Library Computer: Review – Enterprise: Kobayashi Maru

Star Trek fans have long wondered about the story behind the story of the Kobayashi Maru simulation made famous in Star Trek II. While Julia Ecklar shared some of the lore behind the Academy test in her novel "The Kobayashi Maru" we have never gotten to the real tale of the Maru… until now. Was the wait worth it?


by Michael A. Martin and Andy Mangels

[NOTE: contains spoilers from previous post ENT finale books]


In the wake of the events of the two most recent Enterprise novels, "Last Full Measure" and "The Good That Men Do" (see TrekMovie review), the nascent Coalition of Planets is on the verge of war, or breaking up, or both, as the events of Michael A. Martin and Andy Mangels’ "Kobayashi Maru" unfold.

With Trip Tucker still operating behind Romulan lines, it falls to Jonathan Archer, Erika Hernandez, and the collective diplomatic and military minds of the Coalition to discover what is really behind the growing wave of attacks and violence in Coalition territory.

"Kobayashi Maru" an ambitious tale, filled with many wonderful settings and potentially compelling storylines; one that genuinely shows a desire to explore strange new worlds and to expose the depths of a civilization that is still largely in the background to the average human … the Romulans. Following Trip in his journey is, probably, the single-most-compelling story element of "Kobayashi Maru", and it never fails to be both exciting and suspenseful (if, at times, a touch melodramatic).

Unfortunately, Trip’s storyline is about the only part of the story that works, for, you see, the bumbling Captain Jonathan Archer of the first two seasons of the TV series is back, together with a merry band of Starfleet brass who wouldn’t know how to defend themselves from a food-fight in the Admiral’s Mess. After two straight outstanding (and competent) voyages for Archer at the hands of the Martin and Mangels duo, "Kobayashi Maru" brings back to the forefront a commander who has no business helming the most advanced starship in Earth’s fleet.

Am I being a bit dramatic? You be the judge. At a critical juncture in the story, the Enterprise prepares to enter a highly dangerous situation. Lieutenant Reed, however, is a no-show at tactical. The reason? He’s got the runs. The ship’s tactical officer is on the crapper, and that’s the end of it. Archer heads straight into the fire with his best tactician absent, and doesn’t so much as call on Reed. Now, I don’t know about you, but I would have went to Reed’s quarters, diaper in hand if necessary, and ordered him to the bridge… but that would ruin the revelation of Archer’s second monumental act of stupidity in the book. About the only Enterprise crew member who appears to have an ounce of intelligence in the story is Hoshi Sato. (Starfleet should really consider giving her a promotion.)

The crew of the Columbia doesn’t fair much better, and Captain Hernandez had better hope that Starfleet doesn’t bother with an investigation whenever her story is resolved, because she show shows herself to be little more intelligent than Archer. Entering into battle, knowing what’s been happening throughout Coalition space for the past few weeks, Hernandez is indecisive, and even when confronted with the truth, is slow to act, imperiling all who are depending on her.

I’d ask who is assigning these people to command advanced starships, but one look at Starfleet’s brass answers that question easily enough. In short, nobody from Earth (except Trip) seems to have two sticks to rub together, and the remainder of the Coalition side has little of value to offer, save their own equally disappointing shortsightedness. If this is an attempt by the authors to show how forging a diverse Federation based on the talents of individual species is a benefit, well, they failed… miserably.

All of this renewed incompetence on the commanders appears to be an attempt to keep up the jeopardy in the story, but it is so unbelievable (especially in light of Martin and Mangel’s previous two ENT novles), that it just takes you out of the story.

As for the origin story of the actual Kobayashi Maru, it is confusing and disappointing, while her demise is, frankly, bland. I could have done with just about every bit of insight surrounding the storied neutronic fuel carrier. There is nothing remotely interesting (pun intended) or unanticipated about the way the historic moment goes down, and the only twinge of shock comes when Mayweather finally gets a moment’s coverage in the story. Considering the centrality of his family’s ship, the Horizon, to the early part of the book, this charts up as another inexcusable moment of writing off a background player into oblivion.

After spending twenty-six years building up the questions about the origins of the Kobayashi Maru Scenario, the sequence that serves to establish it is such a let down that I fail to see why anyone would want to use the situation as a setup for an Academy ‘test of character’.

