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Q-Space: The Q Continuum #1 (Star Trek: The Next Generation Book 47) [Kindle Edition]

Greg Cox
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)

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Book Description

The unpredictable cosmic entity known only as Q has plagued Captain Jean-Luc Picard and the crew of the Starship Enterprise™ since their very first voyage together. But little is known of Q's mysterious past or that of the unearthly realm from which he hails. Now Picard must learn Q's secrets -- or all of reality may perish!
Ever since its discovery, the great galactic barrier has impeded humanity's exploration of the universe beyond the Milky Way. Now a brilliant Federation scientist may have found a way to breach the barrier, and the Enterprise is going to put it to the test. The last thing Picard needs is a return visit from an omnipotent troublemaker so, naturally, Q appears.
But Q has more in mind than his usual pranks, and while the Enterprise struggles to defeat a powerful inhuman foe, Captain Picard must embark on a fantastic odyssey into the history of the Q Continuum itself, with the fate of the galaxy hanging in the balance.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

GREG COX is the New York Times bestselling author of numerous Star Trek novels, including The Eugenics Wars (Volumes One and Two), The Q Continuum, Assignment: Eternity, and The Black Shore. His short fiction can be found in such anthologies as Star Trek: Tales of the Dominion War, Star Trek: The Amazing Stories, and Star Trek: Enterprise Logs. His first Khan novel, The Eugenics Wars, Volume One, was voted Best SF Book of the Year by the readers of Dreamwatch magazine. Cox can also be found as a bonus feature on the Director's Edition DVD of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. He lives in Oxford, Pennsylvania.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Chapter 1

Captain's log, stardate 500146.2.

At Starfleet's request, the Enterprise has arrived at Betazed to take on Lem Faal, a distinguished Betazoid scientist, and his two children. Under Faal's direction, this ship will take part in a highly classified experiment that, if it is successful, may open up a vast new frontier for exploration.

"Are you quite sure, Counselor, that you do not wish to visit your family while we are here at Betazed?"

"No, thank you, Captain," Commander Deanna Troi replied. "As it happens, my mother and little brother are off on one of her regular excursions to the Parallax Colony on Shiralea VI, so there's not much point in beaming down."

You didn't have to be an empath to detect an unmistakable look of relief on Captain Jean-Luc Picard's face when he learned that Lwaxana Troi was several dozen light-years away. She knew exactly how he felt; even though she genuinely loved her mother, Troi wasn't too disappointed that there would be no parent-daughter reunion on this particular mission. Surviving a visit with Lwaxana always required a lot of energy -- and patience. Maybe it will get easier someday, she thought. And maybe Klingons will become vegetarians, too.

"That's too bad," Captain Picard said unconvincingly. "Although I'm sure our guest must be anxious to get under way." He glanced toward the far end of the conference room, where a middle-aged Betazoid male waited patiently, reviewing the data on a padd that he held at arm's length from himself. Must be farsighted, Troi guessed, a not uncommon condition in Betazoids of a certain age. Lem Faal had striking, dark brown eyes, a receding hairline, and the slightly distracted air of a born academic. He reminded Troi of any number of professors she had encountered during her student days at the university, although, on closer inspection, she also picked up an impression of infirmity even though she couldn't spot any obvious handicap. Wearing a tan-colored civilian suit, he looked out of place among all the Starfleet uniforms. Almost instinctively, her empathic senses reached out to get a reading on the new arrival, only to immediately come into contact with a telepathic presence far more powerful than her own. Becoming aware of her tentative probing, Faal looked up from his data padd and made eye contact with Troi from across the room.

Hello, he thought to her.

Er, hello, she thought back. Growing up on Betazed, she had become accustomed to dealing with full telepaths, even though she felt a bit rusty at mindspeaking after spending so many years among humans and other nontelepathic races. Welcome to the Enterprise.

Thank you, he answered. She sensed, behind his verbal responses, feelings of keen anticipation, excitement, anxiety, and...something else as well, something she couldn't quite make out. Curious, she stretched out further, deeper until she could almost --

Excuse me, Faal thought, blocking her. I think the captain is ready to begin the briefing.

