The universe has less than a century left… unless Spock can change history.—The Entropy Effect was a Star Trek: The Original Series novel written by Vonda N. McIntyre. The book was the second Star Trek novel ever published by Pocket Books, and the first from Pocket with an original story.
- The Enterprise is summoned to transport a dangerous criminal from a starbase prison to a rehabilitation center: brilliant physicist Dr. Georges Mordreaux, accused of promising to send people back in time - then killing them instead.
- But when Mordreaux escapes, bursts onto the bridge and kills Captain Kirk, Spock must journey back in time to avert disaster - before it occurs.
- Now there's more at stake than just Kirk's life. Mordreaux's experiments have thrown the entire universe into a deadly time warp. Spock is fighting time...and the universe is closing in on itself with the relentless squeeze of…
- The Entropy Effect.
Spock is in the middle of studying a negative singularity, with his readings suggesting the universe has less than a hundred years of life left, when the Enterprise is summoned to Aleph Prime by an ultimate override command. However, on arrival the only person that greets them is the planet's prosecutor, Ian Braithewaite. He knows nothing of the alert but requests them to transfer a prisoner convicted of unethical experiments and mass murder to a rehabilitation centre. Kirk is on the verge of refusing when Spock learns the prisoner is his old mentor, Georges Mordreaux, and convinces him to accept.
Before the Enterprise departs, Sulu receives a transfer to the USS Aerfen under the fabled Captain Hunter, even though he has just begun a relationship with security commander Mandala Flynn. During the mission, Mordreaux enters the bridge and kills both Kirk and Flynn. However, security are convinced he never left his quarters and no trace of the weapon can be found afterwards.
Spock speaks to Mordreaux and discovers he has put his time travel theories to practical use, transporting ten people back in time. He has been accused of murdering them as part of a Federation cover-up to discredit his research, which they are afraid could be misused. It is clear a future version of Mordreaux committed the murders. Mordreaux gives Spock the knowledge to construct a time-changer but refuses to clear his name if it means denouncing his research.
Spock takes only McCoy into his confidence, leaving him in command while he works on building the device. The increasingly paranoid Braithewaite, who was charged with covering up the experiments, becomes convinced Spock, McCoy and Flynn conspired with Mordreaux to murder Kirk and sell both the Enterprise and the time research to enemy powers, and convinces Scotty to help him investigate, hampering their efforts.
Spock attempts first to save Kirk, then to stop Mordreaux sending the signal that brought the Enterprise to Aleph Prime. Both attempts fail but he does encounter an even older version of Mordreaux, who explains in the original history Kirk and Spock worked together to clear him but he later went mad. Spock goes back to Mordreaux's first experiment and tells him that his experiments will ultimately cause entropy to increase and prematurely end the universe. Witnessing his future self's death from repeated use convinces Mordreaux and he ends his research, going into seclusion.
Spock is returned to his own time in the new timeline, where the entropy singularity has been replaced by a harmless black hole, and Kirk offers Sulu a field promotion to lieutenant commander to keep him on the Enterprise.
