S.C.E.: Out of the CocoonBy Jacqueline Bundy
Posted at December 28, 2005 - 3:55 AM GMT
Title: Star Trek: Starfleet Corps of Engineers, #57 Out of the Cocoon
Author: William Leisner
Release Date: November 2005
With a story that is a follow-up to the second season TNG episode "Up the Long Ladder" Strange New World alumnus William Leisner makes his Starfleet Corps of Engineers series debut with Out of the Cocoon, the 57th installment of the popular eBook series. My only prior experience with Leisner's writing has been the short story format of the three Strange New World volumes he has contributed to but with Out of the Cocoon he clearly demonstrates that he has the ability to provide a thoroughly entertaining tale in a longer format as well.
Set eleven years after "Up the Long Ladder", which saw two disparate human colonies, the Bringloidi and the Mariposans reunited, in Out of the Cocoon the U.S.S. da Vinci is sent to Mariposa when Starfleet Command receives a message from the Ficus Sector requesting that the Federation come and "...rid us of this infernal machinery, every last bloody scrap of it!" Upon arrival the crew of the da Vinci soon discovers that the integration of the two societies has not exactly gone smoothly and it is up to the S.C.E. to help them overcome more than their technical problems.
Whether or not you enjoyed the episode "Up the Long Ladder" you're bound to enjoy Out of the Cocoon. The story is engaging, well paced and nicely incorporates some great character development into the plot. I particularly appreciated and enjoyed how the author utilized even the smallest details from the episode in Out of the Cocoon.
Leisner's appreciation for the episode comes through loud and clear from the moment you hear Brenna Odell's voice in the message to Starfleet Command and it was a real pleasure to visit the characters again in this story. He also nails the characterizations of the regular S.C.E. cast providing some great moments for several of the characters, most notably in the interactions between Captain David Gold and Dr. Elizabeth Lense.
The last few S.C.E. stories have been a little on the heavy side which made the placement of a story with a lighter tone, such as Out of the Cocoon, a very welcome change at this point in the series.
Jacqueline Bundy reviews Star Trek books for the Trek Nation, writes monthly columns for the TrekWeb newsletter and the Star Trek Galactic News, and hosts the Yahoo Star Trek Books Group weekly chat.