STARFLEET CORPS OF ENGINEERS
The da Vinci 's latest mission involves bringing precious cargo to the Mu Arae system -- an entire world that, through a miraculous feat of engineering, is being stored in a small, pyramid-shaped box. Unfortunately, a hostile species wants the pyramid -- and its amazing technology -- for itself, and won't hesitate to go through the da Vinci to get it.
To make matters worse, the caretaker of the world is in critical condition in sickbay. The S.C.E. must figure out the secret of the planet-in-a-box before it's destroyedŠ
In his continued search to find America, Herzog has written what could be considered a sequel to States of Mind, in which he recounts his travels to U.S. towns whose names are also virtues, among them Pride, AL, Unity, NH, and Justice, WV. In this second travelog, Herzog visits 14 small towns named after famous foreign cities (but not necessarily pronounced the same), including Cairo, IL, Versailles, KY, and Moscow, ME. For each town, he provides a brief history, followed by an encounter with one or more of the often eccentric people in the community, such as the immigrant Czech population in Prague, NE, the nudists in Athens, NY, the Hare Krishnas in Calcutta, WV, and the relatives of an MIA in Bagdad, AZ. For the most part, the reader's interest is held, but occassionally Herzog stays too long with one character when the reader is itching to move to the next; the intermittent black-and-white photos, moreover, do not add to the text. Recommended for libraries where Herzog's first book was popular and an optional purchase for all others.-John McCormick, New Hampshire State Lib., Concord Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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Pocket Books/Star Trek
February 28, 2005
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Adobe DRM EPUB
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Excerpt from Star Trek: Small World by David Mack
Flames licked at Araneus's abdomen as another disruptor blast pummeled his tiny ship. One of his long, sinewy pedipalps shot down from his cephalothorax and silenced the shrilling alert signal on his wraparound helm console. Another tentacle-like appendage keyed the transmitter switch again. "Repeat," he said, trying to speak slowly and clearly. "This is the transport Lycosa, requesting assistance. Do you read me?" A squall of static rasped from the speaker.
The metallic, pyramid-shaped container tucked between his back legs seemed more fragile than it really was. It is probably faring better than I am, Araneus mused glumly.
The wheel-shaped space station was barely visible beyond his cockpit windshield. It was silhouetted against the sunset-red surface of the gas giant behind it. Though it was a mere few hundred toscams away, he despaired of reaching it.
Another cacophonous boom rattled his ship's critically weakened hull. Araneus scuttled sideways against the bulkhead, away from the tongues of fire snaking through fractures in the gray deck beneath his legs. The acrid odor of burned hair and scorched flesh crept into his spiracles. Another alarm confirmed that the Silgov had locked their weapons onto his engines.
It was all over. The greatest journey in Koas history was about to end in tragedy.
With a sound like crumbling lerfo bark, a reply to his S.O.S. spat in disjointed bursts from the console speaker and echoed around him in the cramped, circular cockpit. "Lycosa ý is Varkala Stationý course one-four-four mark sixý" A brief silence was followed by "ý unidentiý stand down or weý"
The Silgov ship broke its weapons lock on the Lycosa and unleashed a volley of plasma fire at the space station. The barrage impacted on the facility's energy shield, which flickered like an ephemeral golden cocoon.
Then came the station's responseýa quartet of fiery red projectiles that screamed past Araneus's ship toward the Silgov scout, which peeled away into an evasive maneuver. Unlike Koas weapons, which were extremely limited, the crimson missiles pursued the sleek, dartlike Silgov vessel relentlessly and eventually overtook it. Four brutal explosions hammered its shields, which collapsed. Without further delay, the ship broke off its attack and engaged its stardrive in retreat.
Araneus was about to thank his rescuers when his main console went dark. From the bowels of his ship came an ominous rumble, followed by the low, hungry roar of fire racing forward from the engines, looking for fuel to feed its wrath.
The station was still too far away. He would never reach it in time. With four legs he clutched the pyramid against his abdomen and prayed to the Architect of Time for forgiveness.
* * *
Varkala Station commander Cody Mui watched with mounting anxiety as the unidentified vessel fractured on the main viewer. Most of the staff in the station's drab, utilitarian command center worked in tense silence. Eric Theriault, his operations foreman, slammed his fist against his console. "They're breaking up. I can't tractor 'em in without ripping 'em apart."
Mui turned toward his station manager, Kari Spada. The blond young woman answered before he gave the order. "Boosting transporters to quantum resolution."
Wiping the sweat from his palms, Mui asked, "How long?"
"Ten more seconds," she said.
"Eric, can you get a lock on the crew?"
The beefy foreman punched in a new set of commands. "One life sign," he said. "Locked."