The Fiend of the Week was [ profile] telophase! She sent me these two rather bad novels of human-Klingon interaction. In both, there is at least a potentially interesting story concerning original characters intercut with a story about the Enterprise crew in which the author clearly has no interest whatsoever.

In Pawns and Symbols, the marginally better of the two, biracial botanist Jean Czerny is captured by Klingons who want her new strain of grain. Captain Kang gives her a dagger so she can demonstrate her knife-throwing skills and skewer one of his officers— no, I don’t understand this either, except that it demonstrates that she is spunky— then tries to starve her into submission so she’ll reveal the grain formula.

She ends up on the Klingon homeworld and married to Kang. (By then he’s stopped torturing her and this is as consensual as is possible under the circumstances.) He has another wife, but Klingons are polygamous so this is cool. There is a supremely unfunny comic subplot involving Cyrano Jones. Kirk and crew capture a Romulan woman whom Chekhov gets a crush on. In the end there’s a completely predictable surprise twist. Readable but not good.

In Dwellers in the Crucible, various people called Warrantors of Peace have nuclear codes implanted in their hearts so that in order to launch a nuclear war, their planets’ leaders would have to personally cut out their hearts. Cleante, an Egyptian woman who gets all sorts of often exoticized descriptions of her astounding beauty (the worst, by which I mean most vomitous rather than most exoticized, is when Kirk sees her frolicking with butterflies and thinks how she’s the most beautiful flower in the garden), befriends one of the Warrantors, a Vulcan woman named T’Shael. They are very, very, very, very close. And become even closer when they and some other Warrantors are kidnapped by Klingons. Femmeslashy hurt/comfort ensues. T’Shael goes into pon farr and almost dies; disappointingly, this is resolved by sedating her rather than by Cleante having sex with her.

T’Shael almost dies to save Cleante; Cleante agrees to be raped by the Klingon Kalon to save from the same fate. Cleante then decides that Kalon is kind of a nice, sexy guy except for the rape, torture, and death threats. EW. They are rescued by the Enterprise, and Kirk and Spock assist their recovery by counseling them on Vulcan-human love. I am totally serious.

This would be right up my alley if it wasn’t so terribly written and if it wasn’t for the creepy rapist-loving, which also comes across as obligatory heterosexuality. I could have done without the information that Klingons have three testicles and vestigial scaling (hopefully not on the testicles.) There, now you all share my need for brain-bleach.

Dwellers in the Crucible (Star Trek, No 25)

Pawns and Symbols (Star Trek, No 26)
He made two Editor's Choices from the poems in the Nov-Dec Star*Line, and "Three Letters to the Prince of Falling Leaves" is one of them.

As a result, the poem will appear online at the SFPA site,

rachelmanija: (Default)
( Jul. 1st, 2009 04:03 pm)
I need something to occupy my mind for a 6-hour car ride. (I have a passenger but passengers tend to fall asleep.)

Give me a prompt for fiction, fanfiction, and/or poetry. If it's fanfic, I love "five things."

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