Chekov's Enterprise (Star Trek: TOS novel)

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Zine
Title: Chekov's Enterprise
Publisher: Orion Press
Editor:
Author(s): Randall Landers
Cover Artist(s): Zaquia Tarhuntassa
Illustrator(s):
Date(s): 1998, 2001
Series?: part of the Orion Press universe
Medium: print zine
Size:
Genre:
Fandom: Star Trek: TOS
Language: English
External Links: online at the Orion Archives
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.
cover of 1998 edition, Zaquia Tarhuntassa

Not to be confused with Walter Koenig's book, "Chekov's Enterprise: A Personal Journal of the Making of Star Trek: The Motion Picture" (Pocket Books, 1980).

Chekov's Enterprise is a gen Star Trek: TOS novella by Randall Landers. It has 254 pages and a cover by Zaquia Tarhuntassa.

It was reprinted as part of Orion Archives: 2294-2323 Chekov's Enterprise #1 in 2001 and re-released in 2009.

This story was first posted to alt.startrek.creative and won a 1998 ASC Award.

Summary

Following the disappearance of James T. Kirk and the subsequent suicide of John Harriman, Pavel Andreievich Chekov is thrust into the center seat. He must deal with a reporter whose holocams always seem to know where trouble is, a young helmsman who is the daughter of an old, dear friend, a missing transport ship, Tholian homesteaders who have set up a colony in the Federation's backyard, a Vulcan ambassador and a fellow starship captain who is second-guessing his decisions. [1]

An Inspired Fanwork

The story in this zine inspired another writer to create a related work.

[[d. William Roberts] writes: '"Old Feuds" runs parrallel to Randy Landers' "Chekov's Enterprise", also published by Orion Press. There is one scene where both novels are intertwined, however, seeing the action from different points of view."

That story is available here.

Reactions and Reviews

Chekov in command of the new Enterprise on a variety of intertwined missions. Kirk's death/disappearance. The murder of Princess Teresa, now McCoy's wife, and their two sons, putting an end to that line from the Orion Universe. (Can't say I'm sorry. I thought she was a flat character, purely a sex object, beautiful but nothing else.) Uhura as First Officer; serious conflict between Chekov & Randy's rather arrogant Sulu over search strategy for the Jenolen. Main plot concerns a Tholian "swarm" - based on fire ants - into Federation territory, ending with Chekov presiding over genocide after Spock's unsuccessful negotiations. Also a reporter hovering around causing trouble. Randy's Chekov is very Jewish. Very nice characterization on Chekov, especially the Russian Rules of Engagement. Cool cover by Zaquia Tarhuntassa. [2]
I have got to hand it to you. Out of all the online (and off-line) stories I have read, Randy Landers' Chekov's Enterprise has got to be the best. I found it sometime in February and have been back to read it again several times. It has to do with several of my favorite characters from the series, and it's a very nice piece of work. Wonderful story! [3]
Have just finished reading Randy Landers' Chekov's Enterprise. Interesting look at some of the more rarely seen aspects of the Federation. Could really visualize the action. Well done! The media and the power of Section 31 are foremost in my mind. I haven't seen any DS9 episodes, so I hadn't any previous knowledge about Section 31. Scary is the word, in my mind. [4]
I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed reading Randy Landers' Chekov's Enterprise. I've been a Chekov fan for years....

I adamantly agreed with your write-up on "Why not Chekov?" It's really sad that the Powers That Be at Paramount think the only form of the original Trek that is "true" Star Trek concerns only Kirk, Spock and McCoy....I sure couldn't understand why Chekov hadn't been Sulu's first officer in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. I like Rand well enough, but it just didn't seem to fit all that well. I always maintained that the reason Chekov wasn't Sulu's first officer was -- naturally - because he was going to get his own ship soon! So you can see how your story fit into how I saw the natural progression of the Star Trek universe (at least that of the original series) after Generations.

