The Vulcan Academy Murders
|Title:||The Vulcan Academy Murders|
|Fandom:||Star Trek: TOS|
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The Vulcan Academy Murders is a Star Trek: TOS pro novel by Jean Lorrah.
It was originally to be the sequel to Night of the Twin Moons, a fanzine.
From the book: " Kirk and McCoy accompany Spock to the Vulcan Academy Hospital, seeking experimental treatment for a badly wounded Enterprise crew member. Spock's mother is also a patient in the hospital, and Kirk soon becomes involved in the complex drama of Spock's family... Suddenly, patients are dying, and Kirk suspects the unthinkable - murder on Vulcan! But can he convince the Vulcans that something as illogical as murder is possible? Until the killer is caught, everyone is in danger!"
Star Trek: TOS Pro Books with Fan Connections
- Star Trek: The New Voyages (1976, 1978)
- The Price of the Phoenix (July 1977)
- The Fate of the Phoenix (May 1979)
- The Entropy Effect (June 1981)
- The Prometheus Design (March 1982)
- Black Fire (January 1983)
- Triangle (March 1983)
- Web of the Romulans (June 1983)
- Yesterday's Son (August 1983)
- The Vulcan Academy Murders (November 1984)
- Ishmael (May 1985)
- Killing Time (July 1985)
- The IDIC Epidemic (February 1988)
- Time for Yesterday (August 1988)
- Strange New Worlds (1998-2007; 2016)
The Book Announcement
I have news: Paramount has approved my Star Trek pro novel, THE VULCAN ACADEMY MURDERS, and I have a contract with Timescape to finish writing it by February, 1984. Interesting things are happening these days—it's possible for the "forbidden" topics of previous years to get approved. I hope all of you will be sure to read YESTERDAY'S SON by Ann Crispin, which should appear from Timescape this August— it's about Spock's son by Zarabeth! And of course, Ann is a trufan. The themes fans have been yearning to see professionally published for years are finally getting into print. My agent sent my novel proposal to Timescape only after warning me, "They never approve anything set on Vulcan." But they did! While Kirk, Spock, and McCoy are main characters (I'm not that dumb!), so are Sarek and Amanda—and the whole story except for Chapter One (in which I wreck the Enterprise) takes place in and around ShiKahr, mostly at the Vulcan Academy of Sciences. If any of you are thinking, "I've heard about that novel somewhere before," yes, it's the book I once intended to write as a sequel to THE NIGHT OF THE TWIN MOONS and publish as a fanzine. However, I got too involved in pro sf writing to write it as planned, so when the opportunity to submit a pro Trek novel arose I got out my notes, did massive revisions to legitimately involve the Big Three in the plot (they weren't in my fan plans), and gave it a try. It paid off! 
Fom the Author
The one thing I have not been able to do, however, since achieving a very modest success as a professional science fiction writer, is to write the many fan stories which are still in the back of my mind. And that is why, when I heard in December of 1982 that Pocket Books was in the market for more professional Star Trek novels, I decided to submit a proposal. THE VULCAN ACADEMY MURDERS was a fan novel I had wanted to write for five years, but had not had the time. Perhaps you may be interested to know what it has been like so far to write a professional Trek novel.
