by Keith R. A. DeCandido
The thing about Star Trek novels, for me, is that they’re sort of like Caribbean cruises: you get a taste of the exotic, but you do so from a safe, comfortable environment.
Keith R. A. DeCandido’s Q & A, his latest addition to the Star Trek: the Next Generation collection is no exception. In fact, it’s like the part of the cruise that involves fruity drinks with cute umbrellas and dancing into the night, and that, really, is how it should be.
In this novel, we see a different side of Q, the part that actually has a purpose, and a motivation beyond just having fun – though fun is never ignored if it comes up – but we also get to have some emotional closure for the loss of Data in Nemesis, as Geordi warms to the woman who has his friend’s old job, and some story swapping and healthy reminiscing goes on. We have Picard and Beverly Crusher in an actual, healthy relationship, and we have the usual saving the universe story, and all that is wonderful.
But then DeCandido transcends wonderful, by mixing in references not just to every single appearance by Q in the television canon – EVER – but also by relating the plot to key moments from the show that many of us would never have expected.
If you’re any kind of fan, you’ll appreciate the in-jokes. If you’re not, you’ll still enjoy the story. Either way, for a good time, read Star Trek the Next Generation: Q & A as soon as you can.