Getting back to your story -- I really liked how you tied in the ramifications of Captain Harriman's actions on the Enterprise-B's maiden voyage! He was an accident waiting to happen, that's for sure! And that Sulu and Chekov would react in the way they did at Kirk's memorial was only fitting for their characters.

I found it really distressing (and disturbing) that -- had Chekov not been overridden by Sulu on his search pattern -- they would have found Scotty's transport. That, I think, is really tragic! Thank you for tying up that loose end. If I take that idea into the Next Generation universe, I could speculate that Scotty possibly searched through the memory banks, and found a log stating what happened there -- including Chekov's fight to keep on a more careful and thorough search pattern. I'm sure he would have said, "What if...?" What if Sulu hadn't been so blasted bull-headed? What if Starfleet Command hadn't ordered Chekov to do it Sulu's way? What if...? That's really tragic!

I always thought Chekov and Uhura would work well together....I see Chekov and Uhura forming a natural team....I liked the give and take you gave their relationship -- especially as both of them were adjusting to their new roles as Captain and First Officer.

I must say that I truly enjoyed how you added Saavik into the mix, and the secondary plot about her still dealing with David Marcus' death on the Genesis planet after all those years.... I always thought Saavik's character held a lot of promise, if handled the right way by the writers. I was always disappointed that Paramount dropped her character. Oh well, I think you did your homework well. The way you portrayed Saavik fits exactly how I pictured her! It means a lot to me that you got it right! Well, that and how you portrayed Chekov's character! <grin>

It dawned on me after I completed reading the story that you did something really amazing with Chekov's Enterprise. I'm not a big women's lib freak, so I don't go out of my way to point out where things are balanced too heavily on the male side of things. But it dawned on me slowly that most of Captain Chekov's main command staff are women!!! What a huge change from the old days of Kirk (and the "new bimbo of the week" attitude)!

Thank you for all of the hard work (not to mention the sweat and tears) that you put into your story! And thank you for sharing your story with the rest of the universe! Believe me, I can appreciate how much work and effort goes into writing such a wide-reaching story! Your efforts are very much appreciated by your readers! [5]
Thanks for Chekov's Enterprise -- I enjoyed it. It was good to see Chekov finally in (long overdue) command. I liked how you worked in other characters and the names of worlds from the original series, including Saavik, Sulu (a little harsh on him, but I understand why), Uhura, etc. The memorial service for Captain Kirk was very well done, and Chekov's Jewish faith (done because of Walter Koenig's ancestry, I presume?) was sensitively portrayed, particularly in like of what he had to do to the Tholian colony. The closing tie-in with Starfleet Intelligence's secretive Section 31 was a masterstroke -- I didn't see that coming! Well done. Thanks again. [6]
I just finished reading Randy Landers' Chekov's Enterprise. It was wonderful! I thought putting Chekov in the captain's chair worked very well, and I liked the plot. The conflict with Sulu was surprising, but I thought it added a lot to the interpersonal relationships you had happening. [7]
I enjoyed reading Chekov's Enterprise. Some very nice plot twists there and a different perspective on our favorite Russkie. It never ceases to amaze me that, given the same premise and canon, we can all come up with such different interpretations of character and key events.... [8]
Let me start by saying that I enjoyed Randy Landers' Chekov's Enterprise for a variety of reasons. Since writers like to hear what works significantly more than what doesn't, I'll start (and finish) with praise.

Enjoyable conceptualizations and ideas such as Chekov's Hebrew heritage, the development of Tholian culture and behavior, and the inclusion of characters from the animated Star Trek series (such as Arex), which I, too, think should be considered canon. For the most part, the novella was well written, with some neat turns of phrase and good use of simile. Decently plotted, engrossing, and certainly holding the potential for subsequent work -- which, evidently, you've already begun. As for the flip side:

