Star Trek: Mirror Universe – The Sorrows of Empire by David Mack
One of the best episodes of the classic television series Star Trek was “Mirror Mirror.” In it, Captain Kirk, Doctor McCoy, Scotty, and Uhura inadvertently trade places with their counterparts in a parallel dimension. Many things are the same aboard this version of the Enterprise but it is no longer a peaceful ship in a united fedration of planets, it’s the flagship of an evil empire.
The landing party do their best to blend in and not be discovered as they try to find a way to reverse the accident that brought them to this strange place. Captain Kirk is able to talk to the evil version of Spock. He is still a creature of logic and let’s the leave unharmed. Both he and Spock know that the empire will be overthrown by a galactic revolt. Spock predicts that it will happen in approximately two hundred and forty years.
That’s when Kirk says, “The illogic of waste, Mister Spock. The waste of lives, potential, resources, time. I submit to you that your Empire is illogical because it cannot endure. I submit that you are illogical to be a willing part of it. . . If change is inevitable, predictable, beneficial, doesn’t logic demand that you be a part of it?
To which Spock replies, “One man cannot summon the future.”
“But one man can change the present,” says Kirk. “Be the captain of this Enterprise, Mister Spock. Find a logical reason for sparing the Halkans and make it stick. Push till it gives. You can defend yourself better than any man in the fleet.”
The episode ends shortly after this with the landing party returning back to their universe. We never knew what happened in the other universe. Until now.
When I was a teenager, I only wanted to read Star Trek books. I must have read over a hundred of them. I’m not exaggerating either. I’ve always been an avid reader and seek out what I love. My tastes, fortunately, got a little more diverse over the years. It’s actually been a while since I read a Star Trek novel, but it seemed like now was the perfect time to read this one.
It feels like we are at a precipice. There are many things wrong with society and I think we can make some big changes over the next few years. I really wanted to see how Spock could make an entire society turn over a new leaf. I was pretty certain he could do it. And spoiler alert, he does. But the cost is very high.
I don’t want to give away too much of this book. I will say this though, fans of every iteration of Star Trek will be pleased at some of the cameos. We get to see characters and situations from The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine. There are scenes from the movies and classic TV show episodes that play out slightly different in the mirror universe, which is part of the fun!
And in this time, it’s nice to see that one man can summon the future and change the world.
My List of 2020 Reads – my annual reading (b)log