The Entropy Effect

 The Entropy Effect, by Vonda McIntyre

Hippie Sulu!

This Star Trek novel is from 1981, but I'm counting it anyway.  I've never read many Star Trek novels except for the stuff James Blish wrote, and last year I did Spock Must Die! which was the first one.  The Entropy Effect is still pretty early on in the whole thing.

So, the Enterprise has been in orbit around a singularity for weeks, so Spock can study it.  It's the first and only singularity ever seen, and it just appeared in space!  So it's a big deal.  But the Enterprise is called to a super-secret-emergency on a nearby space station, so Spock's work is incomplete and practically worthless.  To add insult to injury, the super-emergency is no such thing; they're just needed to take a prisoner to a rehab center -- but this prisoner is Spock's favorite physicist, Dr. Mordreaux, who's been sending people back in time to live.

Then Mordreaux escapes, and kills Kirk!  And also Sulu's new girlfriend! And Spock realizes that in order to save the universe, he's going to have to travel back in time to stop all this from ever happening -- because time travel has poked a hole in space-time.

McIntyre has a lot of fun with characters here.  Not being limited by the make-up capabilities of a TV show, she loads the security team with interesting species: a leopard-lady with ruby fangs, a massive grey genetically-engineered human woman who's a farmer at heart, an alien woman who only speaks in nouns, and a terrifying red-eyed guy, all under the command of the new security officer, who is teaching judo and romance to Sulu (!).  

There is also a lot of Spock and McCoy arguing with each other, and McCoy winds up acting as captain, which he is very bad at.  Poor Scotty has a lot of hurt feelings.

It was a decent story, but I did think it was a bit too long -- and featured yet another long-lost love of Kirk's.  He does spend some time pondering on his inability to grow up and commit, which is pretty entertaining!

So I've kind of got a chain going here -- first I had two books featuring PIs, and now I have two books featuring time as an important element...wonder if I can keep this going?


  1. Kirk, the ladykiller of the galaxy :D ! I had to take a closer look at Sulu to ascertain that it was really him. It sounds fun anyway, I may not buy it, but borrow it ?.. ;)

  2. I know! Kirk has so many ex-girlfriends I'm not sure how he ever got through the Academy. And in this story, Sulu grows hippie hair. :D

  3. McCoy being stuck captaining the Enterprise (and i'm sure hated it), an alien who speaks only in nouns, time travel, and Spock and McCoy argueing? and Sulu's haircut??? this sounds like a joy!

  4. aaaand... another scife post@ mudpuddle...

  5. It will be interesting to see if you can keep this pattern going!

  6. If memory serves, this one has a place in Trek lore as it's the first time Sulu's first name is used. It later becomes canon in Star Trek III.

    I think I've got a copy of it autographed by George Takei because of this little bit of trivia. I am pretty sure I read this one but I don't recall much about it. I may have to give it another look.


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