Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Here There Be Monsters

Star Trek: S.C.E. #10
Here There Be Monsters by Keith DeCandido
Published November 2001
Re-released in print form as part of the S.C.E. compilation Some Assembly Required in April 2003.
Read April 7th 2015

NOTE: Here There Be Monsters is an epilogue to the Gateways crossover series.

Previous ebook (S.C.E.): #9: The Riddled Post
Next ebook (S.C.E.): #11: Ambush

Previous story (Gateways): Book 7: What Lay Beyond

Original e-book cover

Compilation of SCE #'s 9 - 12

Some Assembly Required from Amazon.com | Amazon.ca | Amazon.co.uk

Spoilers ahead for Here There Be Monsters, the Gateways crossover series, and the rest of the Corps of Engineers series!

From the back cover:
After the events of What Lay Beyond, the Gateways crisis has finally come to a close and Starfleet can rest easy, knowing that another threat to the galaxy has been stopped. Except for the Starfleet Corps of Engineers who, as usual, are left to clean up the mess.
While on a mission to Tellar, the U.S.S. da Vinci gets a distress call from the planet Maeglin. Still reeling from a previous attack, the natives of Maeglin find themselves under siege by a horde of alien creatures that came through one of the Iconian Gateways and are now hell-bent on destroying the planet!
Commander Sonya Gomez and her team of S.C.E. engineers must find a way to stop the rampaging monsters before it's too late!

My thoughts:

The S.C.E. crew returns to Maeglin, the site of a previous attack that they helped to repel. This time, however, the threat is a little more visceral: thanks to the recent Gateways crisis, a number of large creatures have traveled through the Iconian passages and are wreaking havoc in the populated areas of Maeglin.

As with the previous S.C.E. novellas, we get some good character moments and development for a few of our core cast. There are some fun moments, including aerial acrobatics using anti-gravity boots, presumably like the kind worn by Spock in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier.

An exciting sequence featuring gravity boots happens in Here There Be Monsters.

There is one part of the story that is from the perspective of a small child encountering one of the "monsters" which was very touching. This serves as our first clue that not everything is as it seems, and DeCandido shows us that our preconceptions often mislead us.

The conclusion to the story is in the true Star Trek style, with the "monsters" not exactly living up to the terrifying beasts they were believed to be. Bart Faulwell once again plays an important role in the story, illustrating the usefulness of a language expert and the importance of good communication when dealing with alien cultures.

Final thoughts:

Another fun story, this time tying in with the Gateways crossover miniseries, providing a sort of coda to the multi-series story. A typically Star Trek ending caps this story off nicely. Bart Faulwell is fast becoming one of my favorite characters in this series. I enjoy when these stories tie into the larger continuity, such as the adventure at Empok Nor in S.C.E. #6: Cold Fusion. These small stories that tie into the overarching ongoing continuity form cool little touchstones that make this wider universe feel more real.

Also by Keith DeCandido:

My next read:

The eleventh story in the S.C.E. series: Ambush by Dave Galanter and Greg Brodeur.

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