Introduction (blurb)Edit

Beyond the realm of the Federation, beyond the edge of the galaxy, a lost colony of humans in space drifts inexorably toward the galactic whirlpool. Kirk blazes new star trails to these strange people, isolated for centuries. Unless he can convince them that the Enterprise crew members are not "demons," they will be sucked into a churning one-way funnel of doom!


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Katholin ArwenChristine ChapelPavel ChekovFrostMarilyn GarciaJesus Garcia Gomezgreen-LindaHobieSusan KellyJames T. KirkLasker (commander)MacMurrayLeonard McCoyM'ressMunkerArex Na EthMante N'KomoMicah OmaraKevin RileyMontgomery ScottSpecksSpockUssef StokelyHikaru SuluNyota Uhura
Referenced only 
AlphonseAugustusBaalBeelzebubJulius CaesarCaligulaArthur C. ClarkeClaudiusDevilAlbert EinsteinFinagleFredGodGravesCharles GridleyKolothLa ForgeGeorge La ForgeLuciferMurphyNeroIsaac NewtonNoahChristopher PikeRobert the WiseSatanShirasSolomon ShortShadowSignpostSpock's great-great-grandmotherTiberiusT'PshawHarry S. Truman

Starships and vehiclesEdit

catapulterUSS Detroitdragon-classUSS Enterprise (Constitution-class) • landroverMarco PolotorchshipWandererwarp tug



Starbases and spacestationsEdit

Deep Space Station K-7Gagarin StationL5 colonyLost Cometary ColonySan Francisco Ship Yards


CapellaEllison's StarFredGalactic whirlpoolHero's StarPolo's BolosShadowSignpostSirius-BWolf 359

Planets, planetoids, and moonsEdit

ArthurDonatu VEarthGuinevereJupiterL5 TrojanLancelotLunaMalavarMalcor's PrideMarsMordredMussourgskyNeptuneNoahOrionPlutoSatlinTitanUranusVenusWrigley's Pleasure Planet


AfricaBaba YagaCaliforniaCentauri colonyGernsback CraterHawaiiHollywoodJovian ColoniesLake MarathonLunar StationNew YorkOld CityRoanoke ColonyRomeSpiderportVan NuysVirginia

Races and culturesEdit

AndorianCapellanCro-magnon manHuman (EnglishWanderers) • KlingonNeanderthalVulcan

States and organizationsEdit

Boy Scouts of AmericaCouncilJapanL5 NationsMacMurray EmpireMartian SettlementsScience CouncilSolar AllianceSoviet UnionStarfleetStarfleet AcademyStarfleet CommandTen Lost Tribes of IsraelThird World AllianceTri-Planetary Titan Development CorporationUnited Federation of PlanetsUnited States of AmericaWolf Pack #11340

Other referencesEdit

baba yagaballoonbandersnatchbasketballBattle of Donatu Vbenchblack holeCapellan choirCherenkov radiationchessdemonDissemination of Human Knowledge PolicyDNAdrifterDungeonThe Elder and the ChildfiestaFirst Contact Modeghostgremlinhobo-jungleThe Hut of Baba YagaJustaman curveKirk evasionKirk's LawThe Last of the ClaudiansMacMurray EncounterThe Moscow SolutionMurphy's LawNew Federation CharterOath of ServiceRoyal High Minister Plenipotentiary in Total Command of the UniverseRoyal Merchant Marine Emperor of the Galaxyshadow-wraithSpace WarStar-ColonelStarfleet CharterStarfleet CodeStarfleet Code of EthicsStarside Syndromethree-dimensional chessTiberian reverseTrojan positionwitchThe Worry of the Headstrong Captain


algaeantbaboonbearbeeboa constrictorchickenchimpanzeecloverdalm treedogdragondragonbirdduckelephantfennelfireflyGreat Bird of the Galaxyhorsemonkeypythonratsehlatspiderstingfish


battle-suitflash helmetjacketkiltrobesandleshortssingletslipperspacesuitspectaclestunicvest

Elements, compounds, and substancesEdit

adrenal-4antimatterbrasscoaldeo-fiveglassgoldhydrogenkrystallin-Gmethanemylarnatural gasneoplastnitrogenoiloxygenplasticplasti-flexredwood

Food and DrinkEdit

alcoholbasilbuttercakechicken soupdalmdrug-spiceeggE-rationfruitgingerbreadsagesaladsalamistrawberryteatomatotuber

