In this Star Trek novel, author Christie Golden adds several Native American touches. Foremost among them is the supporting character of Admiral Laura Standing Crane, whom Kirk supposedly has known almost as long as Spock. Standing Crane wears her hair in a braid, swears by the Great Spirit, and smudges to cleanse her quarters. When a group of Starfleet officers explains Earth's history to an alien, one officer notes that his ancestors killed or oppressed Standing Crane's ancestors.
Also, when McCoy is training interns on Klingon anatomy (this story takes place after The Undiscovered Country), they have to dispose of a dissected Klingon body. One of the interns mutters something about "the only good Klingon...," whereupon McCoy berates him for using a racist phrase first applied to Indians.
Overall, it's just a good ST novel, not great. Rob's rating: 7.5 of 10.
Writerfella here --
In the first three seasons of STAR TREK, the production staff intended the USS ENTERPRISE to have the most diverse and racially represented crew possible. With the pressures of deadlines and compressed shooting schedules, Native Americans inadvertently were left out of the mix. When I came on the scene, Roddenberry and D.C. Fontana decided that I should be the one to make up for their omission.
The character I created was Dawson WalkingBear, a Comanche, and he became prominent in the award-winning episode that I and a young animator/filmmaker crafted for The Animated STAR TREK. WalkingBear became the first Native American aboard the ENTERPRISE, with Michael Pillar's Cmdr. Chakotay becoming the second such character in the later series, STAR TREK: VOYAGER. Earlier, in an episode of STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION that was bought but not performed because it dealt with war, a third such Native character would have been introduced, Benton SkyHorse, who was Kiowa.
The STAR TREK novels follow exacting guidelines that have nothing to do with Paramount or the various TV production people. Rather, they were formulated by Roddenberry himself specifically to avoid certain stereotypes and to point out racism as intolerable.
Beyond such matters, then the story in a given novel is left up to the individual writer, as long as the guidelines are met. STAR TREK may not always have been perfect as regards stereotypes and such, but at least they tried very hard indeed.
Writerfella here --
POSTSCRIPTUM: Rob's rating of the STAR TREK novel reminds writerfella of the old American Bandstand. When a song was judged that wasn't on the charts or the radio, the kids usually said, "It had a nice beat and was easy to dance to. I give it a 75..."
Post a Comment