Sargasso SectorBy Jacqueline Bundy
Posted at October 2, 2004 - 4:05 PM GMT
Title: Star Trek: Starfleet Corps of Engineers #42: Sargasso Sector
Author: Paul Kupperberg
Release Date: August 2004
If you are looking for a story that is completely out of the ordinary in several wonderful ways then you need look no further than the new S.C.E. story Sargasso Sector. Author Paul Kupperberg certainly manages to put a whole new spin on the Starfleet Corps of Engineers trademark of "and things go horribly wrong" by bringing a little touch of Douglas Adams to the Star Trek universe. The story manages to be interesting, exciting and hilarious all at the same time.
Assigned to clear a path for a convoy of colony vessels through the Sargasso Sector, a vast space junkyard crowded with derelict space vessels, the crew of the U.S.S. da Vinci has no reason to expect anything out of the ordinary. That should have been their first clue that this wouldn't exactly be a routine mission. Peculiar incidents start happening all over the ship, incidents that quickly escalate from being merely annoying to potentially deadly. When the very nature of reality becomes endangered it is up to Soloman to save the day.
The interaction between the characters is utterly delightful and that is what makes this whole story work so well. The interplay between Tev and Soloman is just one example and is absolutely priceless. The quiet and unassuming Bynar displays a surprisingly wicked sense of humor. I could almost feel sorry for the stuffy and arrogant Tev, he can't quite figure out if Soloman is mocking him or not, but he's so much fun to dislike sometimes that you'll be cheering Soloman on.
Kupperberg is perhaps best known for his extensive work in graphic novels and he has a real gift for humorous prose. In Sargasso Sector his formula may not be entirely unique but it's brilliant in its simplicity. An interesting dilemma, a clever solution and along the way add a surprise or two and lots of silliness. The end result is just pure fun.
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.