|Cover artist||Dru Blair|
|Series||Star Trek: Signature Edition|
|7 October 2003|
|Media type||Print (Paperback)|
|Followed by||Worlds in Collision|
Star Trek: The Q Continuum is an omnibus of a three novel miniseries written by Greg Cox, based on the television series Star Trek: The Next Generation. The novels explore the history of the multi-dimensional being Q prior to his introduction in the episode "Encounter at Farpoint". Originally published in 1998, Q-Space, Q-Zone, and Q-Strike, were named The Q Continuum by John J. Ordover. The Science Fiction Book Club released an identical omnibus, also titled The Q Continuum, in 1998.
The Q Continuum trilogy was conceived by John J. Ordover at Pocket Books. Cox lamented he was uncertain he had "nine-hundred pages" in him when offered the project. He accepted the task after rewatching all the episodes featuring Q.
A Betazoid scientist, Lem Faal, claims to have found a way to penetrate the Galactic Barrier. The Enterprise is sent to offer aid. They return to Delta Vega, where Gary Mitchell was transformed in a god-like being after exposure radiation from the barrier in "Where No Man Has Gone Before". After gaining an understanding of Faal's technology, Capt. Picard orders the Enterprise to the barrier. Q appears, warning Picard and Faal against breaking the barrier.
When asked why they should stop, Q takes Picard on a journey to the distant past—a young Q's distant past. With Riker in command, the Enterprise is attacked by the Calamarain. Non-corporeal lifeforms introduced in the episode "Déjà Q". Faal plots to complete his barrier breaking test, regardless of the consequences, eager to make his mark on the Universe.
While on his journey with Q, Picard discovers the truth: the barrier was constructed to protect the galaxy from a malevolent, near-omnipotent, entity known as 0. The entity had remorselessly ravaged several worlds 600,000 years prior. It had also tortured the Calamarain, almost compressing them all into a single point, before being stopped by the young Q.
A small portion of 0's consciousness had passed through the barrier a few years prior to the start of the plot, and had merged with Faal, promising immortality in exchange for creating an opening. After 0 entered the galaxy with Faal's help, Q, other members of the Q Continuum, and the Calamrain, join forces to defeat it.
All novels written by Greg Cox:
The omnibus was called "a marvelously funny and enlightening visit to the Star Trek universe" by reviewers at Readers Read. Fraser Ronald of SFReader, said the omnibus was "a more satisfying experience" than previous The Next Generation films, or many episodes of Enterprise, but there were caveats to issuing a full recommendation.
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