Star Trek: The Next Generation: Diplomatic Implausibility
"While 2001 may be young, I venture that there will be few Star Trek novels this year to match Diplomatic Implausibility ... Quite simply, DeCandido has crafted an excellent novel, one that tells a sound story and captures well the essence of the Star Trek characters and their universe."
---Allyn Gibson
Diplomatic Implausibility cover, art by Sonia Hillios

Star Trek: The Next Generation

Diplomatic Implausibility

by Keith R.A. DeCandido

on sale now from Pocket Books

Klingons are cool.

I have thought this pretty much from the moment I saw "Day of the Dove" as a kid. Mainly it was Michael Ansara's portrayal of Kang. This wasn't just your typical smarmy bad guy, this was a worthy adversary of Jim Kirk's. I immediately became fascinated with Klingons, and enjoyed their appearances all over, from Kor in "Errand of Mercy" to Koloth and Korax in "The Trouble with Tribbles" to Kruge in Star Trek III to the folks in various novels like Enterprise: The First Adventure by Vonda N. McIntyre and The Final Reflection by John M. Ford -- and, finally, to Worf on Star Trek: The Next Generation.

It didn't take long for Worf to become my favorite Trek character -- it pretty much happened the minute he rolled out of the ops chair and aimed a phaser at the viewscreen when Q's face appeared in it in "Encounter at Farpoint."

"One of the best Worf stories ever written."
---Michelle Erica Green, "Hailing Frequencies," Mania Magazine, Fandom.com
Jump ahead to the spring of 1999. I've become a fairly successful novelist, and John Ordover at Pocket Books and I are talking about the possibility of me writing a Trek novel. By this time, Worf has become one of the most popular characters in Trekdom, having put in seven years on TNG, four years on Deep Space Nine, and appeared in three movies (four if you count his appearance as Colonel Worf, the character's grandfather, in Star Trek VI). And, at the end of the finale to DS9, he's been made Federation Ambassador to the Klingon Empire.

John, who knows that Worf is my favorite character, suggests that Worf's first mission in this new assignment would be the perfect subject for my novel. I agree with him, write up a proposal, and Diplomatic Implausibility is born.

"What I found the most delightful about DI was the fact that for this good once, the main heroes were alien aliens, with no balancing 'human' attributes to water down the effect. The minor human roles did not carry the weight to sway the main characters from their alien paths of action and thinking."
---Timo S. Saloniemi, Psi Phi's New Frontier Forum, 7 March 2001
One of my main goals with this book is to present a broad range of Klingon culture. Many have accused the Klingons of being a monolithic, boring culture, but there's more there if you're willing to scratch the surface. The writers of TNG and DS9 (mostly Ronald D. Moore and René Echevarria) did an excellent job of showing a complex society, and I tried to incorporate all aspects of that into this book. To that end, there are very few humans in the book -- the Enterprise is only there for a couple of chapters. The bulk of the action takes place on the I.K.S. Gorkon, a newly commissioned Klingon ship, and much of the plot involves Worf's interactions with the Gorkon crew.

"The book's major strength, I think, is how well it draws on the established continuity, both literary (New Frontier, ST: Ency) and canonical (TNG, DS9). It is a well constructed story reminiscent, in a way, of Asimov's robot novels."
---"6 of 9," the Trek BBS Literature Forum
That crew consists of several familiar faces to viewers, as most of them appeared in past episodes of either TNG or DS9: Klag (TNG's "A Matter of Honor"), Drex (DS9's "The Way of the Warrior"), Leskit (DS9's "Soldiers of the Empire"), Toq (TNG's "Birthright"), Kurak (TNG's "Suspicions"), and Rodek (the new identity for Worf's brother Kurn, as established in DS9's "Sons of Mogh").

"DeCandido has a marvellous ear for dialogue and for character ... even though his Klingons are certainly motivated by the usual mix of honour and bloodlust, most of them are also reasonably well-rounded individuals."
---Tim Lynch, TV Zone #137
Reader response to the Gorkon crew has been most gratifying. In fact, it's been good enough that Pocket and Paramount have approved continuing the adventures of Captain Klag and his merry band of warriors forward. In addition to a couple of cameos in novels here and there, the Gorkon was featured in my duology The Brave & the Bold in 2002, and will spin off into new adventures under the banner of Star Trek: I.K.S. Gorkon later this year.

"Overall a very entertaining, well written and truly unique Trek adventure."
---Jacqueline Bundy, Trekker Newsletter
The main challenge in writing this book was having Worf as a diplomat -- this is the same man, after all, who came out and said in "Liaisons" that he would never make a good diplomat. However, if you look carefully, he has a pretty strong record of creative problem-solving and handling political hot potatoes (e.g., "The Emissary" and "Rightful Heir" on TNG, "Tacking Into the Wind" on DS9). Worf also, after all these years, has his feet firmly planted in both the Federation and the Klingon Empire -- after all, he spent most of the Dominion War with the Klingons. The trick was coming up with a story that enabled Worf to utilize both these backgrounds.

"I think it is a big compliment when fans associate a writer with fondness with a specific element in Star Trek, like Peter David's New Frontier, Diane Duane's Rihannsu and Susan Shwartz/Josepha Sherman's books dealing with Spock and the Romulans. KRAD is definitely the Klingon and Worf writer to me. I am looking forward to more."
---Baerbel Haddrell, "Diplomatic Implausibility: A Detailed Look," Psi Phi's Star Trek Books BBS, 7 March 2001
Did I accomplish it? Well, you'll have to judge for yourself. The book's on sale now -- look for the amazingly gorgeous cover (above) by Sonia Hillios. You can also order the book from the good folks at Amazon.com.

"For Klingon fans and people interested in them, this book is a must, but other readers who like interesting characters, well-written dialogue, and insights into Star Trek cultures will also enjoy Diplomatic Implausibility very much."
---Patrick Ahrer, alt.freizeit.sf.startrek, 26 February 2001 (translated from German by Baerbel Haddrell)
If you wish to be teased, PsiPhi.org has kindly put up a text excerpt for you to peruse and an audio excerpt (read by me) for you to listen to. You can also read interviews with me about this and my other Trek work at Trek Nation, LCARScom.net, and About.com.

Artwork copyright © 2001 Paramount Pictures; all rights reserved; Star Trek and all related marks are trademarks of Paramount Pictures.



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