- Series: Star Trek: The Next Generation
- Paperback: 288 pages
- Publisher: Star Trek (November 3, 1997)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0671015885
- ISBN-13: 978-0671015886
- Package Dimensions: 7.6 x 4.9 x 0.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 14 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,121,584 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Star Trek: First Contact (Star Trek: The Next Generation) Paperback – November 3, 1997
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As the story begins, the Borg have attacked the Federation, with one of their massive cube ships making a bee-line for Earth herself. Picard and the new Enterprise-E starship defy Starfleet orders and rush to the battle, after which they follow a small Borg ship through a time portal which takes them back to 21st-century Earth. The Borg plan is to destroy the Phoenix, the spacecraft which Zefram Cochrane launches and, by way of its successful warp drive test, captures the attention of a Federation scout ship. If that pivotal event does not happen, the Federation we all know and love will never come to be. While half of the senior staff is planet-side trying to make sure the Phoenix launch happens on schedule, the rest of the crew find themselves battling a Borg infestation onboard the Enterprise herself. Data is captured, Picard is in danger of letting his hatred of the Borg overrule logic and reason, and we get to meet the Borg Queen. Personally, I've always felt that the introduction of the Borg Queen was a disservice to the greatest Star Trek villains of them all. The Borg Queen is a complete contradiction that introduced a level of individual vulnerability into a collective that was, up until this time, faceless and seemingly invulnerable.
This is an impressive novelization of the film, making it a worthwhile read to those of us who are already familiar with the onscreen story. In particular, it provides a great deal of insight into the erratic nature of Zefram Cochrane himself; in the movie, he came across as basically a drunk, but the novelization does a much better job of explaining his behavior. That alone makes this novel a natural and extremely beneficial corollary to the movie.
That line, uttered by Dr. Zephram Cochrane in both movie and novelization, has to be my all time favorite from the Trek film series. The most interesting difference between movie and book, as far I am concerned, is that despite James Cromwell's fine performance I found the film's Zephram Cochrane incredibly annoying. I never developed a shred of sympathy for him, because the background the film gave me - the Third World War and its chaotic aftermath - wasn't sufficient to make me understand him. I don't know, not having seen the script from which J.M. Dillard worked, whether she added "Zef" Cochrane's tragic battle with bipolar disorder (a disease that before the War had an effective treatment), or if it was among the elements that inevitably got cut as the film took shape. But I do know that for me, it made all the difference in being able to care about this character and root for him.
The book follows the film with little filler added except for background on Lily Sloane and Zephram Cochrane, which gives it a similar pace. They complement each other well.