All That We See or Seem
|Title:||All That We See or Seem|
|Author(s):||Christopher Randolph & Diane Tessman|
|Fandom:||Star Trek: The Original Series|
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It was published in the print zine Starry Seas, Earthly Planes. In that zine, the author has this note: "For those who have read ALL THAT WE SEE OR SEEM (originally published in STARRY SEAS, EARTHLY PLANES, and who might think the plot of DREAMS OF THE SLEEPERS similar, the editor would like to point out that Christopher Randolph and Alexis Fegan Black are "one"—quite literally. DREAMS OF THE SLEEPERS is the expanded novel drawn from an idea originally explored in ALL THAT WE SEE OR SEEM. The writing, scenes and plot, however, are completely new and different."
Reactions and Reviews
This is basically a long novella [in this zine], published nearly alone, with one other quite good short story and a couple of poems. This one has several really fascinating premises, but it also has severe structural problems. It reads like a cobbled-together version of several incompatible drafts of one story. Plot twists untwist themselves, storylines are added and dropped at seeming random, lots of dropped stitches and horrible editing. The word Vulcan is misspelled as Vuclan about 3/4 of the time, and that is far from the worst. In the preface the author says that this was the replacement for a long in-the-works story that developed fatal plot problems -- well, this one is pretty bad too.
And it's a shame, because there's a lot of really good ideas in here. One thread is about a mission in time travel that went wrong and resulted in K & S being prisoners at Area 51, put into cold storage cryosuspension, and how they had to link minds to survive with sanity intact, because while the body sleeps the mind does not. Lots of angst, wonderful h/c, great astral loving sequences -- this thread alone would have made a wonderful story!
Or the initial thread, which has Kirk, Spock and McCoy dealing with the aftermath of their captivity among an empathic race who stuck all three men in a tiger cage together and basically got off on their dreams. They were forced into unwilling mental intimacy and it has made things very difficult for them since their release. This too would have made a damn good story.
But then there is yet another thread woven in where the ship is somehow thrown back in time to ancient Vulcan, and Spock goes nuts and runs off into the desert, something about an induced pon farr because of his guilt -- seems he hid Kirk's memories of their loving while in cryo-storage, and now he can't deal with that and is coming unglued --and this is the part that is forced, rushed, inconsistent and not at all credible. Yes there are a couple of decent sex scenes. But IMHO this entire thread should have been chopped out or at least seriously pruned back.
By trying to jam so much in, and because they did not catch the inconsistencies and just plain screw-ups, in fact they don't seem to have edited this at all, the authors took what could have been several really nifty stories and produced a damn near unreadable mishmosh.What a waste. Save your money. It's worth reading once, if you can do so for free. But to purchase -- no. A pity. But there you go, even good authors drop a clanger once in a while. At least I got it cheap.