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Star Trek: Constellations

By Jacqueline Bundy
Posted at September 14, 2006 - 7:58 PM GMT

Title: Star Trek: Constellations
Editor: Marco Palmieri
Release Date: September 2006
Format: Trade Paperback
ISBN: 0-7434-9254-4

For forty years we have watched the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise boldly go where no one had gone before. Over the years Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Scotty, Uhura, Sulu and Chekov have become more than just characters in a television show; they are old and cherished friends. As fans we have shared in their adventures, reveling in their triumphs and commiserating with their tragedies.

In the new anthology Constellations, Pocket Books editor Marco Palmieri has gathered together twelve stories set during the first five-year mission that each have one thing in common; an obvious love and respect for the characters. Constellations is both a tribute to and a celebration of the beloved characters that still beguile us with their legendary exploits and personalities.

"First, Do No Harm" by Dayton Ward and Kevin Dilmore starts things off on the right note, perfectly capturing the tone of the series when McCoy goes in search of an old friend who is trying to correct a horrific mistake, while Robert Greenberger's "The Landing Party" explores the responsibilities of command with an insightful offering centering around Lieutenant Sulu.

Howard Weinstein portrayal of a young, still wet behind the ears Chekov encapsulates the comradeship of the crew in "Official Record." "Fracture" by Jeff Bond illustrates why that solidarity makes them so effective as they find themselves facing off against the Tholians.

"Chaotic Response" by Stuart Moore gives us a unique glimpse into Spock's thought processes, and Christopher L. Bennett reminds us in "As Others See Us" that things are not always what they seem; it's just a matter of perception.

Following her encounter with Nomad, we meet an unusually vulnerable Uhura in "See No Evil" by Jill Sherwin, while Dave Galanter's action-adventure tale "The Leader" explores the nature of leadership.

William Leisner's story "Ambition" finds the crew, minus Kirk and Spock, having to think and act quickly to save an Andorian colony. "Devices and Desires" by Kevin Lauderdale pays homage to the series by making clever use of some of the crews discoveries and "Where Everybody Knows Your Name" by Jeffrey Lang is a light and amusing story about a case of mistaken identity.

While all the stories in this volume are entertaining and enjoyable, the final story, "Make-Believe" by Allyn Gibson, is truly exceptional. "Make-Believe" is distinctive and powerful. Gibson's simple approach encapsulates in a few short pages why Star Trek is still so influential. Once you've read it, you won't soon forget it.

In addition to the stories so briefly described above, Constellations includes a forward by David Gerrold and a sneak peak at TOKYOPOP's new Star Trek manga anthology by including a short story from that volume entitled "Anything But Alone".

Collectively the stories in Constellations are a wonderful way to reconnect with old friends while at the same time the volume reminds us that, even after all this time, there are still plenty of stories just waiting to be told over the course of the next forty years.

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Jacqueline Bundy reviews Star Trek books for the Trek Nation, writes monthly columns for the TrekWeb newsletter and the Star Trek Galactic News, and hosts the Yahoo Star Trek Books Group weekly chat.

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