by Dayton Ward & Kevin Dilmore, Mike W. Barr, Dave Galanter, Christopher L. Bennett, Howard Weinstein, Margaret Wander Bonanno
Shortly after James Kirk assumes command of the USS Enterprise, he and his fledgling crew are assigned a nearly impossible task: protect a planet from severe radiation emitted by a passing pulsar, thus preventing the extinction of all life thereon. Oh, and could you do it without the inhabitants knowing you are there? Thanks.
Thus begins the saga of Mestiko, home to a number of humanoid species that have only just recently developed the capability of space travel, and have yet to form a truly global society. Since Kirk and company only partially succeed in their initial assignment, the seeds of distrust and wariness toward the United Federation of Planets are sown among the surviving populace. Over the next 40-odd years, the Enterprise is involved in nearly all of the major phases of the world’s rebuilding, with a variety of ensuing tensions and alliances.
This is a group of six short stories originally published as e-books, planned to expose fans of the original Star Trek series to a variety of adventures surrounding a single focal point. Each story is complete unto itself and contributes to the overall progression of Mestiko, its leaders, and their interactions with various Federation leaders, especially Captain Kirk, Mr. Spock and Dr. McCoy. Alert readers will clearly see how these tales fit nicely in between the events of the original television series and the subsequent films of the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s.
Rated: Moderate. Of the six novellas, only two would qualify as Mild. The others contain around two dozen mild terms, and anywhere from two to six moderately profane terms. Rather discouraging for this fan.