The character Sulu ultimately fails because it simply doesn't ring true as Sulu. I think you would have been better off to have him be a little more subtle in his approach -- perhaps still considering himself a mentor to Chekov when one is no longer needed or desired. Though it's a common theme (and a greatly overused one, in my opinion), the reunion of so many Star Trek characters on one ship seems unlikely to me in a fleet so vast and among officers so skilled and ambitious. Chekov and Uhura, yes, sure, I'll go with that. I'll even accept Chapel in the mix. But when you throw in Rand and Saavik as well, uhh, no. {Incidentally, it wasn't my decision to make Rand Sulu's first officer. That was seen in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country as well as the Voyager episode, "Flashback." - Randy} The writing could be tightened up a bit -- there's a tendency to overuse the same word, which created something of a literary monotony. Look to vary the vocabulary a little more -- it's not a glaring flaw, but it does weaken the prose. This may just be an editing problem, vis-a-vis a writing one. Conversations tend to drag and meander a bit, and chapters don't end as much as they trail off. There's got to be a little more snap. One doesn't pass the psychological tests associated with command and then commit suicide. For me, when I read it, I just went, "Well, that would never happen." However, as my wife pointed out, the whole scene in Generations involving Harriman's uncertainty and Kirk's death was highly contrived, and your explanation works as well as any other I've heard, so... The skullduggery at the Admiralty was too much. It's one thing to work behind the scenes to outmaneuver another Admiral (or even to allow the Klingons to do your dirty work for you, a la Star Trek VI); it's another to assert that Starfleet Intelligence regularly threatens assassinations against rival top brass. It seems contrary to Gene's vision of the future. {Perhaps it does, but those sections of the novella were derived from Deep Space Nine's Section 31 as well as Nomad's earlier works. - Randy} Finally, I've never been much of a Chekov fan, and I don't see him ever being given command of a starship, let alone the flagship of the Federation. His career (what we've seen of it) just doesn't warrant, or merit, the position (not that Harriman did either!). Here's my grades:

Plot: Some good ideas, some reaching. How about a C+?

Writing: While my observations are valid, I believe, still when it works, it works well. I'd say a solid B.

Characterization: Extremely uneven. Some near brilliant (I like Chekov a bit more than I ever did before -- I'm just not sure it's him!), some not so brilliant (I think you have Takei and Sulu mixed up), so I'd have to say C+.

Intangibles: Your awareness of the Star Trek universe is strong enough to boost any fan fiction you create. B+.

That's an overall grade of B-, close to a B.

Let me finish with something a Professor of English and a writing instructor used to say to me -- "I only comment on stuff with potential. Otherwise, I just try to smile and nod." Take care and keep writing! [9]
Regarding Randy Landers' Chekov's Enterprise: Chekov is handled consistently, but I think you are a little inconsistent with McCoy. He seems almost a manic depressive before his wife and kids are killed. Sulu comes off an a ass, but having read your introduction to the story, I can see why. The Scotty material ties up a little inconsistency between "Relics" and Generations and doesn't strain the fabric of reality in doing so. Nice touch. Most Trek inconsistencies do not clear up with that ease or elegance. Spock, is well, Spock and done well. Saavik, I have seen nothing of the character myself outside of the movies, so I can't really comment. So much for the characters. The story is good, I will say that first. It wallowed a bit too deep in tragedy for my personal taste, but you told a good tale in the end. My dislike of tragedy is my problem, not a problem with your writing. I liked your portrayal of the Skorr, another ignored race that has potential....I like the usage of Caits and Skorr. All in all, good tale, good concept, please do more. And, of course, only our hero would take "Sgt. Murphy's Rules of War" and make them Russian. [10]
Just a quick note to let you know how much I appreciated and enjoyed Randy Landers' novella, Chekov's Enterprise.

I've always been a Chekov fan -- maybe because my grandfather was Russian (an honest to God Cossack! for Nicholas II). But I think the real reason I liked Chekov to begin with was that in 1967 I was a twelve year old, and he was so cute.

Later, I came to appreciate Walter Koenig's ability to insert so much subtext into his role that Chekov became, in spite of the scantiness of dialogue, a complex character, charming and funny and serious and keeping some sorts of secrets to himself. I think a lot of writers of Chekov fan fiction have picked up on that, and it is a testament to Walter Koenig's abilities and personal depth...