In short, the entire book, with the notable exception of Trip’s storyline, is utterly forgettable, though at least it is written with good pacing and clip; something common to Martin and Mangels’ writing. As much as I hate to say it, "Kobayashi Maru" is a disappointment. Perhaps it’s the year-long buildup since "The Good That Men Do", perhaps it’s the quarter century of mystery that surrounded the Kobayashi Maru test within fandom, but this installment in the continuing story of Star Trek: Enterprise left this reviewer cold, unfulfilled, and looking for his copy of Ecklar’s far superior work.

Enterprise: Kobayashi Maru is available for pre-order at Amazon
(ship date: August 26)

Next Week – Preview of "Star Trek 101"
Next week John Tenuto will take a look back at Trek’s non-fiction ‘companion’ books and give us a glimpse of what we can look forward to with the new "Star Trek 101" guide to everything Star Trek.


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woot woot, might actually be first on this one! Thanks for the review, you just saved me some dinero!

I think the answer to the Kobiashi Maru scenario will be found in the next movie – It is my hypothesis that Kirks father served on the ship that the ‘test’ is based on, and this Captain Robau that young Kirk admires actually won the no-win scenario/battle.

Thanks for the review, even though it shows the book to be less than stellar. I was really hoping this one would be good. I need some Trek books to get me by until Star Trek Online and the next Star Trek movie come out.

Man, I hate to hear the book was a disappointment. I’ve had my copy reserved. I loved “Good that Men Do” and couldn’t wait to read this one. Atleast Trip’s storyline will be good.

I have never really gotten into Enterprise, and was thinking that this might be the story to finally grab me… but I guess not.

Thanks for your opinon/review.

It’s too bad this show was cancelled. It was really starting to stretch its legs in season 3.

Star Trek needs to be back on TV.

– ‘STAR TREK -THE ACADEMY ON DYSON SPHERE’ or ‘THE BORG FROM THE RING WORLD’..or ‘THE RETURN OF DOMINION’ sounds more interesting..i dont know why a strategy game seems to be great…yeak…we are living in strange days…

This is unfortunate news. This was really the only upcoming Trek novel I was considering spending any time and money on.

Martin and Mangels are usually good. I hate to hear that Archer and Hernandez are depicted as being incompetent, and the notion that Malcolm would ever be “on the crapper” with a classic case of “the trots”, instead of at his post at such a critical time is absurd. I once played in a high school football playoff game in West Texas where our star running back had the same problem (believe it or not), and instead of going to the locker room, he stayed on the field and rushed for 186 yards and 4 TD’s! It is completely unbelievable that Malcolm would not report to his post— and that Archer would not demand it— for the sake of the safety of the ship and the outcome of a critical situation. I don’t care what was running down his leg…

And to top it all off, the KM incident is a letdown? That is very disappointing…

“”Kobayashi Maru” an ambitious tale, filled with many wonderful settings and potentially compelling storylines…Unfortunately…”

This has been my main gripe with regards to M & M as writers. They *do* usually come up with some brilliant and often audacious ideas but their actual writing never quite lives up to that potential. Reading them is like reading a teleplay instead of a book. Their action sequences read like someone describing what they saw in an episode — tedious to endure. Wish they’d learn how to write descriptively. Sad that this one has so much going against it, I’ve been wanting to read it for a long time but now I’m crestfallen.

7. Dr. Soran –
“- ‘STAR TREK -THE ACADEMY ON DYSON SPHERE’ or ‘THE BORG FROM THE RING WORLD’..or ‘THE RETURN OF DOMINION’ sounds more interesting..i dont know why a strategy game seems to be great…yeak…we are living in strange days…”

Huh? I have no idea what you are talking about. “Strategy game”? You’ve lost me.

I’m planning on buying the book regardless. I find it hard to believe that Mangels and Martin could have suddenly forgotten how to write.

8. Closettrekker –

RE: Reed’s no-show

I agree with you, with Reed’s relatively recent tenure in the brig over the Section 31 matter you’d think nothing would stop him from staying at his post and doing his job. And Archer should send him right back to the brig or replace him if this indeed is an historical Starfleet mission-that-failed.

And writers: why the return to all the worst elements of the first two seasons (i.e. the incompetent captain and out-of-place toilet humor)? You’d think after you guys undid the major misstep in the series finale you’d have a handle on what about ENT *didn’t* work. What’s next? Another exploitation-for-its-own-sake oil-rub-down in the decon chamber?


