StarTrek Academy - Collision Course
By William Shatner
Simon & Schuster October 2007
If you've read my profile, you will see that I love reading Sci Fi (especially Star Trek and StarGate). In fact back in New Zealand I had a nice collection of over 60 Star Trek novels - mostly TOS (The Original Series) and a few from the other series. When I started watching Star Trek, I was watching the Original Series in reruns. In 1980 that was the only series on TV, although the first movie had just been released (1979). During the 1980s, more Star Trek movies came out, I continued watching TOS but I was not raving about it. Kirk was ok, but I really liked Spock. I loved his logic, his reasoning and his lack of emotions. I even made and uploaded a website about Vulcans called Shirkahr of Vulcan.
In 1987 the new series of Star Trek called The Next Generation started airing, and I absolutely fell in love with the Enterprise D and all her crew. I especially loved Data, Picard and Troi. TNG is still my favourite series. I watched DS9 but there was no Spock/Data like character. When Voyager started, the critics said it was not very good, but I found myself rather liking Janeway, Tuvok, and Chakotay. I didn't like Kes much, and when she left and the Borg showed up, things got much more interesting. The Borg was another variation on Spock and Data - my 2 earlier favourite characters.
I eventually stopped reading the novels - mainly because they got a bit boring, and repetitive in their storylines. And for the last 10 years I haven't really seen any Star Trek novels that I could rave about. Until last night.
One of the episodes of TOS was called Conscience of the King (1967) in which Karelian (a travelling theatre player) is accused of being Kodos the Executioner - a man who in his position as governor of the Tarsus 4 colony (some 20 years previously) had deliberately executed at least two thirds of the colonists so that others could survive. The food supply had gone bad and Kodos' thinking was to kill the adults and allow the children to live. The children would eat less food, and be more malleable under his control. James Kirk was on Tarsus 4 that year and he lived through the entire event. He was one of nine witnesses who could identify Kodos. Oh yes, and Kirk was just 14 at the time.
Collision Course starts in San Francisco, three years after the events on Tarsus. Jim Kirk is back on Earth and living in San Francisco. He is now 17, a rebel teenager, doing silly things like stealing a Starfleet car and trying to prove his girlfriends innocence. She stands accused of stealing Dilithium. (Dilithium is the fuel for Starship engines). Kirk gets caught by Starfleet, along with another teenager who just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. This teenager is 19, and a Vulcan. His name is Spock. Together the two of them are manipulated by StarFleet to find the Dilithium thieves.
So how does the theft of Dilithium tie into Kodos? Well, you'll have to read the book to find out, but I assure you they do. Spock of course entered Starfleet against the wishes of his father, Sarek, who wanted him to go to the Vulcan Science Academy instead. This book also shows how that decision played out. Remember that scene in the movie The Voyage Home (ST4) where Sarek finally acknowledges that Spock made the right choice. (This is one of my favourite lines)
Sarek As I recall, I opposed your enlistment in Starfleet. It is possible that my judgment was incorrect. Your associates are people of good character. Spock They are my friends.
OK OK. I know I have gone on long enough, but it is a great book. I stayed up until 2AM reading it, because I could not put it down. The fact that up until now there has NEVER been any stories of how Spock and Kirk met, makes this book a must read for ANY Star Trek fan. Star Trek is 40 years old, and it has taken 40 years for this story to finally come out. What other stories are still in hiding?