Completion Date: August 17, 2007
Publication Year: 1994
Pages: 248
Part of Star Trek: The Next Generation series

Reason for Reading: This is a novelization of the very last episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. It was a wonderful way to end the series, and has always been one of my favourite episodes of all time, so when I saw a hardcover edition with pictures from the show in the middle, I decided to pick it up.

Seven years ago, Captain Jean-Luc Picard first faced the judgment of the Q Continuum -- a race of beings with God-like powers over time and space who presumed to gauge humanity's fitness to exist in the galaxy. Seven years ago they suspended judgment, but now a decision has been reached: The human race will be eliminated, not only in the present, but throughout time. Humanity will never have existed at all.

The only chance to save mankind lies with Captain Picard. An old enemy has granted him the power to revisit his life as it was seven years before, and to experience his life twenty-five years in the future. With the help of friendships that span time and space, Picard struggles to defeat the plans of the Q Continuum. But even as he fights to save the human race from total extinction, he has been set up to be the unwitting agent of mankind's destruction.

In an effort to save humanity, Picard must sacrifice himself and all those he commands and if their sacrifice fails all mankind is doomed.
There are so many episodes of Star Trek that I have watched and enjoyed over the years. When this episode aired in the early 90's it meant that Star Trek: The Next Generation was going off the air forever. It was a sad day because you know, I am a big X-Files fan as well, but other than those two shows, as well as Star Trek:Voyager and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, I have never found a show that I have to watch. Instead, most of my television viewing is reruns of these shows. My solution? Bring another Star Trek on television that is not Enterprise. I was never able to get into that show.

One of the good things about reading the book versions of episodes is that there are scenes in the books that got cut out of the television version. It was interesting to read those scenes in this novel. What really seemed to get cut out were the cameos. For example, Deanna's mother and Doctor Pulaski have a scene in this book, but they were not in the television show. Doctor Pulaski was the doctor on the show for one season, the second when where Doctor Crusher went off to be the head of Star Fleet Medical. What really happened was that the writers did not know what to do with their female characters, or so I have read, and so they killed off Tasha Yar, gave Deanna Troi less screen time, and sent Beverly off to Star Fleet Medical. I am glad they brought her back, and the actress that played Tasha Yar even returned, but she played her daughter. I wonder what the show would have been like if Tasha had not been killed off. Until Star Trek: Nemesis, she was the only leading star to be killed off of the show. (Then they killed Data. I still have issues with that.)

Right, the problem with reviewing these books is I start rambling on about the television series, sorry about that. In this book Captain Picard travels back and forth through time. He is in the present, but then he travels back to seven years before to be with the crew before Farpoint Station and into the future 25 years where we see the cast older, and many of them retired. I am glad that the characters have developed differently than the 25 into the future predicted. Deanna and Will got together, in this novel she was supposed to have died. Beverly and Captain Picard were supposed to marry and then get divorced, but that has not happened yet. I am still hopefully they will get together, though, and they might have in more recent books. Will and Riker hate each other in this book, but that does not happen.

So, another funny Data quote:

Wiping her hands on her apron, she leaned in close to La Forge and spoke quietly--though not so quietly Picard couldn't make out what she was saying. "You're his friend, eh?"

He saw the former engineer nod. "That's right. And I have been for quite some time."

"Well then," said the housekeeper, "as his friend, see if you can get him to take that gray streak out of his hair. He looks like a bloomin' skunk, he does. People will soon start walking on the other side of the street when they see him coming."

Data, who had obviously overheard, cast a remonstrative look at Jessel. "Thank you," he told her. "That will be all."

Without another word, she made her exit. The android turned to his guests with a wry look on his face.

"She can be trying at times," he admitted. "But she does make me laugh now and then."

La Forge smiled. "So... what is it with your hair, anyway?"

Picard was glad someone else had mentioned it. Unfortunately, Data looked a bit embarrassed.

"I have found that a touch of gray adds an air of... distinction," he explained. "Unfortunately, I don't seem to have it quite right yet.".....
She is Data's housekeeper. To give you context, Data says that "a touch of gray adds an air of... distinction." Here is what Picard thinks about "the touch of gray" when he sees Data.

