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The extraordinary novel based on the television episode written by D.C. Fontana and Gene Roddenberry. Created by Gene Roddenberry. The classic first mission of the U.S.S. Enterprise™ NCC-1701D!

Publisher's description

Original 1987 cover

From the back of the book (ISBN 0671652419; blk cvr)
Space... The Final Frontier. These are the all-new voyages of the U.S.S. Enterprise!
Gene Roddenberry, the man who created the original STAR TREK television series, now brings the magic of STAR TREK to a brand-new, even more exciting future—a future with a dazzling new starship and a whole new cast of STAR TREK characters!
CAPTAIN'S LOG, STARDATE 41254.7: The U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701-D is en route to Cygnus IV—the edge of the known galaxy. There, we will rendezvous with the ship's new first officer and other command personnel, and proceed with our mission: discover the truth about Farpoint Station, a starbase facility built by the inhabitants of Cygnus IV, a starbase of unparalleled size and complexity... and infinite mystery.
And the success or failure of this, our first mission together, may well determine the course of human exploration across the galaxy for centuries to come...
From the back of the book (ISBN 0671743880; reprint)
Where the Adventure Began...
CAPTAIN'S LOG, STARDATE 41254.7: The U.S.S. Enterprise™ is en route to Cygnus IV—the edge of the known galaxy. (The remaining text matches the previous printing.)



Jean-Luc Picard, the newly assigned captain of the new USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-D), arrives on the ship by shuttlecraft. He is piped aboard by Lieutenant Commander Data, an android with opalescent golden skin, and walks onto the bridge, where he records his first captain's log. In his office he reviews a personal message from Admiral Hidalgo, who expresses confidence in him and his crew.

Chapter One

Jean-Luc Picard shows Q a hand phaser that is set to "stun".

The Enterprise is heading for Farpoint Station on Deneb IV to pick up its remaining crew complement and to solve a mystery. The Bandi, a non-industrial species, have constructed an incredibly advanced base in only sixteen months. Picard has been ordered to find out how they did it. Deanna Troi, the half-Betazoid ship's counselor, suddenly senses a powerful presence, and an object resembling a metallic grid appears in space in front of the ship. A humanoid in Elizabethan costume materializes on the bridge; introducing himself as Q, he demands that the Enterprise return to its own solar system. When Lieutenant Torres attempts to surreptitiously use a mark V personal phaser in a futile attempt to stun Q, the alien senses the action and nods, freezing Torres's body in ice. Picard shows the phaser's stun setting to Q, to indicate the Humans meant him no permanent harm. Torres is taken away by Dr. Ismail Asenzi, the assistant chief medical officer. Q proclaims how violent and aggressive humanity is, eventually having found alien allies for warfare, such as the Klingon Lieutenant Worf. Picard accuses Q of wanting to prosecute and judge humanity. This gives Q an idea, and he disappears, promising to return soon.

Chapter Two

Picard decides to take the Enterprise away from the grid at maximum acceleration, and limits onboard communications to hardcopy. Worf goes to Engineering and informs Chief Engineer Argyle of Picard's decision. As the Enterprise speeds away, the grid reforms itself into a spinning ball that pursues the starship and bests its speed. Picard orders the emergency battle configuration maneuver -- the separation of the ship into its saucer and stardrive sections so that the families aboard can remain safely in the saucer while the stardrive section engages the enemy. Worf takes command of the saucer while Picard and other officers descend to the battle bridge in the stardrive section. The ship separates, and the stardrive section turns to face the Q object. Picard signals his ship's surrender. Picard, Data, Troi and Tasha Yar, the Enterprise security chief, vanish from the battle bridge.

Chapter Three

The four Enterprise officers find themselves in a courtroom of the mid-21st century, post-atomic horror era. Q is the judge. When Yar protests Q's attempt to judge humanity, he freezes her, but reverses the process when Picard reminds him he had promised not to harm the prisoners. Q demands Picard's plea on the charge of humanity "being a grievously savage race," and Picard pleads guilty -- provisionally. He asks Q to test whether humans are still savage, and Q tells him Farpoint Station will serve well as such a test. The court adjourns, and the Enterprise officers reappear on the battle bridge -- where no one else has noticed they have been gone. The Conn officer tells them they are on course for Farpoint Station, as Picard ordered.

