"We might not make it. We might annihilate ourselves before that vision can ever be realized. And that would be just the most incredible waste. We're at a crossroads, and I hope we're able to take the right one. As the poet said: 'Of all the sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these. "It might have been."'"
As I struggle with this review I have due on April 1 for The Front Table, it is good to know that there are short, happy books one can turn to when the mental effort demanded by Literature threatens to induce total brain freeze. Star Trek novels are a wonderful example of this. Especially those by Peter David, which are not only fun but still contain substance.
I, Q is a very special book. It is a collaborative effort between Peter David and John de Lancie, who has played Q on The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, and Voyager. The arrogant, annoying, and all-powerful Q is easily Star Trek's most popular recurring character. A member of the Q Continuum, a race of omniscient god-like beings, Q is infamous for disrupting lives and civilizations with his questionable sense of humor and dangerously playful personality. Even the other Q can't stand him.
Unfortunately, God, or whatever Supreme Being created the multiverse, has decided that she is tired of watching the same old play on different stages with different characters. History in countless different universes does nothing but endlessly repeat itself. The Q Continuum is slunk in the same ennui. When you know everything and can do anything, really then, what's the point? In fact, a Q who wanted to kill himself for precisely this reason was the subject of the deeply philosophical Voyager episode "Death Wish."
Now a giant black hole has appeared that's sucking in all of reality! Including Q's wife and son!
Well, Q certainly is not going to stand by and let this happen! With the help of Captain Picard and Data, Q must travel through one bizarre realm after another, encountering old friends and foes alike, in a metaphysical quest to locate his missing family and find some way to stop everything from literally going down the drain. Along the way, he will question the nature of divinity, omnipotence, and reality's innate unreality. Given the vast scope of the book's subject material, I was expecting something longer and more epic (like Peter David's absolutely excellent Vendetta and Q-Squared), but it's just a Star Trek novel so I'm not going to quibble.
It was simply a good, entertaining read.
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