Review of Star Trek: Captain’s Glory by Shatner with Reeves-Stevens

Science Fiction Audiobook Review

Science Fiction Audiobook - Star Trek: Captain's Glory by William Shatner with Judith and Garfield Reeves-StevensStar Trek: Captain’s Glory
By William Shatner with Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens
Read by William Shatner
3 CD’s – 3 hours – [ABRIDGED]
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Audio
Published: 2006
ISBN: 0743539621
Themes: / Science Fiction / Star Trek / Space Travel / Aliens /

40 years of Star Trek. In the last year I’ve heard quite a bit about that, and it really is amazing when you sit down and think about it. In 40 years, there have been five television series, ten movies, and hundreds of novels, and even though the last series was cancelled, the franchise still has a very strong fan base. Truly something. Why is it so popular? To me, the answer is simple, and threefold. First, it was the first television show I ever watched that spoke to me about bigger issues. Sure, it wasn’t always lofty, it wasn’t always touching. But sometimes it was, and I liked it. Second, it was optimistic. It presented a future where many of the daily troubles we deal with are ancient history. And third, despite the optimistic future, the characters were people, even if they were aliens. Kirk, Spock, and McCoy are still amongst my favorite all-time characters, even after all the fiction (science or not) I’ve consumed since discovering the series back in the 70’s.

Kirk, Spock, and McCoy are all in Captain’s Glory, the latest Shatner/Reeves-Stevens collaborative Star Trek novel. Like most of the previous Star Trek Simon and Schuster Audio titles, this one is abridged, and presented with sound effects and music. William Shatner narrates, and does a fine job with it. Of course, he performs Kirk to perfection. Since Kirk is the main character, that works out real nice, but the novel is populated with characters from all the incarnations of Star Trek on the screen (except for Enterprise) and don’t expect good impersonations. Janeway, Picard, Riker, Troi, Spock, McCoy, Scotty, and others are all here.

The authors do a good job using characters that should be there in the timeline. The story takes place after Star Trek: Nemesis, but at the same time on a timeline that belongs to these novels alone. Scotty was moved forward in time in a TNG episode, and Kirk was in a movie. (Listen to Shatner’s The Return to find out how and why Kirk is still alive…) Spock is long-lived and appeared in a TNG episode, as did McCoy, even though he was quite old. This novel refers often to events that occurred not only on the screen, but also in previous novels in the ongoing series.

The story is classic Star Trek material. An entity with incredible power cruises through the galaxy, causing all kinds of havoc. Warp engines are failing all over the quadrant as the entity does its thing. Then Kirk and friends get involved. When his son is taken (see previous books), all bets are off as Kirk’s actions to get him back pit him not only against the entity, but against Starfleet and Picard.

The abridgement is quite well-done. I had no problem following any of it, and I enjoyed it a great deal. I felt that this was the best of the Shatner novels, with the exception of The Return. It was good fun.

Wow. I just wrote an entire review of a Star Trek novel without mentioning how much I hope the next movie isn’t a prequel. Maybe next time.

Links:

  • SFFaudio’s very own Star Trek page – if it’s Star Trek, and on audio, you can find it here.
  • Simon and Schuster’s Star Trek page – an informative page on the hundreds of Star Trek novels published by Simon and Schuster

    Posted by Scott D. Danielson

  • Recent Arrivals

    SFFaudio New Arrivals

    Just back from Worldcon! We’ll report on that later, but first, here’s what came in when we were gone:

    Hunters of Dune by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. AndersonHunters of Dune
    By Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson; Read by Scott Brick
    16 CDs – 20.5 hours – [UNABRIDGED]
    Publisher: Audio Renaissance
    Published: 2006
    ISBN: 1593979754

    Star Trek - Captain's Glory by William Shatner with Judith and Garfield Reeves-StevensStar Trek: Captain’s Glory
    By William Shatner with Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens
    Read by William Shatner
    3 CDs – 3 hours – [ABRIDGED]
    Publisher: Simon and Schuster Audio
    Published: 2006
    ISBN: 0743539621

    Foundation - The Encyclopaedists by Isaac AsimovIsaac Asimov’s Foundation Series: Book I Part II: The Encyclopedists
    By Isaac Asimov; Performed by Jim Gallant
    2 CDs – 2 hours – [UNABRIDGED]
    Publisher: Ziggurat Productions
    Published: 2006

    Posted by Scott D. Danielson

    William Shatner Roast Covered by I-SCI-FI

    SFFaudio News

    Science Fiction - I-SCI-FI LogoI-SCI-FI is an internet radio show that focuses on media SF of all kinds. They were recently invited to cover the red carpet for the William Shatner roast, which will air this Sunday on Comedy Central. They’ve made their show available for download on their front page. Join in the fun as these guys describe their experience – Rex and crew have a great time doing what they do, and you will too. They’ll take you to the red carpet as the stars arrive (they get interviews with several of them, like Carrie Fisher and Rene Auberjonois to name a few), then describe the taping of the show itself, and the post-party!

    This episode is available for download in MP3 format. Normally, I-SCI-FI runs live from 7p-9p Mountain Time every Thursday night, and listeners are invited to join their chat room during the broadcast.

    Here’s an interesting LINK. A Google Video archi…

    News

    William ShatnerHere’s an interesting LINK. A Google Video archived interview with William Shatner done for the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation (yep, that’s the Emmys). “Video?!” you ask. Yes, but in the interview Shatner talks for a few minutes about his early Radio Drama career and what it takes to change an Eastern Canadian accent into Federation Standard English accent. The Shat is totally Airwolf!

    Review of Star Trek: Captain’s Blood by William Shatner, with Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens

    Star Trek Audiobooks - Captains Blood by William Shatner and Judith and Garfield Reeves-StevensCaptain’s Blood
    By William Shatner with Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens; Read by William Shatner
    2 Cassettes or 3 CD’s – 3 Hours [ABRIDGED]
    Publisher: Simon and Schuster Audio
    Published: 2003
    ISBN: 0743533593 (Cassette), 0743533607 (CD)
    Themes: / Science Fiction / Star Trek / Romulans / Genetic engineering /

    Ever since The Return, the audio of which I consider one of the best Star Trek experiences out there (it would have made an excellent movie), I’ve eagerly listened to all of the Shatner Star Trek novels. The novels are both good and bad. The bad? I tired of the “Captain Kirk, you’re the only one who can do this…” line, with all its variations, back in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. The good? All of Star Trek is woven into these stories. In this novel, for example, characters from the Star Trek: The Original Series, Star Trek: The Next Generation, and Star Trek: Voyager play roles in the plot, and attention is paid to the history of those shows.

    The story takes place soon after the events in the Star Trek: Nemesis film. James T. Kirk is alive and well due to events that occur in earlier Shatner Star Trek novels. He is retired and has a 5 year-old son who is a mixture of many races – also due to events in earlier novels. The story opens with the apparent death of Ambassador Spock during a public peace rally on Romulus. News of this gets to the Federation, who contacts Kirk and asks him to go to Romulus to find out what happened. Inexplicably, he brings his 5 year-old on the dangerous mission. The plot reveals what really happened to Mr. Spock, as well as some secrets regarding Kirk’s son.

    Shatner’s reading is very Kirk-like, and sound and music are used throughout to excellent effect. The Star Trek audiobooks have a consistently high production quality.

    This story, though, just misses. It seems forced, unimportant, and at times just plain implausible. The ending is open for another novel – maybe that one will approach the high standard set by The Return.

    Click here for more on Star Trek audio!