What should have been a nice novel by a recognized, Hugo and Nebula winner author, turns up to be bland space opera. It’s really a mediocre try by a good author, so most of the writing is nice and enjoyable, with some faint trace of science thrown in, but mostly it’s just an adventure in space. The interaction in the crew is not ignored however, and there’s a bit of banter and character-building, but it’s mostly just novel-filler.
Now here’s a very good example of a failed sci-fi story. Even though the author has comprehensive science knowledge (and displays it nicely), he does not really make good use of it, and falls into the more-powerful-being trap that plagues a lot of Star Trek episodes. This is definitively lazy writing. One’s attention is quickly caught at the beginning at the story, then you’re just waiting for a good sci-fi explanation of what’s going on, but it’s finally betrayed by a deus-ex-machina. It’s really been done before, and it has gotten real tiresome.
Also, some of the direction of the novel is misguided, it seems to continuously go into one direction, and then go off into another. Also, the whole plot renders the whole story into just a bunch of “adventure” happenings, which for a children’s book might appeal to a 5-minute-attention-span reader, but it’s just not enough for an adult audience.
“Planet of Judgment” delves a bit into the characters, has enough ‘tech’ content to justify it as sci-fi, but in general it’s just another forgettable story. If you like to read and just pass time with your favorite characters, this is actually nice. But if you’re looking for a good science-fiction story, or looking for something that expands the Trek universe, you just might as well skip it.
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