Those of you who have read my blog over any length of time may remember that I used to like to read the licensed – official – authorized – whatever books published by CBS' company – Pocketbooks.
That's right – I USED to like to read them. That was until the authors grouped together and decided to make their own "canon" by starting to synch up storylines. It might have worked, but in my opinion all it did was serve to box-in all the characters and stories in ALL the series – whether it's from The Next Generation to Titan to DS9 to great and original works like the Klingon series and the Starfleet Corps of Engineers.
Worse – they have married and impregnated two characters that should never have been put together to satisfy a minority group of sappy fangirls (Crusher and Picard); and Christopher Bennett had the audacity to name the Riker/Troi progeny after his dead cat – all while he wrote 349 pages of dreck hashing out his own internal struggle with women he perceives as being irresponsible and can only gain self-fulfillment by changing their male superior's diapers.
Okay – SO maybe I am a little bitter about Star Trek: Titan – Over a Torrent Sea. It was after all, the WORST book I have yet read in the post-Nemesis world created any member of the team at Pocketbooks and found a way to insult everything about women, Starfleet, and The United Federation of Planets in one foul swoop.
So you can imagine why I'm SO nervous about the new book I just pre-ordered. Star Trek: Titan – Synthesis.
The cover has what could only be deemed as a "Harlequin Romance" style – a generated shot of Riker holding a character we all know from season one of TNG – Minuet.
For those of you who may not know why I'm so hesitant about this book, one must understand how…creepy Minuet is.
She's a hologram – a very UNUSUAL hologram created by the Bynars – she was incredibly life-like and Riker essentially fell in love with her. The "depth" of her holographic character was lost at the end of the episode when the programming to get his cooperation was no longer necessary, but Riker always had a soft spot in his heart for her. Hell, she was supposedly his perfect mate. (No – not that Perfect Mate, that's a different TNG episode.)
In any event, Minuet played well as a plot-device in a subsequent episode called "Future Imperfect" when Riker is taken captive on an isolated planet and made to believe it's 15 years in the future. The woman he is led to believe is his dead wife is revealed to be Minuet and he knows that he is being fooled as she is really a hologram.
So – now that I know that her character will play a part in the new Titan book, I can't help but gird myself against the angst I feel, as in…
Oh crap – now what are they going to make Riker do?
He's a new father, a loving and loyal husband (even though EVERY book plays to the cliché that he's somehow a male whore) and a very honorable man.
I fear that this book will be…well…atrocious.
I am going to remain hopeful that James Swallow – the author of this book and also the author a wonderful DS9 Terok Nor book called Day of the Vipers – has the mental capacity to redeem Riker and the Titan crew from the dreck that Bennett dragged them all into in OaTS.
But I have to remain skeptical.
I'm not bolstered by the cover and I remain very nervous about the "guest character."
Flying Spaghetti Monster forbid that Swallow has a deep-seeded psychological condition that leads him to write Troi as new mother who ignores her husband and Riker as going to seek "solace" from a long-lost holographic old flame.
I would never forgive them.
Synthesis comes out in October. I'll let you all know how things go then. In the meantime…I'm starting on Season 5 of DS9 and I'm really beginning to see what it was that people loved about that show. More on that later.