My first thought was, "I don't write the sort of book that Pocket publishes, so why bother?" But then I thought, "Maybe they haven't published my kind of book because no one has sent them any?" (This was before YESTERDAY'S SON.) So I asked myself whether I could adjust the story I wanted to tell to professional requirements without ruining it. The original fan novel would have taken place entirely on Vulcan, with Sarek and Dr. Daniel Corrigan and his partner Sorel as the main characters, (Those of you who have read my NTM stories know who these people are.) Sarek was supposed to do the detective work. The Enterprise and its personnel were not involved. For professional publication the main Trek characters had to play leading roles. So I restructured my ideas to bring Kirk, Spock, and McCoy to Vulcan, and assigned the detective work to Captain Kirk. Since professional science fiction standards (all sf, not just Trek) require more action scenes than I would have put into a fan novel, I opened on board the Enterprise, in battle with the Klingons. Since Kirk was now my detective, I restructured the plot so that toward the climax he would be stranded out on Vulcan's Forge, where he would have to fight a le-matya. And, in order to keep the points of view of Sarek and Corrigan, I added the points of view of Kirk and McCoy. I now had a prospectus I was pleased with, and knew I could write with thorough enjoyment. I sent the outline and the first forty pages off to my agent. She read it and called to tell me, "I love it, but Pocket never buys anything set on Vulcan." Nevertheless, she turned it in. About a month later she called to report that the editor at Pocket had said, "I love it, but Paramount never approves anything set on Vulcan." Nevertheless, it was sent on to Paramount. Meanwhile, Spring of 1983 passed and summer began... Then in late June my agent called to report... Paramount had approved THE VULCAN ACADEMY MURDERS! That was six months after I submitted the proposal—and, for Pocket and Paramount, I'm told, unusually fast! I now had a verbal contract, but not a written one. My agent, however, represents several people who have written pro Trek novels, and knew the details. A pro Trek novel is a "work made for hire." That is, the copyright and all other rights belong to Paramount, not the author. The author does receive an advance—the same amount for everybody, famous or unknown—and royalties amounting to about one-third of what an author normally gets for her own books. Since the Trek novels all sell very well, though, the end result is about the same as what a moderately successful writer would earn from her own book—unless, of course, her own book sold to movies or tv. In the case of a pro Trek novel, it can't happen—but just in case it docs, Paramount, not the author, owns all subsidiary rights. Pocket had been contracting 60,000-word Trek novels for years. My agent had told me this, and I had structured my plot for that length. (For comparison, THE NIGHT OF THE TWIN MOONS is 72,000 words, my Savage Empire novels 75,000 words each.) If I had not already had a contract for AMBROV ZEOR, I would have spent the summer of 1983 writing a 60,000-word Trek novel. Then one day in September, my agent called. The contract for THE VULCAN ACADEMY MURDERS had arrived—and it called for 90,000 words!Suddenly Pocket wanted a novel half again as long as I had planned for. No, they were not offering half again as much money—advance and royalties stayed the same. It was just fortunate that I had not already written the book to the 60,000-word length; it is much easier to restructure an outline than a complete draft. My agent was told by the editor of Pocket Books that because the longer Trek books sold better, they had decided that they now wanted all the Trek books to be long! (Of course their sales survey had no way of showing that most of the long books were written by long-time Trekfen ... but hey, folks, you're the ones who will profit if Pocket continues its practice of charging the same price for all Trek novels, long or short.) Well, I now had to pack the writing of a 90,000-word book into the time I had planned to write a 60,000-word one—minus a couple of weeks while I restructured the outline to suit the longer length. Trying to keep the same balance between action scenes and personal interaction scenes, I added a fire which almost destroys the Vulcan Academy of Sciences, in which Kirk plays hero until the professional firefighters drag him away (of course no one will ever guess my inspiration for that scene), and played up a human-Vulcan love story that I had originally intended to keep in the background. Meanwhile, the signed contract went back to Pocket, and I waited for the on-signing half of my advance. And waited. And waited. And waited .... To Pocket's tax advantage, they mailed the check the last week in December, 1983. I got it in January, 1984—a full year after I had submitted the proposal. And that was only half the advance. Now, with the novel complete and turned in, 1 am waiting to hear whether Pocket or Paramount will want revisions—and how much work there will be if they do. I will not see a penny of the rest of the advance until the manuscript has been accepted in final form . . . and the mills of Pocket/Paramount grind very slowly... Will I write a sequel to THE VULCAN ACADEMY MURDERS? I don't know. It was great fun to write about all my old friends again. I must confess that I already have ideas for a sequel, but first I have to see what happens to the book I turned in. 
