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Star Trek: The Original Series: The Rings of Time (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 31. Januar 2012

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Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Greg Cox is the New York Times bestselling author of numerous novels, including the official movie novelizations of Daredevil, Ghost Rider, Death Defying Acts, and all three Underworld movies. In addition, he has written books and short stories based on such popular series as Alias, Batman, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Fantastic Four, The 4400, The Green Hornet, Infinite Crisis, Iron Man, Spider-Man, Star Trek, X-Men, Zorro, among others. He lives in Oxford, Pennsylvania. His official website is: GregCox-Author.com.

™, ®, & © 2012 CBS Studios, Inc. Star Trek and related marks are trademarks of CBS Studios, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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One

June 28, 2020

“Launch minus five minutes . . .”

The space shuttle Renaissance faced the early-morning sky at Cape Canaveral. Its enormous fuel tanks and boosters dwarfed the vessel as it towered over the launch pad. The launch tower pulled away, leaving the shuttle and its booster rockets clear for flight. It was a beautiful morning, the last Colonel Shaun Christopher would see for more than six months. It would be winter the next time he set foot on Earth.

Assuming all goes well, he thought.

Inside the cockpit, Shaun was strapped into his seat, staring up at the nose of the ship. A flight suit and helmet provided meager protection from the titanic forces about to be unleashed. The Atlantic Ocean could be glimpsed out the starboard window. A pair of old-fashioned military dog tags dangled above the lighted instrument panel in front of him. A good-luck charm, the tags had accompanied him into space before.

“Ready to go, Colonel?” the pilot sitting next to him said. Commander Shirin Ludden was among the first of a new breed of shuttle pilots. She seemed shockingly young to Shaun, who was in his early fifties.

“You tell me,” he answered. “I’m just a passenger on this flight.”

Despite their banter, the launch procedure continued on schedule. The sound-and-heat-suppression system fired up far below the cockpit, but Shaun could feel the vibration from all that water where he was sitting. He and Ludden closed the visors on their flight helmets. He took a deep breath of piped-in oxygen. The entire shuttle trembled as the launch engines gradually came online. Shaun felt a familiar excitement growing inside him.

The Renaissance had been intended to be the first in a new fleet of second-generation shuttles, but then the aerospace bubble had gone bust, cratering the economy again and creating entire districts of homeless people in many of the world’s cities. The latest round of budget cuts had left the Renaissance as a one-of-a-kind prototype, kept alive primarily by private investors and international partners who couldn’t afford to build ships on their own. She was an impressive vessel, state-of-the-art. A shame she had to fly alone.

Still, at least she would get him where he was going.

“Launch minus ten seconds . . .”

The engines ignited, and the shuttle strained to escape the eight-inch metal bolts holding it down. The spaceplane swayed violently before turning its nose back up toward the sky. Computerized systems went through their paces. Even though Ludden was nominally the pilot, the launch was out of her hands now. Rattling inside the cockpit, Shaun braced himself for what came next. A grin spread across his rugged face.

This never got old.

“Five . . . four . . . three . . . two . . . one . . .”

Liftoff!

Explosive charges blew away the hold-down bolts. The Renaissance blasted into the sky atop an inverted geyser of fire and smoke. Shaun was slammed back into his seat, then shaken back and forth like a rat in a dog’s jaws. The shuttle rocketed up from the Cape, leaving Mother Earth far behind. The booster rockets fell away, having done the heavy lifting. Shaun felt a twinge of relief; like most astronauts, he felt safer rid of those enormous Roman candles. The bumpy ride quickly leveled off as the bright blue sky before him gave way to the blackness of the upper atmosphere.

The g-forces pressing down on him felt like an elephant standing on his chest. Shaun gritted his teeth; this part did get old after the first few minutes. He craned his neck to try to read the gauges on the instrument panel. So far, everything looked okay, although the elephant seemed to have gained weight since the last time he took this ride.

Or maybe that’s just me.

Just when he thought he couldn’t take it anymore, the elephant disappeared as though conjured away by a Las Vegas magician. One last jerk shook the ship as the empty fuel tank fell away. The pressure on Shaun abruptly went from three g’s to zero. His body lifted away from the seat cushions, held in place only by his safety straps. Glancing at the instrument panel, he saw the lucky dog tags floating weightlessly.

