cover image Probe


Margaret Wander Bonanno. Pocket Books, $18.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-671-72420-7

Bonanno's ( The Others ) controversial third novel in the popular Star Trek series (she requested that the publisher remove her name from the cover after extensive editing drastically changed her manuscript) picks up as the mysterious, earth-menacing Probe has moved on in its search for singing aquatic life forms. The recent death of the Romulan praetor has heralded perestroika -like changes in that empire; the spaceship Enterprise and its crew are selected to transport Federation diplomats and musicians to a combined peace and cultural-exchange conference. Predictably, negotiations are anything but smooth; Capt. Kirk and crew must combat sabotage, personal conflicts, double-dealing and even the Probe to keep the talks on track. At its best, Bonanno's novel recaptures the sincerity and high melodrama of the original Star Trek TV series, but it recalls some of the series's weaker qualities as well: the characters, both familiar and new, have little depth or complexity. Its appeal is likely limited to devoted Trekkies. (Apr.)