Hugo Reading Progress

2024 Hugo Awards Progress
51 / 57 items read/watched (89.47%)
6201 / 7433 pages read (83.43%)
1140 / 1435 minutes watched (79.44%)

20 May 2024

Star Trek: The Destiny Era: I, the Constable

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: I, the Constable
by Paula M. Block & Terry J. Erdmann

supposedly 2385, but after The Long Mirage
"But the sun seldom shines above Bowog Bog."

Published: 2017
Acquired: May 2022
Read: March 2024

This brings the Block/Erdmann Quark trilogy to a close, though this one has a stronger focus on Odo, especially at first. Quark learns that an uncle of his is dead and he might inherit... except Rom recently made it legal for wives to inherit, and his uncle has three! So Quark goes to Ferenginar to try to woo them, but disappears; Odo, at a loose end waiting for Federation bureaucracy to resolve the issue of the Dominion refugees following the events of The Long Mirage, reluctantly volunteers to go to Ferenginar and find Quark.

It's fun enough, probably my favorite of the three of these enovellas. The humor is a bit broad and sometimes overegged (there's a joke about Rom wearing a hat that's laid on way too thick), but I think the Ferengi work best when there's some kind of cultural contrast, and it's more entertaining to read about Odo trying to navigate Ferengi society than Quark trying to navigate it. Block and Erdmann have a strong grasp of Odo's voice, and enjoy seeing him in the familiar role of investigator, instead of the wishy-washy ex-Dominion leader he is in George's stories. I wish the mystery was more of a genuine mystery; once Quark reenters the story, things get a bit less interesting.

But it's fun to see Odo encounter different aspects of Ferengi culture. We get to meet a Ferengi homicide investigator—and we learn there's so little violent crime on Ferenginar they have just one guy who investigates it and he still doesn't have much to do! This is opposed to the huge Ferengi Commerce Authority devoted to combating financial crime. I zipped through it (hard not to, it's so short), and I had a good enough time.

Grand Nagus Gint
Continuity Notes:
  • Some of these DS9 enovellas have slotted into their timeline slots kind of awkwardly, but this one picks up from the end of The Long Mirage fairly well; the status quo for all the characters is pretty much as David R. George III left it.
  • Quark insists the Rules of Acquisition can't be amended and haven't been for 10,000 years, but on-screen evidence indicates this is not correct; we know from Enterprise that there were fewer rules in the twenty-second century than there are in the twenty-fourth.
  • Rom designs a communication device and Odo shifts his own comm badge to match the new design. I don't really buy that Odo can successfully imitate comm badge components on the molecular level, but I think my preferred explanation (Odo pins a real comm badge to himself) probably doesn't hold up either.
  • Rom also gets excited that he "actually invented something." What about those self-replicating mines?
Other Notes:
  • There's a character here named "Quirk"; we learn that both "Quirk" and "Quark" are derived from the "same Ferengi word for 'splattered mud,' but different regions have different mud..."
  • "Everybody makes jokes about the 113th Rule: 'Always have sex with the boss.'" Including Quark himself, in Legends of the Ferengi.
  • Never thought I would read a clear Virginia Woolf reference in a Quark comedy story.
  • Okay, but surely someone ought to say, "Forget it Quark, it's Ferenginar," at some point?

I read Destiny-era Star Trek books in batches of five every few months. Next up in sequence: Prey: Hell's Heart by John Jackson Miller

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