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The Rise And Fall Of Khan Noonien Singh (2002)

The Rise and Fall of Khan Noonien Singh (2002)

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3.85 of 5 Votes: 4
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0743406427 (ISBN13: 9780743406420)
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About book The Rise And Fall Of Khan Noonien Singh (2002)

Ah, how well I remember the 1990s -- neon colored plastic pants, frizzy hair, and that gang of genetically engineered supermen starting World War III in a bid to gain total command over Earth and institute order out of Star Trek's canon ran into a bit of a problem as it aged, as in the 1960s it predicted things that not only never happened, but bear no semblance to what happened. Not only did Earth not send a manned mission to Saturn in the 1990s, but by the end of the 20th century it had confined space exploration to robotic probes sent to planets. Still, not all the failed predictions were losses for humankind; we gave the civilization-destroying Eugenics Wars a total miss. Or did we? In The Eugenics Wars: the Rise and Fall of Khan Noonien Singh, veteran Trek author Greg Cox attempted to reconcile the events of "Space Seed" with our own history, grounding Khan in the real-life events of the 20th century. Framed by Captain Kirk consulting the historical records in preparation for an encounter with a planet of genetically engineered humans (rather like TNG's 'Masterpiece Society', complete with a domed colony), the principle characters are of course Khan, and the mysterious Gary Seven. When Seven realizes there's a group of mad scientists with an underground base in the middle of nowhere hatching a plot to create a tribe of supermen, he decides that such a thing definitely falls under his job description of preventing humanity from destroying itself. It takes more than a team of cosmic secret agent men to take down Khan, however, and in the end Seven finds more than he bargained for. Since this first novel primarily concerns Khan growing up and deciding to pursue evil mastermindedness as a career, the real artwork is yet to come -- however will Cox create a war that kills millions out of the 1990s? Even so, the big events of the novel, like the use of a nuclear power plant contained within the mad scientists' lair, are tied into real-world events smartly. There's a lot to like about this novel; the dead-on use of Seven and Khan, the subtle connections to the Trek canon (including appearances by Ralph Offenhouse, Grumpy Robber Baron Extraordinaire), and the utterly fun historical shenanigans. Frenzied action scenes take place across the globe, from New York to India and even Lenin's tomb. For Trek fans, this is a must-read.Volume II should be quite a treat.Related:From History's Shadow, Dayton Ward. Another impressive and fun integration of ST canon and real-world history.

Prequels should be banned except for Better Caul Saul. Contrary to the title, this book has virtually nothing to do with Khan. Captain Kirk is on his way to a diplomatic mission when Spock recommend he review the history of the eugenics war. Then the story switches to the 1970's and a secret agent from the future with a talking cat who came back to the late 20th century to prevent war. So the time traveler with the talking cat destroy the the base that created all the eugenics children, murdering Khan's mother in the process and place all the GMO children in orphanages,problem solved. It just gets stupider from there. He goes on to recruit Khan to be a time traveling war prevention agent. They go to the south pole to murder a scientist who has created a weather satellite that can reverse global warming and fix the hole in the ozone layer. The scientist must be stopped because in the future the satellite can be used as a weapon. The only problem is, the scientist is an immortal. I missed the episode of Star Trek where earth was populated with immortals. I think Greg Cox got Star Trek confused with Highlander. It just keeps getting dumber. It's like Greg Cox had written a book about a talking cat from the future who travels back to the Cold War to prevent wars. He loved this story but couldn't find a publisher. He then signed a contract to write a novel about Star Trek and the Eugenics War. So he just told his time traveling cat story and dropped Kirk, Spock, McCoy, and Khan in as an afterthought. This is truly terrible. The worst part is I bought the second part at the same time I bought this one. I'm kind of curious to see if Khan will actually do anything in the sequel of if it will be more talking cat. If that is the case, I can't decide if I want to ask for my money back or burn these books.

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This is a hard book to review on its own because it is less than half of a complete story. It doesn't even completely cover the "rise" part of the title.For what is there, this is a book about Kahn but not starring Kahn. Instead, our old friends Gary Seven and Roberta Lincoln are back and on a mission to keep genetic engineering from becoming the earth's new crisis. In this particular volume, Kahn is growing up in a world where, even as a particularly gifted human, he is helpless to stop humanity from hurting itself.It has a very Star Trek moral that disregard for individual lives is inhuman. Seven and Roberta are the human side, working to guide humanity in nonviolent ways, while Kahn is the inhuman, willing to set ethics aside to carve humanity into his vision of perfection.There are a few too many cultural name-drops, so that at times the book feels like it is set in a museum exhibit of the 70s and 80s instead of actually existing in those times, but when it manages to break through that facade it is a lot of fun and an interesting look at the circumstances that brought about Star Trek's most memorable villain.I don't dread the next volume (I've already committed to reading it), though I have my reservations.

For fans of "Star Trek", the Eugenics Wars represents an exciting era of history of which we have only seen a few tantalizing glimpses. For writers, the Eugenics Wars represents a problem. How do you write a "Trek" novel with all the optimism for the human spirit that fans have come to expect, while depicting an era in which the human spirit failed and gave way to tyranny? Worse yet, how do you deal with the fact that the 1960's original series canonically established that the Eugenics Wars happened in the 1990's, a prediction which has obviously not come to pass?Greg Cox sets out to establish that the Eugenics Wars did indeed happen within our real world twentieth-century history. It's an approach which requires copious resource and confining the plot to a variety of secluded, high-tech installations across the globe. Personally, I prefer IDW's approach, which discarded fact and went for broke with a full-blown science fiction alternate history. Instead of reviewing this book in terms of the novel I wanted, let's look at the book Greg Cox wrote.The first volume follows Gary Seven, a secret agent raised and trained by extra-terrestrials to use subterfuge and all peaceful means possible to prevent humanity from destroying itself. Seven and his agents discover a plot to breed genetically-engineered superhumans. One of these is of course Khan Noonien Singh. Seven attempts to lead Khan to embrace his cause and methods, but Khan's viscous nature and ambition cause events to take a dark turn. If his apprentice-turned-villain story reminds you a little of the Star Wars prequels, you are wrong. It is exactly like that. Greg Cox succeeds at making the character from a failed backdoor pilot cool again. Gary Seven, his mission, gadgets, and supporting characters Roberta Lincoln and Isis are a delight to see in action, and the sixties-spy vibe is captured perfectly. As a Khan origin story, however, these James Bond antics don't quite deliver, especially when we know that none of these events will impact established history or Khan's fate. This lack of suspense detracts from what is otherwise a pleasant but forgettable tour of one of the more obscure corners of the Star Trek universe.
—Benjamin Featherston

Good Star Trek fare. Start of the origins/history of Khan! The story starts out in Earth's 1970's past where Khan in a little guy in his mother's genetics lab, along with some other enhanced kids. Touches on some focal points in Earth history, including at the end the fall of the Berlin Wall. Sporadic appearences of Khan as he grows up, the story focus' more on the alien from the future in hiding Gary who is watching over humanity.Looking forward to book 2 and more of a direct involvement of Khan.
—Kurt Vosper

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