Technology and weaponsEdit

air-bumsbolocannoncommunicatorcrossbowdart gundisruptorflashbeamgrowlerholo-tapehyposprayimpulse driveinfrared gogglesknifelasermacheteO-fieldO-packparalyzerphaserphaser-cannonprowlerramjetspearsquirtstaplegunstungunstun riflesubspace radiotelevisionTransporter Coordinating Platformtricorder


720 BCE 
The Ten Lost Tribes of Israel are scattered across Asia by the Assyrians. (Referenced as example of missing peoples)
The Julio-Claudian dynasty ends. (Referenced in Chapter 1 to explain Kirk's disdain over his middle name)
Roanoke Colony goes missing. (Referenced as example of missing peoples)
The King of Hawaii was bargained with in a fashion that inspired James T. Kirk during the MacMurray Encounter. (Referenced in recap of MacMurray Encounter)
Admiral George La Forge commisions the USS Detroit for Starfleet. (Referenced in Chapter 1 by Kirk)
The Wanderer was built in Earth's Trojan position. (Referenced for historical framing)
Galactic Whirlpool - Wanderer


Mars is settled by Earth colonists. Earth is divided between the L5 nations and the Third World nations. (Referenced as historical benchmark)
After the colonization of Mars 
The Wanderer leaves Earth orbit and begins traveling back and fourth through the Sol system providing transport out to the Jovian Colonies. (Referenced as historical benchmark)
The Marco Polo discovers Polo's Bolos. (Referenced to explain impending doom)
The Lost Cometary Colony is never heard from again. (Referenced as example of lost peoples)
The New Federation Charter is signed by Spock's great-great-grandmother. (Referenced in The Elder and the Child)
Admiral La Forge recommends a young James T. Kirk to Starfleet Academy. (Referenced in Chapter 1 by Kirk)


Prior to Stardate 4496.1 
The United Federation of Planets surrenders unconditionally on the planet Noah. James T. Kirk is pronounced Royal High Minister Plenipotentiary in Total Command of the Universe by Royal Merchant Marine Emperor of the Galaxy MacMurray in the MacMurray Encounter. (Referenced as example of Kirk's policies)
After the MacMurray Encounter 
Starfleet institutes the Dissemination of Human Knowledge Policy. (Referenced as example of Kirk's influence)
The USS Enterprise travels to Mordred, Guinevere, Arthur, and the science station at Lancelot. (Referenced in Chapter 1 to frame story)
Stardate 4496.1 
The USS Enterprise locates a missing Human ship, the Wanderer. (Chapter 1)
Before Stardate 4523.3 
The USS Enterprise saves the Wanderer from Polo's Bolos and departs for Deep Space Station K-7. (Final Chapter)



  • Riley's command is a quotation of Admiral George Dewey's famous command from 1898, "You may fire when you are ready, Gridley. Riley misquotes the name as 'Grisly', a mistake that was also used as a gag in Looney Tunes cartoons referencing the same quote.
  • This novel references that Spock's great-great-grandmother had signed the New Federation Charter. Other sources[citation needed] mention his great-grandfather as a signatory of the Articles of the Federation. (ENT novel: Last Full Measure)
  • The earliest cover art for this book used the description of the round Wanderer to great effect, showing a large scale construct, with a small Enterprise visible behind the object. The uncertain distance of the Enterprise in the image means that deriving a measurable scale is not entirely possible.
  • While the novel has only a very slight mention of the Klingon ship the crew was investigating, the 1980s reissue painted cover took advantage of the mention by showing a fully rendered Klingon D7-class battlecruiser, with detailing consistent with a K't'inga-class vessel seen in the most recent films at the time, The Motion Picture and The Wrath of Khan. At the time, it was the only Klingon ship thus far depicted in Star Trek.
  • The 1990s re-issue features a highly detailed cover by Kazuhiko Sano depicting Kirk and Uhura, as well as persons using glider wings as described in the text.
  • Overseas, the book was re-issued as part of the Star Trek Adventures series by Titan Books, with a cover painting depicting Kirk only.



published order
Previous novel:
Perry's Planet
TOS unnumbered novels Next novel:
Death's Angel
chronological order
Previous Adventure:
The Case of the Colonist's Corpse
Memory Beta Chronology Next Adventure:
Beneath the Skin
Pages 12-19
Previous Adventure:
The Case of the Colonist's Corpse
Pocket Next Adventure:
The Trouble with Tribbles
Previous Adventure:
The Case of the Colonist's Corpse
Voyages of the
USS Enterprise (NCC-1701)
(2264 to 2270)
Next Adventure:
The Trouble with Tribbles

External linkEdit

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