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Uhura's Song by Janet Kagan
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7161220,925 (4.22)1 / 32
Years ago, Lt. Uhura befriended a diplomat from Eeiauo, the land of graceful, cat-like beings. The two women exchanged songs and promised never to reveal their secret. Now the U.S.S. Enterprise(tm) is orbiting Eeiauo in a desperate race to save the inhabitants before a deadly plague destroys them. Uhura's secret songs may hold the key to a cure -- but the clues are veiled in layers of mystery. The plague is killing humans, threatening other planets -- and Kirk must crack the code before the Starship Enterprise succumbs!… (more)



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When a plague affecting the planet of Eeiauo does the unthinkable and crosses the species barrier to affect the human component of the Federation, all the stops are pulled out to find a cure. It's Lieutenant Uhura who finds a clue to a possible cure hidden in a forbidden song. Will Kirk and the others be able to decode the clues and find the lost home world of the Eeiauoans. But even with Spock's help in identifying the almost fabled Sivaou, the crew of Enterprise find the inhabitants even more stubborn than their cousins on Eeiauo - deep shame being a block to a race that has perfect racial memory!

Like most of these early Star Trek books, 'Uhurah's Song' treats the crew of the Enterprise (especially Kirk) as more considerate than I get a feel for from the TV series but they are really cool all the same. ( )
  JohnFair | Jul 1, 2018 |
I am new to the Star Trek novels and find I am enjoying them more than I ever thought I would. This one called Uhura's Song really did not have a lot of action until the end but you really got to know the characters like you never could from a TV show or movie. The interaction between Kirk and Bones is great as you would expect but it is the other characters personality's that really make the book illuminating and fun. ( )
  Fearshop | Mar 31, 2018 |
I read this book once before, 25 years ago, when I was a sophomore in high school. I remembered it as a decent story, and with it, one girl in my history class who saw the cover when the book fell out of my book bag as I was pulling out my notebook and pen, and classmate laughing at the cover.

Reading it through this time, though, with adult eyes... I'm impressed with the detailed world building contained therein. I understand much more of the science presented in the text. I appreciate the felinoid alien race a little more with having had so many other cats in my life since I read this last. The sheer detail of the plot, the subplots, character developments, the mission feel of the story... Masterful. With over thirty years of Trek lore having been added since this book was originally written, it holds up excellently. ( )
  wookiemonster | Jan 15, 2018 |
Now this is the kind of Star Trek story I'm looking for (and SF in general as well) - a first contact adventure that focuses on learning about and from the other culture, not on what to blow up next. From 1985, this is one of the original Pocket Trek novels that I hadn't gotten at the time, but I'd been looking to pick up for years. It's a medical mystery, where McCoy is stuck on a quarantined planet and the Enterprise, acting on information Lt. Uhura has learned from the society's ancient songs, must find the planet that they had originally come from in hope of finding a cure there. They find the world, based on constellations described in old children's songs, and introduce themselves to the felinoid beings there. Uhura's knowledge of the old songs in their original language again serving as a cultural bridge while the universal translator handles the basic speaking. Working within and around the taboos of the culture, they learn how to ask their questions and the doctor on the team, called Evan Wilson, works with a native doctor while Uhura exchanges songs with the local bard to learn history going back the thousands of years since the colonist group left, taking all knowledge of space flight technology with them. Solutions to several mysteries hinge on the songs and on the importance of perfect pitch to the Sivaoans . One aspect of the writing did annoy me though - writing out the accents in dialog, especially for Scotty and Chekov. Still, this book easily goes in the top few of my Trek favorites. No space battles, just conflict against the elements and against the rigid prejudices of an old society. ( )
1 vote SF_fan_mae | Nov 17, 2017 |
Indeed, this might be one of my favorite ST novels. ?I think it could even appeal to readers who have less affection for TOS than I do, readers who are only vaguely into the franchise. ?áI really liked the story about the bards and the idea that songs have value and copyright is really really strict (despite, obviously, being on the honor system). ?áI liked Chekov's hut-building and cooking bits, too. ?áEvan Wilson's story was annoying and confusing, though. ?áI mean, it's good that Kirk learned so thoroughly that petite women are not children or playthings, but to have this doctor be also a match for Sulu in sword-play and for Spock in computers is just silly. ?áAnd then, well, I didn't get the ending of her story at all. ?áOh, and I liked the plague and the cure found for it, and how the cure was found.

And I liked that, Evan Wilson's story aside, other detailed ideas were carefully explored:

The lack of sleep was making [McCoy] bleary-eyed and he almost asked the computers for hard copy rather than continue to read from the screen."

"'The kind of undivided attention a Vulcan gives as a matter simple politeness is often misread as... sexual interest by a human.'
'Fascinating.'"" ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
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For Ricky,
who can out-Spock Spock,
and for the one, the only, Tail-Kinker to-Ennien, who taught me "Diamonds and dynamite come in small packages/."
First words
Captain's Log, Stardate 2950.3: The Enterprise continues in orbit around Eeiauo, on the outermost fringe of Federation space.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Stardate 2950.3 - 2962.5

The Ship's Communciator Beeped ...

"McCoy to Kirk."

"Kirk here, come in Bones."

McCoys' face had been haggard before, but they were all unprepared for the terrible look that appeared in the viewscreen.

"Bones!" Jim Kirk reacted instinctively to that look. "What's happened?

McCoy drew a long and shuddering breath. "Nurse Chapel - Christine - she's got ADF syndrome."

"My god, Bones, are you sure?"

"Would I be telling you that if I weren't? What do you think I am, some kind of damn fool?" McCoy snapped back. "Tell Starfleet the damn disease is communicable to humans, and they've got to quarantine anybody who's been in contact with an Eeiauoan in the past six months
And clean your own house, Jim. We've got a real plague on our hands now. McCoy out."

The screen went dark.
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