Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Lust’s Latinum Lost (And Found)
Paula M. Block & Terry J. Erdmann
Business is down at Quark’s Public House, Café, Gaming Emporium, Holosuite Arcade, and Ferengi Embassy to Bajor. Way down. Lower level of hell down. The station is bustling, but residents and visitors are spending more time (and latinum) at the new Deep Space 9’s park, sports fields, theater, swimming complex, and who knows what else, than they are at Quark’s establishment. All of Quark’s misfortunes just could be reversed, however, when he finds out that one of the steamiest holonovels to hit the Alpha Quadrant in years is up for grabs. And he has an inroad to acquiring it before anyone else. Or does he?
I don’t usually read the Star Trek ebooks — but I’m a sucker for Deep Space Nine (as, in my opinion, it is, by far, the strongest Star Trek series ever made) — so I picked this one up.
It was a delightfully fun read, which was a refreshing change. The Star Trek novels have gotten very dark and very dense of late, which I truly do enjoy, but it was a nice surprise to read a short novella that had me chuckling and smiling through the whole thing.
The holo-novel Vulcan Love Slave has been mentioned in several Star Trek books over the years, though I’m not sure if it was ever mentioned on screen, as one of Quark’s most popular holo-novels for his customers in his holosuites (though it has been mentioned in non-DS9 books too, I believe). This novella opens with Quark receiving a teaser sample of a new sequel to the Vulcan Love Slave series — one that far surpasses all previous entries in the series in terms of eroticism and quality. This sets Quark on an urgent mission to find out who created this holo-novel and secure exclusive distribution rights.
I think one of the aspects I most enjoyed (aside from the fun nature of this story) was seeing the real-life aspect of life on Deep Space Nine and in the Star Trek universe. For example, Quark has to rent a shuttle (and until now I don’t think we’ve ever heard that you can rent shuttles like you can rent cars) and go to a publishers convention to meet with the publisher of the previous Vulcan Love Slave stories. We learn of publishing contracts and business arrangements in the Star Trek universe, including seeing fearsome aliens in mundane jobs — like a Naussican who serves as the publishers right-hand man.
The journey Quark undertakes to get his hands on this holo-novel is fraught with peril, as it seems every step he makes leads him into trouble. All the while, though, the authors had me chuckling and flipping the pages on my ereader. The Star Trek universe has undergone many dark developments in recent years, which, as I said, I’ve really enjoyed, but Lust’s Latinum Lost (And Found) was a wonderful little diversion. It was like a little pick-me-up. Now I’m eager for the next DS9 novel…