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July 14 2024


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Starfleet Corps of Engineers: What's Past, Book One: Progress

By Jacqueline Bundy
Posted at April 11, 2006 - 10:03 PM GMT

Title: Star Trek: Starfleet Corps of Engineers, #61: What's Past, Book One: Progress
Author: Terri Osborne
Release Date: March 2006
Format: eBook
ISBN: 1-4165-2045-7

The latest Starfleet Corps of Engineers tale is part of a special S.C.E. event that celebrates the 40th Anniversary of Star Trek. The What’s Past miniseries will be comprised of six books that flash back to previous adventures of the S.C.E. from the 23rd century to the Dominion War. Each What’s Past tale will also feature the appearance of a special guest.

What’s Past, Book One: Progress, the newest offering from author Terri Osborne, kicks things of very nicely. Its charming story that manages to be a satisfying follow-up to the Next Generation episode “Pen Pals” while at the same time moving the S.C.E. storyline forward.

The year is 2369 and with the decommissioning of the U.S.S. Progress, Captain David Gold is contemplating his next command while on a mission to the Federation protectorate Drema IV. Gold's chief medical officer, Dr. Katherine Pulaski, has her own reasons for wanting to return to Drema IV, to check up on a former patient of hers: Sarjenka, the young girl who befriended Data and whose memories Pulaski erased. But what should have been a routine diplomatic assignment turns into harrowing adventure with far-reaching consequences for each of them.

As gratifying as the plot elements of this story are, it is the character of Sarjenka that makes it all work so well. When we last saw Sarjenka, she was a child, but in Progress we meet a mature young person searching for a way to make a difference. As written by Osborne, she is a captivating character.

Progress is a pleasure to read. The story does an excellent job of connecting the dots between the various parts of the Star Trek universe. It also presents the first chance for fans to learn more about Drema IV, its culture and what happened after the Enterprise-D's visit there. In addition, Progress provides the opportunity to discover more about the career of Dr. Pulaski after she left the Enterprise and David Gold’s career before he took command of the da Vinci.

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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.

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