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The Three-Minute Universe (1988)

by Barbara Paul

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497341,148 (3.45)1
The Sackers. In all Captain James T. Kirk's travels, he has never found a race more universally shunned and abhorred. Their mere appearance causes most Federation members to become violently ill. Now the Sackers have performed a deed whose brutality matches their horrifying exterior. They have stolen a revolutionary new scientific device -- murdering an entire race in the process -- and used it to create a rip in the fabric of space, a hole through which another universe is rapidly leaking. Unless Captain Kirk and the crew of the "Enterprise can find a way to stop the new universe's expansion, it will consume -- and utterly destroy -- our own.… (more)
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This was an outstanding adventure featuring all of the original cast, but focusing especially on Kirk, Scotty, Uluru, and Chekhov. The novel kicks right in with action as the Enterprise discovers a fiery, raging universe that threatens to devour every world in its ever-expanding path. Behind this campaign to crush all the known worlds under Federation control are a mysterious race of grotesque beings known as the Sackers. It's up to the aforementioned foursome to convince the Sackers to stop their plan to destroy our universe. But Kirk and his team find out much more about the Sackers then they bargained for once they are kidnapped and taken aboard the Sacker starship. Maybe these hideous beings aren't really who Kirk and crew think they are.
Fans of the series will enjoy this adventure and the true-to-character way that they are drawn. ( )
  coachtim30 | Nov 20, 2021 |
"The galaxy is on fire." With these words, James Kirk summarizes the latest threat the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise is forced to address: an expanding wave of heat that has already annihilated an entire solar system, including the home world of the Zirgosians. Their investigation takes them to the remaining Zirgosian colony, where they find a massive spaceship in orbit controlled by the "Sackers," a species so physically repulsive that sentient beings cannot stand to be in their presence. The crew soon discovers that the Sackers are at the center of the mystery, with a plan that effectively holds the entire universe hostage unless their demands are met.

Barbara Paul's novel offers readers what is many respects a textbook Star Trek story: the crew faces a seemingly insurmountable challenge, then proceeds to save the day through a mixture of intuitive psychology and teamwork. It's an interesting tale both for the species she introduces and the unusual combination of Kirk, Scotty, Uhura, and Chekov working to deal with the situation in which they find themselves. Yet too much of the novel comes across as contrived, with the Sacker threat both epically dangerous yet in the end ridiculously easy to resolve. Squaring the difference between these two contrasts might have made for a truly excellent Star Trek novel, but as it is the book's strengths can't quite overcome its flaws. ( )
  MacDad | Mar 27, 2020 |
An intriguing Star Trek novel about a much-maligned race called the Sackers, who are so offensive to all the senses that they sicken human beings. The sackers have stolen a revolutionary scientific device, murdering a race in the process, and are using it to open a hole in our universe, consigning it to certain doom unless Kirk can defeat the Sackers and stop the process. A good adventure, but the idea of developing friendly relations with a race that could do what the Sackers have done is somewhat unsettling. ( )
  burnit99 | Feb 15, 2007 |
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Star Trek (1988.08)

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"The galaxy is on fire," said Captain James T Kirk.
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The Sackers. In all Captain James T. Kirk's travels, he has never found a race more universally shunned and abhorred. Their mere appearance causes most Federation members to become violently ill. Now the Sackers have performed a deed whose brutality matches their horrifying exterior. They have stolen a revolutionary new scientific device -- murdering an entire race in the process -- and used it to create a rip in the fabric of space, a hole through which another universe is rapidly leaking. Unless Captain Kirk and the crew of the "Enterprise can find a way to stop the new universe's expansion, it will consume -- and utterly destroy -- our own.

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    "HELMSMAN, FULL REVERSE!" KIRK SHOUTED ...

"Full reverse," Sulu moved quickly, responding to the urgency in the captain's voice without understanding the reason for it.

"Course, Captain?" Checkov sounded puzzled.

"Away from ... that!" Kirk gestured toward the main viewscreen, which now was showing streaks of exploding gas in the distance. "Spock - any chance your figures could be wrong?"

"No, Captain, I've checked them twice. We are now retreating from the effects of a primal explosion identical to the one that gave rise to the universe we are living in."

Kirk didn't like it; he didn't like it at all. "So what we're seeing is a new universe in the process of being born," he said heavily.

"Inside our universe?" Checkov protested; "But we were here first!"
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