I am having a delightful time reading the fan mail for THE VULCAN ACADEMY MURDERS—it's running about half and half trufen and neos (people who never knew there was a fandom till they read about it in the introduction) . There is only one dichotomy between the two kinds of readers—their feelings about my handling of the murder mystery aspect of the novel. Let me admit that mystery is not my forte, okay? I knew most people would figure out whodunit rather easily, although I worked on making it harder. Despite the title, though, I didn't consider whodunit the most important element in the book, just as it isn't in the very best mysteries (why do we re-read Agatha Christie or Dorothy Sayers after we know who the murderer is?). However, here is something very interesting: consistently, every commentator on the mystery who has read my fanzine stories says s/he picked out the murderer the moment the person was introduced; many of these fans scold me for making it too easy. Those who mention the mystery, but have never read anything else by me, say they are delighted to have a Trek murder mystery. A few have said they figured out whodunit before it was revealed, not in the sense of the mystery's being too easy to solve, but rather in a sense of pride for having solved it! In other words, the mystery is working as another level of the novel for those who have been following my fan work: knowing how my mind works, they have a special ability to solve the mystery! So it's part of the bonus for regular readers of fanzines—and I am delighted at the response I've been getting to that subtext of the novel. 
Reactions and Reviews
While science fiction is a genre in its own right, it often includes stories of other genres as well. For example, some science fiction novels are war stories (Joe Haldeman’s The Forever War); others like James Blish’s A Case of Conscience and C.S. Lewis’ Perelandra series delve into religion. Still others like Jack Vance’s The Dragon Masters and Gene Wolfe’s The Shadow of the Torturer include elements of fantasy. When it comes to science fiction thrillers, Jack Finney’s Invasion of the Body Snatchers and Richard Matheson’s I Am Legend are always popular. And if one is looking for an old-fashioned murder mystery, The Vulcan Academy Murders might just fill the bill as Kirk, Spock and McCoy find themselves trying to catch a killer.
A battle with a Klingon warship leaves the Enterprise in need of repairs and a seriously injured crewman whose only hope for recovery lies with an experimental Vulcan regeneration technique. While the starship is in dry dock for repairs, Kirk, McCoy, and Spock accompany the injured crewman to Vulcan. Spock has another reason for the trip as well: His mother is undergoing a similar procedure for treatment of degenerative xenosis, a disease that causes the nerve fibers to dissolve until the body no longer works. In all, three individuals are undergoing treatment, and it isn’t long before they start to die. The first to fall victim is the Vulcan wife of one of the creators of the treatment; next is the Enterprise crewman. While the first death can be linked to a malfunction of the stasis chamber used for the treatment, the second death seems to be more than coincidence. Since Vulcans see no logic in murder, it’s up to Kirk to investigate the deaths before Amanda too falls victim. Unfortunately, his investigation makes him a target as well.
This story takes place sometime after the episode "Journey to Babel" and gives us a chance to see Sarek and Spock mend bridges and explore their new relationship as they work together to prevent anything from happening to Amanda. It also gives us a look at more Vulcan traditions, and we learn how Sarek and Amanda met and courted. In addition, we have the opportunity to revisit T’Pau, who at first seems annoyed that Kirk is still alive and seemingly "mocking their traditions" by being so. And there are just enough twists and turns in the plot to keep us guessing who the murderer is until almost the very end—and even then we’re kept in suspense as we wait to see if the murderer’s plans for Amanda can be thwarted before it’s too late.If you enjoy mysteries and want a "good read," then this book might just be for you, but a word of caution: Be sure you can find a block of time to devote to the novel because once you start, you won’t want to quit until you get to the end. 
This Trek novel has been the most eagerly-awaited of any pro-written fiction so it isn't surprising that it's also the best. It reads just like a good fanzine story — and that's the highest praise I can give, Jean, of course, is "one of our own", having started in fandom many years ago writing the now-legendary "Night of the Twin Moons", a universe centering on Sarek and Amanda. Now, with her first pro Trek novel, she has deftly interwoven elements of "Amok Time", "Journey to Babel", "Yesteryear" (animated episode), and her own NTM, fitting them all within the fabric of an intriguing murder mystery. This novel 1s not science fiction, nor does it try to be. Many Trek novelists have gone out of their way to create all manner of weird aliens, hoping for an exotic effect yet succeeding only in alienating readers. Lorrah just gives us a familiar framework and concentrates on characters with whom we can identify.
