I, Q Book Review

Book by John De Lancie and Peter David read by John De Lancie

by John De Lancie and Peter David read by John De Lancie

There are few who understand the Star Trek character Q better than the man who has portrayed him since his appearance in "Encounter at Farpoint," the first episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation.  To this end, it is well for us that John De Lancie is adroit not only at portraying Q, but also at writing about him, along with writer Peter David.

I, Q is not only a book, but, like many examples of the written word, can be listened to on tape or CD, allowing the dramatic insights of De Lancie to once again come to the fore.  In this tale, our omnipotent friend must enlist the help of Jean-Luc Picard, Captain of the USS Enterprise, and his First Science Officer, the inimitable, Mr. Data.

In this story we learn some facts about Q, many of which are non-canonical, such as that he is married and has a child, that he is the ubiquitous trickster of early human mythic history (found in many cultures, like of Native American and Norse mythologies), and that he was the famed Greek God Prometheus, who gave humanity fire and later suffered for it (at the hands of his fellow Q in the Q Continuum).  Further, we learn that the Q Continuum has an equally potent nemesis, the M Continuum.

As in many of the later episodes of Star Trek: Next Generation, this story shows a highly arrogant Q, yet one who is much kinder to his favored human, Jean-Luc Picard.  No tricks does he play on Picard, however.  In fact, while the Captain of the Enterprise and his sidekick Data are a functional part of the story, they are not paramount to it.  Some might see this as not normal from the perspective of Star Trek: The Next Generation.  However, this story is a spin-off of the show, not in the show itself.  In a word, it is truly Q's story.

The basic plot is that the universe is about to end.  The signs are there, particularly the vast whirlpool that takes millions away from their homes and families, including our heroes, Q and the two Starfleet Officers (all of whom are fishing, something not seen often in the Next Generation).  These people, from all the known races (and presumably, the unknown species, as well), are sucked down an intergalactic "drain" where they find themselves in a scenario disturbingly like that of the Jews during the Holocaust.  This, disturbing historical references aside, is the one point of the story that seems to be a break in continuity.  It is the one part of the story that could have used a stronger stretch of imagination.  This is not as it relates to an historical period of time, but as it simply doesn't seem to "fit" the rest of the tale, though it does insinuate a heightened sense of fear with some urgency, necessary points to any pop drama.  However, what is commendable is the village of people, the strange happenstance with "Q Jr." and God.  Further, even "God" in this part of the story is trumped by Goddess, the ultimate architect or potter of existence. 

This first and final character is one that John De Lancie and Peter David should be most proud of.  She is not "over baked" with earlier preconceptions of the The Great Goddess, though takes enough of her essence as seen both by the ancients and moderns, to be amenable to our consciousness, our recognition of her, and to our own conceptions as to who "she" or "it" may be.

If you count yourself amongst the legions of Trekkies, Trekkers, or even simply fans of Star Trek (any of the many incarnations), read this book,  or listen to the tape or CD.  It will stimulate your thoughts, and bring about many an 'up-curl' to your lips.

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