Chapter Four

William T. Riker, the new first officer of the Enterprise, shaves in his quarters at Farpoint Station, where the rest of the new Enterprise crew has arrived aboard the USS Hood. An attractive Bandi woman collects his breakfast tray, and Riker realizes he is wearing only a towel around his waist. In a lounge off the station's shopping concourse, Ensign Mark Hughes and Lieutenant Geordi La Forge await the appearance of the Enterprise on a viewscreen; Hughes is embarrassed when Riker overhears him refer to Picard as "the old burrhog". La Forge is blind but wears a VISOR device that allows him to see. Riker asks the two junior officers to inform him if they become aware of anything unusual at Farpoint. In the office of Groppler Zorn, the Bandi administrator, Riker is disappointed not to find an apple in a bowl of fruit; a second bowl which he had not noticed appears, containing an apple. When Riker leaves, Zorn scolds an unseen being who has "been told not to do that". At a soda fountain in the shopping area, La Forge is presented with a unique sundae identical to one from his home town that he has just described to Hughes; they realize they should report this to Riker. Elsewhere in the mall Riker meets Dr. Beverly Crusher, the Enterprise's new chief medical officer, and her teenage son, Wesley. The three of them become suspicious when a bolt of cloth suddenly appears on a vendor's table with a pattern that Dr. Crusher had requested. La Forge informs them that the Enterprise has arrived in orbit without the saucer. Riker beams up to the ship.

Chapter Five

Yar escorts Riker to the battle bridge, where he meets Picard and is shown a recording of the encounter with Q. When the saucer arrives, Picard asks Riker to perform the reconnection manually. Riker does so successfully. In an observation lounge, Picard and Riker discuss the first officer's refusal to let his previous commander, Captain DeSoto of the Hood, beam down to a dangerous planet; Picard is pleased by Riker's refusal to compromise on this issue. On the main bridge for the first time, Riker asks Worf where Data is; he is escorting Admiral Leonard McCoy to a shuttlecraft to return to the Hood after a tour of the Enterprise. The 137-year-old McCoy advises Data that the new ship has "the right name", and tells him, "You treat her like a lady. She'll always bring you home."

Chapter Six

In sickbay, Dr. Crusher chides Dr. Asenzi for relying on the computer to check the medical instruments instead of doing so himself. Picard enters and speaks to Beverly alone. He had commanded her late husband, Jack Crusher, aboard the USS Stargazer, and had protested her posting to the Enterprise, assuming she would not want to serve under a captain who would be a constant reminder of Jack's death. When Picard learns Beverly requested her assignment to the Enterprise, he withdraws his objection. Wesley meets Adam and Craig Harris, twins his own age; they explore a projection of a rain forest on one of the ship's holodecks. As the Hood leaves orbit, Q appears to remind Picard of the test, giving him a 24-hour time limit. Riker meets Data on the bridge; he is unhappy with the idea of an android second officer. The next morning Riker awakens from dreams of a former love. He meets with Picard in his ready room, where the captain suggests that the Bandi may be trading with the Ferengi. Picard introduces Riker to Troi; she is Riker's former lover, whom he had not known was assigned to the Enterprise.

Chapter Seven

Picard, Riker and Troi meet with Groppler Zorn in his office, where Troi senses terrible pain and loneliness from an unknown source. When Riker expresses reluctance to bring Data on an away team to inspect Farpoint Station, Picard suggests that he get to know the android. After reviewing his service record, Riker finds Data on Holodeck Two in a simulation of a forested parkland. Data is having difficulty whistling, and Riker finishes the tune for him. Data tells Riker about his past: he was built by an alien race of machines on Kiron III at the time of the destruction of a human colony on the planet. Riker finds Data's desire to be human disarming, addressing him as "Pinocchio". Wesley approaches them, but falls into a stream; Data pulls him out. Leaving the holodeck, Wesley is embarrassed when Picard sees him dripping muddy water on the deck; he volunteers to clean the water up. In his mother's office, he asks her if he can see the bridge; reluctantly she agrees to see what she can do.

Chapter Eight

La Forge and Hughes are surprised when Riker requests La Forge's presence on the away team along with himself, Data, Troi and Yar. Riker explains that he needs La Forge's eyes. La Forge sees nothing odd about Farpoint's materials, so Riker sends him to examine the underside of the station with Yar and Troi. La Forge finds the strangely-patterned material of the service tunnels completely unfamiliar. Riker asks Troi to open herself to any unusual emotion in the area; she senses overwhelming pain, and Riker and Data beam directly to her location. Dr. Crusher goes to the bridge, taking Wesley with her in the turbolift. Picard is angry to see him until he realizes he is Beverly's son. He invites Wesley onto the bridge and lets him sit in the captain's chair, but is furious when Wesley touches a control to respond to a perimeter alert, and orders the Crushers off the bridge. A mysterious vessel approaches Deneb IV, and Groppler Zorn disclaims knowledge of it. The newcomer scans the Enterprise.