Originally, VAM was to have an all-Vulcan cast, but Pocket Books insisted that Captain Kirk be given a central position in any ST story. Lorrah did so, but it is clear that Kirk's role is nonessential and could have been filled by Spock or any other Vulcan. Readers will be more interested in the flesh-out of Spock's family background and the deepening of the Spock/Sarek relationship.  Veteran Trekfans will have fun spotting allusions to the NTM stories——-such as the in-joke on page 85. As a mystery, the plot is relatively simplistic—--I guessed the killer's identity in the very first chapter and wondered why the characters were so blind to the obvious—but the story definitely holds one's interest. The hospital fire sequence was particularly exciting; my heart was racing as I prayed for them to reach Amanda in time. I also enjoyed the sweet love story between Corrigan, a human doctor, and T'Mir, a young Vulcan girl.The Vulcan Academy Murders is the best Trek reading you'll ever find in a pro novel. I don't ordinarily buy pro-fiction, preferring to spend my money on zines, yet I bought this book without hesitation. Need I say more? 
Just wanted you to know you gave me a day of delightful entertainment. I never buy pro ST fiction, yet word-of-mouth prompted me to buy Vulcan Academy Murders the moment it arrived at the bookstore, and I truly enjoyed it. You've deftly woven together elements of "Amok Time," "Journey to Babel," "Yesteryear," and the NTM universe, fitting them all into the fabric of an intriguing mystery (even though I did guess the killer by page 14). I particularly cherished the inclusion of little details which only the readers of your fanzines will catch. I want a sequel now, not in a couple of years! I'm curious about something, however: the part about Kirk risking his life to fight a fire sounded just like Shatner on the Paramount set, and I was wondering, is that where you got your inspiration? Also, since you have focused on the character of Amanda throughout your 18 years in Trekdom, I'd like to know how you would explain away her conspicuous absence in ST III? Surely you can come up with a better alibi than Vonda Mclntyre! 
I said that I hoped that one of these days, someone would come up with a good ST pro novel. I'm pleased to say that I have finally found one. it's THE VULCAN ACADEMY MURDERS by Jean Lorrah. After 14 years of reading ST novels that have ranged from merely dull to inexcusably outrageous, it's about time we fans got quality ST writing in a pro novel. THE VULCAN ACADEMY MURDERS features good storytelling, a cohesive plot and accurate characterization while sticking to establishedTrek. The existence of this novel refutes those who say that the reason there has been no good pro Trek fiction of comparable quality to good fan fiction up to now is because pro authors can't make permanent changes in the characters' lives, or use explicit sex, or write alternate universes. THE VULCAN ACADEMY MURDERS has none of these, and is good writing. It is also important to note what THE VULCAN ACADEMY MURDERS does not have. It does not have runaway nonsense or pseudo-philosophy, it does not stretch the boundaries of SF into the realm of the fantastic, it is not dry or mechanical, and it docs not try to pour the characters into super-mortal molds. I will mention one minor quibble and say that on p. 3, I think that Scotty's dialogue is far too melodramatic. This, however, is far outweighed by the many good items. T'Pau, in particular, is believably characterized. This is the first pro novel I can recommend to other fans, and I hope to see more pro novels of this caliber in the future. 
I have all her fan fiction, and have enjoyed most of it, so perhaps my expectations were too high, but I found this novel somewhat disappointing. To begin with, I guessed the murderer's identity on page 20, only a few pages after this person's introduction into the novel. And while I do read murder mysteries for enjoyment, I almost never succeed in guessing the murderer's identity! I was interested in the many ways in which Jean put all sorts of things from her fan stories into this novel. But overall, I simply didn't find it a: involving as I had hoped. Maybe the sequel will be better. 