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- Beranardi al Auriga • Jenniver Aristeides • Maximo Alisaunder Arrunja • Ian Braithewaite • Christine Chapel • Pavel Chekov • Mandala Flynn • Hunter • James T. Kirk • Lee • Leonard McCoy • Georges Mordreaux • Mree • Neon • Ilya Nikolaievich • Perim • Janice Rand • Montgomery Scott • Beatrice Smith • Snnanagfashtalli • Spock • Hikaru Sulu • Nyota Uhura
- Referenced only
- Pallas Athene • Lewis Carroll • Casanova • D'Artagnan • Samuel R. Delaney • Desmoulins • Devil • Alexander Dumas • Albert Einstein • Friendly • God • Amanda Grayson • Homer • Don Juan • George Kirk • Peter Kirk • Minerva • Roger Penrose • Sarek • Alfred Tennyson • Frank J. Tipler • Vekesh
Starships and vehicles
- Aleph Prime • Aleph system • Arcturus • Earth • Federation Headquarters • Gamma Draconis VII • Ganjitsu • Hell • Makropyrios • Rehabilitation Colony 7 • Shinpai
Races and cultures
- Changed • Ganjitsujin • Human • Klingon • Neon's species • Orion • Romulan • Vulcan
- Referenced only
- Gamma Draconis VII inhabitant
States and organizations
- Flat Earth Society • Romulan Star Empire • Starfleet • Starfleet Academy • United Federation of Planets
- Academy star • anachronistic event • Ancient Modern English • android • armchair • astronomical unit • Babel-17 • beard • beard suppressant • bed • bee • Bioelectronic crystal • Black Plague • boot • brandy • brass • bread • chess • clone • coffee • communicator • couch • The Count of Monte Cristo • dojo • dolphin • duffel bag • EEG • energy cuff • entropy • ESP • fencing • fighter • flimsies • foil • Frankenstein • frenzy • gi • glove • granite • G-type star • hara-kiri • hawk • Hawking black hole • Hawking radiation • heme carrier • hypermorphic botulism • incipient nova • iron • Islandia • Japanese • judo • Kentucky bourbon • knife • leopard • loon • memory cassette • milk • moustache • naked singularity • Old Calendar • paper • partnership family • pencil • phaser rifle • phoenix eagle • pirate • plastic • reader • rehabilitation colony • ring • ruby • Russian • sabre • sash • Sibyl Sue Blue • silk • silver • Spiderweb • Sputnik 1 • Stegosaurus • The Tale of Genji • temporal displacement • The Three Musketeers • The Time Machine • Tyrannosaurus rex • ultimate code • uniform • The Virginian • Vulcan meditation stone • whiskey • wind-rider • wine • wolf • X-ray • yoga • yogi
- Several versions of the novel and audiobook were published with artwork depicting the characters (and the Enterprise) as they appeared in Star Trek: The Motion Picture. The story's stardate, the Voyages of Imagination timeline and the later 2006 edition cover art all place this as occuring during Star Trek: The Original Series, in particular during the era of gold and blue uniforms and prior to Sulu's promotion to lieutenant commander.
- The Simon and Schuster Audioworks box art for the audio adaptation of this novel uses the cover of Triangle, with just Kirk and Spock and omitting Sulu, because the author's entire Sulu subplot was trimmed out to make the story fit onto a 90 minute tape. The German language edition from Heyne Verlag also omitted the original cover art, instead using a painting depicting Star Trek: The Motion Picture characters, which had previously been used by the publisher Goldmann as the cover art for the German translation of James Blish's Star Trek 1. Later German editions by Heyne included a "Black Edition" which featured only a cropped Boris Vallejo depiction of the Enterprise, as it had appeared on Final Frontier. When Heyne did their final re-issue of all their Trek material in 2014, an eBook edition with a generic CGI depiction of a planetary geologic upheaval, with spires firing energy into the sky. Even the 2014 eBook had the refit Enterprise of the Motion Picture era, and to date the only covers that feature correctly styled TOS depictions of the ship and uniforms were the Heyne Black Edition and the 2006 Pocket re-issue.
- The character of Mandala Flynn would go on to be mentioned in TOS - Fortunes of War novel: Dreadnought!; TOS - Duty, Honor, Redemption novelizations: The Wrath of Khan, The Search for Spock and FASA RPG module: Star Trek: The Next Generation Officer's Manual after her first appearance in this novel.
- Kirk's promotion of Sulu to lieutenant commander would eventually occur, at some point prior to TOS - Fortunes of War novel: Dreadnought!, and after all canon productions in the TOS era. Sulu only appeared onscreen once as a lieutenant commander, in The Motion Picture. The fact that he hasn't yet achieved this rank supports the timeline materials that place this story before The Motion Picture, despite the cover art showing the newer Enterprise refit design.
Star Trek: The Motion Picture
|TOS numbered novels||Next novel:|
The Klingon Gambit
The Final Nexus
The Final Reflection
|The above chronology placements are based on the primary placement in 2270.|
The Pocket Books Timeline places events from this story in one other timeframe:
Chapter 1, Section 12
Voyage to Adventure