Friday, November 8, 2013

Cold Fusion

Star Trek: S.C.E. #6
Cold Fusion by Keith R.A. Decandido
Published July 2001
Re-released in print form as part of the S.C.E. compilation Miracle Workers in February 2002.
Read February 14th 2013

Previous ebook (S.C.E.): #5: Interphase, Part Two
Next ebook (S.C.E.): #7: Invincible, Part One

Original ebook cover

Compilation of S.C.E. #5 - 8: | |

Spoilers ahead for Cold Fusion, the rest of the Corps of Engineers series, and the events of the Deep Space Nine relaunch novels Avatar, Book One and Book Two!

From the back cover:
Following the catastrophic conclusion of Avatar, Lieutenant Nog -- the chief operations officer of space station Deep Space 9 -- joins forces with the crew of the USS da Vinci!
With the station's future in doubt, Nog meets the da Vinci at Empok Nor, Deep Space 9's long-abandoned twin, in order to salvage vital technology. But they arrive to find that someone has beaten them to it -- an enigmatic and dangerous alien race known as the Androssi. When the SCE crew learns what the Androssi have planned for Empok Nor, it threatens not only the lives of the da Vinci and Deep Space 9 crews, but galactic peace itself!

My thoughts:

The sixth S.C.E. story is a bit of a departure from stories we've gotten so far. A tie-in to the Deep Space Nine relaunch series, Cold Fusion contributes to the on-going story taking place in those novels.

Cold Fusion takes place shortly after the events detailed in the Avatar two-parter. Deep Space Nine is on emergency battery power, having lost her fusion core during an incident with rogue Jem'Hadar forces. DS9's chief engineer, Lieutenant Nog, has a daring plan to replace it. He intends to salvage the fusion core from the abandoned Empok Nor, featured in a number of episodes of DS9. Rather than removing the core and transporting it to Deep Space Nine, Nog proposes tractoring the entire station to Bajoran space, where it can be used for spare parts indefinitely. This ambitious plan is set in motion with the help of the S.C.E., specifically, the crew of the intrepid starship da Vinci.

Cold Fusion chronicles the attempt to tractor Empok Nor to Deep Space Nine to use for spare parts.

I like the idea of tying in the S.C.E. crew to the goings-on of the wider novel continuity, and it was nice to have the connection to the DS9 relaunch in particular (having recently reviewed the Avatar two-parter). It's possible that the idea was to bring in readers of the DS9 novels to the S.C.E. world by having a tie-in story. In any case, the S.C.E. crew were a good fit for the story that was told, and it was a good decision to do this crossover.

One aspect of the story that annoyed me somewhat was the condescending attitude that the team from the da Vinci had towards Nog. They were dismissive of his ideas and had little to no respect for his expertise. I've slowly begun to really like the S.C.E. crew, and I have to admit that they disappointed me here. In the end, of course, Nog proves his abilities and is better appreciated by the engineers. However, the initial dismissive attitude towards him was a little vexing.

Lt. Nog of DS9 guest-stars in Cold Fusion.

The main antagonists of the story are the Androssi, introduced in this story for the first time. They would later be used in the novel A Time to Be Born. I enjoyed the implied backstory between the Androssi and the S.C.E. crew. While I would like to have known more about the past encounters, the references to their previous engagements were used to good effect.

Final thoughts:

Another enjoyable entry in the S.C.E. series. The tie-in to DS9 was a nice touch, and while the attitudes of the da Vinci crew towards Nog were annoying, I appreciated that they came to respect him in the end. With this story, we begin to see the hints of a larger shared continuity beyond just the Deep Space Nine relaunch series, something that I greatly come to appreciate as the prime Trek universe continues to mature in the novels beyond Star Trek Nemesis.

Also by Keith R.A. DeCandido:

My next read:

Next up: S.C.E. #7: Invincible, Part One by Keith R.A. DeCandido and David Mack.

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