25 September 2009

Books: Star Trek: Assignment: Eternity by Greg Cox

For a number of years during the 1990's, I collected almost all of the Star Trek books that came out. 99.9% of them, I never read. They sit now in box's in my garage, awaiting a fate I don't know.

Still, the above novel was published in 1998, and it was one I did not have (or if I did, I've lost it). So, I ordered a used edition. Why, may you ask, did I do this? I've always liked the TOS episode Assignment: Earth. That 1968 episode was originally planned as pilot for a potential spin-off. It featured Robert Lansing as Gary Seven, a mysterious human working for aliens who come from the future. Kirk and company use a gravitational slingshot around the sun and time travel to 1968 Earth for historical research (this time travel plot device was alluded to in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home). Suddenly, the Enterprise intercepts a highly powerful transporter beam from a thousand light-years away and a man dressed in a business suit materializes on the pad. He carries a black cat with a diamond collar. He converses with his cat, Isis, then introduces himself to Captain Kirk as Gary Seven.

That episode also featured an appearance by Terri Garr, who played Roberta Lincoln, a young woman who thought she was going for a job interview only to become entangled in Seven's plans.

Anyways, it was a cute episode that never went anywhere. So in 1998, Greg Cox revived the character for the Pocket Book Star Trek line-up. The novel also include many humorous references and inside jokes alluding to TOS, TNG, DS9 episodes, and the TOS movies, as well as references to some popular 1960's and 1970's television series not related to Star Trek.

The plot of the book has a Romulan traveling to the future and assassinates Spock in 2293 during the Khitomer Peace Accords (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country). Gary Seven's colleague, Supervisor 146 (a.k.a. Septos) alerts him, and he and Roberta Lincoln travel to 2269 to stop the Romulan and save Septos.

Cox would continue his take on Seven and Roberta in his two volume novels The Eugenics Wars: The Rise and Fall of Khan Noonien Singh (2001/02). Those I've yet to read, and have recently gotten used versions of them.

No comments: