Friday, January 06, 2006

Taking Wing (Star Trek Titan Series), Vol. 1

Michael A. Martin, Andy Mangels

Book Cover


After almost a decade of strife against foes such as the Borg, the Cardassians, the Klingons, and the Dominion, the United Federation of Planets is at the dawn of a new era. Starfleet is renewing its mission of peaceful exploration, diplomacy, and the expansion of knowledge. Among the starships spearheading that endeavor is the U.S.S. Titan, commanded by Captain William T. Riker and manned by the most biologically varied and culturally diverse crew in Starfleet history.

But their mission does not begin according to plan.

In the wake of Star Trek ® Nemesis, Praetor Shinzon, slayer of the Romulan Senate, is dead. The power vacuum created by his demise has put the Romulan Star Empire, longtime adversary of the Federation, at the brink of civil war. Competing factions now vie for control of their fragmenting civilization, and if the empire should fall, that entire area of the galaxy may destabilize.

To restore order to the region, Titan 's long-anticipated mission of exploration is delayed as Starfleet assigns Riker to set up power-sharing talks among the Romulan factions. But even as the first tentative steps are taken toward building a new Romulus, the remnants of the Tal Shiar, the dreaded Romulan intelligence service, are regrouping behind the scenes for a power play of their own. With no other help available, Riker and the Titan crew become the last hope to prevent the quadrant from falling into chaos.

Very fun - I didn't know what to expect, but I think they do a good job. Lots of Trek history referenced, and except for Troi and Riker and a few others, lots of new (and potentially expendable) characters. I'm in a big "Trek" mode reading-wise, and I look forward to the next installment (queued up after the Voyager book I'm reading right now).

Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith

Anne Lamott

Book Cover

Lauren F. Winner - The New York Times
If one needs a corrective to the notion that all American Christians are happy with George W. Bush, one need look no farther than Anne Lamott's Plan B. A sequel of sorts to Traveling Mercies, her previous collection of assorted, quirky subtitular thoughts on faith, Plan B presents Lamott at middle age, totally despondent about the Iraq war, the administration and the future of the world. She decides not to kill herself -- overeating would be her preferred method -- only because she wants to stay alive to protest the war and the White House.
Yes - Lauren says it well - a great book.