Yeah, I’m not tracking you. Are you talking about this book in any way?

I’ve got a couple of questions:

Why does the Kobayashi Maru have to be based on a real situation? I had always assumed that it was hypothetical, therefore intentionally unwinnable. Doesn’t basing it on a real event automatically remove one possible option for solution?

And I wasn’t the most diligent watcher of Enterprise while it aired, but it kind of grew on me in reruns. I thought that Trip had died in the series finale. It was never too clear to me at what point in time it took place as it was some sort of holodeck recreation that Riker was watching, but if this novel takes place in a post series universe, how is he spying on Romulans, which we were led to believe were never seen in person in TOS til Balance of Terror? Are the writers playing really fast and loose with canon here. I’m not normally a strict canonist, but ya’ gotta have some continuity.

#12—-Trip’s death was faked (and Archer and Phlox participated in it), and if I remember right, the holodeck representation of the events was not factually accurate—as those events were still quite secret. It may sound a bit contrite, but Martin and Mangels did a more than fair job of making it work. It was still very much a fan’s way of rectifying the death of Tucker.

12: Well, even if a select few did know what the Romulans looked like, why would Starfleet want to publicize such information? That knowledge would have destroyed the nascent Federation (Coalation of Planets).


I’ve never read any of Martin and Mangels Enterprise stuff so I will concede the not dead Trip point.

But I would still be interested in thoughts on my other points and/or problems with this book in regard to the necessity of it being a real event and Tucker being amongst Romulans.
When I read a Trek novel and come across stuff I know can’t possibly be, in my own possibly limited acceptance of the Trek universe, I am taken right out of the novel. A good example is currently I am reading Vulcan’s Glory by D.C. Fontana and there is a passage where T’Pring is eating sweet meats and sharing them with Spock. What? Vulcans are vegetarians. D.C. Fontana should know better. And now I am left reading a book that makes it hard for me to buy into any of it’s conceits.

Archer? bumbling in the first two seasons? I think not.

I most vehemently disagree! In fact, to a small degree the Jonathan Archer of season three was the Archer I felt was a bit extreme and somewhat unrecognizable to me, however, under the circumstances I can make that allowance… but then, season three was my least favorite of Enterprise.


I like the idea that a way has been found to explain Tucker’s death away, which I felt was the most asinine thing Enterprise did… Berman and Braga really blew the last episode… I almost wonder if Tucker’s death was meant to have been a cliffhanger item in the remote chance the series would have been picked up for season five.

Paramount really screwed up canceling the series, IMHO!

– IZBOT….if ‘kobayashy maru.’ is a great name for a book…then i will throw away (without no regrets) my whole library of books..and i will go to watch on tv some perverted sci-fi cartoons from a sci-fi channel…

I gave up reading Star Trek novels for the most part when I was 17. Every now and then I would receive one as a gift because people know I am a die hard Trek fan. Most of them are not very good. Not because the writing is terribly bad, it’s just that almost all of them are written at a sixth grade level, and never really challenge the reader. Trek fans continue to purchase them and shower them (usually) with glowing accolades. Most recently I was given one of Shatners novels (Captains Blood) so I figured I would give it a shot. I couldn’t get past the first chapter. Trek is a visual medium. personally I think that is where it should stay, but the juggernaught will keep going.
What a waste of good paper.


You might want to share that information with the captains and other possible front line officials in Starfleet. It might come in kind of handy when and if you were to say meet up with them in some kind of armed conflict. You know, so you’d know what they looked like or that they might be a reletive to Vulcans. Might be important.

thanks for the review.

that sucks that it isn’t a good follow up to “the good that men do” – I was really looking forward to it.

believe it or not but I got hooked on Star Trek because of ENT.

Hope there will be another ENT book which will be a good read again.

17. Dr. Soran

Still not following you. At all.

Gotta confess, I always considered the ‘Kobayashi Maru’ test to be something made up by Starfleet Academy.

It’s a shame that everyone seems so desperate to explain where things come from in the Trek universe, invariably involving some cross-generational space battle.

Things just existing is far more interesting and magical! I mean ‘Kobayashi Maru’ could be a name picked at random. Look at the famous standard test image Lenna used for image processing algorithms: it’s a cropped section of a 1970s Playboy centerfold that was grabbed by an office worker because it happened to be there!

