Star Trek: The Next Generation: Headlong Flight by Dayton Ward
Surveying a nebula as part of their continuing exploration of the previously uncharted “Odyssean Pass,” Captain Jean-Luc Picard and the crew of the Starship Enterprise encounter a rogue planet. Life signs are detected on the barren world’s surface, and then a garbled message is received: a partial warning to stay away at all costs. Determined to render assistance, Picard dispatches Commander Worf and an away team to investigate, but their shuttlecraft is forced to make an emergency landing on the surface—moments before all contact is lost and the planet completely disappears.
Worf and his team learn that this mysterious world is locked into an unending succession of random jumps between dimensions, the result of an ambitious experiment gone awry. The Enterprise crewmembers and the alien scientists who created the technology behind this astonishing feat find themselves trapped, powerless to break the cycle. Meanwhile, as the planet continues to fade in and out of various planes of existence, other parties have now taken notice…
Captain Picard and the crew of the Enterprise can’t let a mystery go. So, when they receive a message saying to stay away because of a dangerous situation – of course they have to get closer and investigate. Worf and his away team are soon trapped with the alien inhabitants and discover they are jumping among several alternate realities and times.
Headlong Flight is another great installment by Ward. The storyline is fun and unpredictable. And a crew from an alternate reality provides some nostalgia and several surprises. This was a fast-paced novel with plenty of adventure, suspense, familiar characters, and Romulan antagonists. I can’t get enough of time travel in science fiction, so pairing that with alternate reality jumps, made for a highly enjoyable read.