So, why was I reading a Star Trek novel? I have read a bunch of Next Generation novels in my day, but I never really appreciated original-flavor Trek, mostly because of Kirk’s fondness for womanizing and punching people.
But I had been told by reputable sources that this was perhaps the best Star Trek novel ever written, and out of a general appreciation for John M. Ford’s writing, I picked it up. The plot concerns a newly-discovered planet with huge reserves of dilithium crystals, the essential energy source for both the Klingons and the Federation. Because the planet lies in a treaty zone, both the Federation and the Klingons get to have a crack at courting the planet to get it to join up with one side or the other. And from there, things get a lot wackier.
There is bursting into song. There are references to classic old movies. Alas, I’m not terribly familiar with either Gilbert and Sullivan or classic old movies, and a lot of the funny stuff went over my head. But I did enjoy the wackiness of it, and the everyone-working-at-hilarious-cross-purposes of the plot, and it’s my own fault that I wasn’t better able to get the jokes.