Some parts of the Trek universe should stay unexplained, because the explanation is invariably a bit grey and disappointing!

Most Trek books are forgettable. Stick with the onscreen stuff.

16. Doug in Kabul, Afghanistan –
“Archer? bumbling in the first two seasons? I think not.”

Archer may not have been actually bumbling in the first couple seasons but he certainly didn’t have a reasonable grasp of diplomacy nor did he have the patience to learn from his missteps. This made him come off as reckless. Trying to balance this flaw with his alleged love of exploration (which made him often appear gee-whiz naive) was, at least for me during seasons 1 & 2, a frustrating set of variables. He was a little hard to like or understand. He’d aw-shucks waltz right into an intergalactic incident and then get mad and throw a fit like it wasn’t his fault that he didn’t have all the facts first. And this happened time and again. Finally in season 3 he stopped being so naive and put his anger into action. In season 4 he had changed and for the better — learned from his experiences and refused to let his bitterness put out his passion for exploring. But that didn’t stop the show writers from continuing to dupe him — even by his own tactical officer — which, again, made him a richer even semi-tragic character who could still get real mad when made a fool of. I think that’s his biggest fear: being made to look foolish. It certainly riled him often.


You’re right. The first two seasons tended to make Archer look ignorant. “Hey, let’s all beam down to an alien planet and then act incredulous when they don’t act like us humans!” I was surprised that the ship didn’t get blown up immediately or that the entire crew was captured and eaten by an alien race that found them easy to overcome and tasty.

25. THX-1138 The Fandom Menace

I thought the same thing at first. I understood Archer’s anger and frustration with the Vulcans’ hand-holding but I also saw very clearly Soval’s reasoning for this as Archer proved Soval right time after time. Since ENT was essentially ret-conned Starfleet history its interesting to note that the Federation was born out of human shortcomings, recklessness and a degree of arrogance. The nobility of Starfleet is something that came a hundred years later when they’d started to ‘get it right’. So in a way Archer did kind of fumble his way through the dark until growing more accustomed to it. The fact that they avoided their own destruction on so many occasions makes it arguable that luck played a key role in the formation of the UFP.

Archer seems more and more like his hero Zefram Cochrane. Remembered as a great man when really he was quite uncomfortable being seen a ‘hero’. Dumb luck had a hand in many of his successes.

Nothing but bad trek novels lately.

Don’t stop writing, Bill.

I need you.

#15—-“I’ve never read any of Martin and Mangels Enterprise stuff so I will concede the not dead Trip point.”

I don’t blame you. I wouldn’t buy it either had I not read “The Good That Men Do”.

“I would still be interested in thoughts on my other points and/or problems with this book in regard to the necessity of it being a real event and Tucker being amongst Romulans.”

I don’t want to be rebuked twice in one week, so I won’t give any more spoilers that might offend anyone who has not read it, but I will say this:

Nothing that occurs in that book violates canon or contradicts the ENT finale. Just remember that Riker is watching (and participating in) a holodeck re-creation based upon events thought to be accurate by the holoprogrammers. For details, you’ll have to read it…As a matter of fact, I’ll mail it to you (if you like) and it won’t cost you anything, as long as you provide me with the necessary info in the chatroom (assuming that’s not against the rules) and you don’t mind my used copy…


That isn’t really necessary. But I still think that the Kobayashi Maru should be a hypothetical scenario. As I mentioned before I think it makes more sense that way because it leaves one more option for a cadet to attempt in his search for a solution. If the Kobayshi Maru is a real event, then the cadet automatically can eliminate attempting the actual outcome if it was unsuccessful. And obviously if the Kobayashi Maru ended successfully, you would just pick that.

And I’ve never liked seeing Romulans in Enterprise. Just didn’t jive with me.

18. Krik Semaj,
I feel almost exactly the same way you do about Trek novels. I typically avoid them because Trek always worked its’ very best on screen. Trek novels unfold at a much slower pace and I typically find them pretty tedious. I bought Shatner’s Academy novel, I got 2/3 of the way in and wound up skipping ahead to the end. That said, I enjoyed Greg Cox’s Khan series because the long form of a novel could allow a story that spanned decades to play out fully. Those are the only Trek novels I really enjoyed, the few others I read were pretty blah.

Naturally (these days as ENT fan first and foremost), I’m going to buy this anyway and make my own mind up. The picture you paint Mr Lyons, is pretty bleak… but I generally liked TGTMD and I guess this will tide me over until The Romulan War gets here.