We did it, Dad, he thought. We’re in space. Again.

The tags had been worn by his father, Captain John Christopher, during his Air Force jet-pilot days. The senior Christopher had applied to the astronaut program back in the 1960s but hadn’t quite made the cut. Shaun had taken his dad’s tags up with him on every mission, so that even though the real John Christopher had only watched the liftoff from the bleachers eight miles away, he was also flying beside his son.

“So much for the fireworks,” Ludden said, sounding almost disappointed that the thrill-ride component of the launch was over. “Smooth sailing from now on.”

“Knock on wood,” Shaun said.

She used the shuttle’s smaller space engines to guide the Renaissance into orbit approximately four hundred kilometers above Earth. Circling the planet at some twenty-nine thousand kilometers per hour, she rotated the shuttle so that its belly faced outward away from Earth. The engines cut off, and the cockpit was suddenly so quiet that Shaun could hear the fans and air filters whirring, along with his own breathing inside the helmet. The payload bay doors opened, exposing their cargo to the vacuum. This was standard procedure in space and essential to the next stage of their mission.

“Tell you the truth,” Ludden said, “I wish I was going all the way with you.”

“Now, Commander, you know NASA frowns on that kind of fraternization.”

She punched him in the shoulder. “You know what I mean. This is just a taxi ride to the airport. You’re making the real trip.”

“Maybe next time,” Shaun said to console her.

“Well, let’s make sure you don’t miss your flight.”

The shuttle’s launch was just the first leg of a much longer journey. Shaun waited impatiently, occupying himself with routine flight operations, while the shuttle caught up with his destination. Hours passed before Ludden nudged him.

“Heads up,” she said. “There’s your ride up ahead.”

Peering through the cockpit window, he glimpsed a bright reflective object cruising above them. At first, it was only a shiny lure in the distance, but as they closed on the other vessel, a truly awe-inspiring spacecraft came into view. More than forty-five meters long, the ship was many times larger than the Renaissance and resembled several large tour buses linked together. Its modular components had been assembled in orbit over the course of the last five years. Shaun could count them off one by one: engine assembly, communications array, cargo bay, crew habitat, and command module. The impulse thrusters fanned out from the tail of the ship, while a docking ring was attached to the nose of the command module. Antennae, EVA rails, and signal dishes sprouted from the ship’s silvery titanium-polymer hull, although its delicate solar panels had been retracted in anticipation of breaking orbit. Additional insulation and padding protected the habitat. Lights shone in the windows. A NASA logo was emblazoned on the side of the cargo bay, along with the name of the vessel: U.S.S. Lewis & Clark.

Ludden whistled in appreciation. “Quite a ship.”

Shaun had to agree. Even though he had trained on simulators, had familiarized himself...


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I really liked this approach of showing a new facet of the star trek universe; if the mission of the USS Lewis & Clark in 2020 reminded me many times of Arthur C. Clarke's ground-breaking Space Odysseys, so had it much more characterization and philosophy in it, which always were part of good star trek yarn. But the story also takes political, social and economic issues in account, such as the ramifications the present day economic crisis would have to such an ambitious space mission merely 8 years from now and mixes it with star trek historic footnotes. Also the problems to body and mind Colonel Shaun Christopher and Captain James T. Kirk experienced respectively, misplaced in time with the unfamiliar environmental conditions they find themselves in was believable described. The plot paced at Stardate 7103.4 at the mining colony Klondike VI, which is orbiting a ringed gas giant not unlike Saturn read like an Action scifi-movie full of special effects and offers the reader a glimpse how an astronaut out from 2020 may experience the future of the 23rd century . All in all one of the best classic Star trek yarn I was reading in a while and maybe of the best in respects of classical science fiction I can only highly recommend "The Rings of Time" by Greg Cox.
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The rings of Saturn are an interesting feature of our star-system and as mankind goes outside to the stars it finds more planets of this kind with astounding similarities in the composition of the rings. One such system is Klondike IV where on a small moon in the rings a dilithium-mine is in operation. But suddenly the rings start to destabilise and the miners and their families are in grave danger. The only help in the neighborhood is the ENTERPRISE near the end of its first five-year-mission under Cpt. Kirk. Shortly after arrival a strange probe enters the rings and after beaming it aboard Cpt. Kirk feels compelled to touch it.

