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Book Reviews: The Mad Scientist Affair + Strangers From The Sky + Dwellers In The Crucible

The Man From U.N.C.L.E #5: The Mad Scientist Affair by John T. Phillifent
This 1966 novel is a badly written sexist incoherent mess. The duo (and the innocent du jour) run around Ireland babbling about THRUSH and molecules whilst having a smug belief in themselves. Solo embodies and promotes stupidity. Illya ends up in a bog and this was not commendable. I do not accept or tolerate this un-elegiac mess.

Best Line:
“Shamrock to Volga.”

Star Trek The Original Series: Strangers From The Sky by Margaret Wander Bonanno
This 1987 novel allegedly tells of first contact between humans and Vulcans in the aftermath of the Eugenics War. This was directly contradicted by ‘Star Trek: First Contact’ and is an over-written, dated tale of increasingly miserable people who do not have a high level of self-awareness. Before the events of ‘Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn’, Kirk reads a book that contradicts the official story of First Contact. He has bad dreams and ends up in a nut ward in a non-nuanced poignant fashion. Spock shows up and a non-sombre respectable drama involving time travel unfolds.

This is a tale of amiable doofus’ who find stranded Vulcans and a group of icy caustic types who show up to inflict a ferocious onslaught of dumbness. There are bigoted xenophobic people who seem genuinely baffled by the idea of aliens. This was unimportant and not particularly notable. This was dated and people act in a hostile manner and people’s ugly dark sides are revealed. People have a lack of character and integrity. There is emotional xenophobia. This is a slow descent into hell. I didn’t like this much and it was a dull tale of unexpected crisis and bluster.

Best Lines:
“Time-warp speed is still only theoretical.”

“And the ship we sent to Alpha Centarui-”
“-Won’t be back for another nine years, if at all,”

“Now we’ve been sending messages for over a century, it seems all the more likely that someone or something is going to answer us.”


“Protect future generations from the very sight of them?”

“It’s their heaven, not mine.”

“The final unspoken truth.”

Star Trek The Original Series: Dwellers In The Crucible by Margaret Wander Bonanno
This 1989 novel reads like a 1970s fanzine fanfic. It is dated and wildly out of continuity and full of plot and logic holes. The Klingons and Romulans kidnap 6 Federation citizens and as the victims try to survive their ordeal and abuse, the Enterprise look for them. This was okay.
Tags: #5, 2nd hand book store find, man from uncle, star trek

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