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The Eugenics Wars Vol I: The Rise and Fall of Khan Noonien Singh (Star Trek) Hardcover – 2001

4 out of 5 stars 53 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Star Trek (2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671021273
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671021276
  • Product Dimensions: 16.3 x 3.2 x 24.2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 717 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 53 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #855,128 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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First Sentence
ROBERTA LINCOLN PACED NERVOUSLY OUTSIDE THE RUSSIAN EMBASSY, hugging herself against the chill of the cold night air. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
Of all the villains or foes in the Star Trek canon, few compare to Khan Noonien Singh as far as screen presence, charisma, or memorable moments go. Oh, the Klingons were interesting heavies, particularly in the feature films. The Borg had their moments, but their toneless "Resistance is futile" compares palely to Khan's word duels with James T. Kirk in both the 1967 Original Series episode "Space Seed" and the 1982 feature film, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Of course, credit must go to Ricardo Montalban, whose wonderful voice and acting skills made Khan one of Kirk's most dangerous adversaries.
Noted Star Trek author Greg Cox's mu;ti-volume series, The Eugenics Wars: The Rise and Fall of Khan Noonien Singh is a clever and fascinating Star Trek "historical" novel which not only "fills in the blanks" about Khan and his fellow genetically engineered "supermen," but also tries to reconcile actual historical events with the established Star Trek timeline.
Cox begins Volume One in the 23rd century, during Capt. James T. Kirk's first five-year mission. Assigned to investigate a colony of genetically engineered humans, Kirk, Spock, and McCoy are still mindful about their recent run-in with Khan. While en route to this Paragon Colony, Kirk decides to study the history of Khan and the Eugenics Wars of the late 20th Century.
Star Trek "history" tells us that in the 1990s, a group of some 90 genetically engineered men and women took over vast regions of Earth and waged a bloody series of conflicts that became known as the Eugenics Wars. One of the foremost of these "supermen" was Khan, who at the height of his power ruled one-fourth of the planet Earth.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I picked up Vol 1 and 2 of this book for cheap, and I'm happy I did. This would be a rage rather than a review otherwise.
With the lack of "classic" Trek books these days I decided to give this a try. While the structure of the writing is good, and the writer clearly has good Trek knowledge and a great imagination, he panders too much to trekkies for my taste. Why is it sci-fi writers are compelled to draw connections between every little aspect of backstories... it's just painful. For example, the author felt compelled to bring into Khan's story every aspect of 20th century Trek lore. From the Deep Space Nine "Area 51" episode to Gillian Taylor (from Star Trek IV) to the immortal Methusalah. Perhaps he thinks he's paying homage to Trek but to this reader it's pure pandering without purpose (these characters bring nothing to the story that a new character couldn't). It's just a nod to trekkies and nothing more.
But if you can look past this prtentiousness then it's a good read.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I really enjoyed this book, one that shed a great deal of light on a very little explored aspect of history in the Star Trek universe, that of the late 20th century. Covering events from 1974 to 1989, it does not cover the Eugenics Wars per se, but the events leading up to them, largely centering around the origins of Khan Noonien Singh (and his genetically enhanced brothers and sisters) and of Khan's boyhood and early adulthood.

The first volume at least might be well sub-titled "The Further Adventures of Gary Seven, Roberta Lincoln, and Isis," characters we first encountered in a Star Trek: The Original Series (TOS) episode set in 1968 Earth, where Kirk and company encounter a genetically enhanced human operative from an alien world (operating for a mysterious organization called the Aegis), posted on Earth to save humans from themselves (mostly from nuclear annihilation). Readers may remember that Roberta Lincoln was a young woman native to Earth that became caught up in events in that TOS episode and subsequently became an agent working for Gary Seven. Isis is never really truly explained, but is apparently an alien cat that is able to take the shape of a human woman at times and is highly intelligent. Together the three have apparently had many adventures much in the mold of James Bond, playing behind the scenes spy games to save the world countless times. It is in this role that they become involved in the events described in the book, namely trying to discover what is happening to the some of the world's top geneticists (who are disappearing) and rumors of some mysterious organization that is dabbling in genetic engineering and biological warfare.
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Format: Hardcover
When Khan was introduced back in the 60's, the TV show claimed that he rose to power during the 1990's, which was the "near future" at that time. Since the 90's have now come and gone, I think the logical approach to this story would have been to declare that Khan's reign still lies somewhere in our indefinite future, say, the 2030's. Instead, this book sets up an elaborate James Bond/X-Files-style conspiracy in the 1970's which secretly created Khan and his genetically engineered cohorts while all of "real" history is going on around them. I have not yet read the sequel, which I have to assume is going to set up a version of the 1990's which is completely different from what the world actually lived through, one in which the eugenic supermen did indeed take over the world. This begs the question, if the author was going to write a Harry Turtledove-style alternate history anyway, why not do so from the beginning, back in the 70's, instead of doing all this cartoony "secret organization" conspiracy stuff?
My biggest problem with the book is the use of Gary Seven as the main character. Gary is fun in a campy sort of way (I enjoyed Cox's novel "Operation Eternity"), but he reduces any story in which he appears to about the seriousness-level of an episode of Get Smart. This story is primarily a spy spoof, complete with evil organizations in giant underground lairs with big shiny red self-destruct buttons.
Khan himself comes across as a compelling personality. The best scene in the book (warning, I'm about to give something away) involves Khan's witnessing the sheer horror of the Bhopal industrial catastrophe in India, and his indignant fury at the callous human ineptitude which brought it about.
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