The Federation faces extinction from an awesome new weapon!The Pandora Principle, by Carolyn Clowes, was the 49th novel published as part of Pocket Books's numbered series of TOS books, released in April 1990.


A Romulan bird-of-prey mysteriously drifts over the Romulan Neutral Zone and into Federation territory. Captain Kirk and the crew of the Enterprise investigate, only to find the ship dead in space. When Starfleet orders the derelict ship brought to Earth for examination, the Enterprise returns home with perhaps her greatest prize.
But the bird-of-prey carries a dangerous cargo, a deadly force that is soon unleashed in the heart of the Federation. Suddenly, the only hope for the Federation's survival lies buried in the tortured memory of Commander Spock's protégée, a cadet named Saavik. Together, Spock and Saavik must return to the nightmare world of Saavik's birth—a planet called Hellguard, to discover the secret behind the Romulans' most deadly threat of all…


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AchernarBradleyPavel ChekovConklinFred DiMuroMalcomb DorishJanet GoldmanRobert HarperMaxim KinskiJames T. KirkJames KomackJessie KorbetLeonard McCoyMichaelsNelsonHeihachiro NoguraOboEl-Idorn RakirAyla RennRichardsSaavikSalokSarekMontgomery ScottSpockGeorge StockerS'tvanHikaru SuluTahnNyota Uhuraunnamed USS Enterprise (NCC-1701) personnelunnamed Dantriansunnamed Humansunnamed Romulansunnamed Starfleet personnelunnamed Vulcans
Referenced only 
Katia HarperT'PauT'PrenT'Sai

Starships and vehiclesEdit

Achernar's transportFederation travel podunnamed Romulan starships (Romulan bird-of-prey, Romulan warship, other attacking ships)
Enterprise-subclass (Constitution refit) class XI heavy cruiser 
USS ConstitutionUSS EnterpriseUSS Potemkin
Vulcan survey ships 


Shipboard locationsEdit

USS Enterprise 
bridgecorridorengineeringquarters (Spock's, Kirk's, Saavik's) • sickbayturbolift
Romulan bird-of-prey 
bridgecorridorengineeringquarters (Commander's) • sickbayturbolift

Planetary localesEdit

Life CitySan Francisco

Outposts and establishmentsEdit

SpacedockStarfleet AcademyStarfleet HeadquartersThe Vault
Referenced only 
Gamma Eridani research stationGolStarbase 10

Planets and planetoidsEdit

EarthHellguard (Romulan worlds)
Referenced only 
BelandrosDantria IVMarsVulcan

Stars and systemsEdit

872 TrianguliSol
Referenced only 
DantriaGamma EridaniVulcan system

Stellar regionsEdit

the galaxyRomulan Neutral Zone
Referenced only 
Gamma Hydra sector

Races and culturesEdit

Referenced only 

States and organizationsEdit

Federation CouncilRomulan Star EmpireStarfleetStarfleet CommandThe TenUnited Federation of PlanetsVulcan Council

Technology and weaponsEdit

airlockbladecloaking deviceCoffeeTechcommand chaircommunicatorcomputerdaggerdamping fieldenvironmental suitfood synthesizerhand-held weaponimpulse engineintercomlife supportlog buoypaperpencilphaserphaser pistolphoton torpedopistolplasma torpedorecord taperecorderservo-minership-mounted weaponsignal buoyspace stationstarshipswordtorpedo launchertractor beamtransportertricorderturboliftuniversal translatorviewscreenwarp coilwarp engine

Materials and substancesEdit


Food and drinkEdit

alcoholalecoffeeGlenlivetpotatoration packRomulan aleRomulan wineScotchwine



Communications and languageEdit

distress callPlanetary Contingency CodeRomulan languageRosecryptVulcan language

Ranks and titlesEdit

adjutantadmiralambassadorcadetcaptainchief engineerchief medical officercommandercommanding officercommodorecommunications officerdoctorengineerensignFederation Starfleet ranksFederation Starfleet ranks (2270s-2350s)first officerfleet admiralhealerhelmsmanIDIClieutenantlieutenant commandermidshipmanofficerpraetorpresidentPresident of the United Federation of Planetsrear admiralscience officersecuritysecurity chiefspecialistsubcommandertactical officertechnicianweapons officer

Other referencesEdit

baseballbinary starcalendarclothingcolonycommunicationdaydesertDNAearthquakeelectromagnetismemotionfifth planetsgalaxygamma raygenetic hybridgovernmentGrand DesigngravityhourKolinahrlanguagelawlifeformlightlogicmattermemorymetermind meldminutemolecular virusmoonnation-stateNeutral Zone Treatyops manualorbitplanetplanetary classificationpon farrraces and culturesrankrapered alertreligionsectorspacespectroanalysissports and gamesstarstardateStarfleet uniformStarfleet uniform (2278-2350s)star systemsuicidetechnologythird planetstimetitletreatyuniformvirusweaponyellow alert


See the continuing voyages of the USS Enterprise
Enterprise attempts to rescue T'Pren, Spock pursues her origin on Hellguard. (A year prior to Spock's tutelage of Saavik)
Spock attempts to civilize Saavik. (Six years prior to the story)
Saavik enters the Academy, Enterprise discovers the derelict. (Date of Academy entrance in ST reference: Star Trek Chronology')




published order
Previous novel:
Rules of Engagement
TOS numbered novels Next novel:
Doctor's Orders
chronological order
Previous Adventure:
Foundations, Book Three
Chapters 2-7
Pocket Next Adventure:
Dwellers in the Crucible
The above chronology placements are based on the primary placement in 2281.
The Pocket Books Timeline places events from this story in one other timeframe:
Previous Adventure:
Pawns and Symbols
Chapters 9-14, Epilogue
Chapter 1
Next Adventure:
To Reign in Hell: The Exile of Khan Noonien Singh (Chapter 22)

External linkEdit

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