Chapter Nine

The mysterious tunnel material is blocking the away team's communicators, so they head for the surface. The intruder ship begins to fire on the Bandi city adjacent to Farpoint. Near the stairs to the surface, Troi, Yar and La Forge beam up to the Enterprise while Riker and Data head for the city. Hughes is on duty in Transporter Room 7 when La Forge and the others materialize, and is disappointed when Geordi has to hurry to the bridge without speaking to him; he realizes Geordi is moving ahead of him and beyond their friendship. Zorn begs for Picard's assistance. Picard contacts Riker and orders him to abduct Zorn. When Picard orders phasers locked on the newcomer, Q appears and again accuses the humans of savagery. Picard orders the Enterprise placed between the vessel and the planet to shield the Bandi, but the Enterprise loses ship control. Riker and Data find Zorn in his office, but he disappears before their eyes, carried away by a strange energy as he begs for help.

Chapter Ten

Riker and Data return to the Enterprise. Q suggests that Riker take an away team to the mystery vessel, and Riker asks for permission to do so; Picard agrees. In sickbay Dr. Crusher is examining La Forge, who unavoidably feels constant pain from the VISOR. Picard apologizes to Beverly for yelling at Wesley and says he hopes they can be friends. Riker, Yar, Troi and Data beam aboard the strange ship, the corridors of which are identical to those below Farpoint; they find Zorn imprisoned in a force field. Troi realizes she is sensing only one alien, and that Zorn knows what it wants. Riker and Data disable the force field with their phasers, but tendrils of plasma emerge from the walls and wrap around the away team. Picard orders them beamed back, but cannot contact the transporter chief. The alien ship begins to change form. Picard says he will do anything Q says if he allows the away team to be rescued. The four officers and Zorn materialize on the bridge, but Troi tells Picard it was not Q who saved them. She now knows that the "vessel" is a life form. It completes its transformation into a jellyfish-like creature. Picard and Riker deduce that the Bandi captured a similar creature, the mate of the new arrival, which formed itself into Farpoint Station for them. Picard orders Yar to direct an energy beam onto the station, which transforms into another creature. As the two beings soar off into space, Troi senses joy and gratitude from them. Picard demands that Q depart; he does so, but says he does not promise never to return. Picard suggests that the Bandi still have an excellent location for a station, and Zorn agrees to cooperate with Starfleet. Riker apologizes for anything he has said that might have made Data uncomfortable. As Picard prepares to talk with Zorn in his ready room, he tells Riker their future missions should be more interesting than this one.


Episode characters

BennettBeverly CrusherWesley CrusherDataDiana GiddingsGeordi La ForgeLivingston (fish)LongoLeonard McCoyMiles O'BrienJean-Luc PicardPollockQWilliam T. RikerR. TorresDeanna TroiWorfNatasha YarYoungbloodZornstar-jelly
Referenced only 
Jack CrusherRobert DeSotoWilliam Shakespeare

Novelization characters

Michael ArgyleIsmail AsenziBlakeBeverly CrusherWesley CrusherDataGeordi La ForgeAdam HarrisCraig HarrisHidalgoMark HughesLeonard McCoyJean-Luc PicardQMark ReasonsWilliam T. RikerR. TorresDeanna TroiWorf, son of MoghNatasha YarZornstar-jelly
Referenced only 
BartonCelesteChesley BonestellEdgar Rice BurroughsJack CrusherRobert DeSotoJames T. KirkRobert McCallJoanna McCoyWilliam ShakespeareSpock


DenebDeneb IVFarpoint StationOld Bandi City
Referenced only 
Altair IIIBetazedEarthGeorgiaHimalayasKiron IIIMarsMount EverestSol system

Starships and vehicles

USS Enterprise-D (Galaxy-class explorer) • USS Hood (Excelsior-class)
Referenced only 
USS Enterprise (Constitution-class) • USS StargazerUSS Yorktown