Troi blinked, momentarily disoriented by the speed with which she had been shoved out of Faal's mind. She looked around the conference room of the Enterprise-E. The other Betazoid's telepathic comment seemed accurate enough; her fellow officers were already taking their places around the curved, illuminated conference table. Captain Picard stood at the head of the table, opposite the blank viewscreen at the other end of the room, where Faal waited to make his presentation. Decorative windows along the outer wall of the conference room offered a eye-catching view of Betazed's upper hemisphere, an image reflected in the glass panes of the display case mounted to the inner wall. Goldplated models of great starships of the past hung within the case, including a miniature replica of the lost Enterprise-D, her home for seven years. Troi always winced inside a little whenever she noticed that model. She'd been at the helm of that Enterprise when it made its fatal crash into Veridian III. Even though she knew, intellectually, that it wasn't her fault, she still couldn't forget the sense of horror she had felt as the saucer section dived into the atmosphere of Veridian III, never to rise again. This new ship was a fine vessel, as she'd proven during their historic battle with the Borg a few months ago, but she didn't feel quite like home. Not yet.

Preoccupied with thoughts of the past, Troi sat down at the table between Geordi La Forge and Beverly Crusher. Will Riker and Data were seated across from her, their attention on Captain Picard. Riker's confidence and good humor radiated from him, helping to dispel her gloomy memories. She shook her head to clear her mind and listened attentively as the captain began to speak.

"We are honored to have with us today Lem Faal, a specialist in applied physics from the University of Betazed. Professor Faal has previously won awards from the Daystrom Institute and the Vulcan Science Academy for his groundbreaking work in energy wave dynamics."

"Impressive stuff," Geordi said, obviously familiar with Faal's work. Troi could feel the intensity of his scientific interest seeping off him. No surprise there; she'd expect their chief engineer to be fascinated by "energy wave dynamics" and like matters.

"Indeed," Data commented. "I have been particularly intrigued by the professor's insights into the practical applications of transwarp spatial anomalies." The android's sense of anticipation felt just as acute as Geordi's. He must have activated his emotion chip, Troi realized. She could always tell, which certainly demonstrated how genuine Data's on-again, off-again emotions could be.

"Starfleet," the captain continued, "has the greatest of interest in Professor Faal's current line of research, and the Enterprise has been selected to participate in an experiment testing certain new theories he has devised." He gestured toward Faal, who nodded his head in acknowledgment. "Professor, no doubt you can explain your intentions better."

"Well, I can try," the scientist answered. He tapped a control on his padd and the viewscreen behind him lit up. The image that appeared on the screen was of a shimmering ribbon of reddish-purple energy that appeared to stretch across a wide expanse of interstellar space. The Nexus? Troi thought for a second, but, no, this glowing band did not look quite the same color as the mysterious phenomenon that had obsessed Tolian Soran. It looked familiar, though, like something she might have seen at an astrophysics lecture back at Starfleet Academy. Of course, she realized instantly, the barrier!

She felt a temporary surge of puzzlement quickly fade from the room. Obviously, the other officers had recognized the barrier as well. Faal let his audience take in the image for a few seconds before beginning his lecture.

"For centuries," he began, "the great galactic barrier has blocked the Federation's exploration of the universe beyond our own Milky Way galaxy. It completely surrounds the perimeter of our galaxy, posing a serious hazard to any vessel that attempts to venture to the outer limits of inhabited space. Not only do the unnatural energies that comprise the barrier batter a vessel physically, but there is also a psychic component to the barrier that causes insanity, brain damage, and even death to any humanoid that comes into contact with it."

Troi winced at the thought. As an empath, she knew just how fragile a mind could be, and how a heightened sensitivity to psychic phenomena sometimes left one particularly vulnerable to such effects as the professor described. As a full telepath, Faal had to be even more wary of powerful psychokinetic forces. She wondered if his own gifts played any part in his interest in the barrier.

