The Eugenics Wars: The Rise and Fall of Khan Noonien Singh
|Series||Star Trek: Eugenics Wars|
|July 1, 2001 (Volume 1)
April 1, 2002 (Volume 2)
|Pages||First edition, hardcover
404 pages (Volume 1)
338 pages (Volume 2)
742 pages total
|Followed by||To Reign in Hell: The Exile of Khan Noonien Singh|
The Eugenics Wars: The Rise and Fall of Khan Noonien Singh is a two volume set of novels written by Greg Cox about the life of the fictional Star Trek character Khan Noonien Singh. He is often referred to as simply "Khan" in the Star Trek episode "Space Seed" and in the Star Trek movie Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.
The volumes take place from March 1974 to February 1996. They are written mostly in the perspective of the fictional character Gary Seven, also known as Supervisor 194, and Roberta Lincoln, Gary Seven's partner. Both these characters appear in The Original Series episode "Assignment: Earth".
The novels talk about Khan's life from his "birth" to when he leaves the Earth in the DY-100 class sleeper ship SS Botany Bay. This ship will later be found by the crew of the Enterprise in the episode "Space Seed".
The novel is mentioned in the Director's Edition DVD of The Wrath of Khan. Greg Cox discusses the novels in an interview contained as one of the DVD extras. He also explains that the passing of the 1990s in reality required a reinterpretation of the Eugenics Wars that were originally said to take place in the same decade.
Plot summary: Volume One
The first volume deals mostly with the Chrysalis Project, which was how Khan Noonien Singh and the rest of the superhumans were created. The genetically engineered "Children of Chrysalis" were mentally and physically superior to ordinary men and women. They were five times stronger than the average person, their lung efficiency was 50 percent better than normal, their heart valve action had twice the power of an average human, and their intelligence was double that of normal humans. The scientists of Chrysalis desired for their creations to take over Earth. When Gary Seven and Roberta Lincoln begin to learn about this project, Roberta goes undercover as a scientist that wants to join the Chrysalis Project. The members of Chrysalis are convinced that she is who she claims to be, and she is allowed to join. Roberta heads out to an underground complex beneath the Thar Desert in India where the project is housed. Once there, Roberta begins to work out a way to stop the project.
Roberta and Gary Seven finally decide that they should blow up the nuclear reactor that runs the underground complex. Of course, being humanitarian, they do not wish anyone to be harmed, so they give all of the scientists plenty of time to leave and Roberta uses Gary's matter transporter to get the children (including the then young Khan) to safety. The complex is destroyed, along with the project's head and Khan's birth mother, Sarina Kaur, who refused to leave her life's work.
This was not the last time Khan would have to deal with Gary Seven and Roberta Lincoln, however. Gary Seven kept tabs on Khan and initially hopes to train Khan as his successor. But, at the end of the book, Khan betrays Gary and Roberta and the hopes that Khan could be Seven's apprentice are completely shattered.
Plot summary: Volume Two
In the second volume, Seven tries to prevent World War Three from breaking out. He has to deal not only with Khan, but with many of the other "Children of Chrysalis," most of whom are now major political figures (including an African military strongman, a European dictator, an American leader of a separatist movement, and a religious cult leader).
The superhuman men and women begin to battle for power and several of them manage to gain influence. None, however, have more power than Khan. At first, Khan seems to be building an empire, but, after several assassination attempts by fellow supermen and riots of his people, he begins to lose everything.
After Khan feels that he is doomed to be defeated, he begins to power up his Morning Star satellite, which will destroy the ozone layer and kill all life on earth after he dies. Seven convinces Khan that it would be better to forge a new life elsewhere, using the stolen DY-100 sleeper ship that he and Roberta obtained from Area 51. Khan and a large group of the other superhumans leave on the ship in search of a better life. The novel ends in 1996 as Seven leaves Earth for retirement.
The novels contain a secondary plotline about James T. Kirk going on a top-secret mission to the Paragon Colony on the planet Sycorax, which wishes to become a part of the United Federation of Planets. The problem is that the planet is inhabited by genetically altered humans. This goes against the current laws of the Federation and, therefore, Starfleet Command has kept the colony's request secret. Dr. McCoy wonders if the members of Starfleet have "lost their paper-pushing minds" in even considering to allow the colony to join but Spock feels that the Federation could make room for the Paragon Colony. However, it is up to Kirk whether or not to recommend the colony for Federation membership.
After arriving it is discovered that the Klingons have sent a ship of their own in the hopes of getting the colony to join the Klingon Empire to help them with their own genetics programs. However, after several incidents, the colonists order the Klingons to leave, but not before a bomb is placed in the colony and a hole is blown in the dome that protects the city from the harsh conditions of the planet. Kirk then takes a shuttlecraft and extends its shields around the hole in the dome. However, this leaves the shuttle vulnerable to the planet's weather.
Kirk saves the colony but, in the end, does not allow it to join the Federation.
At the end of each novel is a "Historical Notes" section that states what events in the novel were based in fact, although the true causes of these events are changed by the novel to make them blend into the plotline.
One example is that there actually was a nuclear explosion beneath the desert in Rajasthan. In Chapter 23 of the first novel, Gary Seven and Roberta Lincoln trigger the explosion to destroy the headquarters of the Chrysalis Project. In the real world, it was a successful atomic test known as "Smiling Buddha".
Several other unrelated events in real-world history are linked together in the novel including 1984 anti-Sikh riots following the death of Indira Gandhi, the increase in the size of the hole in the ozone layer above Antarctica in the summer of 1992 (historically caused by the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo), and the earthquake in Maharashtra in September 1993.
Additional fictional characters
Cox includes several characters from the Star Trek Universe, including Redjac from "Wolf in the Fold," Gillian Taylor and Dr. Marcus Nichols from Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, and Flint the immortal (living as Dr. Evergreen) from "Requiem for Methuselah".
Cox also includes fictional characters from other sources, such as Jaime Sommers, from The Bionic Woman live action series, and Hadji, from the Jonny Quest franchise. It is also stated that Gary Seven encountered the robotic housewives from The Stepford Wives.
- Michelle Erica Green, treknation.com - "Cox writes with great wit and an obvious love of Trek lore, though his greatest accomplishment lies in the way he links together seemingly unconnected 20th century events into a complex conspiracy that makes The X-Files seem unsophisticated."
- Michelle Erica Green, treknation.com - "The Eugenics Wars Volume Two is just as much fun as its predecessor, weaving Trek history in and out of recent headlines mostly through the point of view of one of history's more entertaining secret agents, Teri Garr look-alike Roberta Lincoln."
- To Reign in Hell: The Exile of Khan Noonien Singh - the third novel by Greg Cox about Khan Noonien Singh. This book deals with Khan's life between "Space Seed" and Star Trek II
- Eugenics Wars - the main article about the Eugenics Wars in the Star Trek universe
- Greg Cox (2001). "Afterward". The Eugenics Wars: The Rise and Fall of Khan Noonien Singh Volume One. Pocket Books. pp. 401–403. ISBN 0-671-02127-3.
- Greg Cox (2002). "Afterward". The Eugenics Wars: The Rise and Fall of Khan Noonien Singh Volume Two. Pocket Books. pp. 329–338. ISBN 0-7434-0643-5.
- Green, Michelle Erica (2001-06-18). "The Eugenics War, Volume One". TrekNation. Retrieved 2007-12-03.
- Green, Michelle Erica (2002-04-20). "Spring Star Trek Books". TrekNation. Retrieved 2007-12-03.