Races and cultures

Referenced only 

States and organizations

Federation StarfleetQ ContinuumUnited Federation of Planets
Referenced only 
Bethesda Starfleet HospitalFerengi AllianceFerengi EmpireKlingon EmpireNew United NationsStarfleet AcademyStarfleet Medical CorpsUnited EarthUnited States of AmericaUnited States Marine Corps

Other references

2036admiralandroidantimatterappleaquariumbaconbananabattle bridgebattle sectionchickenchief medical officerchocolatecombadgecommiedilithiumduraplast • "Earther" • eidetic memoryeggEM spectrumencyclopediaEthics and Moral PhilosophyexobiologyFarpoint missionfirst contactforce field gridFourth World MercenaryFrench languagefruitfudgegeothermal energygrapegropplergymnasiumHenry IV, Part IIholodeckhologramholoprogramhumanityice creamimzadiJohn CarterjokeLCARSlionfishLivingstonmaraschino cherrymintmint julepnarcoticsnuclear weaponorangepeachpeanut butterpearphaserphoton torpedoPinocchioPop Goes the WeaselPost-Atomic HorrorPrime Directiveprimary hullprobability mechanicssaucer sectionsaucer separationsecondary hullshakedown cruiseshuttlecraftsodaSondrian marsh boarspaceborne entitystarbasestardrive sectionstarshipstartimestrawberrytangerineTarzantelepathytoasttransportertricordertriluriumturboliftuniversal translatorVISORviewscreenwarp drivewhipped creamwoodland patternWorld War IIIyellow alertyeti


Related media


  • The Ferengi are first mentioned in the episode. They debut in "The Last Outpost".
  • Advance publicity listings for this publication jokingly gave the as-yet-unannounced author the pseudonym "Godonly Nose".
  • The back cover refers to Deneb IV as "Cygnus IV". Deneb is the brightest star in the Cygnus constellation as seen from Earth.
  • Various elements of the prologue are contradicted by TNG episode: "All Good Things...". For example, in that episode Data is not present when Picard is piped aboard the ship.
  • Admiral James T. Kirk is mentioned as having boarded the original Enterprise by shuttlecraft due to a transporter malfunction, establishing the tradition of new captains boarding their starships in this way. It is not made clear whether this refers to TOS movie: Star Trek: The Motion Picture or to another occasion.
  • In the 2364 segments of "All Good Things..." there is no chief engineer on the Enterprise, which is scheduled to pick up a female chief engineer at Farpoint. In this novelization, on the other hand, Argyle is the chief engineer, and is already aboard before the ship arrives at Farpoint.
  • As in the TV episode, the Conn officer is not named in the novel, but the character was played by Colm Meaney and subsequently became Miles O'Brien.
  • The scene in which Hughes refers to Picard as "the old burrhog" is present in the "Encounter at Farpoint" script by D.C. Fontana and Gene Roddenberry, but was omitted from the televised episode.
  • Riker meeting Data on the bridge in the novelization prior to their meeting on the holodeck is contradicted by dialogue in TNG movie: Star Trek: Nemesis (although this is also contradicted by both the television version and the novelization showing them first meeting on the battle bridge).
  • Data's account of his origins is partly contradicted by such later TNG episodes as "Datalore" and "Brothers". According to those episodes, Data was indeed from a planet where a human colony was destroyed, but the location was referred to as Omicron Theta. It might be that Omicron Theta is a system, and that Data and Lore were built on the planet Kiron III. However, Data was not built by a machine race, but by the human Dr. Noonien Soong.
  • The novel implies that Picard and Beverly Crusher only knew each other slightly until she was posted to the Enterprise. This is contradicted by TNG episode: "Attached", among other episodes.


Episode images

Adaptation images


published order
Previous episode:
First TNG episode
TNG episode produced Next episode:
The Naked Now
Previous episode:
First TNG episode
TNG episode aired Next episode:
The Naked Now
Previous novelization:
First TNG novelization
TNG novelizations Next novelization:
chronological order
Previous Adventure:
Lefler's Logs
17th entry
Memory Beta Chronology Next Adventure:
All Good Things...
Alternate timeline
Previous Adventure:
Lefler's Logs
17th entry
Pocket Next Adventure:
All Good Things...
Alternate timeline
Previous Adventure:
First voyage of the Enterprise-D
Voyages of the
USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-D)
Next Adventure:
... Where No One Has Gone Before!
The above chronology placements are based on the primary placement in 2364.
The Pocket Books Timeline places events from this story in one other timeframe:
Previous Adventure:
Chapter 3
Next Adventure:
All Good Things...

External link