnati, Ohio, with bachelor’s degrees in physics and history from the University of Cincinnati. He has written such critically acclaimed Star Trek novels as Ex Machina, The Buried Age, the Titan novels Orion’s Hounds and Over a Torrent Sea, the two Department of Temporal Investigations novels Watching the Clock and Forgotten History, and the Enterprise novels Rise of the Federation: A Choice of Futures, Tower of Babel, Uncertain Logic, and Live By the Code, as well as shorter works including stories in the anniversary anthologies Constellations, The Sky’s the Limit, Prophecy and Change, and Distant Shores. Beyond Star Trek, he has penned the novels X Men: Watchers on the Walls and Spider Man: Drowned in Thunder. His original work includes the hard science fiction superhero novel Only Superhuman, as well as several novelettes in Analog and other science fiction magazines.
William Leisner is the author of the acclaimed novels Star Trek: The Next Generation: Losing the Peace, and A Less Perfect Union (from the Myriad Universes collection Infinity's Prism). He is a three-time winner of the late, lamented Star Trek: Strange New Worlds competition, as contributed tales to the official celebration of Star Trek's 40th anniversary in 2006, and TNG's 20th Anniversary in 2007. A native of Rochester, New York, he currently lives in Minneapolis.
James Swallow is a BAFTA-nominated author of three New York Times bestsellers, including Star Trek: The Fall: The Poisoned Chalice, and he remains the only British writer to have worked on a Star Trek television show. His fiction includes the Sundowners series of original steampunk westerns, the bestselling novelization of The Butterfly Effect, and stories from the worlds of 24, Doctor Who, Warhammer 40,000, and Stargate. His other credits feature scripts for videogames and audio, including Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Disney Infinity, Fable: The Journey, Battlestar Galactica, and Blake’s 7. He lives in London.
The first novella, A Less Perfect Union, is set in the Original Series era where the events of the Enterprise episode Terra Prime instead led to Earth returning to isolationism and the steps taken a century later to bring Earth into the Coalition Of Planets. A lot of characters from that series make appearances from Christopher Pike and Kirk as well as the original Enterprise's last surviving crew member T'Pol and the characterizations throughout are strong (though for some reason I kept imagining the cast from the 2009 reboot instead of the original TV cast). Overall, it's a strong story with plenty of twists (especially one that pays off one of the more interesting casting of the same actor in multiple roles in the Original Series), tension and action.
The middle story, Places Of Exile, features an alternative time-line where Voyager ends up stranded in the Delta Quadrant. Not being a Voyager fan myself, this was the story I enjoyed least out of the volume and the fact that it was also the longest of the three by some pages probably didn't help matters either. A decent story though, if perhaps a bit too long.
The final story, Seeds Of Dissent, picks up one of the more intriguing Trek “what if?” premises: what if Khan had won the Eugenics Wars? The story itself though is set more than three hundred years later when the Defiance, captained by Julian Bashir, stumbles across the Botany Bay in a fascinating reversal of the Original Series episode “Space Seed”. The story makes good use of several characters from Deep Space Nine (which though I'm not a big fan of it I found them engaging here) as well as characters introduced in the two excellent Eugenics Wars novels by Greg Cox. While it is the shortest of the three, it moves along at a fast pace and builds to an excellent ending that makes the reader yearn to know what happens next.
Overall, the first Myriad Universes is a strong collection of three Trek themed “what if?” stories. While I found that the enjoyment of the individual stories was somewhat dependent on how much I liked the series it was taking off from (and I therefore suspect that might be the case for others as well), if you're a Trek fan I strongly recommend this. It's just too intriguing to ignore.
"A Less Perfect Union" was a really pleasant surprise because I have never been that fond of Enterprise, but this story was an effective weaving of Enteprise and Original Series era that made for a compelling read. It tells the story of what would happen if humanity was at odds with the other denizens of the galaxy, and is a really good take on prejudice and hope.
"Places of Exile" follows what would have happened if Voyager had been compelled to remain in the Delta Quadrant. Unfortunately it's probably the weakest of the three stories - the premise is great and the characters are handled in an interesting way ... for the most part. But the climax is a bit disappointing due largely to the lack of build-up of the antagonist as a proper foil for Janeway and the ending being wrapped up a little bit too neatly. Speaking of that antagonist - the author seems to have seen a different episode of Deep Space Nine in which this character was featured than I did, but perhaps that's only my bias as a huge DS9 / Vorta fan.
"Seeds of Dissent" is a Khan-victorious universe. All the human characters we know and love are now ruthless augments - but still retain a small glimmer of the characters as we knew them. This one is a bit predictable but overall an excellent read - and in some ways a better "mirror" than the actual Mirror Universe. You will cry for a character that, in the main universe, is despicable, and despise several characters that you know and love from the main universe.
"A Less Perfect Union" features Christopher Pike at the helm and James T. Kirk as his second in command. Characters from throughout the original canon appear, including the animated series. I rated it tops until I read "Seeds of Dissent" the DS9 version in the book.
Again, capturing elements from earlier mainstream stories, it ranks as one of the few stories I've ever read that I could not stop once I had started it, and that is in the Trek universe or any other work of fiction -- and I write from the perspective of a 61 year old Trekker (I was there when it started). When Kirk banished Khan to Ceti Alpha 5, Spock wondered what it would be like to see what crop sprang from the seed they had planted. James Swallow lets us see what happened when Khan won the Eugenics War. Outstanding!
"Places of Exile," the Voyager installment, reads like one of the early Next Generation TV shows -- tea and talk. If you don't have anything else to read, read it, but you won't miss much by skipping it.
But don't let that stop you from buying this book!