"Oh boy—an outer space who-done-it!" I remember thinking to myself as I read the front and back blurbs on one of Pocket Books' Star Trek novels, The Vulcan Academy Murders by Jean Lorrah. However, I am happy to report that my first impression of her novel was wrong—it is an interesting and enjoyable novel that I feel is worth the $3-50 price tag. It was well written, easy to follow, and, in the tradition of all good murder-mystery stories, the murderer isn't revealed until the last few pages. (And NO., the butler didn't do it!) The story centers around Kirk, Spock, and McCoy's efforts to help an injured Enterprise crewman. By some freak accident during battle with the Klingons, the crewman suffers an injury in which his voluntary nervous system is burnt out. Not being able to help the crewman aboard the ship, they take him to Spock's home planet, Vulcan, where the scientists at the Vulcan Academy Hospital have been working on a nerve regeneration treatment. By coincidence, Amanda, Spock's mother, is undergoing this treatment. She has contracted a disease that acts the same way as the injury that afflicts the injured crewman. She has "degenerative xenosis," a disease that occurs when a person has an allergic reaction to living for long periods of time on an alien planet. But when two people die while being treated, Kirk (who else?) must find the murderer and stop him/her from killing again. Does the killer succeed in killing Amanda? Does Kirk find the killer? Why are the other people being killed? How is Kirk almost killed himself in the process of finding the murderer? These questions and more will be answered as you read the novel. (I might also warn you: when reading the novel, don't jump to conclusions about who the murderer is—you could find out, as I did, when you read on that the saying, "Innocent until proven guilty," really applies here.) Aside from the engrossing storyline and surprise ending, the entire book (except for the first chapter) centers on Spock's home planet of Vulcan. Throughout the novel, the entire Vulcan culture—from Surak's early teachings to today's Lifestyles—are thoroughly explored, including the Vulcan Bonding Rite, mind melding, and the "verification" (where a group of Vulcans mind-meld with an "accused" Vulcan to find out if he is telling the truth or not.) Also, two favorites, Sarek, Spock's father and T'Pau, the ruler of the Vulcan race, are there along with some new Vulcans and Earthlings. (Outworlders, as T'Pau calls us.) If one of your favorite TV episodes is "Amok Time," then this book is for you. Enjoy! 
I have already written to Jean Lorrah to say I loved her novel Vulcan Academy Murders. Many INTERSTAT readers complain that the murderer's identity was too obvious. Well, I also guessed correctly early on, but nevertheless, I found the novel both fun and fascinating. I enjoy learning about Vulcan culture. I hope to see more of the Corrigan-T'Mir relationship. 
I just finished Jean Lorrah's The Vulcan Academy Murders and agree with the other comments made here. As Trek, it's wonderful; as a murder mystery, I knew 'whodunit' by page 15 or 20, and the detective bit thereafter was a little tedious ("Oh, come on, Jim, you're after the wrong guy—again!"). I love the way the author subtly and deftly worked in elements of fanfic. I think my favorite part of the book was when Kirk casually observed Amanda and Sarek'a brass headboard with the "dents in the rungs." (Aha! The infamous "brass bed" story! We know where those dents came from…heh…heh). The story works well on many levels, and has something for every group in fandom (even us 'evil-minded' K/Sers). I love any opportunity to visit Vulcan and learn more about Spock's home, and I admit to a great fondness for Sarek. McCoy's line "Vulcans certainly have peculiar ideas about what constitutes a tourist attraction!" cracked me up and was pure McCoy. My only quibble (aside from the fact that the illo on the front cover, Spock phasering what looks like a le-matya, has nothing to do with the story inside) is that I wished there were more of Spock, or even of Kirk and Spock, in the story. Spock is very elusive here, very much in the background. He doesn't even get to save Kirk from his untimely romp in the hay—er—sand with poison critters and man-eating plants (and ladies). This is a very young Spock, just after "Amok Time" and "Journey to Babel," not at all the whole and mature man we've grown to know. I also like the way many elements of the series were explained, where M'Benga got picked up, for example. An excellent piece of Trek. The author's characters, all the Vulcans and Doctor Corrigan, were well drawn and believable and interesting. Good job, Jean. 