I loved the story. I loved seeing Chekov in authority. I was surprised you made him Jewish. Being Russian, I guess I always just imagined he'd be Russian Orthodox. But I liked it. I liked it that he has faith.

I loved the handling of Uhura and Saavik and Chapel and Demora Sulu, and was surprised at what you did to poor Hikaru....I thought it was kind of funny, and it range true that Sulu's character would be so condescending toward the former bridge baby of the Enterprise. [11]
Chekov's Enterprise is an excellent piece of writing, especially the conflict between Sulu and Chekov and the story's adherence to the canon of Star Trek. Are there any plans for a sequel in the works? {Check out the Chekov's Enterprise web page which has lots of stories about our dear Russian and his first command. - Randy} I'm not overly sure about the "conspiracy" element in Starfleet -- I can understand secret ops and cloak and dagger items, as it were, but out and out racism seems a bit over the top... [12]
 : Chekov's Enterprise -- Hey has anyone read the stories from Orion Press? Okay, so I know realistically it won't be happening, but I'd love to see it on film. They've got nearly everyone in Star Trek in it one way or another. It's the way I'd like to think things happened after Generations. Of course being a die hard fan of Chekov, I'm probably a bit biased. Either way go read them because they're awesome. [13]
Regarding Randy Landers' Chekov's Enterprise -- Fantastic and artfully written just as it was in the movie and the parts that follow are also incredible penmanship. [14]
Yesterday, I finished reading Randy Landers' Chekov's Enterprise. What a pity that my English is so little! I'd like to tell you a lot of beautiful words, but I'm afraid of [making] mistakes. The story is very involving; the characters, the old ones and the news, are happily described. The situations are enthralling. During the battle against the Tholians, on the bridge, I was there, too... You truly love Chekov, and after the reading of the story, I love him as well. [15]
I very much enjoyed Randy Landers' Chekov's Enterprise. It is about time we read about his becoming a competent captain. After years of being under the tutorial of Captain Kirk and Mister Spock, Chekov is indeed the most worthy and experienced officer to command a ship of her stature. I look forward to reading more adventures with Chekov and Uhura. I do hope you continue to write them! For the most part, I felt that your characters were...well, true to character. [16]
I just finished Randy Landers' tale of the Enterprise-B (Chekov's Enterprise). It was a wonderful story! I hated to see it end. It reminded me of the old Star Trek stories where the main characters relied on each other for support and information. It also brought up small bits introduced in TOS that may have been more prominent had the series continued for a few more years, such as the relationship between Spock and Chekov. I also enjoyed reading about some characters that we rarely hear about in the Simon and Schuster books or the movies. Randy seemed to capture the personalities that were vaguely introduced on the show. Randy gave them depth and emotion worthy of Star Trek (for that matter Starfleet Academy) something the show at times has lacked upon. [17]

References

  1. from the publisher
  2. from Karen Halliday's Zinedex
  3. from Amanda Ludwig -- September 1999 at Orion Press feedback
  4. from Tim -- June 1999 at Orion Press feedback
  5. from Jane Melander -- April 1999 at Orion Press feedback
  6. from William F.B. Vodrey -- April 1999 at Orion Press feedback
  7. from Diana -- April 1999 at Orion Press feedback
  8. from Donna Frelick -- April 1999 at Orion Press feedback
  9. from Joseph Manno -- April 1999 at Orion Press feedback
  10. from Gary Stahl -- April 1999 at Orion Press feedback
  11. from Diane Randle -- April 1999 at Orion Press feedback
  12. from Matt -- April 1999 at Orion Press feedback
  13. from Smiley on the Roddenberry BBS website -- November 2004 at Orion Press feedback
  14. from Mysti -- September 2002 at Orion Press feedback
  15. from Gina -- October 2001 at Orion Press feedback
  16. from Ann Freeman -- May 2001 at Orion Press feedback
  17. Allyn Long -- January 2000 at Orion Press feedback