Star Trek: The Three Minute Universe (1988) – Barbara Paul

Space, the final frontier…

I dug into another Trek novel this week, hey, there’s a lot of them, so they’ll probably be appearing on here fairly regular,

I haven’t read this one since it first came out in ’88, and I don’t remember being a big fan of it when I first joined Captain Kirk and company on this adventure. But this time through, i got a lot more out of it, as there’s a tale of prejudice and acceptance at the heart of the tale, even as one of the bridge crew is dealing with an almost debilitating fear of fire.

Set during The Original Series, the U.S.S. Enterprise comes across a giant heat wave traversing space, destroying planets and entire solar systems. Spock soon deduces that a new universe has been created, the heat is an expanding wave caused by the initial big bang.

As Kirk investigates the crew learn that a device has been created that can rip a hole in reality, and just so happened, in this case, to open it on a newly formed universe.

Now a race of aliens that humans have a hard time dealing with, known as the Sackers, have the weapon and are making demands, with the whole universe hanging in the balance.


It seems humans can’t tolerate the appearance or smell of the Sackers, it causes them to be physically ill. But when Kirk, Chekov, Uhura and Scotty are kidnapped by the Sackers, they get to learn about the repulsive beings first hand, and discover some shocking truths.

Truths that could change the outcome of the threats the Sackers are delivering, and also help the Federation, and their continued contact with new life and new civilizations.

While Kirk and the rest are aboard the Sacker ship, they learn just as much about themselves as their would-be alien captors, and  discover that some of their own prejudices have prevented them from seeing the Sackers as they are.

There’s a bit of a goofy climax involving a spreading fire, and one crew person’s fear of it, that detracts a bit from the Enterprise sealing off the new born universe, separating it from our own, and thus saving the galaxy again, which I think is the more important one.

Still, this one was much more enjoyable this time around, and there are some legitimately humorous moments in the novel. Paul has a fairly solid handle on most of the characters, though they don’t always sound right in my head.

The Human Adventure continues as more Trek novels lay on the horizon.

Boldy go…


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