On Having the Book in Hand

Yesterday I received from Amazon copies of both Constellations, the 40th-anniversary Star Trek anthology, and McCoy: Provenance of Shadows, the first book in David R. George III’s Star Trek trilogy Crucible.

I held Constellations in my hands, ran my fingers across my name on the front and back covers, flipped it open delicately and found my story, there at the back as I’d heard it was.

My name, in print. My words, in print. Sweet.

And then I read the introduction.

Thus far I’ve read, beyond my own, three of the stories in the book, but I can safely say that Constellations will be a real treat.

As for Crucible: McCoy, two hundred pages in, and it’s fabulous. I could have used a slightly larger font, slightly wider margins, slightly less slick paper, but it’s a massive book and the economics were probably very tight. This is, quite simply, a masterpiece of character study, from Leonard McCoy adapting to life in the 1930s post a “City on the Edge of Forever” where Kirk and Spock never rescued him, where Edith Keeler never died, to a Leonard McCoy discovering a medical mystery in the 23rd century that may link back to that other life, the one he could have lived but didn’t. George’s writing is nothing short of masterful, evoking a sense of time and place in both the past and future settings. Plot? So far, even after two hundred pages, not much of one. It’s the character development and exploration that’s far more important here. A third of the way through the book, I’m enjoying Crucible: McCoy a lot.

Go forth, and pick these two volumes up, and celebrate the 40th-anniversary of Star Trek this coming Friday in style. 🙂

4 thoughts on “On Having the Book in Hand

  1. There was a shipping snafu. I’ve not yet received my contributor’s copies.

    And Provenance is superb. I finished it last night, and I’m still processing it.

  2. I’m sure you’ve heard it said that you can usually get away with good character development and a weak plot, but not the other way around.
    I take it this has both ? 🙂

  3. Gavin, the character development in Crucible: McCoy is very good, charting Leonard McCoy’s life in two very different timelines, over the span of about thirty years each. So you see how McCoy developed from the Original Series through Generations and beyond, and you also see how he develops as the person lost in time in an altered 1930s where Edith Keeler didn’t die. You’d think these two widely divergent timelines, particularly the one that ultimately never existed, would have little to do with one another. You’d think wrong. 😉

    The plot doesn’t actually kick in until around page 200. And it happens, and you’re not even sure it happens, and that develops in a somewhat surprising way.

    Crucible: McCoy–I’d lather another superlative on it, but then I’d quickly run out of words. It sets a new bar for what’s possible in Star Trek fiction, that’s for certain. 🙂

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