The Politics of the Future
I have always enjoyed Star Trek, and I’ve always enjoyed politics. So why not put the two together? Someone else thought of it first, and wrote the book, “Articles of Federation”.
Well, let’s just say that after reading that book, I can see why so many people get bored by the subject of politics. It’s all meetings and most of the true action takes place off-screen, etc.
That aside, from a literary stand point, the book holds up well enough. Each part of the novel begins with a segment from a punditry show. And then some issues come up and/or resolved. Someone resigns. Rinse, repeat. My biggest critique of the novel is that it has a great number of plots being played with, but none of them being resolved with any kind of difficulty – in part because of the volume of issues at play. You don’t really feel like, having read it, that you got a sense that there was an interweaving story line, or that the principle characters were developed or resolved in some manner.
It was very much like, “a year in the life of a Federation President and her staff”. A central tension – scandal involving her predecessor – could have been built up more and made THE central story line, but it wasn’t, it was just another notch on the wall that had potential.
Don’t get me wrong. The writing is well done, and the author conveyed the characters and setting well. I just think he, like several political novelists I’ve read, tried to take too much of the overall story and not focus more.
This is in contrast to most recent Star Trek television and film writers, who have failed to develop a sense of scope about things. (And while I’m ranting, I just finished watching the last Enterprise season, and it simply convinced me that Star Trek’s universe is far too crowded only 100 years after humans got warp drive – it needed fewer aliens, and more variety about humanity’s culture at the time.)