Sunday, May 24, 2015

Enterprises of Great Pitch and Moment

Star Trek: The Next Generation
Slings and Arrows, Book VI
Enterprises of Great Pitch and Moment by Keith R.A. DeCandido
An e-book exclusive novella
Published March 2008
Read February 21st 2015


Previous book (Slings and Arrows): A Weary Life


E-book (Kindle): Amazon.com | Amazon.ca | Amazon.co.uk

Spoilers ahead for Enterprises of Great Pitch and Moment and the rest of the Slings and Arrows series!

From the back cover:
A new Federation President has been elected, and his first order of business is to attempt to restore the alliance with the Klingon Empire. To that end, he sends Captain Picard to Deep Space 9, in the hopes that Picard's relationship with Chancellor Gowron might lead to a normalization of relations.

At first, things go well, as Gowron agrees to meet with Picard and Captain Sisko of DS9 on a neutral planet -- but when their runabout is shot down, it's up to Commanders Worf and Data to find out the truth before their captains are killed!

My thoughts:

Here we are: the final entry in the Slings and Arrows e-book series. This sixth book is written by the series' editor, Keith R.A. DeCandido, a long-time staple in the Trek fiction world. So, how does he fare in wrapping up this series? Read on to find out!

First of all, a true Deep Space Nine/The Next Generation crossover was something that I always wanted to see, especially during the two seasons that both series overlapped each other. Sure, we got a few cameo appearances in the TNG episodes "Birthright, Part I" and "Firstborn," but we never got to see the two crews working together during a mission. In Enterprises of Great Pitch and Moment, we see both crews working together to complete a mission given to them by the new Federation President: convince Chancellor Gowron to re-sign the Khitomer Accords and end the war between the Federation and the Klingon Empire.

Throughout this series, I have lauded the authors' attempts to bring the TNG cast into the political intrigue and conflict that marked this period of Trek history. Enterprises does this quite well by involving Picard and company in the Klingon war story. It makes a great deal of sense, given the history between Gowron and Picard.

Picard's capture and assimilation by the Borg leads to a strained history between him and Captain Sisko.

I enjoyed a lot of the character work that DeCandido does in this story, especially with regards to the relationship between Captains Sisko and Picard. In DS9's premiere episode, "Emissary," we discover that Sisko lost his wife at the battle of Wolf 359. As Locutus of Borg, Picard unwillingly led the Borg during that battle, and Sisko harbors a great deal of resentment towards him. While Picard wasn't personally responsible for his actions as Locutus, Sisko's feelings are certainly understandable.

In First Contact, Worf commands the Defiant. Why not Sisko?
In this story, Picard and Sisko come face to face once again and must work together despite the mutual discomfort they feel in each others' presence. By the end of the story, the two become much more comfortable with one another, and even share a certain amount of admiration and respect. Finally, when Admiral Hayes orders Picard to keep the Enterprise out of the battle with the Borg (Star Trek: First Contact), we see another way in which Picard and Sisko can relate to one another. You may recall that the U.S.S. Defiant took part in that battle, but was under the command of Worf instead of Sisko. I remember not giving much thought to that when watching the film (after all, they wanted Worf in the TNG movies, and why should Sisko be there?), but DeCandido provides a great explanation for Sisko's absence in the battle. Just as Hayes had qualms about Picard's history with the Borg, he felt that Sisko's experiences at Wolf 359 disqualified him taking part in the current battle. In this shared sidelining, Picard and Sisko have reason to sympathize with one another.

Final thoughts:

The character moments between Sisko and Picard are the true shining gems in this story by the always on-point Keith DeCandido. An excellent wrap-up to what has been a pretty good series for the most part. I have been reading a lot of DeCandido's work lately, and this is a writer who needs to have more new Trek fiction published. Come on Pocket Books, give this guy a contract for a new Star Trek novel already! I'm missing my dose of DeCandido awesomeness!

More about this book:

Also by Keith R.A. DeCandido:

Star Trek: S.C.E. #2: Fatal Error (2000)
Star Trek: S.C.E. #6: Cold Fusion (2001)
Star Trek: S.C.E. #7: Invincible, Part One of Two with David Mack (2001)
Star Trek: S.C.E. #8: Invincible, Part Two of Two with David Mack (2001)
Gateways, Book Four: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Demons of Air and Darkness (2001)
"Horn and Ivory" from Star Trek: Gateways, Book Seven: What Lay Beyond (2001)

Star Trek: S.C.E. #10: Here There Be Monsters (2001)
Worlds of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Ferenginar: Satisfaction Is Not Guaranteed (2005)
The Klingon Art of War (2014)

My next read:

In two weeks, look for my review of Dayton Ward's new release, The Next Generation: Armageddon's Arrow. In the meantime, I'm off on vacation to Iceland! Cheers, and LLAP!