29. THX-1138 The Fandom Menace
“But I still think that the Kobayashi Maru should be a hypothetical scenario.”

Your argument is a valid one. If the KM Scenario was an actual event it would be a lot easier for a cadet to prepare for. Scholars have been debating possible outcomes to historical and military blunders for hundreds of years. The point of the simulation seen in STII was to guage a cadet’s response to a no-win scenario. It would be far easier to fabricate a hypothetical scenario than lift one from the pages of history that scholars would’ve no doubt puzzled over for a century following.

As to not liking seeing Roms in ENT, there is an historical precedent since the same episode (BoT) that said a Romulan had never been seen before also placed an Earth-Rom War at roughly the same time as ENT. And I actually thought the direction they were going with in Season 4 with the Roms (i.e. testing remote-operated ships that could be used in that war resulting in no Rom corpses ever being recovered) made a lot of sense.

This is bad news. I’ve been looking forward to this book, but after this review I’m not going to buy. Thanks for the warning!
But anyway, whenever I’m reading Enterprise books, I realize how much I miss the show and its great characters. After finishing an Enterprise book I usually have a strong urge to go to my DVD rack and get some Enterprise discs to watch.

Trek novels can be hit and miss, that is for sure. I got my first Trek novel in the 1980’s (I believe, if memory serves, that the first one I got was the novelization for TMP, followed by Ecklar’s Kobayashi Maru) and collected them (well, TOS anyway) through the early-to-mid 90’s. Eventually, I fell behind in seminary and have been catching up here and there.

Both the old and new approaches have their charm. I like just being able to pick up a book with no backstory (other than the series) and enjoy, as the books through the early to mid 1990’s did. In those days it was rare and special to have a ‘mini-series’ event.

On the other hand, the current state of Trek books allows the story to go forward, not remain bogged down in the ether between the episodes. We get to meet new people, explore new worlds… we are not limited by the television budget (either in cast or ambition).

Most of the SciFi I read now is series (the Giants series, the 2001 series, the Honor Harrington series, the Motie series, etc…) so it is the rare exception for me, in or out of Trek, to read standalone stories. When I do it is an absolute treat… most of the time (though I found L. E. Modesitt’s “The Eternity Artifact” to be about the most droll book I had ever bothered with… and that’s saying a lot!).

So, this week, it’s back to some non-Trek reading for me (currently reading “The Gripping Hand” by Niven and Pournelle (sequel to “The Mote in God’s Eye”) and the second book of the Giants series, “The Gentle Giants of Gyanamede” by Hogan (see what I mean about rarely reading a stand alone!) before I start in on the next new Trek novel, “Gods of Night” the first of the Destiny trilogy.

Of course, we’ll have more info on Destiny coming soon, including a great interview with the Destiny trilogy author, David Mack, so keep checking back in for all your Trek Book goodness!

#29—-“And I’ve never liked seeing Romulans in Enterprise. Just didn’t jive with me.”

Given the proximity to the time period of the Earth-Romulan War, I thought it made perfect sense for them to make an appearance–as long as human or their allies made no visual contact and lived to tell about it. It would not be very “Romulan-like” for the RSE to begin fighting a war with Earth without first probing their opponent’s strength and resolve (like in “BOT”), thus determining their own probability of success. I cannot find any reason why they wouldn’t be there.

They certainly treaded on shaky ground— with regards to canon— by depicting a Romulan cloaking device 100 years before its appearance was a total surprise to the USS Enterprise NCC-1701. But I just see that prototype as something that, for whatever reason, could not be deployed yet aboard manned Romulan ships and would need at least a few years (at least until the Romulan War was over and there was no further contact for a century) of further development before becoming practical (and I use that term loosely, given even the 2266 version’s enormous drain on a manned ship’s power).
ENT often tapdanced around canon, but still managed to stay in between the lines admirably, IMO. Most of what ENT debunked was “fanon” more than canon, and I liked most of that series more than any other Trek spinoff. The only thing which really irked me was the appearance of a “Klingon Bird Of Prey”—once again, not an actual canon violation, but something which made far less sense in ENT than it did in TSFS. But anyway, that’s another story…

