Star Trek 1031: Here There Be Monsters

1031. Here There Be Monsters

PUBLICATION: Starfleet Corps of Engineers #10, Pocket eBooks, November 2001 (collected into print with S.C.E. ebooks #9-12 as Some Assembly Required in April 2003)

CREATORS: Keith R.A. DeCandido

STARDATE: Unknown (follows the last novel and the Gateways story in other book series)

PLOT: In the wake of the Iconian gateways closing, the Da Vinci is called to the Tellarite colony of Maeglin where an interdimensional gateway let in half a dozen rampaging monsters of various types. The crew rounds them up, but Bart discovers they are sentient and using a sign language undetectable to the universal translator. By communicating with them, he learns they were political prisoners sent by their wardens to test the gateway. There's only one psychopath in the bunch, and one of the monsters sacrifices its life to defeat it before it kills again. The Tellarites give the creatures a new home and Bart remains behind to teach them how to communicate.

CONTINUITY: The events of the Gateways crossover are discussed, including those of TNG DS9. In that story, the Iconian gateways (Contagion, To the Death) opened up all across the galaxy, causing problems. First mention of Emmett, the De Vinci's EMH. The Da Vinci recently had to tow a Wadi ship that fell out of a gateway (Move Along Home). The Androssi (Cold Fusion) are responsible for Maeglin's technology-interfering atmosphere.

DIVERGENCES: None.

SCREENSHOT OF THE WEEK - I'm not saying this is what the last battle looked like, but... darn close!
REVIEW: I haven't read the Gateways mini-series yet, but not much is spoiled in the opening recap, and the story stands alone anyway. It's a slim story, especially with the POV of various guest characters and victims being given chapters, but it still manages some fun set pieces. The monsters are quite obviously the giants of 50s and 60s movies, with analogues of Godzilla, King Kong and Rodan especially noticeable. That might seem goofy, but the whole book is laced with comedy, and the comedy really works. The repartee is like that of a zingy Doctor Who script. And always nice to see an adventure that requires Bart's linguistic expertise, he's probably my favorite character. One short note on the Da Vinci's EMH, here mentioned many times, but not yet seen: The idea of modeling an EMH's personality on that of an intern is a great idea. The problem with every other EMH has been the massive ego that comes with being programmed with the total sum of medical knowledge. I can't wait to meet him in the, hem, flesh.

Next for the SBG Book Club: The Starless World (TOS), The Captain's Honor (TNG), Proud Helios (DS9), Ambush (SCE).

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