Dyson Sphere is the story of The Enterprise's return visit to the alien artifact known as the Dyson Sphere. Fans of Star Trek will recall that the Dyson Sphere is an alien structure made of an advanced material and using technology incomprehensible to the Federation. It is basically a self-contained solar system that encloses it's sun within the shell of the sphere. The engineers of the sphere are unknown.
Approximately one year after their first encounter with the sphere, Picard and his crew, accompanied by a great race of explorers known as the Horta, have returned on an "archaeological dig" of sorts. Besides a simple desire to explore such a vast and unique artifact, Picard's other motives for being at the Sphere include the Federation's desires to discover the origins of the sphere and learn what happened to the aliens that created it.
What was originally intended as a simple mission of exploration becomes a struggle against time when Picard encounters two serious obstacles. Firstly, upon arrival at the Dyson Sphere, it is learned that the sun enclosed within the sphere is becoming highly unstable and in fact, the entire shell of the sphere appears to be moving. The second unexpected developement occurs when a fast moving neutron star is detected, heading straight for the sphere. If and when it hits, the sphere will be obliterated.
As a result, the crew's time to explore is cut very short but Picard and Dalen, the Horta captain, are determined to learn all they can. So with only a few days until the arrival of the neutron star, they enter the sphere and chaos ensues. The discovery of dozens of new life forms, Picard's struggle with his conscience regarding the prime directive, and a gamma ray accident that causes Picard and the others to become stranded provide lots of action in this novel.
I thought this novel was really interesting. It had several smaller storylines going on all at once however, it also left me rather confused at several points. This confusion was not only a result of all the action going on but, also of the abundant technical jargon used by the authors. I love Star Trek but I don't know a phaser from a replicator most days.....so I was lost a lot! If you are not up to speed on sci-fi babble, this novel might be one you would pass on!
Title: Dyson Sphere
Author: C.Pellegrino and G.Zebrowski
Review by: CL4 Liz