Star Trek: The Next
Pocket Books, 1995
Reviewed by Joy Calderwood
As if the Star Trek Next Generation universe didnít have trouble enough with one renegade omnipotent being, author Peter David unearths another. The malicious, self-satisfied, omnipotent Q is having trouble mentoring young Trelane, known to viewers of the original Star Trek as the Squire of Gothos. Trelane is not only malicious, self-satisfied, and omnipotent, he is also whiny. Who better to help poor, put-upon Q than Captain Picard?
Everyone underestimates Trelaneís determination to be respected, until, with the attitude of a kid with tinker toys, he creates a machine that makes him stronger than any other being in existence. Delightedly, Trelane scrambles three parallel universe time lines shared by Enterprise personnel, driving them into increasing chaos. In a frenzy of gratification, Trelane prepares to knock over the building blocks of his Ė and Star Trekís Ė little universes.
This is one of those situations where you say, "Pleased to meet you, I wish it were under better circumstances." Did you know Deanna Troi had a son? Pleased to meet you, little Tommy, I hope you survive the length of this corridor. What was Jack Crusher like, Beverlyís husband and Picardís best friend? Sorry, Jack, dear, dead friend, there really isnít room for you here. What revenge does the Klingon Worf take, when he hasnít been brought up by humans on Earth? Between two trim and dangerous Tasha Yars, from two different time lines, who would win?
At first I tried to keep track of the various time lines, as we hopped back and forth between them. Iím sure I really could have, if I had worked harder at it. When the characters, too, started hopping back and forth, keeping track became just too much exertion. Finally, with everything in full scramble, it didnít matter which Will Riker, from which time line, was interacting with which Deanna or Picard, and whether they were bound to clash or cooperate. I simply trailed along behind the author waiting to see what he would do next. Confusing but colorful, was my verdict.
In Q-SQUARED, Trek devotees will enjoy the new ways the author looks at familiar elements. Peter David aims to show an unexpected background for events we have previously taken for granted. For readers who are not familiar with the Trek universe, this is definitely not the place to start. Itís fair to say, we will never see some of these characters behaving like this again, and to insist on meeting them for the first time when they are not at their best would not be polite.
Aug 2003 Review
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