No High Ground

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Title: No High Ground
Publisher: Orion Press
Author(s): Margaret O'Quinn
Cover Artist(s):
Illustrator(s): Margaret O'Quinn
Date(s): 1991
Medium: print
Genre: gen
Fandom: Star Trek: TNG
Language: English
External Links: Orion Press
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cover by Margaret O'Quinn

No High Ground is a gen Star Trek: TNG 110-page novel written and illustrated by Margaret O'Quinn.

It was also reprinted in 1994 in Trichord.

A sequel story, "Practice Makes Perfect", was published in Idylls #7.

This is a Data novel, concentrating on his relations with a new crewmember aboard the Enterprise, namely Tasha's Academy roomate, and boy does she have a chip on her shoulder! [1]

Reactions and Reviews

Most Star Trek fiction is entirely forgettable and thankfully so. How else would we ever get along in life if we couldn't forget the pages and pages of absolutely boring and inconsequential lines we've read. In fact, it's those unfortunate souls who can't forget, or chose not to, that are the bane of fandom. However, a few novels or stories nonetheless remain memorable for most of us. Recently, I've run across a novella and a short story that have claimed some permanent memory space in my brain. Surprisingly, I read both of them within days of each other in two different zines issued from the same publisher. More than a month after reading Margaret O'Quinn's novella No High Ground, I can't get Rihana Kane out of my mind. Half Romulan, half human, Kane is a very engaging young woman. She served for a short time aboard the Halsey it was destroyed in the Borg attack on Earth. The only survivor from her ship, Kane's story begins with her transfer to the Enterprise to fill the post of weapon's officer (vacant since Worf was promoted to Chief of Security). Rihana is from an isolated water world on which her maternal grandmother, a defector from the Romulan Empire, was resettled by the Federation. Growing up as an outsider among a small, close-knit and homogeneous population, Rihana was never trusted, usually scorned and only barley tolerated, and as a young teenager sexually assaulted by a young hooligan. Finding escape from her world in the Federation Academy, she also found a classmate there with whom she shared a particular affinity. They became fast friends and so inseparable that upon graduation they requested to be assigned together to the Enterprise. Rihana got the Halsey, but her companion Tasha Yar got the Enterprise. O'Quinn's novel successfully and skillfully deals with Rihana's coming to terms with her past and those who now people her life. She is elated to have finally reached the Enterprise, but realizes that her appointment is a direct result of her friend's death. Initially she must overcome her distrust and dislike of the command crew, who she holds responsible for Tasha's fate. And later, when the Enterprise is tent on a relief mission to her homeworld, (Rihana must attend to her professional duties while trying to control her hatred for the people who made her childhood a miserable hell, particularly her former rapist, who now holds a position of authority in the planetary government. Despite having a strong female protagonist, this is no Mary Sue story. As is obvious from the quick sketch above. Rihana Kane has many problems in her life, which is exactly what makes her so human and ultimately so likeable. A hint of a romance with Data is hinted at in NHG, but nothing comes of it. Apparently, such a story is slated to be appearing shortly in the pages of Idylls, Orion Press' romance zine. [2]


  1. from Media Monitor
  2. from Engage! #16