Ishmael

Ishmael - Barbara Hambly [These notes were made in 1985:]. This one had its roots in fannery, it is fairly clear - Spock fannery. But it's not bad; the plot is clear and, if you can stretch your conception of Spock's character so far, fairly plausible. Spock is captured by the Klingons while on a spy mission; induces catatonia and amnesia in himself to avoid spilling secrets, and wakes up on Earth in the late nineteenth century, near Seattle; with, apparently, his human component well to the fore and ready to be developed. (Meanwhile Kirk & the gang are going frantic looking for him, and the nature of the spy mission - something to do with time-manipulation - is gradually revealed). One gets the impression the only really important part of it is that the life of one of Spock's new 'family' - Semple - must be preserved at all costs. Down on earth, it's "Spock meets 7 Brides for 7 Brothers," except that the naive misogyny of that film is replaced by a strong but not strident feminist voice, which enlists us strongly on the side of the ugly duckling among the imported brides. As for what happens to Spock - we almost catch ourselves believing that the human side can take over so completely, but the minute Kirk & McCoy reappear on the scene it becomes frankly implausible. Meanwhile the author has taken considerable pains (and probably considerable pleasure) in evoking American frontier life, and the whole is not bad - not bad at all.