The Wounded Sky by Diane Duane
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
The Wounded Sky is one of those Star Trek novels that is so high on my scale of all things good and proper in Star Trek it's ridiculous but this story is that good. It kicks off with a description of the ship in warp and that's like nothing you've ever read, it gives the novel such heart and soul you wouldn't believe and then we get to the actual story.
The Enterprise is chosen to test a new drive system designed by K't'ik a member of an arachnid race famed for their design and technology, the "inversion drive" manipulates areas of subspace and twists natural laws and is able to fling a vessel to wherever it needs to be in zero time and the testing has gone well. The drive is installed despite Scotty having said nothing would be fitted to the ship without his full understanding but it works flawlessly, or does it? A mind bogglingly distance away from the Enterprise the strain of breaking "natural" laws has consequences and slowly but surely the very fabric of the universe is being torn apart. During the "inversion" which was supposed to occur in zero time hence no actual frame of reference for the individual the crew start to experience events and other minds, their collective souls are mingling and realization emerges that they have to journey to the focus of the tear and attempt to fix the problem or life will cease to exist.
The Wounded Sky gets the regular characters of Star Trek spot on and Diane as with all her work effortlessly weaves in new characters who can easily take center stage when required. K't'lk is glorious a true alien being who is accepted by all and yet her story has a solid foundation, same for the minor characters we meet who are on the crew but never appeared on screen. The story has scope that defies belief especially compared to contemporary Star Trek novels of the time and I'll admit the concepts and ideas presented were discussed into the wee hours with friends many times. This novel really has to be read to do it justice and while Diane presented some of basic plot ideas in her screenplay for the TNG episode "Where No One Has Gone Before" that was a pale imitation of this piece of science fiction.
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