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A collection of seven novellas in the Star Trek Novel Verse, each detailing one of the alien cultures.
From the blurb:
Lust. Gluttony. Greed. Sloth. Wrath. Envy. Pride. These are the seven deadly sins of humanity... but humans are not the only creatures in the universe to surrender to their baser instincts. In the world of Star Trek, entire civilizations are driven by avarice, or anger, or insatiable hunger, or one of the other fundamental urges that have come to define these fascinating species. Now, this edgy collection of original novellas explores these empires from the inside, delving into the qualities that shape their cultures and their worldviews, through characters as compelling as they are provocative. These surprising and engaging tales feature all of Star Trek's most prominent adversaries, including the Borg (gluttony), the Klingons (wrath), the Romulans (pride), the Cardassians (envy), the Ferengi (greed), the Pakleds (sloth), and the Mirror Universe (lust), and their adventures on the dark side of the Star Trek universe.
These stories contain examples of:
- A Father to His Men: Brutally averted with both Evan Walsh and Aadnalurg, who are both willing to sell out their crews for their own personal gain. However, the former seems to be an example of the trope at first, if a mild one.
- Arc Welding: The Romulan story (The First Peer) continues one of the plots from Star Trek: Vanguard (specifically, Proconsul Toqel’s efforts to find meaning in her daughter’s death). It ties the plot’s conclusion into the events surrounding formation of the Klingon/Romulan alliance; this helps solidify the ties between Vanguard and the rest of the Star Trek continuity, specifically the Original Series.
- The Cameo: Garak in The Slow Knife. Word of God confirms it's him, if it wasn't evident from his self-description as "plain, simple".
- Captain's Log: The Sloth story opens with a Pakled version, the “captain’s book”, as Aadnalurg phrases it. The given date is “today”. They are far from home. They will go further tomorrow.
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Gaila.
- Combat Tentacles: Voloczin strangles people with his.
- The Corruption: The Borg nanoprobes in Revenant.
- The Ditz: Bijon. An example: When he courts disaster by transporting three rival groups up to Gaila and Brunt’s arms dealership at once, Brunt asks him if he knows what an appointment is. His response is “...I’ve never been to Appointia...”
- Downer Ending: Revenant. The only way for the surviving protagonists to survive a Federation assault is to allow themselves to complete the assimilation and become Borg drones.
- Everything's Squishier with Cephalopods: Including Bijon’s neck when Voloczin’s finished with him.
- Fun with Acronyms: At the expense of the character using them. Misremembering the title of his new organization, Brunt (known onscreen for his self-identifying catch-phrase "Brunt, FCA") introduces himself as "Brunt, GIT", before correcting "sorry, GAT..."
- James Swallow: Wrote the Cardassian story, The Slow Knife.
- The Mole: Ditrius.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: Grodak, which led to Toqel severely underestimating him and the Klingons in general.
- Only in It For the Money: This is the only reason, implicitly, why Evan Walsh agreed to betray his own crew in Revenant. He had no other motive to do so.
- Pragmatic Villainy: Explored in the Ferengi story. Brunt is disgusted when Gaila’s business dealings result in death camps and ethnic cleansing on the Urwyzden worlds - this disgust is not, however, due to any ethical objection as we might recognise it, but because dead people can’t contribute to the economy. It’s an appalling waste of resources, and a true Ferengi would be ashamed.
- Punny Name: The Ferengi underworld boss, DaiMon Blud. He’s quite aware of his name’s phonetic resemblance to a certain English word, and of the somewhat suitable connotations inherent in it. He kindly requests that you don’t bring it up.
- Seven Deadly Sins: Obviously. Though the stories differ considerably in the degree to which the sin is overtly the character’s downfall. The Cardassian and Romulan stories (Envy and Pride, respectively), are the closest to the classic use of the sins.
- The reasoning behind the assignment of each sin is as follows: The Klingons are Wrath (specifically, in this case, taking the form of racial hatred between crested and non-crested Klingons, and the violent rage the tensions awake in them). The Romulans are Pride (with a tendency to underestimate the other races due to their arrogant assumptions), the Mirror Universe is Lust (both sexual and lust for power); the Ferengi are Greed (specifically pursuit of profit); the Cardassians are Envy (both as a society in general, as their worlds are resource poor and their neighbours have far more, and in the specific case of the protagonist, who feels her commander was promoted above her unfairly); the Pakled are Sloth (the title, Work is Hard, says it all); and the Borg are Gluttony (overconsumption in general, rather than overeating).
- Spanner in the Works: Sanir Kein ends up being this for Jagul Hanno, when she allows Laen Enkoa to proceed with his attack on Setlik III, hoping the resultant idiocy will get him removed from the captaincy she feels is rightfully hers. This makes Enkoa a more direct Spanner in the Works; the assault on Setlik III pushes Cardassia closer to war with the Federation, potentially undoing years of careful work on Hanno’s part to ensure peace – including, ironically, the reasoning behind his giving Enkoa the job over Kein in the first place.
- Too Dumb to Live: The Pakleds, particularly Aadnalurg.
- Unfortunate Names: A Klingon character named Targ; that's like a human being named "Pig" or "Swine".
- The Voiceless: Thot Lok and the rest of the Breen.
- Yodel Land: The Urwyzden system is a deliberate parody of the popular idea of Switzerland. It features: mountains, banking, ski slopes, banking, complete neutrality, and banking.