Faal pressed another button on his padd and the picture of the barrier was replaced by a standard map of the known galaxy, divided into the usual four sections. A flashing purple line, indicating the galactic barrier, circled all four quadrants. "The Federation has always accepted this limitation, as have the Klingons and the Romulans and the other major starfaring civilizations, because there has always been so much territory to explore within our own galaxy. After all, even after centuries of warp travel, both the Gamma and the Delta quadrants remain largely uncharted. Furthermore, the distances between galaxies are so incalculably immense that, even if there were a safe way to cross the barrier, a voyage to another galaxy would require a ship to travel for centuries at maximum warp. And finally, to be totally honest, we have accepted the barrier because there has been no viable alternative to doing so.

"That situation may have changed," Faal announced with what was to Troi a palpable sense of pride. Typical, she thought. What scientist is not proud of his accomplishments? The map of the galaxy flickered, giving way to a photo of a blond-haired woman whose pale skin was delicately speckled with dark red markings that ran from her temples down to the sides of her throat. A Trill, Troi thought, recognizing the characteristic spotting of that symbiotic life-form. She felt a fleeting pang of sadness from the woman seated next to her and sympathized with Beverly, who was surely recalling her own doomed love affair with the Trill diplomat Ambassador Odan. Troi wasn't sure, but she thought she sensed a bit of discomfort from Will Riker as well. A reasonable reaction, considering that Will had once "loaned" his own body to a Trill symbiont. She was relieved to note that both Will and Beverly swiftly overcame their flashes of emotion, focusing once more on the present. They acknowledged their pasts, then moved on, the counselor diagnosed approvingly. Very healthy behavior.

Worf married a Trill, she remembered with only the slightest twinge of jealousy. Then she took her own advice and put that reaction behind her. I wish him only the best, she thought.

"Some of you may be familiar with the recent work of...

