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Q-Squared  
Author Peter David
Country United States
Language English
Series Star Trek: The Next Generation
Genre(s) Science fiction
Publisher Pocket Books
Publication date July 1994
Media type Print (Hardcover, Paperback)
ISBN 0-671-89151-0
OCLC Number 32912868

Q-Squared (full title Star Trek: The Next Generation – Q-Squared) is a non-canon Star Trek novel by acclaimed author Peter David. It spent two weeks on the New York Times bestseller list in 1994.

Q-Squared was released in July 1994 as one in a series of "Giant Novels" for the Star Trek line from Pocket Books. Although the novel was primarily based on and around the characters of Star Trek: The Next Generation, this book was particularly notable for bringing together the characters of Q from Star Trek: The Next Generation and Trelane from Star Trek: The Original Series.

Contents

Plot

Trelane who first appeared in the original Star Trek episode "The Squire of Gothos" is established as a renegade member of the Q Continuum. He taps into the power of the continuum and uses this ability to tamper with time and reality, resulting in the intersection of three different parallel universes. Q, who had been charged with the task of "mentoring" Trelane (a task each "adult" Q must accept at least once for an "adolescent" Q), enlists the aid of Captain Jean-Luc Picard and the crew of the Enterprise-D in the three different timelines in order to stop Trelane. The alternate universes used throughout the story allow the return of many characters considered dead at that point in the continuity, including Tasha Yar and Beverly Crusher's long-dead husband Jack Crusher. In some of these timelines, several of the main characters from the show have died, including Beverly Crusher and Wesley Crusher. Notable is the clash between the "Yesterday's Enterprise" crew, who distrust Klingons, with the regular Worf and the Tasha who admired him.

Q also spends part of the novel lost in time and space, as the barrier around the galaxy; this relates to the original series episode "Where No Man Has Gone Before".

Parallel universes

The plot of this novel continually shifts among three different parallel universes, or 'Tracks', each identified by a letter:

  • Track B is the normal Star Trek universe.
  • Track A is a variation of the Trekverse, with several differences:
    • James Kirk's middle initial is R. This is an attempt to explain the "James R. Kirk" reference in the original episode "Where No Man Has Gone Before", said to take place in the Track A universe. "R" was for Richard, Gene Roddenberry's original middle name for Captain Christopher Pike. In the Track B universe, the "My Brother's Keeper" novel established R. as a gag by Starfleet Cadet Gary Mitchell on Lieutenant Kirk.
    • Jack Crusher, who did not die under Picard's command, is commanding officer of the Enterprise-D. He and Beverly are divorced; their son Wesley died in an accident while still a toddler.
    • Geordi La Forge is a nurse in sickbay with cloned eye implants instead of his VISOR.
    • Jean-Luc Picard, broken in rank by a court-martial after his failure to defend the Stargazer at Maxia, is Enterprise's first officer. He and Beverly become romantically involved, with disastrous results when Jack discovers their affair.
    • Data is a "human-oid" (a positronic brain in an organic body), and is engaged in an ongoing affair with Tasha Yar.
    • William Riker and Kira Nerys have been prisoners of the Romulan Star Empire for several years. Riker and Deanna Troi were married prior to his capture, and have a son who has never met his father.
    • Worf is a Klingon warrior, who rescues Riker and Kira and kills the Romulan torturers. Unlike the Worf of track B, he struggles to find courage and is extremely paranoid.
  • Track C is a variant of the "Klingon war" timeline as seen in "Yesterday's Enterprise", but one in which the Enterprise-D came across the Enterprise-C several hours after it passed into the future, and thus could not be sent back to Narendra III in 2344 to prevent the war with the Klingons (the rift had closed and the C's crew were all dead).

In addition, the final chapter of the book is called 'Derailment' (an obvious allusion to the derailment of a train), in which the various realities coalesce into a single timeline. This chapter ties all of the plots visited over the length of the book together, concluding with Q's final confrontation with the now-insane Trelane.

Q Connections

The role of Q was originated by John de Lancie in the first episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, "Encounter at Farpoint". John de Lancie also provided the reading of the novel in the audio book edition.

Peter David previously wrote the novel Q-in-Law for Pocket Books. This novel also featured the main character of Q and was based in the continuity of Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Cultural References

In one sequence of the novel, Trelane brings to life the character of Winnie the Pooh, who was originally created by A. A. Milne and is perhaps best known through the films, television series, and merchandise produced by Disney.

In the universe of Track A, the bartender in Ten-Forward is named Caryn Johnson, replacing the usual character of Guinan. In real life, Caryn Johnson is the birth name of Whoopi Goldberg, who played Guinan on Star Trek: The Next Generation.

External links

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