Jean, I enjoyed THE VULCAN ACADEMY MURDERS very much, although I, too, figured out who dun it on page 20. The hint you gave on the page by having Sarek see the computer tie-in to the hospital was too obvious, and I know you regard Sarek as the sexiest hunk of Vulcan in the known and unknown cosmos, so it was easy to tumble that his little blonde assistant wanted him, too. But the humor, the characteriza tions, the rest of the book, were very true to Trek, and I liked them a lot. (Having done two conventions with Mark Lenard, by the way, I have to tell you that Sarek's charm and virility is not just fine acting — Mark is really a terrific guy! If you haven't done a con with him, consider doing so.) 
This book is a return to the very earlier types of fiction that was published professionally. In other words not very good.
The book, as the title suggests, is a"who-done-it" based around two murders at the Vulcan Science Academy. Since one of the murder victims was a member of the Enterprise crew who was receiving medical treatment at the Academy, Kirk assumes the role of "inspector" and goes looking for clues. The facts of the case seem to point towards a mechanism malfunction in a particular piece of equipment which the two victims were hooked up to. The complication is that Amanda, Spock's mother, is also hooked up to such a device, and cannot be disconnected for a further two days without killing her. Spock, Kirk, McCoy and Sarek then spend the rest of the book trying to protect her from the mysterious murderer.
That, in a nutahell is the plot. And it proceeds with as much tact and subtlety as the Keogh trying to sell zines at a con! (Thank you very much! - I'm beginning to feel a little paranoid! - CAROL).
The main argument I have with this book is that the murderer becomes apparent on page 14 and the motives for the killings are explained a few pages further on. But the first murder doesn't take place until page 31!
It's boring. It follows all the old plot themes for an old fashioned "who-done-it" and does it badly. Kirk seems to think he's a certain French Detective![note 1] an attempted murder by a deranged Vulcan throws them off the track of the real killer; the killer tries to burn down the Academy to prevent Sarek and Spock from tracing him/her through the computers; Kirk is lured into the desert and left for dead while the killer goes back to get Amanda. Yuk.
I also found one other thing rather annoying about this book. It tries to tie itself in with the "Night of the Twin Moons" universe and contains pages and pages of little stories told by Sarek and Spock about incidents in the above universe. Having read the zines concerned, I'm not overly interested in rereading them as padding to a professional publication.
In all, the story is poor. The ending is a classic "they all lived happily etc", solving nothing, with the "poor" killer being carted off to the Vulcan hospital because logically, the poor dear must be "mentally deranged". It's very unsatisfying and quite weak.If you have to read this book, borrow it. It isn't worth buying. 
Briefly this book takes us to Vulcan for a delightful snoop into the lives of those endlessly fascinating poeple when a crewman aboard the Enterprise needs a special medical treatment available only on Vulcan. It is still experimental, but this fellow will surely die unless it is tried. It develops that Amanda, Spock's mother, is undergoing the same treatment, and someone is bumping off these patients. Ms. Lorrah gives us a lot of goodies in the book, such as how Dr. M'Benga came to serve on the Enterprise, the reason T'Pau turned down that seat on the Federation Council, and some super good glimpses into the lives and relationships of those members of our race of touch telepaths — the stoic and supposedly emotionless Vulcans — and she does it with excellent logic. The mystery element is weak, but if you want mystery, go read Ellery Queen. But if you want some good Star Trek Vulcan reading, don't miss this. 
