The 50th Star Trek: TNG book.

Publication year: 1999
Format: print
Publisher: Pocket Books
Page count: 235 including two afterwords, one about writing science fiction and another about the Trek technology and a selected bibliography.

In the sixth season episode “Relics” Enterprise-D encounters a Dyson sphere but they didn’t have the time to much explore it. Now, about a year later the Enterprise is back with another Federation ship, the Darwin, to explore it more thoroughly. The Darwin is crewed by the Horta.

However, when Enterprise draws near the sphere, the sensors pick up a small wormhole from which emerges a neutron star. The star is on a collision course with the sphere so suddenly, the starships have only about two weeks to explore the huge surface area of the sphere.

Captain Picard, LaForge, and Troi join the Horta ship inside the sphere. The Enterprise will stay outside, to monitor the star and the help the Darwin out, if necessary. Picard, of course, is very excited to be exploring the sphere. The officers speculate about which race could have built the sphere and they wonder if it could be the early Borg. However, the sphere has some surprises for them.

This story is focused on exploration and then trying to control a disaster. It’s also focused on science, which isn’t a surprise considering that Pellegrino is a professional engineer and archaeologist. However, it’s different from other ST:TNG books so if you’re looking for fast-paced and light-hearted adventure, this is the wrong book. It also doesn’t have Montgomery Scott who was in the original episode. But it does give the reader something to think about, not just what can be done with science but about how small we humans really are and what sorts of wonders might wait for us out there.

From some of the other reviews on Amazon I understand that just before printing the book, someone took out about 20% of it. If that’s true, it’s unfortunate and puzzling.

I don’t think I’ve ever heard the Borg described like this, and quite fittingly: “It was ironic, Picard thought, that after progressing beyond the abuses of market economies, Earth’s clever and humane Federation should find among the stars the ultimate corporate nightmare, the Borg, who literally incorporated anything that moved and had something to offer, and destroyed anything that did not. The Borg appreciated any good thing they encountered. Picard had to give them that.”