19. THX-1138 The Fandom Menace and
RE: Suppressing intel on the Romulans

There are a number of potential and even clever explanations for why the emerging (and inevitably failed) Coalition of Planets’ leadership might suppress intelligence regarding the Romulans’s resemblance to Vulcans. One is that Earth was still reeling from Paxton’s xenophobic Terra Prime movement. Suddenly revealing to a Starfleet already wary of the Vulcans that an aggressive offshoot race exists could shake the Coalition to its core. The Coalition Prime Minister seemed more concerned about securing his place in history than the future security of its member planets and I could see him making this decision. This wouldn’t be much different than the suppressing of Khan and some 80 genetic supermen’s escape from earth at the end of the Eugenics War. Self-serving politicians and bureaucrats can ensure a lot of important intel is never made available to those who could actually use it.

We know Section 31 is around and they have their own agenda and very longterm goals. Section 31 answers to no one and they certainly couldn’t overtly reveal what they know about the Roms — nor would they be likely to try. Not certain about this but I think the book has Trip on Romulus at the behest of Section 31.

As I mentioned above in #26 the birth of the UFP playing out in ENT (had it been able to fully develop, of course) would’ve been as a result of dumb luck, some good intentions and a lot of missteps (kind of like teenagers in the backseats of cars). That whole set up for the Roms outlined in BoT begged further investigation. Much of what we saw in ENT would support that things at the time weren’t quite yet the golden age of Starfleet that was evident in TOS.

Re: the review – ouch

Re: the poll – I have no interest in an online Star Trek “convetion”, whatever that is. Proofreading = professionalism, guys


Dude, lighten up. How much do you pay to participate in

“I have no interest in an online Star Trek “convetion”, whatever that is.”

Seriously? Is your sarcasm button set to kill or what? Just in case: “convention”

Feel free to participate in the poll.

well all this romulans not being seen before balance of terror thing is likely irrelevant or will be in may of next year when the new film comes out….

39. erica rachel kathryn hernandez-garrett-janeway (lol) –
“well all this romulans not being seen before balance of terror thing is likely irrelevant or will be in may of next year when the new film comes out….”

I believe the writers of the new film (who’ve appeared on this site numerous times) are well aware of Balance of Terror. I don’t think it will be contradicted. Bob Orci has proven his mastery of canon lore, at least to me. I see no reason to be a doomsayer.

Trek did just fine for years in the hands of Berman and Braga and those two didn’t know jack about what came before them.

Look, I’ve noticed how a lot of people are all like “Gee, i was gonna buy it, but now I’m not….”

Frankly, I find that negative reviews are often VERY useless. Usually, whenever I hear a bad review, the book, episode, or movie actually turns out to be GOOD!

If you were going to buy this book (as I was), my advice is to BUY IT ANYWAY (as I will). You can make your own decision. This guy may actually be wrong –maybe he sees things differently than you. Go for it!

By the way… this review is so upsetting I can’t help but wonder if Robert’s just sayng this tongue-in-cheek –so you’ll be blown away when you DO read it!

I’d like to read an interview between and the authors.

In all fairness, I believe the reviewer told the truth. It was a superb review, stayed clear of major spoiler territory, and gave frank opinions. (Thank you!) I will not buy this book based on the review. I’ve read enough poorly written ST books. Unless something comes along with a favorable review, an interesting (non-Borg) storyline, and community/fan support, I won’t touch it.

And I figure many of you feel this way.

Admittedly, I’m not a fan of Mangels’s commentary tracks on ENT episodes, such as “In A Mirror, Darkly.” But I’m willing to give his writing a chance… except with reviews like this.

So, can we get an interview? :)

In the end, everyone has to decide what they like. Others may well love the book, but I was severely disappointed by it. As I noted in the review, perhaps it was the year and a half buildup that led to the letdown, and the Trip storyline is outstanding, but the resurfacing of Archer’s ineptitude just killed the book for me.

I certainly don’t want anyone to not buy the book just based on my review, I want to see the novels succeed and grow a larger fan-base, but I call it as I see it, and “Kobayashi Maru” just plain didn’t rate well with me.


#39—There is no reason to be so sure that any Romulans will come face to face with any humans or their allies from the 23rd Century prior to the events of “BOT” and live to tell about it. If there is any visual contact at all, it could easily be near the end of the film, and that may actually be (chronologically) after the attack on the Earth outposts near the Neutral Zone.

Bob Orci: “Anything which appears to violate canon will have a canon explanation.”