Product Details

  • File Size: 1326 KB
  • Print Length: 292 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books/Star Trek; 1st edition (July 14, 1999)
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000FC0T4U
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  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #421,462 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Q's at it again.... March 4, 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Imagine yourself a superior being with cosmic powers living out just another typical boring day, with nothing new to do. It's just another day to basically count off as you live out each and every new day of eternity. You might say that this day is going to be another dud-that is until a starship, known as the "Enterprise", is about to do something stupid-break through the Outer Galactic Barrier. The being with these advanced traits is called Q, simply Q. He is part of what is known as the Q continuum-a realm where other infinite beings with godlike powers, also called Q, call their home and coexist. Now, the problem with this certain Q is that he is one who basically has "been there, done that." He needs to find something to occupy his time, so naturally this "trickster" bothers the primitive mortals of time and space. The story begins with captain Jean-Luc Picard and the crew of the Enterprise, helping the renowned professor Faal to complete the final chapter of his experiment. This scientist from the nearby planet of Betazed is determined to finish his life's work before a sickness known as Iverson's disease claims his life for good. His work involves a warhead that will create a wormhole in the Outer Galactic Barrier, a gaseous wall at the edge of the galaxy, to see what is on the other side of this obstacle. Naturally Q shows up at the time of imminent discovery and plans on halting Enterprise's plans without immediate explanation. It isn't until long after Picard demands an explanation as to why the Outer Barrier exploration shouldn't be continued, that Q zaps him out of the ship right in mid-battle. This leaves his first officer William T. Riker to take sudden control of a damaged ship while handling a misunderstood battle with an alien species known as the Calamarain. Read more ›
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars ST: TNG - The Continuum: Q-Space August 17, 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Star Trek: The Next Generation - The Continuum: Q-Space written by Greg Cox is an action adventure book written about the Q Continuum. The prime characters are Q and Jean-Luc Picard as Q hijacks Captain Picard on an untimate adventure with, of course, under currents to save the universe. But, this book is the set-up for a trilogy and as such works to give us some of the little known information of the mysterious realm of Q's past and we learn a few of Q's secrets.
I've always believed that Q choses Jean-Luc Picard because Picard acts like a conscience to mitigate Q's consummate outrageousness... a kind of lightening rod for all of Q's transgressions. Well, we are not disappointed here, as we find Q as a youth was rather mislead, but Q's mind has more than his usual pranks in store for Picard.
As the Enterprise and her crew prepare to breach the galactic barrier with the help of a brilliant Betazed scientist where Q's enemy lurks, this galactic story begins and takes us on a wild ride of odyssey into Q's past with the reader and Captain Jean-luc Picard in tow. There are ties with the TV series throughout the book to bring a tighter knit to the novels and the series. As the author tells the tale, the reader is propelled into the Q Continuum with "O" and the Calamarain all are omnipotent with a varing degree of omniscient power.
Greg Cox does a good job capturing Q, not as good as Peter David, but nevertheless you can get into the character flow of Q. As this book is the set-up, I hope we will receive further explaination of Q's past.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This book begins to uncover Q's past. October 19, 1998
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
In this Star Trek book, the mysterious realm of Q begins to unfold. Jean Luc Picard, captain of the Enterprise, is whisked away by the omnipotent being known only as Q. In the past, Q has troubled the Enterprise, seemingly for no reason at all. Q takes Picard through his painful past, trying to convince Picard not to crack the galactic barrier, which has been hindering human exploration. For instance, Q shows Picard that he brought to the Milky Way Galaxy, one of the mostevil and powerful beings of all time. In a battle the Q-Continuum fought in, Q uncovers, the entire race of the dinosaurs is demolished as one of the causualties. Q also flips in hints and tips of much of the galaxy's history, over hundreds of millennia. Tis book being the first in the trilogy, the author has really caught my attention.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun 'Q' story, but something prevented me from enjoying.. November 17, 1998
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I have enjoyed Q-space, as I got some more insight about Q's existence and his or their history. However, something prevented me from really enjoying this story - probably lenght of story and too much 'reference' of old events. Of course I love to recall/newly know those events, but it is sometimes stressful for me, unfortunately. Some of the 'next generation' story is worth reading 2 books or watching 2 hours , but I still love to watch one well-organized program. Hope another 2 books make me more comfortable. To note; 4 stars consists of 3 for this book and 1 for expectations for another two.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Q at his very best November 15, 2002
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
It actually took me months to read the book through, but that doesn't make it less interesting, fascinating, flattering... than it is. Q is one of the best characters, and having him show his past to us...! Well, hello, I say!
This is actually one of the best stories I have ever read on Star Trek, and the fact that Q is the main character (also my favorite character) makes it all the better. Q's past is as flattering and interesting as I expected it to be. Having him admit that he made mistakes that took a BIG influence on the whole system was a real revelation.
My recommendation: Read it!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Q
If you like Q, and want to know about the Q, this is for you. You will meet a few other people along the way in this series
Published 4 months ago by John V. Oliver
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting start to a trilogy
The Starship Enterprise-E had been given a new scientific mission, to transport a famous physicist to the galactic barrier, and create a wormhole to effectively breach the barrier. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Kurt A. Johnson
5.0 out of 5 stars buyer very pleased!
Arrived safely, buyer very pleased!
Published 8 months ago by Hilde H. Helseth
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book especially if your a fan of the "Q" character
"Q" is one of my favorite characters in the Next Generation series and this book does a great job of bringing together the main story line and "Q" character into a... Read more
Published 17 months ago by musgrovejb
5.0 out of 5 stars Q
one of my favorite characters from the series. someone I just love to hate!
can't wait for the next book.
Published 19 months ago by karrie castorena
3.0 out of 5 stars Ok, but old
It was ok at some parts it was hard to get into, and lady Q and her son were rather annoying and I didn't care much for them. But Q in General was fine I like him. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Chris Dysinger
3.0 out of 5 stars Buy the WHOLE TRILOGY at 1/3 the price
Do not buy the 3 books in the Q Continuum Trilogy when you can get the ENTIRE TRILOGY in one novel, for 1/3 the price. Read more
Published on July 8, 2011 by TomXP411
4.0 out of 5 stars Remarkably good.
I've never been a fan of Star Trek stories that feature Q, the functionally omnipotent foil for Captain Jean-Luc Picard. Read more
Published on March 20, 2009 by James Yanni
5.0 out of 5 stars Q as an impetuous and error-prone youth? Hints of Trelane
This book has several separate and concurrent plot lines, all of which are part of the same storyline. Read more
Published on January 13, 2008 by Charles Ashbacher
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed
Well, being a long-time Trekkie (TNG is my favorite), I was quite disappointed with this book. Liked the premise, liked the characters, did not like the execution. Read more
Published on September 13, 2003 by Allen E. Stern
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