Anyone who knows me knows that I only read Star Trek books and autobiographies of some of my favorite celebrities. I also am on a life-long quest to get every TNG book known to man in my collection, which is quite a task since some of the older ones are harder to find. I rummage through used bookstores or garage sales. I came across a great find one day at a flea market though. I came across the #36 book of the TNG series called "Into The Nebula" and only paid like a dollar for it. That is what people like me call a great find and steal when you get something you need for that cheap. I started to read it however after I got it and particularly did not like it right away, so it was put away for awhile until I recently picked it up. The second chance I gave this book was one that proved worth-while.
Captain Jean-Luc Picard and the Enterprise-D encounters a generation ship carrying just over ten thousand people. Some are alive and some are in what they call "fantasies" or their versions of the holo-decks onboard the Enterprise. Koralus who is the elder of this group that is still awake makes his routine stop on the "bridge" of the generation ship when he finds a reply to his distress call. The generation ship is dying and won't reach anywhere before it does. Instead of his home world or other generation ships that headed off in different directions the Enterprise replied to his distress call. He is brought aboard the Enterprise and they travel back to Krantin, the home of these occupants of the generation ship. The situation is worse than Koralus remembered. The "Plague" had forced what was left of the population into one city hiding under one force field to keep the harmful atmosphere out, but slowly even the survivors are dying because their systems are becoming less and less effective against the growing poison in their air.
Picard sends a shuttlecraft out to make contact when they run into a series of ships that disappear in a flash. The first contact with people on the planet is a lowly technician that fights to keep the systems running another day. The Enterprise immediately helps to create more parts for the systems and they turn to the problem of the Plague. The technician works under a scientist that is desperately trying to find a way to keep population alive and he works under a president who is paranoid about every little thing he encounters, including the crew of the Enterprise. Counselor Deanna Troi believes that the scientist Zalkan has something to hide and his fear becomes more evident as the Enterprise crew uncovers more and more to the mystery. The discovery of dilithium in Krantin and mines recently reopened escalades his fear when he finally reveals the truth. He is from an alternate Krantin in another reality. The source of the "Plague" is from his Krantin and his government is behind the opening of the mines. His government however is going to try a desperate plan to get rid of the plagued Krantin and the Enterprise all in one shot. Picard is now faced with the destruction of both planets and the Enterprise if he doesn't find a way to save all three after five hundred years of devastation has led to this.
There is an amusing side story that ends up saving the ship with Spot and Geordi LaForge. If you are a fan of TNG then you know about Data's "studies" and how Geordi usually gets dragged in the middle of it. Hey, isn't it time for Spot to save the ship instead of Wesley? But the rest of the book is just as well thought out. As I was in the middle of the book, I didn't understand how the author could have all these open storylines that didn't seem to even matter to each other. We go from Koralus' ship, to Krantin, to the mines, to another Krantin, and then the attack on the Enterprise. That's a lot of storyline moving, but it keeps you going. I did however think it was a little too much for the reader to keep all together and just leisurely enjoy it. This is a book for those who love to be intrigued and stay that way all the way through the story.
Title: Into the Nebula
Author: Gene DeWeese
Review by: CL6 Amanda Sielu Paris