I’m currently in the throes of NaNoWriMo and working on Celestial Chaos (Supernova’s sequel, book two of The Commons), and October was a somewhat dismal month for reading, so this will be pretty short.
I’m not going to throw shade at the fairly atrocious books I subjected myself to for the month, and instead focus on the diamonds in the rough. Granted, there were few. So very few out of the nine I read. Here they are.
Memories of the Future, Volume 1, Wil Wheaton
As someone who grew up on Star Trek: The Next Generation (don’t judge, it was a decent show after the second season), I was quite delighted to discover Wil Wheaton’s books (yeah, yeah, I know, about a million years after everyone else did; I’m slow on the uptake, okay?). The book is divided up into recaps of each episode of the first half of TNG’s god-awful first season, with behind-the-scenes memories, quotable dialogue, and “obligatory technobabble.” It’s not a tell-all; everyone involved in the show is spoken of very respectfully, and Wil Wheaton has a very funny and self-deprecating sense of humor about how much Wesley Crusher was loathed. Other highlights: Majel Roddenberry (Lwanaxa Troi) was universally adored, and cast members routinely walked into the turbolift doors before a crew member could open them in time. I actually giggled on the subway at a lot of parts, which often meant I got to sit by myself. Bonus!
Balance of Terror, KS Augustin
I read KS Augustin’s In Enemy Hands last year and really enjoyed it; her work is much darker than most of the SFR I usually read (and heavy on the science part). I’m slowly making my way through her backlist (next up, A Pirate’s Passion), much of it set in the Republic universe, with different characters. Balance of Terror is the sequel to In Enemy Hands, which—to me, anyway—ended on a fairly high note given the intensity of the book’s subject matter.
Balance of Terror follows up on Moon Thadin and Srin Flerovs, stellar physicist and mathematical savant respectively, after they make a daring escape from Republic space (if you’re looking for more back story, read the first book). Between the pair, they have the knowledge to revive dead stars, and both the Republic and the band of rebels they escape to want that technology to create a missile capable of destroying entire solar systems instead. Their escape is hampered by the fact that Srin has been drugged for the past twenty years to keep him under Republic control, his memory wiped every two days, and his drug dependence genetically coded into his DNA (I’m doing some layman’s paraphrasing here—again, read the book!). If he doesn’t receive his medication in time, he develops life-threatening hyperpyrexia. By the time Balance of Terror begins, Moon has developed a crude drug cocktail to keep Srin stable and his recent memories intact, and together they have to figure out a way to finally live as they’ve always wanted: Together and free, without the pressures and politics of the corrupt Republic government and bands of rebels.
So, bright spots aside, here’s to hoping that November will be a better month, reading-wise. And to everyone else tormenting themselves through NaNoWriMo (I’m kidding…sort of), write on and have fun!