cover image Vulcan's Forge

Vulcan's Forge

Josepha Sherman, Susan Schwartz, Robert Pasotti. Pocket Books, $23 (352pp) ISBN 978-0-671-00926-7

Here's a Trek novel that truly does go where none has gone before--into genre excellence. The story, by two seasoned fantasy authors (Sherman: The Shattered Oath; Shwartz: The Grail of Hearts) opens a year after Captain Kirk's disappearance (in the film Star Trek: Generations), with Captain Spock commanding the research vessel Intrepid II. Uhura is his executive officer and Bones McCoy his medical officer. All three find trouble on the desert planet Obsidian, which is afflicted with an unstable sun, a vanished ozone layer and an insane renegade Vulcan plotting with some formidably competent Romulans. In dealing with the crisis, Spock encounters an old friend, Captain David Rabin, who, when they were both teenagers, helped Spock in a previous encounter with the mad Vulcan and also influenced Spock's decision to join Starfleet. The novel is comprehensively excellent, marked by brisk pacing, lovely dry wit, gripping action scenes, detailed world-building (both Obsidian and Starfleet), insightful handling of the classic characters and inventive creation of new ones. Even non-Trekker readers unfamiliar with the whole backstory will appreciate this bright addition to the canon, and dedicated fans will find it a feast. (July)