And finds himself 200 years in the past and in the body of the son of a man he knew before.

A bit of old-fashioned nitty-gritty SF from teh time of the exploration of our own solar-system meeting a time that might - hopefully - be. Nicely done - if not really original.
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.0 von 5 Sternen 62 Rezensionen
23 von 27 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen The Cover Art Is The Best Part 3. Februar 2012
Von badcyclist - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
This was a disappointment. The general plot was moderately interesting, but the clunky writing continually dropped me out of the story.

Cox wastes too much time describing a routine shuttle launch and the first expedition to Saturn (much of it is just a condensed rehash of "2001" sans HAL, plus an ill-advised "Lost in Space" stowaway with-- of course-- a secret). He clumsily drops in too many trite "future" echoes of current events (blogging, budget problems, global warming, Mayan calendars), and relies too much on jarringly obvious references and homages to the Trekverse-- including naming one crew member "Fontana." Geez. The testy banter between Fontana and the stowaway is just awful.

We have seen too many elements of the story too many times-- mysterious space probes, time travel, saboteurs, and plot points drawn from the old TV show (and at least one nod to TNG). It is like these books have become giant recycling combines, endlessly repackaging the same elements in slightly different forms. There is nothing original here, and the writing just isn't good enough to hold the wisp of a story together.

One good test for these books is whether it would make a good stand-alone movie or mini-series. In this case, unfortunately the answer is a clear, "No."
4 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Spans Two Eras 21. Februar 2012
Von SciFiChick - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
In the year 2020, Colonel Shaun Christopher and the crew of the U.S.S. Lewis & Clark embark on humanity's first journey to Saturn. When they find an unlikely stowaway aboard, their mission is put at risk. But the real danger looms when a mysterious probe appears and heads straight for Saturn. As Shaun investigates the probe too closely, his consciousness is thrown into the future into the body of a legendary captain.

Two hundred and fifty years later, the U.S.S. Enterprise is sent to Klondike VI on a rescue mission. The planet is similar to Saturn, and its rings are decaying - endangering its numerous colonists. Then, an ancient probe arrives, and it's immediately beamed aboard the Enterprise for study. But as Captain Kirk touches the seemingly dead relic, he suddenly appears to be in the past, floating in space next to the historic U.S.S. Lewis & Clark.

This standalone original Star Trek novel is told through two time periods, back and forth, chapter by chapter. Cox has skillfully written two separate stories that weave together and come to an exciting conclusion. The Enterprise story is set at the end of the television series' five year mission. Fast-paced and full of mystery and adventure, The Rings of Time was completely engaging. Though not as much time is spent on the Enterprise crew as other novels in the past, I thoroughly enjoyed the Lewis & Clark crew as most of the action came from that timeline. Time travel, body swapping, mind melds, and aliens - this latest Star Trek novel includes just about everything I love most about the series.
6 von 7 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Contrary to the naysayers--a fantastic read. Excellent storyline. 26. Mai 2013
Von Mark Myword - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
Beside having all 3 years of TOS on DVD, and some 100 Star Trek novels, I have to disagree with some of the critics in here who can't see the forest for the trees. The book was fantastic. I admit that going in, like another critic, it had the smell of 2001 a Space Odyssey, then things started happening. One of the things that made Seinfeld so successful as a comedy was the fact that you had several storylines going at the same time focusing around a central theme. Obviously (despite those who might like to draw the comedic analogy) this was not comedy--it was drama--but it had at least three storylines intertwined in the telling of a great tale. Something was happening to the rings of Saturn, about the time 2020, when Shaun Christopher (Tomorrow is Yesterday), son of John Christopher embarks on that famous mission to Saturn little knowing they were going to get a whole lot more than what they bargained for... the next chapter it shifts to 2270, and the Starship Enterprise is on a Mission to a mining colony (Klondike VI)that is rich in dilithium and located on a moon between the rings of another Gas Giant. Before they realize it the rings become unstable and incoming pelting of meteorites, ice, and other ring debris threaten to destroy the domed colony of Skagway, and the Enterprise which can NOT accommodate all of the colonists for an evacuation from this remote location. The central theme is set!

