Jimmy Kirk and 'Stretch' Spock are two adolescents in San
Francisco. Kirk is recovering from the horrific incident on
Tarsus IV, whilst Spock lives in the Vulcan compound. While
the young Kirk resorts to stealing a Starfleet car, in an
effort to prove that the accusation of theft against his girlfriend
is false, Spock is on the trail of an art theft. Although
they are unaware of each other, their destinies are on a collision
course and together they must face a new threat to the Federation...
Trek Academy: Collision Course is the first of a new series
of books by William Shatner with Judith & Garfield Reeves-Stevens.
any fans that insist that stories should adhere to the canon
of the Trek universe, run away now as this novel is
likely to induce apoplexy. Here we have the two young protagonists
meeting well before they should have with personalities which
will make a hard-core fan gag, especially the seventeen year
old Kirk referring to the nineteen year old Spock as 'Stretch',
a term of endearment which defiantly did not make it into
the television series, in the same way as 'Bones' did. And
thank the lord it didn't as I'm not sure that it would have
had the same tone with Jimmy, Bones and Stretch boldly going...
will accept that, as a rule, teenagers are at the same time
rebellious and relatively impotent, leaving only defiance
as their main method of attack and defence. However the criminal
acts which the young Jimmy engages in, and his disdain for
Starfleet, takes a lot of swallowing if you compare him to
the man depicted in the show. And, given their subsequent
devotion, it's not easy to swallow that they were originally
press ganged into Starfleet.
said, the book works quite well as a boys-own action story,
if you ignore pretty much everything you know about the characters.
The Reeves-Stevens' have a relatively straight forward, uncluttered
way of writing, which makes the book an easy read. There is
some nice characterisation and character growth through the
book and the supporting characters are not just relegated
to talking heads.
its setting some it's not surprising to see some old favourites
pop up - Finnegan, Captain Pike, Surak and Kirk's brother
Sam, who gets a nice slice of the limelight - to do their
little turn. Even the Enterprise has a part to play.
on its own merits this is a well written adventure yarn with
lots of situations that are as exciting as they are implausible,
not great, but a passable way to spend some time in the company
of a couple of good writers. But, if canon is you bible, then
I would steer well clear of Collision Course if only
for the sake of your blood pressure.