Doctober 12: Bookish Beverly

Not only was Dr. Crusher severely short-changed when it came to TNG screen time, but she was also pretty neglected in the books as well. True, she’s getting far more attention in the post-Nemesis book series since she is one of the few remaining original senior staff (plus, there’s the whole “being with Captain Picard” development that TPTB finally approved now that it really doesn’t matter), but the books that I have read from this run have been, to put it as politely as possible, a bit shit.

Prior to this post-Nemesis interest in her character in the novels, in fact, Dr. Crusher only appeared on the covers of a handful of TNG books: The Children of Hamlin, Chains of Command (which came out well before the similarly titled two-parter “Chain of Command”), Imbalance, Dragon’s Honor, The Death of Princes, and A Hard Rain.

[Loba Tangent: There might be more than this, but these are the only titles that I can immediately recall from the list before the first time I lost interest in the TNG novels.]

[Loba Tangent 2: Dr. Crusher’s silhouette appeared on Death in Winter, which is probably the one book that deals the most with her character. Too bad it was utterly meh. Still, I own it. In hardback. Sigh. I’m such a Crusher geek.]

It’s been years since I read any of these books, so I can only say that I remember liking Children of Hamlin and Chains of Command most of all these. Of course, I was a teenager when I last read them, so admittedly they might be terrifyingly awful to read now. I should add them all to my growing piles of books I want to read, just to see if it’s really worth it to hang on to all of these Trek novels.

However, of all the covers, I have to say that my favorite is the cover of Chains of Command. Not only is Dr. Crusher the obvious focus of the painting, but her pose is taken from one of my favorite publicity shots, of her wearing one of my favorite lab coats. (Yes, I have favorites from Dr. Crusher’s array of lab coats; I happen to like this one because it’s the only one to ever have a groovy black collar. Seriously, if you haven’t realized the depth of my pure dorkery by now, I have to question your ability to comprehend what you’re reading.)

The artist even altered the “Crayola Crusher” hair color from the first season to match the hair color she sported from season three onward. Sadly, I don’t know for certain whether or not this is a Keith Birdsong cover, since there is no signature visible. Regardless of who did this cover, I still love it, even almost 20 years after I first bought this book.