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Crossroad (Star Trek, Book 71)

by Barbara Hambly

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Star Trek: The Original Series (71), Star Trek (novels) (1994.09), Star Trek (1994.09)

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436957,278 (3.43)12
The crew of the Nautilus, a battered Starship of mysterious origin, is beamed aboard the Starship Enterprise™. The group claims they are freedom fighters from the future working to save the Federation from the Consilium -- a group of corrupt power-seekers.But when the Nautilus crew members suddenly seize control of the U.S.S. Enterprise™, and a Starship from the future arrives to arrest the renegades, Kirk must separate his true allies from those who wish to destroy the Federation.… (more)
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Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
I should have known Barbara Hambly would bring it! This novel shouldn't work - what's the deal with bringing a Lovecraftian horror into Star Trek and then mixing that with time travel and...what?? But it does work. Elements of it prefigure the Spore Drive in Disco, and it's got a nice re-envisioning of Christine Chapel and her relationship to Spock.
  everystartrek | Jan 7, 2023 |
This is one of the better, if not best, Star Trek novels. The characters have depth and meaningful relationships and while Kirk and Spock are center stage, they aren't the only characters with significant parts. Considering the constraints of a Star Trek novel, I thought the author did a fantastic job stretching those boundaries and producing a very enjoyable, interesting story. ( )
  Karlstar | Dec 26, 2020 |
While engaged in the exploration of the treacherous Crossroad Nebula, the U.S.S. Enterprise detects a vessel that shouldn't exist: a Constitution-class starship with more advanced design elements, yet bearing signs of considerable age and wear. With the ship on a course for Tau Lyra III, a planet with a pre-warp civilization, Captain James Kirk beams aboard the half-dozen members of the ship's crew and detains them for their evident intent to violate the Prime Directive. But the crew soon escapes captivity and takes over the Enterprise, holding it hostage until their ship is repaired and their voyage to Tau Lyra is resumed. As the crew struggles to retake control, the mounting evidence makes it clear that the anomalous ship is indeed from the future and that its crew is waging a war against the greatest tyranny in their galaxy: the Federation.

Barbara Hambly's novel is one that I looked forward to reading for two reasons. The first was the back cover description, which promised a rare Star Trek time travel novel involving interaction with the future. It's always interesting to me to see where authors project the future of the Star Trek universe as heading, especially at a relatively early stage in the franchise before the shows locked in the canon. Here Hambly doesn't disappoint, fulfilling every expectation she set for me with her previous contribution to Pocket Books's Star Trek novels, [b:Ishmael|17026|Ishmael (Star Trek The Original Series, #23)|Barbara Hambly|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1386922622s/17026.jpg|1696300] (which I still retain fond memories of despite having read it decades ago). Indeed, she provides a very rare bird indeed: a future Federation corrupted by a sinister organization that uses plagues, psionics, and advanced FTL travel to dominate the Alpha Quadrant.

The richness of Hambly's premise and the development of her characters (both from the series and her own creations) are undeniable strengths of her book. And yet I found elements of her plot cripplingly tiresome. Far too much of the story follows the predictable patterns of a series episode: alien crew escapes detention and takes over the ship, the crew faces a threat at odds with lofty Federation ideals, and a daring plan involving phaser fire is needed to save the day. To be fair, there are a couple of unexpected twists and turns, but by the end of the novel I couldn't help but feel a little disappointed by the overall result. While Hamby's book is definitely in the better half of the novels in the Pocket Books series, it nonetheless fall short of what it could have been given the material with which Hambly gave herself to work. ( )
  MacDad | Mar 27, 2020 |
Average novel unfolds at a clumsy pace with a plot borrowing from ST:TNG’s fourth season Clues and resembling Doctor Who’s Warrior’s Gate. Hambly unwisely dumps a load of new characters (with names that aren’t exactly easy to keep track of) unceremoniously offering little to distinguish them, despite the characters harboring some big differences amoung them. In contrast no detail is spared in describing both the Enterprise and the Nautilus as well as the scorched remains of the planet Tau Lyra III, often sacrificing potential character and plot development for exposition on the color of the wafers onboard the starship. Hambly infuses the book with several themes but few of them are explored fully, especially that of nearing the end of the five-year mission for the crew. Aside from a few mental notes in Kirk’s head, Hambley uses Nurse Chapel as the conduit for this theme, an odd choice indeed although making for some poignant moments as the obvious detachment from the core crew Chapel experienced in the show is repeated here, making her character a very sad one indeed. The scenario involving telepaths navigating starships through space and how they are bred is explained in a very muddled manner and I suspect that my watching of Warrior’s Gate has more to do with my grasping it then the author’s own explanations for it. Perhaps in an attempt to steer the book away from falling into the quicksand of fan-wank, very little of the future is revealed and little or no continuity is established between both times however Hambly sabotages the potential for a truly epic story, confining to the Enterprise and the other two ships. An apparent last-minute filler erupts in which Ensign Lao, a character which Hambly keeps trying to portray as some kind of heir to Kirk yet offers no evidence of, goes crazy with the knowledge of the future and tries to blow up the Enterprise in a manner convenient to padding out the novel (he can’t just blow the ship, he wants it to blow up when Kirk beams over allowing the obvious scenario of Kirk not beaming over). The finale in which the crew realize something has happened and they themselves have covered it up and their decision not to uncover it is laughable not only in that it seems such an atypical response for this crew, but also for it is the most suited to that of the TNG crew not this one. As the title implies the novel deals with crossroads both real and metaphorical, Hambly being more adept in portraying the crossroads of life that Nurse Chapel has arrived in rather then those in the rest of the story ( )
  Humberto.Ferre | Sep 28, 2016 |
Ok, let's see. More intrigue than some, a little time travel, less humor than some. Less of the personalities of the main characters, but still plenty. Nurse Chapel has a big role. Something about the themes behind the adventure didn't quite come through for me - I think maybe it was because the author tried to cover too many ideas and also make it a page-turner, which made it a little hard to focus on appreciating either aspect. ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Barbara Hamblyprimary authorall editionscalculated
Birdsong, KeithCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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For Erina - Wherever she may be
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It happened shortly after the start of the evening shift.
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Two turnings had branched off to the right, neat black holes in the wan flashlight gleam. Ensign Lao wondered if he'd actually seen two branches on the schematic, or three. It all reminded him very strongly of the survival and intelligence tests they'd run them through at the Academy -- that, or the more demanding type of fun houses he'd gone to at carnivals.
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The crew of the Nautilus, a battered Starship of mysterious origin, is beamed aboard the Starship Enterprise™. The group claims they are freedom fighters from the future working to save the Federation from the Consilium -- a group of corrupt power-seekers.But when the Nautilus crew members suddenly seize control of the U.S.S. Enterprise™, and a Starship from the future arrives to arrest the renegades, Kirk must separate his true allies from those who wish to destroy the Federation.

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The crew of the Nautilus, a battered Starship of mysterious origin, is beamed aboard the Starship  Enterprise , the group claims they are freedom fighters from the future working to save hte Federation from the Consilium - a group of corrupt power-seekers.

But when the Nautilus crew members suddenly seize control of the Enterprise, and a Starship from the future arrives to arrest the renegades, Kirk must separate his true allies from those who wish to destroy the Federation.
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