Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Worlds of Ds9: The Dominion and Ferenginar

Star Trek Worlds of Deep Space Nine, Volume III: The Dominion and Ferenginar
© 2010 David R. George III, Keith R.A. DeCandido
(Trade Paperback) 352 pages

The Dominion and Ferenginar is the final volume in the Worlds of Deep Space Nine series, and the only one to focus on worlds completely outside the sphere of Federation influence. Like its predecessors, Andor and Cardassia and Bajor and Trill, D&F consists of two novellas. This volume is penned by two of modern Trek's most popular authors. DeCandido opens the collection with "Satisfaction is Not Guaranteed", a tale of business politics in which a cabal of angry Ferengi attempt to enlist Quark's support in a conspiracy aimed against his brother, Grand Nagus Rom, whose reforms (allowing women to wear clothes and earn profit, mandating an income tax) they despise. Quark is torn between his own contempt for the "New Ferenginar" and family loyalty, but the decision is made somewhat easier when he finds out the cabal is hoping to seat his old enemy Brunt as the new nagus.  This is a story interesting and sometimes funny, albiet not remarkable -- the standard for Ferengi stories has been set by The 34th Rule, and that's a book which won't be beat anytime soon.

David R. George follows this with a novella set in the Gamma Quadrant, "Olympus Descending". At the end of Deep Space Nine's series, Odo decided to stay with his people, becoming an exile from his friends in the hopes of teaching the Dominion more peaceful ways. Meanwhile, an elderly Jem'Hedar soldier who Odo sent to the Alpha Quadrant in hopes of reforming, is finding life increasingly difficult to bear. The Federation's vicious enemy has never been fully explored in novel. The length of George's story doesn't allow for a lot of expansion here, and George paints the Founders as largely detatched from the everyday affairs of empire. This is somewhat disappointing, but understandable. Odo's quest to understand his people and his own origins ends with a staggering turn of events, one I'm surprised no one has followed up on. The last great Borg War may have taken precendence, though.

These are both fine stories; "Olympus Descending" is the stronger of the two,  helped by its subject matter being more exotic.

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