From the book jacket 
Never before had the Enterprise been betrayed by its own technology. Never before had their systems, instruments and weapons failed to respond. And never before had Kirk, Spock, McCoy and the rest of the crew faced a total breakdown of science and sanity...until they stumbled on the mysterious world that couldn't exist...
A world orbited by a black hole and ruled by chaos - where man was a helpless plaything for a race of beings more powerful than the laws of the universe.


Chapters One and TwoEdit

Captain's log, stardate 6132.8: The crew's morale seems high in spite of the four-week detour. This morning's maneuvers went well; this afternoon Mr. Scott has a drill planned. I think we have been successful in promoting the feeling that the Enterprise is on vacation - rather than having been forced, by vagaries of scheduling, into a mission that a transport or scout could accomplish as easily.
I haven't yet met our supercargo, Dr. Atheling, other than formally welcoming him aboard ship. Mr. Spock speaks highly of his reputation in astrophysics, and several of the crew know him from Academy days.
By tomorrow the maintenance and training schedule should be complete; I look forward to meeting a man important enough to shanghai a month out of a heavy cruiser's schedule.

After pulling a double duty shift on the bridge, Captain Kirk stops by the rec room for a breakfast of ham and eggs, and to catch up with Dr. McCoy. McCoy baits the captain about why he's keeping the crew on edge by performing repeated drills and scenarios, and Kirk informs McCoy that when the Enterprise puts in at Academy, the ship will probably be subject of a Class 1 inspection by Commodore Martin Lawrence, chief of Starfleet Flight Training, and his cadets.

Also in the mess hall was Professor Atheling. The Professor was having a heated debate about Earth literature with two Enterprise science officers, Andre Charvat and Sharon Follett.

Chapter ThreeEdit

Captain's log, stardate 6133.4: We've just completed a detailed mapping of the planet Anomaly (so named by Lieutenant Commander Charvat), and have found no artifacts suggesting the planet is or ever was inhabited by intelligent beings.
Much of the land area of Anomaly is jungle, and the planet has a very active, almost Mesozoic, ecology. Its surface and seas are aswarm with creatures man-sized and larger, mostly quite aggressive. So I've selected both the landing site and the landing party with some care.
Captain's log, stardate 6133.6: Mr. Spock and Dr. Atheling agree that the failure of the transporter to work must be somehow allied with whatever forces allow Anomaly's microstar to exist. At any rate, it's now more important than ever that we investigate the planet's surface.
We will have to go down by shuttle, which is irregular but poses no real problem. I've added one person to the exploration team: Ensign Frost, an engineer and experienced pilot. Otherwise the team and landing site are the same as before.

Chapter FourEdit

Captain's log, stardate 6134.2: This is being recorded by Science Officer Spock, temporarily in command.
We are unable to communicate with Captain Kirk and his team, although they appear to have landed safely, and precisely at the selected location.
It seems unlikely that Captain Kirk would have long remained on the surface of the planet, once it was plain that he could not communicate with the Enterprise. Therefore, either he and the crew are dead or disabled, or the shuttlecraft is unable to lift. When our orbit brings us again over the landing site, Mr. Sulu will determine by biosensor whether they are alive.
Since the translator, communicators, and shuttle engine are mutually independent systems, the probability of all of them malfunctioning at the same time is vanishingly small. The inescapable conclusion is that they have been influenced by some outside meta-system.



AlanJames AthelingBoridoBoundsChristine ChapelAndre CharvatPavel ChekovCzyzakBish DavoffDelacroixSharon FollettFrostAmanda GraysonDoris GraysonOctavio HernandezHevelinBill HixonHuffJimmyBill JohnsonJames KirkMartin LawrenceLesterLeonard McCoyMark MooreJerry NovoskiMontgomery ScottSikhSpockStonnHikaru SuluTabakowMohammed TafariT'PauT'PringNyota UhuraRosaly Ybarra
Referenced only 
Raymond ChandlerDashiell HammettSherlock HolmesHoneyHoratioJoanna McCoySara

Starships and vehiclesEdit

USS Enterprise NCC-1701USS Intrepid (NCC-1631)USS LysanderSolar Wind

States and organizationsEdit

College of ScienceRomulan Star EmpireStarfleetUnited Federation of Planets


AcademyAnomalyAtlanta General HospitalBabelBeta Hydri systemCaporyEarthEpsilon IndiGeorgiaHennepinJackson MallLast chance/First chanceMinneapolisNestaOuter BanksSagittarius ArmStarbase 4Starbase 13St. PaulVulcan
Referenced only 
Mount Olympus

Races and culturesEdit

ArivneDenebianHuman (Bantu) • IrapinaOrganianOrionRomulanStratosianTarlVulcan

Other referencesEdit

ahn woonArivnearrestorbody armorBussard ramjetDenebian brandyDNA match synthesizorelectronic scalpelEsio TelgaflamerGeneral Order OnehamHamletJump HarnessKahKah-if-farrKah-if-feeKlee-etKlee-fahKoon-ut-kal-if-feekrovillKroykahLepidopteraLindamood Paradoxlineshockerlirpamind-toadMohorovicic discontinuityOccam's Razorpon farrPressorRonoxoline-DSchrödinger's catspinpitsurvival kittangleguntritaniumType I Ray GunType II phaservibroknifevisiphone


  • This novel gives a description of McCoy's marriage, separation and entrance into Starfleet. The topic is later covered, with minor differences, in TOS novel: Shadows on the Sun.

External linkEdit

published order
Previous novel:
The Price of the Phoenix
TOS unnumbered novels Next novel:
Star Trek: The New Voyages 2
chronological order
Previous Adventure:
Spock, Messiah!
Memory Beta Chronology Next Adventure:
Year Four, Issue 1
Previous Adventure:
Spock, Messiah!
Pocket Next Adventure:
Previous Adventure:
Spock, Messiah!
Voyages of the
USS Enterprise (NCC-1701)
(2264 to 2270)
Next Adventure:
Year Four, Issue 1

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