Reminiscent of the fourth movie "The Voyage Home" --a foreign/alien probe is involved. Both Shaun, of the "Lewis and Clark", and Kirk, of the Enterprise, want a closer look at the mysterious object which shows significantly more wear and tear in the 23rd century than its counterpart in the early 21st. The probe corrects a major destabilization problem at Saturn; but new things begin to go wrong, first because Shaun, in investigating gets "zapped" by some power source, and seems to lose his identity--probably because in 2270 at approximately the same time Kirk has the much older probe (attempting to correct similar destabilization issues on the mining moon's gas giant) transported aboard the Enterprise, and likewise gets zapped and in something of a cross between "turnabout intruder" and The Enemy Within, Kirk finds himself in the body of Shaun, back in 2020! and Shaun finds himself in the body of Kirk, up in 2270!... several hundred light years away in distance, and over 250 years of time apart. Meanwhile, it becomes apparent that there is a nefarious saboteur aboard the Lewis and Clark back in 2020--and time is running out rapidly for both vessels: and the Klondike VI colony at Skagway, in 2270. Chapter by chapter you move back and forth from century to century and, personally, I couldn't wait to find out what was next to happen.

What I particularly liked was how the novel incorporated so much recognizable material from TOS AND current history. You had quotes and references to people and events in at least 20 or more of the series' shows. The Paradise Syndrome, (Kirk's living with Miramanee and fathering a child)--This side of Paradise (Spock's little escapade into emotions) Turnabout Intruder and the episode with Janet Lester, You had references to Yesterday is Today (obviously) and even City on the Edge of Forever. There were references to the Deadly Years, to The Conscience of the King (remember Kodos the Executioner?--who should live and who should die?) ... all of these allowed me to intertwine the series with this novel--superbly. There was even a mention of how much Kirk liked to climb mountains/rocks and how one time he'd like to tackle the sheer walls found in Yosemite--presaging the later movies. It mentioned other human disasters like Bhopal, and Katrina--all of which I could relate to--all this made the story so much more real--and enjoyable, to me. I don't want to include too many "spoilers" here but I will say--if you are indeed a "Trekkie" and loved TOS as I do, then you can't help but love this book because you are constantly having those "aha" moments and recalling umpteen episodes (The Gorn, the Organians, the Oorta!) as you get all caught up in drama, romance, espionage, and cliffhanger (pun intended) moments as you work through the several stories unfolding as you read through the thirty chapters. I think it was great, and don't see how a real "Trekkie" fan wouldn't view it in the same light. Read it--you won't regret it!
11 von 15 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Rings Around the Universe 1. Februar 2012
Von Robert Carver - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
Greg Cox has delivered an interesting Star Trek story to say the least. If you are a fan of The Original Series you will appreciate this exploration of the historic Saturn-exploring adventure of Colonel Shaun Geoffrey Christopher. We met Shaun's father, Captain John Christopher, on the TOS episode "Tomorrow Is Yesterday." This is the first time that the story of Col. Christopher has been explored in a Star Trek book. We travel with Christopher and his crew aboard the USS Lewis & Clark in 2020 headed on a NASA/Western Alliance mission to the ringed planet. 250 years later we find the intrepid crew of the USS Enterprise on a mission to a world very similar to Saturn, Klondike VI. There seems to be a problem with the stability of the rings which threatenes the inhabitants mining dilithium on the moon Skagway. How these two eerily similar events are connected is explained in the novel which I won't reveal here except to say there are some interesting twists along the journey for both ships. This isn't a novel that pushes you into deep thought pondering all of the possibilities. It was a fun read that took up my afternoon to finish off. Fans of TOS will likely enjoy this tale from Trek's past and future... I know I did.
2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
2.0 von 5 Sternen By the numbers 31. Juli 2014
Von Sabalom Glitz - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
This is not terrible, but really not worth bothering with unless you're a completist. I don't know why Greg Cox thinks that constantly alluding to events from the various series or movies is a good idea. In a typical Trek book, you can get away with it once, maybe twice, but here it just gets tedious.

This really does seem like it was written by a software program than a person, one that randomly combines various Trek tropes in order to produce something new.

Finally, there was a major reveal about one of the characters in the book in the last few pages that seemed very silly and unnecessary. I wouldn't have bothered writing a review if not for that final, fanfic-like element which really annoyed me.
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