define( 'WP_AUTO_UPDATE_CORE', true ); Review: Perry’s Planet (1980) by Jack C. Haldeman II » Reading Star Trek

Review: Perry’s Planet (1980) by Jack C. Haldeman II

Perry’s Planet

Another early novel with a whole another bunch of recycled tropes:

– An enemy (this time a Klingon) with Ship with a revenge feud

– A computer controlled society (again??), which is dying or dwindling

– A mind-altering virus, this one causes ‘non-violence’

– Small society, just one city ruled by one person (And names the whole planet by his name)

– “Immortality” through a computer

Dilithium problem, engine problems, and any other malfunctions are so part of the Star Trek episodes there are very few that don’t feature them. It’s part of the whole “even though we have advanced technology, we can’t always depend on it” dogma. Also, they were (and still does) always a part of the plot-advancing themes. Most problems would be resolved instantly if there were no technology or medical problems, or all the stories would mostly devolve to fire-fights and fisticuffs, which even so are also par for Star Trek.

Another rehash makes for another forgettable novel. Even with plenty of extraneous dialog, the action is straight-forward, but it still feels slow in the action. It does feel a lot like an episode, as many of this early novels were heavily modelled after the TV show. Again, more common tropes: enter a city, talk with the ‘council’, that takes them to the leader, which is really a central computer. While they scope the situation, people get infected, some more action happens, then the problems are quickly resolved at the last part. This formula has been written worse on some of the upcoming books, but it’s still very tedious in this one.

Reading again another story with exactly the same tropes is getting old. Especially the ‘unknown’ virus affecting everyone until the last minute a ‘cure’ is found by the medical crew is getting to be very annoying, but it will still be a common theme in TNG and other series, and I’m guessing in still more books. Again, this being part of the way to cause drama and tension, and most commonly, an easy way to explain the “we don’t have that much time” cries.

A mediocre book, which would have made a copy-cat episode… another disposable read.

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