That statement tells me that if there is contact prior to “BOT”, it will most likely be the result of changes in the timeline we are familiar with that Nimoy’s Spock is unable to prevent, thus not actually violating previously established canon.

Orci knows his canon…I’m not worried.

44. Closettrekker

And to follow up on that: the recent poster image of Nero and his decidedly un-Romulan look with mutilated ear(s) may play into protecting the timeline. Who’s to say that anyone will even suspect him and his cronies of being Romulans? Maybe they themselves decide to disguise their Vulcanlike looks in some twisted duty to the timestream. If they’re going back in time to somehow wreck the Federation and presumably preserve the Romulan Star Empire it would be foolish to reveal to Starfleet their true origins otherwise Starfleet might lash out at the Romulans at a time when they couldn’t fully recover. The Roms have always been secretive. Part of that secrecy may be to conceal their defenses, their battle-readiness, their resources, etc. Perhaps an all-out attack by Starfleet during Kirk’s early days could’ve crippled them. Best not to overtly welcome a counterattack.

ST Books
TrekMovie is trying to do more interviews of trek authors, we did a preview of this book with some quotes from Mangels and from editor Margaret Clark. We have an interview with David Mack about the Destiny trilogy coming up in two weeks. Over the summer we ran interviews for each of the authors in the Myriad Universes trilogy. I think this site is doing more book interviews and reviews than any other. I think we have reviewed every book over the last two years and plan to continue to review every book going forward.

when this writing team has a new book we will probably try and do another interview with them.

Books are a very important part of Trek and this site will try and bring the best coverage possible for the fans of the books and hopefully we make some new fans along the way

Thanks, Anthony. I definitely agree that your site does some great coverage of Star Trek books, including interviews with the authors. It’s my hope that Mangels and Martin will be able to address thoughts on their latest book. I’d love to hear from them on this current release, moreso than waiting for an interview on their next endeavour. With the events of the new “Star Trek” movie including subject matter around the book (kinda sorta), I think fans would be interested to learn more about the Kobiyashi Maru story.

Keep up the good work with your site.

There’s some indication that Mangels and Martin will no longer write together.

At the recent Shore Leave, they announced that the Romulan War trade paperback would be written by just Martin.

Then Mangels said in a discussion thread at TrekBBS that some statement would be forthcoming.

However, nothing has been heard since.

#41: You are basically right, but I have read quite a number of Star Trek books, so I know what the typical let-downs are in these. And the above review for Kobayashi Maru pointed out exactly the kind of stuff which makes for a bad Star Trek novel – in my experience.
I think book reviews (in general, not only Trek) are most useful to people who have already read books comparable to the reviewed book. If Kobayashi Maru were your first ENT book, or your first Trek book, ever, I too would say: forget about reviews, just read and then judge for yourself.

I prefer stand-alone novels, by the way. If substantial Trek history is developed in novels, that’s bound to contradict screen-canon some day, and that always leaves a bad taste. I also prefer stand-alones in SF literature in general. I haven’t read much contemporary SF because so much of it is designed as a N-logy from the beginning. The thought that I’ll have to buy N volumes in order to get the story finished turns me off. There’s also a tendency of books becoming overly lengthy without having so much to narrate. Happily, at least Trek novels are still crisp and of adequate length. In case any of you owns the one-volume SF Masterworks edition of James Blish’s >Cities In Flight< trilogy, read the back-cover, where Banks or Baxter or someone comments, that an epic of this magnitude would require six brick-thick volumes nowadays. How true!

Krik Semaj and one or two other people here are saying, basically, “Star Trek books are crap and I know it because I don’t read them.”

I’ve been reading Star Trek books since the early 1970s. You can’t generalize about what Star Trek books are like based on reading a handful of novels. There have been a lot of changes in the degree of creative freedom the writers and editors have, a lot of changes in the approach the books take to internovel continuity, a lot of changes in the average length and maturity of content, etc.

IMHO, a lot of the best Star Trek fiction has been published in the last few years. Since DS9 went off the air, most of the Star Trek that has excited me, moved me, or made me think has been in the books, not on TV or in theatres. The editors and writers have more freedom than they’ve ever had, and they’re doing a lot of interesting things with that freedom.

Which leads us to the book under discussion. I haven’t read it yet. I’ll buy it, I’ll read it, and I’ll make up my own mind about it.