"Being an android, he hadn't aged over the years. However, there was a prominent streak of gray on one side of his head-not a natural streak, but one that looked as if a paintbrush had been taken to his head."
This is the best picture I could find online in a hurry. If you look closely you will see it really does look like the stripe of white that skunks have on their tail.

Overall, another enjoyable read in the Star Trek family of books.

6 comments:

Hello First off I must confess that I hadn't visited your blog yet. Sorry. But now that I have I have to tell you I LOVE banner artwork at the top of it. Who is the artist if I may ask?

I also love Star Trek. I've watched all the movies and tv series and really enjoy reading the novels. I've watched the shows since I was a kid ( watching reruns of Star Trek as a kid in the late 70's ) but have only being reading the novels for the last ten years. There are some great ST novels. Too many I know dismiss them because they are media tie-in novels which is too bad.

I haven't read the All Good Things novelization but I'm glad you liked it. My favorite series is DS9. They have continued on the show in the novels calling them loosely season 8. I believe the just collected the first four DS9 relaunch novels in a tradepaperback edition entitled Twist of Fate. The first two novels were written by S.D. Perry.

If you like a Next Gen storyline they have started to make novels for them now too that deal with events around and past Nemisis. Plus since you mention likeing Riker and Troi you should check out the USS Titan novels. It is Rikers ship and Troi is on it with him. They have come out with three of them so far.

Another great series is written by Peter David and is called Star Trek : New Frontier. It takes minor characters from ST Next Gen and launches them out on they're own ship. It's a lot of fun and Pater David is one of the best Trek writers.

Others great Star Trek authors I've read are Keith R.A. Decandio, David Mack, and David George III.

Also a recent Star Trek orginal series trilogy I have heard grea things came out last year written by David George III. It's the Crucible series and one focuses on McCoy then Spock and then Kirk. I've bought them but just haven't had time to read them yet.

Sorry for rambling on so long but I really love the ST universe and truely enjoy the books.

Hi Jeff. I actually just finished a book set after Nemesis, Death in Winter. I was a little, um, mad, at the ending of Nemesis and then everyone went their separate ways, so I wasn't sure if I wanted to read the books afterwards because then it wouldn't be the same show. I changed my mind, though. I also own the first two Titan books. I just bought them two days ago, though, so I haven't read them yet. I see that there is a fourth one coming out this year, which seems like it took a while since the series hasn't been added to since 2005.

DS9 is my other favourite series, after TNG, and I haven't got into reading the books to it yet. I am just enjoying my time with catching up to TNG. I have seen a few books that look interesting, like Twist of Faith, which you mention. I am sure I will start reading them soon. I actually am drawn to a few Voyager books because they take place after they are home... I have had them on the list for a while, but after I read them, I will read DS9 for sure.

I have just started reading New Frontiers as well, but only have read the first book. It's been ten years since I read ST, so I am a bit behind.

As to the artwork at the top, this is supposed to be a group blog but life has intruded for the other members, so the person that did that actually does not currently come around very much. That's the long-winded way of admitting I have no idea, but I am going to go email her.

Another Star Trek trilogy that looks interesting to me is The Vulcan's Soul trilogy. That's the original series.

I don't mind you rambling. Talk about ST all you want, I have been watching it and reading it for a while, but um, not as long as you. Not because I didn't want to be, of course, just I wasn't alive in the 70's.

OH OH! I have this one! hee I bought it more for a keepsake but I DID read it too. (As well as Generations).

I'll have to check out the Titan novels ...

I don't know about your neck of the woods, but her the third Titan book takes a bit to get to me on at all the bookstores I normally use...

Jeff I do believe that's a Luis Royo painting and I did the banner for our blog. ^__^

thanks for answering Mailyn. :)

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Since I was a little girl I have been fascinated with books. Early photos show me with a book in hand, even if it was not exactly my reading level... My first word was a made-up word meaning 'book', actually. I suppose I had my priorities at an early age... Over the years my interest in books has become one of the defining features of who I am as a person. You can probably call me a bookworm. While I have other interests, reading will always be the one I talk about the most, even if I am not focusing on it as much as I used to.

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