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Probe by Margeret Wander Bonanno
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Probe (1992)

by Margeret Wander Bonanno

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Star Trek (1992.04), Star Trek: The Original Series

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626424,759 (3.36)1
Ten years have passed since Captain Kirk and the "EnterpriseTM crew brought back hump-backed whales from the twentieth century to communicate with the mysterious Probe which threatened Earth. The Probe is returning to Earth and has plotted its course, and the Enterprise must continue to delve into the mystery of its language, and its cosmic purpose to save Earth once again.… (more)

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Margaret Wander Bonanno’s Star Trek: Probe takes place shortly after the events of Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, following the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise-A as they undertake a diplomatic mission with ambassadors from Romulus, where the death of the Praetor has opened up the possibility of glasnost and perestroika in the Romulan Empire. Simultaneously, the probe that had attempted to contact whales on Earth now travels through the Neutral Zone, where it attacks Romulan ships and installation that threaten alien leviathans on a Romulan-held planet. While the book does offer a backstory for the probe and its creators, much of the story focuses on the diplomatic with some emphasis on the political intrigue of Romulan society. In many ways, the novel serves as a better link between Star Trek IV and Star Trek VI than Star Trek V did, as the diplomatic story and Cold War parallels foreshadow the events of The Undiscovered Country.

According to Jeff Ayers’s survey of the Star Trek novels, Probe had a difficult road to publication: “All the parties involved have different recollections of those events, as well as different ways of interpreting them, and the various accounts are contradictory” (Voyages of the Imagination, pgs. 125-125). Margaret Wander Bonanno has stated that the novel is not the manuscript she submitted, which Gene Roddenberry’s office rejected, but rather the work of Gene DeWeese, who re-wrote the novel at Pocket Books editor Dave Stern’s direction. The book had steady sales upon its release and, while superior to the story of Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, it is still a bit slow at the beginning, with much of the Romulan portion dragging and not matching depictions of the Romulans in the 1990s-2000s Star Trek series and films. Overall, however, the story feels like an extended episode of The Original Series, which will likely appeal to most readers. ( )
  DarthDeverell | Dec 19, 2018 |
I've read this before, but I picked it up because I didn't own it and I hadn't reread it since I'd heard of the infamous "Probe debacle"-- I was interested to see what I'd think, knowing it was actually the work of J. M. Dillard and Gene DeWeese. I enjoyed it. It's a pretty lightweight and inoffensive book, but it's still a pleasant enough read. The origin of the Probe is interesting, though the titular object feels pretty shoehorned into the plot about the death of the Praetor and the resulting Romulan peace conference, which I think could have been interesting enough to sustain a novel on its own. The regulars are pretty much spot on, and most of the additional characters are fine; Commander Hiran is the best of them. Now I'm finally reading Music of the Spheres to compare Bonanno's original book to what we ended up with.
1 vote Stevil2001 | Apr 2, 2008 |
The probe from the fourth Star Trek movie, "The Voyage Home", returns to threaten the Romulan Empire. Kirk and crew intervene, perhaps laying foundations for a future cessation of hostilities between the two peoples. A quite good expansion of events from possibly the best Star Trek movie, and a good read in its own right. ( )
  burnit99 | Dec 28, 2006 |
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» Add other authors (10 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Margeret Wander Bonannoprimary authorall editionscalculated
Birdsong, KeithCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wang, JamesCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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8474.3

On the bridge, it was silent, save for the continuing sounds of the probe...

Finally, Kirk shook his head "What the hell has it been trying to say?"

"And have the Romulans figured out any of this?" Sulu put in. "Just at a guess, I'd say they have."

"That is entirely possible, Mr. Sulu," Spock said. "I would suggest, however, that our must urgent priority is to learn how to talk to the Probe ourselves - before it reaches Earth."

"Aye," Scotty said, "and before it does to Earth whatever it did to Wlaariivi."
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