By Diane Duane
The story opens with Sarek getting a mysterious message about a referendum on Vulcan
Sarek communicates to Spock that Vulcan voted to consider secession from the Federation
The Enterprise crew is recalled from leave.
Story transitions to the origins of the planet Vulcan and back throughout
“For someone whom on most level of consideration doesn’t exist, you scream with great enthusiasm.” –K’s’t’lk pg 191
Diane Duane, author of three previous Star Trek novels as well as The Next Generation episode “Where No One Has Gone Before,” does an excellent job of accurately personifying the classic characters of Star Trek: The Original Series. Reading the dialogue between Kirk, McCoy, and Spock is very easy, and I frequently found myself hearing their voices in my head. Published early in the history of Star Trek, just after the first season of The Next Generation to be exact, some of the histories of the universe doesn’t mesh with official canon, but this shouldn’t deter from reading Spock’s World.
Set just after the five-year mission of The Original Series, the story opens with Sarek, Spock’s father and Vulcan ambassador to Earth, getting a mysterious message about a referendum on Vulcan. He is recalled to his homeworld to speak before the planet. The story transitions to Spock, managing the restocking of the Enterprise for its next voyage, getting the same message. The Enterprise crew is recalled so that he, Kirk, and McCoy may all journey to Vulcan and represent the Federation in debates concerning a vote to secede from the Federation. That’s right, Vulcan, one of the founding members of the Federation and most well-known aliens in Star Trek, wants to leave the Federation.
Alternating chapters of the book show the history of Vulcan. I can find very little in this storytelling that doesn’t mesh with official canon until they discover humans. From the birth of the planet to the evolution of the Vulcan species and their development psychic powers, it gives the reader a short history of the species that is detailed as well as revealing. Wars, mentioned in passing in the television shows, are represented in horrific detail. Breeding of people so that certain powers are spread throughout the population. It is, in some ways, the same cold logic that one has come to expect from Vulcans, and in others so merciless and hate-driven that the comparisons to Earth culture are easy to make.
Both stories are tied together at the end, following the line of Surak, founder of Vulcan logic, to Spock. With social commentary on Earth wars, the perils of too much emotion as well as the problems with denying them. The story has little violent action but is heavy on talk. Exactly what we expect from early Star Trek. It is a must read to any Star Trek fan looking for more stories than in the television shows and movies.