Thursday, June 23, 2011

Reading Room Spotlight-
"Star Trek- Perry's Planet"
By Jack C. Haldeman II

After reading the first two novels in the "Crucible" trilogy back-to-back, I decided that I needed a little breather before tackling book three. The epic scope of both the McCoy and Spock novels, while very compelling, might have been a tad overwhelming. I needed to reign myself back in with something a little more grounded and with a smidge less "oomph" to it... something more akin to watching an episode of the animated series. This way I could also distance myself from the McCoy novel a bit more before tackling Kirk's segment, since I would probably face the same comparison issues I tackled while reading "Crucible: Spock". So I headed over to the book shelves and grabbed this guy-


"Perry's Planet" by Jack C. Haldeman II is the perfect definition of light Star Trek reading. The plot revolves around a planet colonized by a group of settlers 300 years ago. Kirk and crew are ordered on a first contact mission to the planet after receiving a signal that the colonists wish to discuss joining the Federation. When the Enterprise arrives, they find a planet full of blissfully peaceful people, lead by the mysterious Wayne Perry. Records show Perry as the colony's original leader... from 300 years ago. Just as the crew begins to question Perry's existence, they find themselves infected by a mysterious "peace" virus which won't allow them to make any aggressive actions, no matter the circumstances. The infection is unknowingly spread to the crew aboard the Enterprise... just as a Klingon ship captained by an enemy from Kirk's past enters orbit. Stranded down on the planet, Kirk and company must find a cure to the disease and solve the mystery of Perry's planet, which may be tied to a brutish group of the colonists known as the "Immunes"...

This book was exactly what I needed it to be: A fun romp through the Trek universe. At less than 150 pages, the book doesn't spend a lot of time with drawn out explanations or character biographies. The author seemingly wrote this with the knowledge that his reader already knows their Star Trek- he just gets right to the adventure without bogging it down in expository fluff... and sometimes that is exactly what I want from a Trek novel. It's not the best story I've ever read, but I'd say it's definitely worthy of a boring Sunday afternoon. If you see this one on the cheapy shelves at Half-Price books, you just might want to lay down the 2 bucks for it....


  1. I bought all the books up until about the mid 90's. This one still had the Bantam Trek font and the look of the old Blish adaptations, and as such are good memories of those exciting days when the books were all the new items we had on a regular basis.

  2. The Bantam-era novels do very little for me as works of literature but I love the pulp-y cover art.

  3. If you look closely at the cover you can see that it's a TMP era uniform. That makes it kind of cool!