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Echoes and Refractions by Keith R. A.…
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Really a volume with three stand alone stories, each of which is novel size and could have been published separately. All are "What If" stories.

"The Chimes at Midnight" asks "What if Spock had died at age 7 and was never there for Jim Kirk or the Enterprise when needed." Kirk still commands the Enterprise but his first officer is an Andorian. All the other characters are there and David survives, but Kirk doesn't and then...

"A Gutted World" has us on a non-liberated Bajor but Kira still becomes a hero. Worf commands Sisco and Scott on the Defiant and the Founders get to do a lot of damage.

"Brave New World" sees Data and Lore and a lot of other androids living on a world in the Neutral Zone with a gateway technology leftover from a long dead race called the Iconians.

A must read for any staid Star Trek fan. There a very few characters missing, except for the earlier Enterprise series people. ( )
1 vote koalamom | Feb 10, 2009 |
The second volume of the Myriad Universes series likewise contains three short novels: The Chimes at Midnight by Geoff Trowbridge, A Gutted World by Keith R.A. DeCandido, and Brave New World by Chris Roberson. My favorite of these was DeCandido's A Gutted World; he once again demonstrates that he is the master of capturing character in this or any other universe, as we see how the characters we know and love would have developed had things gone slightly differently in 2369. It's a solid look at people we know in desperate circumstances, and Keith's use of continuity is as adept as ever, never obtrusive.

Geoff Trowbridge's tale is decent, but not quite as successful: his prose and characterization are somewhat awkward and the continuity occasionally gratuitous (for example, was there any need to explain the rank of Colonel West?). His Thelin is a good character, not quite as I'd imagined him, but that's all right, and his David Marcus and Saavik actually somewhat compelling. The alternate view of the original series films was also very chilling.

Chris Roberson's tale has perhaps the most fascinating premise of all six stories-- what if Soong-type androids were in widespread use throughout Starfleet and the Federation? There's some very interesting ideas here in the best sf traditions, and I really like his alternate versions of the TNG crew (even Wesley), as well as new character A. Isaac. The implications of the end are disturbing (such as the fate of Lore-- never thought I'd feel sorry for him), but it works in the frame of the story.

Overall, the first two Myriad Universes volumes have been an unreserved success, opening up Star Trek in a new way, which is always a good thing. I'd be hard-pressed to pick a favorite between A Less Perfect Union and A Gutted World, but I enjoyed almost all of the stories quite a bit. I look forward to the future planned installments in the series, though I'd like to see those utilize some new formats: full novels, short stories, &c.
  Stevil2001 | Sep 7, 2008 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Keith R. A. DeCandidoprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Roberson, Chrismain authorall editionsconfirmed
Trowbridge, Geoffmain authorall editionsconfirmed
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"Ambassador Sarek, it is an honor to receive you," the Andorian said as he bowed his head and spread his arms in a gesture of respectful greeting, which the Vulcan diplomat returned in kind.
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Explores three alternative Star Trek realities in which Spock died in childhood, a terrorist from Bajor may hold the key to winning a vast war, and new breakthroughs in android technology hold frightening potential for harm.

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