I enjoyed this story very much; then again I enjoy a good 'whodunit' story which this lsr and Kirk, plays detective on Vulcan. I can't imagine a society with no police, however, and even Vulcan must have some law enforcement, even if it is only some Starfleet redshirt to fall back on. But no law officers; that was the only point I disagreed on in this book, but I guess it had to be that way for Kirk to solve the problem. The story starts with a battle and the Enterprise wins of course, but receives some damage and a crewman Is seriously hurt. Only the Vulcan Academy can help rebuild his nervous system so thua we are introduced to the medical team who brought Spock into the world. Spock's mother in in stasis (that's what the procedure is called) and then the young crewman is placed in stasis too. There is an accident in which the Vulcan healer's wife is hurt, so that makes three In the experiment. Now overnight things start to go wrong. First the power is turned off to the healer's wife. She dies; next it's the crewman who dies. Kirk suspects murder and goes on a murder hunt, while Spock and Sarek try to solve a problem with no obvious beginning until the medical computer diagnoses gout instead of torn ligaments. While McCoy is helping out, he gives a Spock-like explanation to Spock and Spock returns with a McCoy-like answer, 'Why could you not say that in the first place' type of thing. Of course Kirk gets hurt twice - well that's nothing unusuai, is it? So does Spock. There's a power shut down at the Academy, a fire and a [happy ending]]. It is a fast flowing book that is consistent. It does not jump from part to part, it kept my interest from page one and I managed to read it cover to cover. I did not want to put it down, which is a good thing for I find if I put a book down it usually means "ugh, I'm not liking it," but in this one the writer keeps you guessing what is going to happen next, and who is the killer, right up to a few chapters before the end. But all the clues are there; if you can pick them up you can work out whodunit. I did, but it was worth reading to see if I was right; and the motive - well, that's for you to read and find out. I'd recommend it; it's not too heavy on technical layout but gives a good insight to the Vulcan way of life. 
- Spock’s hot dad
- A lot of noncanonical information that clearly influenced a long Amanda/Sarek fic series I like, Gratified by
- A totally nonsensical medical condition called “degenerative xenosis”
- A mystery that you can figure out from basically chapter 1, but whatever, that’s obviously not the point of this book
- The Ubiquitous Waltz which plays at every diplomatic reception and Sarek dances with Amanda when it plays even though it’s not a Thing Vulcans Do, omg it’s so sweet, seriously this book is all about the Amanda/Sarek feels
- Also Kirk is a really bad detective
- Some mindmeld sex
I actually really didn’t think I would like this book, because I am wary of anything that might ruin my precious imagination of Amanda and Sarek’s relationship. I generally don’t have a high opinion of most of the novels’ ability to get any kind of nuance in alien races and I’m super protective of my vision of Vulcans especially. So I was pleasantly surprised to find that the book handles the variance in Vulcan attitudes with special attention. I’m not saying it’s, like, the greatest work of art ever written, but it’s mindful of different Vulcan attitudes, it has a great version of T’Pau, and it especially shows us more of Sarek’s interiority and what an unusual Vulcan he really is to have adapted so much to Human norms. It’s also got a great central friendship between a Vulcan and his work colleague, and I found it really enjoyable to see male friendship shown as important and valuable in such an explicit way (and not in a “no homo” or “yes homo” way either—just a genuine recognition that men can be very meaningful to each other).All in all, I’m definitely rereading this one in the future, which is about the highest praise I can give a Star Trek novel! I hope that other folks will read it in prep for DISCO TIME OMG, because I really, really, really want that Sarek to be as good as my vision of Sarek and come on let’s all will it to be so!! 
- That's Belgian detective, unless the reviewer meant Poe's C. Auguste Dupin.
- from Interstat #70
- from Interstat #79
- from Interstat #86
- reviewed by Carolyn Kaberline at Orion Press
- No. That kind.
- from Com Con Nov/Dec 1984
- from Debbie G in Interstat #86 (December 1984)
- from Joan V in Interstat #86 (December 1984)
- from Melissa M in Interstat #86 (December 1984)
- from Beyond Antares #2 (July 1984)
- from Beth B in Interstat #87 (January 1985)
- from Betsy L. B in Interstat #88 (February 1985)
- from one fan-turned-pro-writer to another, A.C. Crispin comments on Jean Lorrah in Interstat #91 (May 1985)
- from Empathy Newsletter Spring 1985
- from Genesis
- from IDIC #7 (December 1989)
- everystartrekever.tumblr, by Flourish Klink