Friday, March 4, 2011
Book 15: Captain's Table The Mist
Much to my dismay, I found another reason too put down a good book on loan from an friend in order to read something that needed more immediate attention. In order to help make a square peg fit into the round hole for a writing contest, I went to read one of the prime examples laid out by the contest's moderator. He recommended a Star Trek Captain's Table books. I happened to have one from my late highschool/early college days (also when I was the biggest Trekker)still on my shelf: Captain's Table The Mist by Dean Wesley Smith and Kristine Kathryn Rusch. So I immediately dove into the book once more.
Now the book is very entertaining. It's basically about how Captain Sisko goes to the Captain's Table (a bar set outside of time and space)and how he's retelling the story of how he met this race/confederation of races called The Mist. I say that last bit very deliberately since once he crosses over into Mist Space, you find out that there are more then one species that are ruled by the Mist government and there is the actual species called the Mist. Sometimes things like species/races/political labels get all muddled up like that.
Now this book is laid out in a specific where where it's one of the few series in Star Trek that one has something that is so completely devoid of space & time and it has things written in first person. Normally books are written in more of a third person perspective with limited omniscient (and the bar scenes are all written this way). Most of the story is a retelling of a story so it's in first person.
Rereading The Mist has been a good thing for me to do. It's actually helped me come up with ideas how to set a childhood tale in a bar (such a stupid thing to do in my eyes since 99% of the time, people tell stories of the recent past when drinking in a bar and never even mention about being kids-maybe something their kids did but not themselves), how to play with the narrative requirement and juxtapose the bar setting away from the events being told. Now rereading the story didn't help me as much as I would have liked with the first person narrative. But that's more because the contest I'm writing for has a first person present tense requirement which I'm struggling with. While I had some help in making it not sound like a diary, I'm still struggling with not slipping into past tense too much since The Mist was also fully in the past tense.
Now I will have to say this book was written while DS9 was still in production. So there are lines that seem exactly like the characters from the show. There has been little growth in them away from the series which is different from the books that I've been reading as of late since they had so much further character development from what was last seen in the show. So after reading so many newer Trek books, this book felt like going back to my roots and taking a refresher course rather then reading something new. It's kinda fun to see the growth in characters. Plus it's just nice to have the Chief be back.In all the books I've read this year, there has been almost no mention of him at all. Which is kinda sad since I've always loved the NCO engineer.