The Best Laid Plans... (Star Trek: TNG zine)
|Title:||The Best Laid Plans|
|Publisher:||Star Borne Press, then "Mar-Jan for Error Press"|
|Fandom:||Star Trek: TNG|
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The Best Laid Plans is a 165-page het Star Trek: TNG novel by Margaret Basta.
The zine is R-rated and required an age statement to purchase.
This zine has a sequel called The Sky's the Limit.
From an ad in The New Monthly:
The emphasis is on personal relationships and their possible resolutions. Picard wants peace but doesn't get it. Beverly wants only Jean-Luc but on her terms. Deanna wants her mother to stop her matchmaking with Work and Riker, but you know Lwaxana...
From a flyer:
A post-Generations novel that continues the stories of the former crew of the Enterprise, 1701-D.
Jean-Luc Picard tries his best to find a quiet archeological dig somewhere, but all he encounters are problems from Vorlos to Vast to Beverly desiring a permanent commitment. Worf, Riker, and Deanna find a common ground in the mire that is their relationship. Geordi goes to work for Leah Brahms. And Data minds the muse of Music.The emphasis on this somewhat humorous novel is on the personal relationships and their possible resolutions.
Reactions and Reviews
In Involution 8, Margaret Basta wrote the absolutely delightful, "Fireside Chat." In the days following the crash of the Enterprise D, Picard and Beverly have come to terms and while she works on a nearby Starbase, Picard occupies his time on Caldos. In "The Best Laid Plans..." Basta creates the background describing just how Crusher and Picard settled their differences, how the good captain spends his "free" time, and what happens in the ensuing days, in fact, weeks.
Although this novella focuses predominantly on Picard's post-Generations adventures, each TNG character has a moment in the spotlight. Basta creates a rather complicated, and in the Tipster's opinion, highly unlikely me-nage-a-Troi involving Riker, Troi, and Worf, annoyingly orchestrated by Lwaxana. Data goes off to explore his feelings and meets a relative of Nella Darren's. Leah Brahms and Geordi finally meet, argue, and engineer as equals, and even Reg Barclay makes an appearance.
Following a heated argument with Crusher, Picard decides to leave Caldos and accept an invitation to join an archeological mission. Unable to obtain suitable Starfieet conveyance, Picard is forced to travel via the slowest, most meandering, and most uncomfortable means. While en route, his transport is attacked and Picard comes face to face with Ro Laren, who, despite her Maquis leanings, protects her former captain from harm by pretending to know him as Johnny Galen, a noted antiquities smuggler, and her former lover. Picard at first resists Ro's tactics, but gradually comes to see his former protege as more than just that, actively assumes the role of Ro's paramour, and mingles with pirates, card sharks, Ferengi, and more Maquis. Meanwhile, Beverly has reconsidered the obstinate position which led to her separation from Picard and searches for him, along the way gaining the assistance of Vash and Nella Darren. Picard and Crusher ultimately catch up to each other on Gaudete II, Picard's original destination, but not before Picard first betrays then helps Ro Laren escape, thus pulling the wool over Starfleet's eyes.
If this all sounds rather convoluted, don't worry, it is. Once again, Basta tries to tie everything up and in the process, creates such a contrived knot as to render this ambitious work far short of satisfactory. Would Jean-Luc Picard, having achieved his heart's desire, dally with another? True, he and Crusher had had a falling-out, but the Tipster doesn't accept the premise that he would bed another woman just because he and Beverly weren't currently seeing eye to eye. The character never came across quite so, forgive the pun, heartless. The whole three way "marriage" between Troi, Worf, and Riker was a poor, and somewhat distasteful concept. Again, the characterizations are so off that the reader would find it difficult recognizing these people as those from the aired episodes.In all fairness again, there are some enjoyable bits here and there throughout the novella. And the Tipster would not want to ever discourage anyone from writing TNG fiction. It's just that this time, Basta's work is just not as good as some of her previous works. It was a noble effort and obviously a labor of love. Just not one the Tipster loved. 
- ^ from Coach's Club House #10 (February 1998)